Erection Day in Puerto Rico

A Seattle strip club's strange role in a faraway gubernatorial race.

For the past month, political operatives in Puerto Rico have been asking Seattle Weekly for details on a First Avenue strip joint. It turns out the commonwealth's Democratic gubernatorial candidate is caught up in a scandal for making a purchase at a club 3,700 miles north, which his opponent calls a "brothel." (It's not.)

Under increasing pressure, the Democrat, Alejandro J. García Padilla, has admitted visiting the downtown strip joint—Dejà Vu Showgirls, part of Roger Forbes' chain—six years ago. Padilla is facing current Republican Gov. Luis Fortuño and a likely third independent candidate in a November election. Fortuno raised the issue earlier this year—a $47 purchase García Padilla made at the club while in Seattle on an official state visit. But the Democrat says all he did was buy a gift for his wife, Wilma, though he hasn't explained what it was.

Supporter Jose Garcia-Gomez says García Padilla "admitted to that [purchase], a statement that most Puerto Ricans see as nothing bad." But Fortuno's dish on García Padilla has forced the Democrat to go over his Seattle visit with Puerto Rican media. Whatever he bought, he bought with his wife's credit card, explaining to El Nuevo Día that he did so "because she had an Advantage card points . . . What would I be hiding, then? The bill and statement was sent to Wilma."

Nude dancing was and is the house specialty at Dejà Vu, which includes an adjoining video and sex-toy arcade. Hence, it was clearly possible for García Padilla to go into the club and buy a gift for his wife without entering the stripping area.

The only real question may be whether García Padilla has the female vote in Puerto Rico. On that front, it was nice that he thought to buy his wife a gift—but with her own credit card?

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