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AHF Files Complaint with FPPC over Foreign Contributions to L.A. Porn Ballot Measure

<p>Press Release</p>


November 5, 2012

On November 2nd, AHF filed a formal complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission’s (FPPC) Enforcement Division over the ‘No on Government Waste, No on Measure B-Major Funding by Manwin U.S.A.’ campaign over violations of several California government code sections pertaining to proper disclosures and use of disclaimers regarding the major donor to the opposition campaign

In amended campaign finance filing report filed in late October, ‘No’ campaign changed the name of the major funder - -and largest donor - from Manwin to Froytal Services LTD, a Cyprus-based porn company

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the major backer of Ballot Measure B, the so-called ‘condoms in porn’ measure formally known as the County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, filed a formal complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission’s (FPPC) Enforcement Division over possible illegal foreign contributions to the opposition campaign’s ‘No on Government Waste, No on Measure B-Major Funding by Manwin U.S.A.’ The complaint was filed over what appears to be violations of several California government code sections pertaining to proper disclosures and use of disclaimers regarding the identity of the major donor to the opposition campaign - information that is legally required to be on all major advertising and collateral materials for the campaign.

In its initial campaign finance filing for the period through September 30, 2012, the ‘No’ campaign reported a $75,000 contribution from Manwin U.S.A., a Luxembourg-based adult entertainment company with offices in several countries including one in Burbank, California. Manwin has been identified as the major funder of the opposition campaign in all advertising and campaign literature. However, an independent investigation undertaken by consultants for AHF found that the only two people on record connected with Manwin were both foreign nationals, which would make the campaign contributions from Manwin possibly illegal.

AHF’s FPPC complaint was prompted by the ‘No’ campaign’s latest finance report filing, in which the opposition amended their previous report to change the name of the initial and largest donor from Manwin U.S.A. to a Cyprus-based adult entertainment company named Froytal Services LTD. The finance filing documented an additional $150,000 donation from Manwin to the ‘No’ campaign as well as a $75,000 payment to Froytal.

“We are urging the FPPC to thoroughly investigate the ‘No on Government Waste, No on Measure B-Major Funding by Manwin U.S.A.’ committee for what certainly appears to us to be accepting illegal contributions from foreign nationals, and then trying to cover it up after we initially brought our concerns about it to light,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation and one of the five named proponents of the ballot initiative. “Our opponents’ entire campaign seems to be based on falsehoods - about what the measure itself will do and even who is actually financing their campaign."

Ballot Measure B will require producers of adult films to obtain a public health permit from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and pay a permit fee sufficient for necessary enforcement. Condom use in the production of adult films in California, (one of only two states, along with New Hampshire, where porn production is legal) is already required under state and federal OSHA statutes; however, OSHA’s enforcement is primarily a complaint driven process. Ballot Measure B will:

  • Enhance enforcement of existing health and safety laws by requiring producers to obtain public health permits (similar to 134 other businesses and services including tattoo parlors, nail & hair salons and barber shops) as a condition of doing business in the County,
  • Force producers to accordingly follow all laws, including condom use and availability on set, and
  • Collect film permit fees from the adult producers that will pay the enforcement costs of the measure.


Ballot Measure B was spearheaded by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and members of the advocacy group, FAIR (‘For Adult Industry Responsibility’), after as many as 22 HIV infections believed to be industry-related were reported in several outbreaks in Los Angeles since 2004, and amidst thousands of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) occurring annually among adult performers. The ballot measure also comes at a time when an outbreak of syphilis, a highly contagious, but curable STD, is roiling L.A.’s adult film industry and shut down the entire industry for several weeks earlier this summer.

Health Associations Supporting Condom Use in Adult Films

The Los Angeles County Medical Association (LACMA) and The California STD Controllers Association (CSTDCA) are two major health groups that specifically endorsed Los Angeles County Ballot Measure B. However, the Executive Board of CSTDCA, and several other groups and associations previously expressed support for condom use in adult films including the American Medical Association, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, American Public Health Association, American Association of STD Controllers, American Public Health Association, the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV and UCLA in calling for improved adult film worker safety and enforcement of condom use requirements in adult films. Backers of Measure B are also now seeking formal endorsements of Measure B from many of these other health organizations.

About AIDS Healthcare Foundation

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 183,000 individuals in 27 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.

Contacts

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea, Communications Director
+1.323-308-1833
+1.323-791-5526 [mobile]
gedk@aidshealth.org



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