Ex-Madam Kristin Davis , who supplied escorts for Eliot Spitzer, filled 22,000 voter signatures to the New York State Board Of Elections on Aug 17. This secures her as a independent candidate in the gubernatorial race. Davis will be candidate for her own Anti-Prohibition Party.
Below is an interview conducted in late July where Davis talks in depth about her stances on a wide range of issues from New York job growth to managing sex workers as a feminist.
Thanks you for talking with me, I did get a chance to go to your birthday party, where you came out as being against the “Ground Zero Mosque” being built, but before we get into that I really wanted a chance to talk to you about your campaign in general and do you feel like your past involvement in the adult and sex industry media not take you as seriously?
I think my past works sort of like a double-edged sword, as a minor party candidate you really can’t get any press. The other minor party candidates aren’t being covered and they can’t make a difference, even if they know they can’t win and are running to highlight issues they care about they can’t even be successful in doing that because in order to do that people need to know about you, read about you.
While there is some skeptism about my past and why I’m running it enables me to get a huge amount of press because it makes politics interesting. I get the opportunity to speak about the issues that I care about. So if I’m on TV or giving a speech, I have the opportunity to let people hear me and think ‘ Wow, she’s intelligent.”
I’m able to win them over but it takes a while for them to understand that being a madam was an economic decision that I made. It was not because I had a bad childhood or wanted to exploit women, I looked at it as empowering women and came from a background of vice president of a hedge fund – a multi-billion dollar hedge fund so I approached it in a very business like manner.
What was that transition like from a hedge fund to the sex industry?
You know I don’t think it’s much different. You know the finance industry is a boy’s club and I started as a trading assistant when I was 18 and in college and was sort of used to having to deal with work with these traders and portfolio managers that spent excessively on the company’s dime and they would ask me to hook them up with strip clubs and things when they went out of town and to call the VIP host club in Vegas to make sure girls were at their rooms. So it sort of already used to dealing with catering to this type of man.
Going forward I was able to learn a very good work ethic working for in finance and working with very difficult portfolio managers that expected nothing but the best. I think that’s why I was successful in running a very successful escort agency that was known for having quality women and being very professional. There’s a lot of people that start agencies and you call them and the girl never shows up, or robs you, or double charges your credit card, I mean just a myriad of different things.
We were run very professionally, we had an overseas call center in Argentina, and we were run as professional as you can get for being an illegal business.
Okay, well speaking of the legal side of the business there are some people that want to know is there a difference between a “Madam” and a “Pimp” ?
Sure, I think anyone that uses the word “pimp” is very derogatory towards women, because you have the negative connotation. It’s stereotype that you might see on Jerry Springer show, these guys forcing women to work on the streets, beating them, having sex with them and taking all their money.
A madam is the best term I could provide for what I did. I considered it a business, I provided girls with opportunities, I didn’t force them to do anything, I encouraged them to set their own boundaries, I did take and exorbitant amount of money from them, I offered them health care I 1099’d them and direct deposited their money much like a normal job, except obviously it is illegal.
There are people that concerned about your stance on legalizing prostitution. How would legalization of prostitution destroy the Pimp Culture? Do you believe it will deter under aged prostitution, the documentary Very Young Girls claims the average age of a hooker in NYC is 14. How will the legalization of prostitution make life better for those young women and prostitutes?
I think that no one under aged should be working as a prostitute. I feel very strongly that the reason you have women in this country, the United States, being sex trafficked is because they are afraid to call the police. They are being told by pimps or their traffickers that they are committing a crime and if they call the police they are going to go to jail. That’s one of the main reasons they don’t seek legal protection, if this were legal there would be agencies in place to dictate how businesses are run and provide standards that protect the women working in the industry.
Case in point , the woman that was killed by Phillip Markoff, her name was Julissa Brisman– a very good friend of mine who also worked for me for a few years. I found out she was murdered because I was asked for advice about craigslist because I utilized craigslist quite a bit in some of my lower priced agencies.
The news had just come out and I googled it and saw that it was her. I was very upset obviously, in researching this guy who killed her it comes out when he was caught that he was found with dozens of trophies from victims that were all sex workers. Had one of these women felt like they could seek legal protection and reported him this girl – my friend- would still be alive.
He would have been caught before he took it to the next level. So I think that while people in society don’t want to admit that this goes on we need to just face the facts it goes on and there’s double standards across the board because men never get punished.
Once a woman is convicted of this crime, and I should know, she’s unemployable. They are only condemning her into a life of more prostitution. So I think that by and large what happens between two consenting individuals is between then and if they choose to exchange money for the transaction… I know plenty of girls that sleep with people for dinner its just part of society at this point in time and I think we need to protect the people that are in the industry. If they are being forced into it or they are doing it by choice.
I have read a lot of articles about you and your campaign, originally you were going to run as a Libertarian, but now you are running as your own party , why id you not go for the Libertarian Nomination?
I spoke with the Libertarian Party in Manhattan and spoke at a number of their events and was interested in perusing their nomination and unfortunately they have a nominating convention that happened I believe in February and we had request from them – as its traditional in politics – to get access to the registered voters under that party.
The republicans do it, the democrats do it and when we asked the Libertarians for access to the registered Libertarians so we could contact them, solicit their support and send them information about myself so they would know that I was seeking the nomination and so they knew my platform we were not granted that information. They told us “no”, then the day before the convention we found out the candidate we were up against had been given the information.
So we were unfortunately going into a bad situation were they basically set somebody else up to win the nomination and there were three candidates involved. One being Sam Sloan who is actually suing the Libertarian Party of Manhattan because he wasn’t given access and he obviously spent his own money to try to get the nomination only to find out this guy was giving the information we all should have been given.
So that’s the main reason why I chose not to seek their nomination. When talking about how to make the most impact in this race creating my own party would be the way for me.
When you kick started you campaign at your birthday party, I discovered that you were working closely with the famous Republican Strategist Roger Stone. What would you say to people who question the validity of his support of you?
Well, I think the thing to know about Roger Stone is that for at least the last ten years he’s been very vocal on the fact that he is a Libertarian. He’s a Republican but he’s a socially liberal, fiscally conservative Republican.
Him and I met doing a radio show over a year ago he was very intrigued at the things that had happened to me, how the system sort of screwed me. Obviously I went to jail and Spitzer did not. It was very political, to keep me silent. Him and I spent many times talking because I wanted to lobby for the legalization of prostitution and at the end of our meetings we came up with the idea that running for office would be the best way to bring attention to issues.
For him he believes in these issues, which is why he is on this campaign. If look at the state of politics in New York pretty much everyone in the independent parties have been invited Working Families and ACORN have suffered major hits. All the minor parties have been found to be corrupt. Yet we’re still the highest taxed state in the nation, we’re broke, deeply in depth and we’ve seen how many indictments of politicians in the last few years? Spitzer resigning, maybe Paterson eventually, its just endless. From his perspective, being an expert, he sees the opportunity to reform the state.
What’s important to highlight about this campaign is – whenever anyone asks me the question “Do you really expect to win?” My response is “Define win.”
Winning to some might be winning the governorship but Como has 60% approval its pretty much in the bag for him, perhaps winning is with 50,000 votes my party gets permanent ballot status for the next four years. Which means we can really lobby for these issues. We can go to Albany and push them, make people hear us because we now have a permanent party and that’s a powerful thing in NY.
This isn’t a hoax; if I wanted press I could release my little black book. People find that much more interesting than minor party politics. It’s about what you stand for. People care more about Tiger Woods’ mistresses then they do who’s running for Governor. That will make the news for two weeks straight but the rest is like page 35.