article

02.09.09

Porn Star for Senate

Sen. David Vitter’s phone number was found in the records of the notorious D.C. Madam. Now he faces re-election (and massive karmic payback) against a sultry adult entertainer named Stormy.

Sen. David Vitter’s phone number was found in the records of the notorious D.C. madam. Now he faces re-election (and massive karmic payback) against a sultry adult entertainer named Stormy. Max Blumenthal has an exclusive interview.

With 2010 midterm elections approaching, Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter is positioning himself as a leading conservative stalwart. In July 2008, Vitter joined accused bathroom-stall sex solicitor Sen. Larry Craig in co-sponsoring the anti-gay-marriage Marriage Protection Amendment, then addressed a massive antiabortion rally on the National Mall three days after Barack Obama's inauguration. Vitter was also the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's lone vote against sending Hillary Clinton's secretary of State nomination to the Senate floor.

This year, an ad appeared on Craigslist seeking "a female in some aspect of the adult-entertainment industry" to run against Vitter.

Video screenshot

Vitter's right-wing posturing appears to be an attempt at image rehabilitation. In July 2007, the senator's phone number appeared on a published list of phone records of a company owned by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called DC Madam. Vitter confessed to "a serious sin" and revealed that he "asked for and received forgiveness from God and [his] wife." Though the GOP leadership also forgave Vitter, the revelation badly damaged his reputation as one of the Senate's rising conservative stars. In May 2008, Palfrey, the DC Madam, was found dead in an apparent suicide after being found guilty of running a prostitution ring.

This year, an ad appeared on Craigslist seeking "a female in some aspect of the adult-entertainment industry" to run against Vitter. Soon after, a website "drafting" porn actress Stormy Daniels to oppose Vitter sprouted up. Part publicity stunt, part political psy-ops tactic, the Draft Stormy initiative has already forced Vitter's scandalous past back into the limelight. The Louisiana Democratic Party denied any involvement in creating the website, but it is not complaining about Daniels' involvement in the race.

While traveling through Arizona last week, I learned that Daniels would be performing at a Phoenix strip club. I tracked the adult-video starlet down at her hotel and filmed the first interview with her since the Draft Stormy initiative began. During our exclusive interview, Daniels homed in on what she called Vitter's hypocrisy, declaring her intention to make his contradictory behavior the centerpiece of her campaign.

Max Blumenthal is a senior writer for The Daily Beast and writing fellow at The Nation Institute, whose book, Republican Gomorrah (Basic/Nation Books), is forthcoming in Spring 2009. Contact him at maxblumenthal3000@yahoo.com.