Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ms. Janke’s Profession

Here’s your “weird news from Florida” story for the day.

A South Florida town manager who married a porn star last year was fired at an emergency meeting after the mayor and council members learned about it.

Fort Myers Beach town council voted 5-0 to fire Scott Janke “without cause” after Mayor Larry Kiker called the Tuesday night meeting.

Kiker said he learned that afternoon that Janke’s wife is an adult film star, and the elected officials took the action a few hours later.

“At no time did we make a judgment call on the activities of Mr. Janke or his wife,” Kiker told The Associated Press. “It’s a matter of how effective he becomes after this situation. How much disruption there is.”

Adult Industry News recently reported that Janke’s wife, Anabela Mota Janke, goes by the stage name Jazella Moore.

Kiker said a clause in Janke’s contract permitted the council to fire him with a majority vote. He said he considers the Jankes friends.

“Our heads are held high,” Scott Janke said. “We have nothing to be embarrassed about. We’ve done nothing wrong.”

Okay, let’s see: Mr. Janke was doing his job without any complaints, and his wife, who is not involved with the city government in any way, has a job that is perfectly legal and that we can only assume has nothing whatsoever to do with the business of the city. And yet Mr. Janke gets fired?

There’s nothing in the article that identifies the political affiliations of the members of the town council, but knowing that part of the state, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that they are probably identified with the one that carries on about how it upholds “traditional family values.” So they’re firing a guy who is happily married, raising their children, and serving his community all because they’re worried about appearances? (And I wonder how many members of the city council suddenly recognized Mrs. Janke from their private film collections.) In light of recent revelations about public figures like senators and governors who actually committed adultery and lied about it to their families and their constituents yet remain on the job, this is just a tad ironic.

I’m not going to make any judgments about Ms. Janke’s profession and whether or not she contributes to the exploitation and objectification of women. That may easily be, but in this instance — her husband being fired because of her profession — it is breathtakingly irrelevant.

The city may have been within its legal rights to terminate Mr. Janke without cause, but sure makes them look like ignorant tight-asses.