Glendora council may voice opposition to Prop. 19

A couple footnotes on tonight’s Glendora City Council meeting.

The council has on the agenda two items to either oppose/support two California propositions.

The most controversial of the two propositions in Prop. 19, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.

The dubi-ous law (see what I did there?) has been debated to the point where most people probably can’t make heads or tails of it. I think people were less paranoid about the Large Hadron Collider ending the world than Prop. 19.

City staff is asking council to to oppose Prop. 19 on the grounds that it is a public safety risk and the law itself is poorly constructed.

At the same time, the council (this comes as no surprise) is looking to support Prop. 22, The Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Protection Act. The proposition aims to stop state borrowing/taking from local city coffers.

Glendora votes down resolution to support state, federal laws (because they already do, duh!)

One of the more interesting moments of Glendora’s city council meeting Tuesday night was the discussion over a resolution that would be a proclamation of support for “The Rule of Law and State Rights”

The resolution, as it was written, would make it known that Glendora supports the law. As its justification, It has a few paragraphs relating to immigration, such as acknowledging the country’s history of immigrants, support of legal immigration, acknowledging the country and state has laws regarding immigration, raises issues of human trafficking and drugs, and finally says, in probably its strongest statement, that other states and cities have enacted laws as a result of unfair practices by the federal government (Arizona anyone?)

The intent, when councilmen Doug Tessitor and Ken Herman asked for it to be drawn up, was as a stance against illegal immigration and sanctuary cities.

When the resolution went before the council, many members had problems with it. Tessitor and councilman Gene Murabito thought it wasn’t strong enough to express the council’s intent. Tessitor called it “vanilla.”

City Attorney Wayne Leech said it was his intent to water it down in an effort to not put the city on the side of a law that could be rendered unconstitutional.

So the actual resolution section only stated “The City of Glendora supports the rule of law and that enforcement of all government laws, rules and regulations must be done in a fair and equitable manner so that its citizens believe that regardless of their race; family status; religion, creed or financial ability will be treated in the true spirit of Justice being blind to those elements.”

Councilman Terry Kent expressed what most people watching probably thought too. If this does nothing more than say Glendora supports all laws, and considering the city already enforces those laws, than why is the council even talking about this?

“We are already doing it,” Kent said during the meeting. “I don’t know why we are here, to be honest with you.”

Councilwoman Karen Davis echoed Kent’s comments.

“We have, we are and will enforce the laws and in terms of other cities, what we say or do will not impact what those other cities will do,” she said. “We have a jurisdiction to enforce the laws in Glendora, which we have, are and will do. If the intent is to make a reflection on what some other cities have chosen to do, then maybe the language of this needs to be different.”

Murabito had problems with the resolution’s intent versus the actual language.

“If we want to make a statement the we support the laws, why do we then in one paragraph here get very specific to immigration law?” he asked. “To me this whole resolution is saying in essence, we support the laws … and then, oh by the way, we are going to draft this to address immigration.”

Tessitor said immigration should be part of the resolution, and in fact, brought forward stronger within the resolution because “immigration is the lynch pin” by which other cities have fashioned sanctuary city laws.

“I think that is the nexus that is important in taking a stand,” he said.

In the end, only Herman and Tessitor voted in favor of the resolution which died 3-2.

Prop. 8 statements rolling in

After the major news that the California Supreme Court overturned gay marriage ban Prop. 8 in a ruling announced today, the statements from the various political groups are starting to roll in.

I mean, what is the point of having a political or advocacy group if you can’t send a mass statement to 1,000 reporters each trying to write their own unique, insightful and informative piece.

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, some of the statements I have received thus far:

From the California Democratic Party’s Southern California Chair of the LGBT Caucus Jess Durfee
“Today’s ruling is a victory for equality and an affirmation for all Californians who believe that our state must never be party to keeping committed, loving couples apart. This is but the latest victory in a long march toward full equality that has yet to be realized for the majority of LGBT couples and families in the United States. California Democrats will continue to fight on the side of basic fairness and equality under law until the right to marry is extended to all couples.”

From the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
“Today is a great day for anyone who believes in the power of justice, family, and love. Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community have the right and freedom to form unions that are just as loving and respectful as any other Californian. The ruling today makes it unconstitutional to take away that right. We celebrate the judge’s decision and we join LGBT organizations nation-wide in rejoicing this long-overdue ruling.

As an immigrant rights organization it is our responsibility and commitment to ensure that all members of our family are treated equally, humanely, and justly.”

From the Interfaith Alliance

“We are pleased to see that Judge Vaughn Walker was sensitive to the concerns of people of faith who oppose same-gender marriage on religious grounds but that he recognized, as do we, that their religious freedom will not be impacted by the legalization of same-gender marriage. America’s diverse religious landscape leaves room for a variety of theological perspectives on same-gender marriage; indeed, some faiths enthusiastically support it and others vehemently oppose it. Under this ruling, as with any constitutionally based marriage equality law, no religion would ever be required to condone same-gender marriage, and no member of the clergy would ever be required to perform a wedding ceremony not in accordance with his or her religious beliefs.

But in a country that guarantees both religious freedom and “justice for all,” the laws of our land must be based on what is fair and equal, not simply on the religious views of any faith community.”

I have yet to receive any statements from local conservative groups, but when I do I will add them to the list.

In addition, here is a lengthy post I found interesting regarding today’s decision.

State Controller wants city salaries available online (what a novel idea…duh)

Well, it shouldn’t be long until we won’t need to file numerous public records requests to get the salaries of City Managers (like I did for this story) or for any city employee soon.

After the scandalous Bell issues and reports from various news agencies, like the Tribune, following up on salaries throughout their coverage areas, the state Controller is now looking to make cities post their department salaries.

I know what most people are thinking: Why wasn’t this done years upon years ago, like when cities first created websites filled with city information and council agendas? That’s a very good question…

Here is the press release from State Controller John Chiang’s office today:

SACRAMENTO – State Controller John Chiang today announced new reporting requirements for all California cities and counties, directing them to clearly identify elected officials and public employees’ compensation. The information will be posted on the Controller’s website, starting in November.

“The absence of transparency is a breeding ground for waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars,” said Chiang. “A single website with accessible information will make sure that excessive pay is no longer able to escape public scrutiny and accountability.”

The new reporting requirements come after the City of Bell reportedly spent $1.6 million annually on just three city employees, and nearly $100,000 for each part-time City Councilmember. At the request of the City of Bell’s Interim City Administrative Officer, the Controller ordered an audit of Bell’s finances last week.

Under current law, local governments are required to transmit summary information about their revenues and expenditures to the State Controller’s office. Payroll information is included in the total amount listed for each category of program, such as public protection, health and welfare, and governing body. The data is compiled and used to produce annual reports for the Legislature. The Controller’s new rules require cities and counties to provide the salaries for each classification of elected official, such as mayor and supervisor, and public employee, such as city manager and county administrator.

City and counties generally are required to provide the information to the Controller by mid-October of each year. The Controller’s website will be updated annually to reflect the most recent data received. Local governments who fail to report timely could face a penalty of up to $5,000.

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Rep. Miller touts ‘Obamacare’ graphic on twitter page


Rep. Gary Miller tweeted a bubble graphic today regarding the new health care plan.

The graphic comes across daunting and it is evident Miller meant it as a critique of the plan.

But, is this how proponents of the plan would represent the health care overhaul? Probably not.

If you look down at the right hand bottom corner of the graphic, in small letters (why so small? you would think they would want to take credit for their hard work) there is attribution for the creation of the graphic to Republican Congressman Kevin Brady and Sen. Sam Brownback.

Also included in the mess are various health care websites and internet portals and how they connect from the Secretary of Health and Human Services to various campaigns. A bit redundant, I think, and it definitely adds to the garbled mess presented. What campaign doesn’t have a website? Can we just assume that information? Do these items need their own bubble and traceable line?

Here is Miller’s tweet and a link to the graphic.

“@RepGaryMiller: Welcome to ObamaCare:″

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Everyone has something to say about Arizona immigration law decision

In the wake of a judge blocking all the important parts of Arizona’s immigration law SB 1070, here is some reaction from local group and politicians regarding border security and immigration issues.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles issued a statement following the court’s decision on the law.

“Today’s preliminary injunction is a significant partial victory for immigrants, Arizonans, and any American who believes in the protection of freedom, liberty, and equality. Judge Bolton has sent a clear and strong message that sections of the law are at minimum questionable and should not go into effect on July 29. The injunction of the most egregious sections of SB1070 bolsters our argument all along that this law is unconstitutional We will continue to apply political, economic, and legal pressure on Arizona and claim final victory until the law is erased from the books and just and humane immigration reform is advanced in Congress.”

In the Tribune’s story on the decision, Rep. David Dreier was critical of the decision.

“Enhanced cooperation between federal and local authorities is critical to effective immigration enforcement. Instead of filing lawsuits, the federal government should be focused on enforcing our immigration laws.”

Rep. Adam Schiff had this to say:

“We can’t have 50 different states enacting 50 different (immigration) policies. The court as a legal matter properly concluded the law at least in part would have violated federal enforcement of immigration policies. It was a reasonable decision.”

Rep,. Gary Miller, in a statement, says more money is needed to support the judicial system in the southwestern states after the House passed emergency supplemental funds for border security.

“During the last several years, stepped up enforcement and prosecution efforts in Southwest border jurisdictions have resulted in a significant increase in the number of drug, immigration, and weapons cases being filed in courts along the border … Without additional resources, a bottleneck in the judicial system will occur because the courts will lack the resources necessary to process the additional criminal cases brought by the Department of Justice.”

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Argentine President makes a compelling case for same sex marriage, how does it relate to the issue in California?

I came across this video of Argentine President Cristina Fernndez de Kirchner talking about same sex marriage via the Washington Note blog the other day (NOTE: The video is subtitled). Argentina’s government was debating the merits of a marriage equality bill this week. On Thursday, the country became the first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage.

The blog’s writer, Steve Clemons, said the speech was “one of the most eloquent and compelling defenses of same sex marriage equality that I have heard from a head of state.”

Now, while this particular battle over marriage is from another country and isn’t exactly local news, it parallels what America, and specifically, California has had to discuss regarding marriage.

Prop. 8 was one of the most controversial issues to be on a ballot in years when California voters voted in favor of making marriage between a man and a woman. Since then, there have been various legal battles and the issue is far from settled.

What do you think of the video? Does it make you think differently about the issue? Did you think it was a good argument no matter what your position is? What about her points regarding the “tone” of debate? Do you think she was right or wrong when she talks about the types of arguments being made that she believes are inappropriate?

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Antonovich takes a jab at Mexico’s government

Just grabbed this from Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s twitter feed:

“@mikeantonovich: If Mexico continues with this frivolous lawsuit, then Arizona ought to counter-sue for the cost of services to illegal aliens”

Antonovich is referencing Mexico’s government’s decision to offer a legal opinion in support of five lawsuits against Arizona’s new immigration law.

Mexico’s legal brief doesn’t make them a party to the lawsuits, but argues in favor of the lawsuit’s position.

Apparently, though, Antonovich is none to pleased with the Mexico’s government getting involved with Arizona’s bill.


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It’s official: Judy Chu is sworn in as Congresswoman

From Judy Chu’s office:

Judy Chu Sworn in As First Chinese American Congresswoman

Speaker Pelosi Presides Over Event During Regular Session of Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Judy Chu was sworn in today as our nation’s first Chinese American Congresswoman during a regular session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over the ceremony, as Congresswoman Chu’s family, close friends and staff looked on from the Gallery. Following the swearing in, Congresswoman Chu mingled with her new colleagues on the House Floor and then proceeded to a private ceremony with Speaker Pelosi attended by Dr. Chu’s closest family and friends.

“On behalf of all Members of Congress, I am so pleased to welcome Judy Chu to the House of Representatives. As the first Chinese-American woman elected to Congress, her victory is a source of pride to many,” said Speaker Pelosi in a statement following the swearing-in ceremony.

“Over her 24 years in public service, Congresswoman Chu has been committed to the essential issues facing our nation: the strength of our economy, the education of our children, and the health of all Americans,” Speaker Pelosi added. “I look forward to working with Congresswoman Chu to address these challenges and make progress for the entire nation.”

Congresswoman Chu got right to work immediately after the swearing in, voting on several environmental bills and receiving her first committee assignment, the Education and Labor Committee, which is in the process of debating important health care legislation.

Congresswoman Chu was elected to succeed Labor Secretary Hilda Solis on Tuesday by a 61% to 33% margin following a hard-fought primary during which she beat out a crowded field of 12 candidates. She campaigned on a platform of creating jobs and protecting homeowners in her working class 32nd District east of Los Angeles, and put together a multi-ethnic coalition to win the seat in the primarily Latino district.

“I am humbled and honored that the people of the 32nd District and San Gabriel Valley once again

demonstrated their trust in me as their elected representative,” said Congresswoman Chu, who has been elected nine times over the past 23 years as a school board member, mayor, state Assembly member and Board of Equalization member. “I look forward to working hard for my constituents in Washington, using my fiscal expertise to help our nation emerge from our current financial crisis, improving our healthcare system and bringing much needed transportation and education dollars to the San Gabriel Valley.”

Judy Chu most recently served as vice chair of the state Board of Equalization, which collects more than $53 billion in revenue for the state of California. Prior to that she served three terms in the state Assembly, where she headed the powerful Appropriations Committee, with life and death power over every bill with fiscal impact in the state. As an Assemblywoman she authored an innovative tax amnesty bill, the most successful of its kind in the nation, which had been estimated to bring in $300 million but actually generated $4.3 billion for the state without raising taxes.

She was born and raised in Los Angeles and lives in Monterey Park, where she served on the City Council for 13 years, as mayor for three terms and helped the city earn a Diversity Award from the League of California Cities. She is married to Assemblyman Mike Eng, D-El Monte

Bill seeking greater transparency in government approved

From Mike Eng’s office:


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Assembly Bill 1494, authored by Assemblymember Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park), was approved today with by the Senate Committee on Governmental Organization by a vote of 9-0.

Specifically, AB 1494 will provide state government boards and commissions with clarity regarding the prohibition of ‘serial meetings,’ which are discussions or decisions on agenda items that are made behind closed doors away from the public’s view. The Bagley-Keene Act was established to assure that all state-related business be conducted in an open forum for the public to participate.

“AB 1494 strengthens the prohibition on serial meetings to make sure that agenda item discussions and votes are discussed or voted on in a public setting,” Assemblymember Eng stated before members of the Senate policy committee. “Over time, the decorum of some board and commission members, as well as changes in technology, have poked holes in the state open meetings laws and this bill closes those holes.”

AB 1494 will next go before the entire Assembly for a vote