LOS ANGELES — Ernie Koneck, the 21-year partner of gay website operator Jake Cruise, aka Ric Alonso, has resigned as executive director of the Southern California Scholarship Association — a sponsor of the Miss Hollywood pageant, a preliminary event to Miss America Pageant — after being exposed for his involvement with the porn sites.
RadarOnline outed Koneck on Tuesday and said that Alonso was one of the main sponsors of the feeder event to Miss America.
However, FOX news reported that after stepping down, Koneck claimed Alonso’s involvement is only financial and he isn’t involved in the pageant in any way.
“Likewise, my involvement in Ric’s business is strictly administrative and financial. I am CFO and handle accounting, finance, human resources, etc. Also, the Southern California Scholarship Association is not a nonprofit corporation, nor has it ever been presented as such. It is an unincorporated association that does not make a profit or remunerate anyone involved in the pageant in any way,” Koneck told FOX.
“All funds raised are used for pageant scholarships, pageant production expenses and expenses related to preparing our titleholders for state competition.”
There were mixed reactions to the decision.
Beauty pageant publicist Angie Myer said, "Young girls across the country have looked up to Miss America for decades. Any connection the organization has with the porn industry, even financially, will prove dire effects going forward."
But pop culture expert Jenn Hoffman told FOX, "The production of pornography is legal in the U.S. There is no reason Ric Alonso’s money should be considered dirty or inappropriate for funding a beauty contest or any other business venture.
“To single out porn would hypocritical; especially considering statistics say an estimated 70 percent of men and 30 percent of women look at it nearly every single day. That makes pornography more popular than smoking, drinking — or even the Miss America pageant.”