Candidates of the week

Hustler’s Larry Flynt vs. porn actress Mary Carey

Yes, it’s come to this. Less than a year after Gray Davis won his second term as governor, California now has an inconceivable number of candidates running in the October 7 recall election.

And at least two of them make their living in pornography.

So, what better subjects for the inaugural edition of our weekly look at incredibly strange or otherwise interesting candidates for California governor? Sure, Arnold may have George W. Bush stumping for him, but who’ll speak up for Hustler magazine editor Larry Flynt and porn actress Mary Carey? Let’s see how they size up in their battle for California’s as-yet-under-polled porn constituency?

LARRY FLYNT: Flynt’s most effective foray into politics took place during the Clinton impeachment, with his revelation of the not-so-youthful indiscretions of then House Speaker-elect Bob Livingston. Combining feverish First Amendment advocacy with an overgrown Mad Magazine mentality, Flynt has the money and gall to dig up the worst skeletons in his opponents’ closets. And speaking of Terminators, Flynt outdid Pat Robertson last week by sponsoring a “National Day of Prayer … for the Death of Bill O’Reilly.” “Dear (God/Allah/Buddha/other entity of your choice), we ask you to afflict Bill O’Reilly with a brain aneurysm that will lead to his slow and painful death,” begins Flynt’s prayer, which proceeds to describe the demise of The O’Reilly Factor host in darkly comic detail. Flynt, whose working slogan is “A Smut Peddler Who Cares,” will continue to blur the line between politics, comedy and terrorism at

MARY CAREY: Let’s face it: Larry Flynt makes even Ron Jeremy look good. Mary Carey, on the other hand, is more evocative of pop artist Mariah Carey, though somewhat less modest. The star of more than 50 porn films, Carey is running on a platform that includes taxing breast implants and making lap dances tax-deductible. Tempting as it is to rule her out as a serious candidate—the term itself being an oxymoron of late—we should bear in mind that Hungarian porn star Cicciolina was elected to Italy’s parliament in 1987, running on the slogan “Make Love, Not War.” Carey, meanwhile, will be appearing in Sacramento this week, though it’s not billed as a campaign appearance. She’ll be the featured dancer at Gold Club Centerfolds through Saturday and no doubt will be accepting contributions.