Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Glass Houses

I'm just like everybody else who fools around with the written word. Some days it is really really hard to think of something to write about.

Today is not one of those days.

The New York Times reported yesterday that Elliot Spitzer, the Governor of New York was involved with a prostitution ring and that he had the misfortune to be caught on a federal wiretap discussing a rendezvous with an escort in Washington where he was going to attend a meeting. And if this were not shameful enough, the feds also have the girl he rented on tape describing how Spitzer had a reputation among the working girls for being "difficult" and that he had asked girls to do things that were "unsafe" in the past.

So not only is he a hypocrite. He may also be a freak.

Is he a hypocrite because he committed crimes while an elected official and cheated on his wife? Sure. But that's not what makes this transaction so completely despicable. People yield to temptation over sex and money all the time. Even politicians. There's hardly a soul among us who hasn't done something completely stupid with their pants off. Is it because he fooled around with an escort? Not really. In my mind what two consenting adults do behind closed doors is nobodies business. Not even the government's. I'm not suggesting for a minute that fooling around with the pros is such a good idea. I just refuse to believe that it is a hanging offense.

What makes Elliot Spitzer's behavior so despicable is that he made a political career out of his reputation as a hard assed prosecutor and State Attorney General of unimpeachable character who came down hard on white collar criminals and PROSTITUTION.

Louisiana's Edwin Edwards stole money by the fistful. He chased women relentlessly and he didn't make much of a secret of doing either. But he never was holier than thou about it. That's the big difference between a mere hypocrite and a scumbag.

And there's a difference between somebody who is knowledgeable about the criminal law and somebody who knows how to be a criminal. What did Spitzer in is that he ran the money he used to pay for sex through various dummy corporations in order to launder it. And he ran big sums of money through these shells. Indeed, the wiretap revealed that he paid the girl in Washington some 4 grand. 4 grand! For sex! This most likely caught the attention of the software at the bank that alerts the security people there that somebody seems to be "churning" some accounts there. Guess what? Depending on the dollar amount and the number of times you pass it all through, it might just get reported to the Treasury.

Nowadays I won't hardly see anybody outside my Zip Code much less take out a home equity loan to see somebodies skirt on the floor. Secondly, I would suspect that one can buy a lot of silence for a fairly nominal payment. You get to be known in some quarters as a guy who will throw 5 figures around for an evening's diversion and you might as well wear a sign around your neck that says, " I am an idiot. Please blackmail me."

Especially if you are the GODDAMN GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK!

I suspect that Spitzer will eventually be indicted or charged through a Bill of Information with using the banking and telephone system along with the Internet to structure financial transactions to avoid the reporting requirements in furtherance of a felony.

He really needs to plead guilty. Otherwise, the world might find out what he liked the girls to do.


Polycarp said...

In the last four days, Catholic has won its first Arkansas state basketball championship, a hardnosed New York prosecutor and law-and-order governor has been revealed as a common, if difficult, John, Admiral Fallon was fired as military commander of the Middle East, the citizens of Mississippi voted overwhelmingly for an African-American presidential candidate, and Goerge Mason got back into the NCAA tournament. Truly these are the end times and the Rapture must be upon us.

Either that, or something completely unlikely is about to happen to even up the improbability accounting. Since the NCAA basketball tournament is right around the corner, it may be wise to avoid betting on favorites. TMFW knows basketball and I don't, but my guess is that in order to square the improbablity ratios of the universe, look for George Mason to beat UNC in the final.

tmfw said...

This brings to mind a wonderful story about the NCAA tournament and certain improvident bragging that I am not sure that I have discussed.

Stay tuned.