Monday, March 10, 2008

Sex, Lies, and Spitzer

This post updates my earlier coverage. A copy of the complaint filed in the Southern District of New York relating to the prostitution ring bust is here. No direct mention of Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D-NY), but he's apparently Client No. 9. He was brought down by the very kinds of prosecutorial tools that helped Spitzer rise to the pinnacle of New York politics.

Stay classy governor, for what's going to be a very short remainder of your term in office. Reports and rumors suggest that he's likely to file his letter of resignation tonight and will be replaced by Lieutenant Governor David Paterson.

One time ally and fellow Democrat, Hillary Clinton is running away from Spitzer as fast as she can. They've already scrubbed her website of any reference to Spitzer. It wont be that easy as Spitzer is one of her superdelegates.

I'll again ask where are all the Democrats demanding that Spitzer step down because of his immoral and illegal conduct. They were quick to demand Republican US Senator Larry Craig resign for his wide stance in a bathroom sting, and here we've got Spitzer caught on tape soliciting call girls involved in an international crime ring, which is surely as great a cause for his resignation as anything Craig did. So far, the calls haven't exactly flooded the room. The crickets dominate.

Then, there's the whole game of locating Spitzer's party affiliations in the ongoing coverage. Some outlets, like the AP, omit them entirely, while others have gone from prominently mentioning it to burying it deep in the articles (that would be the NY Times).

Wall Street cheered upon learning of Spitzer's legal woes
. Far too many business leaders had to pay fealty (in the form of fines to New York State) to then Attorney General Spitzer to avoid litigation over various business practices in what looked like little more than government shakedowns of businesses.

Others blogging this target rich environment: Stop the ACLU, Don Surber, Sister Toldjah, Gateway Pundit, Dan Riehl, Bizzyblog, and Ace.

More reactions from Wall Street:
“It’s a complete shocker,” a senior banker said. “Everyone is gossiping about it. And plenty of people on Wall Street are saying he deserved it.”

But others stressed that Mr Spitzer’s alleged personal shortcomings ought not to tarnish his legacy as a regulator.

“This is stunning. This is like finding out that Mother Teresa had been taking kick-backs,” said Henry Hu, a law professor at the University of Texas. “But I don’t think this undermines his achievements. This behaviour has got nothing to do with what motivated him to go after Wall Street”.
If Professor Hu stopped with the initial quote, it would have been fine, but he goes on trying to make excuses for Spitzer. Hu's not alone. Others are trying to make excuses for Spitzer, including at Daily Kos, where Spitzer wrote a diary.

Still more reaction from Wall Street, where they're having a field day with various puns on Spitzer's name (crude language alert).

The Times also runs a roundup of reaction.

Irony alert. The New York Times notes the line of succession in New York should a governor die in office, resign, or is otherwise removed from office. The next in line would be the Lieutenant Governor (that would be David Paterson), and should the Lieutenant Governor refuse the position, it would go to the temporary president of the Senate, who would be Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno who would act as a placeholder until elections are held in November. I don't see Paterson refusing the position.

It's also time to refresh recollections over what Spitzer thought of Alan Hevesi, who was caught using state funds for private use. Spitzer said Hevesi was unfit to continue in office, despite winning reelection. Well, what say you now? According to Spitzer's own logic, Spitzer should resign.

And what is Andrew Cuomo thinking tonight as he lost to Spitzer in a bruising primary election to become governor?

ABC News notes that it wasn't sex that led prosecutors to Spitzer, it was the strange transfers of money. Well, salacious details will get headlines, but a corrupt and moral crusading politician doing what he claimed he was against will make for a busy blogger.

Still others blogging and offering roundups of reaction: Blogs of War, Ace, Instapundit,

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