LOS ANGELES — The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, sponsor of the measure to create a statewide condom law for the adult entertainment industry, says it has collected more than 25 percent of the voter signatures needed to qualify the measure for California’s November 2016 presidential election ballot.
Diane Duke, the CEO of the Free Speech Coalition, denounced the AHF's announcement, saying that AHF President Michael Weinstein is using the organizations "deep pockets to fund the signature gathering for the initiative."
"As apparent by his actions, Weinstein will stop at nothing for power and money," Duke told XBIZ. "AHF has already contributed $350,000 toward a ballot initiative that will secure Weinstein's position as Califoria's "porn czar" paid for with a blank check from California taxpayers.
"This expenditure comes in the wake of accusations from three former AHF executives of fraud by Weinstien and AHF against the federal government to the tune of nearly $100 million."
The 25 percent signature threshold for “The California Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act,” the AHF said, also means backers of the initiative — including individuals affiliated with AHF and the group FAIR (For Adult Industry Responsibility) — will be the first to trigger a provision of recent California legislation that compels joint legislative committee hearings in Sacramento on an initiative once backers have collected 25 percent of valid voter signatures needed to qualify a measure, the AHF, which sponsored the initiative.
Under that legislation — SB 1253 — enacted in July, once a proposed measure garners 25 percent of the required number of signatures for qualification, the secretary of state will send the proposal to the Legislature to begin the committee hearing process.
The Legislature is still required to hold joint committee hearings on the measure. However, the Legislature must now hold these hearings no later than 131 days prior to the date of the election the measure is set to be voted on.
Since April 1, the AHF has collected more than 91,470 signatures from registered voters throughout California, one-quarter of the 365,880 signatures needed to qualify a ballot measure.
“All throughout California, petitioners collecting voter signatures for the California Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act are being met with an enthusiastic response by voters who grasp that this is a straightforward issue of basic workplace safety, and they see the need to protect fellow Californians who happen to work in the adult industry,” Weinstein said.
The statewide ballot measure is modeled on Los Angeles County’s Measure B, which has yet to be enforced.