Monday, March 10, 2008

Prostituted - UPDATED: Spitzer's Out?

*** For my latest coverage, see my most recent posting, Sex, Lies, and Spitzer ***

Say it isn't so. Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D-NY) is about to find himself in serious hot water for being involved in a prostitution ring. The New York Times does itself proud by noting Spitzer's political affiliation in the third paragraph.

Here's the key grafs:
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.

Mr. Spitzer, a first-term Democrat who pledged to bring ethics reform and end the often seamy ways of Albany, is married with three children.
Spitzer was supposed to be the guy who cleans up Albany. Instead, he has been mired in scandal after scandal, from Troopergate to a major gaffe on allowing illegal aliens to obtain drivers licenses that even got Sen. Hillary Clinton wrapped up in a bunch of flip flops.

This is going to be a real rough patch for Spitzer's family. It's going to be an even worse time in Albany with the budget process under way.

Spitzer's problems have arisen out of a federal prostitution ring bust.

The current Lieutenant Governor is Democrat David Paterson. If Spitzer is forced to resign, Paterson would take over. He's a solid citizen as far as I can tell, and having dealt with him on occasion have found him to be a nice guy.

1010wins and WCBS880 have coverage, but omits the political affiliation. The AP reports also omit his political affiliation. It's so typical of the media to omit such details. I have no doubt that if the politician involved had an (R) after their name, it would be blazoned in the headlines.

Suitably Flip has more on the descent of Spitzer. For a guy who came into power with a law and order background, he's done quite a bit to impose disorder and chaos on the Second Floor.

So what kind of involvement was it? Well, the NY Sun suggests that he was probably procuring such services for himself. He's not the focus of the Sun article, but I don't think it's a coincidence either:
Prosecutors specializing in government corruption cases are leading the investigation into what authorities say was a prostitution service that charged up to $5,500 an hour — suggesting that the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan may have evidence that a public official hired a prostitute.

Federal prosecutors here recently unsealed a criminal complaint charging four people with running Emperors Club VIP, which advertised itself as an escort service. Prosecutors say the Emperors Club employed more than 50 high-end prostitutes.

During a court hearing in the case, at which the four people were arraigned, it emerged that all three of the assistant U.S. attorneys assigned to the prosecution are part of the U.S. attorney's public corruption unit. One is the bureau's chief, Boyd Johnson III. The unit investigates wrongdoing by both elected and nonelected officials and bureaucrats at various levels of government.
UPDATE: Thanks to Michelle Malkin for the link.

Jammie notes Spitzer's hypocrisy. Spitzer conducted several prostitution ring busts while New York Attorney General and spoke of his revulsion to prostitution.

WCBS880 and other outlets are reporting that Spitzer will resign, but aren't giving a time frame. Welcome the new Governor, David Paterson.

Meanwhile, anonymous emailer notes that Spitzer is one of Hillary's superdelegates. This is definitely going to cause problems with the Hillary campaign.

The information about the resignation comes via FoxNews, who obtained their information from unnamed sources. It might take a bit for this to shake out, but everything does appear heading for a resignation in disgrace.

More information on the Emperor's Club at The Smoking Gun.

So, is he in, or out? Can he make up his mind, or is he going to jerk the chain of everyone in New York State? Well, he's got a huge ego, so expect him to screw the state in one last gasp. Fox now says he's apologizing, but does not elaborate. Sorry, but the apologies aren't going to cut it.

Pressure is only going to grow to force him to step down. It's the only honorable thing for him to do, but apparently honor and Spitzer don't quite go hand in hand.

Expect Democrats to put serious pressure on Spitzer to resign as quickly as possible. They need to get things sorted out, especially with the budget process ongoing and national elections a few months away; Spitzer is one of Hillary's superdelegates. Hillary needs this mess like she needs root canal. Spitzer has been an unmitigated disaster for her.

State Senate Republicans (Joe Bruno's the Senate Majority Leader): office issued a hearty HAHA (Nelson Muntz style). [Ed: clarified this - it was another office that stated the party atmosphere, not Bruno's]

Just found this article from when Spitzer selected David Paterson as his running mate. Let's see what Charles Rangel had to say about the "smartest man in the room.":
In an interview yesterday, Mr. Rangel sounded off on Mr. Spitzer by giving public voice for the first time to an opinion that several Democratic officeholders have shared privately for years: that Mr. Spitzer can act like the smartest man in the room, even with allies, when he believes he is right, which is most of the time.

"When Eliot Spitzer, the world's smartest man, is telling me that he has picked his candidate and knows that his candidate can win, who am I to question the world's smartest man?" said Mr. Rangel, the dean of the New York Congressional delegation.

"I like to think that the world's smartest man has counted all the support he has for his candidate," he continued. "I don't remember David Paterson asking any of us for his support, but if Eliot has picked a candidate, who am I to deny him that decision?"
Dumb as a bag of hammers is more like it - which is befitting of what he does - using a sledgehammer to bully his way. Hubris and an oversized ego went hand in hand. And it will likely mean his downfall.

ABC News also omits Spitzer's political affiliation. Also, apparently the Times is slowly working his affiliation out of the story. The initial piece had it listed in the third paragraph. The latest iteration now has it in the 15th paragraph (out of 19) (HT: rwmofo at LGF).

Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R) is calling for Spitzer to step down. He's not going to be the last to make that demand.

Senate Majority Leader (and Spitzer's fierce opponent) Joe Bruno (R) says he feels very sorry for Spitzer's family.

But you just know that inside he's feeling that special schadenfreude.

And in a wee bit of irony, The Times Union blog ran this story just an hour before the Spitzer mess broke.

Here's another thought - how many Democrats were quick to demand that Sen. Larry Craig resign for his wide stance? Where are they to demand that Spitzer do the same? Consistency, right?

Hillary has already taken steps to purge her campaign website of any reference to Spitzer. The excommunication has apparently begun.

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