STUDIO CITY, Calif. — An adult entertainment industry meeting conceived to outline strategies and gain financial support in an effort to topple Measure B attracted a standing-room-only crowd today of about 120 adult industry heavyweights comprising of company owners, producers and performers.
The meeting, held at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City, Calif., was hosted by Vivid's Steven Hirsch who gave a passionate plea to attendees to coalesce and fight the AIDS Healthcare Foundation-sponsored measure that would force mandatory condom use in the county and make producers, under threat of civil and criminal prosecution, shell out additional production costs by imposing new film shoot fees.
Hirsch and others at the Porn Valley meeting focused on a key element to help battle the AHF over Measure B, the Los Angeles County "Safer Sex" proposal: Additional campaign funds.
The No on Measure B campaign estimates it needs $633,000 to wage a good battle against AHF's media efforts, including $400,000 for TV ads and $120,000 for radio spots, in the next 13 days leading up to the Nov. 6 general election.
Just in the month of September, AHF has spent $1 million on radio and TV ads advocating for the measure to pass, No on Measure B campaign officials estimate.
James Lee, No on Measure B's communications director, told attendees that it behooves the industry to block the measure at almost any cost.
"You guys are now considered no different from the oil industry, insurance industry, big tobacco ... because now everyone thinks they can get a piece of you," Lee said.
"It's beyond free speech efforts, or efforts to curb your work here and there, it is now gone to a vote. You now have to convince 4.2 million voters in L.A. County of whom only 3.1 million actually votes.
"For this measure to be defeated, you have to convince 1.55 million people from all over this county — from Inglewood, La Puente, Hollywood, Compton and Maywood — and all are without any connection to you.
"If you don't go out and reach out to them in a meaningful way, you will lose this campaign. They will chase you wherever you go, from Nevada all the way to Florida. Once they win here, they will go everywhere."
Lee said there's a very good reason why the AHF is so adamant on targeting porn.
"They don't give a rat's ass about the condom issue," he said. "They give a rat's ass about raising money off your backs using you as an issue."
Lee went on to say that AHF President Michael Weinstein has gone on record saying that the porn-condom topic is the No. 1 issue for the AHF that galvanizes support with the most dollars.
"As an industry, you have to come together," he said.
Hirsch, who began and ended the meeting as host, told attendees that with the help of financial donations and grassroots viral efforts, Measure B can be killed.
"If we don't do it now, it will cost a lot more battling this in the future," he said. "Let's just do it. Let's get rid of Weinstein and send this porn czar wannabe on his way."
In support of the No on Measure B rally for help, numerous adult entertainment business owners pledged thousands of dollars at the meeting.
Contributions to the No on Measure B campaign can be made here.