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ADULT FILM INDUSTRY TO LOBBY STATE LEGISLATORS.

Byline: - Harrison Sheppard

SACRAMENTO - Adult-film industry actors and executives will converge on the state Capitol today to talk with lawmakers about the threat of increased regulation following this month's HIV scare.

The industry's ninth annual lobbying trip is organized by the Free Speech Coalition, a group based in Canoga Park that works to protect the industry through lobbying and legal challenges.

``Regulation in and of itself is not a dirty word to us,'' said Kat Sunlove, executive director of the coalition. ``We only are concerned that whatever regulations are put in place are reasonable and fair and, most of all, they are effective.''

She said the industry would oppose attempts to require the use of condoms when filming. But, she said, the state might consider incentives to encourage their use, such as tax breaks for the cost of HIV testing and other measures that would make it good business sense for producers to require or encourage the use of condoms.

Production in the adult-film industry, which is concentrated in the San Fernando Valley, virtually shut down with the announcement that two performers had tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS.

The news has also spurred increased scrutiny of the industry, and state and county officials are looking at ways to possibly require the use of condoms in adult films.

Even though the industry has serious issues and is a major employer in the San Fernando Valley, the group may not get a very warm reception in the Capitol, political analysts say.

``I don't think many legislators want to report back to their constituents that they met with porn stars,'' said Jack Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College. ``The trick for a lot of legislators is to pretend not to recognize the people that are coming to visit them.''

Several lawmakers' offices did not return phone calls regarding the planned meetings.

The group of 18 industry representatives is expected to meet with some 80 lawmakers or legislative staffers.

The lobbying delegation includes performer Mary Carey, who ran for governor during the October recall election.

Others on the trip include actress Nina Hartley; Dave Cummings, who at 63 is considered the oldest active male adult film actor; and Sharon Mitchell, a former actress who is executive director of the Sherman Oaks-based Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation, the organization that helps the industry police itself on health issues.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 27, 2004
Words:399
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