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Senator's number on escort service list

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070710/ap_on_go_co/vitter_dc_madam Senator s number on escort service list By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer 1 hour,
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 9, 2007
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070710/ap_on_go_co/vitter_dc_madam

      Senator's number on escort service list

      By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer 1 hour,
      51 minutes ago

      WASHINGTON - Sen. David Vitter, R-La., apologized
      Monday night for "a very serious sin in my past" after
      his telephone number appeared among those associated
      with an escort service operated by the so-called "D.C.
      Madam."

      Vitter's spokesman, Joel Digrado, confirmed the
      statement in an e-mail sent to The Associated Press.

      "This was a very serious sin in my past for which I
      am, of course, completely responsible," Vitter said in
      the statement. "Several years ago, I asked for and
      received forgiveness from God and my wife in
      confession and marriage counseling. Out of respect for
      my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter
      there — with God and them. But I certainly offer my
      deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed
      and let down in any way."

      The statement containing Vitter's apology said his
      telephone number was on old phone records of Pamela
      Martin and Associates before he ran for the Senate.

      Deborah Jeane Palfrey was accused in federal court of
      racketeering by running a prostitution ring that
      netted more than $2 million over 13 years, beginning
      in 1993. She contends, however, that her escort
      service, Pamela Martin and Associates, was a
      legitimate business.

      Vitter, 46, a Republican in his first Senate term, was
      elected to the Senate in 2004. He represented
      Louisiana's 1st Congressional District in the House
      from 1999 to 2004.

      Vitter and his wife, Wendy, live in Metairie, La.,
      with their four children.

      Palfrey's attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, told the
      AP, "I'm stunned that someone would be apologizing for
      this." He said Palfrey had posted the phone numbers of
      her escort service's clients online Monday, but he did
      not know whether Vitter's number was among them.
      Vitter's statement was sent to the AP's New Orleans
      bureau Monday evening.

      Palfrey's Web site contains 20 compressed files of
      phone records, dating from August 1994 to August 2006.
      No names are listed, only phone numbers. Palfrey wrote
      on the Web site that she believed a disk containing
      the records had been pirated, and wrote that she was
      posting the records "to thwart any possible distorted
      version and to ensure the integrity of the
      information."

      Silas Lee, a political analyst and pollster in New
      Orleans, spoke Monday about the possible political
      impact on Vitter.

      "In the short term, I think the issue will dominate
      the discourse for a few days and weeks, and though
      he's up for re-election in 2010, it should dissipate
      by then," Lee told WWL-TV in New Orleans.

      "But for some of his very conservative constituents,
      it might not be as easy. In their mind and eyes, they
      may not be able to forgive. The majority may overlook
      it in time depending on his job performance and how
      sincere voters believe he wants them to forgive him."

      Earlier this year Palfrey, 51, of Vallejo, Calif.,
      asked the Supreme Court to delay the criminal case
      against her — a request the court denied in May. Her
      attorney had argued that it was unfair to proceed
      against Palfrey because her assets remain seized in a
      civil forfeiture case, meaning she lacks the money to
      hire an attorney of her choice.

      Randall Tobias, a senior official in the State
      Department, resigned in April after ABC News
      confronted him about his use of the escort service. He
      admitted that he had hired women to come to his
      Washington condo and give him massages but denied that
      he had sex with the escorts.

      Palfrey threatened for months to release her client
      list, which led prosecutors to accuse her of trying to
      intimidate potential witnesses.

      Contending that her escort service was legal, Palfrey
      revealed details of its operation on ABC's news
      magazine "20/20" on May 4. At the time, ABC said it
      could not link any information provided by Palfrey to
      members of Congress or White House officials but did
      find links to prominent business executives, NASA
      officials and at least five military officers.

      Prosecutors contend that Palfrey knew the 130 women
      she employed over 13 years were engaged in
      prostitution. She claims that she operated a "legal,
      high-end erotic fantasy service" and that the women
      signed contracts in which they promised not to have
      sex with clients. The service charged a flat rate of
      $275 for 90 minutes, she said.

      Palfrey pleaded guilty to pimping charges in 1991 and
      was sentenced to 18 months in a California prison.
    • Ram Lau
      Too bad Vitter isn t up for re-election until 2010. But I know this will still be mentioned in the Louisiana Senate race. Ram
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 10, 2007
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        Too bad Vitter isn't up for re-election until 2010. But I know this
        will still be mentioned in the Louisiana Senate race.

        Ram
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