NEW YORK CITY—There's an argument to be made that the porn industry was born in New York, what with its number of well-known producers and directors, some of whom are chronicled in early director Larry Revene's Wham Bam $$ Ba Da Boom!: Mob Wars, Porn Battles and a View from the Trenches, now available on Kindle.
But everyone knows New York is—or at least was—a sexual city, with Deep Throat and other XXX fare having played for years in Times Square movie theaters, among a plethora of adult book and video stores, clubs featuring live sex and BDSM performances, and hookers found working the streets from Ninth and Tenth Avenues to the Theater District to the East Village. And that's just the no-holds-barred adult side of the city. On a more mainstream note, New York also gave birth to such Broadway and off-Broadway hits as Hair, O Calcutta, Burning and even Tristan and Isolde, all of which featured nude actors and actresses.
The point is, New York is—or used to be—a sexual paradise ... so why try to deny it now?
The question arises because Election Season 2013 is now in full swing, and some interesting candidates have made known their intentions for high office, the most recent of whom is former New York attorney general, former New York governor and former (?) interstate john Eliot Spitzer.
"What I'm looking for is a chance to be heard," Spitzer said at a Manhattan subway stop during his first public campaign appearance. "I want the voters to listen to what I've done, look at the record that I developed as attorney general, as an assistant district attorney, as governor, and say, ‘This guy understood the public interest.’ New Yorkers, as good souls, have a sense of forgiveness, but whether or not they forgive me is a whole separate issue."
What he might or might not be forgiven for, of course, is the fact that he hired the services of prostitutes—most notably one Ashley Dupré, who received several post-scandal offers to appear in adult movies—through the website EmperorsClubVIP.com, and had them meet him at a Washington, D.C., hotel for sexual liaisons—a clear violation of the Mann Act.
Of course, AVN encouraged Spitzer not to resign over the issue, but what politician pays attention to us? (Hint: More than you think.) But now he's trying for a comeback as NYC city comptroller, a position for which many say he's fairly well-qualified, having spent his years as attorney general prosecuting mostly financial crimes—and if he can collect just 3,750 signatures on a nominating petition by Thursday, he'll be on the ballot.
Of course, he won't have to worry about publicity. Today's New York Times has four stories and op-eds devoted to him, including one story about high-level plans in the works to stop him cold.
"In the corridors of finance, executives made little secret of their dismay at the thought of Mr. Spitzer, an often zealous adversary of Wall Street, assuming a job with some authority over the industry," wrote Times reporters Michael Barbaro and David W. Chen. "Robert T. Zito, the founder of a brand consulting firm and a former executive at the New York Stock Exchange, which was a relentless target of Mr. Spitzer’s ire over executive pay, put it bluntly: 'I would love to see his opponent win.' Those involved in and briefed about the strategy discussions raised the possibility of organizing a super PAC to counter Mr. Spitzer’s self-financed campaign."
But if Spitzer runs, that might make for a very interesting campaign, since one of Spitzer's (alleged) former madams, Kristin Davis, is planning to challenge him for that office on the Libertarian Party ticket.
"Quite frankly, I’m more qualified for comptroller than Eliot Spitzer," Davis told Politicker.com, pointing out that she'd spent 10 years as the senior vice president of a $5 billion hedge fund. "Math, budgeting, finance—that’s what my college degree’s in and that’s what I did for most of my adult life. You know, he’s an attorney, not an accountant. So he’s not really qualified for that race."
Not to mention, Davis spent some time in the slammer for her alleged part in Spitzer's hooker scandal, which is more than Spitzer himself can say—and his ability to avoid prison "made me sick," Davis stated.
"Gosh, it’s going to be a fun race!" she exclaimed.
Possibly even more fun that she thinks, considering that if either of them wins, that person may get to serve under another scandal-tarred candidate, former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner.
Weiner, as will be recalled, got in trouble for sexting both photos of his underwear prominently featuring his erect cock, as well as written sexts, to a number of women, most of whom apparently didn't want to see them and were shocked when they arrived. And of course, as AVN pointed out while the "scandal" was developing, Weiner and several others, including the late Andrew Breitbart and talk-radio hosts Opie and Anthony, were apparently guilty of violations of 18 U.S.C. §2257 for having been "secondary producers" of the photos.
"Mr. Weiner leapt the first hurdle, as two polls recently showed enough Democrats liking his act—or at least recognizing his name from Twitter posts—to propel him into the upper tier of mayoral candidates," opined New York Times reporter Michael Powell. "The prospect of a Mayor Weiner/Comptroller Spitzer ticket might trigger a synergistic feedback loop in which too much weird testosterone and narcissism repel the electorate altogether. Or not."
Indeed; in contrast to Spitzer's announced run, The Times seems to have little use for the "reformed" Weiner.
"Weiner ... hadn’t been gone from Congress for even two years when he announced his candidacy for mayor of the city, a job exponentially more influential than the one that he’d never done especially well in the first place," crabbed columnist Frank Bruni in a piece titled "Sex and the Sorriest Pols." "He’s angling for a gigantic promotion. In the narrative he’s constructed, his mortification has made him a new man, so we’re supposed to give him an extra measure of our trust and hand him the reins of the most important and most complicated city in the country. I know we like our mayors brash, but we needn’t accept delusional in the bargain."
Nonetheless, Weiner, through either simple name recognition and/or a bit of charisma, has topped out several polls looking at the various possible Democratic mayoral candidates—but all we can say is, a city run by Weiner/Spitzer or Weiner/Davis is one we'd definitely want to keep an eye on.