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Poetic Justice for Spitzer

Poetic Justice for Spitzer

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Apparently in his heart of hearts, Eliot Spitzer agrees with my position that people should have the right to pay for sex. But he built a political career on locking sex-workers and their bosses up for accepting the money.

This kind of story gets to the core of why I started Black Sun Journal in the first place. It was because of people in positions of authority who want one set of rules for themselves and another for everyone else. I can’t think of enough foul epithets for this despicable soon-to-be-ex-governor. He deserves whatever scorn, ridicule, and ruin society will now dish up for him.

It’s one thing to stand up for your principles. If someone does that, they get my grudging respect, even if I may disagree with them. But hypocrisy always sends a stench to high heaven, whether committed by a religious figure or not. There’s something about power, political or otherwise, that warps the mind. It makes people feel invincible, and it makes them unaccountable.

Scandals of this nature are delicious, because it’s so much fun to watch the mighty trip over their own shoelaces. I always hope society will grow a little bit and move forward in the understanding of what is and is not realistic to expect in terms of such anachronisms as vice laws. But it seems not.

Every time this happens, (Larry Craig, Ted Haggard, etc.) people instead conclude that the fallen hypocrite had some fatal flaw that the rest of us don’t. They take the opposite lesson and conclude that we just need to find leaders with “better morals.” Ain’t gonna happen. Few people can resist how power ravages the mind. If they could, would we still be having these major sex and money scandals every five minutes?

NEW YORK (AP) – Eliot Spitzer knew how to catch bad guys by following the money.

As attorney general, he once broke up a call-girl ring and locked up 18 people on corruption, money-laundering and prostitution charges. He ruthlessly investigated the pay packages of Wall Street executives and was so familiar with shady financial maneuvers that he rose to become the top racketeering prosecutor in Manhattan.

But in the end, it appears that Spitzer may have been done in by the same behavior he built a career out of prosecuting.

In fact, it seems he was tripped up by some of the very financial accounting methods he used so successfully against multibillion-dollar Wall Street firms.

For one thing, the governor initially drew the attention of federal investigators because of cash payments to an account operated by a call-girl ring, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of because of the sensitivity of the case.

Banks are required to file Suspicious Activity Reports to the government whenever they observe something they fear may be a crime.

In court papers, Client 9—identified by another law enforcement official as Spitzer—hurried to get more than $4,000 in cash to pay a call girl at a Washington hotel.

That kind of activity, repeated over time, is just the kind of thing that would set off alarm bells with a bank’s compliance officer, who is trained to be on the lookout for what is called structuring or “smurfing”—a pattern of transactions aimed at hiding the nature or purpose of certain money.

Spitzer of all people should have known that, said Miami-based lawyer Gregory Baldwin, credited with coining the term “smurfing” in the as a federal prosecutor.

“I think he’s done enough cases where he’s charged money laundering that he would know exactly what kind of information you get from the banks. It’s such a perfect example of what goes around, comes around,” he said.


Comments (6 comments)

Rusty Anchor / March 12th, 2008, 9:33 pm / #1

I agree that the hypocrisy is staggering, but I think his options should be carefully considered. Spitzer was an instrument of the law as a D.A., and he had to accept the law as written, not how he’d like it to be.

If every police officer, judge, etc…only enforced the laws that they agreed with, their careers and professional reputations would likely suffer. Same thing with Spitzer.

Since 2002, if not earlier, Spitzer has paid a lot of money to fuck (one would assume…) really, really hot chicks. What do virtually all men between age ? and ? want to do more than anything else?

Fuck hot chicks. I’d like this to be seen as an example of the hypocrisy of our society, rather than the hypocrisy of Eliot Spitzer.

BlackSun / March 13th, 2008, 12:09 am / #2

Rusty,

I agree with you–it does represent the hypocrisy of the society. However, Mr. Spitzer knew what he was getting into. I’d like to champion his right to–as you put it–fuck hot chicks. But he busied himself every day trying to take that right away from others. So now I will only mock him.

Of course Mr. Spitzer couldn’t selectively enforce the laws once he accepted his job. But he did have a choice to control his actions or step aside. He wanted it both ways. His own techniques of financial monitoring brought him down.

You must see the poetry in that.

Greg / March 13th, 2008, 10:34 pm / #3

How long before Eliot Spitzer announces that he has found a new faith or renewed his old one?

Rusty Anchor / March 14th, 2008, 12:50 pm / #4

Greg, yeah the alcohol excuse has been done too much recently, so if I were advising Spitzer, I’d have recommend the found-faith routine. He was just lost, but any day now he’ll be found…

Blacksun, I guess I’d be more down with mocking Spitzer if he was a Republican. I’m just being honest. On the bright side, I think Spitzer’s fall helps the case to legalize prostitution slightly.

The general public perception of prostitution is probably slightly more positive now, imo. Sex workers get a minor re-branding. The ultra-high prices he paid and the fancy hotels involved make it very different than, say, Hugh Grant getting a blowjob in his car on Sunset Ave. Or a politician getting caught with a cheap hooker in a sleazy motel.

Cristy / March 14th, 2008, 8:34 pm / #5

Rusty Anchor,

Spitzer wasn’t just a DA, he was also the Attornery General of New York State, which is a position that offers a lot more in the way of policy decision. You are right that law enforcement officials can’t be selective choose which laws they like, but they can decided what they support and speak out about. Spitzer touted his achievements in prosecuting prostitution rings. If he had only prosecuted them as was his legal duty and then made it clear that that was his only motivation in doing so, this would be a completely different situation.

Also, being male is not an excuse for lack of personal control. Not that I think that prostitution is wrong, but having this double standard where women’s sexual desires and needs are ignored and men’s are thought to be all consuming is bullshit. Let me ask you this, if it had been Mrs. Spitzer who was having sex with prostitutes, would you still be saying the same thing? That all women between certain ages want sex more than anything else?

Alex / March 15th, 2008, 4:52 am / #6

Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with the voluntary exchange of sexual favors for money. That’s the libertarian in me speaking.

I agree that the hypocrisy of fighting a war against something that you yourself are an avid consumer of is blatant and fully deserving of any bile that may be thrown.

But I think the problem isn’t the one politician. Any time people take their own belief that ‘other people’ need to be controlled and turn it into law, problems result. Sex is a basic, healthy biological urge. It’s the criminalization of one of the historically and socially normal mechanisms for fulfilling it that’s the problem. Illegal prostitution is more prone to disease, organized crime, and drug addiction than any sort of self or government regulated organization of those who provide it . Of course, I prefer the first solution, as any government is prone to ham-handedness on the subject, but flat illegality just exacerbates the problem.

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