Monday, March 10, 2008

Yikes: NY Gov. Named in Prostitution Ring, may Resign

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, whose campaign I once worked on, may be at the center of a sex scandal. The New York Times reports that Governor Spitzer, who championed ethics as Attorney General and vowed to reform state government, could be named in the sting of a high class prostitute ring.

The ring served clients in New York, Washington, Miami, Paris and London, and charged anywhere from $1000 - $5500/ hour.

This event is the exclamation point on a disappointing run for Spitzer. He's squabbled with Republican leadership in the state house, and had petty controversies over the use of state troopers.

Spitzer also proposed the bill to give driver's licenses to New York's illegal immigrants, which NY Sen. Hillary Clinton half-heatedly defended during a Democratic debate, leading to her slide in the polls. The idea died after polls showed it had the support of only 24% of New Yorkers.

After being elected with nearly 70% of the vote in to his first term in 2006, Spizter will almost certainly face a fierce competition against New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2010. To beat the popular mayor, Spizter needed a couple of signature legislative accomplishments, but a scandal like this could render such triumphs moot.

However, the impending scandal may not mark the end of his promising political future. There's an old saying in politics that the only ways to commit sure-fire career suicide is to get caught with a dead woman or a live man. But for Spitzer, who is married with three children, that may not be his biggest concern right now.

**Update** ABC reports that Governor Spitzer is resigning from office to settle matters with his family.

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