August 04, 2012 11:26am
Condom Critical Comments
Source: Letters to the Editor
by: Jon Rodgers
As an aviation consultant who specializes in politically-charged airport noise issues, I know bad government when I see it. These mandatory condom laws are simply bad government.
That the Supervisor’s delayed a vote until July 24 to place a county-wide measure on the ballot is not surprising. Even if voters overwhelmingly pass it, as many radio talk show hosts have reported (read laughed about it) the matter still comes down to the practicality of enforcement.
The City of Los Angeles is still wrangling over enforcement of their law which makes me ask what magic wand can the County wave that the City hasn’t found, especially since Supervisor Yaroslavsky doesn’t want this law to be a "mockery from the starter’s gate that just sits there as a symbol." but even if they can activate an enforcement mechanism, is the HIV question as serious as the primary proponent Michael Weinstein of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) claims?
Supervisor Yaroslavsky only offers conflicting statements on his web site. On the one hand, he claims the porn industry "Has generated thousands of STD and HIV cases over the years," but then he states: "The porn problem is dwarfed by other at-risk populations. The adult film industry has accounted for fewer than 20 of the more than 20,000 cases of HIV reported since 2004 in (Los Angeles) County. How much of the County’s limited health resources should go to a niche that generates only about 1.5% of all its sexually transmitted diseases?"
The politicos should also know that the porn industry is mandated to comply with the Federal Record Keeping Act. For compliance purposes, producers would be entitled under this act for their own protection and for entertainment value, to film condom inspections, require inspectors to submit picture identification documents, sign model releases and to post the inspector’s real names in the film’s credits for the world to see.
There is another suspicious factor. Money is behind this. Public records indicate that Weinstein and AHF gave thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to members of the LA City Council, who then passed their version of a mandatory condom law very quickly.
I don’t know if Weinstein lined the pockets of County Supervisors. But it is clear that he spent several hundred thousand dollars to finance his County ballot initiative and seemed highly agitated when the Supervisors recognized enforcement issues and delayed their vote. Was he expecting to "buy" this law unconditionally with no questions asked as he apparently did with the City Council?
What public records do not reveal is: Who donates to Weinstein and AHF? And, what do those donors stand to gain from their donations? For example, is Weinstein upset that the adult industry only accepts HIV tests from neutral labs that charge for their tests, even though AHF offers free tests?
All things considered, this writer believes that since the adult industry adheres to and enforces its own strict testing standards through independent labs, the need for this law, while appearing politically honorable, is hysterically overstated.
Jon Rodgers Aviation Consulting