House Bill 1407 is Back! "Harmful Matter" (whatever that is) Runs Amok in Washington State

by Todd Wiese toddw@theroc.org

Or so they'd have you believe. The Washington State legislature home page http://leginfo.leg.wa.gov/www/house/members/d13_2.htm confirms that HB 1407 was reintroduced by resolution to the 1998 legislative session on January 12 of this year. Representatives Joyce Mulliken and Larry Sheahan are the sponsors.

And just what guise of "protecting the children" does this bill concern? Asbestos? Tobacco Companies? Drunk Drivers? No, 'course not. This bill, aimed at "matter" that is "harmful" to minors, "prohibits the sale or display" of any matter (including live performances) that the average adult, applying contemporary community standards, would find appeals to the prurient interest of minors and that explicitly depicts or describes, by prevailing standards in the adult community patently offensive representations of a myriad of sexual acts.

So, once again, a handful of people are deciding what the "average adult" (who is that?) finds offensive and "harmful" to your kids. This continuous dumbing down of community standards under the thumb of Representatives Joyce Mulliken and Larry Sheahan (both Republican) and those like them only encourages parents to become docile and let government do the parenting for them. Bills like this will only cause works of art and music to go un-viewed and un-enjoyed because concert promoters, venue owners, art galleries, record companies and others will be scared into line in fear of prosecution for distributing "harmful matter".

This bill, by the way, exempts libraries, museums and "transmissions by franchised cable operators under certain circumstances". What circumstances would those be? The amount of "circumstantial" money the cable operators donate to the Republican Party as campaign contributions perhaps? The harmful matter here folks, is the gray matter in Sheahan and Mulliken's heads. Don't let these Washington State bureaucrats tell your how to raise you kids!

If you want to decide for yourself what artwork or music you want to see or decide for your own family what concert your kids attend instead of letting government do it for you, contact the following people and tell them so!

-Sponsors of HB 1407-

Rep. Joyce Mulliken (R)13th Legislative District
Olympia office: 436 John L. O'Brien Bldg.
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
Tel. (360) 786-7808
E-mail: mulliken_jo@leg.wa.gov
http://leginfo.leg.wa.gov/www/house/members/d13_2.htm

Rep. Larry Sheahan (R) 9th Legislative District
Olympia office: 333 John L. O'Brien Bldg.
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
Tel. (360) 786-7942
(No E-mail)
http://leginfo.leg.wa.gov/www/house/members/d13_2.htm

Find your Representative in the Washington State's Government Information Site and tell him/her to vote against this bill! Members are listed by name and district.

http://leginfo.leg.wa.gov
E-mail: support@leg.wa.gov

JAMPAC (Krist Novoselic's Joint Artist Music Political Action Committee) is also fighting this legislation. They can be reached at: (206) 623-2660

Also, call and write your local art houses, concert venues, record stores, etc and let them know you're opposed to this bill and that they should get involved as well.

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