AHF Robo-calling 100K Over Calif. Porn-Condom Bill

Sep 5, 2013 2:30 PM PST

LOS ANGELES — The AIDS Healthcare Foundation today said that it is blitzing the constituents of Assemblyman Mike Gatto with 100,000 telephone robo-calls.

Gatto is accused by the organization of "single-handedly blocking" AB 640, authored by Assemblyman Isadore Hall.

Today, the AHF called him "pornographers' best friend in Sacramento" and said that it has  stepped up a campaign targeting him.

AB 640, which would require adult film performers to use condoms in adult film productions shot anywhere in California, is being stalled by Gatto, according to Michael Weinstein, who leads the AHF.

"There is this one man who is serving the interests of the pornographers; he is refusing to let this bill go forward," Weinstein told reporters at a 2 p.m. press conference.

Weinstein noted that another bill targeting the adult entertainment business, AB 332, had the same fate earlier this year — and that Gatto had a hand in that bill being tossed in the "suspense" file.

But with the Legislature winding down next week, time means everything for the AHF.

As a result, with such a short window of opportunity, the AHF has planned robo-calls to 100,000 in the cities and communities of Atwater Village, Burbank, Glendale, Hollywood, La Canada-Flintridge, La Crescenta, Los Feliz, Montrose and Silver Lake.

The pre-recorded calls urging Gatto to "free AB 640 from his hold" are voiced by Derrick Burts, a former adult film performer infected with HIV while working in the industry in 2010, and Rebekka Armstrong, an HIV-positive Playboy Bunny who has advocated for condoms in porn since 2004.

"Since [Gatto] has usurped the process, we thought we should get our grassroots efforts started," Weinstein said .

The AHF's leader said that as of 2 p.m. today, the organization has placed 30,000 of the 100,000 calls, with more through Sunday.

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