March 11, 2008, - 10:42 am

Eliot Spitzer: Client 9, White Collar Thug Gets His Due

By Debbie Schlussel
It’s hard to add more to the Eliot Spitzer story. A thug–who terrorized corporate America and Wall Street for no apparent legitimate reason–is finally feeling what those he went after felt. Sadly, they didn’t commit the multiple crimes he apparently did. Will he get the misery-filled “justice” they got, but–in their case–didn’t deserve? The liberal Democrat epitomized the oft-used quote that “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
I love the way he started his non-speech, yesterday, talking about how he’s always fought for progressive stuff and making things better. Who the heck cares? What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? So, his agenda makes his behavior as simultaneously a bully, lawbreaker, and john okay? Since he didn’t immediately resign, he must apparently believe so.
Here are excerpts from a front-pager and, following that, an editorial, both from today’s Wall Street Journal, which I think tell it best about this white collar thug and his politics-of-envy victims:


Client Nine/Thug One, Eliot Spitzer

It’s Schadenfreude time on Wall Street.
Eliot Spitzer, the New York governor who made his name taking on the titans of finance, apologized yesterday in vague terms following reports that he used the services of a prostitute in a case being investigated by federal prosecutors.
The news stunned traders on Wall Street, where Mr. Spitzer long has been viewed with fear and contempt. Some view the revelations as a huge hypocrisy for a man, who as New York’s attorney general, had aggressively pushed for ethics and fair play on Wall Street earlier this decade. People who clashed hardest with Mr. Spitzer are among those crowing the loudest.
“He actually believes he’s above the law,” said Ken Langone, a former New York Stock Exchange director who now heads a small investment-banking firm. In his role as prosecutor, Mr. Spitzer sued Mr. Langone for his role in doling out the large pay package of former New York Stock Exchange CEO Dick Grasso. “I have never had any doubt about his lack of character and integrity — and he’s proven me correct.”
“This is not a victimless crime,” said U.S. Rep. Peter King, Republican of Long Island. “I’ve never known anyone who was more self-righteous and unforgiving than Eliot Spitzer.” . . .
Mr. Spitzer brought fines against some of America’s largest companies for industry practices that were routine, if not accepted. . . .
Critics said he bullied opponents, threatening to publicly reveal embarrassing details of a company’s business or an executive’s conduct to force management changes or headline-grabbing fines. In the case against Mr. Grasso, lawyers working for Mr. Spitzer asked the former Big Board chairman in a deposition about personal relationships and collected information about Mr. Grasso’s spending habits and his family’s travel.
After the news broke yesterday, Andrew Sabin, a friend of Mr. Grasso’s who lives near him on Long Island, said he spoke briefly with Mr. Grasso’s wife, Lori. “I said I’d buy Dick some champagne,” said Mr. Sabin, owner of precious-metals firm Sabin Commodities. “I’m sure he’s happy. I’m sure everybody on Wall Street is happy.”
Mr. Sabin described Mr. Spitzer’s alleged conduct as “the most hypocritical thing in the world.”
As attorney general, Mr. Spitzer prosecuted cases far afield from Wall Street, including prostitution. In 2004, Mr. Spitzer indicted 18 people associated with popular “escort services” operating in New York City and its suburbs for promoting prostitution and related charges. That same year, he prosecuted individuals who promoted prostitution through tours in Asia, known as “sex tourism.”
Last year, as governor, Mr. Spitzer helped pass legislation that toughened penalties for “sex tourism” operations and “sex traffickers” who bring foreigners into the U.S. and force them into prostitution.


One might call it Shakespearian if there were a shred of nobleness in the story of Eliot Spitzer’s fall. There is none. Governor Spitzer, who made his career by specializing in not just the prosecution, but the ruin, of other men, is himself almost certainly ruined. . . .
In our system, citizens agree to invest one of their own with the power of public prosecution. We call this a public trust. The ability to bring the full weight of state power against private individuals or entities has been recognized since the Magna Carta as a power with limits. At nearly every turn, Eliot Spitzer has refused to admit that he was subject to those limits.
The stupendously deluded belief that the sitting Governor of New York could purchase the services of prostitutes was merely the last act of a man unable to admit either the existence of, or need for, limits. At the least, he put himself at risk of blackmail, and in turn the possible distortion of his public duties. Mr. Spitzer’s recklessness with the state’s highest elected office, though, is of a piece with his consistent excesses as Attorney General from 1999 to 2006.
He routinely used the extraordinary threat of indicting entire firms, a financial death sentence, to force the dismissal of executives, such as AIG’s Maurice “Hank” Greenberg. He routinely leaked to the press emails obtained with subpoena power to build public animosity against companies and executives. In the case of Mr. Greenberg, he went on national television to accuse the AIG founder of “illegal” behavior. Within the confines of the law itself, though, he never indicted Mr. Greenberg. Nor did he apologize.
In perhaps the incident most suggestive of Mr. Spitzer’s lack of self-restraint, the then-Attorney General personally threatened John Whitehead after the former Goldman Sachs chief published an article on this page defending Mr. Greenberg. “I will be coming after you,” Mr. Spitzer said, according to Mr. Whitehead’s account. “You will pay the price. This is only the beginning, and you will pay dearly for what you have done.”
Jack Welch, the former head of GE, said he was told to tell Ken Langone — embroiled in Mr. Spitzer’s investigation of former NYSE chairman Dick Grasso — that the AG would “put a spike through Langone’s heart.” . . .
These are not merely acts of routine political rough-and-tumble. They were threats — some rhetorical, some acted upon — by one man with virtually unchecked legal powers.
Eliot Spitzer’s self-destructive inability to recognize any limit on his compulsions was never more evident than his staff’s enlistment of the New York State Police in a campaign to discredit the state’s Senate Majority Leader, Joseph Bruno. . . .
Where were the media before this? With a few exceptions, the media were happy to prosper from his leaks and even applaud, rather than temper, the manifestly abusive instincts of a public official. . . .
He came to embody a system that revels in the entertainment value of roguish figures who rise to power by destroying the careers of others, many of them innocent. Better still, when the targets are as presumably unsympathetic as Wall Street bankers and brokers.
Acts of crime deserve prosecution by the state. The people, in turn, deserve prosecutors and officials who understand the difference between the needs of the public good and the needs of unrestrained personalities who are given the honor of high office.

How do you spell “hypocrite”? E-L-I-O-T–S-P-I-T-Z-E-R. You can spell hubris that way, too.

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19 Responses

Its not a victimless crime – not when you break your vows to God, to your fellow citizens and to your wife and children. Its bad enough he patronized a prostitute knowing it would ruin his life and destroy the people around him but its definitely a crime if he used public funds to perpetrate and further criminal acts. As New York’s Governor, he ought to have known better. He’s a disgrace to the people of New York and the country. And its high time Eliot Spitzer, Creep In Chief, was held accountable.

NormanF on March 11, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Poor Ol’ Eliot…I hope she was good, because that roll in the hay not only cost him a few Grand, it’s gonna cost him his job and at least half of what he owns to the future former Mrs. Spitzer.
Well, you’ll always have the memories Guv’na!!

Matt-Man on March 11, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Client No. 9 — Thug No. 1
Bye-bye, Gov’ner. So long. F–k you (no pun intended).

theendisnear on March 11, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Here is a man who strayed from his wife with another woman. If he can’t remain faithfull to his wife for the sake of preserving their marriage, what makes you think he will be anymore loyal to America? Apparently politicians from both sides succumb their loyalty to this country with bussiness deals from outside. If you can’t hold on to your marriage, then you are not in the position to lead or govern therfore making him/her uncapable of holding a country together. That goes for any relationship you are in. Goverment figures who cheat on their spouses are most likely to indiscriminately bamboozle their citizens as well.Its an utter disgrace how low our political leaders have descended but somehow I’m not shocked, exspecially this is coming from a Democrat where adultery and sex scandal case are rampant ; not much more so than the Republicans, mind you.
And you wonder why OBL continues to film vidoe tapes threatening the demise of America as well as the West. If I were seeing this through the perspective of Achmedinejad or the mullahs, I wouldn’t know how to react other than laughing at America and continuing to build the nuclear power plant.
A cryin’ shame on our politicians!!! Is this the best we have?

American Sabrah on March 11, 2008 at 2:52 pm

It was obvious from looking at the picture of his wife at the press conference that she was extremely angry and upset. Of course he doesn’t care about his family or he wouldn’t have done this.
It really seems like he might try to brazen this out & not resign. These people really believe they don’t have to follow the laws that ordinary people have to follow, kind of like royalty. A lot of them have their wives, sons or daughters follow them in their elected positions, just like royalty.
People like that are never going to be concerned with the problems of ordinary people. They have a sense of entitlement, and are completely opportunistic; whatever will help them stay in power, get rich, get call girls, whatever. It’s nice that one of them got caught, but I’m sure it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

c f on March 11, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Here’s also what the front page article in the WSJ said:
“He later exposed misconduct by mutual-fund firms in an investigation that upstaged federal regulators at the SEC and forced dozens of fund firms to pay fines and restitution.”
The WSJ is not denying that the misconduct, and the fact that investment and advice units were linked, was taking place. The fact is that those NY financial institutions have been playing it both ways for years, and with their friends running the SEC, they had nothing to worry about. The criminal activity of those institutions did as much damage to the economy as any large criminal enterprise. And Dick Grasso getting 187 million from a supposed non-profit organization? If you are not for profit, what is your purpose in justifying half your revenue for one guy? Bull. Those people deserved to get bullied and I’m glad Spitzer was the one with the cojones to do it.
However, what this shows in the end is that for all his moral posturing he was nothing but a phony. It takes a lot of hubris and deliberation to arrange for this type of prostittuion encounter, not to mention money. Whatever kudos he received for his prior work were earned, but he’s got to go now. No one can effectively govern and enforce laws, as an executive branch head does, when that person brazenly volates them himself. In the end he was infected with the arrogance of power. That is the only way you can believe you can get away with this sort of behavior. Maybe he wasn’t so smart after all.

Staypositive on March 11, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Elliot Spitzer also threatened Sean Hannity for daring to criticize Spitzer while Spitzer was on his show.
Hannity appears not to have given in and fellow talkshow host Laura Ingraham (a lawyer)said it was improper for an attorney general to use his office against anyone without charging them with a crime.

Underzog on March 11, 2008 at 5:35 pm

The male sex drive must be the strongest force of nature on Earth. How else can you explain the endless stream of men who are willing to jeopardize their careers, families and reputations just go to get laid! It’s absolutely mind boggling.

LoveAManInAUniform on March 11, 2008 at 7:17 pm

One thing is wrong in this article; the claim that ES is “almost certainly ruined.” Please. He just patronized a prostitute.
He didn’t run — excuse me, his “partner” didn’t “run” — the Emperor’s Club out of his townhouse.
He didn’t forcibly rape “Kristen” and leave her with the parting shot, “Better put some ice on that.”
He didn’t even get staggering drunk, drive off a bridge, and leave “Kristen” to drown in his limo while he ran back to his compound to dry off, sober up and cook up an alibi.
Sure, if he’s a REPUBLICAN, his career’s totalled. But he’s a DEMOCRAT. He’s not even near his damage deductible.

DocLiberty on March 11, 2008 at 8:29 pm

What a great week it has been so far! Yesterday I was talking to a colleague on the phone when the news broke. NO EFFIN WAY! Made my day, made my week, made my month, made my year!
Vindictive, arrogant, self promoting, abusive bullies take note. HYPOCRITES all over this great land KNOW that YOUR day is coming too. HYPOCRISY is the worst of all sins and bullies NEVER win in the end. The danger they don’t see ALWAYS takes them out.

ParaLyzer on March 12, 2008 at 12:46 am

Such sweet righteous indignation (why does it always smell like cheap perfume?)…where were you guys when Rudy Giuliani, also a governor of NY, was banging his gf on the weekend soirees on the taxpayer dime (From the funds for the disabled, no less!), using NYPD cops and cop cars for her private taxi service — and her friends? Where was the outrage about the contract with God, Fambly, and yawn, the everpresent chilluns? When Rudy had the Crisis Bunker moved to WTC 7, he had it outfitted — at taxpayer expense — as a private little love nest with his own private elevator? Or when the ultra-Christian Newtie served his wife in the recovery room immediately after cancer surgery with divorce papers?
Oh, the indignity of it all! Yawn.
Conservatives are just OK when a Republican does this. They roll over and do the Tar Baby thing.
Did someone mention hypocrites? Why isn’t it wrong when ANYBODY does it?
Where’s the outrage about Jeff Gannon? 200+ overnights at the White House for a male prostitute servicing W, or W and Laura, or W and KKKarl Rove (barf!), but that’s OK?
Google up Larry Franklin sometime. Have a fire extinguisher ready for when your hair catches on fire.
At least Spitzer was doing a woman consensually, and not the Conservative way, in an airport or park bathroom through a glory hole with a guy he didn’t know, or a child.
“Vindictive, arrogant, self promoting, abusive bullies take note. HYPOCRITES all over this great land KNOW that YOUR day is coming too. HYPOCRISY is the worst of all sins and bullies NEVER win in the end. The danger they don’t see ALWAYS takes them out.”
Ewww…fire and brimstone! If it were only true, the entire White House would be vacant, Iraq would be silent, FOX a bad memory, and most of the Senate and the House — on both sides of the aisle.
yawning gulf

yawninggulf on March 12, 2008 at 3:58 am

And Hellary, the great champion of abused women everywhere, and a victim herself of her husband’s narcissism, has no comment, except to mouth her “concern” for the family. Of course, neither does Hussein Obama or Juan McCain. Real pillers of morality, all. I guess it must be like the Middle East — a deplorable situation, but no one responsible enough to single out.

c f on March 12, 2008 at 5:43 am

Did anyone notice that the ringleader of the Emperor Club, a Jew named Mark Brener, had three passports when caught? One was a regular US passport, the other two were Israeli.
Anyone notice that Congressman Condit was brought down by the death of a Jew, Chandra Levy?
Bill Clinton (to pressure him w/blackmail about releasing Pollard, BTW) by Monica Lewinsky?
The NJ congressman, or was it governor, brought down by a gay scandal? Also a jewish sex object.
Is anyone seeing a trend?
The Mossad are kings of sexpionage. Their swallows are without equal.
yawning gulf
Ps. I guess all these righteous conservatives have forgotten about Dick Cheney being on a list himself…but hey, he gets a free pass. Notice Wayne Madsen has yet to be sued after claiming the VP of the US banged hookers on a regular basis.

yawninggulf on March 12, 2008 at 10:55 am

I had to laugh when I saw Spitzer’s wife by his side. Give me a break. The day after his resignation, I saw USA Today (dropped off at my hotel room, I wouldn’t pay a cent for this rag), and no mention at all on the front page! In the contents it mentioned the story, to see page 2. Again, the double standard employed by these leftist rags, if ANY conservative had the same thing happen, you KNOW USA Today would have plastered it all over their front page. Thank you NY Post, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times.

Marc on March 14, 2008 at 7:11 am

This is just another example of the Bush administration spying on its citizens. Eliot did no harm to no one and what he does in his own personal life is his own business. It’s pretty scary when the government starts listening to phone calls and reading your emails in order to frame you. It’s obvious that Eliot had enemies and they used this opportunity to frame him. A governer of a state like New York deserves perks from his office and this is just one of them. Powerful men have always enjoyed extra benefits that come from their positions of authority. It’s to be expected and it is what makes them who they are. There’s nothing wrong with it.

PrincessKaren on March 31, 2008 at 2:58 pm

I cannot fathom why and how his wife hung in there with him for so long. For him to be such a hypocrit ultimately chasing people that share his own character is beyond me.

Stephanie NYC Gal on June 30, 2010 at 6:08 pm

It’s beyond me how Spitzer was able to land a gig at CNN on the Parker/Spitzer segment. To me that makes a strong statement about that organization’s standards for commentators.

New York City Resident on November 26, 2010 at 7:15 pm

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