Political Haiku, Vol. 1

McClellan pans Bush,
a book we all saw coming.
Yet Karl Rove is shocked.

McCain banks more cash
both in Reno and SoCal –
none for GI bill?

Barack said Auschwitz
but really meant Buchenwald

A gaffe? Do we care?

Gay marriage starts soon
unless court stays its own hand.
Must we cast votes first?

C’mon, everybody – five syllables, then seven, then five (yes, I know that’s oversimplified, but I don’t speak Japanese). Bring it on!


Same-sex marriage a boon for tourism?

Watch for those flights and hotels to fill up quickly starting next month. From the Associated Press, via the Washington Post:

ALBANY, N.Y. — Same-sex marriages legally performed elsewhere will be recognized in New York in response to a state court ruling this year, Gov. David Paterson’s spokeswoman said Wednesday.

State agencies, including those governing insurance and health care, must immediately change policies and regulations to make sure “spouse,” “husband” and “wife” are clearly understood to include gay couples, according to a memo sent earlier this month from the governor’s counsel.

Gay marriage is not legal in New York, and the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, has said it can only be legalized by the Legislature. But the memo, based on a Feb. 1 New York Appellate Division court ruling, would recognize the marriages of New Yorkers who are legally wed elsewhere.

The appellate judges determined that there is no legal impediment in New York to the recognition of a same-sex marriage. The state Legislature “may decide to prohibit the recognition of same-sex marriages solemnized abroad,” the ruling said. “Until it does so, however, such marriages are entitled to recognition in New York.”

Massachusetts is currently the only U.S. state that recognizes same-sex marriage, but its residency requirements would bar New Yorkers from marrying there.

New York residents could instead flock to California, where gay couples will be able to wed beginning June 17 _ unless that state’s Supreme Court decides to stay its own ruling. Upon their return home, in the eyes of the state, their unions would be no different from those of their heterosexual neighbors.

Our county clerks’ offices are gonna be jammed


Your roundup of roundups

So much news, so little time.

Same-sex marriage: The new Field Poll finds 51 percent of Californians favor allowing same-sex marriage; a Los Angeles court research attorney opines that the constitutional amendment proposed for November’s ballot might have fatal legal flaws; same-sex marriages might begin as soon as June 17; and the San Francisco City Attorney files a motion opposing a conservative group’s request that the state Supreme Court stay its ruling until after November’s election.

Marijuana: The Assembly passes a bill which would prevent California employers from firing a worker solely because he or she uses medical marijauna, in compliance with the state’s law, outside the workplace. Meanwhile, the DEA raids at least one marijuana-growing operation in the East Bay, maybe more.

The Legislature in action: The Assembly says no to gun shows at the Cow Palace and yes to paid sick leave for California workers. On the state Senate side, President Pro Tem Don Perata is glad to be alive.

Coming up on Thursday: The Commonwealth Club hosts U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in San Francisco, and antiwar icon Cindy Sheehan debates a military recruiter in Berkeley.


Supervisor candidate accidently self-funds campaign

UPDATE 5:03 P.M. Deputy District Attorney Steve Bolen has determined that Contra Costa County supervisor candidate Erik Nunn is a self-funded candidate and as a result, his opponents qualify to collect $5,000 per person rather than $1,675.

Contra Costa County supervisor candidate Erik Nunn of Oakley and his relatives have contributed or loaned his campaign more than $25,000 and triggered a hike in his opponents’ contribution limits.

Incumbent Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg and challengers Gary Agopian, Mary Rocha and Don Parscal are now permitted under the county’s election law to receive up to $5,000 per person rather than $1,675 for the June 3 election.

But Nunn called it a mistake and said he has refunded the money that pushed him over the limit.

“My family did not know the rules, or how much I had already lent the campaign,” said Nunn, a chief financial office for a general contracting company. “It definitely was something that my treasurer and I missed. … I have already sent the contributions back to my family members and the correction will be made on my next campaign report.”

It may be too late for Nunn change his mind. (It is too late. See update above.)

Glover’s campaign argues that it’s unfair to allow candidates to flip-flop back and forth and put the opponents fund-raising in limbo.

“I think the Glover campaign makes a reasonable argument,” said Deputy District Attorney Steve Bolen. “ I’m going to get the supporting documents, talk to the campaigns and determine whether Nunn can reverse course.”

Continue Reading


MoveOn offers ‘The McCain-Bush Challenge’

MoveOn activists all across the nation are taking to the streets today to invite voters to take “The McCain-Bush Challenge,” a pop quiz to see whether voters can tell the difference between the policy positions of Republican presidential candidate John McCain and those of President George W. Bush.

The organization claims half a million voters have visited The Bush-McCain Challenge Web site to take the quiz since it launched earlier this month. But today’s the first day they’re doing it as a man-on-the-street blitz; they’ll be at Market and Powell streets in San Francisco at noon, and between the Safeway and the Trader Joe’s at the Alameda Towne Center at 6 p.m.

mccain-and-bush-at-phoenix-sky-harbor-intl-airport-on-tuesday-ap-photo-charles-dharapak.jpgThis is an extension of Democrats’ effort to paint McCain as a Bush clone, and his candidacy as little more than a “four more years” extension of a wildly unpopular presidency.

McCain’s opponents have made hay of the fact that yesterday’s Bush-headlined fundraiser in Arizona was held at a private residence and was closed to the public and press — perhaps an effort to raise money from the GOP faithful while maintaining a public distance from the president. Actually, McCain typically keeps his fundraisers closed to the press anyway. But this was their first campaign event together since March.

McCain today has a fundraising luncheon in Reno, and then a fundraising dinner in Los Angeles.


East Bay Assembly candidates raise big bucks

The eight state Assembly candidates in two sharply contested East Bay primaries raised nearly $625,000 between March 18 and May 17, the dates of the most recent campaign finance reporting period.

In the Republican Assembly District 15 primary, where four candidates are battling it out for the chance to go up against the Democratic nominee in November, retired entrepreneur Robert Rao of Livermore has proven he is a man of his word.

Rao said at the start of his race that he would write as many checks as necessary to run a competitive operation. To date, he has given or loaned his campaign $$479,069. He reported $82,683 in the bank as of May 17 and $136,670 in unpaid bills.

Among the other three challengers in order of fund-raising prowess in the last period:

Judy Biviano Lloyd, businessowner and Danville resident: $77,254 in contributions, $177,350 in the bank and $88,650 in unpaid bills. (Total contributions since January other than loans: $114,723)

Abram Wilson, mayor of San Ramon (no web site): $42,313 in contributions, $46,620 in the bank and $101,065 in debts. (Total contributions since January other than loans: $52,938)

Scott Kamena, optometrist from Livermore: $28,276 in contributions, $54,375 in the bank and $67,761 in debts. (Total contributions since January: $78,958)

The four Assembly District 14 Democratic candidates are furiously racing to next week’s finish line, too. Continue Reading