FSC Sees Success in 9th Annual Lobbying Days

Michael Hayes
SACRAMENTO — Led by the Free Speech Coalition’s Legislative Affairs Director Kat Sunlove, approximately 30 members of the adult entertainment community lobbied California state legislators in Sacramento as part of the 9th Annual Celebrate Free Speech Lobbying Days.

The 30-member group represented a broad cross-section of the adult industry, from Dave Cummings and Mary Carey, to Nina Hartley and Gil Sperlein of Titan Media, to Jessica Drake and Dr. Marty Klein, as well as the FSC’s Washington D.C.-based lobbyist Nancy Buermeyer.

“It was a special group,” Sunlove told XBIZ. “They were attentive and bright, and they ranged from well-known industry people to regular citizens who work in the business.”

To begin the two-day event, Sunlove held a training program to familiarize lobbyists with the basics of their craft.

“We taught them fundamentals of 1st Amendment law, lobbying basics and how legislators work,” Sunlove said.

Armed with those basics, the lobbyists took to the halls of the state legislator on the second day, making their rounds.

“It’s a full day, with appoints set for them every half-hour,” Sunlove said. “Since we started lobbying days nine years ago, we’ve really managed to build relationships with legislators, that’s the key to lobbying. Every year we get more and more appointments, which is a great sign.”

According to Sunlove, lobbying efforts like this help the industry on several fronts. Members of the adult industry get the chance to build relationships with lawmakers and educate politicians on the industry and its economic impact on the state, Sunlove said.

The net result, she said, is that the industry is no longer subject to bad legislation in California. In fact, Sunlove pointed out, as a result of lobbying, legislators consult the FSC before they write laws that could affect the industry to get input.

While most of the lobbying was done during the day as lobbyists spoke with staffers, the real highlight of the trip, according to Sunlove, was the reception, where legislators mingled with the industry representatives.

“It [the reception] was packed,” Sunlove said. “It was amazing.”

According to Sunlove, legislators from both sides of the aisle were in attendance.