I’m shocked by Assemblymember Blakeslee’s email that was leaked to Capitol Weekly (Oct. 14, “Leak of the Week”).
One has to wonder if he read some of the bills he is attacking or if he is simply trying to drum up right wing support by attacking LGBT Californians. The Harvey Milk Day bill will create a special day of significance for a civil rights hero who has been honored by the President with the highest civilian honor our nation bestows. While the legislation does not require anything more than that a proclamation be issued each year on Harvey Milk’s birthday, it would be ideal if students learned about his contributions as part of California history. We have seen the devastation when governments have tried to erase a group from history because they didn’t like people due to their sexual orientation, religion, race or other characteristic. The Governor and members of the legislature showed great leadership in enacting this law.
As for SB 54, it clarifies the California Supreme Court’s ruling on Proposition 8 and avoids needless confusion and hardship for California families. It is completely consistent with the court’s ruling. It simply clarifies that same-sex couples who married outside of California before Proposition 8 passed are recognized as married, and that same-sex couples who married or who marry after Proposition 8’s passage receive the rights of marriage but are not identified as “married.” The Supreme Court in upholding Proposition 8 made it clear that our Constitution requires that same-sex couples who now cannot marry be treated identically to different sex couples other than the distinction “marriage.” Proposition 22 was completely overturned by the California Supreme Court, so whether SB 54 is in line with Proposition 22 is completely irrelevant. SB 54 and the Harvey Milk Day bill give hope and dignity to thousands of LGBT youth and families. These bills value all of California’s families. I applaud Governor Schwarzenegger for signing these two fair-minded and popularly supported bills.
The origin and structure of the California Latino Water Coalition was well documented in a series of articles published by CAPITOL WEEKLY. The CLWC was re-reorganized as a non-profit corporation for lobbying, but is not listed on appropriate State or IRS web sites.
During the period Sept. 28 through Oct. 2, Victor Lopez traveled to Washington D.C. with a contingent of the California Latino Water Coalition. His expenses, including air fare and hotels were pre-paid with the City credit card. Money for meals, entertainment, taxis and tips were advanced in cash prior to his departure.
There were Lopez excursions to Sacramento and elsewhere for CLWC prior to, and subsequent to, the D.C. trip. In addition to the above “expenses” you can bet there will be mileage reimbursements and more.
The Lopez expenditures for Sept. 14 through Oct. 2, based on Public Records Act information, is over $4,075. There may be additional City credit card charges. One or more subsequent trips to Sacramento will add an additional $1,200-plus for four weeks of travel. Total: $5,275-plus. All for the Latino Water Coalition.
The City Council will address these expenditures at the next Council meeting and determine the applicability of the City paying for CLWC travel. The Council will approve or disapprove the current expenditures by Lopez. In addition “travel policy” may be reviewed at this meeting.
Obviously, Victor Lopez can travel for the CLWC whenever he chooses. For his expenses, he should look to; 1) the CLWC (they have fund raising at LatinoWater.com), 2) his day job as ‘Project Manager’ for FCEOC (regional economic issues), or 3) the Governors ‘California Dream Team’ PAC (they have millions).