It's clear that he has to go, and go quickly.  New York isn't Louisiana, so being caught on tape arranging an appointment with a prostitute doesn't fall under the dead girl/live boy rule.

That said, prostitution should be legal and taxed.  At $1,000-$5,500 a throw, these prostitution rings could be a revenue goldmine.


Any word from Massa's camp on this? I've been following the developments all afternoon:


I think anyone who thinks about this clearly for more than 10 seconds understands that the impact on the Massa campaign is nil, unless Massa does something stupid like stick up for Spitzer, which I'm sure he won't.

I disagree. The fact remains that Massa was a HUGE Spitzer supporter in his gov bid in '06. That ad which the Massa campaign took down today practically had them hugging each other. This latest controversy goes directly to the Democrat brandname in New York, which has been eroding ever since Spitzer got sworn-in last year. From the administration's handling of Hevesigate, to Troopergate, to advocating driver's licenses to illegal aliens, and now Hookergate, the fact remains that Spitzer has been an absolutely horrible governor. When the latest poll numbers show that a Democrat governor from a dark blue state has an approval rating hovering around the mid-30s, and those polls were conducted prior to Hookergate, then it's clear that those who actively supported and campaigned for Spitzer made a huge error in judgment.

Ontario - trying to tie Massa to Spitzer on this one is like trying to tie Randy Kuhl to Mark Foley - simply not logical. Massa stood up to Spitzer on the illegal alien drivers license thing long before Kuhl did, but you'd probably prefer not to discuss that. I agree with Rotten that Massa will probably not stick up for Spitzer on this one, and I also agree that Spitzer should probably step down.

If, as you claim, Spitzer was a terrible governor and his endorsement of Massa this cycle would have been poison, then his almost certain resignation will only help Massa. I don't agree that Spitzer's endorsement would have been poison in 2008, and it certainly wasn't in 2006. When Spitzer endorsed Massa in '06, he was on his way to winning a landslide victory, and he entered office with 70+% approval ratings. So Massa getting Spitzer's endorsement then made perfect sense and was nothing but upside.

In addition, a sex scandal is a free pass for any politician to disown a former ally. If Spitzer doesn't resign in the next couple of days, Massa can make big press by calling on him to resign and expressing his disgust at Spitzer's behavior.

If you don't believe me, think about other similar cases. Take the case of David Vitter and Bobby Jindal. Does Vitter help or hurt Jindal? I think it's a wash. Or how about Butch Otter and Larry Craig? Otter's not in any trouble because of Craig. I think it's pretty clear that a sex scandal doesn't hurt the ally of a politician unless that ally sticks up for their disgraced colleague.

Zabriskie: Here's why you can't tie Kuhl to Foley: One's from New York, the other's from Florida, neither one ever campaigned for the other, and of course, the fact that Kuhl had nothing to do with the overseeing of the page program. And yet, despite these facts, if you do a simple search for "Mark Foley" on Massa's website, Massa did everything he could to "tie" Foley's problems with all Republicans in the House in the last election.

To tie Massa to Spitzer is a far much easier project. As I said in my previous comment, the Spitzer endorsement ad which Massa aired in '06 had the two practically hugging each other. They campaigned with each other in the district. Spitzer received Massa's big stamp of approval, and vice versa. Obviously, Massa had absolutely nothing to do with Hookergate, but through his (and other prominent New York Democrat's) work to get Spitzer elected, we got one hell of a terrible governor. I know that Massa didn't approve of Spitzer's "driver's licenses for everyone" plan, but in the end, Massa promoted Spitzer big time in '06, and in return, he received much help from Spitzer and the NY Dem party for his efforts and New Yorkers got a bad governor.

I think the truth lies somewhere between Ontario's and Rotten's opinions. The Democrat brand has been hurt since Spitzer took office. It may not sway many votes but could make a difference in a close race.

OR: Foley's misdeeds with pages were known for months (and possibly years) by the Republican leadership in the House before they were revealed by the press. That's why the Foley sex scandal had impact that the Craig and Vitter scandals did not -- others in his party knew about it and did nothing.

No such fact has been alleged in the Spitzer case. So tying Spitzer to Massa, which is easy, is not going to get you any bang for your buck unless other Democrats knew about Spitzers whoremongering and turned a blind eye.

In general, there are two kinds of sex/money scandals: stand-alone and institutional.

Stand-alone is a politician taking bribes nobody else knows about, or having sex that he procures himself. Jefferson, Craig, and Vitter are stand-alone scandals.

Institutional is a politician getting bribes and spreading the money around, and having sex that others help him cover up. ABSCAM and Foley are examples of institutional scandals.

At the moment, the Spitzer scandal is stand-alone.

Rottenchester: I always enjoy your sunny optimism, but please don't try to claim that the events of today somehow help Massa. When the top figure in his state's party, who helped him greatly in the last election, gets caught up in a hooker scandal, that's not a great news day for him. If it was, why was his campaign scurrying around to take down the Spitzer endorsement ad? I have no doubt that Massa will attempt to distance himself from the governor ("Spitzer who?"), but to suggest that this may help Massa is a far, out-of-this-world stretch. Frankly, this is the last thing that any Dem politician in New York wants right now, with only a few months til Election Day.

Above, I indicated that accepting your spin about Spitzer (he's poison) would lead one to think that this might help Massa, but I don't accept the antecedent of that conditional, so I don't hold to the silly position that this somehow helps Massa.

I still think the ultimate effect is nil, because it's a stand-alone scandal. Another way of looking at it: What's the negative commercial out of this? "Eric Massa supports Whoremonger Eliot Spitzer" That only happens if Massa says something nice now.

Ontario Republican: why hasn't Kuhl rejected and denounced David Vitter, Larry Craig, Rick Renzi, Duke Cunningham, and Bob Ney?

I'm waiting.

Minute two of Kuhl-gate!!

He refuses to reject and denounce Larry Craig. What is going on over at Kuhl HQ?

His silence indicates support for the bathroom-sex having Congressman.

What a disgrace.

New Kuhl scandal:

Why did Kuhl wait until Mark Foley was found out as a pedophile to denounce him?bl

Exile - all the scandals you mention have hurt Republicans. Kuhl should have renounced all the people you speak of. Many scandals helped Massa get as close as he did in 2006. It looks like, at least at this moment, that 2008 in the scandal deaprtment will be the reverse of 2006.

The talking heads are saying that Spitzer will not resign right away, but save his governship to use in a plea deal. So this could drag on for months.

That's right, Elmer, because the Rick Renzi scandal happened a full three weeks ago, I think. You're really up on things, I see.

I agree that what Spitzer did was wrong and I am not defending him, but in terms of the impact on NY-29, let me know when local Democrats start pulling out shotguns at dinner parties.

In the meantime Kuhl surrogates should probably stay away from these kinds of scandals.

People in glass houses and all that, you know?

And sorry to bomard here but I don't think Kuhl's responsible for any of that stuff involving other Republicans in Congress. Not a fan of Kuhl's but he has no connection with the Abramoff stuff and he has nothing to apologize for on that front. I was being sarcastic.

I don't put a lot of credence in what uninformed talking heads say a few hours after a major news event. If he doesn't resign, it's going to take a day or two before the implications -- legal and political -- shake out.

Exile - I may not be that "up on things" but I would think that the Governor of New York would have a far greater impact on a New York election than a congressman from Arizona. Just a guess though

I see you point, Elmer. I don't think that 2006 scandals affected Kuhl and Walsh much, so I missed what you were saying originally. I guess they did affect Reynolds, though, so I should have understood. My mistake.

Guys - There is always a small percent of voters who do the guilt by assocation thing. Neither Massa or Kuhl have anything to apologize for concerning any of these scandals, but I'm sure that the Republican ones hurt Kuhl in 2006 and this Spitzer thing may take a small amount of voters away from Massa. And, as I said earlier, in a close election these votes could be critical.

I guess I'm not really arguing with you, Elmer. But I think OR is way out of line trying to link Massa to this. I have never tried to link Kuhl to any scandals with which he had no relation. That's my real point here.

I agree with you on this one Exile - if Massa knew that Spitzer was doing that and accepted his endorsement regardless, then that would be a different story. I have met Eric Massa and he is a gentleman. If he had even a hint of something like this from anyone, he would distance himself from them.

Exile: I'm NOT linking Massa to Hookergate. I'm linking him to the man he actively supported to be our current governor. If the only controversy in this past year with Spitzer involved just this latest news, this would be a different story. Instead, after all the scandals and controversies that St. Eliot performed in just one year in office, it is most certainly prudent to question the judgment of those who not only got him elected, but actively sought his support knowing all the evidence we had back in 2006 that Spitzer was a mere bullying thug. Unfortunately, it took a sex scandal (and not Hevesigate, Troopergate, Licensegate, etc) to make people see the light of day!

OR, whether or not Spitzer is bullying has nothing to do with whether or not he saw prostitutes. I just don't see the connection.

It's really out of bounds to attack Massa over Spitzer. Randy supported Joe Bruno for years and Bruno's under investigation -- is that Randy's fault?

OR: I think it's pretty tough to question Massa's judgment on supporting Spitzer for Governor. Most of New York State agreed with Spitzer, and Spitzer had a track record of integrity and independence as AG. He seemed like a guy who could cut through some of the Albany quagmire. A lot of Republicans voted for him in 2006, for the simple reason that he seemed like the best choice at the time. Do you question their judgment, too?

for the love of God, can we move on? Spitzer is a jerk, the thing is a tragic mess, but randy's crew best be a bit more creative when trying to identify a way to chastise massa.

I voted for John Faso in 2006 - but once Spitzer was elected I had hoped for some real change in Albany. I think most New Yorkers felt the same way. Troopergate lowered my expectations considerably, and now this. But I don't think anyone, including Eric Massa, dreamed any of this to be possible.

I can be a little slow sometimes, but it came to me this morning - Elliot was just doing his part to stimulate the economy :)

vdomeras: I wrote a post earlier this a.m. on that topic but forgot to hit the right button to get it published. It's up now.

Elmer: There definitely was some stimulation going on, and we're going to hear all about it.

Hey Ontario, any word on John McCain cheating on his first wife? How about Rudy Giuliani? Get off the partisan pandering, it's not Massa's fault about Spitzer, nor is it the fault of anyone else who took campaign contributions.