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August 23, 2016

San Jose Mercury News Editorializes Against Prop 60

LOS ANGELES—San Jose’s Mercury News, the second biggest newspaper in California, has published an editorial excoriating Proposition 60, the adult film initiative. The paper’s editorial board calls the upcoming ballot measure “daft,” for the “porn czar” provision giving proponent Michael Weinstein the power to overrule the attorney general—and encourages voters strongly to Vote No on 60. In the editorial, “Vote no condom measure Prop 60,” the Mercury News board pulled no punches: “How bad is Prop 60? In a rare display of unity, California’s Democratic Party and Republican Party are opposed … "Prop. 60 is the brainchild of Michael Weinstein, CEO of the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation. He’s often described as uncompromising and dictatorial, and let’s just say he brought both those qualities to Prop. 60… "Weinstein is setting himself up as the state’s porn czar, apparently for life. He could only be ousted 'by a majority vote of each house of the Legislature when "good cause" exists to do so.' Funny, there’s no provision for the governor, Legislature or voters to name a successor if Weinstein is removed by the Legislature." “The problems with this law have been apparent from Day One, for anyone who reads beyond the headline," said Eric Paul Leue, Executive Director of the Free Speech Coalition. “It gives one misguided man the power to control the lives and livelihoods of thousands of adult industry workers, and creates a digital mob to sue, harass, attack those who work in this industry, even a married couple filming from their own home. Under Prop 60, the entire production chain is liable, from performers and producers to retailers and cable companies.” The Mercury News Group, which publishes over two dozen papers in California, also published the editorial under a slightly different title in the East Bay Times. The full editorial can be read at MercuryNews.com. In other Prop 60 news, attorney Karen Tynan has written an article analyzing Prop 60 for the legal news publications the San Francisco Daily Journal and the Los Angeles Daily Journal. In the article, Tynan questions AIDS Healthcare president Michael Weinstein's obsession with the adult entertainment industry, and talks about the effects of Prop 60 on the industry and the citizenry. "Prop. 60 is pitched as a 'safe sex' law, but it's not," Tynan observes in the article. "There has not been a single transmission of HIV on a regulated adult set in the state since 2004, but that hasn't stopped Weinstein from touting his own (non-peer reviewed) data, eliding facts and eliciting fear. Like most moral campaigns, scare tactics and dubious numbers are used as a pretext to violate constitutionally enshrined rights. "For example, the right to sue 'aiders and abettors' on an adult production—one of the key points in Prop. 60—is usually a concept in criminal law," she continues. "Any resident may also sue if they do not see a condom—a rebuttable presumption that requires any producer, even one using condoms, to go to court and prove condoms were used. The plaintiff is entitled to 25 percent of any fines levied, and their attorney fees and costs. And like Measure B, it requires permits for adult film productions, and the ability to revoke them if there are subsequent violations. But perhaps the best detail is contained in Section 10 (Page 12 of the proposition) wherein Weinstein himself becomes an agent of the state of California, taking an oath of office, if the proposition must be defended in court." The full article may be accessed only by subscribers to the Daily Journal.

 
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