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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 5, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 06
AHF files new campaign financing complaint against porn producers
Section One
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AHF files new campaign financing complaint against porn producers

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has filed new complaints against a foreign porn producer, charging that the company violated U.S. campaign financing laws.

The charges stem from the 2012 election. AHF was one of the main sponsors of Measure B in Los Angeles County, a successful initiative to require porn producers to obtain public health permits and use condoms in films.

After a previous campaign finance complaint by AHF, California's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) fined a porn industry front group - the Free Speech Coalition - $61,500 for accepting campaign contributions from two foreign porn producers.

Manwin Licensing International, headquartered in Luxembourg, and Froytal Services Ltd., based in Cyprus, contributed over $268,000 to the porn industry's unsuccessful 'No on B' campaign, in violation of federal and state campaign finance laws, the FPPC found.

Manwin, now using the name MindGeek, paid the fine on behalf of the U.S.-based porn industry group, making yet another illegal foreign campaign contribution, AHF charged in its latest complaint.

'Effectively, MindGeek used foreign funds to absolve itself and its agents - i.e., Diane Duke and the Free Speech Coalition's 'No on Government Waste, No on Measure B' committee - from their violations of illegally injecting foreign money in 2012 - with another illegal foreign campaign contribution in December 2015,' said Michael Weinstein, president and CEO of AHF.

'There is little difference between MindGeek's actions and a convicted embezzler who uses embezzled funds to pay off a fine for embezzlement.'

Measure B passed in November 2012 by a wide margin - 57% to 43% - but porn producers subsequently moved their studios out of Los Angeles County to avoid having to comply with the law.

A porn studio, Vivid Entertainment, also sued to have the Los Angeles County measure overturned, but a federal court ruled that some objectionable parts of the legislation could be removed without striking down the entire law. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court ruling in 2014.

A state law requiring condoms be used in porn shoots was introduced in the California Assembly in 2014, but it was not brought to the floor for a vote.

According to its website, the AHF provides 'cutting-edge medicine and advocacy to more than 570,000 patients in 36 countries.' In addition to advocating for safety measures like condoms for porn workers, AHF has controversially opposed use of PrEP, saying that condoms are a more reliable method of HIV prevention.

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