BY Julie Bolcer
March 01 2010 6:40 PM ET
“Manhattan Madam” Kristin Davis spent nearly four months in prison in 2008 for her role in Wicked Models, a multimillion-dollar escort service whose clients allegedly included Eliot Spitzer, the New York governor who left office over a prostitution scandal. Now free and stung by a criminal justice system that let Spitzer walk, Davis announced Monday that she plans to run for the state’s highest office.
Citing an economic prescription of “P-squared” for the legalization of prostitution and pot, Davis called marriage equality her key social plank during her campaign announcement to media and FOKS (“Friends of Kristin”) at the Roosevelt Hotel. She may or not run as the Libertarian Party candidate, but whatever she decides, she will need 15,000 petition signatures to earn her place on the ballot. That’s 5,000 more than the number of rich and famous names in her little black book.
Although advised by Roger Stone, the longtime Republican operative who tipped off federal investigators to Spitzer’s prostitution activity, Davis told The Advocate that her campaign is not about revenge but the principles of personal freedom.
The Advocate: What is your background beyond the headlines?
Kristin Davis: I am from Fresno, Calif. I was raised by a single mother in a lower-income family. I graduated high school two years early. I worked very hard. I went to private school and graduated at 15 and then went to college, to numerous different colleges while I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, all the while working sort of full-time in finance. St. Mary’s was the last college that I graduated from. I have my bachelor’s degree in business and I’ve completed 30 units toward my master’s at a school in San Francisco, the Saybrook institute, a humanistic psychology school.
What did you think about Proposition 8?
I have two wonderful gay uncles who were very upset that California keeps vacillating on legalizing gay marriage, which is an issue very close to my heart. I think it’s ridiculous that one of them went through a horrific medical experience and his partner couldn’t make decisions for him, so that’s always been something near and dear to my heart. I think it should be legal across the board, in every state. I don’t think it should even need to be discussed.
Are there specific lessons learned from running a prostitution business that can be applied to running New York state?
Sure, I mean prostitution is the world’s oldest industry and I think politics is the second, so they’re all sort of doing it for money. I’ve employed hundreds and hundreds of women throughout my five years in operation and I’ve dealt with a myriad of different liars and excuses and characters. But I also took $1,000 and built it into a $6-million-a-year industry. So the economic principles behind how I operated is something we needed to apply here — how we can bring in new revenues to our state and how we can solve all our economic problems, and no one is really addressing that.