When will we get to vote on Mayor Greg Nickels' sensible four-foot rule for strippers? It looks like at the general election of Tuesday, Nov. 7, not, as I had hoped, in September's primary. Two wealthy strip-club owners, Roger Forbes, who owns the Deja Vu chain, and the Colacurcio clan that owns Rick's in Lake City, have bought their way onto the ballot to force a referendum on the law that requires strippers to stay four feet away from customers, essentially banning lap dances and taking a lot of money out of the pockets of the strip-club moguls.
Most strip clubs are lousy neighbors. Lots of illegal drugs, prostitution, violence, and public drunkenness surround them. A little regulation will help to keep them pacified.
The best time for the supporters of such nanny-state legislation would be on the September ballot, when turnout is smaller and the voters are more conservative. Since the strip-club kingpins have around $200,000 in the bank (they've already spent around $300,000) and no organized opposition, it looks like the law could use all the help it could get. Seattle City Clerk Judith Pippin says, however, that the best advice she is getting from the city attorney's department indicates that referenda are supposed to be on the general election ballot.