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Supervisors Disband 37-Year-Old County Pornography Commission

February 21, 2001|Roberto J. Manzano

The 37-year-old Los Angeles County Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, which had no staff, no budget and no meeting schedule, was disbanded Tuesday by the county Board of Supervisors.

The 15-member commission was established in 1964, though in recent months its roster had dwindled to six. It had met only once since 1995, according to a Feb. 9 letter to supervisors from Richard A. Popper, chairman of the county Audit Committee.

"The commission appears to have no focus or sense of mission and has accomplished little over the past several years," Popper wrote, in recommending that it be disbanded.

Supervisors Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky voted to disband. Supervisors Michael D. Antonovich, a longtime commission supporter, and Don Knabe voted against getting rid of the panel.

Michael B. Bennett, a commission member, said he welcomed the vote. "It's a wasted commission. We don't need it," Bennett said.

The commission charter said it sought to rally public support for stricter pornography laws and to help county officials "in their campaign against the publication and distribution" of porn.

But because of constitutional guarantees of free expression, the commission had focused on child pornography and on efforts to keep pornography away from children.

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