November 6, 2008

"I resigned my position as Governor because I recognized that conduct was unworthy of an elected official."

"I once again apologize for my actions."

No charges against Eliot Spitzer.
Who must be cursing in private now. Remind me why this elected governor had to resign.

62 comments:

Seven Machos said...

Hypocrisy is a tribute vice pays to virtue. That's why.

MayBee said...

Exactly.

He had gone after others for the same thing.
Plus, he faces no charges but what he did was clearly illegal. Does that not matter anymore? He can run again for reelection if it does not.

MadisonMan said...

What seven machos said. Hypocrisy. It makes it very hard to govern.

Palladian said...

"Remind me why this elected governor had to resign."

Remind me why this elected governor got away with something for which your "average citizen" would have had the book thrown at them?

Seven Machos said...

I feel compelled to mention that I didn't invent that maxim.

TMink said...

It is a false tribute, alas.

Trey

Ann Althouse said...

I feel sorry for New York, losing a top-notch governor, whom the people elected.

Seven Machos said...

Rule of law is vital in a free society. If you can't follow the law -- especially simple, bright-line laws like, oh, just for instance, don't fuck call girls -- then how good a governor can you possibly be?

Pogo said...

A top notch governor?
Steamroller Eliot?

The only reason they went easy on him is they figured the resignation was sufficient punishment for the crime. Had he not resigned, he would have been tried, and likely convicted. Try governing when you're on trial for money laundering and prostitution.

Laws for thee but not for me?
He'd be seen as illegitimate if nothing had happened to him, if not an outright laughingstock.

sean said...

The feds don't normally charge johns, but state and local police do. So I think it would be difficult for the chief executive of a state to be known to have violated a law for which citizens of that state are daily incarcerated (albeit usually not for very long).

It's like drugs for personal use. If Customs catches you with personal consumption quantities, they confiscate them, and detain you for a while, but the U.S. Attorney usually has something more important to do than a federal trial. Nonetheless, I think an elected official who was arrested under these circumstances would have to resign.

Even if you don't agree with the reasoning above, the people's other elected representatives do, and Spitzer would have been impeached if he hadn't resigned.

MayBee said...

Top notch?
He was already embroiled in the state trooper scandal, and many think he forced Abe Greenburg out of AIG just because he could.

No one man is so important (or top-notch) that he can't be held accountable.

holdfast said...

A big reason he had to resign was because he was a complete a**hole to everyone, so when the Shitzer hit the fan, there was nobody, Rep or Dem, to stand up for him. His personal crusade tore through Wall Street like a buzz saw, hitting innocent as well as guilty parties and destroying billions in shareholder value. His smug, righteous attitude was worthy of the worst sort of fundamentalist religious nut AND he committed real crimes while and AG and a Governor, the same crimes that he put others in jail for! How could he not resign?

As a law professor, are you not at least vaguely familiar with a little thing called "the law"?

Jeebus, that has got to be the stupidest question of a very stupid autumn.

And to be clear, I have no problem with legalizing prostitution - I don't think it will really help, since the nasty, ugly, underaged kind will continue to be illegal and continue to happen, but it won't really hurt either.

Barney Rubble said...

Lost my whole comment, so here's the short version. We didn't lose a "top notch governor" -- his poll numbers were terrible when he went down (pardon the pun, and anyway i believe that's not exactly what he was into). He was under investigation for pulling a stunt straight out of Nixon/CREEP-land on the state senate majority leader using the state police to bring him down. And let's not even get into the way he went after people as AG, looking to destroy them -- not merely hold them accountable for legal transgressions, but destroy them. He deserved what he got. And don't pity us poor New Yorkers, like we're such puritanical provincials that we didn't realize what a super talented leader we were losing. He was a hack, just happened to present better.

Steven said...

Spitzer didn't have to resign, he chose to resign. No law forced his resignation, and nobody held a gun to his head.

Seven Machos said...

Here's the burning question: how good would the sex have to be for you to lose your job and become publicly humiliated?

MadisonMan said...

Don't put burning in a question about sex. It calls to mind Python's Medical Love Song.

The Drill SGT said...

Barney and Holdfast have it right. He was an legal bully, who used his offices to destroy people. Guilty and Innocent. anybody who crossed him.

He continued to pillage his way across the landscape in Albany. Abusing his power, and covering up serious crimes. His popularity plummeted.

Then, when he committed crimes that he was found out at? He looked around and the only person he could get to stand on the podium with him was his wife. sadly. No Democrats in the state, or as I recall the country were publicly supporting him. Certainly not his two Senators.

You clearly have a different standard for Democrats. He was a much bigger crook than Stevens.

The Drill SGT said...

Nixonian

Cedarford said...

Ann Althouse said...
I feel sorry for New York, losing a top-notch governor, whom the people elected.


Then I feel sorry for you, as a smug, self-entitled princeling of one of the wealthist Jewish NYC dynasties hit his wall.

As holdfast said, he was a complete a**hole to everyone, so when the Shitzer hit the fan, there was nobody, Rep or Dem, to stand up for him.

Good riddance to the smarmy, power-hungry, psychotically ambitious shithead.
Perfect SATs? Well, "la ti dah"....Spitzer did nothing to warn of the collapse of Wall Street, just abused his power to criminalize those he disliked.

Seven Machos said...

GODDAMMIT. How does Jewishness matter here? Did it compel the man to have sex with pricey call girls? Do non-Jews not have sex with pricey call girls?

Fuck you, Cedarford. You suck.

Host with the Most said...

Ann,

you gotta admit. holdfast got your number on this one.


Don D. Buchwald, the court-appointed lawyer for Ashley Alexandra Dupré, a prostitute Mr. Spitzer met in Washington on Feb. 13, said, “Ashley is pleased that this matter, is now, like the former governor previously was, behind her.

Dhalgren said...

Ann said: "I feel sorry for New York, losing a top-notch governor..."

Besides joining Bloomberg in encouraging city hospital residents and fellows to learn how to perform surgical abortions, what did he do, exactly? He fined Lehman and other firms for not archiving their emails properly. He built an image of being a hammer who would fight for the common man.

But he had a big mouth. And he made enemies quickly. And this is what happens when hot shot politicians are taken-down in a political hit job.

He committed no crime. Nor did Bill Clinton. But there is a difference. People liked Bill. No one like Elliot.

TMink said...

Here's the burning question: how good would the sex have to be for you to lose your job and become publicly humiliated?

Or was it addiction? Addiction takes different turns than pleasure. They usually start that way, but work the brain in a very different manner.

Trey

AlphaLiberal said...

Bad press.

America has a juvenile relationship with sex.

Also, this was a political hit job. The leaking of the investigation to the news media stank to high heaven.

PJ said...

I feel sorry for New York, losing a top-notch governor, whom the people elected

I will grant you that the people elected him, but I don't think you can defend that "top-notch" claim. He was a bully, a deceiver, and a rank abuser of power. And, he did not have to resign, he decided to resign. If you think he thereby deprived the people of New York of his sterling leadership, then your beef is with him.

Don't cry for us, Annie Althouse.

Seven Machos said...

Alpha Liberal is, of course, speaking of Larry Craig.

EDH said...

tutela valui

Translation: Without a protection, Spitzer swallows.

Buford Gooch said...

He had to resign because the long knives were coming out. He had made so many enemies that they were just waiting for him to do something that would allow them to skewer him. This is a horrid little man, and he was about to get a return on his earlier activities. He would have been impeached, and almost certainly convicted and tossed out of office.

Seven Machos said...

No charges against RICHARD NIXON. Who must be cursing in private now. Remind me why this elected PRESIDENT had to resign.

David said...

Ann, what the hell was top notch about Eliot Spitzer? One of the greatest threats to civil liberties in the country is the rapacity (for reputation and power, mainly) of government prosecutors. This guy helped to write the book on how to try cases by press conferences and releases. He was a natural bully and demagogue. Also a liar. We are damn lucky he has been removed from the real shot he had at even greater power.

All the cases and prosecutions that Spitzer brought? Did any of them go to the kind of conduct that has rocked the financial system? No, they did not. In fact, Spitzer drove Hank Greenburg out of AIG, and Greenburg's incompetent successors let some arrogant pinheads in London grind one of the world's greatest and most important financial institutions into dust.

Spitzer is the one of the best examples I can think of recently for the proof that character is superior to brains. Smart guy? Yes. But an arrogant, self-absorbed and dishonest leader.

former law student said...

I feel sorry for New York, losing a top-notch governor, whom the people elected.

The people did not know they were electing a whoremonger.

He violated the Mann Act: Spitzer later revealed to investigators that on multiple occasions he arranged for women to travel from one state to another state to engage in prostitution.

Aren't there whores in DC? Why have them sent out from NY?

Seven Machos said...

I have lived in New York City and Washington. My sense is that Washington's whores don't hold a candle to Manhattan's. And when you have all that power, you deserve the finest [[xpletive that I want to use badly but won't]].

Revenant said...

America has a juvenile relationship with sex.

So as an adult, you think there's nothing wrong with cheating on your wife? Or are you just saying that while YOU feel that way, you wouldn't if you were from one of those enlightened foreign lands?

Revenant said...

Aren't there whores in DC? Why have them sent out from NY?

I would assume he liked the particular women he regularly hired in New York.

holdfast said...

"Aren't there whores in DC? Why have them sent out from NY?"

-Plenty, but Congress was in session, so they were otherwise employed legislating for the nation.

Alex said...

As a Jew I have to say that liberal fascist Jews like Spitzer disgust me, and I call out to fair minded Americans not to hold it against the rest of Jews.

vnjagvet said...

Another vote against the ex-Governor. I suspect he was given an offer he couldn't refuse (all handled very legally and tactfully, of course). Face indictment or resign. After a certain amount of time passed (so that it was clear that his political ambitions were history) the charges were quietly dropped. Deal accepted by all sides.

He got off easy if you ask me.

Not surprisingly, there was little objection from the New York electorate or from any of the political powers that be.

I have a nagging feeling that the comments of the blog administrator might be subtle irony.

mcg said...

Alex, we hear ya. Except for Cedarford.

Chip Ahoy said...

Laughingstock. That's a funny word. I don't even know what to visualize, which adds to its funniness.

Palladian said...

"Bad press.

America has a juvenile relationship with sex.

Also, this was a political hit job. The leaking of the investigation to the news media stank to high heaven."

You're a disgusting little person, but of course we already knew that.

Beldar said...

Prof. Althouse asked, simply: "Remind me why this elected governor had to resign."

I answer, simply:

He wasn't charged with a violation of federal law, but he admitted, at a minimum, to having deliberately and repeatedly broken New York State law.

I know you know better than to suggest, as I think you did here, that not being charged under federal law (which generally doesn't cover vice crimes) is equivalent to being innocent of any crime, state or federal.

Say, if you wish, that the New York laws against prostitution are bad laws and should be repealed. I'd agree with you. Spitzer, when governor, did not; he strengthened them. And he broke them, deliberately, repeatedly, stupidly, in a way so reckless as to very strongly suggest mental illness.

Remind me why you asked why he had to resign?

Roger J. said...

good riddance to a scum bag. He used public power to pursue personal agendas. he got off easy

Where was Alpha lib on Foley, Craig on the sex issues? AWOL, of course, because only democrats get passes. AL's is the liberal democrat incarnate. Only a liberal democrat can defend the indefensible.

mrs whatsit said...

Ann, people thought he was going to be top-notch, but it really didn't work out that way. He had been a crusading prosecutor and he took that attitude into the governor's office -- slash and burn, no compromises, I am right and absolutely everyone else is absolutely wrong. He had only been in office a little over a year when the scandal blew up but he had already alienated a lot of people by adopting quixotic positions and then demanding that everyone else fall into line, without seeming to realize that he couldn't make them do that.

It's true that the people elected him and then lost him, but it's not really all that sad. When he turned out to be such a hypocrite (he had prosecuted others for precisely his offense, and vigorously, too) his whole edifice collapsed. Had he continued in office he would have had no credibility to work with at ALL.

Bissage said...

(1) Remind me why this elected governor had to resign.

Because he wanted to spend more time with his family?

(2) I feel sorry for New York, . . .

Sure, but what about me? You should feel sorry for me.

Who do you think Emperors Club VIP hired to keep its girls in top shape until the heat’s off?

Me! That’s who!

And I’m . . . e x h a u s t e d.

(3) Joke (2) is dedicated in loving memory to this guy.

hdhouse said...

Remembering his press conference to announce his resignation, i think he was given a choice of prosecution under the Mann Act and some vague reference to some of the money perhaps not being his or his wife's but the cost of part of the transactions (security perhaps) born by the State of new York, OR going back home and living with a wife who looked like she would kill him first chance...

I think the prosecutors gave him the harsher sentence.

Meade said...

Apparently he has a personal moral code which he broke, got caught breaking, and now he is trying to justify himself to that code. Many of us, including, I'm guessing, the majority of voters in the state of New York still have similar codes. They goes something like: Don't break your promises to your spouse, to your children, and to your family. Don't lie and don't take actions that might compel you to tell lies. Don't commit adultery. Don't treat other people in ways you yourself do not wish to be treated.

Most of the rest of us are tempted and sometimes yield to temptations to break our personal moral codes. The difference is, most of the rest of us are not trusted publicly elected officials.

Since he "recognized that [his private] conduct was unworthy of [a publicly] elected official," a governor, he had no choice but to resign from his publicly elected position. Otherwise, he wouldn't really be fully recognizing that his conduct was unworthy.

I too feel a little sorry for the people of New York who elected him. How could they have known that he would conduct his private life in such a way?

Richard Fagin said...

I don't know whether Gov. Spitzer served long enough to be judged "top notch" but his conduct as attorney general is not likely to be viewed as top notch by, for example, AIG shareholders. Attorney General Spitzer seriously abused the power of his office, causing a number of completely innocent people finacial ruin.

The whoremongering was the least of Spitzer's conduct that was unworthy of a public official. Frankly I suspect most people don't really care about the prostitution, but many of his targets as AG deeply wanted Spitzer to get a comeuppance, and he unwisely left himself open for just that. That speaks very poorly about his judgment.

Prof. Althouse, on what basis do you claim he was a top notch governor?

You want another old parable that applies here? People in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks.

AprilApple said...

"Remind me why he had to resign?"

Exactly!

Only Republicans who pull this type of shenanigans need to resign. Democrats can do whatever they want - they are above the law!

Zeb Quinn said...

I have a nagging feeling that the comments of the blog administrator might be subtle irony

Nah, it's just her trolling her own blog again.

holdfast said...

Alex - agreed 100% - Spitzer really was a classic liberal fascist, but for him a lot of it was his defective personality layered on top of his political beliefs and lack of scruples. I had occasion to meet the guy once at a firm function back when he was AG. He was definitely smart (as in clever and quick) but his lack of patience and general nastiness was rather apparent.

Kirby Olson said...

There were apparently a LOT of other irregularities, and broken laws. His resignation was a kind of plea-bargain.

I live in NY state, and the rumors were flying fast and furious that he was being investigated for dozens of other problems by the state police.

I have no details, and probably now no details will surface.

He was immensely popular, and would have done some good things for SUNY, but it's apparently over.

Chris said...

"His resignation was a kind of plea-bargain." That's right. Given the "acceptance of responsibility" language from the feds, I'd say that the resignation helped him not get indicted.

BJK said...

....and I thought the price he used to pay to get himself off was steep!

Nichevo said...

C4, I usually ignore you, but inasmuch as your remarks were directed at a Marine veteran, IIRC, they were perfectly whorish.

Cedarford said...

Nichevo said...
C4, I usually ignore you, but inasmuch as your remarks were directed at a Marine veteran, IIRC, they were perfectly whorish.


No, you are referring to the power-thirsty, publicity-crazy prick over in CT, Attorney General Blumenthal, who was a Reservist in the Marines that did office work for a few years on weekends. Rather than go with being Drafted to Vietnam or seeking grad school deferment. (Another NYC child of privilege and huge brains and ambition, he went the George Bush reservist route).

As for Marines, they have their share of slime, and lack any immunity amulet from criticism simply because they are or were Marines.

Just today news came 4 Marine scumbags (3 black, one hispanic) are under arrest for attacking, robbing, then gang-banging the female of a biracial couple before torturing and killing the two. (Near Camp Pendleton in California)
Perhaps even scummier than the 4 Marines who kidnapped then gang-raped a 12-year old child on Okinawa and did absolute Wonders for Nipponese-American relations, acceptance of US military, particularly black soldiers. (All 4 child-rape perps were blacks).

holdfast said...

I really hate to agree with C4 on anything, but let's not forget that John Murtha was also a Marine, once.

Original Mike said...

I'm surprised (a bit appalled, frankly) at your question, Ann. You would have him cling to power and the public spotlight even as you have acknowledged the damage Bill Clinton's public battles did to feminism?

Other's above have done a good job of describing his arrogance and abuse of power. My very low opinion of him actually want up a notch when he resigned, rather than follow the example of several other disgraced politicians. And whether he means it or not, his recent statement "I resigned my position as Governor because I recognized that conduct was unworthy of an elected official." is spot on.

CarmelaMotto said...

Ann - he was a thug. When John Whitehead wrote an op-ed defending Hank Greenberg, Eliot Spitzer called Whitehead to say, "You're next."

A thug.

As his ego grew, so did his tactics to destroy and he imploded.

Good riddence.

He was elected because he "stuck it" to rich people and, he was a Democrat (pretty much all it takes to be elected in this state).

Nichevo said...

Oh, please don't confuse me with a defender of Gov. Spitzer's. No no nono no nono. //howls

However, the incessant personal characterizations of the targets of C4, Jewish in general or gentile as picked out ad hoc, always serve to fester the debate. I do think he is a whore and always tailors his opinions to their greatest usefulness rather than perfect candor or sincerity. Everybody rates the needle somewhere!

Of course it is difficult to tune to this because I cannot think of anybody Cedarford really likes. He is a misanthrope.

Of course he praises various terrorist-type people from time to time, but when you spend all day dreaming of hitting Jews over the head all day, it may be apt from time to time to say to your tool, "Nice hammer! Good hammer," rather than lamenting its finish, its heft or the fact that it was made in China by slaves.

Since C4 seems to regard people as objects, I sometimes wonder if he knows any. It is a pity, C4, you have Gary Rosen's number, or, rather, can reliably get his goat, but I really just want to understand what formed you. You are the mystery man. Nobody knows anything about you. Did you grow up in one of those families like in "The Chamber?" Gene Hackman seemed to belong to the wing of the KKK that targeted Jews instead of blacks, I guess they have an org chart.

In Alaska do they pick on Eskimos or Inuit? In Hawaii? Do they have a KKK group in Hawaii of all places? I almost doubt it. Poor Barack Obama, raised in such adversarial circumstances.

I am a New Yorker and know full well the arrogant-bastard-heit of Spitzer. SRSLY. And thank you for the correction, C4, but apparently that Marine was good enough for another Marine I know.

And no, in general from the Marines I have known, they ought to be kept in cages and fed raw meat until you want them to go kill somebody. I have no doubt that even now in, say, a carjacking scenario, Rep. Murtha would defend himself and his family as best he could. I just question the advisability of even letting him open his mouth, let alone vote, let alone legislate!

But let us turn to the question at hand, shaking C4's conversational mire from our boots. Ann (and, indeed, professor, you have earned the sobriquet of "Ann" if not "Heather") is best passing it off as sarcasm, if ever put to the test.

Let me be bipartisan. I will volunteer for my share of a small tax hike to fund a new appropriation.

The appropriation is for a servant to accompany the President in motorcades, at speeches and everywhere suitable, to whisper in his ear the proper historical tags, e.g. Gloria transit; thou art mortal; this too shall pass.

Barack Obama, Barack Hussein Obama, is the next President of the United States. I for one welcome our new socialist masters.

As for Spitzer, "resign or be prosecuted" is, I think, sewn on pillows by blind nuns on lunch break at the FBI cafeteria. It's the pasty modern equivalent of "Fall on your sword!"

Does anyone remember if Andrew Jackson ever dueled WHILE President?

Trooper York said...

Eliot Spitzer delighted in destroying other people. Karma got him along with his arrogance and hubris. He tried to destroy the beverage industry in New York State in a power play that is little noted in comparison to his activities on Wall St. He stopped practices that had been going on since Prohibition times because he insisted on the "letter" of the law. To wit, he stopped liquor distributors from holding promotions in small bars and restaurants which could often be the difference between some places staying open or being forced to close. When you add on the effects of the smoking ban and the deposit charges on cans and bottles he was well on the road to forcing many, many joints to shut down. Not that he would care because he was never in a neighborhood gin mill in his entirely fucking life.

Eliot Spitzer was universally despised by every segment of New York’s political and social landscape. It was the power of money (used illegally by way as fraudulent loans were made to his campaign by his family) and a uniformed electorate had elected someone who was shaping up to be a disaster for the state. There was a very good chance that he would have been on his way to impeachment because of his actions in the State Trooper scandal. Unlike Bill Clinton, he had no partisans on his side. If a Democratic governor can not summon up partisan Democrats to defend him in New York State, you know he was without hope.

To echo what many others have said to say he was a good governor is a remarkably stupid statement.

BJM said...

vnjagvet, that thought crossed my mind too.

Part of Ann's allure is that one is never quite sure if she is baiting her reader hamsters for her own amusement, knowing we will turn the comments wheel for hours on end.

Fortunately we enjoy the sound of our own arguments and good fun is had by all, nes pa?

Nichevo said...

Myself, I despise the insincere. But doubtless this is a form of wit above my pay grade.