Kevin And Don Respond To Being Self Loathing

Looking back at their journey from the Stonewall Democratic Club to Log Cabin Republicans, they claim it was one that was actually started by the democrats. After being told that marriage as not a priority on the agenda in 1995, they became disillusioned with the DEMS. For a decade they felt like they did not belong until they met the republicans of the Log Cabin Republican Club and discovered they too shared a dream of marriage equality. This blog is now a digital time capsule of their time as Republicans and moderated by a friend and supporter.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bush Signs Bill To Save Veteran’s Property In Los Angeles

THE ARTICLE FOLLOWS THIS EXCHANGE OF EMAILS FROM THE SPRING OF 2006-----Original Message-----
From: Kev [mailto:DELETED]
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2006 4:24 AM
To: DELETED
Subject: Assemblymember Koretz Might Look To Block Sale Of Pubic Land

I have heard that Assemblymember Koretz is looking into stopping the auction of the 10 acres that was originally deeded to the veterans in 1888 because of possible restrictions on the property and the fact that the property was intended for Los Angeles veterans and that the swap for potential worthless desert land should be stopped.

RESPONSE
Hi,
That's a distinct possibility. All of the politicos seem to be zeroing in on the idea that the land should revert to vets. Unfortunately,
the full 10 acres was transferred to the Army (or Army Reserve?) fair and square, apparently with no clause that it should revert to the VA. So the Army is the legitimate "owner."
Don't know what you mean by "swap for potential worthless desert land." My understanding is that the winning bidder would simply have to erect some replacement buildings at one of the three other military facilities mentioned by the Army.
Anyhow, we'll see how it plays out.
May I ask who you are?
DELETED

-----Original Message-----
From: Kev [mailto:DELETED]
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2006 10:41 AM
To: [DELETED]
Subject: RE: Assemblymember Koretz Might Look To Block Sale Of Pubic Land

Hi.
I'm Kevin Norte
www.kevinnorte.com
I think the issue is the original 1888 deed and the restrictions in it. Sure the Vets may have deeded in the the 20th century but were they allowed to without conditions? The only way is to read the original deed and I cannot locate a copy of it.

RESPONSE
I have a copy of the deed. It's not what I would call iron-clad.

Thanks for your ID

-----Original Message-----
From: Kev [mailto:DELETE]
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2006 10:54 AM
To: DELETE
Subject: RE: Assemblymember Koretz Might Look To Block Sale Of Pubic Land

Is the deed in a PDF format? I do not know if Koretz or even Bobby Shriver in Santa Monica (or Kate Vernez his assistant) have seen it. But I would like to if possible.
RESPONSE
Don't know whether anybody has it in a PDF format. I suspect someone does. It's four legal-size pages.
I suspect that Bobby has seen it.

-----Original Message-----
From: Kev [mailto:DELETE]
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2006 11:05 AM
To: DELETE
Subject: RE: Assemblymember Koretz Might Look To Block Sale Of Pubic Land

If you can send it to me I would appreciate it. I read these things for a living. I am at DELETE

My home address is
Kevin Norte
DELETE
Hollywood CA 90046

Thanks
Kevin

RESPONSE
OK
-----Original Message-----
From: Kev [mailto:DELETE]
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2006 11:32 AM
To: DELETE
Subject: Thanks

Thanks.
West Hollywood City Councilmember Jeff Prang would like to see it be a Westside Transportation HUB based on the current zoning codes. It makes sense since it is near the 405 and isn't the Red Line supposed to go that way in the distant future.

RESPONSE
Well, that's an intriguing idea. But it sure wouldn't do much for the vets!

-----Original Message-----
From: Kev [mailto:DELETE]
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2006 11:48 AM
To: DELETE
Subject: Thanks Again

I know but you have a big story on your hands. I think it will be a page one story within a month or two.
Good luck.
I will keep reading.
Again, thank you
Kevin

RESPONSE
Keep me posted. Thanks

FF Fast Forward To Today
AFTER ALL THE HARD WORK,THE RESULT OF TODAY IS VICTORY
I laugh at how Don PDFed the Deed and then we sent is around all over Sacramento and Washington. We not only felt like we were feeling the future by converting the 1888 deed into an electronic format, but actually was like living the future as we saw up close how technology is changing our very existence as we live.
We communicated using PDFs.
IT WAS SO NICE TO FEEL THIS, WE BOTH CAN'T WAIT FOR OUR NEXT ADVENTURE.
And as for the next chapter I hear "Bells"
Now on to our lead story:


Bush Signs Bill To Save Veteran’s Property In Los Angeles

President Bush signed H.R. 2764 into law on Wednesday, December 26, 2007. One hundred ninety-four Republicans and 78 Democrats voted in favor of H.R. 2764. In its final version, 76 Senators supported it. In part it bars commercial development on the sprawling West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus in Brentwood and Westwood.

The measure had been inserted into a larger appropriations bill by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) who did not cast a vote on the bill.

Although the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Bush administration had favored opening the 388-acre complex to commercial business as a means of generating revenue the president did not veto the measure.

VA officials have been attempting to open portions of the property to commercial development for several years, and White House officials estimate that such a move could generate as much as $4 billion in revenue.

Those who oppose commercial development, however, said it went against the intent of donors who gave the property to the VA in the 1800s for veterans' services.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Feinstein were among the strongest critics of commercial development.

"This is not a revenue source any more than Yosemite or the Gettysburg Cemetery ," Yaroslavsky said at a news conference on December 19, 2007 outside the VA offices. The event included veterans and neighborhood groups who urged the president not to veto the measure.

Feinstein's provision bars the VA from signing long-term commercial agreements, or enhanced-use leases, to sell the land piecemeal. Several businesses already use the VA property to store rental cars and buses and to operate a laundry service, and their businesses won't be affected by the legislation, Feinstein's staff said.

Yaroslavsky was correct when he said that he was confident the provision would become law.

True, there are no major financial appropriations at either the federal or state level but there are many Veteran Based 501 ( c ) (3) charities that are willing to enter into long term leases at the property to build rehabilitation centers and new housing for veterans.
Now, with the property saved, it is time to call on the various committees and commissions that oversee Veteran’s affairs such as The Governor’s Committee on Labor for People With Disabilities (Note-one of their mandates is to set policies to help disabled Veterans get back to work), to work with the government to make the lives better for our deserving Veterans.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Veternan’s Property Along the 405 Saved From Being Sold Off or Converted To Other Uses

December 21, 2007

After a long battle, the property along the 405 in Los Angeles that was originally deed for the use of retired and disabled Veterans FOREVER in 1888 as been saved by an Act of Congress and signed into law by the president.

Since W. took over the administratin was trying to figure out ways of selling or transferring some or all of the property to the private sector even though it violated a deed restriction.

Many support Veteran’s Rights and this week, Veteran’s and their supporters won.

At a breackfast with the Governor on November 9th of this year,Don and I received Arnold's assurance that California would step up to the plate to help our Veterans at the site if the property was saved. Well it has been saved.

Everyone in Sacramento and Washington who helped us one the project were wonderful. To see politics in action is fascinating. DiFi amends the War Appropriations Act that has to be signed by the end of the year. She amend it by adding a paragraph on a page close to 300 that the property can't be sold. DiFi, however, opposing the war, votes no. Waxman, however is in on it, and he votes yes. Arnold is happy. Maria is very happy. and Bobby Shriver is extremely happy. But the best part is seeing how we actually made a difference. I actually have had second thoughts about marriage but knowing what we can do, well, the tickets are booked and we will be in P-Town for July 7.
I know we have a looning deficit but we are taliking about people who were willing to give their lives for this country. If we do not have the money, them we must look at 501 (c)(3)s dedicated to Veteran’s affairs for help and guidance. For instance, they could build a shelter or rehap center there. The issue is we own a responsibility to the BRAVE MEN AND WOMAN.

Bill OKd to bar development of VA site
Feinstein measure on the West L.A. campus is approved by both houses of Congress despite a White House veto threat.
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

December 20, 2007

Federal lawmakers approved legislation Wednesday that would bar commercial development on the sprawling West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus in Brentwood and Westwood.

The measure had been inserted into a larger appropriations bill by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and was passed by both the House and the Senate.

Although the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Bush administration had favored opening the 388-acre complex to commercial business as a means of generating revenue, backers of the prohibition say it is unlikely the measure will now be vetoed by the president.

VA officials have been attempting to open portions of the property to commercial development for several years, and White House officials estimate that such a move could generate as much as $4 billion in revenue.

Those who oppose commercial development, however, say it goes against the intent of donors who gave the property to the VA in the 1800s for veterans’ services.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Feinstein were among the strongest critics of commercial development.

“This is not a revenue source any more than Yosemite or the Gettysburg Cemetery,” Yaroslavsky said at a news conference Wednesday outside the VA offices. The event included veterans and neighborhood groups who urged the president not to veto the measure.

Feinstein’s provision bars the VA from signing long-term commercial agreements, or enhanced-use leases, to sell the land piecemeal. Several businesses already use the VA property to store rental cars and buses and to operate a laundry service, and their businesses won’t be affected by the legislation, Feinstein’s staff said.

Despite the White House’s support for development of the campus, Yaroslavsky said he was confident the provision would become law.

“I can’t imagine that [the president] would veto this omnibus appropriations bill over this one provision,” Yaroslavsky said.

At the White House, spokeswoman Christin Baker said Wednesday that the staff there were still evaluating the bill. She said that they considered the West L.A. VA property, “a pretty large provision” because of the potential lost revenue.

molly.hennessy-fiske @latimes.com
[retrocausation]

Monday, November 12, 2007

Is Another Anti Gay Marriage Initiative Looming


Groups jousting over gay rights in California 
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UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
November 12, 2007
SACRAMENTO – In the battle over gay rights, this fall was supposed to be a slow period, almost like a political time-out. Both sides were expected to spend the next few months preparing for a California Supreme Court decision on whether to overturn the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
Instead, it's been anything but quiet.
Gay rights advocates are spending millions of dollars on a television advertising campaign to promote same-sex marriage.
Religious conservatives, meanwhile, have launched a referendum drive to overturn a new law that they say will promote homosexuality in the schools.
Both campaigns illustrate the frustrations and successes each side has experienced.
During the past few years, gay rights advocates have persuaded the Democratic-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to pass many laws expanding protections against discrimination and adding benefits and responsibilities for same-sex registered domestic partners.
This year, Schwarzenegger signed seven of eight bills advocated by Equality California, a leading gay rights group.
But the group's top priority – same-sex marriage – has proven elusive.
Last month, Schwarzenegger vetoed a same-sex marriage bill for the second time in three years, saying that voters or the courts should decide whether to legalize same-sex marriage.
Religious conservatives applauded the governor's action, but they complain about his support for expanding gay rights.
“He's got a split personality,” said Karen England, executive director of the Capitol Resource Institute, which opposes the new gay rights laws. “We are disappointed.”
England's organization and other like-minded groups are trying to overturn the most significant gay rights law signed this year, Senate Bill 777, sponsored by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica.
The bill received little attention on its journey through the Legislature. It states that “no teacher shall give instruction nor shall a school district sponsor any activity that promotes a discriminatory bias” against people based on sexual orientation.
Social conservatives argue that it opens the door for major changes in school instruction.
“This will mean getting rid of 'mom and dad' in textbooks or adding homosexual couples,” England said.
Seth Kilbourn, political director of Equality California, which sponsored the law, strongly disputed England's interpretation.
Kilbourn said it “clarifies and reinforces existing laws that protect students” against harassment and discrimination.
Placing a statewide referendum on the ballot is a tall order. Opponents must collect more than 400,000 valid signatures by early January. Qualifying an initiative can cost as much as $2 million.
As gay rights advocates keep a wary eye on the referendum drive, they are busy with their own campaign, featuring ads, house parties and a Web site to boost public support for same-sex marriage.
In 2000, Proposition 22, which bans same-sex marriage, won approval from 61 percent of voters.
Polls have shown increasing support for same-sex marriage in recent years. Still, the latest nonpartisan Field Poll showed that 51 percent oppose same-sex marriage, while 43 percent favor it.
Geoff Kors of the Equality California Institute said the campaign can change minds by conveying the distress that same-sex couples suffer from being denied a chance to marry.
“In California, we are really at a tipping point,” Kors said. “People have thought about this intellectually but we want them to think about it emotionally. We want to talk to people about love and commitment.”
The ad his group is broadcasting shows a bride-to-be who just can't seem to make it to the altar. First, she breaks a heel, then is grazed by a tree branch that takes her veil. Finally, she is tripped.
The ad asks, “What if you couldn't marry the person you love? Every day, gay and lesbian couples are prevented from marrying.”
Ron Prentice, president of the California Family Council, which opposes same-sex marriage, questions the effectiveness of the ad.
“When push comes to shove, people really have a discomfort level with giving marriage to the homosexual community,” Prentice said.
Prentice also said that the gay rights advocates realize that the sight of same-sex couples marrying is unpopular. He believes that is the reason the ad features a heterosexual couple.
Kors rejected that view, saying the campaign is targeting heterosexuals to get them thinking what it would be like to be denied the chance to marry.
Opponents of same-sex marriage still are pondering a new ballot measure aimed at strengthening the state's ban. Proposition 22 requires that marriage be between a man and a woman. But because the proposition enacted a statute rather than a constitutional amendment, it is more susceptible to legal challenge.
For the past two years, opponents of same-sex marriage have sought to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot. They have been hobbled by fundraising problems and a split over strategy.
The California Family Council and other groups want a ballot measure focused solely on banning same-sex marriage.
Another organization, VoteYesMarriage.com, wants an initiative that prohibits same-sex marriage and rolls back rights for same-sex registered domestic partners.
Fundraising for both efforts has fallen short, in part because the ban on same-sex marriage deprives the groups of the sense of urgency that might inspire donations.
Larry Bowler, spokesman for VoteYesMarriage.com, believes funding will pick up next year because he contends that the state's high court is “highly likely” to allow same-sex marriage next year by overturning Proposition 22.
In an e-mail message, Bowler said that his organization is waiting for a donation of $1 million from a “generous soul who passionately believes in natural marriage between a man and a woman” before it starts gathering signatures.
Prentice said that the California Family Council and other groups are also ready to launch an initiative, if the California Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage.
“Right now, we're in a wait-and-see position,” he said.
Longtime California political analyst Tony Quinn believes that a court decision to legalize same-sex marriage could create a backlash.
Consequently, Quinn argues that the best strategy for proponents of same-sex marriage is to launch a ballot measure campaign in a few years. If polling trends continue, he said, a majority of Californians will favor same-sex marriage.

Friday, October 26, 2007

EQCA Palm Springs Equality Awards


October 26, 2007
Click here to go to the EQCA websiteImage: People


Family, community and leadership were the focus of Equality California's 2007 Palm Springs Equality Awards last Saturday. More than 600 celebrities, officials, community leaders and distinguished guests attended the elegant event, one of EQCA's largest of the year.

EQCA honored Palm Springs philanthropists, the Greenburg-Peet Family on October 20.
Taking center stage were EQCA's two Palm Springs Awards honorees, Tony Award-winning singer and actress Patti LuPone and the Greenburg-Peet Family, well-known Palm Springs philanthropists.
LuPone, a vocal ally and supporter of the LGBT community, received EQCA's 2007 Equality Advocate Award. The recording star gave a stunning 45-minute performance that highlighted some of her best moments on Broadway, in Hollywood and on television.
EQCA honored the Greenburg-Peet Family for their dedication to the local community and their efforts to promote equality and fight for the needs and rights of all people. The family has helped raise millions of dollars for many different charities and causes. The award was accepted on behalf of the family by Earl Greenburg and David Peet.
The 2007 Palm Springs Equality Awards featured a silent auction and entertainment by the Tad Sisler Combo. The evening was emceed by LOGO actorDoug Spearman and co-chaired by Patrick Mundtand Kimberly Nichols. Elected officials attending the event included Assemblymember Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys, Palm Springs Mayor Ron Oden, Palm Springs City Council Members Ginny Foat and Steve Pougnet and Cathedral City Council Member Greg Pettis.
Lead sponsors for this year's event included AT&T, Gary D. Soto, Hutchison Development, David Lee & Mark Nichols, US Dry Cleaning & Robbie Lee, Wells Fargo, Integrated Wealth Management, Shadowrock, The Trails, Wessman Development Co., Jim Abbott and Michael Molina, Geoff Kors and James Williamson, Clear Channel Outdoor, O'Brien Estate, Olivia Cruises and Resorts, The BottomLine, Stolichnaya Russian Vodka, Mark Adams, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Dave Baron, California Teachers Association, Art Copleston, Exposure Gallery & Rich Young, Hon. Ginny Foat & Pamela Genevrino, Earl Greenburg & David Peet, Lipstick, Inc., Harold Matzner, Patrick Mundt, David Nixon & Trevor Capone, Jaime Rook & Brian Buchan, Southern California Edison, and Scott Tweten & Dennis Stovall.
If you missed the 2007 Palm Springs Equality Awards, join EQCA on November 28 for the San Diego Equality Awards Reception. The evening event will honor Sen. Denise Ducheny, D-San Diego, and will feature remarks by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego. For more information, contact Erica Liscano aterica@eqca.org or 323.661.2071 x203.


Palm SpringsEquality Awards
More than 600 guests attended the 2007 Palm Springs Equality Awards  on October 20, paying tribute tofamily, community and leadership.

San DiegoEquality Awards
Reception
Wednesday, November 28
6 p.m.
Honoring:Sen. Denise DuchenyRemarks by:
Sen. Christine Kehoe
More information:Erica Liscanoerica@eqca.org
323.661.2071 x203
                                        

Click here to Send This Email to a Friend


Equality California is dedicated to achieving equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians.
Our work depends on individual financial contributions.
Donate now using our secure website or download a donation form to send via fax or mail.
Contributions to EQCA support political work and are not tax-deductible as charitable contributions under IRS-162(e).


This email was sent to CA90046@yahoo.com
Copyright ©2007 EQCA

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Veto Messages of AB 849 (2005) and AB 43 (2007)

BILL NUMBER: AB 849
VETOED DATE: 09/29/2005

To the Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 849 without my signature because I do
not believe the Legislature can reverse an initiative approved by the
people of California.

I am proud California is a leader in recognizing and respecting
domestic partnerships and the equal rights of domestic partners. I
believe that lesbian and gay couples are entitled to full protection
under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon
their relationships. I support current domestic partnership rights
and will continue to vigorously defend and enforce these rights and
as such will not support any rollback.

California Family Code Section 308.5 was enacted by an initiative
statute passed by the voters as Proposition 22 in 2000. Article II,
section 10 of the California Constitution prohibits the Legislature
from amending this initiative statute without a vote of the people.
This bill does not provide for such a vote.

The ultimate issue regarding the constitutionality of section 308.5
and its prohibition against same-sex marriage is currently before the
Court of Appeal in San Francisco and will likely be decided by the
Supreme Court.

This bill simply adds confusion to a constitutional issue. If the
ban of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, this bill is not
necessary. If the ban is constitutional, this bill is ineffective.

Sincerely,



Arnold Schwarzenegger

BILL NUMBER: AB 43
VETOED DATE: 10/12/2007

I am returning Assembly Bill 43 without my signature.
As I stated in vetoing similar legislation in 2005, I am proud
California is a leader in recognizing and respecting domestic
partnerships. I believe that all Californians are entitled to full
protection under the law and should not be discriminated against
based upon their sexual orientation. I support current domestic
partnership rights and will continue to vigorously defend and
enforce these rights.
In 2000, the voters approved Proposition 22, a challenge to which
is currently pending before the California Supreme Court. I
maintain my position that the appropriate resolution to this issue is
to allow the Court to rule on Proposition 22. The people of
California should then determine what, if any, statutory changes
are needed in response to the Court’s ruling.
Sincerely,
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thank You All But I Will Not Be Getting Married Today!

To the Member of the California State Assembly

I am returning Assembly Bill 43 without my signature.

As I stated in vetoing similar legislation in 2005, I am proud California is a leader in recognizing and respecting domestic partnerships. I believe that all Californians are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon sexual orientation. I support current domestic partnership rights and will continue to vigorously defend and enforce these rights.

In 2000, voters approved Proposition 22, a challenge to which is currently pending before the California Supreme Court. I maintain my position that the appropriate resolution is to allow the Court to rule on Proposition 22. The people of California should then determine what, if any, statutory changes are needed in response to the Court’s ruling.

Sincerely,

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Well, as a research attorney and not as a gay man, I legally understand the Governor’s position. Emotionally, I am, . . well. . ., emotions should not rule law. D&%$ It! I logically understand it. The Supreme Court of California had even asked for further briefing on the specific issue of Proposition 22. The Court ultimately interprets the law and not the legislative nor executive branches.

And with that in mind, I will respectfully wait for the Supreme Court of California, my home, to rule whether I can legally marry my high school sweetheart. And when it does, I carry the hope within me that I will be getting married because as a research attorney in the largest Court system in the world, I know what the problems are with Proposition 22. Simply put, it was passed with emotions running high but the wording, in my own opinion, fails, and it also violates the rights and gays and lesbians the right to petition the legislature to secure the right to marry. I believe that right to petition will be restored to us someday and when it is, well, you will read about it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Supporting Our Veterans: Sale of Los Angeles Veterans' Property May Not Occur

The following is a very biased article by the SF Chronicle. If one reads the actual deed, it states that the specif property was given to the US government for disabled veterans.
I was given the deed from a person who wishes to remain anonymous. The deed has express restrictions in it. I gave the deed to my partner, Don. Don PDFed the deed.
After that Don took a copy to the governor because he is on the Governor's Committee for Labor of Persons With Disabilities. Don and I believe the property would be perfect for helping the disabled veterans that are returning from the wars.
I forwarded the deed to Senator Fienstein's office along with Representative Henry Waxman's Office and LA City Council member Paul Koretz's office.
While I was at it I sent a copy to the Bush White House.
Don and I let everyone involved know that if the land is disposed of in violation of the deed, we would hunt down the original heirs. You see, the government can't sell the property. If they try to, it reverts back to the heirs of the original grantor.
It must be used for that until the need ceases. PERIOD. That was the condition of the gift.
Feinstein fights criticism of stand against selling VA real estate
Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau

Thursday, September 20, 2007


(09-20) 04:00 PDT Washington - -- A watchdog group has named Sen. Dianne Feinstein "porker of the month," but the California Democratic senator and her supporters are fighting back, saying the label is politically motivated because she won't let the Department of Veterans Affairs sell off prime Los Angeles real estate that has been a medical center and veterans cemetery for generations.

The watchdog group, Citizens Against Government Waste, pointed to Feinstein's provision in a military construction spending bill that would bar the administration from selling or leasing parts of the 388-acre property on Wilshire Boulevard - a developer's dream located between Brentwood and Westwood - which officials contend is underused and could be leased to generate $4 billion in revenue for the government.

"Critics have speculated that Sen. Feinstein is going to bat for wealthy constituents concerned that development on the land would ruin the views from their homes and hurt property values," the group said. "The VA center is surrounded by the ritzy towns of Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Bel-Air, home to many celebrities and country clubs."

A mere query to Feinstein's press office unleashed a barrage of outraged e-mails from Los Angeles. Within minutes, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors chairman Zev Yaroslavsky called, accusing the Bush administration of "a naked land grab" in the heart of West Los Angeles.

The acreage was originally donated in 1888 by private owners to be used forever as "an old soldiers home," Yaroslavsky said, and now houses the largest veterans cemetery west of Arlington, along with a hospital and other facilities. The cemetery is filled up, he said, and if anything needs to be expanded.

The facility also provides 300 to 400 units of housing for the homeless, so property values are not the issue, he argued.

"I've represented this area for 32 years," he said. "I know a NIMBY issue when I see it."

In any case, he said, $4 billion is probably lowballing the property's value.

President Bush promised to veto an Iraq spending bill a few months ago, specifically citing, among other things, the Feinstein provision to keep the VA land from commercial development.

"There were deal breakers, and this was one of them, which I found remarkable, given that the entire war effort in Iraq that they believe in so strongly was being held up because they wanted to take care of a handful of their real estate friends," Yaroslavsky said.

Developers, he added, "are lined up licking their chops to get an opportunity to develop land in the middle of Brentwood, Calif., that nobody in their right mind for the last 100 years dreamt was developable."

The provision was removed from the Iraq legislation, but Feinstein attached it to a military construction bill earlier this month, and it survived a GOP effort to strip it by a 66-25 vote. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said the VA generated $50 million for selling some property in downtown Chicago two years ago - money that it put to better use. Feinstein's provision awaits a conference on the bill with the House.

The White House has objected again, saying the Feinstein provision "circumvents the recommendations in VA's nationwide infrastructure study ... it is likely that the restrictive Senate language would eliminate more than $4 billion of revenue, which would be used to improve facilities around the country for our nation's veterans."

Feinstein spokesman Scott Gerber denied that the provision is an earmark, which is generally what provokes the ire of Citizens Against Governmental Waste.

"It doesn't direct any funding anywhere," Gerber said. "The Congressional Budget Office looked at it and said there is no cost associated with it. She's proud of her effort to protect this land from commercial development."

Feinstein is backed by California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles.

But Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, called Feinstein's move a classic case of congressional interference to protect parochial interests at the greater public's expense.

"These are facilities that are probably never going to be used for veterans," Schatz said. "You're talking about 21 of 91 buildings on the campus, VA says they don't need them, so it's unlikely Congress is going to appropriate enough money to use all 91 buildings - really unlikely."

Congress directed the VA to review its properties under a process called Capital Asset Realignment to Enhance Services, known as CARES; in 2004, CARES identified 18 properties to be examined further, including the West Los Angeles facility. These and the accompanying studies are listed on the VA Web site at www.va.gov/cares/locationSite/default.asp.

"A larger problem is that other members of Congress will view this as an opportunity to interfere with this process in other parts of the country," Schatz said. "It's the reason the (military) base closing commission was established, to get around the politics, get around the local protectionism, and allow a system to develop that would determine in case of bases which ones could be closed or realigned. What the VA is doing is similar, but there's no mechanism to stop members of Congress from intervening."

The government is frequently attacked for not disposing of its excess property, Schatz said. If the VA is not allowed to lease unused property and use the money to provide services to veterans, taxpayers will have to provide the money, he argued.

"I think if a veterans facility in San Francisco could benefit from the lease of some of this land, they'd be pleased about that," Schatz said. "It's not about just West L.A., but what veterans need around the country."

The Wall Street Journal editorial page set off the fracas a week and a half ago, comparing the situation to the infamous Alaskan "Bridge to Nowhere" and saying large portions of the area are "a veritable ghost town."

A flood of letters from residents argued that the VA process has not been as transparent as promised, and that the area is not surrounded by glamorous mansions but by a freeway, apartment and office buildings, and homeless encampments. They also cite potential traffic problems and say if the land is underused, it is only because of VA mismanagement. They contend local officials have been calling for years for a master plan for the property.

Yaroslavsky argued the lease structure under consideration would allow the land to be sold and possibly developed in violation of county zoning laws. This, he argued, is no more a good idea "than saying the Gettysburg property in federal hands that is not a burial ground should be sold off for God knows how many thousands of dollars, or the property that fringes Arlington National Cemetery - or better yet, Lexington and Concord north of Boston that could go for a pretty penny."

E-mail Carolyn Lochhead at clochhead@sfchronicle.com.
[retrocausation]

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Schwarzenegger Signs Many Bills To Help Our Veterans and Support Our Troops

Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Bills to Benefit Veterans, Military Personnel in California
Governor Schwarzenegger today announced that he has signed legislation that will benefit California veterans, military personnel and their families. One proposal provides important protections against predatory lenders; another one requires employers to allow the spouse of a service member, when he or she is on leave, to take up to 10 days of unpaid leave. Also included are bills that expand educational opportunities, waive certain vehicle fees, make voting easier, increase access to state retirement benefits and make it a crime to misrepresent a military medal.
“These bills demonstrate California’s commitment to those who currently serve, those who have served and the families who have sacrificed so much to support them,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Our military community deserves strong consumer protections, continued educational opportunities and as much support as we can give their families.”

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The following bills have been signed into law:

AB 7 by Assemblymember Ted Lieu (D-Torrance): Provides armed service members and their families a number of consumer credit services protections against predatory and deceptive lending practices and unlawful financial and investment schemes and allows California to enforce federal law.



AB 392 by Assemblymember Ted Lieu (D-Torrance): Requires employers to allow the husband or wife of a soldier serving to take up to 10 days of unpaid leave while their husband or wife is home on leave.



AB 1528 by Committee on Banking and Finance: Prohibits false and deceptive marketing of financial services or products to service members, veterans and their families.



AB 282 by Assemblymember Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley): Makes it a crime for any person to falsely represent himself/herself to have been awarded any military decoration or medal with the intent to defraud.



AB 223 by Assemblymember Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster): Allows a person called for military service after the absentee ballot application deadline to vote absentee by fax.



AB 950 by Assemblymember Mary Salas (D-Chula Vista): Extends the period of time in which non-California members of the Armed Forces are entitled to pay the lower in-state fees at California State University and the University of California.



SB 14 by Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Montclair): Allows members of the California National Guard to qualify for membership in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), and to purchase additional PERS service credit.



SB 272 by Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley): Gives members of the armed services priority enrollment for California State University and California Community Colleges classes and requests the University of California to do the same.



SB 386 by Senator Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto): Waives various fees on vehicles owned by the surviving spouse of a former prisoner of war (POW) or Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and allows the family to keep a special interest license plate as a remembrance of the deceased.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Can The ACLU Tap The Toilet Troubles Away?




Let me get this STRAIGHT. Larry Craig's career ended in the toilet,or so we thought. The toilet, by all accounts is flush with tourists and is now the main attraction at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Now it seems like the ACLU is trying to get Craig out of the toilet. I hope they wash their hands and remember to flush.

Monday, September 17, 2007

'Will of people' likely Schwarzenegger mantra on same-sex marriage?


'Will of people' likely Schwarzenegger mantra on same-sex marriage?

Monday, September 17, 2007

(09-17) 04:00 PDT Sacramento --
If Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger goes through with his expected veto of San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno's measure to allow same-sex marriage in California, it's almost guaranteed the governor will say he's following "the will of the people."
That's the argument the Republican governor made two years ago when he rejected a similar measure. Although Schwarzenegger hasn't taken an official position on the new bill, he made clear in February that he did not intend to sign it.
"I don't want, as the governor, to go against the will of the people," Schwarzenegger said at an event put on by the YMCA, but added: "If it goes back on the ballot, the people can make the decision."
The Legislature approved the bill Sept. 7, and the governor has until Oct. 14 to sign or veto the measure.
Foes of same-sex marriage argue, along with Schwarzenegger, that California voters made their decision in March 2000, when Proposition 22, the protection of marriage initiative, was approved by a landslide 61 to 39 percent. The 14-word measure, which conservative and religious groups placed on the ballot, said simply, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
But times have changed in seven years, say supporters of Leno's bill, and voters now have elected a solid majority of legislators who want to make same-sex marriage legal in California.
"The people are speaking through their elected representatives," said Seth Kilbourn, political director for Equality California, a group backing the measure. "We want the governor to keep up with the will of the people and show the type of bipartisan leadership that he has shown on so many other issues."
Since 2000, polls have found that a growing number of people favor allowing same-sex marriage, Kilbourn said. Massachusetts has allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry, as have Canada, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and South Africa.
While opponents of same-sex marriage continue to lead in California polls, the gap has tightened. A January 2000 poll by the Public Policy Institute of California showed that likely voters opposed same-sex marriage 55 to 38 percent. In a poll by the same group in June 2006, the opposition had shrunk to 48 to 46 percent.
Despite what they consider to be growing support in the state, same-sex marriage backers aren't talking about putting a same-sex marriage measure before the voters.
"I guess (a ballot initiative) is always an option," said Molly McKay, media director of Marriage Equality USA. "At the same time, it's such an expensive and difficult process. ...We look to our elected officials to pass legislation that will protect all of its citizens."
Opponents of same-sex marriage say there's a simpler reason for that reluctance: The issue is still a loser at the polls.
"It would be interesting for the same-sex marriage people to make their research public, since every survey we've done shows opposition well into the majority," said Ron Prentice, executive director of the California Family Council, which is associated with James Dobson's huge Focus on the Family Christian ministry.
Proponents of traditional marriage are so confident of their support that they are preparing ballot initiatives even stronger than Prop. 22. One or more of them could go before voters next year, either in June or November.
Prentice's group is behind a measure that would make the Prop. 22 wording part of the state Constitution, instead of just a statute, while another group of same-sex marriage foes would even bar the state from passing domestic partner laws that give same-sex couples some or all of the rights and privileges of married couples.
Leno doesn't argue that voters might turn thumbs down on a same-sex marriage initiative if one were on the ballot. It's a problem the state has seen before, he added.
In 1964, voters overwhelmingly overturned the state's Rumford Fair Housing Act, which banned racial discrimination in home sales and apartment rentals. In 1959, when the Legislature voted to allow interracial marriage in California, Leno said, it came in the face of a nationwide 1958 Gallup Poll that showed better than 90 percent of white voters were opposed to allowing blacks and whites to marry.
"If that had been put to a vote in California, it's quite likely the populace would have said 'No,' " Leno said. "Civil rights for any group should never be put to a vote of the people. This is how we prevent the tyranny of the majority over the minority."
Even if Schwarzenegger follows through and vetoes Leno's same-sex marriage bill, the assemblyman could get his wish if the state Supreme Court comes out in favor of same-sex marriage next year, when it reaches a decision on the legality of San Francisco's 2004 effort to allow same-sex marriages in the city.
Last year, a California appeals court looking at the same case seemed to suggest that it was the Legislature's responsibility to determine marriage law.
"There's no risk of people being cut out of the equation if Schwarzenegger were to sign my bill or the court was to approve same-sex marriage," Leno said.
Opponents of same-sex marriage would go to the courts and the ballot, Prentice agreed.
"I believe people would come out in droves if the state or the courts overturned what they supported seven years ago," he said.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Support Marriage Equality in California


(Photo Governor Schwarzenegger & his wife, The First Lady of California, Maria Owings Shriver (January, 2007).)
Please email Governor Schwarzenegger, and ask him to sign AB43, the
gender-neutral marriage bill for California. Go to
the governor's own Web site,
designed to hear from us. Fill in your first and last name and email
address. Where it says,"Please choose your subject," click on the blue
side-bar and drag down to and select "Gender-neutral marriage. AB00043. Click
"Submit" and it will take you to the next page. Now where it says,
"Your position," click "Pro" and write your email. Then "Send email." In
a nice way, encourage the Governator to stop blocking marriage
equality

Friday, September 14, 2007

Alan Howard Appointed By Governor Schwarzenegger To State Commission

Governor Appoints Another Log Cabin Member to State Board Bringing Total State Board and Commission Appointees to Seven
Sacramento – Log Cabin announced that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Alan Howard 36, of Carmel , California to the California Osteopathic Medical Board. Since 2004, he has served as a project manager for American President Lines, a global leader in container shipping, logistics and technology management. Howard previously held several positions including director for the TNT Post Group, where he worked from 1994 to 2002. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Howard follows the appointments in recent weeks of Leonard Olds, a founder of Log Cabin, to the California Council for the Humanities and Don Norte to the Governor’s Council on the Employment of People with Disabilities.
Alan Howard joined the national board of the Log Cabin Republicans in 2005. He is the owner of a real estate development business in Carmel and provides consulting services on systems development, implementation, and project management to the transportation industry.
Mr. Howard holds a degree in Economics from Wheaton College and an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird. He is active in the Thunderbird Alumni Association, was president of the Thunderbird Netherlands Chapter.
“Log Cabin is proud to provide a talent pool to the Governor for service to the citizens of California ,” said James Vaughn, Director of California Log Cabin Republicans. “Alan Howard is another strong leader and will provide a terrific business background and conservative philosophy to this important Board.”
Log Cabin is focusing its efforts on recruiting LGBT Republicans for appointment to positions of influence and public service at the state and local level. Governor Schwarzenegger has appointed over twenty five LGBT staff, board, commission and other staff political appointees. Besides Alan Howard, Don Norte and Leonard Olds, other openly gay State Commission and Board appointees include; Jon Stordahl (Commission on Teacher Credentialing); Patrick Adams (Fair Employment and Housing Commission); Greg Gandrud (Recreational Trails Committee); and Rory Diamond (Student Aid Commission) as well as Tod Burnett (Vice Chancellor, California Community Colleges) among other political staff appointees.
Log Cabin Republicans, founded in California , is the nation’s largest organization of Republicans, who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Log Cabin has state and local chapters nationwide, a Washington office, a Sacramento office and a federal political action committee.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Has California Already Been Marginalized???


John McCain was the only presidential contender to speak at this weekend's semiannual convention at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa. It s less than 4 months from when the ballots are sent out for the Feb. 5, 2008 primary.
The lack of presidential candidates is significant to this participant and it contributed to a sense that Ron Nehring and Company ‘s state party lacks energy and focus.
I feel like they have written us off. Lets face it, actions speak louder than words, and we have a lot of electoral votes."
McCain's typical luncheon speech covered familiar ground so there is not much to report. McCain told reporters that he limited his speech to the war to stress how seriously he views the debate. But McCain acknowledged that his party has lost a connection with voters. "The corruption. The spending out of control. The lack of ability to handle Katrina. Our failures in Iraq," he said. "We've lost the trust and confidence of the American people, and we've got to get it back."
Although not all of the delegates had arrived in time to hear Schwarzenegger's speech Friday, it fueled informal discussions over Margaritas at the Esmeralda pool on Saturday. Overheard discussions were both for and against Schwarzenegger's argument, and pivoted on a crucial point: Should the party compromise on what many consider to be core positions in order to win elections?
By the way, the pool was one of the highlights of the weekend.
The absence of presidential candidates other than McCain is evidence of the failure of California's moved-up primary to achieve a prime goal: giving the state's voters a bigger say in determining the major party candidates.
Instead of wooing Republican activists here this weekend, former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani campaigned Friday in Florida and Saturday in Texas. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigned Saturday in Iowa and New Hampshire, but planned a day off today in Massachusetts. Newly declared candidate Fred Thompson, a former actor and senator from Tennessee, was in Iowa and New Hampshire over the weekend. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) had planned to attend, but backed out at the last minute to remain in Washington ahead of the Iraq report to Congress.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Gov. Schwarzenegger appoints Log Cabin Republicans


(PHOTO: Gov. Schwarzenegger (l) & Don Norte (r).)

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently appointed Leonard Olds, one of the founders of the Log Cabin Republicans, to the California Council for the Humanities, and on Aug. 27, the governor announced the appointment of Don Norte, a board member of Log Cabin Los Angeles, to the California Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.

“Once again, we applaud the governor for demonstrating his commitment to bringing the best and brightest to public service from all segments of the California community,” said James Vaughn, director of California Log Cabin Republicans, in a statement.

Olds, 64, of Laguna Beach, has been a leader in Log Cabin since 1984 and started the Riverside County Log Cabin chapter in 1991, which he has served as president. LCR is an organization dedicated to building a more inclusive Republican party for LGBT people.

Norte works for West Hollywood’s Department of Transportation and Public Works.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Did VIGILIANTE Tucker Carlson Admit To Gay Bashing On FOX???


On Tuesday Night, August 28, 2007, Tucker Carlson admitted that when a guy hit on him in a men's room in Georgetown, he went back with "someone I knew and grabbed him... and hit him against the stall with his head." Then the cops came and arrested the gay dude. It seems to that Tucker confessed to an actual crime on air to an actual crime.
If someone solicits you for sex in a public place do play vigilante and go on TV andf talk about it. It really bothers me. It sends the wrong message to our youth. Gay bashing is not a defense to solicitation. PERIOD.