Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Viewer's Voice - Vitter Future

After reading the latest AP report on Senator Vitter take a moment to tell us what you think by calling 445-6397 Ext. 589. Or you can join the conversation here.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New allegations tie Sen. David Vitter to a high-priced brothel in his hometown, one day after he publicly apologized for his connection to an alleged prostitution ring in Washington, D.C.

On Monday, Vitter acknowledged being involved with a D.C. escort service that federal prosecutors say was a prostitution ring. A day later, new revelations linked him to a former madam in New Orleans and old allegations that he frequented a former prostitute resurfaced, further clouding his political future.

Jeanette Maier on Tuesday said Vitter was once a client of the Canal Street brothel. She pleaded guilty to running the operation in 2002. Vitter won his seat in the U.S. Senate in 2004.
Saying he was a "decent guy" who appeared to be in need of company when he visited the brothel, Maier added unexpected details to a scandal enveloping the first-term Republican.

"As far as the girls coming out after seeing David, all they had was nice things to say. It wasn't all about sex. In fact, he just wanted to have somebody listen to him, you know. And I said his wife must not be listening," Maier said in an interview with The Associated Press.
She also was interviewed by several other news organizations. Vitter's office did not respond to calls for comment on the latest allegations.

Federal prosecutors unveiled the existence of the $300-an-hour brothel in April 2002. It was linked to similar operations in other U.S. cities.

"It wasn't all about dirty, raunchy, crazy sex," Maier told the AP. "It was a bunch of guys coming over hanging out with the girls and having a few cocktails, and men being men."
Maier was among 17 defendants who pleaded guilty in the investigation. With all the guilty pleas, there never was a trial, and that kept under wraps a list of customers that reportedly included prominent lawyers, doctors and business professionals.

"He is a decent guy. He's not a freak. He's not using drugs.
He's not using taxpayers money to buy hookers or drugs or anything like that. He's just a decent, normal guy," she said.

Vinny Mosca, Maier's attorney in the brothel case, said in a statement late Tuesday that she never told him about Vitter being a client and that his name never came up in the case.
"Throughout the time that I represented Jeannette Maier in the Canal Street brothel case, the name of David Vitter or any code name for him never came up," Mosca said. "It was not contained in any evidence in the case, including in any book, list or document seized by the federal government or given to the federal government by Ms. Maier."

Mosca also said Vitter's name "was never picked up on any government wiretap nor is it listed in any transcript or court document as part of the Canal Street brothel case."

Also Tuesday, details resurfaced about an allegation that Vitter paid weekly visits to a prostitute in the French Quarter in the late 1990s. The allegations were investigated by a Republican rival when Vitter ran for a House seat in Congress in 1999. The seat had been vacated by Robert Livingston, who resigned after disclosure of marital indiscretions.

Vincent Bruno, a member of the state Republican Party's central committee, said Tuesday that he had confirmed the allegations at the time while working for the campaign of David Treen, a former Louisiana governor running against Vitter.

The allegations never surfaced in the congressional campaign, but The Louisiana Weekly, a New Orleans newspaper, wrote about them in 2002 and 2004. Vitter denied the accusations. The prostitute never spoke publicly about the alleged affair, which was largely ignored by mainstream news organizations.

"She said she was having a paid affair often on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Dauphine and Dumaine," Bruno said, referring to two French Quarter streets.
"It's very sleazy, and it's illegal. But, OK, it doesn't apply to senators. They're an elite group," Bruno said with irony. He has called on Vitter to resign.

Bernie Pinsonat, a Louisiana political analyst, said Republicans most likely would stand behind Vitter despite the new allegations.
"They aren't going to throw him to the wolves," he said, citing support from religious organizations, conservative commentators and the general public.

Vitter declined interview requests throughout the day Tuesday, and made no public appearances in the Capitol. The night before, he'd made a startling confession in an e-mail to The Associated Press about his association with a purported call-girl operation in Washington.
"This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible. Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling."

Vitter's statement said his telephone number was on phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates, an escort service, before he ran for the Senate in 2004. Federal prosecutors have accused Deborah Jeane Palfrey of racketeering by running a prostitution ring that netted more than $2 million over 13 years, beginning in 1993. She contends that her escort service was a legitimate business offering sexual fantasies.

Vitter, 46, and his wife, Wendy, live in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie with their four children. Vitter recently played a prominent role in derailing an immigration bill backed by President Bush. He also is a key supporter of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential bid, serving as regional campaign chairman for the South.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why we are always so surprised when something like David Vitter's situation comes out. We rightly hold our goverment to a higher standand than we hold ourselves but we always need to remember that these people are regualar men and women who sometimes fail in morality and ethics. Should we be dissapointed in David Vitter? Yes. Should this ruin his carreer and plauge his ability to do his job? No. We should never judge a man or woman by their worst mistake. We are all bigger than that one action.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Crouere, a Republican, claims Vitter should resign, and I agree. We already have a difficult time securing funds for recovery, and this does not help. Vitter has missed two days of voting as a result of this scandal, and he is still hiding from the media. Bob Livingston, his predecessor, resigned as a result of a similar scandal, and Vitter should do the same. He ran on family values, and now we know he does not uphold them. He should do the state of Louisiana a favor and resign, for even members of his own political party no longer support him.

Anonymous said...

I think Vitter's biggest mistake was...He got caught. I'll still vote for him.

Anonymous said...

If Vitter had ran just a regular campaign and not run to all of the preachers to help him run on a platform of him being this great "family man" this would be no big deal. This is not my idea of a husband, father or the moral platform he ran on. He should have done like Edwin Edwards and said he loved all women! Black, white, small and big---he just loved women. We would have voted for him and not been disappointed. Women in Louisiana elected Edwin Edwards the first time he ran and we were never disappointed that he was not faithful to his wife. But, when you use your high morals as your platform you need to be able to live up to what you said you were. Also, if you go back to the scandal of Bill Clinton, if I am not mistaken Mrs. Vitter voice her opinion of Hillary staying with him to the media. And Mr. Vitter has been very quick to treaten the politicans that did not support him with an investigation by the FBI. Can he go through such an investigation? SHAME ON VITTER! He has embrassed his family and his supporters. He will never be taken seriously again.

Anonymous said...

Hustler just issued a press release, and they claim their $1 million dollar investigation has yieled credible information to link Vitter to five (5) prostitutes. I guess the snowball just gets bigger as it rolls down the hill Vitter tried to suppress.

Anonymous said...

I say leave Senator Vitter alone. Has he been a good Senator? If so, elect him again. Why spend so much energy crucifying him for a mistake made prior to his election.
Focus on what really matters - what he's done and can continue to do for Louisiana.

Anonymous said...

Vitter was in Congress in 2000 and 2001. He may not have been a Senator, but he was a member of the US House. One should also not neglect that he ran a campaign of "family values" after engaging in all these sex acts with prostitutes. If he truly believed in this platform on which he ran, he would not have referred to those who exposed him in 2002 as "liars" and "hypocrites," and he would have admitted these past sins to the public when the allegations surfaced. But he did not, as he used this platform as a wedge issue in order to squeak by during the election.

Cite five major pieces of legislation Vitter authored and passed since he was elected to the US Senate. If he is such an effective Senator, this should not be a problem. But I will not be surprised to discover you cannot list five major legislative accomplishment, for Vitter was enhancing his sex life in DC, not the lives of the Louisianans he ostensibly represents.

Anonymous said...

What would make a man take the grocery money to pay for 300/hr visits? and if it could be bottled and sold, would you ladies buy it - on QVC?