Wayne Flynt


Florida politicians show up in strange places. Shawn Ryan, pop music writer for The Birmingham News, authored a column on March 2, 1990, about Governor Robert Martinez’s attempt to purge Florida record stores of obscene material. A special session of the Florida legislature had just pulverized the governor’s antiabortion legislative package. Martinez sought to recover by ordering a record by 2 Live Crew, “As Nasty As They Wanna Be,” removed from record store shelves in Dade County. The fact that the governor of a state with more than its share of adult book stores and pornography palaces should have targeted records as an issue on which to take his stand probably tells more about political strategy than religion. He explained to a Newsweek reporter, “If you answer the phone one night and the voice on the other ends begins to read the lyrics of one of these songs, you’d say you received an obscene phone call.“