Sex Work

'Honey, I Lost the Car' Because D.C.'s Prostitution Police Stole It

D.C. lawmakers target street prostitution, dirt bikes, and campus rape.

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Jack Evans/Twitter

A D.C. Council member wants to take a page from Spokane, Washington, and several other cities and start impounding the cars of people suspected of soliciting prostitution. Councilman Jack Evans, who introduced the measure, is calling this rights-infringing nonsense the "Honey, I lost the car" program. As with the Spokane law, it wouldn't matter whether the person is eventually convicted of any crime or not; if you look to some cops like you're cruising for sex, that's all the probable cause they need to snatch your vehicle. 

 From NBC 4 D.C.

The intent is to deter people because they'd be embarrassed to lose their vehicle, Evans said. The Democrat said people from out of state have been driving to downtown Washington to solicit prostitutes.

Evans pushed through a similar bill 10 years ago that called for police to arrange for cars to be towed by another city agency, but he said it hasn't been sufficiently enforced.

With no evidence to back up this assertion, Evans claimed that D.C. has seen "an enormous increase in street prostitution." Considering myriad studies have shown street prostitution decreasing with the rise of online advertising for sex, I find it incredibly dubious. But this is a good reminder to all the folks who think shutting down sites like Backpage.com, where sex workers frequently advertise, will somehow stop prostitution rather than sending many workers and "johns" back out onto the streets. 

"Since the early 1990's, failed tactics at making the District less attractive for prostitution have ranged from outlawing right-turns on certain streets to, on one night, just marching sex workers across to Virginia," notes Will Sommer of Washington City Paper

Other proposals before the D.C. Council yesterday including increasing penalties for riding dirt bikes on city streets to a $250 fine and up to 30 days in jail for a first offense; shutting down certain city streets to make it easier to build a new soccer stadium; and requiring colleges to put a permanent "Scarlet Letter" on the academic transcripts of students found guilty of sexual misconduct.  

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    1. Mon-dieu Process.

  1. I blame lead.

    1. As in, a lack of it in the bodies of tyrants? I agree.

      1. Lack of bodies of tyrants in the woodchippers.

  2. and requiring colleges to put a permanent “Scarlet Letter” on the academic transcripts of students found guilty of sexual misconduct.

    It may not affect where you live or move about, but it would have the same effect on job prospects being on the sex offender registry.

    1. Fortunately, most people don’t actually show their college transcripts to an employer.

      1. That’s true for those with experience. But new grads and interns likely need to.

        1. And keep in mind that except in rare cases, the student will not yet have graduated from the school giving him the scarlet letter — any schools he’s applying to as a transfer student will will certainly see the transcripts and act accordingly.

        2. I would be surprised if that were the case for most jobs at most firms. I’ve hired and been involved in hiring more than a dozen recent college grads and we’ve never asked for this. And I never provided it.

          1. Having recently been unemployed and applying at a lot of places, I can say that twice during this recent layoff I was asked to provide transcripts, but that was out of dozens of jobs I applied for, so it could in no way be said to be “common”, IME.

          2. I had to (this was a while back). I’m not involved in HR, but were any you dealt with foreign / F1 / H1Bs btw? All of our new grads are.

  3. “With no evidence to back up this assertion, ”

    Evidence, to god-damned hell with evidence! We have no evidence. In fact, we don’t need evidence. I don’t have to show you any stinking evidence, you god-damned cabr?n and chinga tu madre!

    1. +1 Pancho Villa

  4. A bone thrown to divorce attorneys.

    1. Very true. Even if the guy was innocent, a lot of women would not believe him. “Yea, right, you were looking for a pawn shop to sell baseball cards? You expect me to believe that?”

      1. Shoulda posted those baseball cards WTS on backpage.com….

  5. Unfortunately, Even isn’t interested in go after the real prostitutes in D.C. who are elected representatives, their K Street buddies, and unelected bureaucrats.

    1. It’s like panhandling, see. It’s not begging or a nuisance when posh people call you incessantly or pay others to annoy you coming out of shops.

  6. OT: I have a friend who is trying to tell me that the democrats lost the mid-term election because of gerrymandering. This is the only explanation.

    1. You have one of those too? I’m sorry.

      1. When I suggested Obamacare being unpopular and partially to blame, especially when everyone started to see their insurance rates spike, he said “rates were going up regardless of the ACA, everyone already knew this!”

        1. EL OH EL

          That is golden. So the ACA failed in one of its core purposes, but that’s okay, it didn’t cause the increase. Right, we’ve spent hundreds of millions to set up little failure-prone insurance bazaars in every state, and that and a new tax on the middle class is all we’ve got to show for the thing. Beautiful.

          1. It would have been so much worse!

            Obamacare, Stimulus, TARP, GM bailout….

    2. I’ve heard that one, too. They’re not into reality much, and doubtlessly their projecting their apparent greater willingness to commit voter fraud to their opponents (not that I think the GOP has totally clean hands, either, but they do seem a little less prone to such things).

      1. *There not into reality much, and doubtlessly their projecting they’re

        FTFYx3

        1. Oops. Though you added two errors I didn’t commit. Be ashamed.

          1. Yes. And didn’t fix the one error you actually did commit. Did you hear a loud whooshing noise like ten minutes ago?

            1. So you say. I accuse you of additional error.

    3. Tony pushed that bit, too. Losing the mandate of the people must have hurt a little, just not enough to actually rein in any of the insanity.

    4. When they outspend their opponents and lose then they need a new excuse.

    5. Deep blue Maryland is tied for most gerrymandered state, but I’ve heard Team-Blue-bots swear that it isn’t gerrymandered at all. I guess gerrymandering is what the other team does.

      1. When I lived in Maryland my home and my office were 25 miles apart and in the same district (3rd) but the houses across the street were in a different district.

    6. And what’s their explanation for Republicans having control of all those state legislatures to implement the gerrymandering?

      1. It’s turtles gerrymandering all the way down.

      2. I asked, he glossed over that point.

    7. puh-leaz…

      I have one who thinks Government Sachs caused the Greece economic collapse.

    8. Apparently since a critical mass of people in a few coastal cities are mono-party voters, they should get to tell people in Iowa how to live their lives because we’re all one insoluble nation. They don’t even understand why we have something as archaic as “states”; they wish we just had prefectures.

      1. Sorry but I really have to express again how much I hate the complete dismissal of anyone who isn’t a coastal elite with a, “Shut the fuck up and grow our corn, and be grateful for the opportunity!” attitude.

        1. The attitude I encounter is even more sanctimonious and toxic. The denizens of Gotham et.al. tend to view flyover country as welfare states living off the largesse of the coastal elites. Which at least provides some justification for their incessant desire to dictate the daily lives of Iowans.

    9. That may be true to some extent, but all the elections they win are because of gerrymandering too.

      I’m always amazed that so few people are outraged about how electoral districts are drawn.

    10. The states had been gerrymandered hence why they lost the senate….duh. there are some crazy borders and appendages!

  7. and requiring colleges to put a permanent “Scarlet Letter” on the academic transcripts of students found guilty of sexual misconduct.

    Looking at the article, it’s worse than that. Looks like the scarlet letter goes on at accusation, and then it only comes off on the off chance the school decides he didn’t do it.

  8. OT:

    Amazon PRIME DAY might be the biggest marketing disaster in recent memory.

    Seriously, it sucks.

    1. You’re not interested in the $30 Lord of the Rings trilogy? /s

      1. not the extended one. Ain’t no body got 12 hours for that.

    2. yeah, the $10 bonus gift card if you buy $45 worth was ok, if you buy a lot of shit on Amazon regardless.

      But everything else is very underwhelming.

      1. What gets me is they spent MONEY advertising this?!

    3. That could be a serious miscalculation, as Walmart is coming back with its own day.

    4. The Echo is on sale. Is it worth getting?

      1. I’ve heard from people who like it, but I’ve also heard it’s total shit if you’re trying to listen to classical.

        1. Sound wise or selection wise? You can link it with your Pandora or Tune In. You can also play direct from any bluetooth source.

      2. I have it and we really enjoy it. It’s not Siri, so it won’t answer a ton of questions. They add features from time to time. I’m waiting to be able to control Netflix and Prime Video with it. For the size it’s has really good sound. I’m in my basement office, and can hear it clearly while it’s playing on the main floor. It’s not obtrusive either. I think it’s a pretty cool gadget.

        1. I like the idea of it, but I’m wondering if it’s got enough features now that we’d actually use it. It’s $129 right now. . .actually, no it isn’t. The list is full on that.

      3. I also got it when it was on the $99 promotion.

    5. When they said it’s bigger than Black Friday, I was expecting something huge.

    1. He’s going to take a little drive over to the City of Industry…

  9. Never mind that DC once actively did what Evans proposes and that it didn’t work. In the cult of the omnipotent state, Evans is at least an archdeacon.

    1. That’s even assuming that the city should deter prostitution and that the end justifies the means, neither of which I believe.

  10. So much for “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” bullshit. The Democrats have officially out pruded the SoCons.
    Of course, it is for social justice, protecting the women, etc. It also fucking burns me that we will take the alleged john’s car, but of course the hooker is a blameless, helpless victim of patriarchy or something.

    So to sum up:
    Socons: Women are harlots who should be prevented from selling sexual services because men are weak (because their god made them susceptible to temptation) and will engage in immoral behavior thereby destroying the family, and eventually society.
    Dems: Men are predators who should be prevented from buying sexual services because women are weak (because men made them susceptible to patriarchial domination) and will engage in immoral behavior thereby destroying women’s rights, and eventually society.

    1. All I know is that SoCons and Dems both agree that women are not smart enough to make their own choices, and that they need to be told what to do.

    2. I think this is one area where Democrats are all over the place. And there have always been plenty of SoCon Democrats.

  11. I get why politicians do shit like this, because they think it will increase their ability to get votes, and ultimately more power.
    But WTF is wrong with a society that actually gives pieces of shit like this more votes, and ultimately more power?
    WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? I AM A PEOPLE PERSON!!

    1. +1 jump-to-conclusions mat

  12. This a topic on which libertarians go off the rail. ‘But if prostitution were legal the cops wouldn’t have to arrest the Johns’. The whole point of cruising for prostitutes is that it is risk intensive. It placates a man’s desire to hunt. Brothels are not a substitute. In the Los Angeles area it is hard to find a shopping mall without at least one Asian massage parlor without a neon OPEN sign.

    1. The whole point of cruising for prostitutes is that it is risk intensive.

      Such a firm, definitive statement from our resident expert on cruising.

    2. Oh, tell us more. Tell tell tell.

    3. What? Are you saying that libertarians should not favor legalizing prostitution because it will ruin your good times cruising for street walkers?

      A lot of people say the same about drugs. But I don’t buy it. Most people do drugs because it is fun or satisfies some desire for novelty or escape or feeds an addiction. I imagine the same goes for banging whores. To me both are entirely moral issues. It is just wrong to punish people for activities between consenting adults that harm no one else.

      1. Barry: “Say, you’re not one of those silly men who pretends to be a woman, are you?”
        Prostitute: “No, baby, i’m all wom-”
        Barry: [peels out]

    4. Sounds legit

  13. How do they keep getting away with this shit? Remember the Fifth Amendment?

    “No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…”

    The Constitution couldn’t be more clear. Seriously, how is this even remotely legal in this country? Beyond FYTW? Why haven’t there been more challenges to these kinds of ‘laws’? Grrrrrr!!!!

    1. In a word, shame. Once the government has you pigeonholed as a Bad Person, no one cares what happens to you after that and few people are willing to flail around too much lest their neighbors and coworkers spot the label that’s been nailed to your forehead.

      1. Yup. After all, you are a SEX OFFENDER!

        1. Some states require Johns to register as sex offenders right alongside rapists and child molesters. But think about it, who is more of a sex offender? A guy who lies to and manipulates a woman into sex, or a man who negotiates a mutually-beneficial arrangement in advance? Society has decided, and once again society is wrong.

      2. But the Constitution and Bill of Rights were created specifically to protect the rights of everyone, good or bad or popular or not. The fact that police, prosecutors, and judges ignore the Constitution just because they can fills me with nothing but disdain and contempt for the system. Seriously, why should I obey the law–any law–that I don’t agree with? Sounds like if I get away with it then it’s OK!

        1. Its THUNDERDOME!

  14. like you’re cruising for sex

    In this little thing called life, aren’t we all just “cruising for sex”? We basically do everything we to do to, ultimately, have sex.

  15. Prostitution, lobbying… distinctions without a difference.

  16. According to the WaPost article on dirt bikes, the current fine is $250 for a first offense, it’s repeat offenses that are proposed to have increased fines.

    I assume it’s because dirt bikes are not street legal — this doesn’t seem all that bad, at least compared to the other examples of proposed rules.

    1. Isn’t a dirt bike just a bicycle with wide tires?

      1. that would be a “bmx bike” or “mountain bike”. “dirt bike”, in my experience, universally refers to a motorized twowheeled (primarily) off-road vehicle.

    2. market for a dirtbike with detachable street gear? goin riding, take off the mirrors and lights, goin to the store, pop em back on.

      wait, do dirtbikes have alternators….

      1. Most motorcycles don’t have alternators, they have magnetos, and yes, that’s what keeps the spark plug sparking.

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