Proponents of tax surprised by big win

Sure, the mayor of Pico Rivera ( along with the city manager and many staffers) wanted Measure P to pass. The measure proposed raising the sales tax by one percent to close a $4.8 million budget gap and would allow the city to tackle a library project and parks improvements.

Some even expected it would pass, but most everyone said it would be a nail-biter election. And when I came in to work on Election Night, I was expecting a close race, maybe too close to call before deadlines for the Wednesday newspaper.

Instead, the measure won by a landslide, with 68 percent of voters in support. The measure needed just a simple majority (50 percent plus one) to pass.

Watch the paper this weekend for a story that explains why officials believe the measure did so well, despite the shaky economy and concerns about government spending.

In their words: Prop 8

Our story on Prop 8 for tomorrow’s paper couldn’t possibly include all the quotes from people concerning the issue of Prop 8 and it’s victory Tuesday. Here are some of those quotes:

The following quotes are from Alhambra resident Julie Tinney who recently wed her lesbian partner:

“My marriage is legal. My civil marriage
is legal. It was performed in good faith and I am ready for a fight.”

“I would never try to take away anyone
else’s civil marriage. Nor would I tell them who they could marry in
their church.”

“If there is anything that did come out
of this, there were a lot of people who were forced to deal with
their own homophobia. On a personal note, last night I went down to a
neighbors house. I didn’t know them very well and I brought them
cookies. I said, ‘I just wanted you to have cookies because when you
put that No on 8 sign in your yard, it felt like a hug.’ He opened
his arms and gave me a huge hug and said ‘I hope we will win.’ That
was before the results had been announced.”

“The reality of all this is that gay
marriage has been legal for five months and I would ask, how has
their marriage been changed, how has their family been changed in the
last five months? The socially acceptable term for people to have
committed to one another is civil marriage. It is not a domestic
partnership, not a civil union. It is a civil marriage. Society gets
that.”

The following quotes are from Los Angeles area spokeswoman for “Yes on prop 8″ Meg Waters:

“We have to reach out to gay and lesbian
couples and help them realize we are all in the same family and this
does not diminish their relationship or take anything away from them.”

“We have always upheld the right to have civil
unions, the right to adopt and equal legal protections under the law. The
issue of education for us about teaching very young children, I would
think gay and lesbian parents would think the same way. I would feel
that way whether I was a straight couple or gay couple – I would. Parents have
the right to instruct there own children on matters of sexuality.”

“Marriage has been something that is
understood by every culture, every religion, every government, every
socially connected group of people since the dawn of time. The
fundamental nature of a family is between a man and a woman. It
doesn’t make sense now in the 21st century to undue a concept that
has existed for over 10,000 years. We are talking about a really
small number of people who are gay and have adopted. I know some who
have become parents and have a lovely home. But the foundation of a
family, what we have biologically known is between a man and a woman
and they create a family. And because there are a handful of people
who have a different family structure, doesn’t mean you change all of
society to redefine marriage to accommodate a few people. You don’t
upset the whole apple cart for just one or two exceptions.”

The following quotes are from Senior Pastor of My Friends House Assembly of God Church Jim Ortiz:

“Marriage in its most basic and
understood fashion is a relationship of committed individuals working
to have a children. Naturally have children. On that very basic
point, same sex marriage can never be equal to heterosexual marriage.”

“People’s choices of lifestyle are there
own. People choose to live that way. I don’t have the right to
discriminate on a personal level. But when it comes to imposing on a
basic historical institution, then it becomes something I have to
fight against.”

“It is unfortunate that those of us in
the religious community have often been portrayed as bigoted and
hateful toward those in the gay community. My point of view is how
people live is up to them. It is my fundamental understanding that sexual
relationships are human choice and human behaviors are always
discriminated against.
We always discriminate against certain
kinds of behavior. Unfortunately, that has always been portrayed as a
hate issue, but it is not. We want what is most beneficial for
society as a whole, for our families and children.”

The following quotes are from Bruce Gray, Rector of St. Matthias in Whittier.

“I think gay marriage is good for society because it gives a good moral standard for society. It promotes lifelong monogamy in sexual relationships.”

“I am disappointed with the result, but
I was aware going in that this was probably one step of many. We will
probably have to work on this issue for years and years to come.”

“The church still very much embraces
them as god embraces them and we can take inspiration from the
presidential election that it may take decades, but the moral right
will prevail.”

Legal battle begins over Proposition 8

Opponents of Proposition 8 have already submitted a complaint over the recently victorious proposition to ban same-sex marriage to the California Supreme Court.

Filed by Gloria Allred and her firm of Allred, Maroko and Goldberg versus the State of California, the complaint asserts that Proposition 8 would revise a section in the state constitution, rather than amend it. If it is an amendment, it only needs a majority of citizens to approve it.

But Proposition 8 is a “substantial revision” to the Equal Protection Clause of the constitution and instead can only be ratified by a constitutional convention and popular ratification or by legislative submission, according to the complaint. Two thirds of each house of the legislature would be needed to pass those items.

The complaint argues the Equal Protection Clause protects marriage between same sex couples as a fundamental right just as it does for opposite sex couples.

“Thus, under Equal Protection analysis, either both forms of couples should be permitted to marry, or neither form of couple should be permitted to marry and all couples, regardless of composition, should be limited to registered domestic partnership,” according to the complaint.

More to come later today.

Governor rejects possible move to Washington

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected
rumors in the blogosphere that he could serve in president-elect
Barack Obama’s cabinet as Secretary of Energy.

“I will stay here in California until
my job is finished because there is a lot of work still ahead of us,”
he told reporters this morning.

Politico.com has been the main source
of the rumor, though others have echoed it. The site listed Schwarzenegger
and New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman as two potential selections.

Schwarzenegger said he is looking
forward to working with Obama.

“I think everyone in the United States, no matter what party affiliation, must support him 100
percent in his administration,” he said.

Proposition 8 proponents celebrate, while opponents wait

Most major news outlets are calling the battle over Proposition 8 a “yes” victory, but opponents to the measure are still awaiting some three to four million absentee votes to be counted before accepting a decision.

“This was a real grassroots effort and I
think once people really starting seeing what was at stake, they
realized we needed to preserve traditional marriage,” said Los Angeles area spokeswoman for “Yes on Prop 8″ Meg Waters. “This is huge.”

After two California votes against gay marriage, followed by Arizona and Florida both voting to ban gay marriage, Waters believes that public sentiment is clear.

But opponents to the Proposition are still playing the waiting game. With a close race at about 52% to 48% in favor of the proposition – a separation of about 400,000 votes – “No on Prop 8″ supporters still have hopes.

“Given that fundamental rights are at stake, we must wait to hear from the Secretary of State tomorrow about how many votes are yet to be counted as well as where they are from,” said Geoff Kors and Kate Kendell of the “No on Prop 8″ executive committee in a prepared statement. “Because Prop 8 involves the sensitive matter of individual rights, we believe it is important to wait until we receive further information about the outcome.”

Measure R still up in the air

I mentioned previously that I was told by the Registrar’s
office that all that remains is an automatic recount for Measure R.

Not so, I am not now told. There are actually almost 600,000
uncounted absentee and provisional ballots (though some of the
provisional ones may be thrown out). That could be enough to drain some
of the support from Measure R to put it under the 2/3 voter requirement
threshold.

We will likely know for sure next week.

.

Taking stock of the House of Representatives

This from another a.m. press release — touting Democratic gains in the House of Representatives:

Thank you for your support of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the DCCC, and Barack Obama! It appears the new House will be 258:176 (a net gain of 23 seats). A special Election will be held on November 18, 2008 to fill the vacancy of the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones.
 
Here are 9 Republican incumbents we have beaten:

Betsy Markey unseated Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave
Jim Himes unseated Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays
Suzanne Kosmas unseated Florida Rep. Tom Feeney
Alan Grayson unseated Florida Rep. Ric Keller
Gary Peters unseated Michigan Rep. Joe Knollenberg
Dina Titus unseated Nevada Rep. Jon Porter
Eric Massa unseated New York Rep. Randy Kuhl
Larry Kissell unseated North Carolina Rep. Robin Hayes
Kathy Dahlkemper unseated Pennsylvania Rep. Phil English
 
9 open seats we captured due to GOP retirements:

Bobby Bright Sr defeated Jay Love in Alabama
Ann Kirkpatrick defeated Sydney Hay in Arizona
Debbie Halvorson defeated Martin Ozinga in Illinois
John Adler defeated Chris Myers in New Jersey
Martin Heinrich defeated Darren White in New Mexico
Harry Teague defeated Ed Tinsley in New Mexico
Michael McMahon defeated Robert Straniere in New York
Dan Maffei defeated Dale Sweetland in New York
Gerry Connolly defeated Keith Fimian in Virginia
49.69%: R Jay Love
4 Seats We Lead in That Have Not Been Called:
Tom Perriello leads Virginia Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr
Mark Schauer leads Michigan Rep. Tim Walberg
Darcy Burner leads Washington Rep. Dave Reichert
John Boccieri leads Kirk Schuring in Ohio
 
The 4 Democrats unseated by Republicans:
Rep. Tim Mahoney of Florida
Rep. Nancy Boyda of Kansas
Rep. Don Cazayoux of Louisianna
Rep. Nick Lampson of Texas
 
Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke eloquently last night, stating “We have a great deal of work to do, and we can do some of it right from the start, but the rest of it will take a while”. She added, “We must take a very deliberate, steady course for America.” She stressed bipartisanship and praised both President-Elect Barack Obama and defeated Republican nominee John McCain.

A challenge to Prop 8 emerges

Here’s the first press release of the morning regarding the passage of Proposition 8, the ban on same sex marriages in California. It comes from the law offices of Gloria Allred:

Attorney Gloria Allred and her clients, Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, will hold a news conference today November 5, 2008 at 12:00 noon at 6300 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1500 L.A. to announce a new lawsuit against Prop. 8. Prop. 8 intended to ban same gender marriages in California. 

Ms. Allred and her law firm represented the couple in their victory before the California Supreme Court. Her clients became the first to marry in Los Angeles County in June. 

Ms. Allred will file the new lawsuit today with the California Supreme Court on behalf of the couple.  The new lawsuit will contain a new and controversial legal argument as to why Prop. 8 is unconstitutional. 

Copies of the lawsuit will be provided to the press at the news conference.

Two Assembly races relatively close, others easy wins

A pair of Assembly races were still relatively close Wednesday morning.

In the 59th District race, Anthony Adams, R-Claremont, led Don Williamson, D-Highland 50.8 percent to 41.3 percent. At 8 a.m., 30 percent of votes still needed to be counted, according to data published by the state.

And in the 60th District race, Chino HIlls Mayor Curt Hagman seemed poised to beat out Diane Singer, D-Anaheim Hills. With 10 percent of precincts not reported, Hagman, a Republican, let 55.9 percent to 44.1 percent.

Other races were not close.

Mike Eng, D-El Monte, was unchallenged in the 49th District.

In the 44th District race, incumbent Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada-Flintridge, had 64.4 percent of the vote compared to 29.8 percent for Brian Fuller, R-Altadena and 5.8 percent for Thomas Logan, a Libertarian.

Incumbent Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina had a 66.7-33.3 percent lead on Victor Saldana, R-Baldwin Park for the 57th District Seat.

For the 58th District seat, incumbent Charles Calderon, D-Industry, had a big 70.9-29.1 percent lead against Carlos Gettino, R-Downey.