As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Sad Spitzer Chronicles

It's really upsetting to see such a bright prospect in the Democratic Party, a guy who didn't make friends because he didn't put up with the bullshit, be brought so low. But he was of course a victim of his own hubris. Anyone who prosecuted scum as long as he did to not understand fundamentally how those rackets work and how easy it is to get caught is either stupid or amazingly arrogant.

Spitzer ended up as the subject of an investigation into the prostitution because his bank branch in Manhattan turned him in to the Internal Revenue Service as someone who might be engaged in suspicious currency transactions, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Agents of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division initially started a probe, fearing that the governor was the victim of some sort of blackmail scheme or that he was being victimized by an impostor, the sources said.

Spitzer last year had wanted to wire transfer more than $10,000 from his branch to what turned out to be the front for the prostitution ring, QAT Consulting Group, which also uses a number of other names, in New Jersey, the sources said.

But Spitzer had the money broken down into several smaller amounts of less than $10,000 each, apparently to avoid federal regulations requiring the reporting of the transfer of $10,000 or more, the sources said. The regulations are aim to help spot possible illegal business activities, such as fraud or drug deals.

Apparently, having second thoughts about even sending the total amount in this manner, Spitzer then asked that the bank take his name off the wires, the sources said.

Bank officials declined, however, saying that it was improper to do so and in any event, it was too late to do so, because the money already had been sent, the sources said.

There's something unseemly about the IRS snooping around in every transaction checking for possible violations, but if anyone knows that's occurring it's the former Attorney General of the State of New York.

I still think there are some unanswered questions about how fast this got to the press and why the government is wiretapping prostitution rings and how Spitzer was so quickly burned for this, but clearly he needs to resign as is likely, though the New York Times is more noncommital, even suggesting that his wife wants him to stay in office.

Finally, it was nice to see Tucker Carlson end his ignominious run as a TV host with such class, simultaneously decrying the peering by Big Government into private consensual activity and also having Moonlight Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof on his show to speculate about all the deviant behaviors Spitzer might have engaged in, like whips and ball gags. He's really a superb human being. And how exactly does he know Dennis, anyway? It's irresponsible not to speculate.

Labels: , , , ,