EDISON, NJ—Despite strenuous efforts by township officials to keep the Exxxotica Expo from taking place this weekend, the show will go on at the New Jersey Expo Center in Raritan Center, Sept. 25-27.
In a move reminiscent of the Keystone Cops, the Edison Township even tried to stop the Exxxotica Expo by amending its zoning law to prohibit shows or sales of sexually oriented products at gatherings within 1,000 feet of a school, church, hospital or playground. Unfortunately for them, the Raritan Center is not within 1,000 feet of a school, church, hospital or playground. Oops.
That effort was just the latest attempt by New Jersey officials to prevent the Exxxotica Expo from taking place in the state. Last year, the event moved to the New Jersey Expo Center after officials in Secaucus filed a lawsuit to block it from the Meadowlands Expo Center.
"I think it's wonderful," Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell said at the time. "I'm not a prude, but I just don't think this is the kind of event we want in Secaucus."
Edison Mayor Jun Choi felt the same way but thus far has failed in his attempts to run the conference out of town.
"I strongly object to this type of gathering in our community," Choi said last year. "There's no place for this in our family-oriented community."
Secaucus officials had argued that the fact that the Meadowlands serves alcohol made an adult entertainment show at the venue unacceptable, but the Raritan does not serve alcohol. Edison city officials determined their only recourse was to amend the zoning law, which they accomplished two weeks ago after voting to prohibit any shows or sale of sexually oriented products in gatherings of 100 or more people at any place located within 1,000 feet of a place of public worship, school, playground, hospital or any child care center, or an area zoned for residential use.
"It turns out that the Expo Center is not within 1,000 feet of any of those things mentioned in the ordinance," said Daniel Adams, a spokesperson for Victory Tradeshow Management, the producers of the convention.
Ironically, or not, the wrangling among Edison city council members over the zoning change may even impact the city’s upcoming mayoral election. A clip was posted to YouTube recently that shows Edison Councilwoman Antonia Ricigliano, the Democratic nominee for mayor, at a recent council meeting, mulling over whether to support the amended zoning ordinance.
No one has taken responsibility for posting the video, but according to NJ.com, “Dennis Pipala, her Republican opponent, is using it to bolster his campaign. While Ricigliano eventually voted yes for the ordinance, Pipala said her waffling poses a problem.”
And we thought New Jersey and porn went together like soup and sandwiches.