Eliot Spitzer Got Off Track

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic4cmjVtBgY]

This ad from 2006 shows how Eliot Spitzer failed to follow the path he promised voters.  Earlier in the day news stories reported that he was patronizing prostitutes for six years, and I now note that the article was updated to ten years, spending up to $80,000.

If this was simply a sex scandal it would be more a matter between him and his wife. At very least, the more I hear about Spitzer’s career as Attorney General there are questions of hypocrisy. I doubt that Spitzer would have shown any mercy towards someone else in his situation. From many of the accounts of his career I’ve heard today I get the impression he might have been overly concerned with personal destruction of his targets as opposed to simply upholding the law.

One of the more amusing accounts of the scandal comes from Iowahawk’s report that “Kristen” would “temporarily step aside in the wake of charges that she had engaged in sex with New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.” ABC News has interviewed an actual escort who has been hired by Spitzer who says he was a nice guy who tipped well.

Spitzer is rumored to be planning to resign tomorrow. Most likely he is holding off on resigning so he can make his resignation a part of any bargain. While it is understandable that Spitzer’s political career is finished, it is far less clear that there are significant legal issues here which warrant prosecution.

There are also questions as to why this investigation was initiated and why it continued to this stage. Some reports say that the investigation started over questions of whether the movement of money involved bribes–which certainly should have been investigated. However, once it was determined that this was to pay prostitutes I’m not sure there was reason to continue the investigation.

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8 Comments

  1. 1
    Brent Clanton says:

    So, you’re saying that once it was determined Gov. Spitzer wasn’t bribing anyone, just paying whores for sex, the investigation should have been dropped? The guy broke the law, dude, transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes. What part of that don’t you get?

  2. 2
    Neo says:

    This is different that Vitter, Folley or Studds, who had 100 or so others to counteract their bad judgemnt and perhaps bias. Today we see this goes back to Spitzer’s time as NY AG, the guy who has final yea/nay on all prosecutions in New York State.

    Anyone who thinks that this guy should remain should consider this ..

    Close your eyes and imagine for a moment ..
    Ashcroft being busted for the same.
    Now, try to imagine your defense for both.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Brent,

    See the linked post on this topic, and there is considerable more discussion of this point around the blogosphere. Yes, he broke the law but this is a victimless crime which the government should not be involved in. People are rarely prosecuted for hiring a prostitute. The laws with regards to structuring and movement of money are not typically used in situations such as this.

  4. 4
    gracie taylor says:

    Elliott should not be shown any mercy. He did not show others mercy. Crime is crime independent of victims. The law is there to be obeyed. Elliott himself said the only thing that should be judged is whether it was right or wrong, clearly it is wrong to break the law.

    As for the money structuring who cares what it is ‘usually’ used for? Isn’t that the whole point of why laws should not be implemented for ‘special reasons’ as eventually they are used to build cases for situations that were unintended. That is what happened with ‘conspiracy’ cases where the law was implemented to take down the mafia, now adays the RICO statue is used for anything prosecutors want if there are multiple folks involved. They need not prove a conspiracy either, only that there was reason to believe it was a conspiracy. Each person charged goes down whether they are proven to have engaged in conspiring as long as the prosecutors can assert that their actions were part of a conspiracy. The entire thing is a crock.

    So guess what? Elliott gets taken down by the very legal tactics he used to destroy others..money laundering “structuring’ is the new term which means the money need not have been earned by illegal activities.

    That is karma for you. Any individual moving his own money to keep the IRS and FEDs from tracking their transactions is now quilty of money laundering.

    What this amounts to is how the law has overstepped their bounds and violated our civil liberties in pursuit of crime. THAT is the real problem. Laws should not be implemented that strip citizens of their rights.

    What busy should it be of the IRS or FEDS how people ‘structure’ their money? Yet, the right to privacy was violated so they could catch folks making boatloads of money from illegal acts.

    Well guess what…moving money around should have NEVER been made into an ILLEGAL activity.

    Since it was, and no one knew this better than Elliott Spitzer as he used these very same laws to prosecute many criminals and white collar wall street folks…then what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    As far as prostitution goes that is his and his wife’s business. Obviously, he has had this sexual proclivity for decades and it is not new so I have no empathy for this man, as he zealously prosecuted prostitution rings even as he felt entitled to use them himself.

    I agree with Ed Koch..the man is irrational.

    There is a thin line between genius and insanity…Elliott walked one side in his public/professional life and the other side in his kinky sex life.

    Wonder what happened to make him such a sex freak…probably too much money too soon before his values were intact.

  5. 5
    Probus says:

    Fact is if Spitzer would have stayed republicans in the state legislature had the votes to both impeach and convict him. What is more 67 percent of New Yorkers wanted him out. It is curious why authorities and a republican US attorney (appointed by Bush) would go after a high profile democrat. Nevertheless, people in public office are held to a higher standard. Out of the 100 dems in the NY Senate 34 would have voted to convict the governor. What the governor did was both reckless and illegal. Spitzer is now realizing how much he has hurt the NY democratic party. He disgraced his office. Spitzer did the right thing by stepping down. There are always consequences for breaking the law that you have sworn to uphold.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    There is no way he could have stayed in office. The question is whether stepping down is punishment enough, and the manner in which Spitzer handled his cases doesn’t put him in a good position to expect mercy.

  7. 7
    mosephus says:

    I wish rhere were ways to express liberial and coservative motivies.
    I found a web site that sort of explains why the gov cheated on his wife. His brain may have been tampered with, explaination:
    http://aliendoctor.blogspot.com/

    and also the political process was to much for him to handle:
    http://political-poop.blogspot.com/

  8. 8
    DeathThreatVictim says:

    Wake up people. Spitzer is not in trouble for sex, sex with an intern, adultery, or prostitution. Spitzer is in trouble for having money laundering and having a business relationship with organized crime. Spitzer broke the law and at the same time protected the crime ring he was associated with while he prosecuted competing prostitution rings. The big picture is, we need a special prosecutor appointed in order to have all the other decisions made in deciding what companies to investigate and prosecute and what allegations to deep six. How about the press release where Spitzer protected his bankruptcy lawyer and hedge fund friends from an investigation related to a death threat in the Worldcom bankruptcy?

    Lawyer Practicing in New York Admits Advising That Death Threats Are Legal;
    Eliot Spitzer Snoozes

    NEW YORK, Nov 02, 2006 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — A lawyer admitted to practice in New York and Federal Courts conceded a transcript filed in court contained an accurate portrayal of a conversation in which the lawyer advised his client that it was perfectly fine to threaten to kill someone.

    Eliot Spitzer was the elected Attorney General for the State of New York, with ultimate responsibility to enforce the law as well as to uphold the purported ethical standards for attorneys in New York State by following and supporting The Lawyer’s Code of Professional Responsibility. Eliot Spitzer has managed an office which rattled the boardrooms of big business throughout the state as he delighted a skeptical citizenry with numerous assaults on corporate misdeeds. Countless industries have had their often secret business practices brought before the courts and thrust into the light of day; except of course, for perhaps the most secretive and lucrative “profession.”

    Powerful law firms continue to operate above the law and beyond scrutiny. Sadly, Mr. Spitzer’s talent for appearing as a zealous foe of corruption and wrongdoing ceases where brethren of the bar are concerned. Apparently Mr. Spitzer believes every business is bad except his own.

    Do voters want an Attorney General who protects his partners and associates while prosecuting only those unworthy of special protection? If elected, will Andrew Cuomo continue the Spitzer legacy of Law Firm Protectionism? What could voters expect from Mr. Spitzer as Governor?

    This release was authored by bankruptcyMisconduct.com and was not sponsored, advised, or funded by any candidate for office. Statements herein other than fact are opinion and readers are urged to become fully informed of the issues. Documents evidencing factual elements of this press release are public record at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan SDNY 02-13533 docket numbers 17315, 17315A

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