Starchild? Arrested For Solicitation Charges? Muh?

Yes that’s right, sadly it appears that the most fabulous Libertarian of all has been on the business end of the omnipotent state.

From the Bay Area Reporter:

Starchild, a candidate in the District 8 supervisor race, is fighting prostitution charges after he was arrested in a police sting operation last winter in a Fremont hotel. Already struggling to be taken seriously as a political contender, the perennial candidate could face jail time if a jury convicts him.

Despite his arrest, Starchild said he saw no reason why he should not enter the supervisor race. He first ran for the District 8 seat in 2002 and made his first foray in politics when he ran for state Assembly in 2000. Two years ago he tried to win election to the city’s school board.

On the one hand, this is probably not the best thing to be doing if you’re going to be running for public office, even if you lived in an area where prostitution is perfectly legal. On the other hand, I do admire his stand for civil rights, and given that he’s in the San Francisco area, his hardline stance on sex worker’s rights might actually resonate well with voters. I guess we’ll just have to see how well this works out for his campaign, as far as this issue goes.

At any rate, I think we can all agree that how he was arrested is pretty much horrible, political candidate or no:

His legal troubles began on the morning of December 6 last year when a woman responded to his escort advertisement on Craigslist.com. According to various accounts of his arrest he posted online and provided via a friend to the Bay Area Reporter, Starchild received a call from the woman, who identified herself as Sara, asking him to meet her and her friend, Tiffany, at the Best Western Garden Court Inn on Mowry Avenue in Fremont.

After taking BART from San Francisco to the inn, Starchild said he arrived at the hotel and met the woman he had spoken to on the phone, who gave her name this time as Heather. He said he questioned her about the name change ““ she said she did not want to use her real name on the phone ““ but was not overly alarmed by the discrepancy.

Once inside the room, he noticed cash on a bedside table but declined at first to take it from the women. He began to undress, lit several candles and opened a bottle of wine he had brought, while the women peppered him with questions about what kinds of activities they would engage in.

According to the accounts, at this point Starchild heard a voice shout “Fremont police” from outside the door and six officers barged into the room with a canine officer followed by a television cameraman who identified himself as a KRON 4 employee. The police placed him in handcuffs and charged him with soliciting prostitution.

It was a setup, which is all too common in that industry. He hadn’t even done anything illegal yet before the police charged in and slapped cuffs on him. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? And on the nightly news? Whoever the hell “KRON 4” is, they as an organization can eat a bowl of dicks and die, if they get their kicks out of seeing human rights violations.

Nonetheless, I still think the timing of this was pretty bad, so let this be a lesson for all future Libertarian candidates: Take a temporary break from your sex worker job while you’re running for office. You can preach just as well about the evils of sex worker rights violations from outside of the clink. Thank you.

48 Comments
  1. It seems that he entered the race after the arrest. I like what said about his skeletons dancing in the living room. Funny guy.

  2. If he were a managerial type or a corporate cog and he was running for office should he take a break from his job to run for a minor office? At what level should candidates abandon their jobs in their bid for office? Starchild is a sex worker…that’s his job. Why should he have to quit? Because some people might find his choice of profession to be somewhat distasteful?
    Hell, the man was going to have sex with two chicks AND was gonna get paid! Most guys would pay for that themselves, if they could get it. Starchild was gonna get cash for performance…Starchild’s a frickin’ hero!

  3. Yes i’ll join in protest against setups for victimless crime but…

    I want to be able to tell someone I am libertarian and not have their first reaction be to assume that I am crazy.

    When a libertairian candidate requires the advice: “Take a temporary break from your sex worker job while you’re running for office.” then something is not ideal.

    I in no way wish to insult the guy, but mean this as commentary on why we are so marginalized.

  4. Bill A — I for one can see your point.

    I think there isn’t a libertarian out there whom thinks for a second that prostitution of any kind ought to remain criminalized… its being legal in Nevada (outside of Sin City, oddly), most assuredly hasn’t destroyed the moral fiber of the otherwise ‘Red’ state.

    IF Starchild is making legalization of prostitution his campaign platform… or at least a major section OF his platform… then all the more power to him in this case.

    It may marginalize us, and frankly I think it will. But even this ‘pragmatist’ is only willing to bend *SO* far.

    (Caveat: I consider myself a civil libertarian, rather than a fiscal or authoritative libertarian)

  5. esson for all future Libertarian candidates: Take a temporary break from your sex worker job while you’re running for office.

    Why? I disagree completely. Unfortunately, with very rare exceptions, being a minor party candidate does not pay the bills.

    So the only people who should run for office are those doing what the regime considers legal, or those with enough money to put their life on hold for months? That eliminates a huge number of people who have the most incentive to fight for liberty: because the regime is unjustly fucking with their very livelihood.

    By all means, run for office if you wish, but resisting tyranny at the personal level should NOT be put on hold -ever – in the name of a longshot political campaign.

    This is the same category of advice that tells libertarians to pay the IRS every possible penny and would run Starchild out for the way he dresses.

    It is a losing strategy to appeal to status quo followers who would be shocked at such things.

  6. Of course the treatment of starchild, and of all sex workers, is horriable. making it legal would solve most of the problems they face. Let me make this point, the LP has a horriable image problem in some parts of the country. When we have stoners and sex workers run for office this does not help matters at all.

    Yes, starchild shoud stand up for his rights, and he has every right to run for office while working his trade, but the LP party has to face some facts. It will be impossiable to win when the face of the party are people who the majority of society considers immoral. I am not saying we should change our stance. We just need to be aware of who the public will elect.

    More power to starchild, and good luck

  7. Isn’t it amazing that the police in the Bay Area are always crying that they don’t have enough taxpayer dollars but they have more than enough money for shit like this? Is this the most important thing Freemont cops can be doing with their time and the taxpayers’ money. And they wonder why people refer to them as Pigs. And I apoligize in advance to swine everywhere.

  8. “Let me make this point, the LP has a horriable image problem in some parts of the country. When we have stoners and sex workers run for office this does not help matters at all.”

    So what? We have a niche market that no one else is appealing to. If you wish to kowtow to the prejudiced mainstream, you’ll have to throw all your libertarian views out the window to win. And what’s the point in winning then? also, note that Starchild is running in SF, and not inte part of the city by the Ocean. Hardly the part of America to which you refer.

    “It will be impossiable to win when the face of the party are people who the majority of society considers immoral.”

    Well duh – if they consider it immoral, chances are they won’t vote for a party that wants to make it legal.

    ” I apoligize in advance to swine everywhere”

    No offense taken.

  9. Paulie — on that note: It *is* worth mentioning that it is rather silly, when facing groups of men with guns, to do something in plain sight of them that will cause them to shoot you.

    The trick is to find things they consider *more* immoral than the things they made illegal due to immorality in the first place — things like needless death, oppression, and bigotry are good places to start.

  10. “So what?”
    Do you want elections to be one or not? Actaully Paulie I do think the LP has many ideas that the mainstream will latch onto. Economics, foreign policy, property rights, the size of government..etc. The LP voting pool is larger than you think. But that is the point, when the face of the party is a sex worker it makes it appear that it is what LP is about. We do not have to “kowtow” the public. Shaping the LP image to be voter friendly does not me changing one bit of the parties platform!

  11. I dont have a problem with starchild on this – mainly becuase of where he is. This could be a weak positive for him politically. SF is not Iowa. he could focus some attention on the morality of letting police run around acting like armed clergymen.

    if he can spell out why personal morality is not to be confused with government morality, he might make some waves in SF.

  12. I agree Timothy, despite my bitching about a “voter friendly image” if there is one place Starchild could win is SF. I think the hardest part of explaining the LP platform to a repulacrat is that personel morality should not be confused with government morality. Website you posted is very cool.

  13. “Do you want elections to be one or not? ”

    That all depends on what the victory achieves. Ultimately, I suspect that by the time they can be won in a meaningful way on a large scale, they will no longer be necessary – and that until they are no longer necessary, it will be impossible to win all that much.

    “Actaully Paulie I do think the LP has many ideas that the mainstream will latch onto. Economics, foreign policy, property rights, the size of government..etc.”

    Actual election results don’t bear this out. Everyone who makes similar statements holds different LP positions to be acceptable or unacceptable to the public, according to their own whims and tastes. Actually, any of our positions watered down enough may be marginally acceptable, and in a pure fashion probably none of them are. In toto, few approve of all of them, or even most. Even if they were all acceptable, momentum, money, media, and the wasted voted calculation in a winner take all system (cont)

  14. Starchild’s chosen profession is more honorable and less seamy than the public office he’s running for — and I suspect a lot of San Franciscans see it that way too.

    Of course, I’d do him in a New York minute (not for a New York minute, though — I’ve got some stamina) — and even pay for it! ;-)

  15. (cont) preclude serious victory. Institutional loyalty to the major parties and coalition politics play a much larger role than the supposed unacceptability of our ideas. Otherwise, the Reform Party would be a major party today.

    And as for being voter friendly – that’s my whole point. There are many voters, and they are not all alike. We can’t be all things to all people, but we could at least exxcite those whom no one else wants to appeal to, our naturral constituency – and that encludes sex workers and clients. It would certainly be preferable to dull grayness mistakenly aimed at a market which isn’t ours to reach and is already tapped.

  16. I agree Timothy, despite my bitching about a “voter friendly image” if there is one place Starchild could win is SF.

    LOL. You guys ever spend any time there? To win in SF you need to be fairly socialist, and have the backing of a lot of conventionally leftist coalitions. Also, it takes a lot of retail politics, being a very political city with political signs and political workers of all sorts all over the place during campaign season. Think of it sort of as a West Coast DC , but with most of the black population on the other side of the bay. Starchild’s problem in SF would not be his job – it would be his views on things such as economics and gun control. And, unfortunately, the war – I hope he’s changed his mind, or will soon.

  17. Starchild’s chosen profession is more honorable and less seamy than the public office he’s running for

    Precisely. When concensual hooking is made more legal than the political process of non-concensual collective decisionmaking, we’ve won. Until then, we’ve lost.

  18. Yes, I’ve spent time there, but not much. My brother lived there for some years. Didn’t say he would win, but I do think he can make a statement about this that would be heard more in SF and it’ area than if he was arrested for the same thing in Des Moines. The entire country has not been totally homogenized into one zone of attiudes yet, but they’re working on it.

  19. I can not think of any better place that a sex worker would have a shot of winning than SF (maybe Nevada). I will concede I don’t though shit about SF.

  20. IanC,

    Prostitution in Nevada is only legal only in counties whose populations are less than 100,000. So it’s not legal in Clark (Las Vegas/Henderson/Boulder City), Washoe (Reno/Sparks) and Carson (Carson City, the capitol) counties, and maybe one or two others (Elko, Nye, if either has grown enough).

    It’s also heavily regulated to protect the brothels owners and the public from competition and disease.

    -0-

  21. Of course, I’d do him in a New York minute (not for a New York minute, though ”” I’ve got some stamina) ”” and even pay for it! ;-)

    Didn’t know you swung that way, Tom… not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    But yeah. I dunno, even in a place like San Francisco, it’s just not smart. First off, doing anything illegal during a campaign will hurt said campaign, whether it’s just or not. It’s a lot of distraction from what you need to be focused on-winning, or doing your damnedest to win. Even for pro-sex worker folks, I’d say that knowing he’s been busted by the cops doesn’t really excite them, and even among those guys it might backfire-do you want the guy with no respect for the law to be writing said laws? Even if the laws are unjust? (Yes, naturally there’s exceptions, don’t go all Godwin’s Law on me now kids.)

    But by and large, if you’re campaigning to make laws, you need to keep the shitty ones already in place.

  22. It’s also heavily regulated to protect the brothels owners and the public from competition and disease.

    Also the girls. They get monthly check ups and get taken off active duty if something is wrong. They dont get back in if they check HIV + or have little STD buggies. It’s a public health issue.

    note that it is *UNREGULATED* whoring that is demonstrably less safe for both customer and provider, becuase it is criminal. It should be regulated and legal everywhere, but thats not libertarian, is it? :) Regulation is un-libertarian, ya know.

  23. Regulation could be private and voluntary. Private accredidation boards could do the STD testing and provide documents for sex workers to show their clients, etc.

    Why do you think the government needs to be involved in order for there to be “regulation?” Do you honestly think that the government can do a better job than the private sector?

    The LP needs to stop worrying about its “image” in relation to candidates like this. Much props to him/her (?) for standing for the rights of his/her people.

  24. Stu, It’s not that I necessarily “swing that way.” Starchild’s just one of those people that it’s impossible not to find attractive. Besides, I’d have to get Tamara’s permission — if I could get her off him ;-)

    But seriously, folks … We’ve met him several times at LP events and he’s just a really sterling guy. I hate to see him hassled.

    As far as the political angle goes, I doubt the arrest is really an asset, even in San Francisco — but I also suspect that in San Francisco it’s not really a liability, either.

    This is the (more restrained, thankfully) flip side of Greg Dirasian’s hissy about Loretta Nall’s “pissing off the back porch” remark. The US is really a bunch of different countries with their own different cultures. Pissing off the back porch plays to blue collar Alabama. Sex workers aren’t universally disdained in San Francisco. Buy everyone crawfish in New Orleans, you get elected. Do it in Seattle, you probably get arrested for animal cruelty or something.

  25. I can not think of any better place that a sex worker would have a shot of winning than SF

    Yes, that’s true. But hey would still have to get the endorsement of a lot of socialist-leaning groups, and put up a lot of signs, at a minimum. Being a sex worker is not enough to get elected, sorry.

    Likewise: being a gun dealer wouldn’t hurt you in Alabama, but it wouldn’t help you if you are also a transgendered eco-Marxist who openly smokes pot.

    But by and large, if you’re campaigning to make laws, you need to keep the shitty ones already in place.

    I see it differently. If you’re campaigning against tyranny, you can do it by whatever means available – whether it’s personal resistance or changing the alleged “laws”.

  26. Well, hi guys… Given that this is sorta about me, how can I resist weighing in here as a recognized expert on the subject? 8) A few brief comments:

    (1) Prostitution law reform is just one of many campaign issues for me, but the Bay Area Reporter article has probably made it a bigger issue now than I would have done myself.

    (2) The KRON thing was worse than reported. All the cops were plainclothes, and I didn’t find out he was with the media until I asked who he was filming for since he had his big video camera pointed at me, and then he told me. I doubt he would have otherwise. I said I didn’t want to be villainized, and asked him to take one of my cards and call me later to get my side of the story (I would have handed him one, but I was handcuffed by that point, however my business cards were scattered on the bed as a cop had dumped out the contents of my bag and was going through everything.) +++ continued below +++

  27. +++ continued +++

    But get this — when I asked him to take a card and call me, his response was “I can’t do that — I’m here with these guys.” (!) Furthermore, KRON later refused to cooperate with my lawyer when she asked for a copy of the tape. The reporter’s name was Will Tran, btw.

    (3) Tom Knapp — thanks, I’m flattered. If you and Tamara wanted to tag team me, that’d be cool. 8) Especially if you let the hair on your shaved head grow out 1/8th inch or so; it feels really fun to run your hands through at that length!

    (4) Paulie is absolutely right about what politics are like in SF. That’s exactly how it is here.

    (5) Getting LP candidates elected is not my *only* goal here. I also want to make it more publicly acceptable for sex workers to be out of the closet and participate in politics. Even if I could afford not to work, I would keep working anyway.

    (6) MRJarrell — LOL! Those female cops looked good too, dressed more like hookers than I was, cleavage & all. Really cruel!

  28. P.S. – Oh, and thanks everyone, for the love and support! I mean that, it does my heart good. Be assured I will keep fighting the good fight! And good luck in all your endeavors. Power to the people!

    “Get up stand up, stand up for your rights
    Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight!

    -Bob Marley

  29. On the other hand, it would have been cool as hell if Russell Means had won the 1988 nomination and campaigned in full Lakota head dress!!

  30. Yeah, bad publicity is better than absolutely none. This should bring to light what the police and media are doing to us as well. I don’t see how it could hurt.

    I can’t stop thinking about the media being in on it though. Aren’t they supposed to be objective? What are they doing with the police? And what about filming something where there IS an expectation of privacy??

  31. Last time I played SF, I had an interview scheduled on some dopey morning show on KRON. Knowing that my demographic would never be awake that early much less watching such pablum, I sent a local comic down to pretend to be me.

    12 years younger, 6 inches taller and looking nothing like me, he did they entire interview as me with nobody batting an eye.

  32. Starchild,

    more power to you. Step it up. You got everyones attention. Rap hard about what a useless waste of police and money prostitution busts/setups are, and throw in a goodly dose of talk about how making something criminal becuase of personal morality makes it impossible to deal with legit issues surrounding the activity at hand. yeh, stuff like dat…yeh..dats it…. yeh

  33. Starchild,

    Woohoo! Next time we see each other, I’ll try to be wearing an “I got propositioned by Starchild” t-shirt (and very short hair).

    Good luck on all fronts, my friend. We need more like you, but you’re one of a kind.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  34. Campaign Motto: “Vote YES on Proposition Starchild!”

    Dauntless: No, canine officer isn’t a redundant statement. Porcine policeman? A little different. >:)

  35. Starchild,

    That sting sounds like an awful violation of your rights. I hope your lawyer supoenaed the tape. It seems to me that the reporter was an agent of the state. I wonder how the reporter would react if you burst into his bedroom with a video camera.

    Best of luck to you in your trial and your Supervisor’s race.

    Everyone,

    I agree with Tim that different issues play well in different localities. Starchild seems to be emphasizing the libertarian positions that will resonate most with San Francisco voters, and that’s great. Bill Peirce is emphasizing different issues in Ohio — quite effectively. All Libertarian candidates should tailor their message to their community.

  36. “Nonetheless, I still think the timing of this was pretty bad, so let this be a lesson for all future Libertarian candidates: Take a temporary break from your sex worker job while you’re running for office.”

    How can you call yourself a libertarian, believe in freedom and liberty, if you preach people to change their lives to try and win a popularity contest? He is running for office, HE is running for office, you are not. You always seem to find a way to put others down. Some people might get a laugh from Starchild which is fine but why in the hell comment about him changing for the election? Nice hit piece, you are getting rather good at bitching about others, perhaps it is time to look in the mirror. Actions speak louder than words and from the looks of things you ain’t doing much but typing in words.

  37. Umm… I’m not attacking Starchild for running, or for being a sex worker. I’m merely pointing out that doing both of them at the same time, in the current political climate, is a recipe for disaster.

    The cops will be extra eager to bust you, for one thing. For another, you’ll turn a lot of folks away from voting for you. And like it or not, we need to start winning those “popularity contests” or liberty’s fucked forever in this country.

    I really hope Starchild wins this race, and it’s shit what they did to him. But nonetheless, if we want to be elected officials, we’d better start acting like it.

    Also, I’m only “negative” against our campaigns because I want our campaigns to keep striving for better, to grow beyond what they currently are. You correct the ones you love. I save my out-and-out bashing for the Republicrats.

  38. Doesn’t he know that candidates aren’t supposed to screw the public until AFTER the election?

    Personally I hope everyone learns about this incident. It might help chase out the closet conservatives from the LP. Hallelujah!

  39. So, Starchild and other candidates should act like…Democrats and Republicans in order to get elected? If that’s the case then there’s no reason to run.

  40. It sounds like a Reno 911 skit (but not funny). Is there a legal defense fund? I don’t know Starchild personally, but he’s a solid libertarian and deserves our full support.

  41. Of course Starchild shouldn’t quit his job to run for office … sex worker is an honorable profession. Now if he worked for the govt as, say, a tax collector or zoning official, yeah, he shouldn’t run for office as a libertarian. I’ll also be happy to contribute to and/or publicize a legal defense fund, this is exactly the type of police harassment that we need to fight. It’s pure T disgusting that tax money is spent on entrapment and stings like this where no one is getting harmed. Good luck, Starchild!