L.A. Times, Daily News Say No to Measure B

Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES -- Measure B is likely to stymie Los Angeles County government and bring little benefit to performers, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times, in an editorial to be published Thursday, has urged a no vote on Measure B.

"The Times' editorial page studied the city's experiment and interviewed public health and legal experts and performers, producers and others in adult entertainment," the Times said. "Two conclusions became inescapable: Performers should protect themselves and others by wearing condoms, and should have the full support of producers and others in their business; and laws are unlikely to force them to do it.

"Given the nature of adult films, viewers will continue to demand, and producers will continue to present, films depicting explicit unprotected sex."

The editorial board noted, however, that performers should use condoms and producers should encourage them to do so.

"But the power of law to make them do it is limited. So is the desirability of always turning to government and lawmaking to address all dangers," the Times said.

Meanwhile, the Daily News of Los Angeles on Wednesday also has come out against Measure B in an editorial, claiming the proposal is redundant and could harm an important local industry.

The Daily News of Los Angeles is distributed primarily in Porn Valley, Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, where most porn production companies are located and where most content is shot.

Sister papers Long Beach Press-Telegram, the Daily Breeze of South Bay, San Bernardino Sun and Pasadena Star-News, along with other regional papers owned by LAcom, republished the Daily News editorial.

James Lee, who leads communications for No on Measure B, said that the local newspapers got it right.

“Clearly with the two largest newspapers in the county now officially opposing Measure B, voters can only make one choice and that is to vote No on Measure B," Lee told XBIZ. "The newspapers correctly pointed out the very real costs to the local economy in lost jobs and tax revenue and the adverse impact it would have on taxpayers, while at the same time doing nothing to ensure performer safety and putting public health at risk.

“We are gratified by these endorsements, but the campaign is by no means over. We are still going to be outspent and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation is relying on voter apathy and the hope this ill-conceived measure can still slide by. We urge voters to spread the word about these editorials and urge their neighbors, friends and co-workers to read them and vote no on B.”

Ged Kenslea, spokesman for the AHF, said that while the organization is disappointed with the editorial endorsements opposing Measure B, they weren't entirely unexpected.

"We are confident that voters in Los Angeles County will see the issue more clearly for what it actually does — improve safety by enhancing existing laws that already require condom use by adult performers with no enforcement costs to taxpayers," Kenslea told XBIZ.

"We also believe Angelenos, in an historic move, will vote in support of Measure B on Nov. 6 to ensure current laws on condom use are enforced."

The AHF for the past two years has rallied around the idea of making condoms mandatory for Los Angeles-area adult film productions, eventually gaining enough signatures in the county for a ballot measure and getting the city of Los Angeles' blessing in January.

Los Angeles city officials already have OKd an ordinance mandating condoms for local adult film productions, but that law is on hold until the county vote is decided.

Measure B, slated for a vote in the general election on Nov. 6, would require the L.A. County Department of Public Health to license and permit adult movie productions in the county and require performers to wear condoms.

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