NOW is right: Eliot Spitzer is unfit for office

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As a right-leaning, pro-life woman, there are plenty of things I disagree with today’s activist feminists on. But I applaud them for taking a stand against Eliot Spitzer returning to public office, a man whose character disqualifies him from the public’s trust. Repeatedly soliciting prostitutes while publicly campaigning against sex trafficking and prostitution in his public life as governor calls into question every future public act he would undertake.

The evidence speaks for itself: prostitutes are highly likely to suffer from depression and domestic violence, become addicted to drugs or alcohol, attempt suicide and contract sexually-transmitted diseases. In short, these women are far from the liberated Amazons that Hollywood portrays. As some feminist leaders point out, prostitution is not a victimless crime.

As a man who claims to fight for the masses and protect the weak and vulnerable, Spitzer is perhaps the most prominent example of hypocrisy and wayward judgment in American politics today.

Spitzer is seeking to manage our city’s finances as comptroller. His actions show he believes the female body is a commodity that can be bought and sold. One wonders, if elected, he would support investing New York City’s funds into this asset class.

Prostitution is often closely tied to human trafficking, as officials in Amsterdam are realizing, where prostitution has been legal since 1988. Countries that legalize prostitution experience growth in human trafficking rather than decline, obliterating the argument that legalized prostitution reduces demand for trafficked women and increases demand for “legitimate” prostitutes, according to a study last year by a London School of Economics professor and two German professors. Here in New York City, human trafficking is a huge problem, with its victims forced into a range of exploitative labor, including the sex trade. Yet it’s here that Spitzer wants to resurrect his political career.

In a new book he outlined how he plans to leverage city investments with shareholder activism, yet he’s managed his personal funds dubiously. And though his former position as governor and powerful friends protected him from prosecution for his trysts, he’s gone well past the bright line of ethical behavior. While in office, he also abused his gubernatorial privilege by using state police resources to harass his political rival, then-state senator Joseph Bruno, a Republican.

The political left often bemoans what it sees as hypocritical moralizing among conservative, family values lawmakers — Rep. Mark Sanford, the adulterous South Carolina governor-turned-congressman, is a prime example. Yet in relative terms, consenting adultery, while morally wrong — is not illegal and generally not grossly exploitative in the manner of Spitzer’s behavior. If we don’t hold public officials accountable for their incredibly poor judgment then we’ll subject ourselves to their awful decisions again. Eliot Spitzer fooled voters once; here’s hoping voters don’t subject themselves to his farcical leadership again.

Carrie Sheffield, a Daily Caller contributor, writes from Manhattan.