Dana and the Porn King

OC Christian politician takes money from pornographer

Only a bad acid trip or real life in Orange County could conjure up this question: Is there a relationship between pudgy, polyester-clad U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher, 59, and the "Wascally Wabbit Vibrator," "Miracle Dick Pump," "Paradise Pocket Pussy," "Triple Clit Flicker," "So Real 8-inch Dong," "Aria's Pussy and Ass Inflatable Doll" and such cinematic wonders as Sprachen ze Dick and Everybody Loves Big Boobies, Vol. 3?

Sadly, yes.

My apologies for the unfortunate images that may have formed in your cerebral cortex. While you're calming your nerves with a stiff cocktail, here's a brief background of the conservative, Christian congressman's losing battle with hypocrisy and the $500 contribution he recently took from one of the nation's biggest pornographers.


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In its Sept. 12, 2001, "Horror and Hindsight" story, The Orange County Register portrayed Rohrabacher (a former Reg employee) as the politician whose insights—not delusions—could have prevented 9-11 if anyone had listened. News of Rohrabacher's grandeur spread through right-wing blogs across the nation. And then the yarn died.

To the 10-term congressman's dismay, the Weekly exposed that Rohrabacher—who claimed a high-school injury to avoid Vietnam War combat duty—was no modern-day Nostradamus. Documents proved he'd actually argued that the Taliban's reputation had been unfairly smeared by American journalists. He demanded increased U.S. support for the totalitarian regime at the same time it was harboring Osama bin Laden and his terrorists as they planned their suicide attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

By January 2004, our series of reports on Rohrabacher's Middle East blunders prompted him to tell an audience at the Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce the Weekly's reports couldn't be trusted. Why? The paper is "funded by pornographers," he fumed, presumably not alluding to our then-Wall-Street-investment-bank owners but the popular massage/personal ads in the back of the publication.

It was an erroneous assertion loaded with hypocrisy. In 1998, I exposed that one of the top contributors to Orange County's allegedly "pro-life" Republican politicians—including Rohrabacher—was Dr. Edward Allred, who bragged he was the nation's busiest abortion doctor. Rohrabacher liked to party with Allred on the weekends at a local racetrack.

A year later, Rohrabacher expressed outrage about campaign contributions to President Bill Clinton. He claimed the Chinese had obtained highly sensitive military technology after Clinton took money from Communist-tied sources. But, in fact, Rohrabacher voted at least twice for technology transfers to China, and he also wrote a letter to then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher demanding Hughes Electronics Corp.—one of his biggest contributors—be allowed to sell its advanced satellites to the Communists.

Rohrabacher's response to the Weekly: "How did you get that letter?"

Now, we've got the congressman taking money from a man who sells the "Swirltop Butt Plug," distributes vaginal and anal lube to Southeast Asian prostitutes, and produces XXX films.


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Philip D. Harvey of Chapel Hill, North Carolina is a likeable, straight-forward fellow who isn't embarrassed that the source of his reportedly large personal fortune is uninhibited sex—heterosexual, gay, lesbian, kink, solo and with (hopefully pliable) inanimate objects. As owner of Adam & Eve, Harvey makes porn films and sells sex toys, including a large variety of masturbation devices. In 2001, he wrote The Government vs. Erotica: The Siege of Adam & Eve, which details his battles against law enforcement over the right to sell porn. As president of DKT International, he supplies government-subsidized condoms and lube to individuals and sex workers in developing countries such as Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Mexico, Malaysia and India.

Harvey is no mystery to the Huntington Beach/Long Beach representative. Rohrabacher sat on a powerful House committee that approved hundreds of millions of dollars in HIV/AIDS funding tied to Harvey-related operations. In the months before he took $500 from Harvey last October, Rohrabacher had been given a congressional dossier by Republican staff. A copy of that 10-page report, which was obtained by the Weekly, described Harvey as a "porn powerhouse" who is subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.

In 2005, Harvey caused a huge stink in the nation's capital when he refused a Bush administration string on federal HIV/AIDS funds: the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) now requires recipients to declare opposition to prostitution and sex trafficking. Harvey refused, claiming his free-speech rights had been infringed. He won in a lower court, but in late February, a federal appellate panel reversed that ruling and sided with the government. Harvey says he is contemplating an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a March telephone interview, Harvey—who usually gives money to such liberal Democrats as Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts)—said he doesn't care that Rohrabacher is pals with the likes of the Reverend Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition. He appreciates the congressman's "opposition to the war on drugs." He also said he hopes Rohrabacher's libertarian views would mean he'd be an ally against pesky federal officials.

"I like the guy," said Harvey.

Is the feeling mutual? Does Rohrabacher feel dirty or tainted because he accepted porn money? We may never find out. The congressman did not respond to interview requests for this story.

rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com

 
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