Saturday, June 09, 2007

Jake McGoldrick wants to legalize prostitution

The thing about Supervisor McGoldrick is that he has always had a "progressive" agenda that he doggedly pursues regardless of what anyone else thinks. Like a lot of progressives---and conservatives, for that matter---McGoldrick just knows what's good for the people of San Francisco, and he won't be deterred from implementing that vision. He just knows, for example, that riding bikes is a Good Thing for the people of San Francisco, even though he himself drives to work every day, because, you understand, he's just so busy implementing his vision that he can't spare the time to ride Muni or a bike.

And he just knows that the Geary Bus Rapid Transit idea is good for the people of his district, even though the MTA board only recently authorized an EIR on the subject. McGoldrick doesn't need to wait for the results of that study; he already knows that BRT is a Good Thing, even though those of us who ride Muni's 38 Geary line have no complaints about how often or quickly that line moves between Van Ness and the avenues (between Van Ness and Market St. is another story).

And he just knows that closing Golden Gate Park to autos on Saturdays is a Good Thing, even though city voters decisively rejected the idea twice on the same ballot in 2000.

Another thing McGoldrick knows: People who engage in sex for money aren't prostitutes or hookers; they are "sex workers." When the Board of Supervisors voted on Fiona Ma's ordinance to require a hearing and a permit before any new massage parlors open in the city, McGoldrick was the only no vote:

A recent series in the Chronicle reported that scores of Asian massage parlors in San Francisco offer sex, and that some of the women inside are forced to work against their will. The ordinance approved Tuesday would place conditional-use restrictions on massage parlor permits so neighbors living within 300 feet of a proposed massage operation would be invited to express their concerns in a public hearing. Applicants would also need approval from the Planning Commission before they could request a massage parlor permit from the Department of Public Health. Supervisor Jake McGoldrick was the lone dissenter; Supervisor Ammiano was absent. McGoldrick said he is concerned that the legislation could interfere with his goal of decriminalizing sex workers in the city. "This is misplaced[sic] legislation that attempts to politicize an issue that needs more policy work," McGoldrick said. (Massage parlor regulation closer to law, Robert Selna, SF Chronicle, Nov. 8, 2006)

Never mind sex slavery and the exploitation of women, McGoldrick sees the legalization of prostitution as a way to protect women:

But others, such as the sole 'no' voter, Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, think the law is a "panicky kind of paranoia." "Driving it underground is the worst thing you can do," said McGoldrick, who advocates decriminalizing prostitution to protect women (S.F. law called insufficient to stem sex traffic, Meredith May, Charlie Goodyear, SF Chronicle, Nov. 29, 2006).

"We need to know what we are talking about, what's really out there, before we jump to conclusions," he[McGoldrick] said. "Maybe we should examine legalization, like in New Zealand or the Netherlands, and recognize contractual, consensual sex has always been, and will always be, a part of human culture." ("Mayor's plan to curb sex trafficking in S.F. could fine, jail landlords renting to illicit massage parlors," SF Chronicle, Meredith May, October 11, 2006)

McGoldrick doesn't think the Bicycle Plan, Healthy Saturdays, and the Geary BRT need more study, but legalizing prostitution supposedly does. Why do I suspect that McGoldrick has already made up his mind on that issue, too?

Recalling McGoldrick:

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At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, how about an argument to explain your point of view? I agree with McGoldrick. We encourage exploitation by forcing a service for which there is an inevitable demand underground into the domain of those with no regard for human dignity. Allow it to exist openly so that those being exploited aren’t afraid to ask for help.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I think there's "no regard for human dignity" in prostitution in general---exploitation is its essence---which is why I don't believe in legalization. I think it's interesting that McGoldrick was completely alone on this issue. Even his leftie comrades like Daly and the Murk couldn't bring themselves to oppose Ma's legislation. In his own quiet way, McGoldrick is just as big an ideologue as Daly, Ammiano, and the Murk.

At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Human dignity includes respect for one’s right to privacy and to freely make their own decisions even if it offends your morals. It is just as exploitive to impose your morals on another who may not share the same values. In general, what happens behind closed doors, on private property between consenting adults is not the business of the public,

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"In general, what happens behind closed doors, on private property between consenting adults is not the business of the public."

Bullshit. I know this is the standard libertarian line (libertarianism: the favorite political philosophy of American adolescents), but the law and common sense say otherwise. We rightly have laws against child and spousal abuse, to name a few intrusions on your precious freedoms. Prostitution too falls in that category.

At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse me! What part of “consenting adults” do you not understand.

At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is it about liberty that threatens you? If the freedom that is “precious” to me is to basis of a philosophy that you call adolescent, I can live with that. What give you the right to define what common sense is? As for the law, all government institutions, including law making and enforcement, exist to serve and protect the general public. How do these laws restricting individual liberties serve or protect the public?

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

It's extremely naive to talk about "consent" when discussing prostitution. McGoldrick has been pushing the Bicycle Plan as vigorously as his leftist comrades on the BOS, but of course he doesn't ride a bike to work. Similarly, he wants to legalize prostitution in SF but I bet he doesn't think that occupation is suitable for a member of his family. It's just ideological crapola that's typical of the city's windbag left.

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like the recall isn't going to make the ballot. Are you on the committee?

At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

McGoldrick is the only politician I like in the city.

I wish him well.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, I'm not a member of the committee. McGoldrick is a typical SF progressive---smug, self-righteous, and doctrinaire. But he's also typical of this Board of Supervisors, which has to be among the worst the city has ever had. There are no serious dissenters on this BOS. Intellectually, they're interchangeable---aggressively and mindlessly pro-development, because We Need Housing. They unanimously supported the Bicycle Plan, though it was obvious at the time that it required enviromental review. Sit through a single BOS meeting---or even a committee meeting---and you experience the remarkable intellectual/political vacuity first-hand. They are led around by the nose by city staff and rarely challenge the departments, especially the Planning Dept. Pathetic.

At 10:49 PM, Blogger NoeValleyJim said...

McGoldrick is a great supervisor, one of the best The City has. And couragoeus enough to stand up to the two bit bullies who have attempted to block the Geary BRT for entirely selfish reasons.

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

MTA has only recently commissioned an EIR on the Geary BRT idea. Typically, McGoldrick supports it even before the facts are in, because it has a "progressive" seal of approval from other planning and traffic lemmings in the city. I ride the 38 Geary line all the time, and it serves the city very well. Like those residents of his district trying to recall McGoldrick, I'm still waiting to hear a sensible justification for spending $200 million and tearing up Geary for years. And McGoldrick, who drives to work every day, has aggressively pushed the Bicycle Plan, because here too he knows what's best for the city, regardless of the facts or the law. He kept pushing the Healthy Saturday idea, even though city voters rejected it decisively in 2000. He's been a terrible supervisor on a terrible board---smug, self-righteous, and simply wrong on important issues in the city.


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