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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
October 31, 2013

Hawaii: Gay Marriage Bill Is Approved in the Senate

The State Senate passed a bill on Wednesday legalizing same-sex marriage, sending the measure to uncertain prospects in the State House. The bill passed easily, 20 to 4, with one senator abstaining. The Hawaii Senate is dominated by Democrats, with only one Republican. In the House, Majority Leader Scott Saiki has said it is likely the chamber will amend the bill to change religious exemptions. The Senate bill exempts ministers and other clergy members — but not commercial businesses — from having to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.


October 31, 2013

Virginia Polls Show Terry McAuliffe Leading Ken Cuccinelli By Either A Little Or A Lot

wo respected polls have produced conflicting stories about the standings in Virginia's race for governor. With less than a week to go before the election, Democrat Terry McAuliffe either has a "substantial" advantage over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli or is "clinging" to a narrow lead.

A new Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday morning found McAuliffe with a 4 percentage point lead (45 to 41 percent) over Cuccinelli among likely voters. Libertarian party candidate Robert Sarvis had 9 percent and 4 percent were undecided. In a release, Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown characterized the new result as Cuccinelli "nipping at Terry McAuliffe's heels." A previous Quinnipiac survey conducted in mid-October gave the Democrat a slightly larger (7 point) lead.

But on Monday, a new Washington Post/SBRI poll gave McAuliffe a twelve percentage point lead (51 to 39 percent) over Cuccinelli among likely voters, with Sarvis at 8 percent and just 1 percent undecided. The Post characterized McAuliffe's lead as "substantial" and fueled by a "rapid deterioration in the national Republican Party’s image among Virginians."......

The discrepancy between the two surveys may result from the manner in which they selected likely voters. Among the broader population of all registered voters, the Post survey found a narrower, six-point McAuliffe lead (45 to 39 percent) that closely resembles the Quinnipiac result. Quinnipiac did not release results for all registered voters.


October 30, 2013

Cuccinelli Tripled (Quadrupled?) Down on 'God's Punishment' Rhetoric on Fox News Last Night

In case you missed it, Ken Cuccinelli appeared on Bret Baier's show on Fox News last night and stood resolutely by his statements expressing surprise that the United States has not yet experienced "God's judgment" over a woman's constitutional right to make her own health care decisions. He also followed up on his recent comparison of abortion to slavery by comparing the consequences he anticipates for abortion to those the country suffered as a result of segregation.

Cuccinelli's offensive and dangerous rhetoric, and his insistence on repeating it every time he's asked, prove that he is just too extreme for mainstream Virginians, and that he doesn't seem to care who knows it.


October 30, 2013

Michigan community still Ground Zero in struggle against Tea Party.

Jennifer Hilzinger is one of many Troy residents who sometimes can’t understand what’s going on in her hometown. One minute she’s living in the place she chose for its diversity, for its fine schools, for its friendly mix of amenities. The next, she’s being followed down the street by a guy on a bike.

Hilzinger was carrying petitions door-to-door to recall then-Mayor Janice Daniels, whose brief term as the city’s mayor drew unwelcome publicity. She knocked at one house, where the occupant refused to sign. She continued down the street, but “about two minutes later he hops on his bike and starts following me. He says ‘what you’re doing is wrong, she was fairly elected.’ He just followed and yelled at me.”

As political confrontations go, this was pretty tame, Hilzinger admits. Troy, like a lot of prosperous suburbs, doesn’t really do confrontation at the street level. But in recent years, the Oakland County city of 81,000 has become something of a ground zero for a grassroots tea-party movement that has led to plenty of strife.

Residents are squabbling over city finances, starting to recover after a slump that nearly led to the closure of the library. Feelings are also running high over the delayed opening of a new transit center – one of Mayor Daniels’ first battles, which she voted against shortly after her 2011 election. And while the emotions have ebbed somewhat since the recall fight last year, Daniels’ candidacy for a city council seat inspired the anti-tea party website Keep Troy Strong and a parody Twitter account in her name. Sample: Janice Daniels for Council – Because I’m the only candidate promising a border fence between Troy and Madison Hgts!


October 30, 2013

McCain: ENDA Could Lead To 'Busing,' 'Reverse Discrimination'

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Tuesday that he has not yet decided whether he will support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace, due to concerns that it might lead to "busing" and "reverse discrimination."

McCain said that sometimes when laws that promote equality include provisions with quotas, the legislation fails to address inequality.

"Whether it imposes quotas, whether it has reverse discrimination, whether it has the kinds of provisions that really preserve equal rights for all citizens or, like for example, busing. Busing was done in the name of equality. Busing was a failure. Quotas were a failure," McCain told the Huffington Post. "A lot of people thought they were solutions. They weren't. They bred problems."

McCain added that others, young people in particular, agree with him.


October 30, 2013

Hawaii governor expects gay marriage bill to pass 'within week'

Gov. Neil Abercrombie told Al Jazeera Monday that he expects Hawaii's legislature will pass a bill legalizing gay marriage "within a week or so," in a state that just two decades ago prompted an international dialogue on marriage equality.

The Democrat was interviewed after a special session of his state legislature in Honolulu, which he called to debate the passage of state Senate Bill 1.

The state's House of Representatives plans to pass the bill Thursday, if it successfully passes through the Senate, Reuters reported. Democrats make up the majority in both chambers.

"The bill primarily is in response to the recent Supreme Court decisions and legal action that was taken in our state with regard to equality issues that we think the bill will resolve," Abercrombie said.


October 30, 2013

Hawaii Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes Senate Panel

After nearly 12 hours of passionate, repetitive, sometimes heated and often ill-informed testimony, the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee passed a same-sex marriage bill late Monday.

The vote on Senate Bill 1 was 5-2, with Democrat Mike Gabbard and Republican Sam Slom in the minority.

"This measure represents the Committee's best effort to balance the interests of supporters and opponents of this issue," said Senator Clayton Hee, chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor. "The Senate's bill preserves religious freedoms and ensures that the rights of all Americans are preserved as enshrined in the United States and Hawaii Constitutions."

SB 1 now awaits a vote in the full Senate, where it is expected to pass comfortably. It will then be heard by the House Judiciary and Finance committees Thursday morning, where its fate is less certain.


October 29, 2013

Need advice on how to talk to a friend about her driving home after drinking.

I've never been confronted with this issue and I don't know how to bring it up with her. She's a friend, coworker and favorite Happy Hour partner who does not get smashed, but is a little too confident in her ability to get herself home safely. Where she lives, public transportation is not an option (I don't have a car, myself) and I worry that she thinks a little buzz is no big deal. How have you handled this?

October 29, 2013

Nevada GOPer Says He'd Vote For Slavery If That's What His Constituents Wanted

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada assemblyman came under fire Monday after a YouTube video surfaced in which he told a Republican gathering he would vote to allow slavery if that is what his constituents wanted him to do.

"If that's what they wanted, I'd have to hold my nose ... they'd probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah," Assemblyman Jim Wheeler told members of the Storey County Republican Party at a meeting in August.

His comments were swiftly denounced by Republicans and Democrats alike.

"Assemblyman Wheeler's comments are deeply offensive and have no place in our society," Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement. "He should retract his remarks and apologize."


October 29, 2013

Larry Sabato: A Democratic Tide in Virginia

Some history is being made in Virginia.

The statehouse battle was supposed to be close. But as we look at Virginia’s gubernatorial contest in the stretch, just about everything is moving in a Democratic direction. The final debate Thursday night changed little, in our view — especially because it wasn’t even broadcast statewide.

You might recall that the Crystal Ball was the first ratings agency to tilt the race to ex-Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe (D), and we did so at the end of August. Today we move the race from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic.....

With the election dynamics moving in the Democrats’ favor, the race for lieutenant governor is now Safe Democratic. Not only is Jackson controversial for his political views, but his campaign has been a mess. New revelations about his past financial problems and his campaign’s failures to properly disclose donations reflect a sloppiness or incompetence that was always going to make it hard for him to win. Now in the final days of the campaign, state Sen. Ralph Northam’s (D) campaign is going to hammer Jackson with television ads and mailers using the large volume of opposition research at its fingertips. Northam has raised significantly more than Jackson, so he will have the resources to do this effectively.

Meanwhile, the battle between the Marks for the state’s attorney general position is going to be the real race to watch on election night. Because of the likely coattails from McAuliffe and Northam, we’re moving this very close race from Toss-up to Leans Democratic. Here’s why:

Unlike his ticket-mates, state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R) has run a strong race, with a smart series of campaign ads (often featuring his articulate daughter) steering him toward the middle of the road. While Obenshain has a firmly conservative record, he has done an excellent job of emphasizing the parts of his bio that have the broadest appeal. With some exceptions, Obenshain has largely kept the GOP behind his candidacy. Whereas some moderate and business Republicans have openly endorsed McAuliffe in the gubernatorial race, many of those same individuals have backed Obenshain. In fact, national Republicans are moving money toward Obenshain in an effort to make him a firewall against a Democratic sweep on Election Day........

Further down the ballot, the effect of a solid McAuliffe victory on the House of Delegates is telling. While Republicans are certain to hold onto the House, as we discussed back in August, Democrats may be in a position to pick up more seats that we thought possible at that time. As reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s political guru Jeff Schapiro, Democrats believe they may have a shot at 10 seats while Republicans concede there could be six to eight in play. Given that Republicans currently hold 68 seats (counting an independent who caucuses with the GOP) in the 100-member House of Delegates, a reasonable goal for Democrats would be to cut the Republican advantage down to 60-40. As long as there aren’t any shake-ups in the gubernatorial race in the final week and a half, a net gain of six to eight seats seems possible for Democrats.


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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
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Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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