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Eliot Spitzer

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Late-Night Hosts Take the Spitzer Ball and, Um, Dribble With It

Late Night Hosts
If any good could come from the Eliot Spitzer scandal, it’s that the late-night shows have some of their best source material since Bill Clinton requested the definition of the word “is.” So with that in mind, we fired up our DVR for the most promising night of comedy in years. And boy, were we disappointed. Letterman, predictably, was funny enough, opening his monologue by asking whether it was too soon to hit on Mrs. Eliot Spitzer, then telling a handful of jokes (“Did you happen to see the press conference? Very dramatic. Eliot Spitzer was there with yellow crime-scene tape around his pants”). The Times has a complete rundown of every joke, if you're interested. Seated back at his desk, Letterman read off a Top Ten List of Eliot Spitzer excuses (No. 8: Just trying to help the economy!).

CFDA's Stephen Kolb Touched Eliot Spitzer's Sex Hands

Kolb
Last night at a party for this year's CFDA Awards nominees, the Cut (that's our fabulous new fashion blog, in case you don't know) caught up with executive director Stephen Kolb, who, as it turned out, had had an interesting encounter with Luv Guv Eliot Spitzer. No, not that kind of encounter. Kolb was in Washington this past February 14, the day after Spitzer allegedly hired a prostitute. He and Narciso Rodriguez were at a hearing about fashion designers' intellectual-property rights, when the lobbyist they were working with suddenly introduced them to Spitzer. "I shook his hand!" he told the Cut. "I shook his hand the next day! I'm thinking about how creepy that is now! No, I'm joking. So, I mean, it happened on the 13th?" Allegedly, yes. "Alright, well, he looked happy on the 14th!" CFDA’s Stephen Kolb Touched Eliot Spitzer the Morning After [The Cut]

New York Public Library Lions to Become Schwarzman's Kittens

FINANCE • As Blackstone's profit sinks 89 percent, Stephen Schwartzman gets the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street named after him. The naming rights came with a very generous $100 million donation, but we're not sure we're ready to go have lunch on the lovely steps of "Schwarzman." It'll feel like we're an undergrad at Penn or something. [NYT] • Wall Street says "There is a God" as its longtime persecutor, Eliot Spitzer, falls from grace. [NYT] • Lehman Brothers, the largest underwriter of U.S. mortgage bonds, plans to lay off 5 percent of its workforce, which is about 1,400 people. Meanwhile, Bear Sterns, the second-biggest underwriter of mortgage bonds, lost more than $1.3 billion in market value yesterday as investors worried about the firm's liquidity. [NYP, NYP]

New Details Emerge in Spitzer Prostitution Scandal

Eliot Spitzer
Okay, have you gotten over your shock yet? Have you called back your mother, who called you the minute she heard about it on TV and asked, "WHAT'S WITH YOUR GOVERNOR?" ("THESE GUYS WITH THEIR EGOS, THEY THINK THEY CAN DO ANYTHING," she probably said when you returned her call. That was probably just before your aunt sent you an e-mail asking for "the buzz from the city.") Well, if you've gotten past these initial phases of dealing with trauma, it's time to unload some more awkward details on you. The Times does a really amazing job today of walking you through what happened leading up to, on, (under), and after that fateful February 13, when Client 9 had his assignation in the Washington with "Kristen" the call girl.
Kristen, having already passed through the lobby, with its wing chairs and its gilded half-clad cherubs, arrived in a small room in a quiet corner of the “Club Floor,” a special wing for V.I.P.’s. A king-size bed commanded the floor. Two photos — of the Capitol and the Washington Monument — hung beside a wood-framed mirror. As soon as she came in, Kristen called her boss, Temeka Lewis, who was the booking agent for the Emperor’s Club V.I.P., an online prostitution ring, the affidavit said. Ms. Lewis told her that the client had arrived. He was headed for the room.

Introducing ‘The Pucker’

The Pucker
It's not a frown. It's not quite a grimace. It's not even really a sheepish wince. So what is this look that is captured in newspapers and Websites across the country today? The expression made the covers of both the Daily News and the Post into the dynamite keepsakes that they will inevitably become. We're calling it "The Pucker." Live it, learn it, love it. Or, you know, joke it, jeer it, judge it. Earlier: Report: Eliot Spitzer Involved With Prostitution Ring

Reacting to Eliot's Mess

Covers
Eliot Spitzer is still holed up in his apartment in New York, where he and his wife, Silda, have been conferring with advisers since last night. He's weighing his options, and deciding whether to resign. Meanwhile, on the outside, the politicians and the media have descended into exactly the kind of feeding frenzy you would expect: • The Post reports that State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno held back from reveling in his great rival's fall: "I feel very badly for the governor's wife, for his children," he said. "The important thing for the people of New York State is that people in office do the right thing." • According to CNN, Republican state senators and assemblymen (and some Democrats) are aggressively calling for his resignation. So is the Republican Governors Association. • If Spitzer doesn't resign before a deadline set by state Republicans, they've vowed to begin impeachment proceedings, reports WCBS.

Predict Which Pun the ‘Post’ Will Choose for Tomorrow's Spitzer Cover!

Post Cover
Obviously, our wit will never match the staggering genius of the minds behind New York Post headlines. But, as we wait for some, any new information to emerge in the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal, we can't help but fall into that age-old game: Guess What the Post Is Gonna Say Tomorrow! If the governor resigns tonight, there's a chance the coverage will have moved on to something about the new African-American (and legally blind) governor, David Paterson. But in all likelihood, no matter what happens, there will be a completely spectacular and vicious pun on the cover, along with a terribly unflattering picture of Spitzer. Below, we've come up with our best guesses — and we admit, they're not that good. In the comments, please help us out with your best pun stylings: NAILED SCREWED SPENT RING STING HOOK, LINE & SPITZER STEAMROLLED BLOWING OFF STEAM LOVE POTION #9 A NIGHT AT THE SPITZ AN EL' OF A GOOD TIME SPITZER SWALLOWS Update: Our friend Jeff over at Portfolio has a pretty good one: "LOVE GOV" Update: And the Post went with... HO NO! We congratulate them for finding something that none of you come up with. Thanks for all your suggestions — we think our favorite was LOVE GUV DOESN'T LIKE TO WEAR "GLOVE" by "Creativeunderclass."

What We Know About Client 9

Client Number Nine
From a redacted copy of the sealed complaint about the Emperor's Club prostitution ring, we were able to extract the following details about Client 9's dealings with the organization, and his Washington liaison. Client 9, according to the Times, is the one alleged to be Governor Eliot Spitzer. We have no official confirmation of this. But below are the things that we do know about this mysterious player from the legal papers: • He refused to use a "traditional wire transfer" to pay the organization but arranged for an Emperor's Club girl to take Amtrak down to Washington for a visit. • Client 9 seems to have used the service before. • He also thought the choice of his prostitute, "Kristen," was "great" and "wonderful." • The agency charged him $4,100 for "Kristen"'s visit. • The tryst took place in room 871 of a Washington hotel. On a side note, the domain www.room871.com has already been purchased. • Client 9 was willing to pay "extra" for "better" services. "Kristen" was a pretty brunette, petite, five-foot-five and 105 pounds. • The fee ended up being $4,300, with the "extras." • "Kirsten" did not think Client 9 was difficult, but he might have asked her to do things ("basic things") that "you might not think were safe." Earlier: Governor Spitzer Involved With 'Prostitution Ring' You Can Say This About The Girls Of The Emperor's Club, They're Not Morons

Report: Governor Spitzer Involved With ‘Prostitution Ring’

Eliot Spitzer
The Times is reporting that Governor Eliot Spitzer has just admitted to his senior staff that he has been involved in a "prostitution ring." No more details have been released, but he is set to make an announcement momentarily. Stay tuned! Spitzer is Linked to Prostitution Ring [NYT] Related: You Can Say This About the Girls of the Emperor's Club: They're No Morons Update: Just to catch you up, yes, this is the same Eliot Spitzer who as New York attorney general prosecuted at least two prostitution rings. And yup, he's the one who has a wife and three children, too. Update 2: The Times mentioned the recent bust-up of the Emperor's Club prostitution ring. No word yet whether it is the group in question, but since they are being investigated right now, it's a likely candidate. The Times connects Spitzer to an Emperor's Club liaison the day before Valentine's Day. The unnamed John in question, who may have been Spitzer, was Client #9. Update 3: In what is probably an awkwardly coincidental typo, the New York State Website now lists David Paterson as governor. [Ed note: Though we can no longer log onto the state Website, we're told by others that it's now back to normal.] Update 4: According to GoDaddy.com, the domain names www.clientnumber9.com and www.clientnumbernine.com have already been purchased today. Man, the Internet is fast.

You Can Say This About the Girls of the Emperor's Club: They're No Morons

Smoking Diamonds
Yesterday the Feds busted the Emperor's Club, a New York–based escort service that provided, according to their Website, "refined and successful international clients" looking for "risk-free dating … without long-term-commitment intricacies" with "exclusive, beautiful, educated companions of fine family and career backgrounds." You know, hookers. Of the four people charged with running the service, three of them were women. Still, from the phone records in the FBI affidavit, parts of which are up on the Smoking Gun, it didn't seem like it was a woman-friendly workplace, from the male founder who said that a would-be call girl "looks like a butcher in my opinion" to the conversation about the "baggage" a worker with kids has to the outraged indignation of an applicant who was "shock and confuse" that the company expected its employees to have sex with men who don't even take them out to dinner. But then comes a tender moment between one self-aware prostie and her pimpette.

Moynihan Station: All That Doubtful Press Actually a Good Sign

Moynihan Station
Negotiation via blind items drives epochal real-estate projects, as well as ballplayers' contract haggling, and we've uncovered reasons to view recent stories about the Moynihan Station struggles as part of an encouraging trend on the project. For one thing, Governor Spitzer has personally entered negotiations. Spokesman Errol Cockfield confirms that last week Spitz convened his first face-to-face meetings with the Dolans (who own Madison Square Garden) and the developers who own air rights to the intended Moynihan site. One player intimate with the negotiations described this as “shuttle diplomacy,” and apparently it's had an effect.

Mario Cuomo Not So Sure This Congestion-Pricing Thing Is Happening

Cuomo
Mario Cuomo, like Mayor Bloomberg, knows presidential-bid scrutiny. But he knows Albany even better. And the former governor doesn't see congestion pricing coming out of the legislative swamp by the end of March — when lawmakers must adopt a commission-sponsored plan to keep the city from losing $354 million in pledged federal transit aid. “I'm not ruling it out, but I'm not ruling it in,” Cuomo told us (there's that hedging we remember from the presidential-run talk). After hearing Eliot Spitzer talk up an ambitious budget proposal to the developer-heavy Association for a Better New York, the former governor noted that Mayor Bloomberg's air-quality cause seemed conspicuously absent from his successor's weighty wish list. “He has a complicated and very impressive agenda,” Cuomo tells us, “and if congestion pricing were on it, we'd have heard about it.” To be fair, Spitzer's slideshow did include an endorsement of the MTA's five-year capital plan, which relies on upwards of $4 billion from bonds that congestion-pricing fees would support. But Albany can always find ways to borrow more money — that's something Cuomo knows, too. —Alec Appelbaum

Bruno Unimpressed by Dem State-Senate Win

Bruno and Spitzer
After the election of Democrat Darrel Aubertine to the State Senate on Wednesday, lines are already being drawn for a battle royal for control of the body in November. Aubertine won in the 48th District, a territory that has been represented by Republicans for the past 100 years. This reduces the GOP stranglehold on Albany to just one seat, which Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno proclaims the party will maintain. "We lost that battle, but we are going to win the war," Bruno said, according to the Post. The way the Albany Times-Union sees it, the extremely contentious State Senate race this fall will come down to two tactics: fear and frustration.
Democrats will remind voters decades of Republican rule in the Senate have done little to avert the state's rising taxes and sluggish economy. That's the frustration part. Republicans who backed Barclay have already started warning that, should they lose their majority, New York would be under the control of just one political party, the Democrats. That's the fear part.
Democrats positioning themselves as a change from a stagnant GOP regime, and Republicans playing upon voters' fears to get them to the ballot box? There really is only one story in politics, huh? State of the Senate in Play [Albany Times-Union] Related: Driving the Steamroller [NYM]

Spitzer to (Potentially) Stump for Hillary in Ohio

Eliot Spitzer
In a conference call with reporters today, Eliot Spitzer said that he would be heading to Ohio to rally voters on behalf of New York's junior senator, just as she is posting a dip in the polls there. Spitzer was on the line with New Jersey governor Jon Corzine and Ohio governor Ted Strickland to discuss economic development, in a call that was arranged by Hillary's people. The first question from reporters was about Spitzer's plan to issue driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. According to the Observer, Spitzer batted away the idea that Hillary Clinton's hedgy attempts to support him cost her political capital. "The answer is no," said Spitzer. "I have not had any conversations with her about it. I'd just point out that Barack Obama is for my policy on driver's licenses, so I don't see that that's been an issue." When he heads to Ohio, he'll join Corzine, who's also headed there to help out Hillary. Since she's in fighting mode lately, it makes sense to bring out the steamroller. But he's kept himself pretty distant from her over the past few months. Will he still be as effective if he's not revved up? Spitzer Sells Clinton, Says Driver's License Mess Didn't Hurt Her [NYO] Update: According to the Sun, Spitzer stopped short of saying that he would stump for Clinton, but left open the possibility "if this continues."

The Old Guy's Still Got It in Him

Spitz
It's been so long since we've heard about Eliot Spitzer getting all angry, we were starting to suspect that L'Affaire Bruno had caused him to simmer down for good. Au contraire! Maybe we just haven't been paying enough attention. According to anonymous sources in the Post, the Spitz apparently laid into Council Speaker Christine Quinn last week over his proposed sale of land near the Javits Center. When Quinn's people called the governor's office to say they opposed the sale, his aides apparently greased the wheels by calling them "fucking idiots"; then Spitzer himself got on the horn. "He was angry and screaming," a source told the Post. Boringly, Quinn's spokesperson declined to repeat exactly what he said and told the Post that things were "smoothed over" now. Smoothed over like a steamroller, we bet. There He Blows Again [NYP]

Pulling Apart

The year’s first blanket of snow dropped from the skies two days before Valentine’s Day, but it soon washed away — and on the ground, heartbreak abounded. Barack Obama spoiled the Clintons’ romantic holiday, beating out Bill for a Grammy (with his reading of The Audacity of Hope) and stomping Hillary in eight primaries. Roger Clemens told a congressional committee that best bud Andy Pettitte was mistaken in his recollection that Clemens took human growth hormone, maintaining that wife Debbie was the only family member who’d done so.

Is Joe Bruno Shaking in His Wingtips Today?

Bruno
Though we haven't been hearing about it as much lately, it turns out the heat is not off Joe Bruno. The FBI has been investigating the State Senate majority leader's outside business interests for nearly two years now, and today we learn that they've widened their inquiry. Several subpoenas were issued to pension funds linked to unions in Bruno's Albany-area district last week. Six local unions have many millions invested with a Connecticut firm, Wright Investors' Service, which employs Bruno for services that they have yet to explain to authorities. The connections were revealed in December by the Times, after which Bruno and the firm quickly severed their relationship. But the FBI's inquiry into union records show that Bruno is far from being off the hook. The Daily News' Elizabeth Benjamin also reports that the probe is going to weaken the union's traditional support of the powerful state senator. Despite public support for Bruno, one labor leader told Benjamin, "The conventional strategy of many building trades and public sector unions is about to end… They've made their bets on Bruno, but it's all unraveling." As the State Senate heads into a battle for control this fall, this could mean big things. Bruno and the state GOP were also banking on a Giuliani national candidacy to rally New York's Republican base to the voting booths in November. Even though Governor Spitzer has been muzzling himself lately, we're betting that these days behind his hand, he's chucking quietly. Investigation into Bruno Broadens [NYT] Albany unions support Joe Bruno despite chill of FBI subpoenas [NYDN]

Roger Stone to Hillary Clinton: ‘C U Next Tuesday!’

Citizens United Not Timid
If it took you two glances at the image to the left to realize what it's meant to look like, you've already donated a few seconds of your time to the cause of right-wing attack dog Roger Stone. He's the guy who is accused of making nasty phone calls to Eliot Spitzer's dad (remember how we punctured his alibi?). He's also been affiliated with dirty tricks for decades, from Nixon's Committee to Reelect the President (yes, that CREEP) to some maybe shady dealings with Roy Cohn and a couple of mobsters. Anyway, this time around, his efforts are pretty straightforward. The image you see here is the symbol for his new group, Citizens United Not Timid. CUNT, for short. Straightforward enough for you? "It's a simple joke," Roger Stone told The Weekly Standard. "It's not War and Peace.… The truth is, we sat around for hours trying to come up with words for BITCH and just couldn't do it." The sole purpose of Stone's new group is to sell T-shirts with the above symbol from a Website. "The more people buy the T-shirts, the more people wear the T-shirts," he says. "The more people wear the T-shirts, the more people are educated." Hmm. And people complain that in this election, nobody's talking enough about education. Citizens United Not Timid [Official Site] Making Political Trouble [Weekly Standard] "Legendary" GOP Strategist Launches Hillary Namecalling Effort [TPM]