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Prostitution on the Nov. 2 Ballot


  When you go to the polls on Nov. 2, there's a possibility you may end up voting twice on the issue of prostitution: once on never allowing it to be legalized and again on whether a candidate linked to it is worth re-electing. The latter is a question that will be relentlessly pushed by national Democrats dumping money into Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, and the former is being pursued by a Democrat in the state Legislature.

  The two issues are separate, yet it may be difficult not to consider them conjointly. State Rep. Rosalind D. Jones, D-Monroe, has introduced a proposed constitutional amendment in the current legislative session that would declare, "Prostitution is not a victimless crime and shall be suppressed by the Legislature." If her House Bill 1084 earns a two-thirds vote among lawmakers, it would appear on the same ballot as U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-Metairie, and his anticipated Democratic rival, Congressman Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville. Vitter was a client of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called D.C. Madam who commited suicide in 2008. His dalliances are sure to be a major campaign issue, and Jones' constitutional amendment will only draw more voter attention to Vitter's moral lapses. — Jeremy Alford

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