FSC Issues Congressional Report Card

Steve Javors
CANOGA PARK, Calif. — Stepping up educational efforts in anticipation of upcoming elections Nov. 7, the Free Speech Coalition issued its first online Congressional Report Card. The report was compiled from numerous online sources and voting records.

The final grade utilizes a numeric rating system to calculate an average voting record, which is then converted to an alphabetic grade for the incumbent politician in each U.S. House and Senate race.

“Our goal is to inform FSC members how votes in Congress can affect their access to adult entertainment products, and to encourage them to vote their ‘erotic interests’ as well as their economic and security interests in this year’s critical midterm elections,” FSC Legislative Affairs Director Kat Sunlove said. “With the hostile attitude of this administration and this Congress toward our industry, we felt that our members and our consumers needed this data in order to cast an informed vote.”

Sunlove said compiling a final grade for each incumbent was a massive undertaking that faced many challenges because most legislation that impacts the adult entertainment industry is buried in unrelated bills, or not voted on entirely.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act posed a challenge to FSC’s ratings system. The law focuses almost entirely on child sex offender registry rules, with only one section addressing mainstream adult entertainment. While FSC favors most of the bill, Sunlove said, it would not be a good measure of a legislator’s attitude toward legal sexual material.

FSC’s grades were culled from votes relating to free speech, privacy rights and separation of church and state issues. The report also highlights key elections in which the candidates are racing neck-and-neck.

“We strongly encourage our members and fans to register to vote and to educate themselves on the issues,” FSC Executive Director Michelle L. Freridge said. “We certainly hope that this report card will help them become more informed voters this fall but our main goal is simply to urge our members to get out and vote.”