Archive for Thursday, February 14, 2013

Kansas House bill targets sexually oriented businesses

February 14, 2013, 2:28 p.m. Updated February 14, 2013, 9:15 p.m.


Semi-nude women dance on the stages at Allstars Gentleman’s Club in North Lawrence. Colored lights flash to the loud background music, and a bartender serves drinks to patrons, who are either watching the women or the television.

Most days, the club stays open for 13 hours, with managers closing down at 2 a.m. Around 4 p.m., only three cars sit in front of the entrance to the club, at 913 N. Second St.

Teresa Fernandez, the day manager and bartender at Allstars, said House Bill 2054 regulating clubs such as hers could drastically change business.

“Some people won’t come in,” Fernandez said. “We would probably lose some business, and it may cause some businesses to fold.”

The measure, dubbed the “Community Defense Act,” would ban employees from being nude or topless, and it would forbid the serving of alcoholic beverages, being open after midnight and offering private dances. It also would dictate where these establishments could be located.

Testimony on HB 2054 was heard Thursday before the House Standing Committee on Federal and State Affairs. A similar bill died on the Senate floor in June 2011.

Supporters of the act, including Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, who is vice chairman of the committee, said strip clubs have adverse effects on communities.

“I am concerned with the negative secondary effects that these establishments create within communities, especially in small communities,” Brunk said.

The committee heard testimony from supporters of the bill Thursday, including Phillip Crosby, the state director of the American Family Association, a church affiliated nonprofit organization.

“Sexually oriented businesses are not engines of prosperity, but a community liability,” Crosby said. “The effects are increased crime, increased STDs, property devaluation, prostitution and human and drug trafficking. Communities are intimidated by the sex industry, and Kansas communities have no restrictions in place.”

Rep. Brett Hildabrand, R-Merriam, questioned whether increased regulation would drive sexually oriented business underground, where little oversight by local police is possible. He noted that the Junction City police chief told him that the adult businesses in the town elicit fewer problems than local bars.

Several supporters, including representatives from the Kansas Catholic Conference, Concerned Women for America and the Kansas Family Policy Council, gave testimony that there is a connection between strip clubs and sex trafficking.

“The sexualization of our society is on the increase, and the demand is for younger and younger girls,” said Judy Smith, state director of Concerned Women for America. “Sex traffickers prey on the vulnerability of these young women.”

Kim Murphree, a spokeswoman for the Lawrence Police Department, said law enforcement went to Allstars 17 times in 2012. There was one call regarding harassment, one for battery and one for a medical emergency.

Fernandez said that during the two years she’s worked at Allstars she has not experienced any problems with crime in the club.

“Some people who are trying to push this bill have never been in a strip club before,” Fernandez said. “They need to get informed first. It’s just a place where people have fun and get a drink and spend a weekend night.”

The hearing will continue Friday with testimony from people opposed to the bill.


overthemoon 5 years, 1 month ago

And the jobs? Where are the jobs? Oh...this is, by the way, a job killing bill.

avarom 5 years, 1 month ago

This Catholic Organization has short term memory and should think about cleaning up their own back yard and let All Stars alone.....seems to me...All Stars has less abuse and incidents, then in their owe darn Priesthood Organization !! This crap just burns my britches.

ljwhirled 5 years, 1 month ago

As much as I find such places gross, this is just stupid.

Let the girls dance and the pervs watch, as long as no one gets hurt and everyone is a consenting adult, who cares?

The take away message is an AR-15 with a 100 Round drum is okay, but a lap dance is forbidden.

What about our personal freedom? Hypocrites.

repete66211 5 years, 1 month ago

Looking at a naked person makes you a perv? My, aren't your hands squeaky-clean.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 1 month ago

What the hell does this have to do with libertarianism? A libertarian would only want to ensure that all involved were consenting adults, after that, what they do is their own business.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

Neolibertarians are more hawkish than libertarians, that is the difference. Both regard personal freedom very highly and would not restrict what consenting adults do if the land owner allows it. I don't think any political group would be less inclined to even consider such laws than libertarians, be them paleo or neo.

Your guess is wrong. Your dog won't hunt.

I'm a libertarian. If the owner desires, the girls should be fully nude, contact should be allowed, alcohol should be served and if a dancer wants to do some additional work after hours, including prostitution, then he or she should be able to do it legally. Also, if the owner wants a happy hour, a ladies night, a dollar drink night, wet T shirt contests or to allow smokers, then those should be perfectly legal.

Also, AR15s with 100 round magazines are fine.

Fill us in on the libertarian hypocrisy because I don't see any.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"Tell me what is the difference between a social libertarian and someone who calls themselves socially liberal?"

A social libertarian wouldn't support a smoking ban on private property. A social liberal probably would. Same with AR15s with 100 round magazines, drugs, polygamy, third-trimester abortions and prostitution.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"I think people support what they want and then try to square it with a chosen camp."

That's pretty cynical. I don't think I fit into that category. I have no gun (except a BB gun), nor do I want one bad enough to buy one, but I'm a staunch supporter of the 2nd. I'm not gay, but I support full equality for those that are. I'm a guy, but support complete equality among the genders. I'm beige but I am no different than anyone because of that. I only want one wife, but I think a marriage should consist of the number of men and women that are included in the vows with the ability to amend those vows. I'm a nihilist, but I fully support the constitutional rights of fred phelps and his cult. I'm a science fan (though only pop science), but I remain unconvinced about anthropogenic global warming.

Having those positions makes me no friends because they don't follow our dominant party lines. But still I stick by them regardless.

I try to be fair and support freedom. You seem too cynical.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually, it isn't so cynical, you are right. We choose teams, we believe what the team say's in general. I changed to libertarian somewhere along the way because they made sense. I embraced the balance of libertarian thought for the same reason. it made sense.

I want to use my "get out of jail" card.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 1 month ago

You keep repeating yourself about libertarian hypocrisy, but you are missing the whole point. None of the people you are talking about are Libertarians. I don’t think there is a single person in the Kansas Legislature that is a Libertarian, and Brownback certainly is not. It is no different that the “liberals” who want to control people’s personal freedoms or the “conservatives “ who spend money like drunken sailors.

Currahee 5 years, 1 month ago

As employees. So rent out space and have them be called "independent contractors". Bam! They aren't "employees" anymore.

Linda and Bill Houghton 5 years, 1 month ago

At least at most clubs, the dancers are, in fact, independent contractors. The girls pay to dance there which is called "tip-out". There is a certain amount that the girls have to pay from their tips (their sole source of revenue). If a girl doesn't get significantly more than the tip-out, she is not going to stay very long.

myavaka 5 years, 1 month ago

Their rally cry is smaller, less intrusive government, government is the problem. When the government leaves people alone, things get better and we prosper. Oh wait…..what they mean is; a smaller government unless you want to take your home brew to a friend’s house, go to a topless bar, buy medical insurance with abortion coverage included, have your union dues auto drafted from your paycheck, etc., etc. Don’t even start with the abortion issue, it’s a Constitutional Right and they are trying their best to deny this right to the citizens of Kansas. Funny how they try to squash certain Constitutional Rights when they don’t fit their far Right-Wing dogma. Calling them hypocrites is a nice to put it.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

These people might have quit having sex so they would prefer if all others on the planet would quit having sex.

The question is who wants to be as frustrated and angry as these folks?

"“I am concerned with the negative secondary effects that these establishments create within communities, especially in small communities,” Brunk said.

The committee heard testimony from supporters of the bill Thursday, including Phillip Crosby, the state director of the American Family Association, a church affiliated non-profit organization.

“Sexually oriented businesses are not engines of prosperity, but a community liability,” Crosby said. “The effects are increased crime, increased STDs, property devaluation, prostitution and human and drug trafficking. Communities are intimidated by the sex industry, and Kansas communities have no restrictions in place.”

Is any of this true? Why are Brunk and Crosby hanging out at these houses of ill repute? How else could they obtain this information?

Nikki Wentling are these people lying?

Ken Lewis 5 years, 1 month ago

None of it is true. It is called propaganda and conflation. There have been no cases in KS (or any surrounding states) establishing any link between strip clubs and prostitution or human trafficking....which are not the same. And no subject is more riff with hysterical claims than the human trafficking issue. Nor has there been a documented case of STD transmission at a strip club.

MO cited crime when they passed the law. Since the law enacted, KCMO has seen an unprecedented crime wave. Where are the results? And where are the moral liars who told this lie now? Probably in court themsleves under charges of child molestation.

All these claims are just willfully accepted lies thown out in hysterics. LIke I have always said....the two major motivators for making policy in this country are prejudice and hysterics. And by prejudice, I dont mean black and white, I mean the first dictionary definition which is "willfully coming to conclusions without all the information."

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 1 month ago

Merrill, I want to tell you that there are those who have very low sex drives, who simply have no interest in the whole area. They are not frustrated and angry. My thing is that just because I don't bowl, it doesn't mean I am frustrated and angry, it doesn't mean I want to prohibit others from bowling.

I don't care who goes to the "gentlemen's clubs or what they do there. Let us not strive for understanding here because that may be impossible with a subject such as this.

If I don't go to those places and I am happy, that is fine, if you do want to go to those places and you are happy, that is fine too.

avarom 5 years ago

Bring on the Male Strippers.....we need some equality in this town.....;P

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 1 month ago

Wow, I actually agree with merrill on something.

But "who wants to be as frustrated and angry as these folks?", merrill look in the mirror...

Ken Lewis 5 years, 1 month ago

As far as “KS valves”, that is the worst argument I have heard yet. Here are the things wrong with the “KS values” argument.
• First of all, most if not all, of these establishments in KS are private clubs. So the imposition of "KS values" is over the limit right off the bat. If you vote in favor of this, you might as well establish an official State religion and force all other religions to comply based on the same "KS Values" argument...and the lack of recognition of private clubs, meetings or congregations. The justification of "KS values" might as well be said as "We want a Christian based theocracy". • Secondly, it is the "more freedom, small govt" tea party republicans who are pushing it. I am not sure where they want small govt, but it isn't in your private lives. And minding your own business is also a KS value. • MO argued that strip clubs contributed to crime and human trafficking. Well, there have been no cases in KS or MO establishing any link between strip clubs and prostitution or human trafficking….which incidentally are NOT the same. However, since MO passed their law, dozens of clubs have closed and KCMO has seen an unprecedented crime wave, so I guess they cannot use the crime justification anymore.
• Governor Brownback wants to turn KS into a State like Texas where there is no state income tax making it attractive to business. Well, Texas practically invented the strip club and the lap dance. It is part of their business culture. Strip clubs are all over the place in Texas and advertised on billboards next to the freeways. You can’t have it both ways. You can want a free state like Texas and Nevada and then impose all this moral stuff too. • I have lived in KS all my life and minding your own business is also a KS value. If these people don’t like the clubs….then they don’t have to go. If a woman doesn’t want to work there…..then don’t. If you do and regret it later, well that is called growing up and taking responsibility for your decisions. No one is forcing anymore to work there.

repete66211 5 years, 1 month ago

Why is a representative of a hate groups (American Family Association) being asked for an opinion in a state hearing? (Hint: He probably wrote the bill.) And why is the LJW playing along? A woman-hating pervert is the last person who would qualify as an expert witness in a discussion regarding strip clubs.

Joe Hyde 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm guessing the proponents of this bill, in a week's time, typically watch many evening TV dramas where men and women get murdered in the most gruesome and terrifying ways imaginable...and they don't think a thing about it. Censor TV violence? No way. Ban assault rifles and 30-round clips? Oh, Lord no!

But God forbid if some of their fellow citizens want to drink a beer while watching a beautiful dancer with shapely breasts, and then just go on home. Gotta outlaw that!

Gabe Hoffman 5 years, 1 month ago

"The state would like to enter 'Taken' into evidence, calling Liam Neeson as an expert witness."

Tim Quest 5 years, 1 month ago

Are you suggesting that strippers have a very specific set of skills?

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

They are skillful at making you the center of their universe as long as you are giving them money. That's really hard to do.

costello 5 years, 1 month ago

"Kim Murphee, a spokeswoman for the Lawrence Police Department, said law enforcement went to Allstars 17 times in 2012. There was one call regarding harassment, one for battery and one for a medical emergency."

How does that compare with other businesses or bars?

Gabe Hoffman 5 years, 1 month ago

Low compared to any bar students frequent.

gatekeeper 5 years, 1 month ago

I live in N. Lawrence and have never seen any issues at All Stars. I like that guys come from all over Lawrence and spend their money on my side of town (many use the gas stations nearby, bringing revenue to these businesses). I personally don't understand the thrill of paying to just get turned on, but what ever floats these guys boats shouldn't be deemed illegal. No one is getting hurt, so who cares. If it weren't for the sign out front, you'd never know it was a strip club. What ever happened to capitolism and free enterpise? I thought republicans said regulation kills business. Why do they want to kill business in this state?

All you idiots that voted for these republicans, I hope you enjoy what they're doing to this state. No more boobies for you!!!! Hopefully you'll start to see that republicans are nothing but hyprocrits!

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 1 month ago

You can whine about Republicans all you want, but I'll bet you there are plenty on both sides of the asile that see strip clubs as explotation of women. Frankly, I don't go to these places and I don't care if you do. What is going on here is folks that go to these places need a place to go, they are concentrated in one place, everyone knows they are there and there is no reason to scatter them. If this is what they want to do, they can do it in that environment and we are better off just leaving them alone vs taking a chance on some of them attacking our women on the street for their jollies.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 1 month ago

Prove it. Name just a few of the Democrats in support of this particular measure. You cannot, because for the most part they understand the disconnect between legislating morality and good government.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

On the more general point, there are "pro-woman" groups on the left that do consider occupations in the sex industry to be exploitative of women.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 1 month ago

Amazing for me to admit, but I can't say that "Can't" doesn't make sense sometimes.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 1 month ago

Once again right-wing nanny staters show they are incapable of anything but legislating their morality upon all. Small government, my foot. And didn't Pat Roberts just make a fool of himself by being one of the lone votes against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (78-22), with the brilliant reasoning that courts are just too full as is? Next on plate, forced church attendence for those in "dark spiritual areas". Between time-wasters like this latest attack against consenting adults and the other crap they're pulling, it's no wonder that an increasing number of Kansans ~ of both parties ~ are becoming disgusted with the entire state house. Keep your bibles at home and quit goofing off on our dollar.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 1 month ago

Apparently, what we can't fix, we must govern out of existence.

Katara 5 years, 1 month ago

American Family Association? The group that just recently claimed that gays being buried in Arlington Cemetery would compromise national security?

UneasyRider 5 years, 1 month ago

Maybe some gay strips clubs giving male lap dances would give all these GOP moralists something to do

Ken Lewis 5 years, 1 month ago

This is a War on Heterosexual Sex. They wouldn't dare attack gays. They aren't easy targets.

TheYetiSpeaks 5 years, 1 month ago

It's like a starving man going in to McDonalds and paying to look at the food. But, hey, less laws not more.....Pay away gentlemen.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

With many serious issues facing the State of Kansas, I haven't a clue why these folks are wasting time on this issue.

Jeremiah Jefferson 5 years, 1 month ago

This is stupid.. I can't believe we pay these morons to come up with ideas like this.. Here we have two illegitimate wars occuring, the US enconomy is in the toilet, we're closing schools and laying teachers off, people are starving, homless people who can't find work, people that can't afford to get decent health care and we have a bunch of morons worried sick that someone might actually find the time to have a good time. What consenting adults do is there business. Long as no one is drunk driving or getting hurt whats the big deal... I bet the dorms and frat houses at KU generate more STDs than any strip club.

SpeedRacer 5 years, 1 month ago

All of the gains of the last 30 years are being reversed by this governor and his Christian right crusaders. If this keeps up, we can probably expect all the liquor laws to be repealed, too.

George_Braziller 5 years, 1 month ago

The only reason he hasn't made any moves on restricting liquor sales is because the taxes on it are a huge source of revenue for the State.

rgh 5 years, 1 month ago

There are single mothers, college girls paying tuition, etc. who also work at clubs as a legitimate way of making money. They are not out prostituting which is illegal and men aren't there to rape women, just get away from stress for a few hours without gambling (which is legal) or getting drunk then driving home (which is also illegal). Someone in your right mind with solid evidence show me how trafficking and clubs are truly related. You can't just make up things to fit your morals and shove them down others' throats. I'd much rather spend my money at a club than a bar (which I do and have been faithful and happily married to my wonderful lifelong partner of 30 years and counting).

George_Braziller 5 years, 1 month ago

I know three women who have worked at clubs for that very reason and were by no stretch of the imagination prostitutes. One is now an accountant.

You'd be surprised at how many women you may know who have done it.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 1 month ago

More smaller government, except when they say so. Was nudity legal in the bible? "NANNER NANNER."

mom_of_three 5 years, 1 month ago

Are we going back to the 1900's, because this sounds like it.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 1 month ago

1500 is their ultimate goal. Need to rewind the Renaissance. Science is a myth, you know.

Water 5 years, 1 month ago

Yet another example of some group attempting to add more cereal filler to the spicy Kielbasa of life.

Griz 5 years, 1 month ago

Seems to me some of these moral crusaders forgot the words of the man from Gallilee: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Guess we have many perfect folks leading us to the promised land in the state. Wonder I don't feel worthy of their control over my life?

Paul R Getto 5 years, 1 month ago

Guess who has a high consumption rate? Red States are high porn consumers and many preachers are heavy users.

jonas_opines 5 years, 1 month ago

Look, between this and gay rights restrictions, this is simply an attempt to make the Kansas government more efficient. Just think about how half of our poor legislatures gets cold sweats and drift off, thinking about running down to the nearest club and getting some fine dancing from cute honeys, and that's not even the time wasted when they succumb to their sinful brains and actually GO.

The other half, well, they just get so many shivers thinking of those burly men with their rough hands.

With all of this, how can you expect your properly repressed, moral representative to get any actual work done on job incentives, or infrastructure improvements, or any of those other vital things? None of those can happen until anything that could draw the lawmakers eye and mind into impurity are properly dealt with. They are, after all, nothing but sinful humans. Sinful, dirty dirty humans.

Curveball 5 years, 1 month ago

The so-called Dancers are someone's sister, daughter or wife. How would you like to go to work some day and when asked "how's the family?"reply "Oh my daughter just landed a new job at Club XXX." Think about all the creeps leering at her and treating her like a common streetwalker. I suspect the clubs get less attention from the police because of the bouncers who enforce the cell phone ban and beat up the customers who get out of line. They police their own turf. I once saw a guy thrown out of a strip club in Topeka . I don't know what he did or why he was "escorted" out, but they couldn't let it go at that . Three or four bouncers had to beat the guy up after they got him outside. And I haven't even started on the drugs, shady bookkeeping and other crimes that go on at those places. If the "Dancers" ever do get out of the business, do you think they list that on their resume?

msezdsit 5 years, 1 month ago

The kansas legislature are communist or at least socialist. They want big government and they want big government as far down our throats as they can stuff it.

avarom 5 years ago

More like ruber stamped puppets.....nodding "Yea" or "Nay" with the favorite flavor of the Month!!

Curveball 5 years, 1 month ago

My comments have nothing to do with party affiliation. While the clubs do control a lot of what goes on, they can't control everything. Drug users and dealers Do hang out at these clubs and the dancers are often their main customers. The cell phone ban also keeps the customers from making a phone call. I understand the camera concerns. (You never know who they may be calling) My main point is that if these are such wonderful employment opportunities and not at all immoral, then why don't the fathers, brothers and husbands of the dancers take pride in the fact that they do dance nude in front of strangers for money? Sort of like "Hey Joe, why don't we go over to Club XXX and watch my (daughter,sister,wife) dance naked after work?" See the point?

deec 5 years, 1 month ago

How paternalistic.

"Hey, Joe. Let's go watch my son dig trenches or sit in a call center selling aluminum siding after work."

You seem to be opposed to the clubs yet seem to have a lot of knowledge as to what goes on there.

avarom 5 years ago

After 18 Joe......your daughter, sister or maybe even your have nothing to say about it........Freedom of choice and legal....Better start taking the wife out more Joe ....and hope she isn't practicing her your comments........she Could be very bored with you...........maybe should starting dancing.......Hope you see my point ..... ;-)

LudicrousSpeed 5 years ago

There is federal law allowing communities to regulate these clubs and it has withstood US Supreme court challenges. The real question everyone needs to be asking, "Do you want an out of state radical Evangelical ran and funded Political Action Committee coming in to your state and trying to force, amendments to the Kansas state Constitution, down your throat ?"

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