Monday, March 10, 2008

The Emperors Club has no Clothes


From the New York Times.
ALBANY - Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a person briefed on the federal investigation.
The wiretap recording, made during an investigation of a prostitution ring called Emperors Club VIP, captured a man identified as Client 9 on a telephone call confirming plans to have a woman travel from New York to Washington, where he had reserved a room. The person briefed on the case identified Mr. Spitzer as Client 9.

Spitzer was the crusading Attorney General of New York, and considered somewhat of a liberal answer to Rudy Giuliani (minus the evil megalomania and violence-worship). He is now governor. This story is particularly ironic considering that Spitzer was involved in prosecution of high-end prostitution while he was attorney general. From the article:
Mr. Spitzer gained national attention when he served as attorney general with his relentless pursuit of Wall Street wrongdoing. As attorney general, he also had prosecuted at least two prostitution rings as head of the state’s organized crime task force.

In one such case in 2004, Mr. Spitzer spoke with revulsion and anger after announcing the arrest of 16 people for operating a high-end prostitution ring out of Staten Island.

“”This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multitiered management structure,” Mr. Spitzer said at the time. ”It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring.”

Spitzer came into the deeply dysfunctional world of New York politics with the intention to reform the whole thing. Unfortunately , his first year as governor has been marred by scandal, set-backs , some of which are his own making (this article in the New York summarizes his first year). It appears his reform agenda has crashed against the rocks. His political future doesn't look bright. I'm betting he's not going to be president, something which didn't look so unlikely not long ago.

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