BACE Fights Ohio Strip Club Legislation

COLUMBUS, Oh. - With the petition drive to repeal SB 16, the anti-adult law scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 3, now just over one month old, activist Sandy Theis says that the effort is on track for success.

"I know we are right at schedule," Theis assured. "The signature-gathering firm has a list of benchmarks and we are right where we need to be, but it's going slowly because you have to hire a bunch of people to gather them and the closer you get to your deadline, the steeper the hill that you have to climb, and we're to the point where we're going to have to be collecting a boatload every day."

Not only do the adult businesses have to collect just over 241,000 signatures of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election, at least 3% of those signatures have to be from voters in each of 44 of Ohio's 88 counties, and that's been the biggest stumbling block so far.

"We know we can get, from the big urban counties, the bulk of our signatures," Theis said, "but we also need 44 counties represented, so what they've done is targeted some of the smaller counties, because you need 3% in each of those counties, so if you have a county with a really small population, it's not too tough to get to the 3%."

"The next phase is, they start going door to door with lists of registered voters," she continued. "That's more labor-intensive but you get a higher percentage of good signatures. We're also targeting libraries, county fairs and places where there's a lot of traffic. This is a very, very difficult task, because with a referendum, we have to get them in before the law takes effect, so that's a pretty steep hurdle."

The task is all the more difficult, because large sections of rural Ohio are conservative ... but Theis has seen signs that "conservative" doesn't always mean "anti-adult."

"I think there's a libertarian strain in Ohio that's part of the conservative movement," Theis analyzed, "and those are people who want less government interference, not more, so we're getting some support from them."

Theis also thinks that her main opponent, Phil Burress's Citizens for Community Values (CCV), is feeling the heat of the adult businesses' campaign ... which may explain CCV's recent hissy-fit that the petitioners have chosen to form "Citizens for Community Standards" as the spearhead for the petition drive.

"There's a big difference between a community value and a community standard," Theis noted. "Our number one goal is to accurately tell you what we're about, and we're a citizens group that believes in home rule and believes that local communities should be able to set their own standards. That's what we believe, and we're not trying to have people confuse us with them [CCV] because we don't like what they stand for. We don't promote bigotry and intolerance and excessive government regulation. We're not headed by a 'porn addict' who's been married three times and who's been in bankruptcy court twice. Those aren't our values. So for them to think we're trying to confuse us with them is laughable."

At present, Theis is working vigorously to get her organization's website to the point where supporters can contribute online, and she expects that by Friday, will be ready. But until then, contributions are being accepted through the following means:

Checks, made out to "Citizens for Community Standards" can be sent to:

Citizens for Community Standards

137 E. State St.

Columbus, Ohio 43215

Checks made out to "BACE" (the Buckeye Association of Club Executives, which also funds the fight) can be sent to:


c/o Rondee Kamins

3700 Kelley Ave.

Cleveland, OH 44114



C/O LD Management

Attention: Jim Everett

110 East Wilson Ridge Rd. Suite 100

Worthington, Ohio 43085

Or over the internet by following the directions here.