Spitzer on the licences-for-illegals compromise: Chertoff made me do it

posted at 2:01 pm on October 31, 2007 by Bryan

It might even be true; DHS chief Michael Chertoff isn’t exactly Elliot Ness.

The phone call from a top aide to Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security, came two weeks ago, and the message was clear: The department was concerned that Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants would undermine a federal initiative to roll out a new highly secure, nationally recognized license.

That’s a reference to Real ID, which was all but moribund on the Hill until Spitzer announced his plan to let illegals get legal drivers licenses in New York. Spitzer may have save that program even while immolating himself.

The prospect of Mr. Chertoff coming out publicly against Mr. Spitzer’s plan caused deep anxiety among Spitzer administration officials, said Michael A. L. Balboni, the governor’s deputy secretary for public safety, who received the call.

The governor and his aides felt they had few options…

Mr. Spitzer agreed with Mr. Chertoff to a compromise plan on Friday under which the state would offer three levels of driver’s licenses beginning next year, including a limited license that illegal immigrants could obtain but that could not be used to board airplanes or cross borders.

We know what that announcement has done. Among other things, it blew up in Hillary Clinton’s face.

But however much Spitzer wants to blame Chertoff for the compromise, the decision that got him to that point was nobody’s fault but his.

Most lawmakers first heard about the initial policy when the governor announced it, saying, “The D.M.V. is not the I.N.S.”

County clerks who would have to carry out the policy were not consulted. Nor was Mr. Chertoff’s department.

“There’s a very consistent pattern here of not consulting with his friends,” said Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, a Westchester Democrat. “I must say, at this point, people don’t understand what the thinking and the planning was.”

Aides to the governor, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they had not foreseen the intensity of opposition the license plan would touch off.

Mr. Spitzer saw it as simply keeping a promise he had made during his campaign last year.

And it was consistent with his desire, after battling the Legislature for a frustrating six months, to govern by exercising the powers of the executive agencies under his control, without legislative interference.

And without caring what the voters of New York think, either. Arrogant, out-of-touch Democrats like Spitzer are a gift…to Republicans.

*Fixed the link.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Thank you kind sirs for selling out your country.

The Race Card on October 31, 2007 at 2:04 PM

To borrow a phrase from Mark Levin, this man should walk around with a bag over his head.

GogglesPisano on October 31, 2007 at 2:04 PM

The governor and his aides felt they had few options…

how about going on tv and saying no really i was just joking no dl for illegals in ny ever .

Mojack420 on October 31, 2007 at 2:05 PM

He’s a bloviating moron; a Chuckie Schumer in the making.

georgej on October 31, 2007 at 2:06 PM

Aides to the governor, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they had not foreseen the intensity of opposition the license plan would touch off.

Translated: Gosh. We thought all New Yorkers were Democrats. How can they possibly be against this thinly veiled attempt to enlarge our voter base with illegals?

BacaDog on October 31, 2007 at 2:09 PM

I think the first link is wrong. It goes to Op-For talking about pirates.

amerpundit on October 31, 2007 at 2:10 PM

And without caring what the voters of New York think, either. Arrogant, out-of-touch Democrats like Spitzer are a gift…to Republicans.

A gift it is but arrogant? I only add the question mark because I read an article somewhere that he campaigned on the issue. I which case New Yorkers are getting their just desserts. That is neither here nor there. You are right Bryan. This is an albatross that every Republican can use against their Democrat foe come 2008. Thank you Spitzer!

Theworldisnotenough on October 31, 2007 at 2:12 PM

Who’s the steamroller now?

JammieWearingFool on October 31, 2007 at 2:14 PM

If anything I hope that seeing Hillary squirm makes all the RINOs in our party more squeemish about being for amnesty.

I haven heard Linsey Graham in a while come to think of it.

William Amos on October 31, 2007 at 2:15 PM

I love it when these guys go all Jake Blues when confronted.
“It wasn’t my fault!!!”

bbz123 on October 31, 2007 at 2:17 PM

Eliot Spitzer: the Gavin Newsom of 2008.

Slublog on October 31, 2007 at 2:17 PM

Lou Dobb’s tears Spitzer a new one here

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/10/30/Dobbs.Oct31/index.html

William Amos on October 31, 2007 at 2:19 PM

Bryan and AP, go have a fag (a smoke), you guys are cranking out the news so fast I can’t keep up…..Nice job!

abinitioadinfinitum on October 31, 2007 at 2:20 PM

Aides to the governor, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they had not foreseen the intensity of opposition the license plan would touch off.

Have these fools not watch Lou Dobbs’ program once in the last three years?

gabriel sutherland on October 31, 2007 at 2:22 PM

…consistent with his desire, after battling the Legislature for a frustrating six months, to govern by exercising the powers of the executive agencies under his control, without legislative interference.

Oh, I have to laugh. I imagine Prez Bush deeply sympathizes with poor Elliot.

mojo on October 31, 2007 at 2:27 PM

Once again, I have to ask, just what is Cheroff’s legal authority to disregard Federal Law?

Its a Felony to knowinly aid and abet illegal aliens staying in this country. Giving the Drivers licenses is aiding and abeting… clearly.

Why is Chertoff NOT enforceing the law? or is he above the will of the people, and the Congress?

This is a much clearer violation of seperation of powers than the stinkin AG firings a few months ago… where the heck is Congress???

Romeo13 on October 31, 2007 at 2:28 PM

I haven heard Linsey Graham in a while come to think of it.

William Amos on October 31, 2007 at 2:15 PM

I think he was told to stfu up by the racist nativist bigots American citizens.

Mojack420 on October 31, 2007 at 2:30 PM

When and where did Spitzer promise this during the run-up to the election? I’m not saying he didn’t, but I don’t remember a thing mentioned about this during the campaign and I think he’s lying.

Dusty on October 31, 2007 at 2:30 PM

Well, there’s the law as written, and then there’s the Law as It Should Be, which is the law Democrats alone have special dispensation to follow.

Dispensation from whom, you ask? Why from the elite group that actually runs this country – the Media, of course. If a law is broken and nobody reports it, did a crime occur? Of course not. Even better, if no law was broken, but it was reported as such, did a crime occur? Of course it did – a crime against the Way It Should Be as taught in J-school!

drunyan8315 on October 31, 2007 at 2:42 PM

Is it just me, or in the pic does Spitzer look like he has a mouthful of something he wants to spit out?

Kowboy on October 31, 2007 at 2:49 PM

The analysis seems dreadfully off. The more logical interpretation is that Chertoff has both saved ReadID and sunk Spitzer. Now, I don’t like Chertoff at all, but I think we have to give credit where credit is due.
I suppose what this means is that until Chertoff does his next evil deed, I’m keeping my mouth shout about him in graditude for what he has accomplished here.

thuja on October 31, 2007 at 2:52 PM

A gift it is but arrogant? I only add the question mark because I read an article somewhere that he campaigned on the issue. I which case New Yorkers are getting their just desserts.

Theworldisnotenough on October 31, 2007 at 2:12 PM

Then Shamnesty was the just desserts of the Right. Bush was clear in 1999 about his immigration policy.

Or, people could learn to listen?

thuja on October 31, 2007 at 3:13 PM

Praise Chertoff for making Spitzer do it. I know some of you will think it does not go far enough, but it’s way better than it was. Whew!!

jeanie on October 31, 2007 at 3:21 PM

Karl Rove, you magnificent bastard!

And we all thought you had retired.

I do question the timing, though. You should have had Eliot do this in October, 2008.

fred5678 on October 31, 2007 at 4:53 PM

word

Bishop on June 20, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Comment

Bishop on June 20, 2012 at 3:26 PM