CNN: Spitzer Under Criminal Investigation

First Spitzer thread here.

CNN just reported Gov. Eliot Spitzer is under federal criminal investigation and that he is, indeed, customer "9" in the 55 page affidavit in support of search and arrest warrants in the case of U.S. v. Mark Brener, et. al.

Spitzer was at a hotel in Washington, D.C. and allegedly asked Tameka "Rachelle" Lewis to send someone from NY to D.C. to his room at the Mayflower.

Go to page 34. There's a lot of detail. Paragraph 85 may be key.

It's clear from the document that Customer #9 was a repeat customer and that he intended to use them again in the future. Read pages 34 to 39. They discuss his having a credit balance and whether he can leave more than he owes for future visits.

Also, when Tameka, aka Rochelle, told #9 it would be "Kristen", # 9 was very pleased. ("Great, ok, wonderful" he said." Par. 80.)

Update: I sincerely doubt Spitzer will be charged with a crime. He probably will have to cooperate with the feds in the prosecution of the members of the prostitution ring. Did Spitzer commit a violation of the Mann Act, 18 USC 2422?

Whoever knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual to travel in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, to engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

Spitzer's statement today is here.

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    meeting a prostitute in another state (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Josey on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:02:46 PM EST
    is considered human trafficking?

    it is human trafficking (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Salt on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:19:38 PM EST
    it is human trafficking and he should resign unless he didn't do it and he didn't say he had not and NY dose not deserve this betrayal they have been through enough.  If he resigns who takes his place or is there and election do we know.

    human trafficking by whom (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:36:08 PM EST
    the madam who sent her out or the person who had sex with the call girl?

    I suppose you could make an argument that he traveled across state lines to commit a crime.


    Apparently. . . (none / 0) (#58)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:49:40 PM EST
    he requested that one particular women be sent from New York to DC to service his requirements.

    Hmmm.... (none / 0) (#44)
    by Oje on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:41:12 PM EST
    The human trafficking angle is what strikes me. In the previous thread, someone suggested that 16% of men have purchased the services of prostitutes in their lifetimes.

    I wonder, though, if there are class differences in the propensity to or repeat. Whenever a star, politician, or wealthy man is caught in an affair or prostitution ring, it often seems like a personal weakness. However, among the children of wealthy families, to what extent is human trafficking just a part of the culture they inherit? First, it seems like many young men would be in a position to just buy their way out of adolescence. Second, if they develop a taste for prostitution, they require a social network to provide underground information about the "safe houses."


    it is a class issue (none / 0) (#48)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:43:20 PM EST
    inasmuch as wealthy men can pay for the privilege of raping women in a clean hotel room while men with less money are confined to their cars or alleyways.

    Easy Kathy.... (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:48:32 PM EST
    do you mean to imply that any sex for money arrangement is rape?

    That's ridiculous, and a diservice to rape victims, imo.


    But, (none / 0) (#49)
    by Oje on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:44:56 PM EST
    Just in the venue? or in the propensity and frequency also?

    Rape? (none / 0) (#64)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:52:45 PM EST
    How is consensual, or contractual sex rape. I am sure that there are exceptions, but as a rule?

    Is it also rape in your mind when a man is the sex worker and a woman the john?


    Or same sex prostitution? (none / 0) (#70)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:54:16 PM EST
    yep. I worked with 14 year old boys (none / 0) (#109)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:34:14 PM EST
    runaways-and had the same opinion.  Same for older men.

    I define rape as being forced to have sex with someone you do not want to have sex with.  You can make all the noises about how they get paid for it, so that makes it okay, or that they make a lot of money, so that's okay, or that they are not beaten, or forced to give half and halfs in the backseat of a car, so that's okay.

    Me-having worked with these women (and men)-I can't.

    But I don't think legalizing or not is the issue.  Prostitution is legal in Amsterdam but oftentimes it's hard to find workers.  Society creates the supply and demand.

    This is very off-topic, so I'll stop before Jeralyn or BTD pop me on the nose, but it seems to be that some people have very lofty ideas about what exactly happens during these transactions.  I could tell you some real horror stories that would turn your stomach-and not just isolated cases, but constant, daily barrages of inhumane and inhuman treatment.  Pretty Woman it ain't.


    Thank you for adding to this conversation (none / 0) (#115)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:39:47 PM EST
    There is a basis for your position that was not previously clear, that gives a different perspective.

    Clearly exploitation (none / 0) (#116)
    by honora on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:39:55 PM EST
    Thanks Kathy-- You are right about this.

    All I can say is.... (none / 0) (#121)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:42:25 PM EST
    of the millions of acts of prostitution that go down everyday, the horror stories are exactly that, not the norm.

    I hold no lofty ideas of how sad and stomach turning prostitution can be...the 20 dollar trick for a fix, the human trafficking, the kidnapping and rape.  A lot of humanity is sad and stomach turning.  It's all in how we deal with it...the archaic criminalization and ostracization method is an old tired failure from my view.


    you, of course, do not. So be it.

    Rape may be over broad, but exploitation is not. (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:46:19 PM EST
    Not exactly. It depends on the circumstances. (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:52:12 PM EST
    Human trafficking falls under what used to be commonly known as the Mann Act, which was enacted about 100 years ago in a fit of puritanism and in reaction to a black boxing champion marrying a white woman and travelling around the country flaunting it.

    Basically, the Mann Act criminalizes transporting a woman in interstate commerce for an illegal (or immoral) purpose.  It's very broadly written.  As I understand it, all it takes to create criminal exposure is facilitating a woman crossing a state line to get sex (no money need change hands).

    Human trafficking, running an interstate prostitution business, etc., all can be seen as subsets of that.  Most or all of those federal statutes also have a tendency to incorporate state laws (as to what is or is not prohibited) to some extent.  In other words, it's a real thicket.

    I'll accept any corrections, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.


    all that money!! for only 2 hours??? (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Josey on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:05:22 PM EST
    Of course, I'm not familiar with the fees associated with this type of work.
    BUT, if food and gas prices continue rising....

    There are screen caps of the former (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:13:00 PM EST
    website (now taken down) floating around - Smoking Gun has one, I saw.  From what one can see, the women were seriously attractive.

    But, as with everything, the value of anything is what someone is willing to pay for it.


    My recollection also... (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Oje on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:15:44 PM EST
    And, just google "traffic in women" for a variety of past and present discussions about prostitution and human trafficking, including ole' Emma Goldman's 1911 tract (warning: Anarchist site).

    Leave (none / 0) (#135)
    by Athena on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:55:07 PM EST
    He should resign.  He can be replaced.

    Wow (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by litigatormom on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:08:02 PM EST
    I didn't necessarily think he was under investigation personally.  I wonder why he didn't resign right away, then.

    We're all still shaking our heads in shock down here on Wall Street.

    Some schadenfreude, as some of our clients got strong-armed by Spitzer when he was AG, but mostly shock and some sorrow.

    Why would someone as recognizable as he is ever risk such a thing?  I mean, I didn't know who David Vitter was -- and couldn't have pulled him out of a line-up -- before the story came out. But Spitzer?  He's not been anonymous for a very long time, even in DC.

    Probably going through. . . (none / 0) (#15)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:14:06 PM EST
    five stages of resignation grief or something.

    Assuming you really are in NYC, do (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:21:14 PM EST
    think Spitzer should resign?

    Too bad Jay Elias isn't here to weigh in also.


    Me? (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:28:57 PM EST
    I'm not in the business of telling people what to do.  I realize blogs are a place where everyone's supposed to have on opinion on everything, but I frequently don't.  Should he resign?  I don't know.  Will he resign?  Almost certainly.

    You are my "man on the street." (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:30:21 PM EST
    Thanks for the reply.  

    I'm another New Yorker, and for what (none / 0) (#39)
    by tigercourse on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:34:36 PM EST
    it's worth, I hope he packs it in and gives someone competent a chance. Spitzer has mostly been a disaster since day 1 and this state deserves better.

    Also a NYer (none / 0) (#43)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:40:18 PM EST
    And agreed.  His first year as guv has been kind of a mess anyway.  Not too surprising that a guy so hubristic would get caught in something tawdry like this.

    I'm a New Yorker.... (none / 0) (#62)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:51:18 PM EST
    and now that I've thought about it, I don't want him to resign.

    I want him to stay on, say he's seen the error of ways, and pardon all the prostitutes he helped convict, and propose the legalization of prostitution and other victimless crimes.

    Wouldn't that be cool.


    You don't ask for much (none / 0) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:52:52 PM EST
    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:39:23 PM EST
    I moved to NJ last week so y'all are on your own now (and I'm like, can't I leave you alone for one minute?!?).  Now I have the guy who doesn't wear his seatbelt.

    Splitter! n/t (none / 0) (#68)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:53:44 PM EST
    I think Corzine (none / 0) (#158)
    by litigatormom on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:07:21 PM EST
    has learned his lesson on the seatbelt thing.

    "Should" he resign? (none / 0) (#140)
    by litigatormom on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:02:51 PM EST
    I don't think "should" is the question, if "should" is a moral question.

    The question is can he survive politically, and I think the answer is no. Bill Clinton, despite the stupidity of his actions with Monica, was the victim of a witchhunt/perjury trap set by people who had been trying to bring him down for years, he was popular with the general electorate, and he was able to -- and did -- survive.

    Spitzer has not won rave reviews in his first gubenatorial year, his political reputation was very bound up in his superclean image, and he was trapped by his political opponents. He can't survive it.


    Another NYer here (none / 0) (#151)
    by Iphie on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:45:02 PM EST
    And I don't know what I think yet. I often think politicians who proselytize about morality and "family values" and the like should resign when they get caught up in something like this, but that's usually because I'm outraged by the hypocrisy. So given David Vitter's role in Clinton's impeachment, and the moral high ground that both he and his wife affected at the time (she harshly criticized Hillary at the time, saying that if it were husband, she'd "pull a Lorena Bobbitt" or something to that effect. However, when it did happen to her, she stood by her man. But it amazed me at the time that she was willing to publicly pass judgment against Hillary for such a personal and private choice.) I thought Vitter should resign. But it is different with Spitzer -- I don't jump immediately to the conclusion that he should resign. On the other hand he didn't just have an affair, he broke the law.

    If I were to look at this purely with Albany dynamics in mind, I'm not so sure I think he should resign. For one, it would give Joe Bruno more power (he's currently under investigation by the FBI), and that's the last thing I want.


    Heh (none / 0) (#18)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:15:37 PM EST
    From where I sit, the mood on Wall Street looks more like exultation.  Although I thought the markets would be happier about this news!

    I work at a law firm (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by stillife on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:49:59 PM EST
    in Brooklyn and hilarity ensued when I broke the news.  But that's the perspective of politically connected lawyers, I guess.

    I feel bad about it.  I voted for him.  I liked his pro-gay marriage stance.  But I think he's toast.


    the markets have much bigger problems (none / 0) (#142)
    by hue on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:04:10 PM EST
    than Spitzer, if you were talking about him going after companies as AG.  there is a huge amount of disconnect between the stock markets and the credit issues.

    Yes, much schadenfreude in the (none / 0) (#143)
    by litigatormom on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:05:25 PM EST
    Financial District. I'm sorry that his career is ruined, and I cannot imagine the pain his wife and daughters are experiencing right now. There was a picture of Mrs. Spitzer on the NYT homepage for a while (they've changed it now) which hauntingly caught her face in a moment of utter brokenheartedness.

    So Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:08:08 PM EST
    No  discussion of resignation and David Paterson. Gotcha.

    no reference to presidential candidates here (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:14:15 PM EST
    and no, he hasn't resigned. If you want to do a post on the Lt. Governor, go ahead. This is about Spitzer.

    I'll pass (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:17:57 PM EST
    We will see what happens at 7 tonight.

    My "no TV" rule is in full effect (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:32:35 PM EST
    fur the duration of the "coverage." (aka, speculation)

    Has he scheduled something at 7? n/t (none / 0) (#144)
    by litigatormom on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:05:59 PM EST
    This thread is about Spitzer, please keep the (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:08:15 PM EST
    references to other politicians and the presidential race out of it. They will be deleted.

    Is it on topic to inquire if the U.S. Attorney (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:13:35 PM EST
    prosecuting this ring and investigating Spitzer was newly-appointed after the termination of the 12?

    sure (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:15:23 PM EST
    The AUSAs are (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:42:33 PM EST
    Boyd Milo Johnson III
    Daniel Lawrence Stein
    Rita Marie Glavin

    But, who is the appointed US Attorney (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:45:44 PM EST
    for this district of NY and how long has the person held this position?  Was his or her predecessor asked to step down by the Bush administration?

    JMM points out (none / 0) (#53)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:47:23 PM EST
    that, interestingly, the case is being handled by the public corruption division of the DOJ and not the vice division.

    Michael J. Garcia (none / 0) (#66)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:53:19 PM EST
    I believe he pre-dates the US Attorney scandal but I'm not entirely sure.

    Doing my own research, the answer is: (none / 0) (#71)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:57:25 PM EST
    No U.S. Attorney for NY was amongst the terminated USAs.  Thanks, Oculus.



    That's bad news for Spitzer if (none / 0) (#110)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:34:59 PM EST
    the USA scandal is what people think it might be.  If BushCo was firing people for the reasons we suspect then it stands to reason that it is likely the remaining group would not have had any objections to political prosecutions.

    I don't think this is going to count as a (none / 0) (#145)
    by litigatormom on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:06:54 PM EST
    political prosecution.

    The politics of crime. (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:22:22 PM EST

    Too bad (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by BDB on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:24:03 PM EST
    Spitzer was one of the good guys for taking on Wall Street and the Insurance Industry.  A shame if his personal failings bring him down since we need more politicians willing to hold companies accountable.

    Sadly, I can't help but wonder how many Democrats vs. Republicans have been caught up in this investigation.  A thought that wouldn't have occurred to me 10 or 20 years ago, but now I'm automatically suspicious of any U.S. Attorney who nets a big Dem.  That makes me even sadder than Spitzer.

    Let's take a deep breath and remember (5.00 / 7) (#33)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:27:04 PM EST
    the current Administration made plenty of room in the WH for a Mr. Gannon, a/k/a Guckert, who advertised his, um, personal services on the internet.

    And for a certain Senator Vitter, who is alleged to have been a repeat customer of certain personal services.

    Any talk of Spitzer resigning is premature.  But talk of this being a political hit job by an administration which has shown no reticence about using the DoJ to put Democrats in prison is hardly so.

    Reading the court documents, the government did not, IMHO, need to include the allegations about Spitzer in it to make their case.  This service had women going to Paris, Vienna, London, and a bunch of other cities around this country.  The charges in which Customer #9 is involved are duplicative (in the common, if not legal, sense).

    And like I said on the prior thread - johns do not get busted in NYC, particularly where it is high-priced, unless (1) the activity is flagrant, (2) some other message is being sent to the john, or (3) there have been a lot of complaints from the neighbors.  (1) and (3) do not appear to obtain here.

    So, let's talk about (or at least remember) Jeff Guckert Gannon when we talk about Mr. Spitzer and his extracurriculars.  

    We should hold our own to a higher standard (none / 0) (#72)
    by magster on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:57:31 PM EST
    He should resign.

    Not so. (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:15:59 PM EST
    This case stinks to high heaven of being a political hit job.  The Republicans are within a hair of losing control of the NYS senate and, therefore, any power in the state.  They have been attacking Spitzer since minute one of his administration and this is just another aspect of it.

    The Rethugs have trumped up charges against one Democrat after another - yet when Republicans commit similar acts, they get sympathy, understanding, forgiveness and, in the rare case of a conviction, a commutation.


    Then we lose (none / 0) (#97)
    by magster on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:23:14 PM EST
    the high ground, and there is no way to differentiate between the Dems and the Repubs.  Remember that scandal was a big contributing factor in the 2006 congressional elections. From what I read of the Lt. Governor, there is hope that the Dem brand in NY can be rahabilitated.

    And as far as hit jobs go, Spitzer confessed.


    Maybe we win new ground - (none / 0) (#114)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:37:52 PM EST
    territory where sex unrelated to a politician's ability to do his or her job is no longer a point of attack.

    why should he resign? to please (none / 0) (#100)
    by hellothere on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:25:35 PM EST
    people? no! he should resign only if he feels he can no longer do his job. that's up to him.

    i happen to think "hit job" myself. though i would add for such a smart man, he must know there are forces that want to hurt him.


    It doesn't strike me as a political hit job (none / 0) (#147)
    by litigatormom on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:08:50 PM EST
    But I haven't absorbed all the available info.

    It does seem to me, however, that one of the reasons for including the story of Client-9 in the narrative is that there was explicit reference to sexual services in alleged conversations.


    I could live a long time (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:37:28 PM EST
    without reading or hearing about the sex lives of public figures, but as long as some things are crimes, I guess we are doomed.  

    That Paragraph 85 was a doozy, and I suspect more than a few will be puzzling over just what it was that gave Client #9 a rep as "difficult," and what he could have asked for that was not "like, safe."

    There are just some things I don't think I need to know, but that's what curiosity will do to you.


    My guess, (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:48:19 PM EST
    he didn't want to wear a condom.

    This is exactly where this will go next (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:50:02 PM EST
    and beyond. Can anyone think his staying will be wirht it?

    Yeah, (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:58:20 PM EST

    And he had so much promise. . .


    Then it is time to roll out (none / 0) (#120)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:41:33 PM EST
    the Guckert chronicles.

    (NB - I don't follow Fox, but they're reporting he'll be indicted.  I dunno and, of course, consider the source....)

    Frankly, I hope Spitzer comes out and says something to the effect of "if the Republicans care to indict me - you should all realize this is all about politics.  A president who hosted a known gay prostitute for repeated overnights in the White House and later started him on his career, his Department of Justice which has made a cottage industry out of prosecuting Democrats when the Republicans could not fairly win elections over them, and seeks immunity for its own lawbreaking, used that lawbreaking to make whatever case they might think they have."

    This is one of those moments which will define the Democrats - will they stand and fight or will they, as so many on this site seem to suggest, fold up and resign at the first sign of trouble?

    Make up your mind folks - do you have spines, or are you like Jello Jay?


    Chris Matthews was just commenting (none / 0) (#137)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:59:44 PM EST
    on the fact that the FBI had released so much detail to the media.  He said that the documents they had been given chronicle the train ride and food and drinks etc.  I think this is awfully neat and tidy especially given the fact that Gannon/Guckert is by no stretch of the imagination the only prostitute who has ever been supported by DC politicians.

    Public corruption (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:47:31 PM EST
    Jeralyn, TPM is reporting the prosecutors on this case are all from the public corruption unit.  Is there any significance to this?  Why would PCU have been involved in a prostitution ring if they didn't know there were public officials involved to begin with?  Why would they be involved in it now if they didn't plan on prosecuting public officials?

    I'm reminded of the line from (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by frankly0 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:53:39 PM EST
    the play Equus, when the protagonist realizes that his rigid, critical, moralizing father indulges in pornography:

    And my dad, he's not just a dad either.
    He's a man with a prick, too. He's nothing special.

    NYT article on line does (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:01:06 PM EST
    not indicate Spitzer has been charged with a crime.  Has he?

    no he has not (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:06:24 PM EST
    A source familiar with the investigation said he is under investigation.

    Surprises me you so quickly assumed (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:04:58 PM EST
    Spitzer should and would resign.  

    Being under criminal investigation (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:06:58 PM EST
    will do that don't you think?

    Heck, Larry Craig pleaded nolo and (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:09:15 PM EST
    didn't resign.  Why should Spitzer?

    What Spitzer has done is a good deal (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by tigercourse on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:10:50 PM EST
    worse. I'm no criminal expert, but it's got to be worse.

    I don't think either is all that bad.... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:23:33 PM EST
    but at least Spitzer has his trysts in hotel rooms, not public bathrooms.

    But to each his own:)


    Did Craig do the deed? (none / 0) (#35)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:27:21 PM EST
    Now (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by tek on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:18:01 PM EST
    that he's confessed, Spitzer should resign.  This is one of a string of unethical misdeeds he's been caught out in.

    Isn't using prostitutes (none / 0) (#79)
    by BernieO on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:07:20 PM EST
    illegal (except in Nev)? He's a former state att'y gen. I do not see how he survives this.

    Invincible? (none / 0) (#11)
    by pluege on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:08:42 PM EST
    what is it about political power that makes otherwise shrewd and savvy people think they're invincible (rhetorical question), i.e., act dumb as a stump. .

    "LEWIS (the defendant) (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:16:25 PM EST
    told Client-9 (Spitzer) that his balance was $2,721.41"

    21.41? Did Lewis charge sales tax or something?

    probably the train ticket (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:20:22 PM EST
    client number 9 paid for the train ticket.

    Yes, (none / 0) (#29)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:23:10 PM EST
    I forgot about the train ticket reimbursement.

    tip? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:20:23 PM EST
    Percentage of the base price?

    In these higher scale organizations, the women have more power and get to keep more of the money.  It's the Mayflower Madam model.


    probably to do with Kristen's (none / 0) (#26)
    by SarahinCA on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:20:54 PM EST
    train ticket.

    Probably a mob tax.... (none / 0) (#126)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:46:47 PM EST
    in there somewhere, though gangsters are known to round up:)

    Do we know where the money came from? (none / 0) (#150)
    by DaleA on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:44:10 PM EST
    This sounds like a phone card. You so many minutes or whatever. Very strange way of doing things. But sums like this would be difficult to hide from his wife. Maybe the source of funds is why the Political Corruption folks are involved.

    From Delay Slush Fund? (none / 0) (#152)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:50:02 PM EST
    sorry, I couldn't help myself....

    American Puritanism on Display (none / 0) (#31)
    by bob h on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:24:00 PM EST
    As long as he used his own money, this is nobody's business but his.

    A public official violating the law (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:45:06 PM EST
    is a matter of public concern.

    Whether or not (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by standingup on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:08:25 PM EST
    we agree with the laws on the book isn't really the issue.  Spitzer's office prosecuted prostitution rings when he was AG.  I think it's difficult to give Spitzer a pass on this being a private, personal matter.  

    A Governor or a big city Mayor (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Joike on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:12:47 PM EST
    like Guiliani is likely to have a security detail when he travels.

    So using state assets and resources in the furtherence of and in the commission of a crime is the kind of abuse of power we are supposed to stand against.

    I don't care if the press and the right give Vitter, Guiliani etc. a pass, we shouldn't give anybody a pass just because he's a "good guy" or "on our side".

    There are plenty of good people who are on our side who don't solicit prostitutes who can do the same job as Spitzer.

    It doesn't matter what our individual opinions are on prostitution, it is a crime, and he's admitted to the crime.

    If you give people a break on significant ethical lapses, you just encourage the same behavior in that person and in others.

    This isn't like he forgot to submit a receipt with an expense report.

    This is a serious breach of the public trust and tremendously bad judgement.

    I'm sorry for his family, but I don't feel sorry for him.


    Puritanism or voyeurism? (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:27:08 PM EST
    exploitation (none / 0) (#45)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:41:46 PM EST
    if you care to think about the woman involved.

    These women? (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by sweetthings on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:53:46 PM EST
    Huffington Post look at the 'Emperor's Club'

    These women cost thousands of dollars an hour. Even accounting for the middle man cut, I'm willing to bet they're making one heck of an hourly rate.

    Obviously, money doesn't cure all ills, and I'm sure these women pay a hefty price. But I think it's a stretch to say they're exploited. I suspect these women have the option of choosing other paths if they so desire.


    because they are attractive and make a living (none / 0) (#107)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:29:54 PM EST
    it's okay?

    I spent five years of my life working with sex workers on a daily basis.  This personal experience is what I base my comments on.

    On what do you base yours?  Some attractive pics on HuffPo?  Let's make no mistake here.  These women, pretty as they are, are bought and paid for and the men are not making sweet, gentle love to them.  If they were ugly, would you have more sympathy for them? What is a "heck of an hourly rate" that justifies all this?  Could you do it?  What's your price?


    Not entirely with you on this one (none / 0) (#128)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:47:43 PM EST
    I would normally agree with you, but if this is all willing, then I really don't see how this is worse than trash collecting, or janitorial services, much less meat processing or something of that nature.

    I have sympathy for women who are exploited... (none / 0) (#129)
    by sweetthings on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:48:07 PM EST
    But exploitation, in my mind, implies a lack of choice. Women who are boated in from China and forced to work in brothels are exploited. They have no options. Even if they are not physically confined (and they often are) there is literally no place for them to go.

    The women whose company is advertised by the 'Emperor's Club' do not fall into that category. They are not only good-looking, they are well-educated, articulate and traveled. They are among the most privileged of our society, which is exactly why they command so high a price. They have many career options...but they choose this one, presumably because it enables them to make a great deal of money in a relatively short time. I don't think I would make that same choice, but I'm not going to deny them agency to make it for themselves. And I'm having trouble swallowing the notion that they're 'exploited' because they make that choice.

    Which isn't to say that prostitution isn't an ugly, ugly business. Obviously it is, but I suspect these women (like all high-priced call girls) are outliers.


    really? (none / 0) (#154)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:16:59 PM EST
    The women whose company is advertised by the 'Emperor's Club' do not fall into that category. They are not only good-looking, they are well-educated, articulate and traveled. They are among the most privileged of our society, which is exactly why they command so high a price.

    Where did you get this information?  Because I just found out about this a few hours ago, as did a lot of us, but it seems like you know a fair amount about the Emporer's Club and the articulate and beautiful, well-traveled ladies who are fortunate enough to ply their trade there.  I am sure they only accept the most discriminating gentleman!

    Perhaps some of them are ex-strippers who were only dancing to pay their way through college?

    Seriously, this romanticized thinking on your part is extraordinarily disconnected from reality.


    Find someone in a position (none / 0) (#160)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 11:57:08 AM EST
    of want, and or vulnerability, and do your damndest to turn them into a cash cow. It's the American way, Madame.

    If you think these women are any more exploited than, say, slaughterhouse workers, then you'll have to prove convincingly how the latter have more choice than the former.


    It's not legal (none / 0) (#84)
    by BernieO on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:09:59 PM EST
    I heard Spitzer use two phrases (none / 0) (#46)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:41:52 PM EST
    in his press conference that indicate to me that he's going to try to tough it out...or at least see if he can get any backing for hanging in there...he said:

    "...and that will continue."  And "...a private matter."

    We shall see.

    A man who used these phrases in 2004 (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:45:13 PM EST
    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."

    Seems to be in a precarious position at best imo.


    I think it is pretty clear that I am in (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:49:21 PM EST
    the minority in this thread - Spitzer is not bigger the the Dem Party in NY. This is not a fight over an issue. He is dead meat in 2 years anyway because of this. This is only the beginning. Do we need this? Does he need this?

    If he stays on (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by JohnS on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:16:57 PM EST
    Bruno and Tedisco will beat on him like a drum. They had lots of practice during "Troopergate." And with Dems just one seat short of a majority in the State Senate, we don't need this.

    I am pragmatic (none / 0) (#76)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:02:55 PM EST
    considering the political difficulties Spitzer has encountered, I think it would be more effective for the Dem Party and NY State to start over with Lt. Gov. Paterson and hopefully make more headway than Spitzer has to date.

    If I felt he were a singularly effective governor I expect I would be hunting for reasons to have him stay on.  Since he's regrettably turned out to be anything but, it's an easy call, quite apart from the difficult question of what he "ought" to do.


    Uh oh. (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:08:24 PM EST
    Pretty damning quote.  Should definitely come back to bite him.

    Bye bye, politics...hello, private practice.

    Or he could join dad in the realestate business...

    Too bad...


    I can't stop laughing after reading (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:50:15 PM EST
    your blockquote.  Precarious huh?

    The phrases he used that were most (none / 0) (#148)
    by litigatormom on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:12:01 PM EST
    significant to me were "politics is bigger than any individual" and "what matters are the issues and the best interests of the people of NY."

    Not to mention: "I'll be back to you shortly."

    He's resigning.


    Private matter... (none / 0) (#149)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:21:28 PM EST
    this guy has some pair.  The state, which he leads, says this is a public matter.

    He was in the unique position of advocating for changing the law and making it a private matter, as it should be.  He did not.


    I can' t wait (none / 0) (#77)
    by eric on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:04:07 PM EST
    for the Law and Order episode.

    Jerlyn, how did reach you the conclusion (none / 0) (#85)
    by bronte17 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:10:46 PM EST
    that Spitzer was a repeat customer?

    On Page 27, #76, shows that Spitzer, the Governor of New York, had insufficient credit with which to reserve a hooker.

    Furthermore, at #80, they ask him if he can give Kristin "extra funds" in order to avoid payment issues in the futute.  Client-9 (Spitzer) said "maybe."

    If you read it carefully, it's pretty (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:18:29 PM EST
    clear that the allegation is he'd been there before, and was more or less running a tab which he was paying as he went.

    Okay, I'm dense. (none / 0) (#112)
    by bronte17 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:36:39 PM EST
    I thought they ran a credit check or something on his credit card or whatever hooker outfits do to verify payment. Could not figure out why the governor of NY wouldn't pass the check.

    They asked him if he had used QAT (an international call girl outfit?) and Spitzer said "same as in the past..."

    Oh well. I still think it was a setup.


    I suppose that, for all the high-dollar value (none / 0) (#138)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:01:33 PM EST
    of the alleged transactions, the people running this were still of the mindset that nothing happens until the cash (or cash equivalent) is in hand.

    Assuming the truth of the allegations for the sake of the post, there's no difference in the business model from the street variety.  Just more refined.


    with the service. Presumabley, that credit would be for services previously rendered and overpaid for. iirc, he also asks to be reminded what "Kristen" looks like.

    Well, that company listed pictures of the girls (none / 0) (#99)
    by bronte17 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:25:10 PM EST
    or whatever they're called on a website.

    Someone had it up earlier at dkos, but I only glanced over the first page.

    Perhaps Spitzer was doing an "internet" hookup with a call girl and he wanted them to reinforce the girl he had chosen from a picture lineup.

    What I find difficult to understand is 1) how the Governor of NY would not have sufficient credit, 2) why they would attempt to ensnare him with a downpayment for "future" visits (I don't know the underpinnings of law on prostitution or how it all works, but I would hazard a hypothesis that this an another angle to get another change against him) and 3) why they grilled the call girl afterwards in such depth to get discovery as to Spitzer's tastes in sex.


    He said he already had a credit (none / 0) (#108)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:34:12 PM EST
    with the agency. That means he had already given the agency money, more money in fact, than he owed the agency.

    I really don't think there was any "ensnaring." This biz is all about the Benjamin's.

    You want me to send a girl from NY to DC? Fine, you FedEx me a cash deposit first.

    You don't want to have to mess around with going to the ATM and then FedEx to send me the cash deposit next time? Fine, although I don't like doing biz this way, I will let you pay extra today and I'll keep that extra cash as a credit to be used as a deposit for the next time.

    Grilled the girl? I think your partisanslip is showing...


    I hope he FedExed (none / 0) (#111)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:35:02 PM EST
    and didn't wire it.  Federal banking laws...ugh.

    I assumed, when they said "package," (none / 0) (#127)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:47:37 PM EST
    they were being literal.

    Fed ex is no way around the mail (none / 0) (#139)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:02:16 PM EST
    laws.  That's been that way since the 80s.

    oddities (none / 0) (#124)
    by eric on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:46:08 PM EST
    You make valid points.  It is also strange how he suggests that he wants to be "reminded" what she looks like, but in the conversation afterward, it is pretty clear this her first encounter with him.

    I do agree that it is clear that he had some credit with the agency, probably from previous overpayment, not credit in the credit card way.

    The odd thing here is that it is suggested that it isn't the agency's policy for the girls to take extra money in advance for future services.  Yet they do it.  And they keep upping it on him.  It all seems a bit amateurish.


    paragraph 75 (none / 0) (#118)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:41:08 PM EST
    # 9 says "yup, same as last time."

    screw with wall st, (none / 0) (#87)
    by wiredick on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:12:47 PM EST
    you go down.  only repubs are allowed prostitutes;
    only limbaugh can travel south of the border for sex and drugs and not have to pay.

    He pays pretty steep I'm sure (none / 0) (#102)
    by cannondaddy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:26:21 PM EST
    Agreed (none / 0) (#101)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:25:49 PM EST
    D'ofrino's awesome that's the only L&O I can watch.

    Mayflower Hotel (none / 0) (#104)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:27:19 PM EST
    Some irony in his choice of J. Edgar Hoover's regular lunch spot. I used to rent rooms there for press conferences on govt. spying issues so as to play on the resonance. (plus it's close to all the big media hqs)

    I know this is only supposed to be (none / 0) (#106)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:28:41 PM EST
    About Spitzer and not the candidates but they're issuing statements about it.

    Perhaps a new thread for that.

    maybe when this one is over (none / 0) (#122)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:43:52 PM EST
    but not here. We only get 200 comments per thread and I want commenters to be able to weigh in on Spitzer first.

    Good, because Hillary just finished her (none / 0) (#155)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:30:09 PM EST
    appearance in Scranton and they showed it live for 1 hour on all the networks. But I do not want to get off subject.

    As for Spitzer, we Dems scream about hypocrites and this time, he is one. I think he needs to resign. Odd that the Congressman who preaches against child porn, the minister who preaches against gays, the Senator who preaches against gays, the Senator and the Congressman who preach for moral values, all Republicans, are all guilty of being those people. The same with Spitzer, except he is one of ours and we can not be hypocrites either.  


    we become what we hate (none / 0) (#156)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:32:24 PM EST
    kathy ! ! ! (none / 0) (#159)
    by garyb50 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:26:41 PM EST
    I hate to think you're right.

    This is why (none / 0) (#132)
    by eric on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:49:34 PM EST
    you need someone like a Bernard Kerik to make all of the arrangements for you.  Him doing this personally was stupid.  You would think he would know better, having prosecuted this type of thing.

    I'll wait for Boston Legal (none / 0) (#141)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:03:13 PM EST
    to riff on this...won't be long!  And it should be hilarious!!

    Unlike reality...not amusing at all.

    Survey USA does a 1-day poll (none / 0) (#146)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:08:08 PM EST
    New Yorkers say he should resign That includes a majority of Democrats.

    What puzzles me (none / 0) (#153)
    by DaleA on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:53:08 PM EST
    is why he needed to pay for sex. Spitzer is a good looking guy, probably meets loads of people. Seems he could have found someone willing for quickies. I had thought the rule was Republicans paid for sex; Dems got it free. Very strange.

    Engaging Prostitutes is Neither (none / 0) (#157)
    by bob h on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:40:20 PM EST
    here nor there in my opinion- it is a private matter.  But why would Spitzer risk violating the Mann Act by asking to have a woman transported from NYC?  Totally reckless.