The Minnesota's House will take up SF3367 today, a bill whose House author is Anoka Republican Abigail Whelan, who is retiring at the end of the session.
The bill, which will require lodging facility employees to be trained to recognize sex trafficking, enjoys bipartisan authorship in the chamber, from the conservative Whelan to Apple Valley's progressive DFL Erin Maye Quade. The senate language replaces the original House bill, which Whelan and a bi-partisan group of representatives support.
Om social media, Don Huizinga, an Anoka County Republican activist and once-aspiring state senate candidate, ridiculed Whelan's support for the bill after sharing Action4Liberty co-chair Jake Duesenberg's objections to the bill. Co-author Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, ably defended her in a comment.
Bluestem is struck by another aspect of the Huizenga rant against the bill, so much so that we wonder if the entire matter is simply an elaborate troll. He began his post:
Why do Republicans in Minnesota write this kind of stuff? Don't they realize they are adding unnecessary costs and burdens into the private sector, a tangible outcome, in the hopes of reducing loosely defined sex trafficking (intangible outcome), a problem that didn't exist in MN prior to all of this sanctuary city, Islamist immigration? What is the purpose of this bill?
The notion that sex trafficking didn't exist in Minnesota prior to "this sanctuary city, Islamist immigration" would make a cat laugh. We're hoping that even Dan Fabian can see the problem.
In fact, Minnesota enjoyed a robust reputation for sex trafficking during the 1970s, years before the concept of "sanctuary city" rose in the 1980s in response to the denial of refugees' requests for asylum from politically unstable countries in Central America.
In fact, Minnesota enjoyed a robust reputation for sex trafficking during the 1970s, years before the collapse of the Barre regime in Somalia in 1990 and UN intervention later in the decade.
Indeed, the state earned unwelcomed headlines for the "Minnesota Pipeline," in which teen-age girls ran away from small towns, were groomed by pimps and madams in the Twin Cities, then marketed to New York City and other points out-of-state.
Minnesotans read headlines like The 'Minnesota Pipeline' Sends Teenage Hookers to New York, and Al Palmquist Wants to Plug It in People magazine.
But less sensational headlines and detailed accounts graced the New York Times. While some scholars have questioned the "pipeline" to New York City, their accounts nonetheless note that troubled girls fleeing small towns were recruited into underaged prostitution.
Instead, trafficking in under-aged girls was more diffuse geographically. In Money, Not New York, Lures Minnesota Prostitutes, (since the pimps were making the plans, they were the ones making the money, so the headline is unfortunate), the Times' Nathaniel Sheppard reported in 1977:
Although the number of young prostitutes from Minnesota who ply their trade in Manhattan is large, conversations here with police officers and prostitutes themselves suggest there is no formal network that channels women from Minneapolis into New York's redlight district.
New York, it appears from this examination, is but one of a dozen cities that may attract the women and their pimps. And rather than the highly publicized “pipeline” carrying girls from the Middle West to Eighth Avenue's seamy “Minnesota Strip,” the prostitutes are simply lured to the cities where their earning prospects are best. The so‐called pipeline flows in many directions, to wherever the money and the action are.
“A pimp may read or hear that some big convention is going on somewhere and tell a girl’ to hop on a bus, train or plane and meet him there,” said one St. Paul teen‐ager who at 19 is a veteran prostitute.
“First, he usually lets her work the streets or topless bars here and in small towns around the state and Iowa,” she said, “to learn the ropes and to make enough money to pay for them to get there.”
Sometimes the women go on their own, but more often they go on brutally enforced orders from their pimps, who set minimum daily earnings quotas that may range from $100 to $400, depending on the city, several young prostitutes said in interviews.
Juveniles have accounted for much of the increase in prostitution in Minneapolis, according to the police here. Of 60 prostitution arrests in 1970, for example, there were no juveniles involved and the average age of the women arrested was 25 years.
In 1976, however, juveniles accounted for 73 of the 389 women arrested for prostitution, dropping the average age of those arrested to 19.5 years. The police estimate that there are about 1,500 prostitutes in the Minneapolis‐St. Paul metropolitan area, which has a population of about 1.5 million people. About 25 percent of the prostitutes are 18 years of age or younger. . .
There's more misinformed malarky in the comments, including this choice remark from a west central Minnesota activist:
Don't forget the big push to normalize pedophilia isn't for the benefit of the LGBTQ community either, it is to eventually help a religious system where child brides are the norm, hence the rise in child sex trafficking.
This wisdom needs to be shelved with that of those who thought an image in a poster for anti-FGM rally meant the organizers were secretly plotting to normalize the illegal practice for all girls, as we noted in Can't make it up: MN anti-Muslim activist sees huge liberal conspiracy in #StopFGM poster.
We're hoping the House passes that bill and provides another tool to curb sex trafficking, regardless of this dubious logic. How bad is it? We'll leave readers with Representative Miller's comment:
Tim Miller I am a proud co-author on this bill. Abigail Whelan is one of the true Godly champions of conservatism in the MN House. To denigrate her character based on this bill is to ignore her record and how she lives her life. To know her is to know that if she authored this bill should give it credibility to its content. You, Don, have accused her of being paid off to author this bill. Shame on you. She personally had this written based on her convictions. Is it perfect? Perhaps not, but the legislative process refines.
This bill has very wide support. Why? Because 14 year old girls are being dragged into having sex with middle age guys, often married with kids of their own, and some pimp is making thousands of dollars daily off of them. This is happening in hotels and motels throughout the state. I personally do not like mandates by government on private businesses, but are you aware that even that industry is supporting this bill?
I have worked intensely on this issue for four years and I can tell you trafficking is very real in Minnesota. Attacking Abigail in this way tells me you do not understand the issue and have no intention of ever doing so.
It's not often we agree with either Whelan or Miller, but there you go.
For more on sex trafficking in Minnesota, we recommend Super Bowl the biggest time for sex trafficking? That’s a myth. Here’s what happens every day in the Twin Cities.
UPDATE: The Minnesota House passed the bill without a dissenting vote.
Photo: The Facebook post. The activist goes on the say the bill would enrich Senator Abeler's wife.
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