Henry Waxman’s “Operation Snookie”

Last year whistleblower Lila Rose, made national headlines when she went undercover, posing as a teen sex worker seeking abortion services at Planned Parenthoods across the country. The incriminating videos caught Planned Parenthood employees breaking state mandatory reporting laws for minors and advising a male pimp on how to evade the law when bringing in his underage foreign sex workers for “services”.

Not surprisingly, the explosive videos have triggered a congressional investigation and the loss of more than $60 million of government funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Not to be outdone, Rep. Henry Waxman of California launched his own undercover investigation of illegal, false and misleading information about ….tanning.

Yes.  Call it “Operation Snookie”.

Rep. Waxman has the already beleaguered tanning industry in his crosshairs.  In  2010 they were hit with a 10% tax to pay for Obamacare and though they are regulated by both the State Department of Consumer Affairs and the federal Food and Drug Administration, Rep. Henry Waxman thinks these largely women-owned businesses need more government regulations in this tough economy.

Unable to pass for a teenager in search of sun-kissed shoulders for her strapless prom dress, Waxman ordered Democratic staff and college interns of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to call more than 300 salons posing as underage girls considering purchasing tanning sessions for the first time.

Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

It turns out Rep. Waxman is a long-time fan of undercover telephone sting investigations.  In 2004 he was worried that pro-life crisis pregnancy centers were giving women misleading information about their post-abortion mental and emotional health.  So he used undercover pro-choicers to call Crisis Pregnancy Centers in hopes of taking away their grant money.

However, Waxman is particular about the kind of congressional probes that stem from these type of sting operations.  This week he railed against the “invasive” nature of his fellow House Energy and Commerce Committee colleague, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood to see if they are illegally using taxpayer money for abortions. Waxman branded Stearn’s inquiry an ”abuse” of government resources.

Back to Operation Snookie.  In Waxman’s home state of California, state law already prohibits customers under the age of 18 from using tanning salons.  One can only presume that “Operation Snookie” is aimed at making it a nationwide ban – one that isn’t limited to protecting the unsuspecting, affluent White girls of Malibu and Beverly Hills High whom he represents in Congress.

The truth is that Waxman’s concern for teenage girls is only skin deep – excuse the pun.  With his 100% NARAL approval rating, he would never dream of banning abortion procedures for these same underage girls – just tans.  And he opposes stiff parental notification laws (the bill he voted for merely “encourages parental participation”).  Even more revealing, he voted against restrictions to prevent the interstate transport of minors to get abortions. It’s totally illogical.

When it comes to the protection of underage girls Rep. Waxman is either blinded by ideology, or just plain foolish.  In which case he won’t need a steroid enhanced six-pack or a deep orange glow to fit in at the infamous Jersey Shore house.

Full disclosure:  I have a relative who owns a tanning salon and I am personally guilty of engaging in pre-spring break artificial tanning as an Arizona State University co-ed.



  • Bruce


  • Tom

    As a dermatologist who specializes in treating skin cancer, I treat more and more young women every year with melanoma and other skin cancers. Most if not all of the young women are frequent tanners. I know that Waxman is right about tanning – even though he’s wrong about abortion. Even a pro-abortion politician can be right about something once in a while. I see these kind of sting operations published regularly in my professional journals, and I applaud them just as I applaud Live Action’s work (although Live Action’s work is much more important). There is truly no such thing as a healthy tan, and those pre-vacation tans don’t protect against burning. The pigment that the tanning bed produces (by UVA) is different than that produced by sunlight (by UVB). A tan is a sign of dead skin cells.


    Dear Rachael ~ As a Melanoma survivor, I can’t help being just little bit sympathetic to Waxman’s concerns. ~ Pax, Greg

  • kdwb

    Great article!



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