opinion

NO On Government Waste Committee Responds to Fair Political Practices Commission With More Evidence

Diane Duke

In response to the Fair Political Practices Commission request for additional information, the No on Government Waste Committee, opponents to Measure B, the so-called “Safer Sex” initiative on the Nov. 6thballot in Los Angeles County, sent additional information on the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s failure to properly disclose it paid actors in its advertisements.

“The FPPC has asked for additional information and we are providing it, including a signed contract agreement from one of the actors in AHF’s ad who asked for $10,000 in order to not appear in any Measure B advertisements,” said James Lee, communications director for the No on Government Waste Committee. “Before Michael Weinstein can jump for joy and declare himself free and clean from any campaign violation, we suggest he talk to his attorney about proper disclosure requirements.”

The No on Government Waste Committee received a response from Gary Winuk, chief of the enforcement division for the FPPC, asking for proof of the claims the Committee made in regards to paid spokesperson campaign violations.

In response, the Committee provided sworn declarations from individuals who had conversations with Derrick Burts, one of the actors in the Yes on B campaign advertisements, where he disclosed he was being paid for his appearances and was actively seeking $10,000 from the No on Government Waste Committee in order to not appear in the Yes on B advertisements.

“Mr. Burts signed an agreement to be paid $10,000, while acknowledging a counter-offer from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to appear in its advertisements,” Lee said. “Putting aside the disclosure violations, it’s clear that the only way Michael Weinstein can get someone to support his measure is to pay them and even then, they’re willing to sell out to a higher bidder.”

The No on Government Waste Committee never fully executed the agreement with Mr. Burts even though he had willingly signed the contract and desired to have the money paid to him quickly.

The original complaint alleged the television ad in question, which began airing September 17, 2012, featuring former adult industry performers Darren James and Derrick Burts violated:

  • Paid Spokesperson Violations (Cal. Govt. Code Section 84511 and 2 CCR 18450.11) for failure to disclose the performers featured were paid for their appearance in the ad.

“While it may be commonplace to pay actors to appear in ads for things like erectile dysfunction, it’s not a common practice in politics where the strength of your message should be enough to entice people to support you,” Lee said. “The coalition against Measure B continues to grow daily as more voters come to realize what a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars this is and join our cause.”

Among the groups opposing Measure B include:

  • Republican Party of Los Angeles County
  • Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County
  • Valley Industry and Commerce Association (largest business group in the San Fernando Valley)
  • San Gabriel Valley Legislative Chambers of Commerce representing 15 chambers of commerce
  • The Regional Chamber Alliance and Legislative Forum representing seven chambers of commerce

A complete list of endorsements is available at: www.noongovernmentwaste.com/about.html

Measure B, funded and placed on the ballot by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, would require the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to license and permit adult movie productions in the county and require performers to wear condoms and create an unworkable system of on-set inspections and enforcement by county personnel. The county estimates initial start-up costs for the program to be in excess of $300,000, but acknowledges that regardless of the level of compliance by the adult film industry, there would be significant cost to the Department of Public Health.

No on Government Waste Committee

The Committee is comprised of entertainment companies, local business organizations, community activists, adult entertainment performers and healthcare advocates who oppose Measure B’s plan for creating an underfunded government inspection program diverting badly needed resources from local community clinics and underserved minority communities. For more information, please visit: www.noongovernmentwaste.com.

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