Friday, August 18, 2006

Spitzer Returns Campaign Checks to Avoid Conflicts

As Attorney General of New York state, Eliot Spitzer has cultivated a squeaky-clean image by rooting out corporate wrongdoing. As a candidate for New York governor, Mr. Spitzer has become heavily dependent on corporate donations, raising a hefty $11 million in the first half of this year — at least $1.2 million of it directly from companies.

Sometimes, those two roles come in conflict. So far, Mr. Spitzer has returned checks from 93 contributors who offered a total of $250,368 to his Democratic gubernatorial run. Many of the donations came from companies and individuals who have tangled with his office in the past, are under criminal investigation or are presumed to be connected to a continuing probe, state records show.

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