Legal bills mount as Dallas continues to block eXXXotica

eXXXoticaAccording to Dallas Councilman Scott Griggs, the eXXXotica lawsuit has cost the city $245,000 so far. Or as Councilman Philip Kingston points out, that’s $4,000 a day.

EXXXotica is a porn convention — sorry — they hate when I call it that: the largest expo in the country dedicated to love and sex — that would like to return to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Kay Bailey Hutchison went to Dallas City Council to tell them she didn’t think porn — I mean love and sex — should be in her convention center. Only it’s not hers. It’s Dallas’ center and it loses money each year because, well, when an expo wants to book the facility during a week when nothing else is going on in the Kay, Dallas says no.

Five council members oppose spending money on litigation the city will lose just to say “We oppose porn in Dallas” — Griggs and Kingston plus Adam Medrano, Sandy Greyson and Mark Clayton. Until a couple more council folks change their votes, the legal bills will continue to pile up until a judge orders the city to allow porn, I mean love and sex, into the Kay.

Next time you drive through a pothole in Dallas, just remember, the council has kept us safe from porn — I mean love and sex — in a part of the city you really have to go out of your way to even see, unless you’re at City Hall. It’s actually next door to City Hall.

—  David Taffet

eXXXotica update

eXXXoticaThe adult expo eXXXotica sent a letter to Dallas Voice, but it’s addressed to Dallas, so we felt an obligation to post it. They’ve lawyered up and plan to sue the city unless the Kay Bailey Hutchison — the name we never use for the Dallas Convention Center except in connection with porn and other adult-oriented exhibits and expos — allows their show to go on.

They’re charging violations of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Well, we’ll let them explain. Here’s their letter with links included:

Dear Dallas,

On February 10, 2016 the City Council voted to unconstitutionally ban Three Expo Events, LLC, producers of the EXXXOTICA Expo, from ever hosting an event at the city-owned Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.

From that moment we’ve been working diligently to file an injunction enabling us to regain our May 2016 dates; that lawsuit also includes charges of First and Fourteenth Amendment violations, due process violations as well as claims of their tortious interference.

These claims are all against the City of Dallas, its Mayor and City Council members who voted to ban the event, in their official capacity but also individually as well. To view the complaint, CLICK HERE

As of today, February 23, 2016, our complaint is complete and we have given our attorney, Roger Albright, permission to file at will.

It is important to recognize that once this lawsuit is filed, it is impossible to put the genie back in the bottle. It will likely cost the City of Dallas and its taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more, in legal fees and damages. This is on top of the already filed potential class action lawsuit filed yesterday in Federal District Court in Texas.

But there is another option. An option that makes this all go away.

We have directed our attorney to pass the finalized complaint to the City in hopes they will review our claim, recognize their mistake, and reconsider their ban. To view the letter, CLICK HERE

We are a lawful event, produced successfully with zero incidents in 2015 at the Dallas Convention Center and attended by over 15,000 Dallas area residents who enjoyed an educational, artistic and fun experience.

So we ask, why spend wasted time and taxpayer money on maintaining a ban their own City Attorney strongly advised them against?

Since the initial vote was 8-7, it only takes one city council member to make this right.



#MakeLoveNot Potholes (their hashtag, not ours, but we warned you about that here — our link, not theirs)

—  David Taffet

Looks like we’re not done with sex at the Kay

AdultconThe Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center may still be the site of a porn expo.

No, not eXXXotica — and, by the way, they don’t like being called a porn expo. They describe themselves as “The Largest Event in the USA dedicated to love & sex.”

That is until the Dallas City Council got involved and passed an ordinance this week that said there will be no more sex in this city, or something like that.

While eXXXotica is threatening a lawsuit, Adultcon is applying to stage an “Adult Entertainment Convention” at the Kay. Their website, which I opened purely for research purposes, features mostly female porn stars. Adultcon was founded in 2001 and has produced 30 expos. (See? I researched their historical information.)

The city of Dallas’ position on Adultcon is, “We are officially evaluating the request.”

The city’s unofficial position is: “We already looked like idiots banning eXXXotica from city property and opened ourselves to a major lawsuit. We can either play favorites, allow Adultcon and hand eXXXotica an even bigger lawsuit, or we can ban Adultcon and lose two lawsuits.”

Hmmm. What to do? What to do?

—  David Taffet

eXXXotica prepares to sue Dallas

eXXXoticaDan Adams, marketing and public relations director for eXXXotica, let Dallas Voice know today (Thursday, Feb. 11) that the Dallas City Council’s action blocking his company’s expo at the Dallas Convention Center wasn’t the last we’ll hear of his company.

“We are in the process of preparing a lawsuit and filing an injunction against the city,” Adams wrote to Dallas Voice.

An alternative location for the event would be Market Center Hall. Since it was Ray Hunt, owner of the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Dallas, who was the most vocal in wanting to ban sex in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, I wondered if arch-rival Trammell Crow would accommodate the expo.

But eXXXotica wants to put sex in the Kay.

“We have not even considered an alternate venue at this time as we are confident based on advice from attorneys that we are within our legal and constitutional rights to return to the convention center for our 2016 expo,” Adams wrote.

—  David Taffet

Porn expo coming to the Kay Bailey Hutchison … and we’re shocked

ExxxoticaI rarely call it the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. But in this case I will. On Aug. 7-9, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center hosts eXXXotica.

That’s a porn expo.

Not gay porn. Straight porn actresses, mostly.

Mayor Mike Rawlings is “deeply concerned,” according to the Dallas Morning News.

Of course he is. He has to say that.

I’m deeply concerned as well.

Dallas is a wholesome city where same-sex couples come to get married and raise our children. (Dallas Voice is even hosting its own Wedding Party and Expo this Sunday at the Anatole.) It’s not a city where we go with friends to  … gulp! … the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. So consider this a warning. We’re shocked — shocked, we tell you! — that something like this could take place in our fair city. Oh, and you can get tickets here.

—  David Taffet

Sen. Hutchison’s alternative anti-gay VAWA fails as U.S. Senate passes LGBT-inclusive bill

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

The Violence Against Women Act passed the U.S. Senate Thursday in a 68-31 vote but marked the first time since its passage in 1994 that the renewal brought opposition.

This renewal featured the expansion of VAWA’s protections to LGBT victims of domestic abuse, as well as extending the amount of temporary visas for illegal immigrants of abuse and allowing tribal courts to handle cases of abuse against Native American women on reservations by non-Indian suspects.

Anti-gay Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, were working an alternative version that lowered the amount of temporary visas and removed the LGBT provisions.

Although Hutchison and 14 other Republicans voted for the LGBT-inclusive VAWA after the Senate rejected the alternative bill, she reportedly said that she “worked with many of my colleagues to have a substitute that has the same coverage but is better in other ways.”

The bill reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act for five years and lowers the funding by $136.5 million to $659.3 million a year from the last act. The money funds programs such as legal assistance for victims and transitional housing.

House Republicans are also working on an alternate bill, which is supposed to mirror Hutchison’s by leaving out LGBT victims of domestic abuse. The House is expected to vote on the bill in May.

The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement Friday about the anti-LGBT version of the bill that was introduced.

“The House Republican leadership’s version of VAWA reflects their political objectives, but not the needs of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said. “We can’t afford to turn a blind eye to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking. LGBT victims of domestic violence face a number of challenges when it comes to receiving care. The Senate version of VAWA ensures no one ever will be turned away from critical services simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; the House version leaves LGBT people out in the cold.

“Despite rhetorical claims that the Senate bill was political and partisan, the fact of the matter is that 15 Republican Senators voted for the bill and 63 Senators rejected an amendment similar to the House Republican bill,” Solmonese said. “The Senate bill is bipartisan and is the VAWA that is supported by law enforcement, court, prosecution, legal services, and victim services professionals.”

—  Dallasvoice

Public Policy Polling: Perry particularly unpopular

Gov. Rick Perry in a parody of his "Brokeback" video

If a Public Policy Polling poll is correct, Rick Perry may be in his last term in office.

According to PPP, only 29 percent of Texas voters think Perry should run for governor again in 2014 and fewer still — just 19 percent — think he should run for president again.

The ever-resilient governor could still win another term in Austin, however. Of Republicans polled, 49 percent would like to see the governor run again.

With his campaign only suspended, Perry is still technically running for president and will appear on the Texas primary ballot. His campaign was marked by gaffes and insults and his “Brokeback” YouTube video remains one of the most “unliked” on the site.

The poll found that Texans think LBJ was the best of the Texas presidents with 39 percent. George W. Bush is next at 22 percent and his father gets 19 percent. That adds up to only 80 percent. Possibly the other 20 percent polled couldn’t stomach any of them.

Although George H.W. Bush was the least great Texas president, he has the highest favorability rating at 54 percent. People like him — out of office.

Kay Bailey Hutchison had an approval rating of 50 percent. Interesting she did so miserably in the race against the governor. Guess he wasn’t so unpopular before he ran for president.

—  David Taffet

Hubbard: ‘If you don’t want more Mayor Rawlings, then you need to support a candidate like me’

Democratic Senate candidate Sean Hubbard speaks at a Jan. 27 rally outside Dallas City Hall calling for Mayor Mike Rawlings to sign a pledge in support of same-sex marriage. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

Sean Hubbard, one of four Democrats vying for the nomination to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate, said he’s picked up strong support for his campaign in Bexar County while traveling across the state. We caught up by phone late last week while Hubbard was at home in Dallas between campaign trips.

Former State Rep. Paul Sadler is the best known of the Democratic Senate candidates. Daniel Boone, a retired Air Force colonel, is campaigning little but expects to pick up a number of votes because of his name. In 2000, Gene Kelly got the Democratic nomination because of his famous name, but was trounced in the general election. A fourth candidate is Addie Dainell Allen.

Jason Gibson withdrew from the race on Feb. 3 and endorsed Sadler. Gibson said he’s a strong union supporter and didn’t want to run without AFL-CIO support. Hubbard said that Gibson’s arrest record had become public, forcing him from the race. Previously, Gen. Ricardo Sanchez withdrew from the race.

Hubbard rushed back to Dallas on Jan. 27, missing an endorsement meeting to attend the demonstration in front of Dallas City Hall calling on Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ to sign a pledge in support of same-sex marriage.

“Standing up for folks being discriminated against is more important than campaigning,” he said.

—  David Taffet

Senate confirms gay U.S. attorney for W. Texas

The U.S. Senate confirmed Robert Lee Pitman (right), an openly gay man, as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas on Monday.

Pitman is believed to be the first openly gay U.S. attorney in Texas, but he is not the first in the nation. Nominated by President Barack Obama, Pitman will serve as chief federal prosecutor for a 68-county region.

Interestingly, Pitman’s nomination was supported by anti-gay Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Pitman is a Fort Worth native and graduate of Trinity Valley School. Read a detailed profile here.

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: NY marriage lottery results; DADT repeal certification; Kay Bailey Hutchison

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. All 823 couples who played the New York City marriage lottery have won! The lottery initially guaranteed only 764 slots on Sunday — the first day same-sex marriage will be legal in the Empire State. But NYC officials now say they’ll accommodate all couples who entered, although 74 who signed up to wed in Manhattan will have to travel to another borough. For more on the start of same-sex marriage in New York, check out Yonkers native David Taffet’s round-up from Thursday.

2. After 18 long years and some 15,000 discharges, the Pentagon and President Barack Obama are set to put the final nail in the coffin of “don’t ask, don’t tell” today. Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are expected to certify the repeal of DADT when they meet in the Oval Office this afternoon, which would begin a 60-day waiting period before the policy officially — and finally — comes to an end. According to our calendar, that means the big day will be Sept. 20, which happens to be just two days after Dallas Pride. Is it too late to change this year’s theme?

3. If not, perhaps they can just turn Pride into a retirement party for Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who told MSNBC this morning that she objects to the Pentagon’s decision to certify DADT repeal. “I really don’t think we should be putting people who are in harm’s way, in very close quarters, in any kind of uncomfortable position,” Hutchison said. “I think it is not the right decision, but it’s a decision that’s been made.” Watch video from ThinkProgress below:

—  John Wright