- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
APNewsBreak: Steven Tyler to testify in Hawaii
Question of the Day
HONOLULU (AP) - Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler plans to attend a legislative hearing in Hawaii on Friday on a bill that bears his name and would limit people’s freedom to take photos and video of celebrities.
Hawaii’s Senate Judiciary Committee plans to consider the so-called Steven Tyler Act on Friday morning, the first time lawmakers will discuss the bill publicly.
A publicist for the former “American Idol” judge told The Associated Press on Thursday that Tyler submitted written testimony supporting the proposal, which would allow people to collect damages from someone who photographs them in an offensive way during their personal or family time.
“The paradise of Hawaii is a magnet for celebrities who just want a peaceful vacation,” Tyler said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. “As a person in the public eye, I know the paparazzi are there and we have to accept that. But when they intrude into our private space, disregard our safety and the safety of others, that crosses a serious line that shouldn’t be ignored.”
More than a dozen celebrities have submitted testimony supporting the bill, including Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Neil Diamond, Tommy Lee and the Osborne family. The letters all included the same text.
The stars say paparazzi have made simple activities like cooking with family and sunbathing elusive luxuries and the bill would give them peace of mind.
“Providing a remedy to the often-egregious acts of the paparazzi is a very notable incentive to purchase property or vacation on the islands,” the stars said. “Not only would this help the local economy, but it would also help ensure the safety of the general public, which can be threatened by crowds of cameramen or dangerous high-speed car chases.”
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said he supports the intent of the bill but said it may need to be refined. The state attorney general will testify about legal concerns concerning the bill’s language.
Sen. Kalani English, from Maui, said he introduced the bill at the request of Tyler, who owns a multimillion-dollar home in Maui. More than two-thirds of the state’s senators have co-sponsored the bill.
The bill will spur celebrity tourism to the islands, boosting Hawaii’s economy, English said.
Opponents say the bill could be unconstitutional.
Laurie Temple, an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, said Thursday the bill would punish freedoms of expression protected by the First Amendment.
She said lawmakers should support better enforcement of current stalking laws rather than passing new legislation.
The National Press Photographers Association said the bill is “well-meaning but ill-conceived” and tramples on constitutional rights.
The New York-based organization represents numerous national media organizations with its letter, including the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press Media Editors and the American Society of News Editors.
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq