Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More details on Spitzer

If either the prurience or the politics of Elliot Spitzer's dalliance with extremely high priced hookers has gotten your attention, then Jeralyn Merrit of Talkleft has collected a great deal of information and since she is a defense attorney, she also explains the relevance and apparent legal strategies.

Laura Rozen (War & Piece) also reports more information, this focusing especially on the details of the prostitution organization, the Emperors Club VIP. I was surprised at the prices the Emperors Club charges. This is from the New York Post (referenced by Rozen)
Two other women, Tanya Hollander, 36, a nutritionist from upstate Rhineback, and Temeka Rachelle Lewis, 32, of Brooklyn, face similar charges for handling the day-to-day business.

For several years, wealthy men could go online and pick through mini-biographies of the women. Their bodies were pictured but their faces obscured.

"Raquel," who worked in New York and LA, was described as "an avid writer, actress and journalist."

Men paid $1,100 to $5,500 an hour or could get discounted day or multiple-day rates of $25,000 to $50,000. American Express and wire transfers were accepted.

Sometimes the women took imprints of the men's credit cards on the spot and faxed them back to the pimping couple.

The operation started to unravel after one of the hookers agreed to become a confidential source for the FBI in late 2006.
If you wondered where those tax cuts that Bush and Cheney rammed through for their wealthy supporters, this is what those tax cuts were buying. Had to be. No one else except the recipients of those tax cuts could afford those prices.

Somehow this seems to me to be a real justification for a sharply progressive income tax on both investment and wage income, along with hefty inheritance taxes. Paying for sex is not either socially or economically valuable, and should be discouraged.

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