You are on page 1of 5 Email: ACE@ACENATIONAL.ORG Executive Director: Angelina Spencer 4340 Beechwood Lake Dr. Naples, Email: ACE@ACENATIONAL.ORG Executive Director: Angelina Spencer 4340 Beechwood Lake Dr. Naples, Florida 34112 (216) 965-7527 Fax: (239) 649 - 0297

National Newsletter

(216) 965-7527 Fax: (239) 649 - 0297 National Newsletter May 12, 2005 Volume 4 Number9 Board

May 12, 2005 Volume 4 Number9

Board of Directors

Scott Burch President Burch Management David Fairchild Secretary The Men's Club Corp. Jerry Reid Treasurer Pure Gold Club Chain John Gray Spearmint Rhino Inc. Chip Walker Red Barn & Odyssey Ent. David "Slim" Baucom MAL Entertainment Jerry Westlund Fantasy Castle Don "Weasel" DalPonte Weasel's Showclub Dennis DeGori Scores of Chicago Rob Katzman Toychest/Katzman Ent. Eric Langan Rick's Cabaret Jim St. John Deja Vu Consulting Don Waitt E.D. Publications Micheal Ocello PT's Showclub Chain Glenn Smith Imperial Showgirls Jeff Willis Viva La Fox Cabaret Jim Halbach Diamond Jim’s FALA Advisory Board Alan Begner Atlanta GA Jamie Benjamin Ft. Lauderdale FL Allan Rubin Detroit MI Jeffrey Douglas Los Angeles CA Luke Lirot Tampa FL Brad Shafer Detroit MI H. Louis Sirkin Cincinnatti OH Randall Tigue Minn. MI John Weston Los Angeles, CA Daniel Aaronson Ft. Lauderdale FL Michael Murray Cleveland, Ohio

Has the World Gone Completely Mad? An Editorial by Attorney Luke Lirot

In the past week, I have seen more examples of sheer insanity that impacts the

adult entertainment industry than I have in the last 20 years. The Florida legislature, apparently in response to litigation, has amended a portion of their state "prostitution statute" dealing with "lewdness," thus proving that Texas has not cornered the market on legislative stupidity with its “sexually suggestive cheerleading” bill.

Since the late 60s, Florida Statute 796.07 defined "lewdness" as "any indecent or obscene act." Even though this legislation was not a template of specificity, the Florida courts consistently rejected any challenges based on "vagueness," not because the terms were not inherently vague, but because the questions were presented in the context of adult entertainment. In shining examples of intellectual dishonesty, the courts supported their rejection of the argument that the term "any indecent or obscene act" was vague by referring to other case decisions in which the same terms, utilized in entirely different statutes and couched in paragraphs that lent significantly greater specificity to the terms, had years earlier been upheld as "constitutional."

A few years ago, in a much-publicized attempt to "crack down" on "swingers

clubs," the Broward County Sheriff’s Office sent undercover deputies into Fort Lauderdale area clubs. The deputies signed the appropriate waivers. They also witnessed and on at least one occasion, sat naked in a hot tub with other "swingers." After leaving the hot tub, scores of people were arrested, humiliated and criticized in public. In these cases, two colleagues of mine, Danny Aaronson and Jamie Benjamin, successfully convinced the circuit court that regardless of whether or not the definition of "lewdness" was vague, law enforcement officers getting completely naked and sitting in a hot tub frolicking with other naked people were probably not the "protected class" for which the legislation was designed. Justifiably, on the basis of this well reasoned and hard fought decision, the outrageous prosecutions of the "swingers" were abandoned and the State Attorney's Office decided not to appeal the ruling.

Benjamin and Aaronson's excellent decision enabled many attorneys to present their unpublished ruling as authority to support the argument that law enforcement officers, venturing into adult entertainment dance clubs, watching the performances for extended periods, participating in full contact dances and then arresting performers for committing "lewd acts," was simply not appropriate under a plain reading of the legislative intent of who was to be the "protected class" shielded from lewd acts. (Continued on page 2) Email: ACE@ACENATIONAL.ORG 4340 Beechwood Lake Dr. Naples, Florida 34112 (216) 965-7527

Beechwood Lake Dr. Naples, Florida 34112 (216) 965-7527 National Newsletter May 12, 2005 Volume 4 Number9

National Newsletter

Naples, Florida 34112 (216) 965-7527 National Newsletter May 12, 2005 Volume 4 Number9 (Has the World

May 12, 2005 Volume 4 Number9

(Has the World Gone Mad? Continued from Page 1)

The court, agreeing with the argument and having both the unpublished decision and a Florida Supreme Court decision construing "lewdness" as requiring some unwelcome and unwanted exposure to sexually offensive matter, dismissed the cases where people were arrested under lewdness. The dismissals were appealed to the circuit court and upheld. A second level of review was sought in the Second District Court of Appeals. However, while that case was pending, two state legislators from Pasco County decided to sponsor a bill amending the entire "lewdness" definition. They added brilliant language to describe lewdness: “…Lewdness’ means any indecent or obscene act done in the presence of any person, including a law-enforcement officer." An additional provision was included which states, "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a police officer may testify as an offended party in an action regarding charges filed pursuant to this section."

While I have never been a stranger to "misguided legislation," this Florida legislation left me completely disgusted with the political process. Jamie Benjamin and I ventured to Tallahassee to address the House Criminal Justice Committee. Our effort was to point out the plainly unconstitutional dimensions of this reactive legislation. We spoke to State Legislators, who "off the record," conceded they knew this proposed law was largely ridiculous and obviously unconstitutional. But they all apologetically declined to oppose “unfair” legislation not out of genuine service to voters, but based on backroom deals and the explanation that, "I need the sponsor of this bill to support my proposed bill, so I have promised that I would not vote against his bill." Then the politicians asked," Why would you fight this bill? Won’t you make a lot of money if it gets adopted?" Indignant, we responded that we cared more about getting our legislators to respond to our opposition, which we argued was based on our desire to protect constitutional rights, rather than line our pockets. Several weeks passed. With only two days left in legislative session, we hoped that some comparatively intelligent politician would get the bill "tabled.” When I received the bad news the bill had passed, I lamented that those individuals given the precious responsibility of creating "policy" designed to grow and protect our country, had degenerated in nothing more than a despicable poker game, a veritable black-market, where support of legislation was based more on favoritism, cronyism, and blatant ass- kissing, more than any legitimate concern about constitutional rights or the "public health safety and welfare." What really bothered me was that my confidence in the entire political process from the municipal right up to the national level has been permanently shaken.

Only a day later, I received a Department of Justice press release from the FALA containing prepared remarks of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales presented to the Gatlinburg Law Enforcement Conference in Tennessee, on May 3. While most of the statements deal with the war on terrorism, the importance of the Patriot Act and other issues, there are some very troubling excerpts I feel compelled to provide (Continued on Page 3):

National Newsletter May 12, 2005 Volume 4 Number9 (Has the World Gone Mad? Continued from

National Newsletter

National Newsletter May 12, 2005 Volume 4 Number9 (Has the World Gone Mad? Continued from Page

May 12, 2005 Volume 4 Number9

(Has the World Gone Mad? Continued from Page 2)

"…Gang violence is not the only thing tearing at the fabric of our neighborhoods. From street corners to web sites, obscenity…rip at the heart of our moral values and too easily corrupt our communities. I've made it clear that I intend to aggressively combat the purveyors of obscene materials. I'm strongly committed to protecting free speech. The right of ordinary citizens- and of the press- to speak out and to express their views is one of the greatest strengths of our republic. But, the Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment does not protect obscene materials. And in today's world, those materials are often unavoidable. Enforcement is absolutely necessary, if were going to protect citizens and children from exposure to obscene materials. As you know, individual community standards are critical to determining which cases are appropriate for prosecution. That is why your local efforts, information, and cooperation are the best places to start in assessing what our communities need. I have directed Department officials to carefully review federal laws to determine how we can further strengthen our hand in prosecuting obscenity. Our goal is to assess all the law-enforcement methods we use- and identify the tools we may still need- to more effectively investigate and prosecute these crimes. Unfortunately, exploitation is not limited to magazines in the electronic medium…”

It appears our newly appointed Attorney General, the same individual that argued that the United States need not pay any attention to the dictates of the Geneva Convention, particularly as it related to the infliction of torture on hostages and prisoners, has lumped sexual expression with meth labs, white slavery, gang violence and terrorism. If there is any question about who's calling the shots, one need only look at recent statistics showing there are millions of "Evangelical Christians” in the country today. Some of the best-selling books targeted at this group focus on "current events," prophesizing the end of the world. The one consistent theme within these best sellers is that anyone who does not embrace Jesus Christ as the only savior is doomed to Hell regardless of how considerate they’ve been as a Jew, how compassionate they've been as a Buddhist, how benevolent they've been as a Hindu, or how strictly they have adhered to the "Golden Rule." The "wall between church and state" is taking a beating (envision 35 million people with jackhammers). It is up to us to preserve the First Amendment or perish. Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against religion. I have always subscribed to the ideaology that people who find inspiration from Christianity is deserving of both respect and admiration. That being said, I also believe that any aspect of religion that professes anything more complicated than the "Golden Rule" should be viewed with great suspicion. Unfortunately, far too many Christians insist on the choking embrace of their dogma and the rejection of free will and grace. This is the reason organized religion has had an incredibly detrimental effect through history. Our forefathers knew this. They hoped we would respect their effort by dedicating our lives to the protection of the principles contained in the documents they fought so hard to create.

I’ve always believed there were people in this country dedicated to the idea that a free society should not base its limitations on the most conservative, easily offended, sexually repressed, religious zealots amongst us. Perhaps our answer lies in the definition of "evangelism." Webster's Dictionary defines the word as, "1) zealous preaching and dissemination of the Gospel, as through missionary work; 2) militant zeal for a cause." (Continued on Page 4)

National Newsletter May 12, 2005 Volume 4 Number9 (Continued from Page 3) Based on this

National Newsletter

National Newsletter May 12, 2005 Volume 4 Number9 (Continued from Page 3) Based on this doctrinaire

May 12, 2005 Volume 4 Number9

(Continued from Page 3) Based on this doctrinaire mindset, I can only beseech you to remain "evangelical" with your dedication to the protection of our civil liberties and constitutional freedoms. Yes, we are First Amendment attorneys, club owners, dancers, club staff, patrons and club executives who fight legal battles to preserve our interests…but we also fight for Constitutional Rights and protection of freedoms, even when we subjectively oppose the content of a battle. Based upon the

foundation of our culture and those constitutional rights that have been chipped away for decades,

I can only see hard days ahead. Fortunately, the views of our opposition are both smug and

arrogant enough to arouse people who couldn’t care less about adult entertainment, yet still have

a rudimentary understanding that this country was built, not "one nation under God," (which

didn’t emerge until the 1900’s), and not one nation, under the jackboot of misguided and intolerant individuals who would have us live in a police state, but "one nation… with liberty and justice for all."

The following article appears compliments of Free Speech Xpress and its Editor:

DRACONIAN BILL STAYS ALIVE IN NEW FORM JEFFERSON CITY, MO -- For several months X-Press reports have followed the adult entertainment omnibus bill SB 32 proposed by state Senator Bartels (see “X-Press Legislative Alert,” 1/21/05). After meeting some resistance in the House Committee on Local Government in April, SB 32 appeared to be dead. However, many of the components of the original bill have found new life as amendments to HB 353, a long bill with many anti-crime provisions, which has already passed out of committee onto the floor in the Senate. Since HB 353 passed in the House in an earlier form, observers, such as FSC member Nellie Symm-Gruender, fear it may be approved if it returns to the House. This is very bad news. Gone are the “sin” tax requiring adult businesses to pay a $5 admission tax for each patron, as well as the proposed 20% sales tax for adult businesses under SB 32. However, HB 353 retains many provisions that threaten the existence of adult entertainment in the state. Among the provisions in HB 353: Employees, including exotic dancers, must be over 21. The bill prohibits nudity. Semi-nudity is allowed only if a person is an employee who does not touch customers and remains ten feet away from patrons, on a two feet high state and behind a two feet high railing. All adult business must close between Midnight and 10 AM and must close on state and federal holidays and on Sundays. Tipping is banned if employees are semi-nude. Video booths in adult stores must be visible from a continuous main aisle and not obscured by curtains or doors. Only one person at a time can view the videos. Buildings which contain a sexually-oriented business cannot contain any other kind of sexually-oriented businesses. There’s more (For a detailed overview, see Mark Kernes’ AVN reports). The obvious intent of SB 32, now in the form of amendments to HB 353, is to drive adult businesses out of Missouri. Supporters (especially Missouri residents) willing to write letters or make phone calls in opposition to HB 353 should contact Nellie Symm-Gruender <> or former FSC Board member Dick Snow <> to find out the current status of the bill and how to help.

National Newsletter May 12, 2005 Volume 4 Number9 ACE Bulletins ACE National: The next ACE

National Newsletter

National Newsletter May 12, 2005 Volume 4 Number9 ACE Bulletins ACE National: The next ACE National

May 12, 2005 Volume 4 Number9

ACE Bulletins

ACE National: The next ACE National BOARD MEETING will be held Monday, August 22 2005 at 5pm in the The Mandalay Bay Board Room, Las Vegas, NV.

Attention ACE State Chapter Members: ACE National will host its first annual “State Chapter’s” meeting on Monday, August 22 at 3pm in the Mandalay Bay Conference Center, Las Vegas NV. All officers and members of state chapters and those interested in forming an ACE State Chapter are invited to attend. This meet and greet session will focus on networking between state chapters. Leaders and members are encouraged to exchange their resources and ask questions. ACE National will offer free materials. Ohio and Missouri will discuss the legislative battles they fought during this session, while

Wisconsin will offer state chapters ideas for improving membership and efficiency. A political consultant will make a short presentation. For more information please contact Angelina Spencer @: 1-216-965-


ED/ACE EXPO OFFERS FREE MEETING ROOMS TO ACE STATE CHAPTERS What better time or place for an ACE State Chapter to host a meeting than during the annual Gentlemen’s Club Owners Expo in Las Vegas? If you belong to an ACE Chapter interested in hosting a meeting in Las Vegas please reserve your free space now. Contact Mr. Dave Manack of ED Publications @: 1-727-726-


Florida: The owner of an all-nude club in Miami Beach has filed a lawsuit against the city saying its ban on mixing alcohol with nudity is unconstitutional. Leroy Griffith, who owns Club Madonna filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court last week. The suit alleges the city's ban on serving alcohol at businesses with full nudity unfairly penalizes his business. "I just don't think the city has a right to deny me the right to sell alcohol because they don't like it," Griffith said. "They have to show that it increases crime, and they can't show that because we have very little crime here." Club Madonna is the only all-nude club within the city limits. Other establishments with partial nudity are allowed to sell alcohol. Griffith said the ban has cost him hundreds of thousands in lost revenue.

BMI, Broadcast Music Inc. can save ACE Members up to 20% off their music licensing fees. Learn how the ACE/BMI program can save you money by contacting Mr. Mike Driskell or