Monday, September 12, 2005

Pushing Buttons in Sacramento

We don't seem to have the flair for legislative theater that some states, like California, do. Back to back, state Senator Carole Migden there has managed to literally disgrace herself in the legislature and figuratively spit in the eye of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

She's little, she's loud, she's out there. Representing San Francisco and some nearby areas, she has been a strong advocate for gay rights, the environment and all things related. Yet, her forte seems to be drama.

Her recently enrolled bill SB 565 grills the girly-man governor over his claims of being for equal rights. The Property tax reappraisal exclusion: domestic partners bill gives the same death benefits to the now legal domestic partners (almost entirely gay) that married straights get. Presently only married couples can transfer property on death without the reassessment that can mean loss of a house and land to taxes.

SF Supervisor Gerardo Sandova is all for it. "This is a civil-rights issue," affecting thousands of registered partners, he told the San Francisco Examiner. Equity California's Eddie Gutierrez agreed and said, "This legislation would be the first in the country to make sure gay and lesbian families are secure in their homes and protected."

The bill is likely to pass and put Schwarzenegger is a terrible position of backing up his big words upon his intended veto of same-sex marriage.

So, Migden is a pixie and a saint, right? Well...

...about a week ago, she was lobbying the other house in her legislature for her cosmetics bill (labeling all the nasty ingredients). On an impulse, she pushed the Yea button for her bill. So, she voted for another legislature, in a different house, and picked one of an absent member opposed to her bill.

When the these-are-not-the-droids-you-seek ploy didn't work (She actually said, "There's no story here."), she apologized.

This was Sacramento, not Hollywood.

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