Scott Jordan

Spitzer's woes doing no favors for Vitter

Louisiana’s Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter can’t be happy with New York Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer today. Yesterday Spitzer, who built his political career in New York as a firebreathing attorney general and earned the nickname “The Sheriff of Wall Street,” became the latest high-ranking politico to be snared in a prostitution scandal. In Spitzer’s case, he’s expected to resign after the revelation that he met with a high-priced call girl in a Washington, D.C. hotel; if he doesn’t resign, New York Republicans are already raising the possibility of impeaching Spitzer .

Just as Vitter did last year after his phone number turned up in the records of D.C. Madam Debra Jeanne Palfrey, Spitzer made a brief public apology yesterday with his wife by his side, but did not address specifics and did not take questions.

The Republican Governor’s Association -- of which Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is an executive committee member -- has already called for Spitzer’s resignation. “The American people are tired of corrupt and hypocritical politicians,” said Republican Governors Association executive director Nick Ayers in a statement. “The Governor of New York is just another in the long list of politicians that have failed their constituents.”

Louisiana Democrats have pounced on that statement, with party chair Chris Whittington issuing this subsequent statement: “Senator Vitter ducked and ran when similar calls were made for his resignation last year,” Whittington said. “And yet we don’t remember Mr. Ayers or anyone else from the Republican Party for that matter being quite so outspoken and judgmental. ... On the contrary, Louisiana Republicans, including Governor Bobby Jindal and state Treasurer John Kennedy got together last month and hosted a fundraiser for Senator Vitter that raised him nearly a half a million dollars.

“In fact, Governor Jindal, who now sits on the four member executive committee of the Republican Governor’s Association, and is thus Mr. Ayers’ boss did not call for Vitter’s resignation saying instead: “While we are disappointed by Senator Vitter’s actions, Supriya and I continue to keep David and his family in our prayers,” Jindal said, referring to his wife. “This is a matter for the Senator to address, and it is our hope that this is not used by others for their own political gain.”

Vitter, who’s doggedly tried to make his prostitution scandal fade into the background, now has a philandering Democrat to blame for bringing his own transgressions back into the spotlight.