Two stories were published this past weekend in the Providence Journal. The first, RI sex lobby weeks larger voice at the General Assembly, went into how there is big money in the sex industry, and some of that money ends up in the hands of RI’s politicians. I don’t know how this is any different from the story a few months ago on the Asian massage parlors “donating” to the State and local police.
I guess the politicians and the police are not much different, taking money with one hand and shaking a condemning finger with the other.
The second story was “New prostitution law buttons up the Strip Clubs” The main point of this story was how tax revenue was down and the clubs were changing the way they do business.
Revenues at adult entertainment clubs already had been declining along with the economy. Sales tax revenues fell to $11.1 million last year, from $12.1 million in 2004, according to the state tax office. Even The Foxy Lady, the state’s oldest and best known strip club, has seen its business decline to about $4 million a year, down from as high as $5 million during the late 1990s, said the club’s manager, Richard Angell.
Club managers aren’t the only ones feeling anxious. Since indoor prostitution was outlawed, customer traffic — already down 25 percent to 30 percent since the economy tanked — has slipped further. Business fell another 7 percent after the new law took effect, said H. Charles Tapalian, the property owner for two strip clubs — Cheaters and Club Balloons — on Allens Avenue.
These stories come just a few days after the police release info on the first stings. The front page of the PROJO on Sunday, just a few inches away from a the Strip Club story, was a story on how charities are struggling with finances, and today the Governor cut $100 MILLION from cities and towns budgets. I guess we don’t really care about the poor or the budgets of the cities and towns, we spend money on police overtime, placing ads in the Phoenix and craigslist, and even more money on hotel rooms so we can set up a sting to catch Pat Patriot! Way to go RI! Now those are some interesting priorities!