The Questions LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl Was Afraid To Answer

Jan 29, 2012
AHF
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When i reached out to Councilman Rosendahl and asked him to answer some questions on the condom mandate he had no issues…I guess after he saw the questions he got cold feet. The fix was in along time ago..Ive learned the more that know the truth, the better chance you have of someone cracking. And it only takes one guy to wanna do the right thing before the walls start to cave. We shall see what the week has in store for the rest…

LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl

1) As you are aware, Cal-OSHA standards are currently being revised with the participation of representatives of the adult industry — an ongoing process that began at the instigation of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Is it not troubling to you that AHF, which wrote and proposed this ordinance for the city of L.A., has jumped the gun on a process they themselves began? And how on earth can the City of L.A. effectively enforce Cal-OSHA blood-borne pathogen rules when those very rules are still in flux?

2) One of the foundational premises of the new ordinance, as stated in the original Ballot Initiative proposed by AHF, was that “The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has documented widespread transmission of sexually transmitted infections with the activities of the adult film industry within the city of Los Angeles.”

But these claims and figures, which were compiled and reported by a philosophical blood-brother of Mr. Weinstein, LA County Health’s Dr. Peter Kerndt (who supports abridging free speech and even outright censorship of content which sends the wrong message) have been debunked as “without basis in science,” and the study that reached this disturbing finding has already been entered into the record in the Cal-OSHA process. Why did you allow these claims to go unchallenged in your drive to push through an ordinance written and proposed by one of your campaign donors?

3) As you know, or ought to, there is no government entity empowered to determine whether workers, as a CLASS, are employees rather than independent contractors. Cal-OSHA, in order to effectuate its duties protecting employees, has taken it upon itself to make such determinations — but only on a case-by-case basis. Cal-OSHA does not have the power to promulgate or enforce rules for any workers other than employees.

If the City Council is relying a letter from Cal-OSHA which claims that, in its opinion, the city is not barred from enforcing workplace rules (while even the new OSHA chief, Ellen Widess adds the caveat: “I cannot speak for the Cal/OSHA Standards Board”), then that would mean that the city can only enforce rules to the extent that Cal-OSHA can; i.e., the city can only enforce these rules upon employees. But the ordinance you voted for makes no such distinctions — it apples to every worker, regardless of their employment status. How could Cal-OSHA have delegated a power to the city that Cal-OSHA itself does not possess? And if the power for the city to do so resides, instead, in its police power, then why do we have or need Cal-OSHA?

4) Returning to the foundational premises of the AHF-created ordinance, it also states that, “The HIV/AIDS crisis, and the ongoing epidemic of sexually transmitted infections as a result of the making of adult films, has caused a negative impact on public health and the quality of life of citizens living in Los Angeles.”

Setting aside the issue of the health and the rights of legal non-citizens in L.A., what happens when you change the four words “making of adult films” to “activities of gay people”? As law professor David Groshoff has noted, don’t you end up with a sentence designed to criminalize private, consensual, adult sexual behavior — something which is unconstitutional under Lawrence v. Texas? Is it your opinion that Americans lose their constitutionally guaranteed right to engage in consensual adult sexual behavior as soon as they engage in their constitutionally protected right to enter into a legal contract, or whenever a camera is turned on?

5) Section 2(b)(f) of the AHF ordinance claims, “Producers of adult films are required by California Code of Regulations Title 8, Section 5193 to use barrier protection, including condoms, to protect employees during production of adult films” (emphasis added). But the word “condom” never appears in Code Section 5193. How do you explain or justify this?

6) AHF and its supporters, including members of the City Council, claim that this regulation is comparable to banning smoking in restaurants to protect employees in the service industry. But, as Professor Groshoff again notes, “smoking or inhaling secondary smoke was not the primary condition of the compensation arrangement for those working in restaurants. In adult films, however, having unprotected sex is the condition of the compensation arrangement.” Don’t you see the difference?

7) The authority of FilmLA (which grants filming permits to entities that apply) is administrative in nature, and, like all administrative entities, all the requirements it may demand are germane to the function of that department. Do you think it would be proper to enact an ordinance for the power company, which supplies electricity to film shoots, requiring that in order to use that electricity, you had to use condoms? Or would that not be ridiculous because such a requirement would foreign to the function and purpose of that department?

8) I am aware that LA Councilmembers and their staffs (as well as media and adult industry leaders) were recently sent a cache of “leaked” AHF emails http://pastebin.com/V5WpZUmp, including internal documents and communications with council members, their staffs (as well as Cal-OSHA big wigs). Among the revelations are that, contrary to his public claims, your friend and campaign donor Mr. Weinstein privately acknowledges that strict condom rules including “provisions on oral sex will confirm the worst fears of the industry and certainly would kill the market for porn.” Yet you voted to approve the ordinance anyway (the confirmatory vote was after the release of these emails). Was the patent duplicity of the ordinance’s proponent not material to you, Mr. Rosendahl?

9) Also among the leaked emails we find that AHF attorney Brian Chase wrote, regarding the “messaging” AHF would be undertaking for condom ordinance it composed and proposed,

“We may want to avoid saying that one of the reasons we are supporting the ballot initiative is because we believe that condom-less porn sends any sort of message (that only safe sex is hot, or that condoms are unsexy). As a private actor AHF can argue generally that lack of safety practices in adult films sends a bad message about sex. But as proponents of a ballot initiative, anything we say can be used to determine the ‘intent’ behind the initiative. A law whose ‘intent’ is to require film producers to ‘send a message’ about safer sex could violate the First Amendment.”

Considering the fact that, as you well know, Mr. Weinstein has indeed taken precisely that position for years, don’t you see a constitutional problem with the ordinance you just passed?

10) The leaked emails also detail a very snug relationship between yourself, and Mr. Weinstein & AHF: there you are, gladly providing quotes for AHF propaganda press releases (in fact, so certain was AHF of the content of the made-to-order quotes you’d provide them, they composed press releases around your yet-to-be submitted quotes). Other emails show AHF leaders relentlessly pressuring your staff to move on its agenda (and bad-mouthing Mike Bonin from your office when he didn’t jump to serve Weinstein’s agenda fast enough).

There’s also communications like this one from your friend Mr. Weinstein to Bonin: ‘When I spoke to Bill [Rosendahl] recently about the condoms in porn question, he asked me to contact you regarding a motion that he would introduce. Attached is the motion drafted by Brian Chase at AHF.”

You agreed to introduce an as-yet-unwritten motion. Is that your common practice, Mr. Rosendahl? Permitting third party interest groups to compose legislation affecting other industries – industries which provide jobs and tax revenues for the city — and agreeing to introduce such legislation before even reading it (and without consulting the industry to be affected)?

In light of these revelations, what do you tell voters who now believe that you are owned by Michael Weinstein and AIDS Healthcare Foundation

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Michael Whiteacre
Michael Whiteacre
8 years ago

More on the relationship between Weinstein and Rosendahl: “Anti-Porn-Industry Crusader Michael Weinstein Contributed Cash To L.A. Councilman Bill Rosendahl (Who Then Took A Step Toward Mandating Condom-Only Porn In The City)” http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2010/12/ahf_bill_rosendahl_porn.php On December 8, 2010, a gay escort with a criminal record named Derrick Burts, who had worked mainly in gay porn, but had made a few appearances in “straight” videos, announced at an AHF sponsored press conference that he had contracted HIV while working in the adult industry. Neither his criminal record, nor his having escorted off Craigslist, nor his profile on gay hook-up site Rentboy, nor his… Read more »

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