Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Less Regulation, Less Government

Judging by Newt Gingrich's behavior, this is exactly what the Republican Revolution is about.

Police say they've seen numerous illicit massage parlors open in Hollywood, Koreatown and the San Fernando Valley. But the biggest explosion has been in Eagle Rock, which is a community that was also inundated with medical marijuana dispensaries.

"You can drive down the street and see one on every block," said Michael Larsen, the president of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council. "Our community is being inundated with prostitution."

The problem is connected to a 2009 state law that created voluntary state certification for massage therapists. The intent was to make it easier for legitimate massage therapists to work anywhere in the state.

The law said therapists with state certification could no longer be subjected to stringent local vetting. In Los Angeles, for instance, where city code classifies all parlors as "adult entertainment," licensed therapists would no longer have to apply for police permits, which require fingerprinting and background checks.

Many cities — including Culver City, West Hollywood and Glendale — promptly began requiring those applying to open massage parlors to show their state certification.

But Los Angeles failed to do so, instead asking applicants only to state if they were certified, not to show proof, according to Officer William Jones, who is in charge of the Los Angeles Police Commission's permit processing section.

As a result, it became an easy place for erotic massage parlors to set up shop.

Ahmos Netanel, who heads the California Massage Therapy Council, a nonprofit set up by the state in the massage certification bill, said L.A. should rewrite its code.

"My understanding is that the city has basically stopped regulating," Netanel said. "We have shared with them that this is unusual."
This is great! California is finally shrinking government, exactly the way that the Tea Party wants! Next up, a relaxation of those darn crack statutes. They're slowin' me down, man.

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