As a resident of New Jersey, I am constantly exposed to the doings in the neighboring state of New York. Although I don't get to vote for their governor or the mayor of New York City, I hear about them constantly on the radio and I kind of feel a certain ownership of them, despite the fact they are in another state.
So imagine my surprise when I heard today that the Governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, has been availing himself of the services of a high-end prostitution ring and hiding the transfers of cash to this organization through shell corporations.
Now, coming from New Jersey, I suppose I shouldn't be that shocked, as you never know what's going to happen - our last governor, Jim McGreevy, announced his resignation while coming out as a gay man. Mind you, New Jersey residents wouldn't have had any problem with that - actually it had been a well-known fact in political circles - but he had given one of his love interests (who was woefully unqualified) a job in homeland security, and said love interest was suing him for sexual harrassment, which is what really prompted his sudden confession and resignation.
So now Eliot Spitzer, who used to be Attorney General of New York, and became Governor in 2006 on a pledge to bring higher ethical standards to the statehouse, has been caught in a federal investigation of a prostitution ring.
According to the Times,
"...One law enforcement official who has been briefed on the case said that Mr. Spitzer’s lawyers would probably meet soon with federal prosecutors to discuss any possible legal exposure. The official said the discussions were likely to focus not on prostitution, but on how it was paid for: Whether the payments from Mr. Spitzer to the service were made in a way to conceal their purpose and source. That could amount to a crime called structuring, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison."
So this means the Governor could actually go to prison for trying to cover up his payments to prostitutes.
In addition, he had had the nerve to moralize about prostitution when he was attorney general.
"When he was attorney general, Mr. Spitzer’s signature issue was pursuing Wall Street misdeeds. But he also oversaw the prosecution of at least two prostitution rings by the state’s organized crime task force, which reports to the attorney general.
In one such case in 2004, Mr. Spitzer spoke with revulsion and anger after announcing the arrest of 16 people for operating a high-end prostitution ring out of Staten Island."
It looks as if hypocrisy isn't just a Republican trait after all.
I guess any time you hear any politician pontificating at length against something he is calling immoral, you can bet that he is doing the very thing he is protesting.
My question, which I posed in the subject of this post, is WTF is wrong with these people? Do they think they are above the law? Do they think they'll never get caught? And why do politicians, who must have many positive things going on in their lives, throw it all away with such risky behavior?
I guess most of us will never understand this.