Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Monday, March 10, 2008

NY Gov. Spitzer linked to prostitution ring, apologizes

I am really blown away by this news. Spitzer made a name for himself as Mr. Clean, and he campaigned on a reform mandate - he cleaned up Wall Street, and organized crime. He even prosecuted prostitution rings as an Attorney General and passed an anti-sex trafficking law as Governor. He was a populist and an overachiever.

I am just shocked and well, I don't know. I thought that he was really one of the good guys. I guess it just goes to show that the higher you climb, the harder you fall. Ben Smith reports Spitzer has no allies left, having been a hard-hitting prosecutor of Wall Street, and with terrible relationships with his state legislative leaders.

His wife is standing by his side, and she looks gaunt and absolutely devastated. Silda Wall is a beautiful woman, and she does not normally look like this. Spitzer's married with 3 kids, and I just can't believe that someone this smart would be so dumb or unethical. The NYT story has the details and apparently one of his aides was crying while waiting for him to take the stage.

Spitzer didn't take any questions and didn't say he would resign, but I don't know that he can stay in there.
"I acted in a way that violated in my obligation to my family...I apologize first and most importantly to my family, and to the public, I promise better."

"I am disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected my expect I must dedicated some time to regain the trust of my family. I will report back."

Ben Smith is a must read today, and he has a look at the prospective successor, Lt. Gov. Patterson. Apparently if Spitzer resigns, and Patterson accepts, he would be the state's first black governor, and the first blind governor. If Patterson refuses, the state's governorship would go to NYS Senate leader Joe Bruno, Spitzer's arch-nemesis.

Wow. Just wow. It's kinda like if you found out that Eliot Ness was using prostitutes.

Here's the NYT with some details:

The man described as Client 9 in court papers arranged to meet with a prostitute who was part of the ring, Emperors Club VIP, on the night of Feb. 13. Mr. Spitzer traveled to Washington that evening, according to a person told of his travel arrangements.

The affidavit says that Client 9 met with the woman in hotel room 871 but does not identify the hotel. Mr. Spitzer stayed at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on Feb. 13, according to a source who was told of his travel arrangements. Room 871 at the Mayflower Hotel that evening was registered under the another name.

Federal prosecutors rarely charge clients in prostitution cases, which are generally seen as state crimes. But the Mann Act, passed by Congress in 1910 to address prostitution, human trafficking and what was viewed at the time as immorality in general, makes it a crime to transport someone between states for the purpose of prostitution. The four defendants charged in the case unsealed last week were all charged with that crime, along with several others.

Here's some from the conservative Daily Sun.

Politico has links to the court affadavit.

The difference between this and the Larry Craig scandal? No one expected this - it wasn't whispered about, and this mistake, of all things, is one of the worst things he could have done. Because he has run as a strict moral crusader and advocate, he is probably done for. All his legislative success or anything else will be done.

Whew. I think I am just recovering from the shock.

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