(Since it appears that my post has come to the attention of The Erotic Review, owing to the spike in visitors who found this site from one of their bulleting boards, I am redacting the portions of the reviews from this post in order to avoid any potential problems.)
Even though he lives on the other side of the country in Oregon, my friend Gordo at Appletree was on this before I could get around to addressing the scandal that has befallen the governor of my state of New York.
As this Associated Press article on Yahoo reveals, Eliot Spitzer may have spent upwards of $80,000 on his extracurricular activities. According to the article, "Spitzer's vast personal wealth would have made it easy for him to spend thousands of dollars on prostitutes. The scion of a wealthy Manhattan real estate developer, Spitzer reported $1.9 million in income to the IRS in 2006."
The enemies that Spitzer made throughout his political career are certainly experiencing a sense of schadenfreude over his troubles. "On Wall Street, where Spitzer built his reputation as a crusader against shady practices and overly generous compensation, cheers and laughter erupted Monday from the trading floor when news broke of his potential ruin."
The Spitzer scandal has also shined a light on the prostitution business itself, as reported in this companion article. Indeed, the Internet has revolutionized the world's oldest profession. To give you an idea, here is a link to Eros New York, an escort advertising site. Interested persons can review a host of ads for women to find what they like, whether it be a blonde or redhead, or an Asian or Latina. Many of the ads even provide links to web sites for the particular escort of interest, where you can view additional photos, get detailed information on rates, as well as some biographical info. For example, here is the web site for Monica L., one of the escorts who advertises on Eros. Monica clearly aspires to be a more high class escort. If you click on her Rates page, you will see that she charges $600 per hour incall and $700 per hour outcall. It brings to mind an old joke by Chris Rock wherein he asks a prostitute how much she charges. When she quotes him a high rate, he asks her what will she do for him. "Whatever you want," she replies, to which Rock quips, "Paint my house, bitch!"
Not only can prospective customers troll escort directories like Eros to look for escorts that appeal to them, there are also web sites where they can read reviews of escorts written by their previous customers. One such site is The Erotic Review (subscription required to access the raunchy stuff). At such sites, one can find out whether the photos of the escort are accurate, what kind of services she provides, as well as her attitude and level of performance. For example, a customer (or "hobbyist" as they refer to themselves) who patronizes a new escort who turns out to be unattractive or a lousy performer writes it off as "taking one for the team."
With all the media attention being given to Governor Spitzer's peccadilloes, it seems inevitable that there will be discussions about the morality of prostitution and whether or not it should be legal. While he might be wishing he wrote this post this week rather than four months ago, Ebonmuse at Daylight Atheism did a good job weighing the pros and cons of legalization in this post that is highly worth reading. Then there is the simplistic view, as enunciated by George Carlin below in a little over half a minute.
Whether or not prostitution should be legal, Eliot Spitzer knowingly and repeatedly engaged in activity that was illegal. As Gordo wrote in the comments section to the post I linked to at the top, we cannot have elected officials breaking the law. I agree with Gordo that Spitzer should resign as governor of the state of New York.
As for whether prostitution should be legal or not, I will not get into my own opinion on the subject in this post, though I invite others to do so. I plan to do another post on this topic later this week where I will state my opinion, which has been shaped by my own personal experience.