78 thoughts on “He Surely Did Pay For His Sex

  1. This is probably one of the few remaining Spitzer pictures on the Internet without EPIC FAIL writ large across Spitzer’s brow. The plaque below his official portrait in the State Capitol will probably say EPIC FAIL. And if the stock market rises 400 points the day after your political demise, your fall can only be described as an EPIC FAIL.

  2. Ray @2:

    I believe this is the definition of hubris. Spitzer’s always been a dick who didn’t play by the rules. That he was hoist on his own petard by the same structuring laws he chased the Wall Streeters with makes it worthy of a Greek tragedy.

  3. Yeah, I live in New York, even cast a vote for him last year. When a (seemingly) big scandal erupted last year that someone in his office asked the state police to follow and report on the republican senate majority leader’s use of state resources in his travel, he claimed not to have any knowledge, and I decided to believe that, on the grounds that no one with Spitzer’s intelligence and cultivated crusader image would be foolish enough to do something so blatant.

    This Monday I had to stop and think “Huh. Guess I was wrong. He is that foolish. And then some.”

  4. Ya. Illegal stuff from governor = dumb (even if the law he’s broken is itself dumb). But Brett L @ 3, as far as I know there isn’t (yet) any suggestion that the cops have evidence he structured the transactions… thus far he’s only on the hook for bringing a hooker across state lines, heh. Also, just because Spitzer is an asshole doesn’t mean that the Wall Street types he squished as AG aren’t ALSO assholes. Cos they were. And are.

  5. Pfft. By “last year” I mean ’06. I have a good excuse, though, since I’m doing my ’07 taxes and I’m hip deep in ’07 expenses this very minute, so I can think of this as 2007.

  6. The guy is a phenomenal shithead, too true, but I was led to understand he didn’t actually patronize the service, he just took big fat bribes from them. Right, wrong?

    Either way, you’re right: DUMBASS!

  7. Nathan @ 9:

    No, he’s a hypocritical Democrat. Its hypocritical REPUBLICANS who patronise male prostitutes.

  8. Re: [#2]

    It’s true, people seem to hate hypocrisy in their leaders more than almost anything else (well, aside from, say, mass-murder). Which makes me wonder: why do any public figures put themselves into situations where they can be exposed as hypocrites? They’ve always done it; heck, in the New Testament Jesus abuses religious leaders for being hypocrites way more often than for any other sins. Can’t people in power get it through their heads that they can be forgiven for most anything else, but not for this?

  9. Nate @9
    The prostitute could have been male…. and underage.

    Ray@2 You say:
    Nothing is worse in politics than hypocrisy.

    How about: nothing is worse in politics than making a false case for going to war?

  10. Jennie @12
    Hmm…might you be talking about certain political figures from some certain political administration? From some certain country in the north western hemisphere?
    Hint:
    First letter of this country is “U” last letter is “A”.

    But ya. A lying self serving goverment is about as low as you can get. I am just waiting for someone in the White House to say something like “They have no bread? Let them eat cake!”.

  11. I don’t know which I find more stunning, the idea that someone would pay $80k over the course of a year or so for sex or the idea that someone in the government could think they could do it without getting caught.

    You’d think the guy could have got his rocks off far cheaper (and legally safer) trolling DC bars with ready cash.

  12. Eddie Clark @6:
    My understanding is that’s why the Feds started investigating him. They thought he might be making or taking structured bribes. Whether or not it was actual structuring or just fit the bank’s algorithm for alerting the feds is beyond my realm of knowledge. I guess if you drop 80K in 15-20 $4-6K transactions over a year to the same company, it might make the bank software throw a match to whatever structuring rules it checks for.

  13. #11

    “Which makes me wonder: why do any public figures put themselves into situations where they can be exposed as hypocrites?”

    I think I know why they do this.

    Ego and Arrogance.

    To be a successful politician requires an ego and an arrogance that knows few bounds; it is requirement of the job. In order to actually convince voters that you are wonderful enough to vote for, you actually believe that you are a wonderful person. Every politician I have met have this characteristic in common. This arrogance blinds them to the risk of getting caught.

    I am willing bet that the most arrogant and egotistical politicians are the lawyers turned politician. I know the ego and arrogance requirements that is required of lawyering; I have been one for 17 years. It takes a special kind of ego to get up in front of a judge (or jury) and say “Listen to me”. Combine this occupational arrogance with the arrogance of a politician and you get a scary combination.

    cheers
    Andrew

  14. What is wrong with politicians? They don’t KNOW that everyone is watching them? Would it kill them to refrain from having sex with anyone but their legally appointed spouse?

    Is this a “guy” thing? Cuz really… I don’t get get it.

    (I just asked my legally appointed spouse that question. He says, “No, it’s a dumbass thing.” Scalzi gets it right again.)

  15. It’s not a “guy” thing. Basic infidelity I can understand. But as I told my wife, if I was going to try to spend $80k on something behind her back, it’d be very fast, very red and parked somewhere.

  16. Dumbass, indeed.

    Ego and arrogance? Yeah, I can see that.

    But you have to be so STUPID to tout your public service on “ethics” and then do something like this.

    And really, I have to wonder: just what is the attraction? Why do so many male politicians fall into this trap? Sure, they should stick to sex with their legally appointed spouse, but failing that, at least don’t pay someone $80K for it.

    You almost have to admire Bill Clinton. He got his affairs the old fashioned way: by flirting!

  17. He wasn’t structuring. His withdrawals looked like he might be, so the bank reported them. He should have known that would happen.

    If he’d been losing the money gambling in Atlantic City, there would have been no issue. If he’d had the sense to withdraw the money there, the bank would have assumed he was gambling,and nobody would have investigated.

  18. tceiseleon:

    “Which makes me wonder: why do any public figures put themselves into situations where they can be exposed as hypocrites?”

    Power, corrupts, absolute, etc. Because they think they won’t get caught.

    “Can’t people in power get it through their heads that they can be forgiven for most anything else, but not for this?”

    My theory is that they don’t do things that prove them to be hypocrites more often than they commit any other sins. We just notice more often, and care more when we do. Maybe the press has figured out that we’ll forgive nearly anything else, and therefore deemed “anything else” not newsworthy.

  19. “I just asked my legally appointed spouse that question. He says, “No, it’s a dumbass thing.” Scalzi gets it right again.”

    Kelly, your husband is both wise and restrained. And really, is restraint all that difficult? I mean for anyone over the age of 17?

  20. Ellen Tarlin comments in Slate,

    I think what you are forgetting or overlooking is that there is an element of dysfunction or rebellion or self-destruction or blind hubris or whatever in what Spitzer did. He didn’t hire whores because he can’t get laid for free. He hired whores because he gets off on hiring whores. If you get off on shoving gerbils up your ass and someone says, “Hey, wouldn’t it be more rational if you shoved Twinkies up your ass instead, since they don’t have teeth or claws?” You wouldn’t say, “Hey, you’re right, that makes a lot more sense. Thanks!” You’d say, “Twinkies? That’s gross and not very exciting. I prefer my gerbils. Thanks.”

    And for the definitive opinion, see August J. Pollak’s Some Guy with a Website.

  21. I promise, if elected, to behave with a dignity befitting the office of $OFFICE. My actions will be subtle and intricate beyond the attention spans of our major media, and deniable beyond a reasonable doubt in our courts. I will not take payments in cash. I will not order take-out nookie to $OFFICIAL_RESIDENCE. I will not be caught on tape. This is my promise to the people of $STATE.

  22. I just realized what I am upset about.
    He got caught.
    I really don’t care about the money or the “crimes”, I care that the guy I voted for (and I did vote for the dumbass) should at least be a little bit smarter and world savvy than me.
    I want to believe that our politians should be able to work the system a little better. Because most of the time they helped set the system up.
    It’s little comfort that they are, for the most part, as clueless as I am most of the time.

  23. On the plus side, David Patterson has a reputation for being a nice guy and a total straight arrow, and during his years in the state senate had a reputation for playing well with others.

    And given how little people pay attention to who the Lt. Governor is on the ticket, I’m guessing most of NYS at the moment is saying “who’s the Lt. Gov? Oh yeah. Patterson. Who is he again?” Which is pretty impressive given that there are not a huge number of African-American, legally blind polititians.

  24. A friend of mine who is somewhat familiar, professionally, with Spitzer said, “this would be tragic, except that the whole thing lacks any nobility whatsoever.”

  25. You know what would be really hilarious to have come out sometime in the future (say, 20 years from now, after it can’t possible matter)? If it turned out that this was all part of Patterson’s long-term plan to become Governor! From what I read about him today, it sounds like he did something rather unusual: he gave up a position in the State Senate where he was likely to become Majority Leader, to take the Lt. Governor spot (which is widely regarded as a mostly ceremonial and rather pointless office). People at the time wondered Why He Did That. Did he know enough about Spitzer to know that he was likely to self-destruct? And maybe took some surreptitious measures to sort of . . . nudge . . . him along the path of destruction, so that he could then cleanly step in to take his place? It might be the only way he could *get* the job of Governor (he sounds like the personality type that rarely is sufficiently colorful and attention-getting to win high-profile elections, but will do just fine once in office), but if he does a good job over the next couple of years, it might be easier for him to *keep* it.

  26. But as I told my wife, if I was going to try to spend $80k on something behind her back, it’d be very fast, very red and parked somewhere.

    I really hope you were talking about some sort of automobile, Mr. Burnap.

  27. Re: Paterson

    I am reminded of Krusty the Klown awarding the runner-up position of “Little Miss Springfield” to Lisa Simpson, telling her that she would fill in for the winner if she should be unable to fulfill her duties:

    “And don’t say, ‘it’ll never happen’, because we all rememeber whats-her name, ‘click click’ (making pantomime of cameraman)”

    He was referring, of course, to Vanessa Williams, one-time Miss America (and coincidentally, former Miss New York), who lost her title over nude photographs.

  28. At the risk of sounding sympathetic toward Mr. Spitzer (which I’m not—you make your bed, you lie in it, especially if there’s another person in it who shouldn’t be there), all of the comments and suggestions thus far seem to believe he had a choice. What if he didn’t? What if hiring a prostitute for him was like a drink to an alcoholic, or playing the horses to a gambling addict? This would certainly answer everyone asking, “What was he thinking?!” It’s possible he wasn’t thinking at all, but had (has) a compulsion.

    Now folks will say, bullshit, sex isn’t like booze or drugs! It isn’t? I consider sex—well, GOOD sex, anyway—as a mind-altering experience.

    Yes, he was powerful and arrogant and whatever. Those things don’t make people stupid or cause them to think they’ll never get caught. Compulsion/addiction does.

  29. This chick got maid how much just to have sex with a stupid jackass? I been doing that ever since I got married, but for free! I am in the wrong business.

  30. The thing that boggles my mind is this: for eighty grand a year in lavish non-cash gifts, there’s a whole army of sweet and attractive (and discreet) young women who would have cheerfully dated and bedded the governor of New York. No crimes necessary, and no cash ever changing hands.

    Hence: Dumbass.

  31. Live in Brooklyn. Voted for the guy for Governor as well as A.G.)

    Enormously gifted in the dumbass department. Too bad for Mrs. Spitzer. She looks like a nice person.

  32. He looks like an ill-conceived muppet controlled by someone with a bad hand cramp.

    Asking his wife to stand next to him not once but twice is unforgivable.

  33. I’m surprised how extreme the condemnation has been.

    I mean, here we have a guy who had the balls to take on the Wall St crooks (and win). Not your average Joe, yes?

    And then everyone’s shocked, shocked!, that he’s not Ned Flanders. I agree with Andrew @ 21 above: Ego and arrogance are job requirements for top-dog politicians. With a few exceptions, they’re all sharks.

    I’m not condoning his actions, btw – just surprised by the overdone outrage.

  34. 43:” for eighty grand a year in lavish non-cash gifts, there’s a whole army of sweet and attractive (and discreet) young women who would have cheerfully dated and bedded the governor of New York.”

    He couldn’t rely on the discretion of such women. A high-price escort would be far less likely to go to the tabloids in a fit of pique – she’d have more skin in the game.

  35. Re: 46

    You mention Ned Flanders. Am I the only one who remembers the episode where it was revealted that Ned was actually Satan?

  36. There have been a couple comments above about how laws against prostitution are dumb laws, and maybe so – but Spitzer apparently didn’t think so when he was prosecuting prostitution rings. This goes beyond dumbass. It transcends unethical and approaches evil. Spitzer blows Clinton out of the water, sleaze-wise; Clinton betrayed his family, whereas Spitzer betrayed public trust. The law? Just for little people and political enemies, I guess.

  37. You would think that for 5 Large a go, you would at least get a complimentary gift basket and novelty T-shirt along with the prostitute.

  38. Spitzer had a pattern of abusing his office. He would use a lot of publicity to try to intimidate targets without having to prosecute them. He’s a demogogue.

  39. All I want to know is what the girl specialized in and what it was that Spitzer asked for that was ‘unsafe’. I don’t care about the money – give me the juicy details!

  40. Steve Burnap:

    if I was going to try to spend $80k on something behind her back, it’d be very fast, very red and parked somewhere.

    Well, assuming this hooker is now in or facing jail (and is suitably embarrassed by all the attention) that pretty much still describes her, spot on.

    Also, Ex-Fed

    He looks like an ill-conceived muppet controlled by someone with a bad hand cramp.

    That sentence is so full of win, it has its own superdelegates. Projectile ROTFLMAO.

  41. Granted, he’s a dumbass.
    Granted, he shouldn’t have been catchable in the first place.

    They are NOT going to try and bust you for bribery if you are the one loosing the money.

    Looks to me as though the Feds got him through warrentless wiretapping the political opposition and then had to come up with some jive excuse as to how they were on to him in the first place.

  42. AGAIN,

    Ya can fix your car

    YA can fix a leaky faucet

    Ya can even fix you cat…..

    BUT

    “Ya can’t fix stupid”.

  43. Shall we pass a can around for donations to buy Mrs. Spitzer an “I’M WITH STUPID—>” t-shirt?

    And for Mr. Spitzer, there’s an “I’M WITH STUPID” t-shirt available, where the arrow points down.

  44. Well Elliot Spitzer may be a dumb ass, but at least he’s not as dumb as this guy

    Tehran’s police chief, Reza Zarei, has been arrested after he was found nude in a local brothel with six naked prostitutes, according to report on the Iranian Farda News.

    Farda News is a website said to be close to the mayor of Tehran and former chief of the police forces, Mohammed Bagher Qalibaf.

    Following the raid, Zarei stepped down from his post as police chief. The news of his arrest however was not reported by any official Iranian news agency.

    Probably because he’ll never be heard from again.

    But I have two questions:

    They have prostitutes in Tehran?

    and

    Six?

  45. Probably because he’ll never be heard from again.

    But I have two questions:

    They have prostitutes in Tehran?

    and

    Six?

    Read Persepolis. Iran isn’t really that different from anywhere else. What makes you think they wouldn’t have prostitutes in Tehran? Yeah, they have an oppressive theocracy in control, but that doesn’t mean they stopped being human. I’m sure you’re right that he’ll never be seen again.

  46. Brett L in 3:

    Oh please please not the ‘petard’ discussion. I’ll resist if everyone else will.

    Why’d he do it? The power corrupts thing is an easy answer and probably correct but I have one other guess.

    He might have done it for the risk itself. Upfront I am not condoning it. “Out with the bum” I say. For one thing if that’s how he handles a budget I don’t want him anywhere near my tax money.

    But some people seem to get off on risk and he certainly took one of the biggest and stupidest risks of all.

    Otherwise – I got nothing. I don’t get it. -Shakes head-

  47. WizardDru in 62,

    Worse yet many of the prostitutes in Tehran are young women who were raped and then disowned by their families. That is awful, truly awful. This is one of the reasons I don’t favor a blanket legalization of prostitution anymore. It can lead to some very bad places.

    Under certain controlled conditions prostitution would probably be OK but it is easy for it to cross the line into exploitation and worse.

  48. WizarDru @ 62

    Yeah, they have an oppressive theocracy in control, but that doesn’t mean they stopped being human.

    Of course. But the great thing about this is who Reza Zarei is (uh, was). He wasn’t just Tehran’s police chief

    Over the past year Zarei was in charge of enforcing the Islamic dress code on Iranian women with the purpose of “moralizing of the city.”

    It is alleged that in the past six months, hundreds of young people have been arrested in Iran for not respecting the Islamic code of behavior.

    Tripp @ 64

    Worse yet many of the prostitutes in Tehran are young women who were raped and then disowned by their families.

    No. Worse yet is that

    According to Iranian revolutionary laws women engaging in prostitution are sentenced to death.

    While

    Two members of Iranian national football team were sentenced to 275 whips after they were found in Tehran brothel.

  49. Frank @ 65

    The hypocrisy of a police chief “in charge of enforcing the Islamic dress code on Iranian women with the purpose of “moralizing of the city” doesn’t surprise me.

    According to my friend who lived in Yemen for three months, and confirmed in Persepolis, cultures that make women dress ultra-conservatively do so because they believe that if any part of woman shows, men just won’t be able to restrain themselves. Women must cover up so that men won’t have to learn to control themselves (it’s just assumed that they can’t).

    The consequence of this is that women who don’t cover themselves can be viewed as “asking for it.” My friend said that going out alone at night in Yemen as a women was like asking to be sexually assaulted–it was almost viewed as permissible.

    There are a couple great scenes in Persepolis relating to this: one where she points out the double standard of making the female students at her art school wear baggy, shapeless burqas while the male students are allowed to wear tight pants, and another one where she’s running, late to class, and an authority figure tells her to stop running because it makes her butt move in provocative ways. She tells him to stop looking, then.

  50. AynSavoy @66

    cultures that make women dress ultra-conservatively do so because they believe that if any part of woman shows, men just won’t be able to restrain themselves.

    Yes.

    In June of 2004 I blogged essentially the same point.

    But I wonder if the same dynamic isn’t going on with hardline morality crusaders everywhere: They are trying to externalize their own weakness.

    In anycase, I am generally suspicious of such people.

  51. Frank,

    Oh yeah. Repression brings obsession. Normal human feelings and impulses that are labeled as “bad” and repressed gives those feelings even more power.

    For those who say that I am condoning bad behavior (the standard reply to this idea from some) please note that I am talking about feelings and impulses, NOT actions.

    By acknowledging that I am attracted to women even after being married it is fairly easy for me to control my actions and not act on those feelings. I accept my feelings and control my actions. By accepting the feelings they pass quickly. Besides, my wife and I have an agreement – I don’t cheat and she doesn’t kill me. (grin)

  52. Frank @ 67

    I’m wondering the same thing too. Is this like a closet alcoholic, crusading to get liquor stores shut down?

    Of course, we don’t know they’re only doing it to remove their temptation. So we ignorantly applaud their crusade as worthy, unsuspectingly hail them as noble and, belatedly, discover the awful truth.

    And then we have a fit while we distance ourselves ;)

  53. Oh please please not the ‘petard’ discussion. I’ll resist if everyone else will.

    Er…the Petard Maneuver?

    Make it so.

  54. Am I the only one who doesn’t care what other people do with their own genitals? I mean, really – if he weren’t a public figure, nobody would care, right? Sure, it’s illegal and one can argue that there are some very valid hygenic reasons that the trade is illegal even if one puts aside the uglier realities of the oldest profession, but it’s hardly ever prosecuted anymore – unless you’re trying to get some on Craigslist, in which case, judging from the courtroom action, there’s a 90% chance you’re talking to a cop and will be arrested. Still, isn’t the rightous outrage thing being waaaaaaaay overdone?

    I think the US needs to get over itself very, very soon. Don’t let the politicians have so much power in the first place, and you won’t mind so much if they get the occasional beej or side-action. In fact, you probably wouldn’t be paying attention to them at all. Wouldn’t it be lovely if the politicians were stripped of their power so we could go back to ignoring them?

  55. Kia @71 – it’s not about going to a prostitute (not entirely), it’s about the hypocrisy of condemning prostitutes while taking kickbacks from/running a ring of/frequenting them.

    It’s about calling yourself “tough on crime” and breaking the laws you are setting forth.

    It’s about putting yourself in the public’s eye then essentially mooning them.

    It’s about lying and deceit. The fact that it was prostitution only matters in that he stated he would be tough on prostitution, or something to that effect. It shows the hypocrisy.

    It’s just like Gay Bashers getting caught in a public urinal soliciting gay sex, or Reverends demonizing strip clubs then being caught on tape sticking dollar bills down a stripper’s g-string.

    It’s not about how you use your genitals. It’s about how you run your mouth.

  56. But they’re politicians. Running their mouth is what they do! Plus, if hypocrisy is the standard, there wouldn’t be a politician left standing. In fact, consider the “hypocrisy” standard for a moment.

    The American people only seem to act when someone gets *caught* in an actual lie with no way out and no plausible deniability. As long as someone can lie, obfuscate, threaten, bully, or bluff their way out, Americans apparently just don’t care. In fact, there may be some elements of society which approve of a successful exit from an apparently fatal error. Wall Street certainly approves when CEOs crater their companies and float away on golden parachutes. The voting public doesn’t care that it has been lied to repeatedly and its public coffers have been plundered.

    The American people are hypocrites of the first order. They say they want law and order, truth and justice, yet they do nothing to make that happen.

    How can this standard lead to anything like a good ending? I submit that it will not. First will come the hard times brought about by bad decisions, excessive tolerance of stupidity and cupidity, and massive irresponsibility. Then will come hard people who *will* solve the problems the only way they can.

  57. KIA,

    Yikes. Methinks you’ve been paying too much attention to the US media. For the record this is how I enumerated Spitzer’s transgressions in another forum:

    Soliciting a prostitute – illegal
    Breaking vow of sexual faithfulness to wife: immoral
    Enforcing prostitution laws while breaking them: hypocritical
    Opening self to blackmail: Breach of the public trust

    If you are trying to say that Americans in general are conflicted about sex – well duh. Remember we got the Puritans and the ‘criminals’ went to Australia.

    I am curious about one thing. If the European politicians do not have the power then who does over there?

    Oh, and here comes a cheap shot back at you:

    The American people are hypocrites of the first order.

    Europeans stink. I mean BO – body odor.

    See how fun sweeping generalities are?

  58. rayyyon 12 Mar 2008 at 7:16 pm
    “I’m surprised how extreme the condemnation has been.

    I mean, here we have a guy who had the balls to take on the Wall St crooks (and win). Not your average Joe, yes?”

    Rayyyon, that’s *why* so many have gotten down on him – they haven’t forgiven him for f*cking with Wall Street. Go to an allegedly ‘libertarian’ website, and see them cackle with glee.

  59. Kia @ 73 – Everyone is a hypocrite of some order. Your comment is an unfair and sweepingly general condemnation of every single person I know. Please refrain from such in the future.

    Again – if someone says he is specifically tough on prostitution, he better not get caught with one. If someone says they are tough on crime, he better not get caught committing one. If someone says they are against gays, they better not get caught having sex with one.

    There are plenty of politicians you never hear about. Why? Because they are doing their jobs and not soliciting sex or doing drugs or some other such nonsense – and I believe that would be the lion’s share of them.

    I’ll say it one more time so you aren’t confused by any sort of sarcastic or other tone from me. If you have come out publicly and made a spectacle of yourself, have the sense not to get caught doing what you have just been so vocal against.

    It really is not that hard to NOT smoke crack, NOT solicit a prostitute, NOT go to strip clubs, NOT to solicit gay sex in bathrooms, etc. These are things you have to take a specific action to accomplish, with a definite goal in mind. It would be one thing if someone had some sort of provable disease or something, but if they do, they need to get help instead of waiting to see if anyone will notice, and THEN getting help.

    And THAT is where the hypocrisy lie. I hope this helps.

  60. He’d have to pay for sex if he continually makes that facial expression. He looks like he’s trying to swallow his own teeth.

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