Back around the 1960s (well before my birth, thankyouverymuch), Playboy magazine used to feature a cartoon character called Little Annie Fanny. Look it up. Kristin Davis, the ex "Manhattan Madam" and would-be Mayor of New York City is like a real life Fanny and the epitome of a blond bombshell...all except for the dumb part. Graduated High School first in her class at 15. Followed by a business degree. As a young hedge fund exec in bullier times, she pulled down a $400,000-plus salary. And by the ripe old age of 26, Davis was fully ensconced in the sex business, making millions. Boo-Ya.
It is the latter pursuit that has made Davis a household name, at least in Manhattan. And it wasn't just any old sex business she was running, as it is said that Davis built and ran the largest known international escort service in the history of illegal prostitution, personally recruiting women to work as escorts at multi-thousand dollar an hour rates. They came in all forms--working women, students, models, actresses and moms--and as such, she was able to offer her wealthy clientele something above the cut of Backpage.com. Her women were stunning and expensive. The madam wouldn't tolerate drugs. Davis paid her taxes and gave each girl a 1099.
So by the time she hit her late 20's, Davis was unbelievably rich. She never paid attention to politics, and neither read the newspaper nor watched the news on TV. As a result, she was sometimes unaware of who her clients actually were, as was the case with a particularly aggressive regular client who she knew only as a balding, Jewish businessman. Eliot Spitzer, the then-Attorney General of New York State, was booking a lot of fun time under a pseudonym. Eventually, as we all know, he made her famous.
Governor Eliot Spitzer was forced to resign his office, but puzzlingly avoided prosecution. Davis, of course, went to Rikers Island. She was largely kept in isolation and claims to have been frequently stripped and cavity searched by a matron while multiple officers observed. (She has since mounted a campaign to urge Governor Andrew Cuomo to suggest an investigation into conditions on Rikers. Those letters have so far been met with silence).
Davis emerged from prison to find the government had stripped her of all assets and was pursuing her for back-taxes, which she is currently disputing.
Shortly thereafter, Davis appeared on a talk-radio show with notorious political consultant Roger Stone, who many call a "dirty trickster" for his pivotal role in the shutdown of the Miami-Dade County 2000 presidential recount, among other exploits. (The Miami Herald and New York times would report that Stone provided the FBI with evidence of Spitzer's systematic use of call girls months before the federal prosecutors moved on Spitzer). The two became fast friends. Davis came under Stone's tutelage.
The born-again Libertarian who "likes Nixon for his tenaciousness but whose personal politics are more in the Goldwater-Libertarian tradition," peppered Davis with a reading list that included Friedrich Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom", Milton Friedman's essay "The Methodology of Positive Economics" and Barry Goldwater's "Conscience of a Conservative." To say this tutelage lit a spark in Davis would be a massive understatement.
As a convicted felon, Davis found it virtually impossible to find any meaningful employment. So, life lessons learned and political savvy on hand in the form of Stone, Davis turned activist and decided to mount a candidacy for Governor of New York that would both highlight the inequity evidenced by the treatment she and Spitzer had both gotten and "raise the flag for straight forward Libertarian positions such as decriminalizing prostitution if it cannot be legalized, legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana and bringing casino gambling to New York State, as well as gay-marriage equality."
Davis pushed an agenda for personal and economic freedom, cutting taxes, slashing spending, pension reform and other conservative economics. She held her own in the debates and provided memorable lines such as "the key difference between the MTA and my former escort agency is that I operated one set of books and my former agency delivered on-time and reliable service."
(Ironically, all three of the major tenets of Davis's platform have been addressed by current Governor Andrew Cuomo, who pushed through gay-marriage equality, has proposed further decriminalization of marijuana and is pushing casino gambling to the finish line).
Davis spends her time today on a non-profit that fights sex trafficking of women who are being conscripted into a life of prostitution. Far away from the high-end glamour of her former life, she has seen the underbelly of the sex for money trade and wants to shine a light on it.
But she hasn't lost the political bug. Davis has indicated that she will seek the Libertarian Party nomination for Mayor of New York City on a platform of "legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana to solve New York's fiscal problems, resisting any tax increases, ending stop-and-frisk policy of the New York Police Department as a constitutional violation and repealing the ban on 16-ounce sodas put forth in Bloomberg's nanny state."
The fact that Davis was not invited to last week's New York Daily News sponsored forum for the major party candidates shows the steep climb Davis faces in her effort to get the respect and coverage of the New York media. Many who laughed at her gubernatorial candidacy were stunned when an army of strippers, dancers, working girls, Libertarians and motorcycle clubs collected the 25,000 ballot signatures needed to win a spot on the New York ballot. Davis is nothing if not determined.
New York City has arcane but rich campaign finance rules in which candidates who qualify get matching funds at a ratio of up to $6 for every dollar raised. Davis believes she can reach the $250,000 qualifying threshold from her 130,000 Facebook followers as well as the 115,000 people who follow her on Twitter. She also says she has the active financial support of many in the adult entertainment industry who "see the erosion of their First Amendment rights."
With a surprisingly common-sense platform and a core of supporters not known for laziness, Kristin Davis is a force to be reckoned with. At the very least, she will be heard this time around--starting now:
CJ: Why are you running for Mayor?
KD: To offer voters something completely different. I am an entrepreneur and business woman. I'm prepared to say and propose things that no one else will put forward. I hope to sift out the usual bullshit of politics and speak frankly about the issues facing New Yorkers.
CJ: Do you think you can win?
KD: In some ways I hope my candidacy is like that of William F. Buckley Jr. who ran for Mayor as the Conservative Party candidate in 1965. Buckley knew he wouldn't win but he used the opportunity to push a set of ideas that would eventually take root under President Ronald Reagan. I will be out on the cutting edge of Libertarian issues. My platform will be more freedom from the oppressive hand of big government, lower taxes, less spending as well as the decriminalization of prostitution and the legalization of marijuana. If we can't legalize marijuana now we should decriminalize it as they have in the city of Philadelphia.
CJ: The pot issue seems to motivate you. Do you burn the ganj?
KD: I'm not a user myself-never have been. I look at it as a businesswoman. It's a potential source of enormous new revenue. I don't believe it is any more deleterious to your system then alcohol-- which we sell legally, regulate and tax. It's a huge black market. Additionally, if you legalize marijuana you will almost immediately take the criminal element out of it just as the ending of Prohibition no longer man bootlegging profitable for organized crime.
Cuomo is pushing in the right direction towards decriminalization. We are clogging up our courts and jails with non-violent offenders and spending millions to prosecute people for a victimless crime. I would like to see Governor Cuomo use his pardon in clemency, authority to pardon some of those in New York State prisons under New Yorks draconian Rockefeller drug laws.
CJ: How awesome would it be if Eliot Spitzer runs for Mayor as well?
KD: (laughs) God, I'd love it. It's his hypocrisy that galls me. As attorney general and Governor he pushed for harsher penalties for johns utilizing call girls while he himself often booked two appointments a week with my escort service. I know at least four other New York-based online services he used. His appetite was voracious but he habitually got too rough with the girls and I had to blackball him. Then he started trying to book appointments with girls under a new fake name. It was pathetic.
CJ: Do you think you can qualify for public financing?
KD: I have to hope that those who follow me on Facebook and Twitter will contribute by going to my campaign website and using their credit card. So if you are reading this, go to www.davis2013.com and do it now!
CJ: Will your advocacy of prostitution be part of the campaign?
KD: I personally favor legalization where sex workers would be subject to licensing and health checks to prevent HIV. The body politic in New York probably isn't ready to legalize the oldest profession on Earth. In that case I favor decriminalization. This would very effectively combat sex trafficking. The greatest threat pimps hold over recalcitrant girls forced into a life of prostitution is the threat of jail if she is caught. Remove this and you remove their "pimp hand." We have to remember that these men use drugs and physical beatings to enslave these women many of whom are immigrants and fear jail or deportation.
CJ: What else will you be proposing?
KD: I hope to find a running mate for public advocate who will join me in running on a platform of abolishing that office. I also seek running mates to run for borough president in all five boroughs who favor abolishing those offices as well. I will propose an investigation of the conditions and treatment of inmates at Rikers Island. I have seen the squalid conditions there firsthand. Of course I want to kill Mayor Bloomberg's ban on soda in 16 oz. servings and push a pro-freedom agenda on marijuana reform. I also oppose the stop-and-frisk policies of the New York Police Department. I wrote six weeks ago that they are unconstitutional and am happy to see that the U.S. District Court in Manhattan agrees with me.
CJ: Who is Client Number Seven?
KD: (laughs) If I told ya, I'd have to kill ya.