Eastman for AG gets anti-same-sex-marriage $$$

In what seems to be its only California campaign contribution so far in the 2009-10 election cycle, the National Organization for Marriage – a Virginia-based organization that helped support and bankroll Proposition 8 of 2008, the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage – last week gave $5,000 to John Eastman’s campaign for state Attorney General.

John EastmanEastman, who stepped down as dean of the Chapman University School of Law in Orange in order to launch this campaign a few weeks ago, has been trying to tack to the right of his GOP primary rivals; he won the endorsement of the California Republican Assembly, the conservative grassroots arm of the party, this past weekend.

The “Issues and Philosophy” section of Eastman’s Web site says “California’s Attorney General has a constitutional duty and obligation to defend the people, including defending ballot measures passed by the people. Jerry Brown failed his constitutional duty when he not only refused to defend Proposition 8 (traditional marriage), but worked to help to overturn it. John Eastman would reverse this policy and defend Proposition 8 and other voter enacted measures when challenged.”

The campaign Web sites of Republican AG primary candidates state Senator Tom Harman and Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley make little mention of marriage or Proposition 8. A Feb. 24 news release on Harman’s site takes Cooley to task for having “polished his liberal credentials by coming to current Attorney General Jerry Brown’s defense for entering the legal battle against traditional marriage,” but doesn’t explicitly describe Harman’s own views.

NOM describes itself as “a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.” Activists claim it’s essentially a front group passing through enormous sums of money from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (commonly known as the Mormon Church) to fight same-sex marriage from coast to coast.

NOM Executive Director Brian Brown was among the co-hosts of a Feb. 22 fundraiser for Eastman in Washington, D.C. NOM’s direct contribution came March 2.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • It should go without saying that a person should be allowed to marry whomever they choose. Until the right-wing, religious fanatics in this country stop trying to control everybody else and force their “morals” down the throat of the country, there can be no real freedom in the United States. Civil rights cannot simply be “voted away,” that is the purpose of the Bill of Rights. Religious activists should be left out of these decisions completely. I invite you to my web pages devoted to raising awareness on this puritan attack on our freedom: http://freethegods.blogspot.com/2009/06/san-franciscos-gay-pride-parade.html

  • The duty of the attorney general is to defend the Constitution.

  • James D.

    The Attorney General has a responsibility to defend to the best of the AG’s ability the laws of the state. If there is an issue, case, or law that the AG feels he/she is too emotionally involved with, or morally disagrees with, he/she should self recuse. To do otherwise, shows a great lack of morals.

    David Scott raises a valid issue. I would ask if a democratic society should be allowed to place any rules on getting married. If so, upon what should those rules be based??? should the rules/laws be based on morals/right-wrong or perhaps on what “benefits society.” Who gets to decide that? The voters?? A panel of one/three/nine judges? Who?

    My problem is not with Jerry Brown being for or against proposition 8. It doesn’t matter what his personal feelings are. What matter is he does his job!!! He did the absolutely weakest job he could while “defending it” before the court. His strongest argument was “well, we’ve always done it that way.”