Once upon a time before Elliot Spitzer got elected he was considered the ideal candidate for the job because of his feats of Giuliani like prosecutorial derring-do, such as sending Martha Stewart to jail for not actually doing anything wrong. Impressed and delighted New Yorkers elected Elliot Spitzer governor and then began to remember why they had put Pataki in the big chair in the first place (no, not that big chair). While Pataki wasn’t actually good for anything except collecting kickbacks, he was good for one thing, not doing anything.
Chock full of delusions of grandeur in his pint sized frame, Governor Elliot Spitzer rushed off from one demented idea to another. First in a fit of Nixonesque pique he had the State Police spy on his political enemies and leak the results to the press. He denied involvement and appointed a commission of his own friends, one of whom didn’t even bother to show up but instead took his 30,000 dollar pay raise on a vacation to South America, while the commission spokesman said that he could just as easily follow the hearings there.
Then Spitzer apologized to the people of New York and developed an insane scheme to pay for all the graft it took to keep the commission running, by trying to make Amazon.com collect taxes in New York on the basis that they have web site affiliates in the State, by which Spitzer means that there are sites in New York displaying ads for Amazon.com stuff and getting paid for referrals. Of course if we took such a law seriously, any company that advertised via AdSense or any program on websites would be considered to be legally operating in that state, a premise right up there with defining voting residency based in every state your mail passes through.
The New York Times of course which loves imposing taxes on other people and loves ripping off LMDC bonds to fund its non-downtown headquarters is thrilled with the idea. The people of New York now have another reason to despise Elliot Spitzer. Not only is his plan ridiculously illegal, it’s another attempt by a political hack to grab some more dough, instead of carrying out the reforms he was appointed for.