Prop 8 Reactions; Obama’s Historic Campaign; Sarah Palin; Debra Walker on Prop B …

by on November 6, 2008

Dear Paul,

I heartily agree with your column “No on 8 – When Reactive Politics Become Losing Politics.” The people who ran the No on 8 campaign ran an absolutely horrible campaign! Thank goodness Barack Obama didn’t hire them to run his campaign, and I am so elated about his victory. Here in Chico, the Democratic headquarters wanted No on 8 signs. Unfortunately I heard from someone that the statewide No on campaign had no more signs to send. Even though the Yes on 8 campaign spent a ton of money, it was not like the No campaign was short on funds. The managers of the No on 8 campaign simply assumed that their campaign won.

Walter Ballin

To the Editor:

I totally agree with your post on the Yes and No on 8 campaigns. I’m shocked, disappointed and outraged that measure won. It should not have passed. The truth is that the Yes on 8 team hired a better ballot initiative team, people who were disciplined and experienced because they do statewide measures every election. The good news is that when another gay marriage measure is attempted, lessons will have been learned. And it will pass.

Kathy Fairbanks

To the Editor:

What really disturbs me, and no one seems to be addressing, is the fact that civil rights should not be subject to a popular vote anyway. The Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act and others like the Bill of Rights might not have passed if it had been left to a popular vote. The will of the majority of the people who vote does not determine who is more equal. California should never been voting on this in the first place.

Mark Porter
San Antonio, TX

To the Editor:

Here in Florida, the problem with the gay marriage amendment was it wasn’t publicized enough. The wording of the amendment was very confusing, and you really didn’t know if you were against or for if you voted “NO.”

It is a shame that we have come this far in politics and this issue is still an issue. No one can put a law on love or partnership. Doesn’t more people that get married help our economy? Also, there are so many children that need to be adopted-why not let “couples” adopt them. Narrow mindedness is the next obstacle this country needs to get over.

Lori Gonzalez
Miami, Florida

Hi Paul,

Thank you for your article this morning. If there is anything I can do to help remove discrimination from our constitution, please let me know.

Best wishes,
Lisa Lambeth

To the Editor:

I just finished reading your article and found it most interesting. You call the people for YES on 8 liars and I am one of those people so I wonder where are the lies. I was all for letting people live and let live until I inquire into what is happening in Massachusetts. The only state that has allowed same sex marriage now for a while that we can look at. So I read and what I found out was that I didn’t want any of that to happen here in California.

Do you really think that YES on 8 was lying when they said all that stuff about schools? No they were not. It will happen it is not fear it is just looking towards the future and seeing what can happen. Just with any other proposition we take the information and look and see how it will impact us in the future. I am the parent, I get to teach my children values and I get to teach them when and where and how they will hear about issues that differ from our core views.

You have to admit that the gay and lesbians have an agenda and that is to have the same dignity and respect as heterosexual couples have. That respect and dignity will not be gained if prop 8 failed and gay marriages were allowed to be the norm. I will teach my children that it is wrong and they will teach their children the same. We know this is not over because you will do anything to push your agenda and make it normal.

But know this that we will also fight for what we believe to be true. We will fight just as hard or harder for our rights. It is no longer acceptable to be politically correct. It is now acceptable to be morally correct. I will not stand by and let others push their agenda using fear tactics such as calling us biggots, or intolerant, or too religious or to right or whatever you care to come up with.

One thing I learned from this was that intolerance is a two way street. You need to be tolerant to my views and you need to respect me for not believing or accepting your gay lifestyle. Because it is a lifestyle right a choice you make. Most people I know who are homosexuals don’t think there is such a thing as a gay gene or that you are born that way. So if you choose to be homosexual and I choose to be straight then we will need to respect each other.

The Mormon church did not donate 20 million dollars. It was individuals who believe that “marriage” between a man and a woman is called of God. It is individuals that have a strong conviction about family and children that donated their money. Who donated on your side? Wasn’t it the Brad Pitt’s of this world, the Hollywood crowd that have no moral values or ethics to begin with donated most of your money. You have your openly gay producers, directors, actors, politicians donating for your cause but average mothers, fathers, chidren from all faiths donate money and you want to defame a church for calling their people to action.

I don’t know if you have ever attended church, but that is what church does. It teaches and calls you to action and when it has to it calls you to repentance. So don’t single out one church because their members are actively involved in their communities. Because communities is where our children live and communities is where we get our future leaders. We will fight and we will organize better than you will ever do.

Your article full of lies and deception. Your article speaks of nothing but the truth is that you will have to wait until my generation dies and I am 30 years old to get your agenda passed. In the mean time, we will be vigilant in the schools and in other places so we can make sure that your agenda stays in the closet.

Carlota Carlos

Dear Paul,

Regarding Prop 8, and others – What we need to do is to stop out-of-state interests from pouring millions into our elections to confuse California voters with their lies thereby influencing changes in OUR constitution. The electorate needs to be more educated about this.

And wasn’t it Montana that outlawed paid signature gathering for ballot propositions because they were “tired of people coming in from other states imposing their will on Montanans?” Why can’t we do that here?

While volunteering to pass out literature, etc., during election season, I always come across folks who are often hawking causes just the opposite of my progressive values. When I question them, most of them only know what their compensators tell them about the issue. I realize they are happy to earn the money and probably need it, but it just irks me to see people pushing something they neither necessarily believe in nor understand because they are getting paid for it.

Maybe if those same folks, the majority of whom are young, volunteered to get more progressive issues passed, there would be more jobs eventually, and I don’t mean the false promises of the likes of Lennar!

Terrrie Frye
San Francisco


I am thrilled with Barack Obama’s brilliant campaign, unimpeachable victory, switching nine red states to blue, his decisive Electoral Vote triumph, and the dramatic, rather exceptional popular vote plurality. Rationality and expertise and even civility may return to Washington. But claiming this single victory, however historic, equals the “Dawn of a New Progressive Era” has the feel of propaganda, at least cheerleading, not argument or substance.

Not once do you define what “progressive” means, making it by default little more than an electable liberal. Where is Obama’s progressive agenda, vision or ideology? Where was the progressive campaign anywhere in the Democratic party — Cindy Sheehan? I struggle to find anything about Obama more than safe liberal, such as withdrawing from Iraq over many months, his frightened FISA vote, or proposal to sustain very high defense spending.

Unless the notion is not being like George Bush or John McCain makes you a “progressive.” What in last night’s speech full of nice platitudes speak to your “mandate for progressive change”? Plus, where’s the great collective wave of election support for this dawn of your new age — not certainly in the modest Senate pickups, where only a few Bush senators (like E. Dole) were defeated and not mainly for being pro-Bush. Look at all the nasty Bush supporters re-elected, in Kentucky, Georgia, Oregon, even in historically very “progressive” Minnesota, where a discredited, corrupt hack (Norm Coleman, voting with Bush 80% of the time) beat a potentially progressive, energized Al Franken. No Obama shirt-tails I saw, even in states he won. Likewise: relatively few House pickups, less than expected. And why the loss in Missouri, with savvy Claire McCaskill pushing hard as national co-chair for Obama? A clear but not titanic mandate for something different.

Obama will govern as a centrist pragmatism, which may well involve unilaterally bombing Pakistan or enduring new FISA rules or backing dreadful Supreme Court decisions. I think his moderate health program is about as far-out as anything that will pass Congress, but it’s not especially progressive. Ditto his tax plans, his support of Wall Street, his alliance with a bevy of Clinton and Democratic stalwarts from an earlier, hardly progressive age.

Now, don’t get me wrong (and I am happy eventually to be wrong on this account): I am not complaining or expecting radical change as I view Obama as the perfect transition between the old, old Bush-Cheney politics and the tomorrow of a progressive era. But I don’t see either cautious Rep. Pelosi or Sen. Reid as overseeing the dawn of your “progressive” age. You seem to be confusing current Democratic leadership, celebrated only yesterday for a lack of spine on anything controversial, as risk-taking progressives with vision.

I expect Obama to be a distinguished, perhaps great president as he has the brains, skills, and temperament for leadership. I hope he becomes the new FDR, who in fact didn’t campaign as he eventually had to govern, but I don’t see the virtue in your counting ill-defined chickens just because we may have banished the worse fox in a century from the government hen house.

Robert Becker
Mendocino CA

To the Editor:

Selecting Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate was Senator John McCain’s first major decision as the Republican nominee. He made a big mistake. Sure, Palin energized the Republican base, but otherwise she was a major drag on his candidacy. McCain’s team attempted to disguise her inadequacy by controlling media access to her.

However, when she did meet one-on-one with NBC’s Katie Couric and ABC’s Charles Gibson, her guile was insufficient to hide her vacuity. She made stirring canned speeches, but one always wondered if she knew what, for example, socialism is or why Obama’s tax plan was supposed to be socialistic.

With the help of a ghost writer, she will probably get a book deal telling us all about her moment in the sun. And I bet she will be earning some pin money on the lecture circuit.

During the presidential debate, Senator Obama was asked if he thought Palin was qualified to be president. He answered: “That’s going to be up to the American people.” Well, the American voters answered with a resounding “no” on Tuesday.

Ralph E. Stone
San Francisco

To the Editor:

In your write-up of San Francisco election results, you wrote: “One measure that remains in doubt is Proposition B — the affordable housing charter amendment — which is currently down by 2,000 votes. But as Debra Walker told me last night at David Chiu’s party, ‘the new progressive Board could just legislate it.”

How can the Board of Supervisors legislate a charter set aside without voter approval? Didn’t Chris Daly appropriate $30m for housing 2 years ago and didn’t Newsom refuse to spend it? Debra is much better at glad-handling than she is at the intricacies of policy after being around this for 20 years.

Marc Salomon
San Francisco

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