Tag Archives: O’Neill

‘Tax Porn, Not Corn’ Draws Opposition, Suggestions

Statement distributed to media and legislators by Tracy A. O’Neill, lobbyist for adult entertainment establishments, opposing bill known as “tax porn, not corn:”
The Honorable Representative Joe Carr, hopes to save marriages and food taxes in Tennessee with his introduction of HB3081, a 25% tax on adult oriented materials, including cable television programming, pay-per-view adult films in Hotels and Motels, adult retailers, professional entertainers and cabarets.
How does a tax on adult entertainment save marriages? While this is a noble cause, one for which the Representative should be commended, why not introduce legislation that would impose mandatory marriage counseling for troubled or divorcing couples and charge them a fee? Or better yet, offer each troubled couple a few of the ‘naughty’ items Representative Carr hopes to tax, as an educational and entertaining way to spice up a potentially disintegrating marriage.
One legislature, Texas, enacted adult entertainment tax legislation, which cost over $2 million to the state and is still ongoing. The case was recently remanded back to its starting point to address a myriad of issues the original judge never ruled upon after finding the tax unconstitutional. In the past, most Federal Courts have consistently struck down arbitrary and selective taxes as unconstitutional, especially if, in the Representative’s own words, such businesses simply “…can’t be shut down.” His is a costly proposition for Tennessee taxpayers, who will ultimately bear the debt for both enforcement and a legal challenge.
To unequally apply a tax to an entertainer or venue based strictly on its content or with bias against the nature of the business opens a Pandora’s box of rampant taxation. For example, if Representative Carr’s tax is an attempt to save marriages, why exclude the millions of dollars in revenues for items such as lingerie, male enhancement pharmaceuticals and supplements (IE: Viagra and Extenze), over the counter sexual aids, Condoms, Lubricants, as well as box office motion pictures and hit television shows that could easily be considered ‘Adult Entertainment’ due to preamble warnings of high sexual content or graphic images? And will you equally apply the tax to include numerous Broadway plays containing nudity or sexual imagery that make their way to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center?
Court Decisions have been clear that you cannot enact a tax based solely on the content of speech. HB3081 imposes a tax based on the content of adult oriented businesses. Additionally, the excessive and arbitrary tax, being dubiously and speciously applied to save marriages, is unfairly levied on legal venues with a specific designation of “Adult Entertainment,” and not equally applied to all forms of entertainment such as male entertainers, sporting events or concerts. By singling out one sector of entertainment, you are in fact, setting the stage for the state to pillage and plunder its people.
There are currently several pieces of legislation moving throughout the respective committees set to reduce the sales tax of food that make better sense economically. I urge you to vote NO on HB3081 by Rep. Carr.

On Speakers and Presidents, Then and Now

By Jim Kuhnhenn
WASHINGTON (AP) — Dwight Eisenhower got along better with Sam Rayburn than with leaders of his own party. Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan would bury political differences after 6 p.m. Newt Gingrich felt snubbed by Bill Clinton on Air Force One.
Presidents and House speakers have a history of complicated relationships. President Barack Obama and Rep. John Boehner are adding their own chapter on the golf links Saturday, political opposites each trying to put a ball in the same hole.
Boehner, R-Ohio, and the president have a courteous, but not a social relationship. Their interactions are so businesslike that their decision to play golf together has been given significance far greater than it probably deserves.
While the president’s frequent golf outings occur outside the prying eyes of the press, journalists were promised at least a glimpse, and a chance to photograph, Obama and Boehner with their game faces on.
Past president-speaker relationships have been defined by specific moments.
O’Neill, D-Mass., and Reagan shared evening martinis at the White House and exchanged Irish tales. Rayburn, D-Texas, gave Eisenhower a heifer for the president’s Pennsylvania farm. Gingrich, R-Ga., complained that Clinton forced him to exit through the rear entrance of Air Force One during their 1995 trip to Israel for the funeral of assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

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