By Roger Stone

Spitzer: Still covering up
When Governor David Paterson fired the head of the New York Commission on Public Integrity because of the agency's willful attempt to leak information and derail the Spitzer/Troopergate investigation, he replaced him with... a stooge of Eliot Spitzer. Although Commission officials were accused of keeping Spitzer's top aides apprised of material facts uncovered in the investigation, Paterson has appointed Michael Cherkasky, a longtime Spitzer pal and dirty tricks operative. Spitzer literally blackmailed Marsh and McLennan Insurance into taking Cherkasky from the bowels of Kroll Investigative Services, owned by M & M, and promoting him to Chief Executive Officer of M & M. When company directors objected to Cherkasky's lack of insurance experience they were told that Spitzer would not settle fraud charges against the company unless Cherkasky was installed. "No Cherkasky -no settlement," one director told me directly. Next time Eliot Spitzer brags about what a great attorney general he was try to remember this little illegal stunt and abuse of power. Spitzer and Cherkasky were colleagues in the Manhattan District Attorney's office. It is not incidental that Kroll was the firm that produced the report which said a threatening phone call to Bernard Spitzer "appeared to be from a telephone controlled by Roger Stone." This is typical of the lengths to which Cherkasky will go for Spitzer. I have surprised many Republicans with my public comments here in the StoneZone and in many television interviews with my high regard for Governor Paterson and my sympathy for his current political predicament. I like Paterson's support for a property tax cap as well as his recent proposal to cap state spending by linking budget growth to the rate of inflation. Because New York has a progressive income tax the Paterson plan would put the State into a surplus within five years. On this one, I must assume that the Governor was not fully briefed about Mr. Cherkasky's close association with the man who attempted to cover up the facts in the investigation of his administration, Eliot Spitzer.