Monday, March 10, 2008

The Downfall of "Client 9"
I said late last year that no official I've politically supported had been a bigger disappointment to me than New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, elected in a landslide win two years ago with a mandate to finally clean up our corrupt and dysfunctional state politics. Turns out that Spitzer's disastrous 2007 might prove to be a high point, given new revelations that he's been consorting with ho's:

Just last week, federal prosecutors arrested four people in connection with an expensive prostitution operation. Administration officials would not say that this was the ring with which the governor had become involved.

But a person with knowledge of the governor’s role said that the person believes the governor is one of the men identified as clients in court papers.

The governor’s travel records show that he was in Washington in mid-February. One of the clients described in court papers arranged to meet with a prostitute who was part of the ring, the Emperors Club VIP on the night of Feb. 13.

Mr. Spitzer appeared on a CNBC television show at 7 a.m. the next morning. Later in the morning, he testified before a Congressional committee.

An affidavit filed in federal court in Manhattan in connection with that case lists six conversations between the man, identified as Client 9, and a booking agent for the Emperors Club.

To me, this is about equal parts really funny and deeply sad. My father, however, is not so torn: as a former insurance agent, he's not very fond of Gov. Spitzer, and his reaction when I called him a little while ago made this all a little better.


He later calmed down enough to wonder "how they caught that motherfucker," and made in somewhat more colorful prose the point that Josh Marshall just raised on his blog:

We don't know the precise details yet of this 'prostitution ring involvement' on the part of the Gov. Spitzer. But how exactly is it that someone who makes it his business to bust the chops of big wall street titans uses prostitutes? TPM HQ is in Chelsea. And I'm expecting the streets to deluged at any moment now by joyously rioting stock brokers coming up from Wall Street. We do know that this financial industry honchos all have big 'security' offices and have tons of PIs who work for them. I'm frankly shocked they didn't smoke him out before this.

I guess the upside of this is that it makes it somewhat more likely that Mayor Bloomberg will make a run for the statehouse in two years' time, if Spitzer resigns. (I doubt he will, given what we now know, but we'll see; the knives were out for him before, and this won't help.) And as a Clinton supporter, his embarrassment might cause a little discomfort for Team Restoration.

Still, as someone who enthusiastically voted for Spitzer, and still thinks the guy has a great combination of idealism and toughness, I'm more than a little bummed.


Chris said...

What an idiot. Guy has to have some sort of weird psychological problem. He was going to do some great things, in my mind.

David said...

Yeah, I agree. Actually, the more I think about it, the angrier I get: like Bill Clinton, this guy was elected to do things for the public, and like Clinton, he squandered that because it was more important on some level to get his rocks off. Selfish bastards.

Dr. Catloaf said...

If it's not already too late to snag the name, I want to start a band called Client 9.

David said...

I totally had the same thought (though you have to figure it is too late).

The other great band name that occurred to me this week: "The New Nixons."