Denver Direct: The Triumph of Political Prostitutes

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Triumph of Political Prostitutes

Editorial by Phil Goodstein

Michael Hancock has never made any secret of his thorough commitment to the corporate establishment. At no time since his rise from his poverty-stricken youth has he been associated with the politics of insurgency. The mayor-elect was never part of groups fighting city hall or questioning business as usual. Indeed, his “positive” campaign primarily emphasized that he was ready to do the bidding of the masters of the economy.

The mythmakers have painted Hancock’s rise as the epitome of success for a poor boy as he has sold himself to those with power and influence. Poor girls, in contrast, who sell their bodies, are condemned as prostitutes. Frenzied morals campaigns are endless against them and the men who patronize them. Missing is any larger understanding about the unhappiness, loneliness, and frustration that fuel the commercial sex industry. Politicians such as Hancock have been in the forefront of pious moral crusades against prostitution.

The level of hysteria about whether Hancock might have patronized a high-class prostitution service is in inverse relationship to its importance. This is typical of a media that do not have the slightest grasp of power. If they did, they would observe that Hancock’s advisers and lawyer in the affair show how pliant a tool he is of 17th Street. His attorney, for example, Bruce James, is the managing partner of Brownstein Hyatt Farber. A co-chairman of his transition team is Cole Finegan, a former Brownstein operative who has moved over to Hogan Lovells, a rival lawyer/lobbyist firm. Other key representatives on his transition team are from CRL, the most nefarious city lobbying firm which, in some ways, virtually controls city council. Hancock has made it known that a prime prerequisite for the leaders of his inauguration committee is their ability to deliver money for the event, i.e., it is not to be a people’s celebration, but a bash of the bourgeoisie.

This is the real prostitution scandal: someone who sells his/her heart and soul for the seeming prestige and honor of a high elected or appointed post. The entire brouhaha over the supposed Hancock prostitution ties is designed to cloak this. In such a manner, no questions have been asked about why corporate interests have virtual complete control of the mayor-elect as he seeks to assure that they, not the citizenry, will retain their lock on city hall. If anything, the timing of the scandal also allowed the completely empty coverage of the municipal election to pass unnoticed. The rumor was current prior to the polling; the media only pushed it after Hancock’s victory. By so focusing on it, the pundits were silent on the way very few Hispanos rallied to the candidate of their supposed leaders, Federico Pena and James Mejia. The reportage on the election never mentioned the obvious: that rank-and-file voters had the good sense to stay away from the abysmal farce. The only good thing about the election is that Mejia, Chris Romer, and other scoundrels as bad as Hancock went down to defeat.