Hmm… :\

These charges could hurt Stanhope’s campaign. From CNN:

The entertainment company that produces the “Girls Gone Wild” films and its founder pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges they failed to document the ages of female performers in sexually oriented productions.

Mantra Films of Santa Monica, California, entered a plea agreement in a federal court in Panama City, Florida, the Justice Department said.

Authorities said Joseph Francis, founder of Mantra Films and a related company, MRA Holdings, also agreed to plead guilty to charges to be filed later in Los Angeles, and to pay fines and restitution totaling $2.1 million.

Fortunately, the article doesn’t mention his name, and Stanhope wasn’t involved in the suit as far as I can tell. But the fact that he worked on the project could be spun some really hideous ways and the Stanhope campaign’s gotta be prepared for this. I’m sure Doug knows way more about all this than we do, and already has plans in place to counter it, but nonetheless this is a potential propaganda blow for the other side (most likely for conservatives) and we’ve gotta be prepared for it.

Stuart Richards

Stuart Richards is a 26-year-old land surveyor based out of Portland, OR. He is a left-leaning geolibertarian and (theologically) liberal Christian, and has been blogging on and other libertarian sites since 2004.

  1. The bigger issue here is the actual case. In another perfect example of the silliness of government, the producers were NOT charged with exploiting minors. The apparent reason is that prosecutors could not actually PROVE that any minors were invovled. At issue is paperwork. THe company failed to keep accurate records so they couldn’t PROVE they were innocent and had not done anything innappropriate or illegal.

    This is part of an overall tred from the old US system of innocent until proven guilty, to the Dominican Republic’s system of Guilty until proven innocent.

    Fact is this guy (the producer) has pissed off all of the wrong people and they are going after him anyway they can.

  2. It’s shit and I think Stanhope is the greatest candidate we can run this cycle.

    Still, I don’t see what’s wrong with publishing the news. We’re biased but we’re not party hacks. We have to see the full picture on everything if we’re to make the best choices.

    Stanhope did nothing wrong whatsoever, and these charges are tantamount to extortion. BUT. You can spin anything any way you like, and quite frankly I don’t think our opposition plays nice. And we need to be aware of that possibility.

  3. Well, this story has no effect on my support for Kubby, one way or the other.

    Stanhope sounds pretty good, but I haven’t heard enough about his views yet. Dondero supports him, so that gives me pause. i like GGW, so that’s a point in his favor.

    Kubby is a long-standing, proven libertarian, a real life hero, and the best candidate I have heard of yet.

  4. This is no big deal. Stanhope was ripped off by the company. They completely screwed him and took advantage of him.

    Almost no one cares if 17 year old girls show there tits.

    Stanhope already has jokes about having sex with babies and aborting babies just because it is fun to kill kids and watch them die.

  5. The real problem is that Doug Stanhope’s biggest claim to fame is pornographic videos advertised on late night cable TV. “Show us where babies feed” is not a viable campaign slogan if you want to be taken seriously as a political party.

    And if he turns his campaign into a circus, imagine how badly that reflects on serious candidates further down the ballot. Will they even run as Libertarians for fear of being associated with this guy?

    Does Bob Smither want to be associated with Girls Gone Wild? What about David Schlosser, Bill Peirce, Bruce Guthrie, Jack Cashin, and Garrett Hayes?

    What good is winning 1,000,000 votes (which he probably can’t do anyway) if the result is frightening off all the serious people in the party?

  6. Well, that was the New York branch of the party… ask them what impact Stern had. I honestly dunno if he helped or hurt.

  7. As someone who has been concerned about the Stanhope-GGW relationship from the beginning, I still gotta say I’m with Frank here. The charges are completely bogus witch hunt crap and if it blows up in Stanhope’s face now at least he has an aggressive counterargument. Doesn’t matter so much how you feel about GGW to recognize that this is fascist bullshit.

  8. Austin Cassidy, he was also a co-host of the now cancelled Man Show on Comedy Central.

    Well, that was the New York branch of the party”¦ ask them what impact Stern had. I honestly dunno if he helped or hurt. – Stuart Richards

    I have heard John Stossel say that he felt reluctant to call himself “libertarian” partially because of the Stern candidacy.

  9. Doug Stanhope’s face is the most common Comedians face shown on myspace. It is seen by 10,000,000 or so people a week. He has done dozens of major media interviews and has been on the national comedy circuit for years.

    Does any of this really matter, anyway? No LP person will even win the office of the Prez. Almost all libertarians are elected running as Republicans or in non-partisan races, anyway.

  10. While this is yet another case of government extortion via the courts it does raise questions about Stanhope’s candidacy and whether or not he is a suitable candidate. What would his candidacy do for the image of the LP, (since that seems to be a large part of the Reformista’s efforts)? Add this court ordered extortion in, whether he was involved or not and you have yet another catalyst for political irrelevancy.
    Kubby is a better candidate when it comes down to it. Pot vs. Porn is no contest in the arena of public opinion, imo.

  11. IMO I don’t think that either Kubby or Stanhope is probably a viable candidate on a national scale as of yet. One reinforces the idea that we are only about leaglizing drugs. The other may have a hard time bringing a professional image considering his past to his campaign. Stanhope does bring the possibility of bringing Libertarianism to many people that otherwise would not have considered it. I hope he continues doing this, but in the end I hope we find someone more suitable to be our LP candidate for President. If we have to choose between the Pot or Porn candidates we still have a long ways to go to be recognized as a serious political party.

  12. Kubby is not only about legalizing drugs. See his website.
    I believe he will attract a lot of support from outside the LP, and would help counter-balance the counterproductive tilt to the right in the party. I predict he would do better than past LP candidates.

    As for Howard Stern – he also attracted a lot of people to the LP but the LP made a decision they did not want anyone who heard of the party from Stern to join. They shot themselves in the foot with that one. One of my ex-roommates was the private tutor for the heirs of a casino fortune in Vegas at the time. They were briefly interested in the LP, but the LP was not interested in them, because they came by way of Stern.

  13. Whatever is going to be said publicly, better said now than later. I don’t know yet if I’m backing Stanhope for the nomination, but I hope he stays in the race for awhile – it could make the 2007 state convention circuit a lot more interesting.

  14. I had the same reaction when this news came out. But then I remembered, nobody is going to pay attention anyway. Beleive me, you aren’t going to see the Republican going off about how the Libertarian is a “pornographer”. You might just catch a quick dismissal by the media here and there if you are lucky “Libertarian pornographer” comment. But those will be very very few and very very far between.

    If it’s just publicity that you want, maybe Stanhope will strap 10 pounds of plastic explosive to his torso and blow himself up outside the debates. Bad publicity is better than none at all.

  15. The charge is that the GGW producers didn’t keep the required records. Anyone who has watched an adult DVD or video has seen the notice at the beginning stating who is maintaining those required records, a requirement put in place after Traci Lords’ underage appearances, I think.

    Upshot: no scandal, and the wrongdoing accrues to the producers, not the host/actor.

  16. I’m still waiting for an electable candidate that won’t be a total embarassment. I want a David Boaz or a John Mackey (the founder of Whole Foods Markets, who would attract interest from the Left). Until we get credible or credible-looking candidates, no amount of internal reform matters (although one of the goals of the LRC’s reform efforts was to attract better candidates).

    Seriously, if targeting the 5% misogynist pig vote is our goal, we’d be better off to just run Howard Stern. He has legions of fans. He’d get ringing endorsements from burnt out rock stars and porn actresses. Maybe Beavis and Butthead should be the LP’s mascots.

    Of course, I jest. If Stanhope is nominated, I might leave the LP. I do not wish to spend my life working for “the party that ran the Girls Gone Wild guy.” Stanhope is bound to fail. Those who think he will attract the Left obviously ignore the Left’s general disgust at womanization, and he clearly will turn off most of the Right.

  17. I’m divided on it myself but I really think his work as a comedian has helped make him credible to the majority of voters.