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In 2006 Spitzer was elected governor of New York State after a long career as a prosecutor enforcing prostitution laws. As governor, he supported new legislation that increases the penalty for buying sex. In 2008 he was forced to resign because he was caught buying sex through an escort agency. (Spitzer was never charged though.)
Walter Shapiro at Politics Daily says: “I probably feel more remorse and shame for voting for him than Spitzer feels about his staggering hypocrisy in prosecuting prostitution rings as New York attorney general and patronizing them as governor.”
Right on, Walter! We don’t agree with every sentiment expressed in your column, but we do think Spitzer should admit he was wrong.
Wrong to support the prosecution of our customers; wrong to prosecute people working in the sex industry.
Walter goes on to say that Spitzer’s downfall was “less about sex than about the betrayal of public trust.” Prostitutes and agency owners are voters and tax payers, part of that betrayed public, and we’re finding new ways to be part of the democratic process.
Kristin Davis, a former madam who spent four months in jail, argues that Spitzer doesn’t deserve to be rehabilitated so quickly. She says Spitzer was one of her agency’s clients, which may explain the timing of her arrest. It’s been suggested that the former governor brought attention to Kristin’s agency to reduce his own problems.
Kristin is now running for NY State governor. This morning, she appeared at a press event in Albany, the capital of New York. (In the US, each state has its own government and its own capital, similar to the Canadian system.)
Kristin is new to sex industry activism and has yet to build an alliance with sex worker rights groups. Her emphasis on legalization instead of decrim, as well as punishing johns (Swedish model), reflects that. While PONY disagrees with aspects of her strategy, we applaud her courage and hope she inspires more sex workers to get involved with electoral politics.
You can learn more about her campaign at Davis for Governor.
PONY (Prostitutes of New York) will be posting news and comments every week from our members and friends in the New York area. We’ll be reporting from the conferences and locales our members fly to, and we welcome your comments!