By Doug Porter
The California Supreme Court quashed yet another attempt to halt same sex marriages yesterday, rejecting a petition filed by San Diego County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg, Jr. asking for a temporary ban keeping clerks statewide from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.
The late afternoon ruling capped a dramatic day that started with a morning press conference called by LGBT and faith leaders, condemning Dronenberg for using his public office to promote his religious agenda and personal beliefs.
The County Clerk apparently felt the need to crash that gathering, appearing before the cameras as things were winding down to claim that his efforts were pro-bono and merely undertaken as a preventative measure to clarify issues and protect gay and lesbian couples. He did not address the tax dollars that State Attorney General Kamala Harris is spending to defend the state’s position—that marriages should proceed—in that case.
Dronenberg retained the services of well-known anti-gay attorney Charles LiMandri and the “Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund”, a group whose other causes include opposing the birth control provisions of ObamaCare and the ‘Christian’ fire fighters who objected to participating in the 2007 Gay Pride Parade.
LGBT activist Sean Sala spoke to the involvement of LiMandri and his group. Via SDGLN.com:
“We live in a constitutional republic. We protect the rights of minorities. Your arguments are tired and old,” Sala said. “Charles LiMandri, your name will go down in history as equivalent with Jim Crow!”
Log Cabin Republicans of San Diego County President Susan Jester wasn’t buying Dronenburg’s excuses, calling on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to investigate:
Ernie Dronenburg is a Public Official with over 20 years’ experience in state and local tax administration and I find it somewhat of a ridiculous explanation that the petition was filed to “clarify the law” according to his spokesperson.
If he needed to “clarify the law”, then why did he hire the very same lawyer, Charles LiMandri, (who drove the Proposition 8 Initiative with his organization, Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund), declared by SCOTUS to have no standing? This action doesn’t pass the smell test for me and as a Conservative Republican, I am offended by the use of taxpayers’ money to line the pockets of the very guy who brought the defeated unconstitutional action in the first place.
San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox told the media that the clerk was acting on his own.
Since San Diego is in the midst of recall fever, it isn’t surprising that a Facebook page calling for the County Clerk’s ouster has been set up. A of 9am this morning it had garnered nearly 500 supporters.
Actual hearings on the substance of Dronenburg’s challenge will still take place later this year.
Retail Pet Sales, RV Parking Nixed By City Council
San Diego’s City Council gave final approval yesterday to ordinances banning the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits within the city limits and placing severe restrictions on parking oversized vehicles.
While private sales from breeders and adoptions from rescue organizations will still be allowed, the law will halt sales of animals coming from “puppy mills”, mostly out-of-state breeders whose operations have come under frequent criticism for inhumane conditions.
The RV/oversized vehicles ordinance will prohibit the parking of oversized vehicles between 2 and 6 a.m. and within 50 feet of an intersection at any time. Exceptions will be made for delivery trucks and school buses, with 24 hour permits available for owners of RVs.
While proponents of the vehicles law pointed to complaints about large vehicles creating traffic hazards, questions about the impact on of otherwise homeless people living in campers and RVs were not addressed.
Keep Up the Good Work, Congress!
A NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released today finds that Americans’ disapproval of Congress has reached unprecedented levels. 83% were unhappy with the job Congress is doing in Washington, an all-time high in the poll, with a mere 12% saying they approved. A significant majority (57%) even told pollsters they would replace every member of Congress if they could.
Why would that be, you ask? Here’s one clue, from the New York Times:
An attempt on Tuesday by House Republicans to show that they were at least somewhat open to an overhaul of immigration laws was overshadowed by comments from Representative Steve King of Iowa, who said that some undocumented immigrants had “calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
And there’s this plan to shut down the government this fall. From DC’s The Hill:
Senate Republicans, including two members of the leadership, are coalescing around a proposal to block any government funding resolution that includes money for the implementation of the 2010 Affordable Care Act…
…This year, the expiration of laws appropriating government funding coincides with the start of open enrollment for healthcare exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act.
Finally, here’s another item about our legislators in action. From the New York Times:
On Tuesday, a House Appropriations subcommittee formally drafted legislation that would cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 34 percent and eliminate his newly announced greenhouse gas regulations. The bill cuts financing for the national endowments for the arts and the humanities in half and the Fish and Wildlife Service by 27 percent.
For the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, Mr. Obama requested nearly $3 billion for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs — a mainstay of his economic agenda since he was first elected. The House approved $826 million. Senate Democrats want to give $380 million to ARPA-E, an advanced research program for energy. The House allocated $70 million.
A House bill to finance labor and health programs, expected to be unveiled Wednesday, makes good on Republican threats to eliminate the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The labor and health measure — for years the most contentious spending bill — will protect some of the White House’s priorities, like Head Start, special education and the National Institutes of Health, but to do so education grants for poor students will be cut by 16 percent and the Labor Department by 13 percent, according to House Republican aides.
Here’s a big shout out for the folks over at the mighty righty blog SDRostra, for putting up a post yesterday by pitchman Tony Manolatos entitled “Due Process My Ass”. The SDFP is identified as being “left of left” (hey, at least we’re not arguing violent revolution, like your “right of right” buddies do) and accused of being as “progressive as Pat Robertson”.
I can take the name calling. But I’m bummed that San Diego City Beat wouldn’t call us out with their editorial excoriating “Liberals who can’t bear to consider life after Filner.” Our own Andy Cohen was bummed out by being called a ‘liberal activist’ yesterday. It was the ‘activist’ part that got to him. Personally, I’m okay with activist. It would be the ‘liberal’ part that would bother me. It might come as a shock all those folks to learn that us SDFP folk have differences, even about Mayor Filner.
Like I said yesterday, nuance is something all these folks don’t do well.
I hope the SDRostra will enjoy the coming years with Nathan Fletcher as Mayor. Because that IS the end game here, IMO.
Carlos Danger, Meet Narciso Distress
‘Weiner Won’t Pull Out’; that’s the most repeated headline on the internet this morning, and it refers to NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s press conference yesterday, whereby he admitted to, once again, sending sexts to a woman other than his wife. His wife appeared before reporters, saying “this is between us”.
MSNBC talking head Joe Scarborough even speculated on air today that Weiner could still win, calling him the ‘Chuck Yaeger” of sex scandals, always pushing the envelope. . Slate.com came up with a Sexting Name Generator, based on Weiner’s nom de text, “Carlos Danger”.
For those of you wondering, running Bob Filner through the Slate gizmo gave me “José María Jeopardy”. Today it’s been ‘updated to increase the variability of the names’ and it’s saying “Narciso Distress” is a better choice.
Running GOP honcho Tony Kvaric through the gizmo gave up “Marcos Calamity”. I’m ‘Fernando Gamble’. And you’re ________ ?
Just in case you were wondering.
On This Day 1945 President Harry S. Truman at Potsdam disclosed the existence of the atomic bomb to Stalin (who probably already knew about it). 1965 – The Beach Boys’ “California Girls” was released. 1974 – The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Nixon had to turn over subpoenaed White House tape recordings to the Watergate special prosecutor.
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@