Sex Work

Reason.tv: Madam-Turned-Pol Kristin Davis—Can NY Take a Gov Who Was Convicted *Before* Taking Office?

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Kristin Davis rose to notoriety as the madam who provided New York Attorney General and Gov. Eliot Spitzer with the escorts that led to his demise. Davis ended up going to jail for providing a business populated by and for consenting adults. Spitzer's penalty? Possibly getting a show on CNN.

Now Davis herself is running the Empire State's top slot in Albany, on a platform this is simple and straightforward in libertarian sanity: She wants to legalize (and tax) marijuana and prostitution. For a state as deep in the red as New York, that's no joke. She has also proposed liberalizing gaming laws and called for gambling casinos in the Catskills.

I built a multi-million dollar escort service from scratch before pleading guilty to promoting prostitution.  Prostitution in New York is estimated to be a $5 Billion a year business. Legalization and a reasonable tax rate could bring $ 1Billion in new revenues to New York State each year. Legalizing Marijuana would reap another $2 Billion a year. Then New York could balance the budget and still cut property and income taxes.

Additionally, she wants to legalize gay marriage because the state shouldn't discriminate and highlight the inequities of a criminal justice system that treats the politically powerless far worse than the politically powerful. Read more here.

Davis' official campaign site is here.

Davis has enlisted the aid of legendary political operative Roger Stone for a campaign which has no chance of knocking off presumptive gubernatorial shoe-in Andrew Cuomo. But her run gives voice to a series of issues that deserve to be heard now more than ever. And her run gives form to a vision of smart governance and policy that is not simply provocative but utterly persuasive.

Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie sat down with Davis to talk about her platform, the hypocrisy of elected officials, and her coming web-based reality show, Madam Governor, which will document her campaign.

Shot by Dan Hayes and Meredith Bragg; edited by Bragg. Approximately 5 minutes.

Go to Reason.tv for downloadable versions. Subscribe to Reason.tv's YouTube channel for automatic notification when new material goes live.

NEXT: The 'Costs' of Free Speech

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  1. And who, after reading The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, could possibly object to massive taxes on weed and whores?

    1. Reality. It kinda sucks but it’s also kinda ubiquitous.

    2. And who, after reading The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, could possibly object to massive taxes on weed and whores?

      Massive taxes? According to her figures prostitution is already a $5 billion a year business. Even if the revenue only doubles after legalization, a 10% sales tax would raise the $1 billion she anticipates.

      The problem is that, even if elected, Governor Davis can’t legalize anything until the Legislature passes a bill for her to sign. That would be a circus.

      1. prostitution is already a $5 billion a year business

        If legal, why would it still be a $5B a year business. Doesn’t the current cost include a “risk being caught” premimum? Once legal, why would the cost per trick not go down?

        Also, how the hell would you tax something like prostitution? Have a government toll taker?

        1. The flipside to that is once it’s cheaper and less risky, it should attract more customers.

        2. Also, how the hell would you tax something like prostitution?

          How do they tax anyone else who runs a small business and accepts cash from their customers?

          SHIT, it must be impossible, i guess we should outlaw small business! Oh, nm, Obama is working on it.

          1. i guess we should outlaw small business!

            At least at a pizzaria or dry cleaner, there is a cash register & an inventory of supplies required to produce the good or services – even though it’s very easy to cheat. If you trade a couple of beers for your shirts getting ironed at a dry cleaners, I beleive there is a taxable transaction, at least in theory even though it would never get reported to the IRS. However, when does buying a couple of drinks for some sweet young thang before a tumble in the hay become a taxable transation?

            1. Ask Nevada how they do it?

        3. Once legal, why would the cost per trick not go down?

          Are you arguing that Wal-Mart’s revenues are low because they don’t make much money per sale?

          Also, how the hell would you tax something like prostitution?

          Ummm, because when it is legalized, then paying baksheesh to the government to leave you alone beats going to jail?

          The same reason everyone else in a service business pays taxes (and evades it when they can) — taking cash ramps up the ability to evade taxes, but jail sucks so much that most people would rather declare at least some of it to avoid being singled out by the IRS.

          Unlike now, where few report this income to the IRS, because doing so would be an admission of illegal activity.

  2. Davis herself is running [for] the Empire State’s top slot

    Guffaw!

  3. Good for her for sounding more intelligent and coherent than Obama even when he has a working teleprompter.

    It would truly be depressing irony if the legalization of most consensual adult behavior was finally realized only because there were no remaining viable sources of revenue to feed the welfare state.

    1. Why would it be depressing? Prohibition was lifted partially because the government badly needed the revenue. If the same thing happened here, it’s still a net win.

      1. A tenuous net win. Because when coffers are full again, the Puritans will forget about all that extra $$$ coming in. God’s Law, and all that.

        1. Progressives NOT Puritans.

          Puritans drank like moderate fish

  4. She opposes group marriage. Hypocrite!

    (I on the other hand, oppose state sponsored marriage for anyone).

  5. Why would it be depressing?

    Among other things because if the rationale for legalization is financial rather than self-determination it would be easier to overturn the laws one day. Granted there is no indication that any government is going to be looking at budget surpluses any time soon so the risk is minimal.

    But recognizing the unalienable right of emancipated adults to do with their bodies as they please could open the door to other choices like organ sales or assisted suicide that do not put dollar signs in the eyes of politicians. I am just not a huge fan of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

    1. I am just not a huge fan of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

      Im not a fan either, but its better than doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason. And that is what we face today on those issues.

      1. What robc said.

      2. its better than doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason

        I don’t use prostitutes and I don’t smoke pot. So while I am fine with others benefiting from their legalization I get nothing other than the satisfaction of watching the moralists suffer. I would benefit much more if there was a movement to recognize that I am the owner of my body, rather than a cash grab to forestall the inevitable bankruptcy of government. At least the former can give me hope.

        1. I would benefit much more if there was a movement to recognize that I am the owner of my body

          There already is such a movement. They just don’t have enough votes yet to win much politically.

      3. I don’t give a rip about what goes on in someone else’s head, so long as they don’t harm me. If they do the right thing while hating themselves for that, I’m OK with allowing such thoughtcrimes.

    2. Among other things because if the rationale for legalization is financial rather than self-determination it would be easier to overturn the laws one day.

      Au contraire. Prohibition was ended for exactly this reason. The only thing standing in the way of a ban on cigarettes is the massive revenue loss the state would suffer.

      The best way to prevent something from being banned is to give the state a piece of the action.

      1. “A Piece of the Action” is one of my favorite Star Trek episodes. Oddly enough, I think Kirk came to the same conclusion.

  6. You could have at least mentioned the Libertarian candidate, Warren Redlich.

  7. Reason, your source for prostitution related news.

    1. AKA – The p[olitics beat.

  8. I wish Ms. Davis the best of luck.

    1. Me too. I hope her campaign has a happy ending.

  9. Davis / McMahon 2012? They have both run a lemonade stand, unlike Barry.

    http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/
    [For a light hearted take on our present peril]

  10. Over all “escort agencies” of such are currently legal. Moving forward to promote vulgar services and encouraging street sex workers to pay their taxes in my opinion, is not worth the publicity. Yes I believe in freedom of choice, however trying to legalize such transaction doesn’t really give the freedom of discretion..look at the porn industries history mass produced and cost efficient 😉 As we are aware, vast majority of this trade colides with substance use, so do we really want to encourage legalizeing substances and prostitution? And we really want to lead the society towards leaniancey of obtaining a sex/drug addiction? Girls dropping out of school to become sex workers and letting their parents know their proffetion.. Men loose the understanding/meaning of “Morality”… even more so?? As the media have already made their trade ‘mark’ sex sells…and sure it does! Whats next? porn star dolls for our kids… is this a true case of opening up a can of worms? This is tragic!

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