Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

As long as we're talking about sex scandals ...

March 12, 2008 | 10:31 am

Eliot Spitzer's political career seems to have just ended abruptly, and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has to be a little thankful this morning that the New York governor has grabbed the political spotlight today. Kilpatrick, like Spitzer, was once considered a future bright light in the Democratic Party. But a sex scandal has also caught up the married Kilpatrick, as revealed in text messages with his lover, who was also his chief of staff, and about which they apparently lied under oath.

The story is even more involved, as our colleague P.J. Huffstutter reported a few days back. There's a dead exotic dancer after a phantom party at the mayor's mansion, charges of a cover-up, multi-millions in legal settlements paid out by what is likely the nation's most impoverished big city, and enough other plot twists to fill a Tom Wolfe novel

Last night, Kilpatrick delivered his annual state of the city speech, which apparently didn't go well. Some City Council members refused to sit on stage with him, as tradition dictates. Protesters outside the building demanded his resignation. And the local district attorney is still a couple of weeks away from deciding whether to file charges against the mayor over the disconnect between his testimony in a civil case that he was not romantically involved with his chief of staff, and the text messages that indicate he was.

Which makes us wonder whether politicians might want to start thinking about taking vows of celibacy. But then, given the way some of them trash their other vows --to spouses, to the public, and to the laws they promise to uphold -- we doubt it would do any good.

-- Scott Martelle