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Star-stuck: Dirty deals for dirty movies
by Andrew Barbano
May 15, 2013 | 1999 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
"My opponent supported shunting school money to porno films."

I guarantee such words will surface in 2014 campaign attack ads. Blame Nicholas (Coppola) Cage, the Oscar-winning actor who slummed in Carson City last week to demand corporate welfare for Hollywood.

Senate Bill 165 was introduced by a bi-partisan pack of lawmakers who view it as a good idea even if it takes money from schools, roads, parks, police and fire protection.

Those public services generally employ skilled labor, usually union, with benefits.

I'm all for more union work, but trading a teacher or a cop for a short-term script girl or best-boy should present far better than a break-even proposition.

Proponents admit that a lot of talent will have to be imported.

"Nevada does not have a significant film crew base at the present time," stated producer Jeffrey Spilman in a Reno Gazette-Journal guest commentary.

Like lawmakers, he hopes that the proposed $35 million in annual taxpayer-funded subsidies will eventually result in a trained workforce.

Alas, Mr. Spilman ignores a valuable and growing sector of the Nevada economy, at least in Gomorrah South: film making. Porno. Film. Making.

A few years ago, dirty movie moguls started migrating to Las Vegas, attracted by the same charms Nevada always touts: lack of both taxation and regulation.

Desperate for education and social service money, legislative Democrats are currently locked in a losing battle to close tax loopholes. But some support this new freebie, demonstrating the dramatic irony of star power upon the star-struck.

The fun part comes in reading Section 8 of the bill. (Irony alert: "Section-eighter" is an old military term for a soldier sent to a psych ward.)

Sexion 8 states that the Nevada Office of Economic Development must review scripts for content of "obscene or sexually explicit material."

In Vegas. Harharhardeeharhar.

Which means, as always, that those with juice get the loot. Halle Berry's breasts constitute art, less-so Linda Lovelace's lips, while lugubrious lawyers lick their chops over this ludicrously lucrative lascivious legal landmine.

If the pornomongers can't get their (pardon the expression) piece of the pie, this could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where at least one justice is a noted smut expert.

George Carlin, call your office. Your censored Seven Dirty Words are back.

SB165 allows for transferable tax credits of up to $6 million per project. That means you can still sell a piece of it after you've used it, potentially trading teachers to Taco Bell.

Awhile back, a Las Vegas candidate saw her campaign destroyed because her equipment company, with many clients, once rented cameras to a dirty-pix producer. No hotels were criticized for renting rooms.

Candidates for re-election next year might defend themselves by saying they thought SB165 supported sex education because our underfunded schools aren't up to the job.

Esté bien. Haga infierno.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 44-year Nevadan and editor of  E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.

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