could prohibit spending public dollars at in-state hotels or meeting facilities that provide their customers with pornographic materials that link sex with violence. Nonviolent adult movies would be OK.
Reader Hal Davis sees a similarity between this bill and a Minneapolis anti-pornography civil rights ordinance drafted in 1983, passed by the city council and twice vetoed by the mayor. A similar ordinance was later found unconstitutional.
Clark is aiming for Rep. Michele Bachmann's seat this fall. If she hopes to differentiate herself from Bachmann, this isn't the way to do it.
Government employees traveling on public business get discounted hotel rates. If hotels have to pick between them and other travelers, it's likely they'll go with tourists and business travelers paying more.
This measure is a pretty ineffective stick for beating on pornography, however you look at it. If Clark doesn't want state money spent on porno movies, restrict hotel expenses to the published government rates and lower per diems so travelers have to choose between food and a night at the movies. And if she is truly serious about eradicating violent films, good luck.
Worse, this is a poor time for political-posturing legislation that would require new enforcement efforts without saving the state any money.
I say this as someone who likes Clark, who hates to hand MDE one of those "liberal blogger" freebies, and who has managed to stay out of strip clubs and porn shops for 61 years without government encouragement.
Disclaimer: When I was an arts reviewer, with another arts reporter, I did see part of "The Devil in Miss Jones" when it first came out, under the misguided assumption it might represent some sort of advance in film making. We quickly discovered we were wrong and walked out.
I hope Sen. Clark gains a similar moment of clarity.