Monday, March 10, 2008

Spitzer, You Have Ruined Your Career

You had so much promise. I really admired your work as State Attorney General. You were so unafraid to take on Wall Street frauds and cheats. You got all these accolades. You had a convincing gubernatorial victory. You seemed to be such a man of integrity.

You're the same old sh*t.

Now you've blown out the septic tank:

ALBANY - Gov. Eliot Spitzer has informed his most senior administration officials that he had been involved in a prostitution ring, an administration official said this morning.

Mr. Spitzer, who was huddled with his top aides early this afternoon, had hours earlier abruptly canceled his scheduled public events for the day. He is set to make an announcement about 2:15 this afternoon at his Manhattan office.


So many questions now...

What were you thinking?

How were you involved?

Are you at all justified in keeping your job?


You're a fool, a sleaze, and a liar. All the hard work you've done to revive the Democratic Party in Albany is in danger of reversal.

Progressives have worked so hard to elect Democrats to represent our demands for ethics reform - this is a slap in the face to everyone that has contributed money to the party in the hopes that they would represent our values on this matter.

Progressives that champion transparency, ethics, and accountability in government should feel betrayed. New York Democrats will have a lot of work to do to regain the trust, not just of average New York voters, but also of core constituents.

UPDATE:

After reading some comments at Atrios and at the NYT that made me giggle, I too implore Hillary Clinton to explain why she has not rejected or denounced the endorsement of Eliot Spitzer, champion of illegal prostitution rings and rumored devourer of human flesh.


UPDATE II:

Seems he is linked as a client of the prostitution ring. I think that if it ends there, if he was only a client, he may be able to hang on by his finger nails.

It will be fascinating to see the fallout on the campaign trail. The prospect of weeks and weeks of updates on the scandal would open up the Clinton campaign to a whole spate of questions they don't want to answer. Or at a minimum, in conjures memories that the Clinton's probably want people to avoid....

UPDATE III:

I read the portion of the official complaint that referred to Spitzer, known as "Client 9."

I read the document so you won't have to. If you can't stop yourself from rubbernecking this train wreck, start at around page 34 of the pdf liked above or paragraph 73 of the document.

Here are a few conclusions:

1. Governor Spitzer was a repeat customer of this particular service. There were constant telephone conversations regarding Spitzer's available balance. Spitzer answered a question regarding the sum of money he sent as deposit in the mail with the answer "Yup, same as in the past, no question about it."

2. Governor Spitzer planned on continuing his relationship with the service. He was encouraged by the intermediary he contacted to arrange for women to bring extra money to put on his balance so that future payment confusion could be avoided. Mr. Spitzer was a difficult client because of his inability to make wire transfers in his quest for anonymity. He did indeed deliver extra funds for credit at his hotel encounter.

3. Governor Spitzer was known as a "difficult" client. After the encounter, the intermediary that worked with Spitzer called her employee to see how things went. The prostitute indicated that the encounter had gone smoothly, "I don't think he's difficult," she was recorded as saying. The intermediary indicated that she had understood that "[Mr. Spitzer] would ask you to do things that, like, you might not think were safe..." The women with whom Mr. Spitzer had just had a sexual encounter replied that she had "a way of dealing with that."

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I think still think he's going to have to step down.

The argument could be made that he can survive this storm. Given that Senator Vitter has recently been able to sidestep uproar over his own use of D.C. prostitution services, some might say that voters are willing to forgive similar transgressions.

There are a multiple reasons why I don't think that argument can fly in this particular instance.

First, Spitzer used this service as Governor of New York within the last several weeks. He was a repeat customer and planned to continue using the same service.

Second, as Attorney General of New York, he busted several high profile prostitution rings and highlighted those busts as proud achievements of his office. This would represent a more direct hypocrisy than the "it's just sex, it has nothing to do with his abilities as an official"-defense would be able to effectively deflect.

Third, the scrutiny of officials in the New York media market is of much greater intensity than pretty much anywhere else in the country. Disclosures that emerge as the federal case moves forward go on the front page of the New York Times. You have to admit that packs a much bigger punch than the front cover of the Times-Picayune.

Finally, given the Presidential nomination fight, the pressure from national Democratic officials on Mr. Spitzer to step down to bury the scandal as quickly as possible will be immense. Spitzer, an endorser of Senator Clinton, becomes a bigger drag on her campaign the longer he and this matter remain in the public eye.
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His press conference was very brief this afternoon.

It is approximately 5PM Eastern Time. If I set the over/under on hours left before Mr. Spitzer announces his resignation at 24, would anyone take the over?

4 comments:

Maitri said...

I wish we were more like the French in this regard: As long as Spitzer and Vitter don't use government/taxpayer funds for their whoring and, as in Vitter's case, go farther to draw laws to protect the sanctity of marriage, who gives a rat's ass? It's none of my business.

alli said...

check out Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake - this may be politically motivated.

not like the press will do the work to find out.

E said...

I really don't give a crap about the man's sexual appetites, but I do think the political implications of this event trump those of Mr. Vitter's. The timing, his role in the Clinton campaign - I just feel it's a much deeper hole to climb out of than the Vitter situation.

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