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Old October 11th, 2006, 10:36 AM   #1
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Strip club law faces challenge in Tempe


Strip club law faces challenge in Tempe


By Garin Groff, Tribune
East Valley Tribune
Oct. 10
A topless club has asked a federal court to overturn a new state law that's thwarted its plans to open in Tempe. The corporation behind the proposed Elite Cabaret claims that a new distance requirement for sexually oriented businesses makes it impossible to open that kind of enterprise in the city, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court of Arizona.

Neither the state nor the city has banned the business outright, but the club's owner claims the restriction violates the rights of free speech and equal protection by indirectly making impossible for adult businesses to open in the city.

Rep. Laura Knaperek, RTempe, who sponsored the law targeted by the suit, said Monday the legal fight wasn't a surprise.

"We did expect to be challenged because I think we are the first," Knaperek said. Arizona lawmakers researched other state laws before passing Knaperek's bill earlier this year and found no other state had imposed distance requirements for strip clubs, she said.

Elite Cabaret's suit claims the city dragged its feet in considering the business' license because it had no other way to stop it. The city requires adult businesses to be at least 1,000 feet from parks, schools, churches, neighborhoods and several other kinds of development. The suit claims the business met this requirement.

However, the club's owner claims that Tempe turned to Knaperek once the city realized it couldn't legally stop the business. The lawmaker sponsored a bill for a statewide buffer of a quarter-mile - 1,320 feet - specifically to block this business, according to the suit.

Knaperek said the bill didn't target Elite Cabaret. "I never even talked to the city about the bill," said Knaperek, who represents Tempe and south Scottsdale. "This was a bill for the neighborhood. This was a constituent concern."

Residents were upset about several types of businesses in north Tempe, she said. The topless club would be the first of its kind in Tempe, though the city has several adult clubs nearby.

The suit, filed last month under the club's legal name, Idaho Business Holdings LLC, asks the federal court to overturn the state law. It also demands Tempe issue a license and pay damages.

The suit includes the following claims:

. The business filed for a license in November 2005. City officials replied that the business met the city's requirements.

. Days later, the city told the club that an irregular parcel of land at Indian Bend Wash jutted toward the proposed business. The entire parcel was considered part of the park and put the proposed business within the 1,000-foot buffer. But the business could legally split the lot and use just part of it to comply with the distance rule.

. Elite filed a lot-split request Feb. 6, 2006.

. Knaperek proposed a new statewide buffer Feb. 16. The bill contained an emergency clause so it would take affect as soon as it was signed. Gov. Janet Napolitano signed the bill in April.

. Tempe denied the business a license in May without giving specific reasons.

. Tempe made the club reapply that month. The new application meant the club would have to follow the stricter distance requirements - which made it impossible to open.

The suit notes Knaperek's bill was written as a "strikethrough" amendment, a procedural move where lawmakers take an existing bill, remove all the language and replace it with something that may have nothing to do with the original bill. Strike-through amendments are sometimes criticized as a technique to sneak controversial bills through the Legislature.

Knaperek denied using the strike-through to target Elite Cabaret, saying she already started writing the bill to address adult-business issues. She said she used the technique "because the bill was terrible" and needed to be completely rewritten.

"My bill was already moving," she said. "I didn't suddenly move my bill because of them."

The Legislature's online history of the bill, HB2490, shows it originally addressed sex offender registration but did not address the placement of adult businesses. Knaperek's new language did not address sex offender registration but instead created the quartermile buffer.

Knaperek disagreed with the suit's claim that her bill blocks people from constitutionally protected businesses. Cities and counties don't have to use the distance and can set shorter limits if they chose, she said. And even if her law makes it impossible for an adult business to open in Tempe, Knaperek noted south Scottsdale has similar clubs.

"There's lots of access for people to those businesses," Knaperek said.

Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman said Tempe recognizes that the U.S. Supreme Court has determined the First Amendment protects nude and topless clubs.

The city respects that, he said, but will also follow the state's buffer law.




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Old October 11th, 2006, 10:39 AM   #2
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Damn moral police.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #3
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They are just boobies. Lighten up people!
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Old October 11th, 2006, 11:11 AM   #4
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So we removed a law protecting us from convicted sex offenders to protect us from 100 lb girls taking their tops off.........

Nice move Knappy.......
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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:10 PM   #5
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I've had two or three run-ins with this gal. She not good for either side, Demo or Repub.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:12 PM   #6
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They are just boobies. Lighten up people!
They are not just boobies, they are SO much more than that...
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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:15 PM   #7
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So far in Missouri they've made it illegal to get within like 20 feet of the girls which killed all the clubs in the state....

But, we've got gambling, that's pefectly fine to lose your entire savings as long as the corporations kick back to the politicians but a strip club... forget about it.

Man you can mess with a lot of things but when a guy can't see different boobs for an hour or two a couple times a year instead of one set he's seen every day for over 20 years then this nation is just messed up!!!
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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:18 PM   #8
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So far in Missouri they've made it illegal to get within like 20 feet of the girls which killed all the clubs in the state....

But, we've got gambling, that's pefectly fine to lose your entire savings as long as the corporations kick back to the politicians but a strip club... forget about it.

Man you can mess with a lot of things but when a guy can't see different boobs for an hour or two a couple times a year instead of one set he's seen every day for over 20 years then this nation is just messed up!!!

Cross the Mississippi and go to Sauget, IL. All the boobies you want with all the booze you can drink and the only rule is "Don't touch the girls".
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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #9
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Why can't people just get boobs in the face in peace?
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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:38 PM   #10
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Cross the Mississippi and go to Sauget, IL. All the boobies you want with all the booze you can drink and the only rule is "Don't touch the girls".
In Vegas you can get around that last rule, for a price.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 06:48 PM   #11
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Rep. Knaperek's husband, Bob, was the GM at Earnhardt's Dodge when I first started there in 8/03 and he was booted in October or November for improprieties (cashing factory "spiff" checks of former employees). Rep. Knaperek's son, Chris, is still a salesman in the Earnhardt's corporation in the Mr. Ed department where he consistently buries people in the vehicles they purchase from him. Their family, for all their moral haughtiness and Mormon pomp, just doesn't seem very decent....
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Old October 11th, 2006, 09:38 PM   #12
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Cross the Mississippi and go to Sauget, IL. All the boobies you want with all the booze you can drink and the only rule is "Don't touch the girls".
I could do that but I'm on the Kansas City side of the state there 40, that's one heck of a road trip...

Before I was married when I worked in St. Louis we used to drive over to Sauget, had my first legal beer on my 21st birthday at Pops at 12:01 on a Sunday night, the best nights though were when the male strippers were going on until 11:00, after that they let the men in and the strippers left, shame I missed them really, but that was like shooting fish in the proverbial barrell, bunch of drunken worked up women... ah the memories..

All I have to do is drive 20 miles cross into Dorthy land, the land of Intelligent design and presto, apparently the bible thumpers over there still don't mind boobies in the face, lap dances, general debauchery is just fine.

The irony.
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Last edited by conraddobler; October 11th, 2006 at 09:43 PM.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 10:47 AM   #13
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In Oregon (Medford to be specific) the girl shoved her chest right into my face. I had glitter and smelled like a flower all the way fricking home!!

We have very few rules here. Total nudity, lap dances (she touches you not the other way around), they can get as close as they want but you have to keep your cool.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 11:09 AM   #14
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In Oregon (Medford to be specific) the girl shoved her chest right into my face. I had glitter and smelled like a flower all the way fricking home!!

We have very few rules here. Total nudity, lap dances (she touches you not the other way around), they can get as close as they want but you have to keep your cool.


Back in high school we used to cruise down from Corvallis to Eugene to the nudy bars because they had a few spots that were 18+ (Lollypops maybe?).

I left Oregon before I was 21, so I probably missed out on plenty of good bars. However, if you want to experience the pinnacle of nudy bars, spend a summer in Alaska.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 11:13 AM   #15
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However, if you want to experience the pinnacle of nudy bars, spend a summer in Alaska.
Bigger Nipples?
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