Assemblyman James Tedisco, who was on the receiving end of Eliot Spitzer’s now infamous “f———steamroller” comment in 2007, said today he doubts Spitzer has changed his bullying ways.
“He called me up on the Thruway. He didn’t like what I had to say, and he said, he was an effin’ steamroller. He was going to roll over me and anyone else who gets in his way,” Tedisco, a Schenectady Republican, recalled today. “I found out something after that. He was not really a steamroller. What he was was a one-man Chernobyl, ready to melt down at any moment. Put simply, Eliot Spitzer is and was a hot mess.”
Tedisco was Assembly minority leader during the Democratic governor’s tumultuous 15 months in office. Tedisco was critical of Spitzer, leading to Spitzer’s threats against him. After that, Tedisco accused Spitzer of pulling a grant in Tedisco’s district to fund a health-care clinic for the poor.
Tedisco was quick to call for Spitzer’s resignation when the governor first revealed he had solicited a prostitute.
“Spitzer’s personal failings aside, what’s most troubling about his potential return to this public office is just his complete lack of temperament and good judgment,” Tedisco said.
Tedisco said he’s befuddled by the political returns of Spitzer and Anthony Weiner, who resigned as a Brooklyn congressman in 2011 after sending lewd photos of himself to women.
“Anything’s possible, but I don’t see it,” Tedisco said of Spitzer’s proclaimed change in personality. “But could the people really afford that? What do they want to be called? The city that brought in the Abbott and Costello of public servants?”
He added, “Voters really love transparency. Now Weiner was totally transparent. He even put his private parts on the website. Spitzer, 99 percent. He kept his socks on. But that’s not the kind of transparency I think they want.”