NAC Update
WISCONSIN ASSEMBLY BILL 574

March 17, 2004

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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
                             UPDATE
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                 http://www.naturistsociety.com/NAC/
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DATE   : March 17, 2004
SUBJECT: VICTORY! Wisconsin anti-nudity legislation dies
TO     : All Naturists

Dear Naturist,

The Naturist Action Committee is pleased to report a victory for naturists in the matter of anti-nudity legislation proposed for the state of Wisconsin. As a result of a great deal of hard work and YOUR valuable participation, Assembly Bill 574 never emerged from the legislative committee to which it was initially assigned.

This NAC Update includes further details on this important win. Additionally, it presents you with an opportunity to take a proactive stance by acknowledging the fairness and wisdom of a Wisconsin lawmaker who played a key role in this process.


ASSEMBLY BILL 574

AB 574 was introduced by Representative Daniel LeMahieu (R-Oostburg). It sought to outlaw nudity on all land owned, managed, supervised, or controlled by any state agency. LeMahieu made it clear that the bill targeted Mazo Beach specifically.


WHAT HAS NAC DONE?

Upon the introduction of the bill, the Naturist Action Committee immediately retained a professional legislative lobbyist to assist its efforts. The American Association for Nude Recreation and the Midwest Sunbathing Association each agreed to pay a portion of the lobbyist's fee, and NAC expresses its sincere thanks to AANR and MSA for their timely help in this important matter.

NAC worked vigorously and on multiple fronts to defeat AB 574. With the essential participation of local allies like Friends of Mazo Beach, NAC coordinated an impressive opposition to the bill in a public hearing before the Assembly's Tourism Committee. Three Naturist Action Committee board members and a NAC Area Representative took part in that public hearing.


WHO SUPPORTED AB 574?

Primary public support for this anti-nudity bill came from followers of Ralph Ovadal, leader of a dwindling but vociferous group he calls Wisconsin Christians United (WCU). Ovadal's group occasionally pickets the parking lot and road at Mazo Beach. Ovadal has been convicted twice for his antics at Mazo.

In addition to Assembly sponsor LeMahieu, support in the state legislature came from Sen. Tom Reynolds (R-West Allis). Sen. Reynolds, Senate sponsor of AB 574, was one of the handful of participants in WCU's "Conference on Homo-Fascism," staged last year in Milwaukee.


WHO OPPOSED THE BILL?

A broad coalition was formed in opposition to AB 574. In addition to naturists and nudists, civil libertarians, local residents and others opposed the bill as being "inappropriate" and "meddlesome."

In two letters sent to state lawmakers, the Mazomanie Town Council strongly opposed AB 574.


NAC ASKED FOR YOUR ACTION, AND YOU RESPONDED!

In a NAC Action Alert dated October 15, 2003, the Naturist Action Committee asked you to contact Wisconsin lawmakers who are members of the Assembly Tourism Committee. Your response was overwhelming, and NAC THANKS YOU! Your grass roots contacts truly made a difference.


IMPORTANT: A CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING PROACTIVE

Throughout the legislative process, the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Tourism showed an outstanding sense of fairness and proportion, while keeping a strong hand on the process. State Representative Mark Pettis, a member of the Republican legislative majority from Hertel, Wisconsin, deserves our thanks. He refused to allow the issue to be sensationalized, and he maintained an even-handedness that deserves to be recognized and applauded.

NAC is asking you to send a very brief written note of acknowledgment and appreciation to Rep. Pettis, using your own words to thank him for his fair and appropriate handling of AB 574. Postal letters, faxes and e-mails are all fine. Your simple and gracious act of follow-through at this moment of victory could prove to be of immense value if a similar bill appears in a subsequent legislative session.

  Rep. Mark Pettis
  Room 20 North
  State Capitol
  Madison, WI 53708
  Fax: (608) 282-3628
  E-mail: rep.pettis@legis.state.wi.us

Please take a couple of minutes to write a note of thanks to Rep. Pettis now. Be sure to mention the bill's number: AB 574.


MORE INFORMATION

For additional information, go the web site of the Naturist Action Committee:

  www.naturistsociety.com/NAC

  Select "Alerts," click on "View Current," and then Select Wisconsin AB 574 to view this NAC Update. Links will take you to additional information, including the complete text of the proposed law.


HELP NAC CONTINUE TO HELP NATURISTS!

Legislative lobbyists are expensive, and NAC does not have a membership roster on which to assess dues. NAC relies on the generosity of voluntary donors to fund its defense of naturism. Won't you please take a moment to help NAC by sending a generous contribution?

Donors who send $20 or more receive 12 monthly issues of The Newsletter as a token of our appreciation. There's no better way to keep current on issues of importance to naturists.

You may send your donation to the address below, or you may call toll free (800) 886-7230 to donate by phone using your MasterCard or Visa.

  NAC
  PO Box 132
  Oshkosh, WI 54903
 

Thank you for choosing to make a difference!

Naturally,

Nicky Hoffman
Board Member
Naturist Action Committee

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Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton      - <ctnudists@aol.com>
Board Member Nicky Hoffman     - <nickyh@naturistsociety.com>
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick - <naturist@sunclad.com>
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