City Councilman Under Fire for Having Adam4Adam Account

Karl-Baker-Web-PicBefore you get the idea that he's a hypocrite, city councilman Karl Baker, of Desert Hot Springs, California, is openly gay. This is not a sighting of the Homo Republicanus. In fact, the 70-year-old's only sin was to have a profile on Adam4Adam, and to use a shot of himself on the city council as his profile pic. There was also a nude, reports

Until Thursday, a Desert Hot Springs city councilman used a photo of himself taken during a City Council meeting as part of his profile on a website where members solicit openly for sex.

The image showed Karl Baker seated at a council meeting in front of a microphone and his nameplate.

The photo did not contain the city's name or logo.

The photo was posted alongside an explicit profile in which Baker, who is single and openly gay, describes himself and the types of sexual activity he is seeking. (...)

Baker pulled the photo after Lee Rayburn asked him about it during a radio show on KNEWS FM 94.3 on Wednesday. Desert Star Weekly, a weekly newspaper, also wrote about the photo on Thursday.

Baker, who said he considered it a personal choice made on his own time, said he never thought it was inappropriate to use an image of himself conducting city business to advertise for sexual encounters.

Shock. Horror. How dare he. But what did he do wrong, again? Here's the town's mayor pro tem, who "doesn't make a habit of commenting on personal lifestyle issues," commenting on this personal lifestyle issue: "That certainly does not seem to be appropriate behavior for somebody elected to office." 

I'm not sure why. It was probably ill-advised to use a city council pic on A4A, but who cares, really? The irony is that a politician is under attack for posting a completely tame photo of himself on a sex site. Unless this violated a regulation, I don't see a problem. If Baker - who's running for re-election - has any problem, it's his tendency to stay at expensive resorts on the taxpayer's dime

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  1. Oh, please, let the man do as he wishes. Why does searching for sexual partners online "not seem to be appropriate behavior for somebody elected to office"? Seriously? Why is the city council even remotely interested in Mr. Baker's private sexual activity? Such a non-story

    Posted by: Xavi | Sep 17, 2011 11:17:18 AM

  2. Americans think their politicians should be like Ken dolls. No penis.
    Elected officials have the right to their own sex lives - and yes that includes the right to cruise on line. I hope this Daddy bear finds his cub!

    Posted by: jimsur212 | Sep 17, 2011 11:57:03 AM

  3. This is an even more absurd case than the (Anthony) Weiner-gate fiasco.

    there's no hypocrisy. it's just something some folks "don't like."

    Time and Time Again, this puritanical culture gets its knickers in a twist about anything that proves that gay men do indeed have sex and functioning genitalia.

    Let me ask you all this - what's worse for America? Someone openly and safely enjoying their sexuality as an adult, and perhaps taking "sexy pics" that the public can see IF they CHOOSE to SEARCH for them.....or pictures of politicians glorifying the use of guns?

    30,000 Americans die every year from gun violence. Search online. You'll find many pictures of high-ranking politicians proudly displaying and brandishing firearms.

    So far, I can't see any deaths in America that were caused by Sexy Penises.

    just sayin'.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Sep 17, 2011 12:07:49 PM

  4. I don't think it is unreasonable to hold elected officials to a higher standard of behavior.

    If he's trolling for sex on a public website, it really isn't his 'personal business,' and he should've been prepared for public knowledge of his actions.

    Posted by: BC | Sep 17, 2011 12:22:03 PM

  5. As apposed to trolling for sex in a public bar and any of the other normal places people go to meet people?

    Posted by: Frank | Sep 17, 2011 12:30:30 PM

  6. @BC, of course he is prepared for "public knowledge of his actions". He has profile open to all members of the website. That is not the issue here. The issue is whether anyone should offer a critical assessment of his activities. Who cares is this man wishes to engage in sexual activity with men he connects with on A4A? Why are other elected officials stating searching for sexual partners does "not seem to be appropriate behavior"?

    WTF is "inappropriate" about searching for sexual partners if you are not hiding who you are and discuss it openly with others?

    Please elaborate. Whether this man's constituents find his behavior "inappropriate" will be revealed via the ballot box. I believe they could absolutely care less.

    Posted by: Xavi | Sep 17, 2011 12:40:21 PM

  7. If you read the original piece in the "newspaper" Desert Star Weekly, you'll find that its clearly not reporting but a tool to smear the guy in a re-election campaign by a "newspaper" that is clearly against him. Same for the Desert Sun. Most Gays in Palm Springs call it the "Desert Scum" because of their anti-Gay slant (yes, even in Palm Springs). For example, the Desert Sun always ends each article on Gay-related issues with a tag line that is almost apologetic about that fact they have to cover Gay issues because there are so many of us in the area.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 17, 2011 12:54:35 PM

  8. We have a gay man on our local council who is handsome and fit. He could use any photo he wants on Adam4Adam (although he doesn't do that because he's in a committed relationship). The problem with Baker is that he is ridiculously fat, and lacking in any features to mitigate the flab. Accordingly, the virtue of using his council picture is that at least he would have been (I assume) dressed up there. But really, this troll should not have been trolling at all. The very thought of having sex with this tub of lard is revolting.

    Posted by: Joe | Sep 17, 2011 12:56:56 PM

  9. How many bars do you go to where you carry a nameplate and a picture of you as a public servant ( hey the Internet - how hard to google the name of a public official and find which municipality that person works for) while walking around naked also carrying a list of your preferred sexual activity?

    Whether or not it should matter is irrelevant given that many people (many of them likely his constituents) feel that the privilege of serving in certain positions comes with certain responsibilities and an expectation of behavior above the standard or norms. I don't know if posting naked pictures of oneself on the internet has actually become the norm; I certainly have seem less reluctance to embarrass oneself (or even feel embarrassment) from younger people. But given the number of public servants we have seen splashed across the news for having been caught on the Internet with their pants literally down, and the infamy this has brought them, one would think that the prudent servant would err on the side of caution.

    Posted by: TJ | Sep 17, 2011 1:00:42 PM

  10. @Xavi-Of course we should offer a critical assessment of his activities! He is an elected official. He should be leading by example, and soliciting for sex online is not a case of that.

    While you may believe that is appropriate for a person to do so, many people do not. I'd be a little put off if my brother was listing all of his sexual habits online, and I'd be even more put off if I found out that someone I'd voted to be a representative of my community was doing so. I don't think most people in this country want our leaders to have public and promiscuous sex lives. That is just reality. If you want to live your life free of media scrutiny, don't involve yourself in politics.

    @Frank, he'd be under just as much scrutiny if he was revealed to be picking up people at bars weekly, don't kid yourself. Assuming he/she were single, do you think the media would ignore a straight official going to a bar and picking people up (assuming it became public knowledge)? No, and the public response would probably be similar to what is happening in this instance.

    Posted by: BC | Sep 17, 2011 1:04:46 PM

  11. Having just read the link to the report of Baker's spending habits on the public dime - assuming they are true - it would seem behaving prudently is not this man's wheelhouse.

    Posted by: TJ | Sep 17, 2011 1:13:06 PM

  12. Of course the most disturbing part of this story is not that he used a photo of himself conducting city business on a sex site. No, that pales in comparison to the thought of the very existence of nude photos of this man *anywhere*.

    Posted by: peterparker | Sep 17, 2011 1:17:00 PM

  13. I think it is inapropriate for an elected official to be trawling the internet for sex, uploading naked photos and using photos of himself on the council on hook-up sites. Public representation is not a "job" like any other, where you go to work at 9 AM and come home at 5 PM. Public representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is respectful to their constituents at all times.

    Posted by: DayvyG | Sep 17, 2011 1:45:56 PM

  14. wow, so many of the commenters are so stupid. obviously this is a non-issue. can he post a picture of himself like that on facebook? ok, so why not adam4adam? is there something wrong with sex / being sexual?

    Posted by: me | Sep 17, 2011 1:47:33 PM

  15. @Me:

    clearly there's something wrong with being sexual -- hence the moral outrage and sex-shaming. the idea that a public representative, or anyone for that matter, should have to become a sexless automaton to live up to others' dogmatic moral codes is the real outrage. expecting people to give up something so intimate and fundamental is disgusting -- not to mention bordering on moral fascism.

    Posted by: robert | Sep 17, 2011 2:03:23 PM

  16. This week, the whole world got to see Webcam 101 for Seniors, a viral video featuring a lovely married couple in their 80s. Millions of people admired the way these 2 elderly people felt such love and security in each other's presence.

    Contrast that with this pathetic soul. 70 years old and degrading both himself and his office as he markets himself on a commercial website in the hope of a meaningless hookup.

    This is not the result of homosexuality. It is the result of a gay subculture that elevates promiscuous sex above all else. It degrades everything and everyone that it touches. After homophobia, it is the worst thing to have happened to gay people.

    It really says something that, for most groups, mental and physical health improves in correlation with greater connection to a community. But for gay people, mental and physical health is inversely related to one's proximity to an organized gay community. You are much more likely to be happier and live longer as a gay man in South Dakota with a partner and one or two good friends than you are living in the Castro 100s of gay friends, access to dozens of gay clubs and bars, and a Grindr account.

    Posted by: Seth | Sep 17, 2011 2:19:03 PM

  17. @BC, the activity that does not warrant a "critical assessment" is this elected representative's search for sexual partners via a sex website like A4A. There is absolutely nothing wrong with an elected official seeking men to engage in sexual activity with if the official is doing so in an open manner. Who cares?

    Obviously, if this official were misappropriating state funds or covering up illegal activity, or receiving payoffs in exchange for political favors, then THOSE activities should be under scrutiny because those activities are ILLEGAL.

    Searching for sex partners, engaging in consensual sexual activity responsibly with other adult males is perfectly legal and is justifiable to constituents.

    BTW, comments regarding this man's aesthetic qualities, or lack of aesthetic qualities, are childish and foolish.

    Posted by: Xavi | Sep 17, 2011 2:25:38 PM

  18. Besides not wanting to imagine "what kind of sexual activity he is seeking", no one here would say that this man cannot have a sex life. More power to him. But, it IS unethical to use an official photograph of himself as a sitting city councilman on a web set promoting raunchy (and perhaps unsafe) gay sex. I'm sure the man should have any number of private photographs of himself (such as the on that accompanies this posting) that he could have put up on Adam4Adam. Somehow, by using the photo he has, he associates the entire council where he serves with a site that might be objectionable to his fellow councilmen/women. I'd feel the same way if it was a straight councilman/woman who might post a sex ad on Adam4Eve (if such a site exists). The man has shown poor taste, poor judgement and maybe the voters will have the final say. Have a sex life, by all means. Don't implicate everybody into that sex life with an inappropriately-used photograph.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Sep 17, 2011 2:32:47 PM

  19. @Robert

    Are you kidding?

    Hookup websites like adam4adam are HARDLY "intimate and fundamental," and expecting public officials to BEHAVE THEMSELVES and have even a shred of dignity while in office is not 'moral fascism.'

    And sorry, but elected officials absolutely DO have to live up to society's 'dogmatic moral codes,' if they would like to be reelected. That is the way the system works.

    Posted by: BC | Sep 17, 2011 2:44:28 PM

  20. XAVI - Searching for sex partners... perfectly justifiable to constituents. Um, well, even if I buy thus (which I don't; fair or not, higher standards are expected from some professions), what about the nude picture? ME clearly believes that such pictures are okay, and refers to posting such on Facebook (really? I guess I need more exhibitionist friends!). Again, perhaps mores are changing with regard to this, but until the majority of people do, as a public figure, it seems imprudent.

    Posted by: TJ | Sep 17, 2011 3:50:48 PM

  21. I didn't know Rip Taylor had been elected to a city council!

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Sep 17, 2011 4:48:01 PM

  22. @BC

    "Hookup websites like adam4adam are HARDLY 'intimate and fundamental,' and expecting public officials to BEHAVE THEMSELVES and have even a shred of dignity while in office is not 'moral fascism.'"

    no, but the free exercise of one's sexuality (and body) is fundamental. i see nothing undignified about cruising online for a hookup. to each his own. expecting someone to adhere to your understanding of "good behavior" when that behavior is personal and consensual is moral fascism. you can dress it up anyway you want, but at the end of the day that is precisely what is it. your comment is filled with vindictive judgment calls. i see nothing in what your wrote about his job performance, his relationship to his constituents -- you know, the traits one is usually judged on when considered in the context of government employment. our system was, in fact, founded by secularists from england. i don't think they had in mind a political system which required obedience to christian morality.

    Posted by: robert | Sep 17, 2011 5:49:24 PM

  23. @BC Your screen name is appropriate as you live in the dark ages. It is astonishing for a gay person to be so sex-negative. The gay rights movement has always been 50% about equal rights and 50% about sexual liberation. We should NEVER conform to heterosexual norms.

    Posted by: jimsur212 | Sep 18, 2011 1:31:06 AM

  24. In Coachella Valley? Seriously? I have never heard of anyone giving a damn there.

    Posted by: Nohpiano | Sep 18, 2011 7:31:46 AM

  25. I see this as a delicate issue/question.

    What would pi** me off is if Baker resigned or bowed-out as if this indiscretion makes him unfit somehow. No. And no one should advise him to do such a thing. Stand strong like Bill Clinton, dude.

    @Seth, if there is any truth in your assertion about the negative effects for some gay people of being closer to a large metropolitan gay community, it's not something that is inherently true. In fact, on balance, I'd argue the exact opposite, as being surrounded by those (of all orientations) who respect your orientation is life-affirming.

    Instead, your point indicates to me a need for better leadership and true community-building in our large, urban gay communities. Our gay urban communities should give more space to celebrating down-to-earth successful professionals and community-builders. As it is, too often the sad rent-boys (who really need help) parade around as the face of the community.

    Modesty and self-restraint should be admired--even for gays. But no one should judge someone for having a sexual side either.

    At this juncture, Baker should stand tall, do the right thing, and WIN.

    Posted by: just_a_guy | Sep 18, 2011 3:17:01 PM

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