Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Client # 9...Time to Resign

I agree with others that in a country where the President dragged us into a war under false pretenses (we learn today that a Pentagon report being sent to Congress has concluded: "An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network."...this despite Rumsfeld's insistence that "that the United States had "bulletproof" evidence of cooperation between the radical Islamist terror group and Saddam's secular dictatorship") and our men and women in uniform are still being targeted because of the incompetence with which this war was waged, it does seem somewhat silly to focus all this attention on the moral failings of a governor.

I'm not talking about prostitution. Despite what some feel is a crime with real victims, it's obvious to me that prostitution is such a consistent part of human history that moralizing about it is the wrong approach to ending it.

No the moral failing of which I'm very disappointed in Governor Spitzer is an unforgivable arrogance. The notion that, even after he hounded and pontificated to others about their wrongdoings while Attorney General, he could imagine he might deserve to stay in office despite this revelation of possibly criminal "structuring" (i.e., "the intentional structuring of financial transactions involving cash in amounts less than $10,000 for the purpose of avoiding the filing of “Currency Transaction Reports” with IRS and FBI") is an indication to me that he's entirely lost his way.

This is not a case of a blow job by a willing intern that his enemies used to undermine him. This is a case of a man who made a mission out of destroying others who bent the rules, only to then exhibit the kind of mind-numbing audacity that suggests he was corrupted by power in return. Cheating on his wife is his business. Cheating on her with a prostitute, again, IMO, is his business. But his breaking the law is something that makes this affair our business.

OK, so the statute against "structuring" is apparently as arcane as the Mann Act so perhaps Spitzer can argue that these laws shouldn't even be on the books. But given that they were, and given his legacy as a strict enforcer of the law, I can't imagine how he can now think he deserves to stay in power.

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26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

At $5,500/hour for his jollies, why didn't he just fly to Las Vegas where prostitution is par for the course? Why pay for it in his own backyard?

The other question is why were the Feds listening in on his conversations? It certainly seems that arresting a politician for illegal sex is like ticketing New Yorkers for jaywalking.

Still it's a cautionary tale. Politicians may start out clean and admirable but power really does corrupt.

3/11/2008 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Barry Hoggard said...

Edward, you keep some strange company. That "structuring" link is from a prosecutor and blogger who claims to be conservative / libertarian, but thought the courts should have intervened on the Schiavo case?!

3/11/2008 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

why didn't he just fly to Las Vegas where prostitution is par for the course? Why pay for it in his own backyard?

The other question is why were the Feds listening in on his conversations? It certainly seems that arresting a politician for illegal sex is like ticketing New Yorkers for jaywalking.


because anon, it's obviously a conspiracy

client #11

3/11/2008 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Joanne Mattera said...

Ed,
You're right. It's not about the sex; it's about the hypocrisy. And not just about hypocrisy, but about the arrogant disregard for the rules that he enforced as A.G. Really, it's a you-of-all-people kind of shock.

BTW, if this isn't a good reason to start voting more smart and capable women into government, I don't know what is. (Not saying that Obama would hit the bordellos, but you KNOW Hillary wouldn't let libido cloud her judgment.)

Best,
Joanne Rodham Mattera

3/11/2008 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we force Spitzer down then we get Bruno as Lt. Gov. '

Why force one out for being a crook only to put another dirty crook in?

3/11/2008 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Martha's having a party tonight!

3/11/2008 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Barry, I found that link on another site. I'm not endorsing his entire oeuvre. I just thought that "structuring" explanation was the most clear I had read.

The other question is why were the Feds listening in on his conversations?

This is a good question, but perhaps not for the reasons you're suggesting. The Feds began listening because they noticed some strange financial practices and suspected corruption. It had nothing to do with suspecting a link to prostitution.

Why it's still a good question, though, is that suspecting corruption is generally something that follows strange patterns in money coming into someone's accounts, not going out. The snooping was possibly an invasion of Spitzer's privacy, as there might have been any number of legal reasons he was moving his money around outside the ability of his wife to know about it, including an affair.

What seems to be the sticking point here (and what Spitzer is most likely to be charged with) is the statute against structuring. It's illegal to try to hide that kind of money from the IRS, apparently. Stupid law, given how little money that is in real terms anymore, but all the same, Spitzer should have known better.

3/11/2008 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

"BTW, if this isn't a good reason to start voting more smart and capable women into government"

Yeah let's get rid of the John's and put in the Pros. ;)

client #11

3/11/2008 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Fed's started listening because he was outed by the bank.

3/11/2008 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

From what I saw on the news last night, the police were investigating the house of prostitution, not the clients. Apparently the "escort service" was suspected of being used for money laundering. Only accidentally did they find the good Mr. Spitzer involved. That's what I understood from both the Fox and NBC newscasts last night (here in New York, Fox comes on an hour earlier, so I tuned in as soon as my wife told me about what she'd heard on the radio about Spitzer).

I really think Americans have to start accepting that powerful men have lots of sex. That's one of the main reasons men become powerful, to have lots of sex. I'm surprised Spitzer paid for it -- he could've had lots of free sex if he'd put a little effort into it.

This is what power is all about and has been forever. I mean, genetic studies estimate that Genghis Khan is the forebear of 8 to 10 percent of Asia!

That said, part of what makes this particularly shocking is that it is the crusading Eliot Spitzer, who always seemed cleaner than your typical politician. But then who among us isn't a hypocrite? Lord knows I'm a hypocrite.

I don't think he should resign. I think he should tough it out and tell everyone to fuck off. That'd be really cool to see, actually. Probably won't happen. (He may have resigned already -- I haven't checked the news sites.)

I was also shocked to find that high-class hookers cost less than five grand. That means I could probably get a pretty good one for, like, $500! I could definitely swing that. "I don't know, honey. After I took the money out of the ATM, the wind just blew it away. Of course I ran after it, but you know I'm not as young as I used to be...."

3/11/2008 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

Joe, that'd be a great bumper sticker!

KICK OUT THE JOHNS PUT IN THE PRO
VOTE HILLARY '08

3/11/2008 11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring down the man who is bringing genuine reform while elevating Joe Bruno who is as dirty as hell? Yeah, right, lose-lose is a win.

As far as that bumper sticker, it should read "Put in the Con" not the Pro, Hillary will take your money and won't deliver the goods.

3/11/2008 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Bring down the man who is bringing genuine reform while elevating Joe Bruno who is as dirty as hell?

I wouldn't underestimate Paterson at this point. The NYGOP is overplaying its hand at this point (demanding a resignation in 48 hours or they'll impeach). They're making the amateur's mistake of interjecting while their opponent is squirming. A backlash will be the result, if they keep it up or are seen to undermine Paterson. Mark my word. He may not get as much accomplished as an untouchable Spitzer might have, but that train left the station months ago, anyway.

3/11/2008 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Client #9 is also a superdelegate promised to HRC. Not sure what a resignation would mean in this capacity.

Tidbits: Paterson would become the first legally blind governor in US history. (Quips about others' foresight aside.) Also, were he to ascend, he and Governor Patrick of Mass. would represent the first time that more than one US Governorship were held by African Americans.

3/11/2008 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Heart As Arena said...

On a positive note, this mess has provided Dlisted with one of their best Hot Slut of the Day entries in quite some time.

3/11/2008 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Joanne Mattera said...

Chris,
I think you have the better bumper sticker:

Of course I ran after it, but you know I'm not as young as I used to be...."

We are fortunate that thre's someone like Paterson, honest and upstanding by all accounts, to move into the governor's office.

3/11/2008 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole thing is a mirror on how American society is totally hypocritical about anything to do with sex. It's used to sell everything and peddling to the young and then everyone gets their knickers in a twist when a person with a high sex drive has an affair of any sort.

Here's the statistic you should be looking at, you're doing one thing and saying another.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7290088.stm

Can you imagine what the statistic is for boys? And for these kids when they turn 25?

3/11/2008 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Hey HAA, I think DLISTED's commenters may have cooler names than on this site...BONITA_PUSSOLINI, Bone_Daddy, Your Mom Ate th... (is that one yours?)

Is it me or do they sound more intellectual?

3/11/2008 01:55:00 PM  
Anonymous bambino said...

oy vey

thats all we needed right now

client #12

3/11/2008 03:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

#12? spitz 'r swallow

3/11/2008 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Carol Diehl said...

I agree with Ed that cheating on one's spouse and/or seeing a prostitute is one's own business EXCEPT when one's job is to enforce laws against prostitution. I don't agree with the drug laws either, but I wouldn't respect an enforcer who got caught buying or selling.

And guys, you seem to forget that prostitution exploits women. Women turn to it because our society still doesn't offer us the same financial opportunities as it does men. How would you like to turn your body over to a stranger? One who may even be dangerous, as our governor may have been?

The answer, of course, is to legalize both prostitution and drugs.

I'm still reeling over the stats that one American in 100 is in prison.

3/12/2008 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

Hey, Ed, did you read that the Emperors Club offered not just sex for hire, but also contemporary art and investment services!

I always thought there were similarities between gallery directors and pimps....

3/14/2008 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

By the way, Carol: If I were gorgeous enough to make $5000 per hour to rent out my body -- to a woman or a man -- I'd sure as hell do it. Right now I'm wondering if I can scrape up two grand and if so, if I should spend it on a studio or going to the School of Visual Arts for their residency program again. I could solve that problem in half an hour if I were Ashley Rae Maika DiPietro.

3/14/2008 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Catherine Spaeth said...

Haha! THAT is funny - Carl Andre, John Chamberlain, Jeff Koons, David Salle...

3/14/2008 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Carol Diehl said...

This is too weird...I'm quoted on that site. Something I wrote about Carl Andre.

3/16/2008 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Resignation is irrelevant. We already know that Eliot Spitzer is clearly guilty of violating the Mann Act. This law was used many times to put black americans in jail for less serious violations, including Chuck Berry and Jack Johnson. Of course Spitzer will end his reign as governor, but what about his decade or so when he was a U.S. Attorney at the DOJ and the chief prosecutor on NY State as the Attorney General? Noone can seriously believe that Spitzer was not under the influence or control, if not partnered with, the organized crime family which provided him confidential prostitution services over all those years. We need a Federal Special Prosecutor to examine all of the favored dealings Spitzer gave to organized crime, like when he prosecuted the competitor prostitution rings of his associates, and when
Spitzer buried the recording of a death threat

received by his office, against the whistle-blower in the Worldcom / MCI fraud. How many other crimes by Sopranos in Suits did Spitzer refuse to notice as he went on his wild binges of prosecuting all types of businesses using peculiar laws? Payola in the music industry has always been the standard practise, Yet Eliot Spitzer notices Sony provided concert tickets to radio, as if that doesn't make sense. (How much do you want to bet there are no Japanese in any of Eliot's extended crime family contacts?) A far cry from the cold cash, drugs, and hookers normally provided in that industry. And Spitzer would know. So, are the Democrats going to be partisan or are they going to really be what they claim to be? If Democrats want to win the next election, they are first going to have to demonstrate that they are against all corruption and organized crime. Democrats must lead the call for a Special Prosecutor against Eliot Spitzer.

4/01/2008 01:34:00 AM  

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