Tuesday, March 11, 2008

WTF is wrong with these people???

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.


Fran said...

I know what you mean about joint-ownership... When living in Nyack, I felt the same way about NJ elections!

All I can say is this- I hope to get a post up about this today. It is a tragic mess.

When I heard this on my car radio yesterday I started screaming out loud - F*ck no!! F*ck!! F*ck!! What a dumb f*ck!!


Enjoy Kauai and don't think too much about this if you can.

libhom said...

Prostitution really should be legalized. The law enforcement resources that were wasted on a prostitution ring would have been better employed on murder, rape, robbery, and other crimes with actual victims.

Sue J said...

It looks as if hypocrisy isn't just a Republican trait after all.

I'm afraid it's a human trait.

Larry said...

"Nothing discloses character like the use of power."

Robert Ingersoll

Sue J said...

Excellent quote, Larry. here's another:

"Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain."

Niccolo Machiavelli

Mary Ellen said...

Thanks for this post. I've been ranting about this on other blogs, so I won't subject the rest of your fellow bloggers to any more. I'll just say the guy is a hypocrite, should step down from his office--as far as I'm concerned, he has abused the privilege of being in public service.

Randal Graves said...

"Nothing can stop the penis!"

Xander Harris

kuanyin333 said...

I recently read a psychological explanation of this kind of behavior and it has do to do with an addiction to dopamine in the brain. I believe I saved the article...if I can locate it, then I'll forward it on to you. It's way too complex to go into here. There is also an astrological explanation which I'll forward also.

But in any event, I agree with you...WTF!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering why he didn't claim he was undercover and expense this on his taxes.

Christopher said...

$80,000 for poontang?

You can buy a house in many parts of the country for $80,000.

Jeesh, I wouldn't pay $80,000 for a weekend with Jorge Posada.

The whole affair is a mess and the sooner Spitzer steps down the better for New York.

Rhea said...

I think that for men one of the spoils of power is access to women.

Mauigirl said...

Fran, I think all of us in the metro area feel that way about our neighboring states. Don't worry, it isn't interfering with my enjoyment of Kauai! I see that he has finally resigned now.

Libhom, I think if prostitution were legalized at least it would be regulated and would be less exploitive of the sex workers. But if it isn't a crime, it still involves victims - the sex workers have often been abused as children and others come into the trade through desperation. But I do agree legalizing it would make the situation better for those involved. It is the oldest profession, as they say, and it isn't going to go away no matter whether it's legal or illegal - so better it should be legal, regulated - and taxed! Maybe then we could afford to continue Social Security!

Sue, I agree - it is a human trait. Also great quote by Machiavelli!

Larry and Rhea, you're right - it is about power. And perhaps those who aspire to power may have more testosterone and have a higher sex drive.

Kuanyin, I saw something about why people do these things too, not sure if it was the same article. There are definitely people who are risk takers and the article I read said that they were probably the same ones who get off on running for office, since that is exciting and risky too.

Mary Ellen, I agree - and I was glad to see he realized today that he had no other choice but to step down.

Frogette, I guess he just wasn't that smart!

Christopher, I totally agree. I can't imagine spending that kind of money! (And you have to wonder how his wife didn't notice he had been spending these amounts of money. I guess they don't have a joint checking account!)

Randal, I think your quote sums up the entire problem!

Comrade Kevin said...

This might shed some light.


It is entitled "His Cheating Brain"

Mauigirl said...

Thanks Kevin! I'll check it out!

Mauigirl said...

Just read it - very interesting. I think all aspects that the article discusses make a lot of sense. Anyone else who is interested should cut and paste the link into their browsers and read it as well.

Anonymous said...

When I hear a pol moralizing, I automatically get suspicious, and party affiliation doesn't matter.

People who are familiar with Spitzer's previous sleights of hand regarding his campaign financing shouldn't be too shocked by this. The Great Crusader has always stunk.

Anonymous said...

I sure hate to see this happen. Spitzer was probably the ringleader in uncovering and prosecuting Enron-type scandals. He pushed for a lot of the corporate reforms that got passed (some of which were quietly deleted as soon as the cameras left).

And I agree with Libhom that prostitution should be legal. There's too much real crime going on out there; somebody's personal behavior shouldn't concern anybody else.

TomCat said...

Power corrupts. The sex isn't the issue. It's the hypocrisy. At least he resigned, unlike Craig and Vitter.