TalkUSA founder and Senatorial spouse busted in prostitution sting

Another Democrat falls into the prostitution trap, although this particular john didn’t exactly pay Emperor Club prices. Thomas Athans, husband to Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and the co-founder of the liberal radio network TalkUSA, got nailed in a prostitution sting. He set up the $150 tryst on the Internet:

The husband of U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow told police he used the Internet to make a date with a prostitute and paid her $150 for sex at a hotel, according to a police report.

Thomas Athans, 46, co-founder of the liberal TalkUSA Radio network, was stopped by police who were investigating Internet-based prostitution at the hotel, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday in a story on its Web site. The newspaper said it obtained a copy of the police report through a state Freedom of Information Act request.

In a statement issued by her office Wednesday morning, Stabenow said, “This is very disturbing and serious. Obviously it’s a deeply difficult and personal matter.”

Police stopped Athans’ car after he left the Residence Inn in Troy on Feb. 26. They ticketed him for driving with a suspended license but did not bring any sex charges against him.

The Free Press notes the connections Athans has to other Democrats as well. Hillary Clinton publicly acknowledged him in a Detroit appearance last month. She also appeared at a fundraiser in 2004 for Athans’ previous project, Democracy Radio, which brought in almost $2 million and helped take Ed Schultz nationwide.

Also, why is Athans still driving on a suspended license? The Detroit News says it actually isn’t suspended any longer; his license was reinstated after a 9-month suspension for failure to comply with an unspecified judgment. Athans apparently made hiring a prostitute one of his first outings behind the wheel, which indicates a strange set of priorities.

After the disgrace of Eliot Spitzer’s resignation, Democrats have to wonder how many more of these scandals will erupt in this election year. Republicans don’t have much ground for sanctimony, either, not with David Vitter still in office after evidence of his own patronization of prostitutes. Voters in both parties have to wonder whether this is an aberration or whether it’s professional courtesy.