Nev. Politician Accusing Opponent of ‘Porn’ Ties in Smear Campaign

Nev. Politician Accusing Opponent of ‘Porn’ Ties in Smear Campaign
Matt O'Conner
LAS VEGAS — Negative attack ads are standard fare in American politics, but lieutenant governor candidate Brian Krolicki’s ad campaign, in which he accuses Barbara Lee Woollen, his opponent for the Republican nomination, of working in X-rated films, is downright libelous, according to Woolen.

The ads in question uses box covers and images from for three movies referred to as “lesbian adult videos.” The movies, “Women: Stories of Passion,” “Dead Sexy” and “Red Shoe Diaries,” are softcore, cable fare with TV-MA, not X, ratings. A third Republican candidate, Melody Damayo, previously performed in hardcore porn under the name Mimi Miyagi.

Woollen owns Cinelease, a motion picture equipment rental business that leases cameras, lights and other equipment to moviemakers in Nevada, including the production companies that made the movies cited in the ads.

But Woollen — whose campaign slogan is, “We're a compassionate country, but enough is enough!” — said she had no idea the productions would be of an adult nature and that she is anti-porn all the way.

“I can unequivocally say that Cinelease does not actively or knowingly seek out pornographic projects to rent its equipment to,” she said. “Personally, I am offended by pornography. I do not watch pornography and, as far as I am concerned, I feel that society would be better off without pornography.”

Woollen’s attorneys contacted all TV stations running the ads, demanding that they cease and desist from continuing to do so. They also filed a restraining order and requested a permanent injunction barring the broadcast of the commercials as well as an ethics complaint with the Nevada Ethics Commission.

A Las Vegas court refused to grant Woollen an injunction. District Judge Valerie Adair said the ad’s claims might be exaggerated but political speech must be protected.

But Woollen still has a libel and slander lawsuit pending against Krolicki and several members of his campaign staff over the commercial. She may have hurt her efforts to prove the ads damage her reputation, however, by commenting that Nevada voters are too smart to fall for lies.

“This may come as a shock to Brian and his advisors, but voters here in Nevada are very intelligent and they care deeply about the issues facing their state,” she said. “They will not be fooled by distasteful displays of dirty politics. Perhaps this poll will teach Brian a lesson not to underestimate the people of Nevada in the future.

“He is just playing dirty politics,” she added. “I think people are tired of it.”

Several local newspaper columnists have pointed out the irony of a Republican candidate who routinely spouts the “family values” line being victimized by false accusations of smut peddling and irresponsible use of the word “porn.”