L.A. County's Measure B Passes
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County's Measure B has passed with 56 percent of the vote, according to final election results from the county's registrar.
On Wednesday morning, the county said that 1,171,000 voters approved of the measure, while 926,000 voted against it (56 percent for, 44 percent against).
Known officially as the “County of Los Angeles Safer Sex In The Adult Film Industry Act,” Measure B was designed to require producers of adult films to obtain a public health permit from the L.A. County Department of Public Health and pay a permit fee sufficient for necessary enforcement.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein, the major proponent of the measure, maintained that the proposal would mandate porn producers to “comply with existing health and safety laws including condom use in the films they produce — and there will be no cost to taxpayers, as enforcement will be covered by permit fees paid by the producers.”
The debate about Measure B had been intense through the year as the adult industry trade group Free Speech Coalition and the No on Government Waste Committee waged a passionate “No on B” campaign.
James Lee, spokesman for the No on Government Waste Committee, was at the heart of the battle against the measure.
Lee all along through the fight has maintained that adult performers are the most tested workforce in the nation and that if the measure passed initial startup costs for the inspection and permitting program would cost more than $300,000 per year in administration, salary and benefits for county inspectors.
Lee also said that 10,000 jobs would be at stake and that adult film companies would pack up and leave Southern California, effectively exporting $1 billion in local tax revenue and economic activity to neighboring states.
The "No on B" campaign picked up scores of allies along the way, including local Republican and Libertarian party chapters and the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, as well as the San Gabriel Valley Legislative Chamber of Commerce, Regional Chamber Alliance and Legislative Forum and the La Mirada Chamber of Commerce.
Media outlets like the Los Angeles Times and the Daily News and about 10 of its sister papers throughout the Los Angeles basin also came out against the proposal.
Major financial support against the measure came from scores of adult entertainment companies, including Manwin, Vivid, LFP, Cal Exotics, Pipedream and Adam & Eve, as well as monies garnered from a number of fundraisers and other adult entertainment companies.
Adult industry attorney Allan Gelbard told XBIZ that the passage of Measure B isn't the end for local production as it stands now.
"I have always stated that this matter will be decided in the courts," he said.
Another adult industry attorney, Marc Randazza, said that Measure B's passage isn't surprising.
"It's simplistic message appealed to the uninformed and uneducated," Randazza told XBIZ on Wednesday. "Producers will now consider moving to Nevada ... lower taxes, less regulation, cheaper housing."
Update at 6:00 a.m. (PST) Wednesday::
COUNTY MEASURE - B
B Votes Percent B - SAFER SEX IN ADULT FILMS - YES 1,171,287 55.85 NO 925,782