Former Governor of MN, Jesse Ventura and Prostitution

I’m not a fan of legalizing prostitution.  I advocate decrim.  But I was a resident of Minnesota during the Ventura years as Governor.  While Governor Ventura advocated legalization, and I am a decrim advocate, I respect that he unlike Spitzer and so many of the politicos had the courage to be straight about his feelings about sex work.

Ventura statements on prostitution

In one of his books, Ventura mentions a visit to a prostitute near Reno, Nevada and he admitted to visiting brothels in the Philippines while serving in the military. Ventura has publicly stated that prostitution should be legal, since it will exist in any case, and legal controls protecting the health of clients and workers are needed.[16] He said “I voted in hopes to make prostitution legal once, and I’d do it again in a second”.[17] He admitted to trading a belt made of gun cartridge cases in exchange for 10 dollars plus the services of a prostitute in Nevada during his younger days.

I also appreciated his views on opposing fundamentalists

Ventura states “But I do have a problem with the people who think they have some right to try to impose their beliefs on others. I hate what the fundamentalist fanatics are doing to our country. It seems as though, if everybody doesn’t accept their version of reality, that somehow invalidates it for them. Everybody must believe the same things they do. That’s what I find weak and destructive.”[22]Ventura endorsed equal rights for religious minorities, as well as people who don’t believe in God, by declaring July 4, 2002, “Indivisible Day” through this proclamation:

“WHEREAS: The unique feature of this nation at its founding was its establishment of a secular Constitution that separated government from religion – something never done before; and WHEREAS: Our secular Constitution has enabled people of all worldviews to coexist in harmony, undivided by sectarian strife; and WHEREAS: President James Madison made clear the importance of maintaining this harmony when he said, “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the endless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries”; and WHEREAS: The diversity of our people requires mutual respect and equal protection for all our citizens, including minority groups, if we are to remain “One nation, indivisible”; and WHEREAS: It is the unfettered diversity of ideas and worldviews that have made our nation the strongest and most productive in the world; and WHEREAS: Eternal vigilance must be maintained to guard against those who seek to stifle ideas, establish a narrow orthodoxy, and divide our nation along arbitrary lines of race, ethnicity, and religious belief or nonbelief. NOW, THEREFORE, I, JESSE VENTURA, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim that Thursday, July 4, 2002 shall be observed as: INDIVISIBLE DAY In the State Of Minnesota.”
 
And the Iraq war.
 

Ventura is serving as an advisory board member for a new group called Operation Truth, a non-profit organization set up “to give voice to troops who served in Iraq.” “The current use of the National Guard is wrong….These are men who did not sign up to go occupy foreign nations”.[27]

He had his gaffes, wasn’t always PC, had some rough moments.  But he was straight forward and wasn’t a farce faux crusader like Spitzer, Tobias and their ilk.

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