Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Eliot Spitzer to Resign at 11:30 Today

UPDATE: Here's a video of Spitzer's resignation announcement

The Washington Post is reporting that, according to unnamed sources, Eliot Spitzer will resign at 11:30 today. According to the Post,
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Gov. Eliot Spitzer has decided to resign, completing a stunning fall from power after he was nationally disgraced by links to a high-priced prostitution ring, a top state official said Wednesday.

Spitzer was scheduled to announce his resignation at 11:30 a.m., according to a second top Spitzer staffer. The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made.

Spitzer would be replaced by Lt. Gov. David Paterson, who will become New York's first black governor.
Calls for his resignation came quickly on the heels of the revelation that Spitzer, who launched his career as a top corruption fighting New York prosecutor, had spent thousands of dollars on a call girl.

According the Washington Post, Spitzer had been weighing his options and hoping to use the resignation as a bargaining chip to avoid federal prosecution for transporting a prostitute across state lines, a violation of the Mann Act. Calls for his impeachment came from Republican lawmakers in Albany as well.

Regardless of the reasons for his doing it, Spitzer is doing the right thing in stepping down. His behavior goes beyond a private transgression. Besides the fact that he is a public figure, he broke several laws, including a federal one. In addition, he made his career fighting just this type of corruption, which is what made it lethally hard for him to overcome the scandal.

Meanwhile, of course, we are all still waiting with bated breath for David Vitter and Larry Craig to do the right thing, as they too broke the law.


SIlence Dogood said...

I mentioned elsewhere, but the Federal Gov't as a rule doesn't proseucte Mann Act cases anymore unless the prostitute is under the age of consent and/or participating against her will. I don't buy the "bargaining chip" theory some reporters have speculated on as a consequence.

That said, Spitzer undoubtedly did break the law, and nothing good should come of that. I'm glad he's resigned so that the people of New York can put this sordid little story behind them.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

I agree with your points. And as I also said on the other post thread, I suspect the federal government was going to use the threat of the Mann Act, or some other laws, as a bargaining chip to get Spitzer to resign.

Normally, though, they don't prosecute the client, just the prostitute.

Isophorone said...

I agree with you on all counts here. (Scary, isn't it?) Spitzer was pretty good at prosecuting people for violations (as interpreted by him) of obscure laws, which is kind of an irony here. (The Wall Street Journal has an editorial today on this very point -- see My guess is that there may be more to the Spitzer saga than just the Mann Act violations, so we'll see how this shakes out. Given his reported patterns of behavior, I start to wonder how he treats his wife and kids.

This whole episode raises a question: What if a female politician was caught cheating on a spouse? Would the press and public treat her differently (e.g., worse) than they treat a man?

Silence Dogood said...

isophrone, I hate to admit it but that actually is a great question. I don't want to think about how a woman would be treated in Spitzer's position.

Dan said...

As a bit of trivia, I was fascinated to learn that the list of those who have been prosecuted under the Mann Act includes both Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Manson.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

It's nice to know he's in such good company.