As first reported by the New York Times, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has informed the most senior officials in his administration that he has been involved in a prostitution ring, a Spitzer administration official said this morning. See New York Times Coverage.Read Eliot Spitzer’s biography at Wikipedia.
Silda Wall-Spitzer and Eliot Spitzer at today’s news conference (AP Photo)
In a scene reminiscent of New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey‘s 2004 fall from grace, Mr. Spitzer apologized to his family and the public in a terse statement to reporters this afternoon in New York City. He did not say what he was apologizing for. In fact, despite the fact that his lips were moving, he really didn’t say anything. Some things speak for themselves. Some things are better left unsaid.
In any case, apologies that come only after you get caught are pretty worthless. Mr. Spitzer was reportedly caught on tape by a federal wiretap. Let’s say he did not get exposed by the federal investigation. Could you ever imagine him holding a news conference, admitting his transgressions, and asking for forgiveness, just because his conscience was bothering him? We can’t.
What we find most interesting about this case is that it supposedly started as a money laundering investigation by the IRS. Early in the investigation, it has been reported, political corruption or blackmail seemed to be the likely reason for cash payments that Governor Spitzer was making to shell companies. But you have to wonder whether the IRS stumbled across this on their own, or if somebody “dropped a dime” on him. People in Mr. Spitzer’s former line of work tend to make a lot of enemies. As we all know, friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.
You would think a former prosecutor and attorney general would have been smarter and have impeccable morals. Failing that, you would think they would be more cautious about leaving a money trail. Certainly makes you wonder.
Former New York City mayor Ed Koch, who has never minced words, gave this interview about Eliot Spitzer to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. It is classic Ed Koch, who we have always liked, particularly for his unvarnished opinions on things.
It is widely expected that Governor Spitzer will resign his position as Governor of New York State. We suggest he consider applying for a job here. New Yorkers deserve a governor whose moral compass is in working order and points to True North.
We wonder… Since he is still the Governor as of this writing, can he pardon himself before he resigns? In any case, Mr. Spitzer seems to be thinking about life after politics. See our post about his just anounced movie deal.