On Monday, March 21, 2011, the law offices of Benjamin & Aaronson, P.A. hosted a meeting of FL-SEA. For those of you who do not know what FL-SEA is about or stands for, it is for lack of a better term, the trade organization that represents the adult entertainment industry and specifically adult dance clubs throughout Florida.
This organization has many functions. Not only does it monitor legislation or potential legislation in Tallahassee, but it also lobbys on behalf of the adult entertainment industry at the State government level. In essence, the FL-SEA is your eyes and ears along with your mouth in protecting adult and First Amendment freedoms in the State of Florida.
At this meeting were representatives from some of the major clubs in South Florida such as “Tootsies” and “Scarletts”, just to name a few. However, more importantly then those that were in attendance was the fact of those that were not in attendance. It has always been baffling to us how club owners and many of them well-healed, can spend vast sums of money on dinners, vacations, entertainment, and cars, but when it comes to joining an organization such as FL-SEA and paying dues somehow cannot find the money. We have often wondered why such an industry as ours with such intelligent and strong-minded entrepreneurs, is unable to see that their success and continued success lies in being united and having a strong State organization.
The bottom line is this: “Our enemies in and out of government would like to see nothing more than our industry die. They are well-founded by groups on the conservative and Christian right. Every year they choose a few States to concentrate their efforts on to pass legislation that ultimately destroys the adult entertainment industry.” The best example of this is what occurred in Ohio where adult entertainment is just a shadow of what it used to be and clubs are hanging on for dear life.
In order to fight back and in order to preserve our industry, it is time that the smaller club owners that have traditionally sat on the sidelines believing that the big boys will pay the tab, started paying the tabs themselves. It is time those of you that own clubs reached into your pockets and joined the FL-SEA and donated to the fight. We have no economic interest in FL-SEA surviving or receiving funds. In fact, the opposite is probably true. If these pieces of legislation get passed that signal the demise of the adult entertainment industry, there is little doubt that we will be among the lawyers that will be hired to fight the legislation in Court. There is no doubt that we will make large sums of money by doing that fight. Therefore, if we were only looking out for our best interest, this article would not be written.
Rather, it is important to us that the industry survives. It is important to us that our adult and First Amendment freedoms be maintained. It is important to us to the extent that we would rather not receive that large payday in the future, but would rather see our clients and other people’s clients be successful for the long term. War has been declared against our industry. Some of you may not want to believe that that is the case. You can continue to stick you heads in the sand and believe that the sky will never fall. Right now, sticking your head in the sand is no option. Joining the fight and joining FL-SEA and paying your dues is the only option.