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Spitzer as governor won't end investigations


ELIOT SPITZER'S ELECTION as governor of New York may bring sighs of relief from the insurance industry, but it's too soon to say whether the investigations of industry practices will abate.

As New York attorney general, Mr. Spitzer aggressively pursued corporate malfeasance wherever he found it--in mutual funds, investment banks, insurance brokers and insurance companies. His successor as attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, may follow in Mr. Spitzer's footsteps or he may take a softer approach, as we report on page 1.

Gov.-elect Spitzer won his race for New York's highest office handily, perhaps because voters admired his determination to humble some of Manhattan's most influential people. Whether one agreed with his bullying tactics, he shined a light on conflicts of interest and greed that shocked many people. The insurance industry has since made amends, is operating more transparently and its customers are better off.

The industry will have to wait to learn the answer to other questions about the Spitzer administration. A prime one is, who will Mr. Spitzer appoint as superintendent of insurance? Some speculate that David Brown, a key member of Mr. Spitzer's team and signatory on most of the lawsuits filed by Mr. Spitzer's office, is the likely successor to Howard Mills. If that's so, the industry will have to work harder than ever to prove that Mr. Spitzer's investigations uncovered isolated incidents.