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|THE SPITZER SEX SCANDAL
In interviews Tuesday, some said his alleged actions were a disgrace not only to his family but also to his constituents. Spitzer was swept into office after campaigning to reform Albany and bring more openness to politics.
"It's bad because it hits close to home," said Dr. Julie Syid, of Nassau County, who works as a chiropractor in Bayside. "We live in New York and he should have been setting an example for our children."
No criminal charges had been filed against Spitzer, who prosecuted two cases involving prostitution rings during his tenure as state attorney general, but many residents thought he should resign. Some contended it would not be in the state's best interest if he stayed in office and looked like a hypocrite.
"I just thought it was disgusting and it goes against his whole platform," said Bayside resident Peter Russo, 29.
State Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) said a poll that showed 80 percent of voters calling for the governor to step down was a response to Spitzer's evident hypocrisy.
"I don't think people see it as a betrayal of government trust," Peralta said. "I think that people are tying him in with this reform movement, and now he's kind of tainted his image. The bottom line is he hasn't done anything to hurt the government. He did an immoral thing, that is true."
Queens residents were outspoken about the governor but did not have much to say about Lt. Gov. David Paterson, who will take over the governor's seat if Spitzer steps down.
Many said they did not know anything about the legally blind, former state senator from Harlem, but those who did were confident he would do a good job taking care of the state's issues.
"He's more fair with people, he knows more about politics and he's more loyal," said James McDermott, 49, of Bayside, an independent voter.
The scandal may have rocked New York political circles, but residents said they would brush it off and get on with the rest of their lives despite the media blitz.
"I'll get over it, but they'll keep bringing it back on the news," said Elaine Lee, 36, of Bayside.
Jeremy Walsh contributed to this article.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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