Citing potential violations of several California government code sections pertaining to proper disclosures of paid spokespersons and use of disclaimers, the No on Government Waste Committee, opponents to Measure B, the so-called “Safer Sex” initiative on the Nov. 6th ballot in Los Angeles County, filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission and urged the Commission to take appropriate action against the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which financed the ad.
“For all the money the AIDS Healthcare Foundation spent on paying the actors in this ad instead of providing healthcare services in underserved and minority communities of Los Angeles, one would think it could have done a better job following the state regulations governing disclosure and disclaimers,” said James Lee, communications director for the No on Government Waste Committee. “Every step of this effort to force a new costly government inspection program has been badly fumbled by AHF beginning with a Los Angeles City ordinance that proved unenforceable and now a county campaign potentially violating state law.”
The complaint alleges the television ad in question, which began airing September 17, 2012, featuring former adult industry performers Darren James and Derrick Burts violated:
Ad Disclaimer Violations (Cal. Govt. Code Sections 84501, 84503, 84504 and 2 CCR Sections 18450.1, 18450.3, 18450.4) for failure to display a disclaimer for the required time period; has no audible disclaimer and that written disclaimers are illegible;
Paid Spokesperson Violations (Cal. Govt. Code Section 84511 and 2 CCR 18450.11) for failure to disclose the performers featured were paid for their appearance in the ad;
Committee Name (Cal. Govt. Code Sections 82047.5, 84107, 84504 and 2 CCR 18247.5, 18402) for failure to properly disclose the correct committee which paid for the ad.
The FPPC served notice on the AIDS Healthcare Foundation of receipt of the complaint and will open a review while awaiting AHF’s response or corrective action to comply with state law.
“What this ad does not change however is the monumental waste of taxpayer money that would be spent if Measure B passes. This is a solution in search of a problem and there is none in the adult film industry where a mandatory testing program has kept the infection of sexually transmitted disease among performers to an absolute minimum,” Lee said. “Name any other workforce that is required to pass tests for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia every 14 and 28 days in order to work. The testing system works and is far superior to what any member of the general public is subjected to.”
According to the California Dept. of Public Health, from June 30, 2008 to June 30, 2011, there were 6,447 new cases of HIV reported in Los Angeles County, but only two were adult performers, both of whom did not contract the disease on-set. Since 2004, there have been no documented cases of HIV transmission on an adult entertainment set.
Measure B, funded and placed on the ballot by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, would require the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to license and permit adult movie productions in the county and require performers to wear condoms and create an unworkable system of on-set inspections and enforcement by county personnel.
The county estimates initial start-up costs for the program to be in excess of $300,000, but acknowledges that regardless of the level of compliance by the adult film industry, there would be significant cost to the Department of Public Health.