Pizza pitches cause heartburn in Houseby Dara Kam | March 16th, 2010
House members are going after bands of rogue pizza pitchmen that they say are targeting tourists in Central Florida by posing as pizza purveyors to gain entree into hotels.
The criminals hand out flyers with phony phone numbers and rape or steal from the unsuspecting tourists once they arrive at their hotel rooms to make their “deliveries,” Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association President Richard Maladecki told the House Domestic Security and Public Safety Committee this morning.
The proposal (PCB PSDS 10-03) would enhance penalties already on the books restricting people from putting flyers on cars in hotel or motel parking lots.
It would give law enforcement the ability to seize the cars, weapons or computers of repeat offenders who distribute the “handbills” without written permission of the owner.
And it would allow law enforcement officers to arrest potential offenders without probable cause.
The unions are up in arms over the measure because they fear it’s a way for hoteliers to keep workers from unionizing.
“There’s something else going on here other than pizza flyers. That has us very concerned,” Florida AFL-CIO spokesman Rich Templin told the committee.
And an Orlando pizzeria owner told the committee the proposal is a way for the large pizza chains to shut out small business owners like himself.
“I think that what this boils down to is that you want people to have permission to come into your facility.
At the end of the day these are private properties,” said Rep. Julio Robaina, R-Miami. “Would you not agree that it would be a good idea that before you walk into any private property you would have some consent before you pass out flyers?”
The measure would enhance penalties for a new law approved by lawmakers now requiring that people handing out flyers on private property get permission from the owners.
The committee approved the bill, which has several more stops before getting to the House floor.