News reports suggest that CNN may be planning to hire disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer to replace the departing Campbell Brown. Should CNN now be called the Criminal News Network ? Let’s remember that Spitzer violated the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting a woman across state lines for the purposes of prostitution – a crime for which a Republican New York State supreme court justice was charged, convicted and jailed in 2009.
Among the many ironies of his case is that, while attorney general, Spitzer prosecuted people for promoting prostitution. On June 6, 2007, he signed a law designed to prevent human trafficking and to suppress the demand for prostitution. The penalty in New York for patronizing prostitutes rose from a Class B misdemeanor (3 months jail/$500 fine) to a Class A (1 year jail/$1,000 fine) misdemeanor. All this while Eliot Spitzer was frequenting these same agencies. Spitzer has yet to admit to his hypocrisy.
Spitzer also apparently violated federal money laundering laws. Recall that two New York banks (North Fork Bank and HSBC) reported Spitzer’s behavior to the U.S. Treasury department and the Internal Revenue Service after the then-governor moved large sums of cash between bank accounts he controlled. The banks reported these transactions because they appear to constitute “structuring.” A structured transaction, according to the Bank Secrecy Act, is a maneuver designed to evade federal reporting requirements. Spitzer broke the law.
Even prior to his prostitution arrest, Spitzer was being investigated for his role in the Troopergate scandal, in which he directed his aides to use state police to spy on a political opponent. Emails acknowledging Spitzer’s direction and knowledge of these acts came to light after his resignation. Use of state resources for political purposes is also a crime.
Finally, there is the question of how Spitzer financed his two races (one failed) for attorney general. In both campaigns, Spitzer took over $9 million in what were likely illegal loans from his father and then lied about it.
Everyone deserves a second chance. But not everyone deserves a cable news show. Go to http://notospitzer.com/ to send a clear message to CNN executives: Say No to Spitzer.
KRISTIN DAVIS supplied escorts for Eliot Spitzer when he was both Attorney General and Governor of New York for which she served four months in prison and six years probation. A political and women’s rights activist, Davis is running for Governor of New York as a Libertarian.