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October 13, 2016

'Man of the People' Pol Holds Presser at AZ Strip Club

CHANDLER, Ariz.—It's no surprise that Mikel Weisser is running for Arizona's 4th Congressional District seat as a Democrat. After all, his mom was a nightclub singer in a small town on the Texas/Mexico border, and that fact alone caused Weisser to be taunted by older boys at school calling her a "slut" and "tramp," plus he's had his share of lean years, even having been homeless for a time. And Weisser's daughter is more or less following in gran's footsteps: Having relocated to Hollywood to become an actress, she's currently supporting herself and her child as a stripper—and that fact may go a certain distance in explaining why Weisser recently chose to hold a press conference and community outreach at Sonny's Gentlemen's Club, a local woman-owned strip club. "The women who are here aren’t here to get groped and be treated like property," Weisser told the Florence Reminder & Blade-Tribune newspaper. "They’re here because they have a talent. It’s a human right by the United Nations that women should be allowed to generate their own income and not have to depend on somebody else to feed them." Weisser shared the press conference, which he titled "Electile Dysfunction: Fighting CAP at the Poles," with Scott and Cara Prior, Democratic candidates in Arizona’s Legislative District 16, and together, they're fighting the Center for Arizona Policy, a right-wing pro-censorship group, one of whose platforms is opposition to AZ Prop 205, which would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Weisser happens to be the state director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, aka NORML. "Everybody’s different. Everybody’s allowed to have their own religious beliefs, their own ideas of what’s moral and what’s not moral," said Scott Prior of his opposition to CAP. "But we shouldn’t all be held to the same standard because we’re all different," adding that Sonny’s employees were no less deserving of legislative representation than other voters simply because their lifestyle is often condemned by bluenoses. "From Weisser’s perspective, CAP's efforts to regulate the adult entertainment industry have further marginalized a community already struggling with numerous social challenges," wrote Blade-Tribune reporter Katie Campbell. "He said the 'religious right' shames women for their sexuality and has left Arizona 'lagging behind' in the country’s progressive movement." Weisser is directly challenging CAP's preferred candidate, Republican incumbent Paul Gosar, whose district includes Florence and San Tan Valley in Pinal County. Seráh Blain, lobbyist for humanist political firm Spectrum Experience and one of the attendees at Electile Dysfunction, noted that "women’s bodies have been regulated by CAP using the same legal arguments it uses against the adult entertainment industry, drawing a correlation that perpetuates harmful stigmas," according to Campbell. "Everybody deserves an equal voice in democracy," Blain said, "whether they work in a strip club or at the state Capitol."

 
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