Tomorrow’s Mississippi primary election may very well be overshadowed by the shocking news of Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York’s predicted resignation. Spitzer, who apologized to his family today after being issued a federal criminal complaint (not the indictment reported by some media outlets, but an indictment could come later) by the southern district of New York for alleged involvement in an interstate prostitution ring. The announcement was brief, lasting only seconds. In fact, it was so fast that many news outlets didn’t even realize that it was happening.
Elected in 2006, Spitzer had built his campaign platform on being hard on corporate crime while Attorney General of New York; he was also a prosecutor in the southern district of New York. According to Fox News, Spitzer was “Client #9” after a sting operation busted the high class prostitution called The Emperor’s Club, located in Washington, D.C. Phone records indicate that Spitzer arranged for female companionship while still in New York, passed money for these services over state lines, and texting–making the crime an interstate federal matter. Ironically, Spitzer’s name is not mentioned in the complaint, but is only referred to as “Client #9”.
The Democratic governor was an avid supporter of Hillary Clinton, who received the spotlight in recent months for his support of legislation that would allow illegal aliens to get driver’s licenses in the state of New York. After a public outcry, Spitzer withdrew the legislation.
As of 7:00 PM EST, Fox News is reporting that Spitzer’s resignation letter will be complete and Lt. Governor David Patterson will take the helm. The resignation letter must be notarized and presented to other officials in New York state government to become official. (full story).
CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES TO FOLLOW
I know that Spitzer may have committed a federal crime, but is sleeping with a prostitute for $5500 in The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. that big of a deal? It’s definitely immoral, sinful, and disgusting, but does it make him less of a governor? It does because it’s a criminal activity. Spitzer took an oath to uphold the laws of the land, and if he did commit this act with a prostitute, he knowingly violated his oath. But if he just met a woman in D.C., had sexual relations with her, and went on with his life, it would be scandalous, but not criminal. If you’re going to arrange to have a sexual encounter out of state, make sure that you don’t pay your partner for his or her services (or in the Oval Office, like a certain former president). Seriously, he’s a governor, couldn’t he get someone to sleep with him for free? And as a former prosecutor, he knew the law very, very well (and also knew that even if the prostitution ring was busted chances are that the clientele wouldn’t do time, just the, uh, ladies of the night).
Unfortunately, male (and female) politicians who don’t pay for one-night stands get off easy–for the most part, even though allegations of sexual scandal can ruin a politician’s career. Yet the unsung affairs of the average man or woman ruin families. While these actions are not punishable by human law, they are just as devastating.
Not only did Spitzer allegedly violate his oath of office, but he violated the oath he took to be faithful to his wife on the day they were married. That is an offense punishable not in a court of law, but another court entirely.