Mayor Mike McGinn lays the smackdown on Seattle Weekly

Fictional representation

Afternoon Jolt: McGinn, The Weekly, and Child Prostitution:

It seems that this past week Seattle mayor Mike McGinn appeared on a local radio show along with Seattle Weekly Editor-In-Chief Mike Seely over the prostitution ads in the Village Voice Media owned Weekly and backpage.com.

Mr. Seely had this to say about the Weekly and backpage defending their questionable business practice…

“Prostitution is the world’s oldest profession for a reason. If you’ve got Backpage.com cooperating with law enforcement, you’re a lot better off and the problem will get eradicated a lot more quickly.”

So basically he’s saying that backpage is doing the world a service by having pimps in traffickers all in one place. Never mind the fact that women and children are being trafficked on their site daily.

Mayor Mike McGinn fired back with some common sense…

“I don’t really think we’re in the business of trying to promote fencing operations for the sale of stolen goods so that it makes it easier to attract burglars, nor do I think we open up other kinds of illegal operations to attract criminals. Our duty is to work to stop” child prostitution, not draw pimps to a particular web site.

I tend to not vote for Democrats however if I lived in Seattle Mayor McGinn would have my vote.

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Prostitution/Human Trafficking post #726

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn meets with Village Voice Meida

110715PR-villagevoice

That is the press release that Seattle mayor Mike McGinn released after meeting with representatives from Village Voice Media this past Friday. Mayor McGinn has been active recently in trying to get VVM to help stopping the trafficking of children on backpage.com. The press release can also be viewed here. (PDF file)

In the press release Mayor McGinn said that he would like VVM to implement a safeguard where ‘models’ that want to advertise on backpage produce a photo ID in order to place an ad. VVM said that they would get back to him in 1-2 weeks.

I wish Mayor McGinn went a little further in his request to curb child prostitution on backpage because I see problems with this approach. Someone who has made a career in trafficking women and children would probably have no problem in procuring fake IDs.

However thinking back on it this may not be the worst idea. Before craigslist shut down adult/erotic services the states Attorneys General chipped away at craigslist until they finally shut down the section altogether. Unfortunately I doubt VVM will be so agreeable.

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Seattle Weekly slams Seattle mayor Mike McGinn

Who’s Fooling Mike McGinn?:

I really would like to know what it takes to work for Village Voice Media. Do you have to swear fealty to the head of VVM? Do you have to fill out your application in the blood of virgins? Is there a reprogramming system that rewires your brain to support human trafficking? Are their families being threatened in a Mafia-like way? Or is it just plain greed?

Anyway Seattle Weekly Editor-In-Chief, Mike Seely, has poison penned this column in response to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn pulling city ads from Seattle Weekly. Again, Seattle Weekly is another propaganda arm of Village Voice Media.

As usually Seely attacks the statistics that allegedly say that 100-300K children are being trafficked in the country per year. VVM says the number is more like in the hundreds.

Does it really matter if it’s in the hundreds or hundreds of thousands? Children are being trafficked and they are being trafficked on backpage which as we all know is owned by Village Voice Media.

However many millions of dollars that VVM says that they’re spending to review their ads it’s obviously not enough. It must not be anywhere near the millions that they’re making on the ads that traffic women and children.

Face up to reality people. It’s all about the money. VVM is not taking a stand because of some First Amendment issue. It’s all about the money they make off the ads. Without the money made on the backs and knees of women and children VVM has a better than average chance of going out of business. So basically they’re taking out their flawed business plans on the women and children being trafficked on their sites. You know, like an actual pimp would do.

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Seattle mayor pulls city ads from Village Voice Media paper

Mayor Mike McGinn

McGinn orders city to suspend ads in Seattle Weekly:

Seattle mayor Mike McGinn has ordered that all ads placed by the city to be pulled from the Seattle Weekly. That’s the Seattle propaganda arm of Village Voice Media. The ads result in roughly $158K which I’m sure would be a blow to the cash strapped VVM. McGinn has ordered the ads pulled because of the prostitution and human trafficking ads on backpage.com.

Again an agent of VVM tries to act like they’re at the forefront of combatting human trafficking.

“I don’t know how that constitutes game-playing,” said Andy Van De Voorde, executive associate editor for Village Voice Media, speaking from Denver. He said the numbers used by activists were exaggerated and have been “subjected to so little scrutiny.”

He added: “We have never downplayed the seriousness of teenage prostitution.”

Van De Voorde said, “We have more than 100 people whose sole job is to screen ads.” And they notify law-enforcement authorities whenever they suspect anything illegal, he said.

You downplay the seriousness of child prostitution just by having the ads on backpage. I know they know this. The problem is that VVM relies so much on the money made from these ads they will not go as quietly as craigslist did. Craigslist used the ads mostly for traffic before they started charging for them which eventually led to them shutting the ads down even though they appear in other places of craigslist but I digress.

Also if 100 VVM employees are scrutinizing ads for illegal activity it’s obvious they’re not doing enough. They’re probably doing what craigslist did and are only pulling the ads that would make them somehow legally responsible.

It comes down to this. The reason that VVM keeps saying that the statistics of children being trafficked in the US is overinflated is because their salaries depend on it.

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Ashton Kutcher a fan of Seattle mayor

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher stands with Seattle Mayor McGinn:

Speaking of Seattle mayor Mike McGinn (because we were, you know) it seems that Ashton Kutcher has become a fan of his after Mayor McGinn issued his recent letter targeting the Village Voice Media owned backpage.com.

Mr. Kutcher tweeted the following to his 7 million plus Twitter followers last week…

“I think every mayor should take human trafficking as serious as @mayormcginn in seattle http://t.co/BaxIDoz #dna”

The #dna hashtag refers to the Demi and Ashton Foundation which was started to help combat human trafficking. The same foundation that Village Voice Media has said is relying on faulty human trafficking stats. VVM would say that since they make so much money from prostitution and human trafficking ads on backpage.

It’s refreshing to see a celebrity endorse a politician over an actual cause and not just because it’s in line with the Hollywood group think.

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Seattle mayor targets Backpage

Mayor Mike McGinn

Seattle mayor, police target Village Voice classifieds:

I occasionally chide Seattle for being overly liberal and overrun with filthy hippies. Sometimes, as in this case, it’s not a bad thing. Seattle and King County have been two jurisdictions that have been at the forefront of taking an active role in the fight against human trafficking.

So it comes as no surprise that in the wake of the Ashton Kutcher/Village Voice fight Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has issued a letter to Village Voice Media (PDF Format) asking them to a sit down with Seattle police in order to help better fight human trafficking.

Also not surprising is that the Seattle Weekly (Village Voice Media’s Seattle propaganda arm) is acting like they’re actually combating human trafficking…

Seattle Weekly’s Editor-In-Chief, Mike Seely, said he’s pleased Mayor Mike McGinn is concerned about sex trafficking and underage prostitution, but noted Village Voice Media has been working to combat it longer than Kutcher has.

Seely said the “majority of Backpage.com’s employees are charged with making sure inappropriate or illegal adult or personal content either doesn’t make it onto the site or is reported to the proper authorities or advocacy organizations, such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.”

If this is true, which I doubt it is, I hate to see the ads that don’t make it on to backpage. That’s the thing though, I doubt every single claim made by Mr. Seely.

This is a black and white and issue for most of the world. You’re either against human trafficking or you’re not. By leaving the adult and escort ads on their site backpage and Village Voice Media is showing that they’re not. There is no spin to sexual slavery.

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(I apologize for the delay in posting this story)

19-year-old girl accused of being Backpage child pimp

Charge: 19-year-old Seattle woman pimped girl:

Why is it that women who sell other women are referred to as the classier moniker ‘Madam’ while guys are just pimps? Both are nothing more than human traffickers.

For example take 19-year-old Micayla Michelle Fourhorns of Seattle. She’s been arrested and held on $100K bond for allegedly prostituting a 17-year-old girl on the Village Voice Media owned backpage.com.

Human trafficking and child prostitution crosses all gender and race categories. It’s obviously something that just doesn’t happen in third world countries. It’s happening in your backyard too.

As usual though this once again shows that backpage’s so-called safeguards are a load of crap because time after time underage girls are being peddled on their site. So backpage, do you really have any safeguards or are you just full of shit?

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Runaway backpage pimp sentenced

Baruti Hopson

Convicted Seattle pimp who fled during trial sentenced to 26 years:

I originally posted about Baruti Hopson here. He’s the backpage pimp from Seattle who was convicted of prostituting a minor but fled before he could be sentenced.

Now he’s been sentenced to 26 years behind bars but it’s not just child prostitution that Hopson was good at but he also allegedly tried to get his victim not to testify…

Hopson also attempted to persuade the girl not to testify against him in messages he sent to the MySpace.com account he’d set up for her, the judge was told Tuesday.

The girl’s mother read aloud some of the messages in court: “Jesus Christ our King has ordered your silence” and “Don’t show up — that’s an order from God,” Hopson allegedly wrote.

Not surprising at all since pimps and traffickers often use the threats of violence to keep their victims in line.

However what’s more saddening is that Hopson’s parents thought the sentence was too harsh…

Responding to comments from Hopson’s parents that Hopson should get a light sentence because he didn’t kill or hurt anyone, Hayden said: “All I heard … is it’s not as bad as murder. … Perhaps it’s worse than murder.”

Considering he raped and prostituted a girl when she was 15 and 16 it was probably worse than murder to his victim.

The fight isn’t over yet. Help spread the word on craigslist and backpage crime by winning a free CraigsCrimeList T-Shirt.

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Prostitution/Human Trafficking Post #689

Seattle has a runaway backpage pimp

Baruti Hopson

Pimp convicted — but not to be found:

32-year-old Baruti Hopson of Seattle was convicted of prostituting an underage girl on the Village Voice Media owned backpage.com. The problem is he wasn’t there to hear his conviction. He testified in his own defense but since he was out on bail he decided to just skip the verdict. So now he has the new charge of being a fugitive to look forward to.

Hopson’s victim was a runaway who he took in then turned her out on the streets or in this case backpage.

Hopson’s case was the first heard under new Washington laws that increase the maximum sentences for child traffickers.

Under the enhanced legislation, pimps face standard sentences of seven to 10 years, up from roughly two, if the victim is under 18. Hopson faces a prison sentence of 20 to 26 years once he’s captured.

How sad is it that the sentencing was recently just two measly years for traffickers? It’s even sadder that the new law only gives them seven years? The saddest thing of all is that Village Voice Media keeps counting their mountains of cash while these girls are sold and traded on their website.

In 10 years Geebo.com never had a trafficking ad.’

The fight isn’t over yet. Help spread the word on craigslist and backpage crime by winning a free CraigsCrimeList T-Shirt.

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Prostitution/Human Trafficking post #666

Seattle Juggalo pleads guilty to beating mentally ill man to death

Two transients plead guilty in fatal beating of mentally ill man:

I originally posted about Juggalo Steven Bauder and his non-juggalo friend Marcus Dennis here. They were both in trial for the hours long beating death of 25-year-old Noel Lopez.

Dennis believed that Lopez raped a 15-year-old female friend of his. Police say that Lopez liked the girl but the two never had any kind of sexual relationship. Bauder, considering himself a ‘street enforcer’ assisted Dennis with beating Lopez to death.

Two weeks after the trial started the pair have pleaded guilty to Noel Lopez’s death. In the terms of the plea they are facing a max of 26 years. If they would have been convicted of first degree murder they were looking at life sentences. The pair will be sentenced in early 2012.

Bauder also considered himself part of a group called Downtown Juggalos. Again, if you don’t want police to consider you a gang don’t all dress alike and have the same haircuts and commit murder. That’s what gangs do.