Obviously, Spitzer should resign and will resign. And even if he sticks around, nobody's political career could possibly survive this picture, so he won't win another term.
All and still, I want to know more about this investigation. According to the NY Times, here's how it all started:
There, in the Hauppauge offices of the Internal Revenue Service, investigators conducting a routine examination of suspicious financial transactions reported to them by banks found several unusual movements of cash involving the governor of New York, several officials said.
The investigators working out of the three-story office building, which faces Veterans Highway, typically review such reports, the officials said. But this was not typical: transactions by a governor who appeared to be trying to conceal the source, destination or purpose of the movement of thousands of dollars in cash, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Ok, first question. How typical is this sort of surveillance? If this is something that all Americans are subject to then I'm not too happy with that. If, alternately, this sort of surveillance is focused only on a limited pool of targets, then I'd like to know how those targets are selected. In either case, the pattern seems to involve surveillance prior to suspicion and then escalation of investigation prior to the identification of any illegal act.
Back to the NY Times for a description of the next stage of the investigation:
But before long, the investigators learned that the money was being moved to pay for sex and that the transactions were being manipulated to conceal Mr. Spitzer’s connection to payments for meetings with prostitutes, the official said.
Then, with the assistance of a confidential informant, a young woman who had worked previously as a prostitute for the Emperor’s Club V.I.P., the escort service that Mr. Spitzer was believed to be using, the investigators were able to get a judge to approve wiretaps on the cellphones of some of those suspected of involvement in the escort service.
Second question. Why did the investigation continue once it was discovered that the suspicious transactions were concealing cash transfers to an escort service? What I'm getting at is that escort services routinely advertise publicly and post prices. See, for example, the website of the very escort service used by Spitzer. Maybe law enforcement agencies should routinely investigate such services, but the fact is that they don't. Instead, the arrangement seems to be that society will look the other way so long as the escort services don't explicitly say that the service being offered is sex. Moreover, the target of this investigation is clearly Spitzer, but even assuming that the allegations are true the most serious charges he is likely to face are misdemeanors. Recruiting confidential informants and installing wiretaps goes well beyond the norm for investigation of such crimes.
Leaving all that aside, here's one last question. Would you expect a corrupt politician to pay for his own call girls?