Eliot Spitzer’s political career, gravely injured after a collision with reality on Monday, finally passed into the great unknown two days later. But Spitzerism — the soul, that is, of his career — expired months ago.
Unlike virtually every other Democratic politician in the country, Eliot Spitzer understood markets. He believed in the potential of widespread investing in stocks to build and spread genuine wealth, and as attorney general, he was like a Money magazine editor on crack, targeting enemies of small investors: self-promoting analysts, corrupt mutual-fund traders, predatory lenders. Spitzerism wasn't about taxing and regulating profits; it was about diffusing profits to people who have never received a dividend check.
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• Eliot Spitzer has been careful about the lawyers he's selected to protect him against potential charges related to his activities with random twentysomething hookers, hiring a set of heavy hitters from white-collar crime specialists Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He's right to be choosy: "Hiring a lawyer is not unlike selecting a river guide," the Times says today. "One wants a professional who not only steers clear of the rapids but does so in a reassuring manner. It also helps if he knows what to do should the boat hit the rocks." Yeah. That's just how we would have put it. [NYT]
• A New York court rules that the daughter of a Jell-O heiress is not entitled to a taste of the multi-million-dollar fortune. [New York Law Journal]
• Is Hillary Clinton's legal background hindering her campaign? [Law.com]
Can you not get enough of the Spitzer sex scandal? Is the minutiae of the governor's trysts with hookers that has subsumed pretty much every media outlet for the entire week still somehow not enough? Do you feel that there are some important people, such as deposed publisher Judith Reagan, Wikepedia dumpee Rachel Marsden, and Dennis Hof, owner of Nevada's Moonlight Bunny Ranch, whose full opinions have not been given their due? Then, friends, we hope you subscribe to Sirius Satellite Radio, which has just announced the creation of Client 9 Radio, a station fully devoted to news and opinion about Eliot Spitzer sex scandal. In addition to the aforementioned pundits, Client 9, which will air tonight and be hosted by Court TV's Vinnie Politan, will also air the opinions of esteemed figures like John McCain, Alan Dershowitz, and "private eye Vito Colucci." But most important, they will provide a forum for you, the listener, to join "this national conversation." So go forth, citizen gossips! Let no crevice go unexplored.
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Okay, so we've known the identity of the hooker who hung Eliot Spitzer for nearly two days now, and in that time we've heard from her sketchy friends, her family, and a dude who claims to have been her pimp but probably really wasn't. But where's Ashley Dupré, a.k.a. Kristen, herself? As AM New York brilliantly points out, "for a call girl, Ashley Dupré sure has proven hard to get ahold of." The press is camped outside of her tony Chelsea building, but she's not inside. She doesn't need to work, because yesterday she made a ton of money off her selling her single on the Internet. But she's nowhere to be found! Not even at Barbara Walters's place! While we endure this interminable wait for her spectacular public debut, here's what we've learned about her since yesterday:
• Some people (okay, us) wondered whether she was actually 32, not 22 as has been reported. But it turns out that's probably wrong. [NYM]
• Spitzer had met with her several times before, but it was only after her last visit that she called her Emperor's Club bosses and said, "Oh, my God! Do you know who this guy is?" [NYP]
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So far, David Paterson's blindness has really only cropped up as an aside in news stories about New York's soon-to-be governor. They're all, "he's 53 and he's an adjunct at Columbia and he lives in Harlem and he is African-American and oh, yeah, also he is legally blind." If anyone has had any questions about a how blind man will do a job that involves a lot of, you know, reading papers and signing papers and looking at people in the eye as you shake their hand, they have only squeaked out as innuendo. "Well, being governor of the state of New York is a big job!" is something we've heard a lot on the news when people are talking about Paterson. "He's going to need some assistance!" But as the idea of New York getting its first blind governor becomes a reality, the Times, the Journal and the Poughkeepsie Journal have stepped up, the Times frankly asking: "How Will a Blind Man Lead a State?"
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You remember when bonnie lass "Kristen," the girl who brought down a governor, was profiled this morning in the New York Times? They reported her age at 22, which seems about right. She's a lovely young thing, and, well, when you're paying you might as well buy the ripest fruit. (Oh God, ew, we hate ourselves for coming up with that metaphor.) But we've done some sleuthing, and we've discovered that two separate public identification records reveal that the only Ashley Youmans (the real name of "Kristen," a.k.a Ashley Alexandra Dupré) from the Jersey Shore (or anywhere in New Jersey) is actually 32. Now, we're not going to blame a girl for lowering her age on her résumé — she is, after all, a struggling singer and someone who, professionally, needs to have a reputation for not being able to hold her liquor. But still, knocking off ten years? Could this be true? How bad did she think the lighting was going to be in Room 871??
Earlier:Eliot Spitzer’s ‘Kristen’ Somehow Much More Adorable Than Anticipated, Daily Intel's Complete coverage of the Spitzer ScandalREAD MORE »
Last night, Ashley Alexandra Dupré, a.k.a. "Kristen," told the New York Times she was worried about paying her rent in the fancy Flatiron district building in which she lives. But in fact, in the less than 24 hours since that interview took place, Dupre's personal wealth has increased considerably. The two songs on her Amie Street profile, which each cost 98 cents, have reportedly been downloaded more than two million times, and according to that site's business model, Dupré should receive 70 percent of the total profit. Plus! Playboy and Penthouse are both reportedly interested in setting up photo shoots. "We've already discussed some options," Penthouse publisher Diane Silberstein tells Radar, adding that they'd pay in the "high six figures." Book publishers, however, are dragging their feet. "I don't think it's worth anything," HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham tells Portfolio today, making us want to wrap our hands around his neck and administer a light throttle. "There's no story there." Seriously? Does no one remember for instance the best-selling Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl, soon to be an HBO series with Darren Star? Hookers are so hot right now.
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David Paterson just gave his first public address since Eliot Spitzer's resignation yesterday. He made noises about "getting back to work" and the budget, talked about being black and blind, indicated he wasn't planning any major changes to his predecessors more controversial policies, and became the first human being in government to express sympathy for Spitzer himself. "My heart goes out to Eliot Spitzer, his wife Silda, his daughters," he said. "I know what he's gone through this week. In my heart, I think he's suffered enough." Paterson also displayed a rather awesome sense of humor. "Just so we don't have to go through this whole resignation thing again," one ballsy reporter asked, "have you ever patronized a prostitute?" Patterson thought for a minute. "Only the lobbyists," he said.
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Looks like D.C. has another infamous hotel. The city appears tickled with its role in
the Spitzer scandal: Cameras and secret-service vans have been inexplicably parked outside the entrance to the Mayflower Hotel (the site of the governor's infamous tryst with "Kristen") since the news broke Monday (he's not there now, people). But what's happening inside? For one, there haven't been many requests for the "Spitzer suite," said the petrified concierge, who turned white as a ghost when we asked about "the room." A security guard has been stationed outside room 871, but that hasn't stopped guests from taking a look. "It looks just like any other room," said Mary Hollebeck, in from Michigan for the National Funeral Directors conference. She and her husband, Martin, found out about the scandal after they'd checked in, and said the guests in the hotel have been enjoying the buzz. "Right now I'm sure the hotel probably wants it all just to go away," he said. "But then they'll probably go and raise the rate." So do they find the rooms romantic? "We usually come on business," Mary said, to which Martin interjected, "I want this to be clear: This is my wife." —Janelle NanosREAD MORE »
In the excitement surrounding the unveiling of Kristen, the Jersey-grown hooker who (accidentally) brought Eliot Spitzer down, we almost missed the fact that last night, the city lost another famous prostitute. Andreia Schwartz, the "millionaire" madam who was arrested last year for running a brothel on West 58th Street where call girls got paid between $700 and $1,500 an hour (how quaint!), was quietly deported back to her native Brazil after twenty months in prison and, the Post tells us, serving as a source for the federal authorities who were probing Spitzer. Schwartz's biggest client was Time Warner CFO Wayne Pace, who she said paid her about $200,000 and helped her buy the apartment out of which she ran her business. He denied it and got off with only a terrible reputation, but now we're wondering … who were clients one through eight?
Kinky Link to Brazil's Bombshell[NYP]
Earlier: Eliot Spitzer's 'Kristen' Somehow Much More Adorable Than AnticipatedREAD MORE »
Bloomberg ’08 proved to be a false start. But with the self-immolation of Eliot Spitzer, Bloomberg ’10 makes almost too much sense.
Our term-limited mayor will, of course, be looking for a job come January 2009. He laid some serious groundwork for a presidential bid, enough that by the beginning of this year, his supporters were saying he could launch a campaign “at the drop of a hat.” It wasn’t just annoying ballot-access issues that ultimately turned him off, or the prospect of an Obama-McCain race leaving little room for a reform Republican. Bloomberg doesn’t like to enter a contest unless he can be pretty to sure win.
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• Of the top twenty American newspapers, the circulation of New York ones suffered less than others over the past few years. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• We hear ... that gossip Website Jossip.com is up for sale. [NYP]
• And that ESPN The Magazine is beefing up its fashion coverage. [WWD]
Last night Eliot Spitzer finally released his official letter of resignation. It was short, simple, and hand-signed:
Dear Speaker Silver and Majority Leader Bruno,
I am writing to advise you that I am resigning my position as Governor of the State of New York effective 12:00 noon on Monday, March 17, 2008.
We love that (a) he's still governor until noon on Monday, which is surely a few extra hours that Paterson didn't ask for (think of how many personal checks pardons he can issue in that time!) and (b) how he had to put "Eliot Spitzer, Governor" at the bottom of the letter. Savor that, dude. "Eliot Spitzer, Attorney-at-law" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
But more importantly, as Vulture pointed out, our beloved "Kristen" had a very important new release today, too. Her latest song track! It's called "Move Ya Body." We were going to make a joke about that song title and Eliot Spitzer, but then we realized that every pop name ever could be a pun about hookers and governors.
Resignation Letter Released [NYDN]
Kristen Releases Another Song! [Vulture]
Earlier:Eliot Spitzer's 'Kristen' Somehow More Adorable Than AnticipatedREAD MORE »
Patrick Swayze passed on playing a gay cheerleading coach in Fired Up for "creative reasons," not because he's sick. The script for Saturday's Inner Circle show at the Hilton had to be overhauled in light of Spitzergate. Tom Brady made a rare post–Super Bowl public appearance with Gisele at the opening of the Zegna store on Fifth Avenue. Anne Hathaway bought five bottles of absinthe and borrowed an absinthe fountain from a restaurant for a party she was hosting with her boyfriend Raffaello Folllieri. ABC may cancel Rachael Ray's show because of poor ratings. Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie shared an "uncomfortable silence" after being seated six feet apart from one another at a Cinema Society screening.
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It's 9:15 a.m., and by now we're sure you've probably heard "What We Want," the hot new single from Eliot Spitzer paramour "Kristen" (a.k.a. Ashley Alexandra Dupré) on her MySpace page. But have you heard her latest track?
As of Monday, David Paterson will be the new governor of New York, not to mention the state’s first black governor. And what do his constituents think of him? Well, they don’t really have an opinion. Because most of them heard his name for the first time this week. We surveyed nineteen New Yorkers (and one visitor from Florida) to see what they knew about Governor-designate Paterson. They know a lot more now, thanks to the magic of a sex scandal in the age of the 24-hour news cycle. And being New Yorkers, they have some choice words for Governor-resigned Eliot Spitzer.
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We're not really sure what we expected from "Kristen," but when we learned that she was a fresh-faced, seemingly earnest 22-year-old, we realized it wasn't that. We sort of thought the Emperor's Club prostitute that brought down Governor Eliot Spitzer would be some over-made-up 35-year-old with pounds worth of hair extensions and a laugh that sounded like a whinny. But the real "Kristen," a.k.a. Ashley Youmans, is nothing like that. In fact, we kind of like her. Here's what we learned about her, starting last night with a big report in the Times:
• She's from the Jersey Shore, and left when she was 17. And she comes from a "broken home."
• She lives in the Flatiron district. [Ed: That explains everything! And nothing.]
• She's an aspiring singer-songwriter. Her demo, which the Times says uses "dated slang," can be found on her still-live MySpace page.
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In one of its more curious repercussions, it looks like Eliot Spitzer’s fall might mean the resurrection of Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion-pricing agenda. The groups pushing for a fee on midtown driving to fund mass-transit improvements say that governor designate David Paterson’s reputation as a conciliator bodes well for brokering a deal on the controversial proposal. As it stands, city and state lawmakers must adopt a proposed pricing plan by March 31 to retain a $354 million federal start-up grant — but that too could now change. The city will likely play the our-state-government-is-in-crisis card, pressing the Feds — who badly want to see New York get the money — to extend the deadline. (An ally of Sheldon Silver sniffed: “The mayor's office has cooked up lots of deadlines and may be cooking up this one, too.”)
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