Mayor Michael Bloomberg has tried to stay out of this year's citywide campaigns, although he weighed in on Friday to counter criticism of Wall Street from city comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
Eliot Spitzer's brief record as governor is seen as thin and stormy. He is largely campaigning for city comptroller on his eight years as state attorney general, a so-called Sheriff of Wall Street who has the Financial District afraid again.
But someone famous for beating the drum for Wall Street, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was not all that pleased by Spitzer's bashing.
Bloomberg said on Friday, "Just condemning any one industry is not the smart thing to do. if there's something wrong, it's not the comptroller's job to investigate that. We have enough levels already of investigative groups."
Spitzer disagreed, releasing a lengthy statement that seemed to border on a lecture.
On Friday, the former governor was flying to Los Angeles to tape the Bill Maher show.
A spokesman says he and Bloomberg just disagree, saying in part, "When political leadership cedes power vested in them over to the same powerful special interests they're supposed to oversee, our markets no longer work for any of us."
Business groups are said to be planning a bid to defeat Spitzer, but so far no independent ads have surfaced
"Wall Street is a very big employer and tax payer in this city, and there's an awful lot of honest, hard-working people that make their living on Wall Street," Bloomberg said.
The politically independent mayor has not endorsed in the Democratic race, but still praises Scott Stringer. Spitzer's opponent, who serves as Manhattan borough president, stumped in southeast Queens on Friday.
"This job is not about being the sheriff. This job is about being the steward, someone who's going to be fiscally responsible as a guardian of our $140 billion pension system," Stringer said. "You also have to be willing to take on City Hall as the auditor-in-chief, making sure that you hold agencies accountable."
Despite the clear differences in name recognition, a new poll finds a race that is statistically tied. Other surveys, though, have found Spitzer well ahead.