California political blogger resigns to head to Sacramento

frankrussoCongratulations to Frank Russo, the man behind one of California’s finest and most thorough political blogs, the California Progress Report, as he steps down as editor and publisher of the site to take on the role of chief of staff to newly elected Assemblymember Nancy Skinner.

Frank is passing the reigns of the blog to a non-profit, and explains the emotions of the bittersweet transition this way:

I am reminded of the words of advice of Scoop Nisker when he concluded his news report in the 70’s on KSAN radio: “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.” Shortly, with the good graces of Assemblymember Skinner, I’ll be doing that.


A Day (or days) Without a Homosexual

daywoagay“No Gays for A Day” day is off to a good start, according to LA Times columnist Joel Stein, who came up with the idea. As layed out yesterday, for December 5th he’s rallying all gays to “stay home from work, school and do no shopping, to prove how crucial they are to American society.”

He’s already been able to enlist’s Amy Balliett to spread the word using the same contacts she’s used to recruit at least 250,000 people nationwide to protest Prop 8 tomorrow. And Stein also was able to convince comedienne Kathy Griffin to be a spokesperson for the cause.

With this help, hopefully there will be some actual organization among the anti-Prop 8 movement, as a number of Facebook groups and events had been posted previously calling for a similar Day Without A Gay, albeit for December 10th, to coincide with National Human Rights Day. The largest of these pages has 744 people listed as attending (whereas a group page listing Stein’s Dec. 5th event currently only has 11 members).

First Bernard Parks, now Banjamin Netanyahu ripping off Obama campaign site?

As you may recall, a couple months back we looked into the Bernard Parks for County Supervisor website lifting not only the look, but entire code from the Barack Obama site.

Well, not it looks like Benjamin Netanyahu’s website may be doing the same:

Why would Netanyahu want to emulate someone Joe the Plumber said could be a threat to Israel? Or perhaps it was Bernard Parks, not Obama, who Netanyahu is trying to imitate?

…thanks to Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein for the tip!

Elton John: Gays should settle for civil partnerships

Elton John, who’s been in a civil partnership with another man since 2005, had some words about why Prop 8 passed:

“What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage.”

“I don’t want to be married. I’m very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership,” John says. “The word ‘marriage,’ I think, puts a lot of people off.

“You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships.” [from USA Today]

So, then if gay couples who enter a civil partnership aren’t married, how do we refer to them? Civil partnered?

Is this really a ridiculous, semantical debate about the ownership of the word “marriage”? Since when has bigotry been so petty?

What John’s quotes don’t reflect is the sentiment among the anti-gay marriage crowd is that being gay in itself is either immoral, unnatural, a choice, a disease, or a combination of all four. Perhaps John is totally aware of this, but is willing to settle for a “seperate but equal” legal definition over what is technically the same thing?

Gay marriage supporters boycotting classic L.A. Mexican restaurant

Pic by Amy Lemur used under Creative Commons

Pic by Amy Lemur used under Creative Commons

Some gay marriage supporters are calling for a boycott of El Coyote Cafe after learning that manager, and reportedly partial owner Marjorie Christoffersen donated $100 to Proposition 8 group

Flickr user Jeff Johnson writes that he talked with Marjorie at El Coyote this evening and asked her about the situation. She told him, “I love you guys, I would never do anything to hurt you, I wish I hadn’t done it”.

According to Jeff, Marjorie is having an open breakfast at 11:00 AM on Wed, Nov 12 to speak to the community.

My friend James, who tipped me off to this, added:

The only thing that will get them out of this is a huge public apology and a shitload of money for Repeal Prop. 8.

I guess the message is: Don’t fuck with the gays. They’ll trash your hair, your clothes, your interiors…and then they’ll close down your restaurant!

My question is this: is it worth boycotting what has been known as a gay friendly restaurant over a donation made and view held by one person, affecting the paychecks of dozens of other employees? Is this an effective way to rally people to your side?

Fightin’ Mad Mary, and Micah at Shut up! I know!, have joined the boycott, and Eater LA has chimed in on the issue.

Early voters find the fun in four hour line

Note: I’ve been moving all of my local political writing from here at California Faultline directly to KNBC’s new site, NBC Los Angeles.

In spite of an anticipated 4 hour plus wait, voters outside of the L.A. County Registrar/Recorders Office on Sunday were surprisingly jovial. Many had come prepared with chairs, mp3 players, and books, but most seemed to be caught up in conversation struck up with fellow Angelenos they had only just met in line.

Early voting in Norwalk, CA

In a highly unofficial survey, I tried to find out who’d read the most while waiting in line, and was usually disappointed to hear people had only read a couple pages, or in the case of Marie from Bell, had “read the same page seven times.”

Early voting in Norwalk, CA

The winner was Edana Almanza (above), who’d read through over 200 pages of “Breaking Dawn,” one of the novels in the “Twilight” series. The mother of three came to Norwalk with her husband Matt because she couldn’t find a babysitter for Tuesday.

While most voters were aware that their employers were required to give paid time off to vote, none seemed aware of the express ballot option that would have allowed them to simply call in and reserve a ballot, thus saving them hours in line (if only they’d read NBC Los Angeles more often).

Early voting in Norwalk, CA

Actor Eric ### rolled up and asked for suggestions where to park, but considered coming back Monday after hearing of the long wait in line.

Early voting in Norwalk, CA

This motley crew of new friends were among 10 people who’d sent another man out on a McDonalds run.

Early voting in Norwalk, CA

Possibly the most depressing sight all day: “Waiting Period from This Point Is 3 Hours” greets voters into the tent after standing in line for over 2 hours, although staff members said most people would finish much quicker. Once inside, voters waited for their number to be called. When “666” was announced, the entire tent erupted with applause.

Poll: Gay marriage ban, parental notification proposition losing

Poll results released by the Public Policy Institute of California indicate low confidence in economy and direction of the state.

A survey taken this month by the non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California indicates close races for key state propositions but strong dissatisfaction of government and little faith in the economy.

Poll results show 46% of likely California voters support Proposition 4 calling for parental notification before a minor could have an abortion. A measure that would allow redistricting of state office lines, Proposition 11, shows support of 41%. Perhaps the most volatile of state measures, Proposition 8, appears likely for defeat with 46% supporting a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

The Institute based its results on the polling of 2,004 English and Spanish speaking Californian residents between October 12th and 19th, and has a +-2% margin of error.

Additional results:

  • 56% of likely voters will cast ballots for the Obama-Biden ticket,  with only 33% going for McCain-Palin, a 23 point deficit.
  • 71% believe California is heading in the wrong direction.
  • 74% forsee California’s economy having “bad times” over the next 12 months.
  • 79% believe California is in a recession (and 39% would call the recession “serious”)
  • 47% responded that they don’t believe the Federal government’s actions to fix the financial crisis have helped.

[h/t Policy Report]