Eliot Spitzer

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Eliot Spitzer (born June 10, 1959) is an American lawyer and former politician of the Democratic Party. He served as Governor of New York from January 2007 until his resignation on March 17, 2008 due to his affiliation with a Prostitution Ring. Prior to being elected governor, Spitzer served as New York State Attorney General and previously as a Federal U.S. Attorney.

After earning his Juris Doctor degree, Spitzer joined the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Two years later, he joined the Manhattan district attorney's office, headed by Robert M. Morgenthau, to pursue organized crime. He launched the investigation that brought down the Gambino family's control over Manhattan's garment and trucking industries. In 1992, Spitzer left to work at the law firms of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and, later, Constantine and Partners.

Prostitution Ring Scandal

The New York Times first reported on March 10, 2008 that Spitzer was "caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a person briefed on the federal investigation. An affidavit in the federal investigation into a prostitution ring said that a wiretap recording captured a man identified as Client 9 on a telephone call confirming plans to have a woman travel from New York to Washington, where he had reserved a hotel room. The person briefed on the case identified Mr. Spitzer as Client 9." [1]

Later on March 10, 2008, Spitzer gave a brief statement to the press: "Today I want to briefly address a private matter. I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family, and violates my -- or any -- sense of right and wrong. I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public, whom I promised better. I do not believe that politics in the long run is about individuals. It is about ideas, the public good and doing what’s best for the state of New York. I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family. I will report back to you in short order." [2]

The Toronto Star reported, The Emperors Club VIP "rocked the political career of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (aka Client 9) and tarnished his 'Mr. Clean' image, is a call-girl business that arranged sex between wealthy men and more than 50 prostitutes in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Miami, London and Paris, according to U.S. federal prosecutors. The Brooklyn-based club's website, which went offline after its operators were busted, displays photographs of scantily clad women with their faces hidden. It also shows hourly rates depending on whether the prostitutes were rated from one diamond to seven diamonds. ... The website ranked the prostitutes on a scale of one to seven "diamonds." A three-diamond woman, for example, could command a fee of $1,000 per hour. A seven-diamond woman cost more than $3,000 an hour. ... The club motto was: 'Every client is an Emperor.' [3]

Ashley Alexandra Dupré is the current name of Ashley Youmans, aka Kristen, implicated as the call girl of Client 9, for New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, according to the New York Times. [4]

Kristian Stiles was a political fundraising consultant to Eliot Spitzer. According to the New York Times, she is now being investigated for a possible role in the scandal. The New York Times reported on March 16, 2008, that "Charles E. Clayman, a criminal defense lawyer and a former federal prosecutor, said he was retained by Ms. Stiles’s consulting firm, Stiles Partners, in recent days to represent her and her deputy, Alex James, in connection with the inquiry. ... Before going to work for Mr. Spitzer, Ms. Stiles worked for former Representative Richard A. Gephardt, of Missouri, as a low-level fund-raising official." [5]

The New York Post reported on December 5, 2006, that Kristian Stiles was one of 49 Spitzer staffers receiving a total of $1.35 million dollars in bonus money after his successful campaign for governor or New York. Stiles received $35,000. "It's hard to argue [with the bonuses] given their success," said Blair Horner, of the New York Public Interest Research Group. "It's a lot of money, but given the loopholes in New York state's campaign-finance law, this isn't one we'd necessarily object to." [6]

Role of Roger Stone

On March 24, 2008, the Daily News reported, "When Roger Stone predicted last year that Gov. Eliot Spitzer would soon be toast, it sounded like the rantings of a partisan attack dog. Turns out, the Republican operative is a dragon-slayer who helped bring down New York State's most powerful man. 'Everything surrounding Eliot Spitzer is bizarre. It gets more bizarre now when Roger Stone is [involved],' said Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf. 'It's like this is all from a movie.' Stone, who boasts of being the sleaziest man in American politics, declared on Dec. 6 to conservative radio host Michael Smerconish that the then-powerful Gov. Spitzer 'wouldn't serve his full term.' The comments didn't draw much attention at the time since Stone was a well-known enemy of Spitzer who worked for the governor's nemesis, Majority Leader Joe Bruno. Nobody knew that Stone had already tipped off the feds to Spitzer's high-priced hooker habit in a Nov. 19 letter to the FBI. It also cattily mentioned the governor's fetish for having sex with socks on. It's unclear whether the prosecutors knew anything about Spitzer's involvement in the Emperors Club VIP call girl ring when Stone wrote the letter." [7]

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