Terming it a "give away to trial lawyers," a conservative media watchdog group has called upon Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R, at left) to oppose HB 353, which is currently under consideration by the State Senate.
The measure would make retailers who advertise that they abide by age restrictions for video games and movies potentially liable under Utah's truth in advertising law. As reported on GamePolitics, HB 353 passed the State House by a 70-2 margin last week.
Derek Hunter, executive director of the Media Freedom Project, wrote to Huntsman yesterday:
In a state famous for hosting the Sundance Film Festival, amending the [law] to include [video game and movie] transactions would have a chilling effect on the film industry, as well as other retail businesses, and further damage an already ailing economy.
Specifically, the Media Freedom Project strongly opposes opening up businesses to lawsuits for underage video game or movie sales. This give away to trial lawyers won’t make kids safer, but will build in dramatically higher costs for small businesses who are already working on strategies to keep kids safe...
No crisis exists. Parents are not clamoring for government intervention into the lives of their children...
Should the Utah State Senate pass HB 353 (and they have until Thursday midnight to do so), it would be up to Gov. Huntsman to sign the measure into law or veto it.
Sourcewatch reports that the Media Freedom Project is an offshoot of Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform.
GP: Especially fascinating about the Media Freedom Project's involvement is that they are a conservative group lobbying against a bill that was proposed by a conservative legislator, Rep. Mike Morley, in the most conservative of states, Utah. Moreover, the bill enjoys the backing of the ultra-conservative Utah Eagle Forum and was originally drafted by another conservative, disbarred Miami attorney Jack Thompson.
DOCUMENT DUMP: Grab a copy of the MFP's letter to Gov. Huntsman here.