Where should the majority of new ownership housing be located for new UCD Faculty and Staff? (Select One)

  • Davis (42%, 361 Votes)
  • UC Davis Campus (31%, 270 Votes)
  • Woodland (Spring Lake) (25%, 217 Votes)
  • Elsewhere (2%, 21 Votes)

Total Voters: 869

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Davis Firefighters to Unleash Another Round of Spending

Yesterday, I found more literature from the Davis Firefighters on my door step. In addition to an apparent reissuing of the brochure from earlier this month, it appears they will be using a fire helmet shaped door hanger to spread the word around Davis in the last week before the election.

Last week, they filed paperwork with the city clerk’s office to show that they had already spent $6700 on their independent expenditure campaign. This was on top of the over $12,000 they had already spent on direct contributions to their three endorsed candidates. This week, it appears they have thrown in at least another $7000, which would push their expenditure campaign over $25,000 in an effort to secure their highly lucrative contracts.

Davis resident Tim Townsend summed up the city’s fiscal situation in a letter to the editor of the Davis Enterprise last week:

“The Bee wrote about it, Rifkin riffed on it, the Davis Vanguard blogged about it and The Enterprise finally covered it. Are Davis voters going to get it? The city of Vallejo, 45 minutes west on Interstate 80, is likely going bankrupt — the largest California city to ever have done so. But why?

One answer, per The Enterprise: “Many officials and residents attribute Vallejo’s fiscal troubles to overly generous pay and benefits to the city’s police and firefighters.”

Davis firefighters and their union have contributed nearly $30,000 to the campaigns of Don Saylor, Steve Souza and Sydney Vergis for City Council. Saylor and Souza have already voted to sweeten our firefighters’ retirements to way beyond fair! Only our mayor, Sue Greenwald, had the courage to say “No!” We need candidates who will hold the line against fiscally irresponsible spending, or we may end up in Vallejo’s shoes.”

The city of Vallejo has made worldwide headlines with their fiscal plight that has led them to file for bankruptcy. Even in the face of bankruptcy, they could not get the public safety unions to back off salary demands.

As the San Jose Mercury news reported on Saturday:

The Vallejo City Council unanimously agreed to begin bankruptcy filings after months of failed negotiations between city and public employee union negotiators. Several meetings between city and union negotiators after the May 6 vote didn’t break the stalemate.”

Davis Enterprise Columnist Rich Rifkin deserves much credit in uncovering the current state of contracts for firefighters. Rich Rifkin’s research and article from December of 2007 is very informative and instructive.

“Last year (2006-07), the city spent $124,183 more than it took in. This year the deficit is $146,376. And next year the shortfall is projected to be $349,464. Yet during that time, the city’s revenues will have increased by more than $2.1 million.

No segment of Davis’ labor force is gorging at the trough more voraciously than the Fire Department. Every one of our full-time firefighters in 2006-07 cost us more than $100,000 in salary, benefits and other expenses. The average was $147,488.

For every $100 in regular salary we gave them, we paid out an additional $29 in overtime. And that was not, according to what Davis City Manager Bill Emlen told me in a phone conversation, “unusual. “

He goes on to warn the public that these practices are unsustainable and the worst aspect of it from the standpoint of fiscal responsibility is the retirement age of 50 and 3% at 50 pension.

“When the new contract was signed the following year, Local 3494 agreed to a 36 percent increase in salaries over four years. Their $100 checks paid off. They also got a fat retirement deal, called 3 percent at 50.

What that means is that a firefighter can retire at age 50 and for every year he worked he gets 3 percent of his final salary to start his retirement. A firefighter who puts in 30 years gets 90 percent of his final salary. And because many firefighters finish as battalion chiefs and captains, those final salaries are especially lucrative.”

As Rich Rifkin points out, this year’s election is particularly important to the fire department because their current contract expires in 2009.

Moreover in his December article, Rich Rifkin gave us the example of firefighter H.

“Added together, the total cash out for this one firefighter was $213,741. Yet that figure is not all-inclusive. The city estimates that H’s unfunded liability for his retiree medical benefits will cost the city an additional $7,417. So to pay this one person, the final bill in 2006-07 was $221,158. “

Due to the lucrative overtime, many of these firefighters actually receive more combined money and benefits than the City Manager, Police Chief, and Fire Chief.

As Dave Hart, President of one of the California State Employees Association posted on the Vanguard in response to the May 4, 2008 article on the fire fighters:

“3% at 50 is in my opinion an unsustainable pension benefit. It threatens to undermine the pension system for everyone else in public service.”

The fire fighters are now fighting to keep what they have, even as it does damage to the city’s fiscal situation.

Now no one doubts the importance of the job the fire fighters do. In fact, no one believes that they should not be paid well for doing it. What many question is the current system which pays heavy overtime to Captains, with pay and benefits pushing their compensation to over $175,000 to $200,000 per year, and the lucrative retirement which pays them as much as 90% of their ending salary which is often artificially pushed up to that of a Battalion Chief.

Davis’ fiscal situation is much stronger than that of Vallejo, but Vallejo is still a lesson to be learned. The council majority right now plans to pay for its unmet needs including pensions and health benefits through tax increases. But the system is in danger of becoming more and more top heavy, with more of the resources going to pay for people who often retire at the age of 50. And as we saw in Vallejo, these public safety unions are not willing to step forward even in the face of city bankruptcy. No wonder they are the single largest contributor to the Davis City Council races.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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392 thoughts on “Davis Firefighters to Unleash Another Round of Spending”

  1. Mike

    I think in this election, getting the endorsement of the Fireman’s union may prove as helpful as one from the Grand Wizard of the KKK or Al Sharpton…

    First the Vanguard, and lately the Enterprise and Bee focusing the public interest in the largely corrupt compensation system for firefighter. People who pay attention can see that their endorsements are little more than a fee for services. The three candidates so endorsed can be expected to maintain the corrupt status-quo or doing the union’s bidding.

    ps- there is no need for messages reminding me of the dangerous job they do- yada yada yada… I know a lot of fireman and most are adrenaline junkies who would do the job for free if they had to (and the vast majority of fireman do work for free nation-wide). The pay has nothing to do with the job- it has to do with a union that has milked public sympathy for firemen into ludicrous compensation.

  2. Mike

    I think in this election, getting the endorsement of the Fireman’s union may prove as helpful as one from the Grand Wizard of the KKK or Al Sharpton…

    First the Vanguard, and lately the Enterprise and Bee focusing the public interest in the largely corrupt compensation system for firefighter. People who pay attention can see that their endorsements are little more than a fee for services. The three candidates so endorsed can be expected to maintain the corrupt status-quo or doing the union’s bidding.

    ps- there is no need for messages reminding me of the dangerous job they do- yada yada yada… I know a lot of fireman and most are adrenaline junkies who would do the job for free if they had to (and the vast majority of fireman do work for free nation-wide). The pay has nothing to do with the job- it has to do with a union that has milked public sympathy for firemen into ludicrous compensation.

  3. Mike

    I think in this election, getting the endorsement of the Fireman’s union may prove as helpful as one from the Grand Wizard of the KKK or Al Sharpton…

    First the Vanguard, and lately the Enterprise and Bee focusing the public interest in the largely corrupt compensation system for firefighter. People who pay attention can see that their endorsements are little more than a fee for services. The three candidates so endorsed can be expected to maintain the corrupt status-quo or doing the union’s bidding.

    ps- there is no need for messages reminding me of the dangerous job they do- yada yada yada… I know a lot of fireman and most are adrenaline junkies who would do the job for free if they had to (and the vast majority of fireman do work for free nation-wide). The pay has nothing to do with the job- it has to do with a union that has milked public sympathy for firemen into ludicrous compensation.

  4. Mike

    I think in this election, getting the endorsement of the Fireman’s union may prove as helpful as one from the Grand Wizard of the KKK or Al Sharpton…

    First the Vanguard, and lately the Enterprise and Bee focusing the public interest in the largely corrupt compensation system for firefighter. People who pay attention can see that their endorsements are little more than a fee for services. The three candidates so endorsed can be expected to maintain the corrupt status-quo or doing the union’s bidding.

    ps- there is no need for messages reminding me of the dangerous job they do- yada yada yada… I know a lot of fireman and most are adrenaline junkies who would do the job for free if they had to (and the vast majority of fireman do work for free nation-wide). The pay has nothing to do with the job- it has to do with a union that has milked public sympathy for firemen into ludicrous compensation.

  5. campaign watcher

    Remember that over 60% of these contributions come from city employees (fire fighters) that do not live in Davis. 50% of them do not live in Yolo County. This is a huge expenditure for a group that lives out of town and will directly benefit financially with the right people in office voting on their contract. The firefighters endorsed Sue Greenwald in her last two elections, but they aren’t for her third, because she didn’t vote to approve their last request to increase the Fire Department budget by over $400,000. No other city employee group does this.

    Now compare this to the Gidaro fiasco of a couple of elections ago, where one person who owned land on the edge of town paid $10,000 to hire a telemarketing company to make phone calls on over one weekend to support three candidates (despite their protests and demands that he cease). The man was run out of town and the candidates he supported were nearly crucified. The fire fighters were also paying nearly the same amount in independent expenditures to support Souza, Saylor and Sue Greenwald. Even the President of the Firefighters Association, Bobby Weist, was pictured in Saylors campaign literature and identified as part of his campaign committee. This was ignored.

  6. campaign watcher

    Remember that over 60% of these contributions come from city employees (fire fighters) that do not live in Davis. 50% of them do not live in Yolo County. This is a huge expenditure for a group that lives out of town and will directly benefit financially with the right people in office voting on their contract. The firefighters endorsed Sue Greenwald in her last two elections, but they aren’t for her third, because she didn’t vote to approve their last request to increase the Fire Department budget by over $400,000. No other city employee group does this.

    Now compare this to the Gidaro fiasco of a couple of elections ago, where one person who owned land on the edge of town paid $10,000 to hire a telemarketing company to make phone calls on over one weekend to support three candidates (despite their protests and demands that he cease). The man was run out of town and the candidates he supported were nearly crucified. The fire fighters were also paying nearly the same amount in independent expenditures to support Souza, Saylor and Sue Greenwald. Even the President of the Firefighters Association, Bobby Weist, was pictured in Saylors campaign literature and identified as part of his campaign committee. This was ignored.

  7. campaign watcher

    Remember that over 60% of these contributions come from city employees (fire fighters) that do not live in Davis. 50% of them do not live in Yolo County. This is a huge expenditure for a group that lives out of town and will directly benefit financially with the right people in office voting on their contract. The firefighters endorsed Sue Greenwald in her last two elections, but they aren’t for her third, because she didn’t vote to approve their last request to increase the Fire Department budget by over $400,000. No other city employee group does this.

    Now compare this to the Gidaro fiasco of a couple of elections ago, where one person who owned land on the edge of town paid $10,000 to hire a telemarketing company to make phone calls on over one weekend to support three candidates (despite their protests and demands that he cease). The man was run out of town and the candidates he supported were nearly crucified. The fire fighters were also paying nearly the same amount in independent expenditures to support Souza, Saylor and Sue Greenwald. Even the President of the Firefighters Association, Bobby Weist, was pictured in Saylors campaign literature and identified as part of his campaign committee. This was ignored.

  8. campaign watcher

    Remember that over 60% of these contributions come from city employees (fire fighters) that do not live in Davis. 50% of them do not live in Yolo County. This is a huge expenditure for a group that lives out of town and will directly benefit financially with the right people in office voting on their contract. The firefighters endorsed Sue Greenwald in her last two elections, but they aren’t for her third, because she didn’t vote to approve their last request to increase the Fire Department budget by over $400,000. No other city employee group does this.

    Now compare this to the Gidaro fiasco of a couple of elections ago, where one person who owned land on the edge of town paid $10,000 to hire a telemarketing company to make phone calls on over one weekend to support three candidates (despite their protests and demands that he cease). The man was run out of town and the candidates he supported were nearly crucified. The fire fighters were also paying nearly the same amount in independent expenditures to support Souza, Saylor and Sue Greenwald. Even the President of the Firefighters Association, Bobby Weist, was pictured in Saylors campaign literature and identified as part of his campaign committee. This was ignored.

  9. Anonymous

    To be fair to the firefighters, the retirement package they get is a statewide package – they are not getting special treatment in Davis. Furthermore the salary sturctures in Davis are lower than the salary structures in the Bay Area.

    Getting back to the retirement benefit, the Governor understood the problem several years ago when he asked the voters to help him push back on excessive union benefits. Perhaps he approached the problem wrong but the general idea was right. The voters shot him down and now we get to pay for it.

    Davis could reduce benefits for fire, police and others – that would just encourage good people to leave. Many can not afford to Live in Davis (no tie to the community) – so get hired and trained and then look for greener pastures. Turnover would increase substantially.

  10. Anonymous

    To be fair to the firefighters, the retirement package they get is a statewide package – they are not getting special treatment in Davis. Furthermore the salary sturctures in Davis are lower than the salary structures in the Bay Area.

    Getting back to the retirement benefit, the Governor understood the problem several years ago when he asked the voters to help him push back on excessive union benefits. Perhaps he approached the problem wrong but the general idea was right. The voters shot him down and now we get to pay for it.

    Davis could reduce benefits for fire, police and others – that would just encourage good people to leave. Many can not afford to Live in Davis (no tie to the community) – so get hired and trained and then look for greener pastures. Turnover would increase substantially.

  11. Anonymous

    To be fair to the firefighters, the retirement package they get is a statewide package – they are not getting special treatment in Davis. Furthermore the salary sturctures in Davis are lower than the salary structures in the Bay Area.

    Getting back to the retirement benefit, the Governor understood the problem several years ago when he asked the voters to help him push back on excessive union benefits. Perhaps he approached the problem wrong but the general idea was right. The voters shot him down and now we get to pay for it.

    Davis could reduce benefits for fire, police and others – that would just encourage good people to leave. Many can not afford to Live in Davis (no tie to the community) – so get hired and trained and then look for greener pastures. Turnover would increase substantially.

  12. Anonymous

    To be fair to the firefighters, the retirement package they get is a statewide package – they are not getting special treatment in Davis. Furthermore the salary sturctures in Davis are lower than the salary structures in the Bay Area.

    Getting back to the retirement benefit, the Governor understood the problem several years ago when he asked the voters to help him push back on excessive union benefits. Perhaps he approached the problem wrong but the general idea was right. The voters shot him down and now we get to pay for it.

    Davis could reduce benefits for fire, police and others – that would just encourage good people to leave. Many can not afford to Live in Davis (no tie to the community) – so get hired and trained and then look for greener pastures. Turnover would increase substantially.

  13. Anonymous

    ‘Davis could reduce benefits for fire, police and others – that would just encourage good people to leave. Many can not afford to Live in Davis (no tie to the community) – so get hired and trained and then look for greener pastures. Turnover would increase substantially.’

    This is the blight of everyone who works in Davis. So do we boost everyone’s pay or just the patriotic totem professions? As the situation stands, it isn’t feasible to keep paying these people huge salaries unless you want to bankrupt the city. Salaries need to come down along services and the cost of living in Davis. Deflation is never fun but sometimes nesessary and in this case it’s the price we all pay for our zero growth agenda.

    BTW still voting SSV because they hold the best hope of doing away with Measure J and letting this city join the rest of world.

  14. Anonymous

    ‘Davis could reduce benefits for fire, police and others – that would just encourage good people to leave. Many can not afford to Live in Davis (no tie to the community) – so get hired and trained and then look for greener pastures. Turnover would increase substantially.’

    This is the blight of everyone who works in Davis. So do we boost everyone’s pay or just the patriotic totem professions? As the situation stands, it isn’t feasible to keep paying these people huge salaries unless you want to bankrupt the city. Salaries need to come down along services and the cost of living in Davis. Deflation is never fun but sometimes nesessary and in this case it’s the price we all pay for our zero growth agenda.

    BTW still voting SSV because they hold the best hope of doing away with Measure J and letting this city join the rest of world.

  15. Anonymous

    ‘Davis could reduce benefits for fire, police and others – that would just encourage good people to leave. Many can not afford to Live in Davis (no tie to the community) – so get hired and trained and then look for greener pastures. Turnover would increase substantially.’

    This is the blight of everyone who works in Davis. So do we boost everyone’s pay or just the patriotic totem professions? As the situation stands, it isn’t feasible to keep paying these people huge salaries unless you want to bankrupt the city. Salaries need to come down along services and the cost of living in Davis. Deflation is never fun but sometimes nesessary and in this case it’s the price we all pay for our zero growth agenda.

    BTW still voting SSV because they hold the best hope of doing away with Measure J and letting this city join the rest of world.

  16. Anonymous

    ‘Davis could reduce benefits for fire, police and others – that would just encourage good people to leave. Many can not afford to Live in Davis (no tie to the community) – so get hired and trained and then look for greener pastures. Turnover would increase substantially.’

    This is the blight of everyone who works in Davis. So do we boost everyone’s pay or just the patriotic totem professions? As the situation stands, it isn’t feasible to keep paying these people huge salaries unless you want to bankrupt the city. Salaries need to come down along services and the cost of living in Davis. Deflation is never fun but sometimes nesessary and in this case it’s the price we all pay for our zero growth agenda.

    BTW still voting SSV because they hold the best hope of doing away with Measure J and letting this city join the rest of world.

  17. enviro voter

    If it was at the state level they would not bother to pour money into local campaigns where they do not even live. They negotiate their contracts locally and injure cities locally.

    It costs even more to live in the bay area than Davis. Let’s not compare apples and oranges.

    It’s my understanding that there is a long list of people waiting to be hired in Davis. Whoever wants to move on can do so. We need to stop allowing this public union to keep “feeding at the trough.”

    Thank you DPD and Rich Rifkin for shedding light on this. My votes will go to the candidates they do not endorse Sue, Cecilia, and Rob.

  18. enviro voter

    If it was at the state level they would not bother to pour money into local campaigns where they do not even live. They negotiate their contracts locally and injure cities locally.

    It costs even more to live in the bay area than Davis. Let’s not compare apples and oranges.

    It’s my understanding that there is a long list of people waiting to be hired in Davis. Whoever wants to move on can do so. We need to stop allowing this public union to keep “feeding at the trough.”

    Thank you DPD and Rich Rifkin for shedding light on this. My votes will go to the candidates they do not endorse Sue, Cecilia, and Rob.

  19. enviro voter

    If it was at the state level they would not bother to pour money into local campaigns where they do not even live. They negotiate their contracts locally and injure cities locally.

    It costs even more to live in the bay area than Davis. Let’s not compare apples and oranges.

    It’s my understanding that there is a long list of people waiting to be hired in Davis. Whoever wants to move on can do so. We need to stop allowing this public union to keep “feeding at the trough.”

    Thank you DPD and Rich Rifkin for shedding light on this. My votes will go to the candidates they do not endorse Sue, Cecilia, and Rob.

  20. enviro voter

    If it was at the state level they would not bother to pour money into local campaigns where they do not even live. They negotiate their contracts locally and injure cities locally.

    It costs even more to live in the bay area than Davis. Let’s not compare apples and oranges.

    It’s my understanding that there is a long list of people waiting to be hired in Davis. Whoever wants to move on can do so. We need to stop allowing this public union to keep “feeding at the trough.”

    Thank you DPD and Rich Rifkin for shedding light on this. My votes will go to the candidates they do not endorse Sue, Cecilia, and Rob.

  21. enviro voter

    I forgot to mention that I also support Cecilia, Sue, and Rob because they support Measure J.

    Thank you to the previous poster for pointing out that the sss do not support Measure J. Any intelligent voter could tell that no matter how much they dance around the issue.

  22. enviro voter

    I forgot to mention that I also support Cecilia, Sue, and Rob because they support Measure J.

    Thank you to the previous poster for pointing out that the sss do not support Measure J. Any intelligent voter could tell that no matter how much they dance around the issue.

  23. enviro voter

    I forgot to mention that I also support Cecilia, Sue, and Rob because they support Measure J.

    Thank you to the previous poster for pointing out that the sss do not support Measure J. Any intelligent voter could tell that no matter how much they dance around the issue.

  24. enviro voter

    I forgot to mention that I also support Cecilia, Sue, and Rob because they support Measure J.

    Thank you to the previous poster for pointing out that the sss do not support Measure J. Any intelligent voter could tell that no matter how much they dance around the issue.

  25. Anonymous

    I agree that some sort of freeze would be appropropriate for the fire fighters. I doubt that a compensation reduction is feasible. I also think Davis could do with fewer fire fighters, as it’s hard to understand why they respond to so many different events. Why do we need two fire trucks dispatched each time someone calls an ambulance? Doesn’t make sense to me.

    I am curious about DPD’s alarmism on this topic though, especially given the opposite view concerning UCD workers, and given Cecilia’s work with unions. This sounds like sour grapes to me. The blog has gotten decidedly more focused on the city council election and getting Cecilia elected over the last month. You can tell that topics not devoted to the election are rushed and mostly uninteresting. If Cecilia had been endorsed by the firefighter union, I bet the tone on this topic would be much different, and either less critical or even supportive of this particular government sector union over-feeding at the trough.

  26. Anonymous

    I agree that some sort of freeze would be appropropriate for the fire fighters. I doubt that a compensation reduction is feasible. I also think Davis could do with fewer fire fighters, as it’s hard to understand why they respond to so many different events. Why do we need two fire trucks dispatched each time someone calls an ambulance? Doesn’t make sense to me.

    I am curious about DPD’s alarmism on this topic though, especially given the opposite view concerning UCD workers, and given Cecilia’s work with unions. This sounds like sour grapes to me. The blog has gotten decidedly more focused on the city council election and getting Cecilia elected over the last month. You can tell that topics not devoted to the election are rushed and mostly uninteresting. If Cecilia had been endorsed by the firefighter union, I bet the tone on this topic would be much different, and either less critical or even supportive of this particular government sector union over-feeding at the trough.

  27. Anonymous

    I agree that some sort of freeze would be appropropriate for the fire fighters. I doubt that a compensation reduction is feasible. I also think Davis could do with fewer fire fighters, as it’s hard to understand why they respond to so many different events. Why do we need two fire trucks dispatched each time someone calls an ambulance? Doesn’t make sense to me.

    I am curious about DPD’s alarmism on this topic though, especially given the opposite view concerning UCD workers, and given Cecilia’s work with unions. This sounds like sour grapes to me. The blog has gotten decidedly more focused on the city council election and getting Cecilia elected over the last month. You can tell that topics not devoted to the election are rushed and mostly uninteresting. If Cecilia had been endorsed by the firefighter union, I bet the tone on this topic would be much different, and either less critical or even supportive of this particular government sector union over-feeding at the trough.

  28. Anonymous

    I agree that some sort of freeze would be appropropriate for the fire fighters. I doubt that a compensation reduction is feasible. I also think Davis could do with fewer fire fighters, as it’s hard to understand why they respond to so many different events. Why do we need two fire trucks dispatched each time someone calls an ambulance? Doesn’t make sense to me.

    I am curious about DPD’s alarmism on this topic though, especially given the opposite view concerning UCD workers, and given Cecilia’s work with unions. This sounds like sour grapes to me. The blog has gotten decidedly more focused on the city council election and getting Cecilia elected over the last month. You can tell that topics not devoted to the election are rushed and mostly uninteresting. If Cecilia had been endorsed by the firefighter union, I bet the tone on this topic would be much different, and either less critical or even supportive of this particular government sector union over-feeding at the trough.

  29. Anonymous

    “We need to stop allowing this public union to keep “feeding at the trough.””

    Just remember the trough is quite long – total labor costs (salaries and benefits) in Police and Public Works are both 50% more than Fire. Examine the entire picture.

    “It costs even more to live in the bay area than Davis. Let’s not compare apples and oranges”

    I know several San Jose Firefighters who live in Fresno – their work schedules allow them to live anywhere. I would bet a number of Bay Area fire fighters live in Davis. The market is bigger than you may think.

  30. Anonymous

    “We need to stop allowing this public union to keep “feeding at the trough.””

    Just remember the trough is quite long – total labor costs (salaries and benefits) in Police and Public Works are both 50% more than Fire. Examine the entire picture.

    “It costs even more to live in the bay area than Davis. Let’s not compare apples and oranges”

    I know several San Jose Firefighters who live in Fresno – their work schedules allow them to live anywhere. I would bet a number of Bay Area fire fighters live in Davis. The market is bigger than you may think.

  31. Anonymous

    “We need to stop allowing this public union to keep “feeding at the trough.””

    Just remember the trough is quite long – total labor costs (salaries and benefits) in Police and Public Works are both 50% more than Fire. Examine the entire picture.

    “It costs even more to live in the bay area than Davis. Let’s not compare apples and oranges”

    I know several San Jose Firefighters who live in Fresno – their work schedules allow them to live anywhere. I would bet a number of Bay Area fire fighters live in Davis. The market is bigger than you may think.

  32. Anonymous

    “We need to stop allowing this public union to keep “feeding at the trough.””

    Just remember the trough is quite long – total labor costs (salaries and benefits) in Police and Public Works are both 50% more than Fire. Examine the entire picture.

    “It costs even more to live in the bay area than Davis. Let’s not compare apples and oranges”

    I know several San Jose Firefighters who live in Fresno – their work schedules allow them to live anywhere. I would bet a number of Bay Area fire fighters live in Davis. The market is bigger than you may think.

  33. Doug Paul Davis

    “I am curious about DPD’s alarmism on this topic though, especially given the opposite view concerning UCD workers”

    Your curious about the difference in my views of workers who make $10 per hour versus those who make $150,000 per year on average–is that really a deep mystery to you?

  34. Doug Paul Davis

    “I am curious about DPD’s alarmism on this topic though, especially given the opposite view concerning UCD workers”

    Your curious about the difference in my views of workers who make $10 per hour versus those who make $150,000 per year on average–is that really a deep mystery to you?

  35. Doug Paul Davis

    “I am curious about DPD’s alarmism on this topic though, especially given the opposite view concerning UCD workers”

    Your curious about the difference in my views of workers who make $10 per hour versus those who make $150,000 per year on average–is that really a deep mystery to you?

  36. Doug Paul Davis

    “I am curious about DPD’s alarmism on this topic though, especially given the opposite view concerning UCD workers”

    Your curious about the difference in my views of workers who make $10 per hour versus those who make $150,000 per year on average–is that really a deep mystery to you?

  37. Joe Hill

    Unfortunately, the fact that Escamilla-Greenwald, an SEIU organizer, is leading the opposition to firefighter benefits will only end up hurting SEIU and all organized labor. SEIU and organized labor in California rely upon the good reputation of firefighters to win virtually all of their ballot measure efforts. Public support for firefighters greatly exceeds that of any other labor group, including teachers.

    Firefighters and others in labor are not going to stand for this, nor should they. E-G is exploiting this issue for her own selfish political ambition and to the detriment of all organized labor in California. I expect she will be fired.

  38. Joe Hill

    Unfortunately, the fact that Escamilla-Greenwald, an SEIU organizer, is leading the opposition to firefighter benefits will only end up hurting SEIU and all organized labor. SEIU and organized labor in California rely upon the good reputation of firefighters to win virtually all of their ballot measure efforts. Public support for firefighters greatly exceeds that of any other labor group, including teachers.

    Firefighters and others in labor are not going to stand for this, nor should they. E-G is exploiting this issue for her own selfish political ambition and to the detriment of all organized labor in California. I expect she will be fired.

  39. Joe Hill

    Unfortunately, the fact that Escamilla-Greenwald, an SEIU organizer, is leading the opposition to firefighter benefits will only end up hurting SEIU and all organized labor. SEIU and organized labor in California rely upon the good reputation of firefighters to win virtually all of their ballot measure efforts. Public support for firefighters greatly exceeds that of any other labor group, including teachers.

    Firefighters and others in labor are not going to stand for this, nor should they. E-G is exploiting this issue for her own selfish political ambition and to the detriment of all organized labor in California. I expect she will be fired.

  40. Joe Hill

    Unfortunately, the fact that Escamilla-Greenwald, an SEIU organizer, is leading the opposition to firefighter benefits will only end up hurting SEIU and all organized labor. SEIU and organized labor in California rely upon the good reputation of firefighters to win virtually all of their ballot measure efforts. Public support for firefighters greatly exceeds that of any other labor group, including teachers.

    Firefighters and others in labor are not going to stand for this, nor should they. E-G is exploiting this issue for her own selfish political ambition and to the detriment of all organized labor in California. I expect she will be fired.

  41. Too Little Too Late

    Sue Greenwald objected to firefighters gorging at the public trough long before Rich Rifkin discussed it. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Furthermore, Rich Rifkin never bothered to comment on the Parks and Rec Dept gorging at the public trough. Their salaries are about as high, without the danger factor. Many employees in the city of Davis are pigging out on taxpayer dollars, and the end result may not be what these employees wished for – bankruptcy a la Vallejo, with a judge renegotiating their contracts.

    At the 11th hour, police and fire in Vallejo agreed to all sorts of reductions, but it was too little too late. The City Council filed for bankruptcy, because fire and police would only come up with 2/3 of the money needed to close the budget deficit. Bottom line is fire in Davis will support candidates who will continue to allow them to gorge at the public trough – if Davis goes bankrupt they will move on to other jobs, and weather the storm just fine because they don’t live here in town. However, they will bargain themselves right out of their lucrative contracts at the City’s expense. Not nice! But this is true of all the high paid City employees. The head of Parks & Rec was making over $150K I believe!

  42. Too Little Too Late

    Sue Greenwald objected to firefighters gorging at the public trough long before Rich Rifkin discussed it. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Furthermore, Rich Rifkin never bothered to comment on the Parks and Rec Dept gorging at the public trough. Their salaries are about as high, without the danger factor. Many employees in the city of Davis are pigging out on taxpayer dollars, and the end result may not be what these employees wished for – bankruptcy a la Vallejo, with a judge renegotiating their contracts.

    At the 11th hour, police and fire in Vallejo agreed to all sorts of reductions, but it was too little too late. The City Council filed for bankruptcy, because fire and police would only come up with 2/3 of the money needed to close the budget deficit. Bottom line is fire in Davis will support candidates who will continue to allow them to gorge at the public trough – if Davis goes bankrupt they will move on to other jobs, and weather the storm just fine because they don’t live here in town. However, they will bargain themselves right out of their lucrative contracts at the City’s expense. Not nice! But this is true of all the high paid City employees. The head of Parks & Rec was making over $150K I believe!

  43. Too Little Too Late

    Sue Greenwald objected to firefighters gorging at the public trough long before Rich Rifkin discussed it. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Furthermore, Rich Rifkin never bothered to comment on the Parks and Rec Dept gorging at the public trough. Their salaries are about as high, without the danger factor. Many employees in the city of Davis are pigging out on taxpayer dollars, and the end result may not be what these employees wished for – bankruptcy a la Vallejo, with a judge renegotiating their contracts.

    At the 11th hour, police and fire in Vallejo agreed to all sorts of reductions, but it was too little too late. The City Council filed for bankruptcy, because fire and police would only come up with 2/3 of the money needed to close the budget deficit. Bottom line is fire in Davis will support candidates who will continue to allow them to gorge at the public trough – if Davis goes bankrupt they will move on to other jobs, and weather the storm just fine because they don’t live here in town. However, they will bargain themselves right out of their lucrative contracts at the City’s expense. Not nice! But this is true of all the high paid City employees. The head of Parks & Rec was making over $150K I believe!

  44. Too Little Too Late

    Sue Greenwald objected to firefighters gorging at the public trough long before Rich Rifkin discussed it. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Furthermore, Rich Rifkin never bothered to comment on the Parks and Rec Dept gorging at the public trough. Their salaries are about as high, without the danger factor. Many employees in the city of Davis are pigging out on taxpayer dollars, and the end result may not be what these employees wished for – bankruptcy a la Vallejo, with a judge renegotiating their contracts.

    At the 11th hour, police and fire in Vallejo agreed to all sorts of reductions, but it was too little too late. The City Council filed for bankruptcy, because fire and police would only come up with 2/3 of the money needed to close the budget deficit. Bottom line is fire in Davis will support candidates who will continue to allow them to gorge at the public trough – if Davis goes bankrupt they will move on to other jobs, and weather the storm just fine because they don’t live here in town. However, they will bargain themselves right out of their lucrative contracts at the City’s expense. Not nice! But this is true of all the high paid City employees. The head of Parks & Rec was making over $150K I believe!

  45. Anonymous

    ‘Davis could reduce benefits for fire, police and others – that would just encourage good people to leave. Many can not afford to Live in Davis (no tie to the community)’

    Davis firefighters, many of whom appear to be pulling down six-figure salaries, can’t afford to live in Davis??? Give me a break.

    The salaries of my husband and I combined total less than 100K and we managed to buy a house here.

    We can debate the levels of firefighters’ pay, bennies and pensions ’til the cows come home, but please don’t feed me the line that they can’t afford to live here.

  46. Anonymous

    ‘Davis could reduce benefits for fire, police and others – that would just encourage good people to leave. Many can not afford to Live in Davis (no tie to the community)’

    Davis firefighters, many of whom appear to be pulling down six-figure salaries, can’t afford to live in Davis??? Give me a break.

    The salaries of my husband and I combined total less than 100K and we managed to buy a house here.

    We can debate the levels of firefighters’ pay, bennies and pensions ’til the cows come home, but please don’t feed me the line that they can’t afford to live here.

  47. Anonymous

    ‘Davis could reduce benefits for fire, police and others – that would just encourage good people to leave. Many can not afford to Live in Davis (no tie to the community)’

    Davis firefighters, many of whom appear to be pulling down six-figure salaries, can’t afford to live in Davis??? Give me a break.

    The salaries of my husband and I combined total less than 100K and we managed to buy a house here.

    We can debate the levels of firefighters’ pay, bennies and pensions ’til the cows come home, but please don’t feed me the line that they can’t afford to live here.

  48. Anonymous

    ‘Davis could reduce benefits for fire, police and others – that would just encourage good people to leave. Many can not afford to Live in Davis (no tie to the community)’

    Davis firefighters, many of whom appear to be pulling down six-figure salaries, can’t afford to live in Davis??? Give me a break.

    The salaries of my husband and I combined total less than 100K and we managed to buy a house here.

    We can debate the levels of firefighters’ pay, bennies and pensions ’til the cows come home, but please don’t feed me the line that they can’t afford to live here.

  49. ucd employee

    You can’t compare the UC employees to the fire fighters. My goodness one is scraping to get by and the others are running the city budget into the ground.

    I wonder why the Enterprise has not done a better job of covering this?

    It’s strange that it takes one of their columnists to shed light on the fire fighters nearly bankrupting our city. I appreciate the work of the Vanguard and Rifkin. We wouldn’t know what’s going on if it were not for them.

  50. ucd employee

    You can’t compare the UC employees to the fire fighters. My goodness one is scraping to get by and the others are running the city budget into the ground.

    I wonder why the Enterprise has not done a better job of covering this?

    It’s strange that it takes one of their columnists to shed light on the fire fighters nearly bankrupting our city. I appreciate the work of the Vanguard and Rifkin. We wouldn’t know what’s going on if it were not for them.

  51. ucd employee

    You can’t compare the UC employees to the fire fighters. My goodness one is scraping to get by and the others are running the city budget into the ground.

    I wonder why the Enterprise has not done a better job of covering this?

    It’s strange that it takes one of their columnists to shed light on the fire fighters nearly bankrupting our city. I appreciate the work of the Vanguard and Rifkin. We wouldn’t know what’s going on if it were not for them.

  52. ucd employee

    You can’t compare the UC employees to the fire fighters. My goodness one is scraping to get by and the others are running the city budget into the ground.

    I wonder why the Enterprise has not done a better job of covering this?

    It’s strange that it takes one of their columnists to shed light on the fire fighters nearly bankrupting our city. I appreciate the work of the Vanguard and Rifkin. We wouldn’t know what’s going on if it were not for them.

  53. Anonymous

    “E-G is exploiting this issue for her own selfish political ambition and to the detriment of all organized labor in California. I expect she will be fired.”

    I watched a Terminator movie last night. The public service union members are like the cyborgs. They continue to grow in numbers and strength. Sooner or later there will be no way to stop them and they will take everything.

  54. Anonymous

    “E-G is exploiting this issue for her own selfish political ambition and to the detriment of all organized labor in California. I expect she will be fired.”

    I watched a Terminator movie last night. The public service union members are like the cyborgs. They continue to grow in numbers and strength. Sooner or later there will be no way to stop them and they will take everything.

  55. Anonymous

    “E-G is exploiting this issue for her own selfish political ambition and to the detriment of all organized labor in California. I expect she will be fired.”

    I watched a Terminator movie last night. The public service union members are like the cyborgs. They continue to grow in numbers and strength. Sooner or later there will be no way to stop them and they will take everything.

  56. Anonymous

    “E-G is exploiting this issue for her own selfish political ambition and to the detriment of all organized labor in California. I expect she will be fired.”

    I watched a Terminator movie last night. The public service union members are like the cyborgs. They continue to grow in numbers and strength. Sooner or later there will be no way to stop them and they will take everything.

  57. Union Supporter

    Joe:

    I guess you didn’t notice the quote from Dave Hart, president of CSEA. Since you seem to know so much about SEIU, you probably know the relationship between CEAS and SEIU. Unions like SEIU know that such pension plans as 3% at 50 are unsustainable as Dave Hart wrote, and thus threaten ALL pensions. You really need to understand labor issues a bit better if you want to make these kinds of arguments.

  58. Union Supporter

    Joe:

    I guess you didn’t notice the quote from Dave Hart, president of CSEA. Since you seem to know so much about SEIU, you probably know the relationship between CEAS and SEIU. Unions like SEIU know that such pension plans as 3% at 50 are unsustainable as Dave Hart wrote, and thus threaten ALL pensions. You really need to understand labor issues a bit better if you want to make these kinds of arguments.

  59. Union Supporter

    Joe:

    I guess you didn’t notice the quote from Dave Hart, president of CSEA. Since you seem to know so much about SEIU, you probably know the relationship between CEAS and SEIU. Unions like SEIU know that such pension plans as 3% at 50 are unsustainable as Dave Hart wrote, and thus threaten ALL pensions. You really need to understand labor issues a bit better if you want to make these kinds of arguments.

  60. Union Supporter

    Joe:

    I guess you didn’t notice the quote from Dave Hart, president of CSEA. Since you seem to know so much about SEIU, you probably know the relationship between CEAS and SEIU. Unions like SEIU know that such pension plans as 3% at 50 are unsustainable as Dave Hart wrote, and thus threaten ALL pensions. You really need to understand labor issues a bit better if you want to make these kinds of arguments.

  61. Too Little Too Late

    “I also think Davis could do with fewer fire fighters, as it’s hard to understand why they respond to so many different events. Why do we need two fire trucks dispatched each time someone calls an ambulance? Doesn’t make sense to me.”

    The Fire Dept. moves the entire Fire Station to each event. This is done so they don’t have to go back and pick up needed employees or equipment when the next call comes in while they are out on the first call. It is appropriate procedure. Not only that, firefighters get paid whether they sit in the fire house or are out on call.

    However, Davis Firefighter’s compensation is overly generous, and the City cannot afford it. Shame on Paul Navazio for not including the unmet needs of health benefits and pensions of City employees in the City’s budget. Blatant dishonesty, IMHO, and nothing more than an attempt to cover for incumbents Saylor and Souza – to make it look as if there is a balanced budget under their tenure. Sue Greenwald voted against these lucrative packages for firefighters, whereas Saylor and Souza did not.

  62. Too Little Too Late

    “I also think Davis could do with fewer fire fighters, as it’s hard to understand why they respond to so many different events. Why do we need two fire trucks dispatched each time someone calls an ambulance? Doesn’t make sense to me.”

    The Fire Dept. moves the entire Fire Station to each event. This is done so they don’t have to go back and pick up needed employees or equipment when the next call comes in while they are out on the first call. It is appropriate procedure. Not only that, firefighters get paid whether they sit in the fire house or are out on call.

    However, Davis Firefighter’s compensation is overly generous, and the City cannot afford it. Shame on Paul Navazio for not including the unmet needs of health benefits and pensions of City employees in the City’s budget. Blatant dishonesty, IMHO, and nothing more than an attempt to cover for incumbents Saylor and Souza – to make it look as if there is a balanced budget under their tenure. Sue Greenwald voted against these lucrative packages for firefighters, whereas Saylor and Souza did not.

  63. Too Little Too Late

    “I also think Davis could do with fewer fire fighters, as it’s hard to understand why they respond to so many different events. Why do we need two fire trucks dispatched each time someone calls an ambulance? Doesn’t make sense to me.”

    The Fire Dept. moves the entire Fire Station to each event. This is done so they don’t have to go back and pick up needed employees or equipment when the next call comes in while they are out on the first call. It is appropriate procedure. Not only that, firefighters get paid whether they sit in the fire house or are out on call.

    However, Davis Firefighter’s compensation is overly generous, and the City cannot afford it. Shame on Paul Navazio for not including the unmet needs of health benefits and pensions of City employees in the City’s budget. Blatant dishonesty, IMHO, and nothing more than an attempt to cover for incumbents Saylor and Souza – to make it look as if there is a balanced budget under their tenure. Sue Greenwald voted against these lucrative packages for firefighters, whereas Saylor and Souza did not.

  64. Too Little Too Late

    “I also think Davis could do with fewer fire fighters, as it’s hard to understand why they respond to so many different events. Why do we need two fire trucks dispatched each time someone calls an ambulance? Doesn’t make sense to me.”

    The Fire Dept. moves the entire Fire Station to each event. This is done so they don’t have to go back and pick up needed employees or equipment when the next call comes in while they are out on the first call. It is appropriate procedure. Not only that, firefighters get paid whether they sit in the fire house or are out on call.

    However, Davis Firefighter’s compensation is overly generous, and the City cannot afford it. Shame on Paul Navazio for not including the unmet needs of health benefits and pensions of City employees in the City’s budget. Blatant dishonesty, IMHO, and nothing more than an attempt to cover for incumbents Saylor and Souza – to make it look as if there is a balanced budget under their tenure. Sue Greenwald voted against these lucrative packages for firefighters, whereas Saylor and Souza did not.

  65. Anonymous

    “Furthermore, Rich Rifkin never bothered to comment on the Parks and Rec Dept gorging at the public trough.”

    He has but pointed out that they are not trying to buy the election either.

  66. Anonymous

    “Furthermore, Rich Rifkin never bothered to comment on the Parks and Rec Dept gorging at the public trough.”

    He has but pointed out that they are not trying to buy the election either.

  67. Anonymous

    “Furthermore, Rich Rifkin never bothered to comment on the Parks and Rec Dept gorging at the public trough.”

    He has but pointed out that they are not trying to buy the election either.

  68. Anonymous

    “Furthermore, Rich Rifkin never bothered to comment on the Parks and Rec Dept gorging at the public trough.”

    He has but pointed out that they are not trying to buy the election either.

  69. Anonymous

    The fact that the fire fighters are waging a war to fill their pockets with more pay and benefits will hurt labor all accross CA.

    They don’t care about us city workers, sodexo workers, uc employees, police officers. It’s all about them. A simple word comes to mind: GREED.

  70. Anonymous

    The fact that the fire fighters are waging a war to fill their pockets with more pay and benefits will hurt labor all accross CA.

    They don’t care about us city workers, sodexo workers, uc employees, police officers. It’s all about them. A simple word comes to mind: GREED.

  71. Anonymous

    The fact that the fire fighters are waging a war to fill their pockets with more pay and benefits will hurt labor all accross CA.

    They don’t care about us city workers, sodexo workers, uc employees, police officers. It’s all about them. A simple word comes to mind: GREED.

  72. Anonymous

    The fact that the fire fighters are waging a war to fill their pockets with more pay and benefits will hurt labor all accross CA.

    They don’t care about us city workers, sodexo workers, uc employees, police officers. It’s all about them. A simple word comes to mind: GREED.

  73. Logic Teller

    “If Cecilia had been endorsed by the firefighter union, I bet the tone on this topic would be much different”

    Don’t you think that the reason that Cecilia was not endorsed by the firefighter union was because of her views on this very issue? You act there is no causal relationship there.

  74. Logic Teller

    “If Cecilia had been endorsed by the firefighter union, I bet the tone on this topic would be much different”

    Don’t you think that the reason that Cecilia was not endorsed by the firefighter union was because of her views on this very issue? You act there is no causal relationship there.

  75. Logic Teller

    “If Cecilia had been endorsed by the firefighter union, I bet the tone on this topic would be much different”

    Don’t you think that the reason that Cecilia was not endorsed by the firefighter union was because of her views on this very issue? You act there is no causal relationship there.

  76. Logic Teller

    “If Cecilia had been endorsed by the firefighter union, I bet the tone on this topic would be much different”

    Don’t you think that the reason that Cecilia was not endorsed by the firefighter union was because of her views on this very issue? You act there is no causal relationship there.

  77. Richard

    SEIU and organized labor in California rely upon the good reputation of firefighters to win virtually all of their ballot measure efforts. Public support for firefighters greatly exceeds that of any other labor group, including teachers.

    Unfortunately, while somewhat exaggerated (what does virtually all of their ballot measures mean?), there is some truth to this. A proposed 2005 ballot measure that would have had the consequence of privatizing CALPERS and requiring public sector workers to utilize the equivalent of 401 (k) accounts was pulled primarily because of language that was exploited to claim that the families of deceased firefighters and police officers would lose pension benefits.

    Similarly, firefighters did play a prominent role in defeating Schwarzenegger’s anti-union measure, Proposition 75 or 76, I believe.

    But that doesn’t change the facts. Firefighting is not more dangerous than several other lesser paid kinds of work, and their compensation packages, wages, plus benefits, are unsustainable in the current US economic environment. As a consequence, other important public services are going to be curtailed as a result.

    Sometimes, the right policy and the right politics are in conflict, as here. For the residents of Davis, Cecelia and Sue are on the right side of the issue, even if it reflects possible turmoil within the labor movement.

    One might also ponder the alternative, candidates like Saylor and Souza who are willing to release almost any amount of money from the city’s treasury to procure a reliable, effective group of campaign volunteers and donors, while acting as if the problem doesn’t exist (after all, the city’s budget is balanced, don’t you know?). It is a bit of a mystery as to why that is good for the city.

    –Richard Estes

  78. Richard

    SEIU and organized labor in California rely upon the good reputation of firefighters to win virtually all of their ballot measure efforts. Public support for firefighters greatly exceeds that of any other labor group, including teachers.

    Unfortunately, while somewhat exaggerated (what does virtually all of their ballot measures mean?), there is some truth to this. A proposed 2005 ballot measure that would have had the consequence of privatizing CALPERS and requiring public sector workers to utilize the equivalent of 401 (k) accounts was pulled primarily because of language that was exploited to claim that the families of deceased firefighters and police officers would lose pension benefits.

    Similarly, firefighters did play a prominent role in defeating Schwarzenegger’s anti-union measure, Proposition 75 or 76, I believe.

    But that doesn’t change the facts. Firefighting is not more dangerous than several other lesser paid kinds of work, and their compensation packages, wages, plus benefits, are unsustainable in the current US economic environment. As a consequence, other important public services are going to be curtailed as a result.

    Sometimes, the right policy and the right politics are in conflict, as here. For the residents of Davis, Cecelia and Sue are on the right side of the issue, even if it reflects possible turmoil within the labor movement.

    One might also ponder the alternative, candidates like Saylor and Souza who are willing to release almost any amount of money from the city’s treasury to procure a reliable, effective group of campaign volunteers and donors, while acting as if the problem doesn’t exist (after all, the city’s budget is balanced, don’t you know?). It is a bit of a mystery as to why that is good for the city.

    –Richard Estes

  79. Richard

    SEIU and organized labor in California rely upon the good reputation of firefighters to win virtually all of their ballot measure efforts. Public support for firefighters greatly exceeds that of any other labor group, including teachers.

    Unfortunately, while somewhat exaggerated (what does virtually all of their ballot measures mean?), there is some truth to this. A proposed 2005 ballot measure that would have had the consequence of privatizing CALPERS and requiring public sector workers to utilize the equivalent of 401 (k) accounts was pulled primarily because of language that was exploited to claim that the families of deceased firefighters and police officers would lose pension benefits.

    Similarly, firefighters did play a prominent role in defeating Schwarzenegger’s anti-union measure, Proposition 75 or 76, I believe.

    But that doesn’t change the facts. Firefighting is not more dangerous than several other lesser paid kinds of work, and their compensation packages, wages, plus benefits, are unsustainable in the current US economic environment. As a consequence, other important public services are going to be curtailed as a result.

    Sometimes, the right policy and the right politics are in conflict, as here. For the residents of Davis, Cecelia and Sue are on the right side of the issue, even if it reflects possible turmoil within the labor movement.

    One might also ponder the alternative, candidates like Saylor and Souza who are willing to release almost any amount of money from the city’s treasury to procure a reliable, effective group of campaign volunteers and donors, while acting as if the problem doesn’t exist (after all, the city’s budget is balanced, don’t you know?). It is a bit of a mystery as to why that is good for the city.

    –Richard Estes

  80. Richard

    SEIU and organized labor in California rely upon the good reputation of firefighters to win virtually all of their ballot measure efforts. Public support for firefighters greatly exceeds that of any other labor group, including teachers.

    Unfortunately, while somewhat exaggerated (what does virtually all of their ballot measures mean?), there is some truth to this. A proposed 2005 ballot measure that would have had the consequence of privatizing CALPERS and requiring public sector workers to utilize the equivalent of 401 (k) accounts was pulled primarily because of language that was exploited to claim that the families of deceased firefighters and police officers would lose pension benefits.

    Similarly, firefighters did play a prominent role in defeating Schwarzenegger’s anti-union measure, Proposition 75 or 76, I believe.

    But that doesn’t change the facts. Firefighting is not more dangerous than several other lesser paid kinds of work, and their compensation packages, wages, plus benefits, are unsustainable in the current US economic environment. As a consequence, other important public services are going to be curtailed as a result.

    Sometimes, the right policy and the right politics are in conflict, as here. For the residents of Davis, Cecelia and Sue are on the right side of the issue, even if it reflects possible turmoil within the labor movement.

    One might also ponder the alternative, candidates like Saylor and Souza who are willing to release almost any amount of money from the city’s treasury to procure a reliable, effective group of campaign volunteers and donors, while acting as if the problem doesn’t exist (after all, the city’s budget is balanced, don’t you know?). It is a bit of a mystery as to why that is good for the city.

    –Richard Estes

  81. Anonymous

    DPD,

    I understand the $10 an hour vs $150k per year difference. That’s obvious, and why I agree the firefighters and other similarly compensated public employees need to be addressed. However, I don’t remember you or Cecilia bringing up this issue until you received the package on your doorstep indicating that the firefighter union is endorsing the three Ss. I didn’t see any mention or alarmism until that happened, so it raises a question about the motivation and opportunism. That’s understandable from a personal standpoint, as your wife is running for office. But it’s also something for other readers to consider. If I’m off-base, then I apologize.

    I also think it’s dangerous for “progressives” to suddenly be preaching and warning against tax increases and paying for services (fire, police, water and sewer, including necessary upgrades/expansions). In combination with the no growth policies, the economic policy on this blog is starting to sound very right wing. Davis is already affluent and elitist, I for one don’t mind paying for government services. Of course, I view myself as liberal, not progressive (except maybe in the Bob LaFollette, Erwin Knoll mold).

  82. Anonymous

    DPD,

    I understand the $10 an hour vs $150k per year difference. That’s obvious, and why I agree the firefighters and other similarly compensated public employees need to be addressed. However, I don’t remember you or Cecilia bringing up this issue until you received the package on your doorstep indicating that the firefighter union is endorsing the three Ss. I didn’t see any mention or alarmism until that happened, so it raises a question about the motivation and opportunism. That’s understandable from a personal standpoint, as your wife is running for office. But it’s also something for other readers to consider. If I’m off-base, then I apologize.

    I also think it’s dangerous for “progressives” to suddenly be preaching and warning against tax increases and paying for services (fire, police, water and sewer, including necessary upgrades/expansions). In combination with the no growth policies, the economic policy on this blog is starting to sound very right wing. Davis is already affluent and elitist, I for one don’t mind paying for government services. Of course, I view myself as liberal, not progressive (except maybe in the Bob LaFollette, Erwin Knoll mold).

  83. Anonymous

    DPD,

    I understand the $10 an hour vs $150k per year difference. That’s obvious, and why I agree the firefighters and other similarly compensated public employees need to be addressed. However, I don’t remember you or Cecilia bringing up this issue until you received the package on your doorstep indicating that the firefighter union is endorsing the three Ss. I didn’t see any mention or alarmism until that happened, so it raises a question about the motivation and opportunism. That’s understandable from a personal standpoint, as your wife is running for office. But it’s also something for other readers to consider. If I’m off-base, then I apologize.

    I also think it’s dangerous for “progressives” to suddenly be preaching and warning against tax increases and paying for services (fire, police, water and sewer, including necessary upgrades/expansions). In combination with the no growth policies, the economic policy on this blog is starting to sound very right wing. Davis is already affluent and elitist, I for one don’t mind paying for government services. Of course, I view myself as liberal, not progressive (except maybe in the Bob LaFollette, Erwin Knoll mold).

  84. Anonymous

    DPD,

    I understand the $10 an hour vs $150k per year difference. That’s obvious, and why I agree the firefighters and other similarly compensated public employees need to be addressed. However, I don’t remember you or Cecilia bringing up this issue until you received the package on your doorstep indicating that the firefighter union is endorsing the three Ss. I didn’t see any mention or alarmism until that happened, so it raises a question about the motivation and opportunism. That’s understandable from a personal standpoint, as your wife is running for office. But it’s also something for other readers to consider. If I’m off-base, then I apologize.

    I also think it’s dangerous for “progressives” to suddenly be preaching and warning against tax increases and paying for services (fire, police, water and sewer, including necessary upgrades/expansions). In combination with the no growth policies, the economic policy on this blog is starting to sound very right wing. Davis is already affluent and elitist, I for one don’t mind paying for government services. Of course, I view myself as liberal, not progressive (except maybe in the Bob LaFollette, Erwin Knoll mold).

  85. Doug Paul Davis

    Anon:

    I have been concerned for some time about the structural deficit and the rising cost of employee benefits. I’ve written about it sporadically. For me, a confluence of events occurred to bring this issue from a concern to the place that it is.

    We knew for instance that the firefighters were endorsing SSV in early April. I did not write a story about the firefighters until early May. My concern grew when the financial disclosures were released and the fire fighters had donated directly $12000 to SSV. Grew even further when the mailer was placed on my doorstep. You have the confluence of bad policy mixed with influence peddling. That’s alarming. That was a wake up call for me.

    “I also think it’s dangerous for “progressives” to suddenly be preaching and warning against tax increases and paying for services (fire, police, water and sewer, including necessary upgrades/expansions).”

    I couldn’t disagree with you more. The collapse of progressivism and liberalism nationwide has resulted from these kinds of irresponsible policies. If liberals want to spend money on the kinds of social programs, then they have to hold the line with giveaways to special interest groups. As the result, a lot of liberals have become deficit hawks because they know they are not going to get additional tax money. In the case of Davis, I’m concerned that the city is going to be raising taxes on all sorts of things without getting their house in order. I’m concerned that there may not be money for schools in the future because we are spending it on new water projects. City and schools are separate in terms of governance bodies, but not in terms of some of their local public funding.

  86. Doug Paul Davis

    Anon:

    I have been concerned for some time about the structural deficit and the rising cost of employee benefits. I’ve written about it sporadically. For me, a confluence of events occurred to bring this issue from a concern to the place that it is.

    We knew for instance that the firefighters were endorsing SSV in early April. I did not write a story about the firefighters until early May. My concern grew when the financial disclosures were released and the fire fighters had donated directly $12000 to SSV. Grew even further when the mailer was placed on my doorstep. You have the confluence of bad policy mixed with influence peddling. That’s alarming. That was a wake up call for me.

    “I also think it’s dangerous for “progressives” to suddenly be preaching and warning against tax increases and paying for services (fire, police, water and sewer, including necessary upgrades/expansions).”

    I couldn’t disagree with you more. The collapse of progressivism and liberalism nationwide has resulted from these kinds of irresponsible policies. If liberals want to spend money on the kinds of social programs, then they have to hold the line with giveaways to special interest groups. As the result, a lot of liberals have become deficit hawks because they know they are not going to get additional tax money. In the case of Davis, I’m concerned that the city is going to be raising taxes on all sorts of things without getting their house in order. I’m concerned that there may not be money for schools in the future because we are spending it on new water projects. City and schools are separate in terms of governance bodies, but not in terms of some of their local public funding.

  87. Doug Paul Davis

    Anon:

    I have been concerned for some time about the structural deficit and the rising cost of employee benefits. I’ve written about it sporadically. For me, a confluence of events occurred to bring this issue from a concern to the place that it is.

    We knew for instance that the firefighters were endorsing SSV in early April. I did not write a story about the firefighters until early May. My concern grew when the financial disclosures were released and the fire fighters had donated directly $12000 to SSV. Grew even further when the mailer was placed on my doorstep. You have the confluence of bad policy mixed with influence peddling. That’s alarming. That was a wake up call for me.

    “I also think it’s dangerous for “progressives” to suddenly be preaching and warning against tax increases and paying for services (fire, police, water and sewer, including necessary upgrades/expansions).”

    I couldn’t disagree with you more. The collapse of progressivism and liberalism nationwide has resulted from these kinds of irresponsible policies. If liberals want to spend money on the kinds of social programs, then they have to hold the line with giveaways to special interest groups. As the result, a lot of liberals have become deficit hawks because they know they are not going to get additional tax money. In the case of Davis, I’m concerned that the city is going to be raising taxes on all sorts of things without getting their house in order. I’m concerned that there may not be money for schools in the future because we are spending it on new water projects. City and schools are separate in terms of governance bodies, but not in terms of some of their local public funding.

  88. Doug Paul Davis

    Anon:

    I have been concerned for some time about the structural deficit and the rising cost of employee benefits. I’ve written about it sporadically. For me, a confluence of events occurred to bring this issue from a concern to the place that it is.

    We knew for instance that the firefighters were endorsing SSV in early April. I did not write a story about the firefighters until early May. My concern grew when the financial disclosures were released and the fire fighters had donated directly $12000 to SSV. Grew even further when the mailer was placed on my doorstep. You have the confluence of bad policy mixed with influence peddling. That’s alarming. That was a wake up call for me.

    “I also think it’s dangerous for “progressives” to suddenly be preaching and warning against tax increases and paying for services (fire, police, water and sewer, including necessary upgrades/expansions).”

    I couldn’t disagree with you more. The collapse of progressivism and liberalism nationwide has resulted from these kinds of irresponsible policies. If liberals want to spend money on the kinds of social programs, then they have to hold the line with giveaways to special interest groups. As the result, a lot of liberals have become deficit hawks because they know they are not going to get additional tax money. In the case of Davis, I’m concerned that the city is going to be raising taxes on all sorts of things without getting their house in order. I’m concerned that there may not be money for schools in the future because we are spending it on new water projects. City and schools are separate in terms of governance bodies, but not in terms of some of their local public funding.

  89. Anonymous

    Sue Greenwald did NOT vote on the firefighters’ benefit package. She conveniently left the room just before the vote occurred and stood outside the door while it happened so that she could play her political cards.

    Mayor Sue does NOT have the skills to lead our city… she can’t build consensus, she is overly focused on pipe dreams (PG&E redevelopment), and she alienates anyone who doesn’t agree with her.

    Doesn’t anyone else think that its interesting that this woman has been talking about building on PG&E for 8 years but has NOTHING to show for it? PG&E is not interested and it would be cost-prohibitive for the city to force their hand. End of story.

    What else do you have to offer Sue? A bike museum? A second screen at the Varsity? More gifts for your neighbor-buddy Mischa Gushiken? Are those also unfunded needs contributing to your imaginary “structural deficit”? For shame.

  90. Anonymous

    Sue Greenwald did NOT vote on the firefighters’ benefit package. She conveniently left the room just before the vote occurred and stood outside the door while it happened so that she could play her political cards.

    Mayor Sue does NOT have the skills to lead our city… she can’t build consensus, she is overly focused on pipe dreams (PG&E redevelopment), and she alienates anyone who doesn’t agree with her.

    Doesn’t anyone else think that its interesting that this woman has been talking about building on PG&E for 8 years but has NOTHING to show for it? PG&E is not interested and it would be cost-prohibitive for the city to force their hand. End of story.

    What else do you have to offer Sue? A bike museum? A second screen at the Varsity? More gifts for your neighbor-buddy Mischa Gushiken? Are those also unfunded needs contributing to your imaginary “structural deficit”? For shame.

  91. Anonymous

    Sue Greenwald did NOT vote on the firefighters’ benefit package. She conveniently left the room just before the vote occurred and stood outside the door while it happened so that she could play her political cards.

    Mayor Sue does NOT have the skills to lead our city… she can’t build consensus, she is overly focused on pipe dreams (PG&E redevelopment), and she alienates anyone who doesn’t agree with her.

    Doesn’t anyone else think that its interesting that this woman has been talking about building on PG&E for 8 years but has NOTHING to show for it? PG&E is not interested and it would be cost-prohibitive for the city to force their hand. End of story.

    What else do you have to offer Sue? A bike museum? A second screen at the Varsity? More gifts for your neighbor-buddy Mischa Gushiken? Are those also unfunded needs contributing to your imaginary “structural deficit”? For shame.

  92. Anonymous

    Sue Greenwald did NOT vote on the firefighters’ benefit package. She conveniently left the room just before the vote occurred and stood outside the door while it happened so that she could play her political cards.

    Mayor Sue does NOT have the skills to lead our city… she can’t build consensus, she is overly focused on pipe dreams (PG&E redevelopment), and she alienates anyone who doesn’t agree with her.

    Doesn’t anyone else think that its interesting that this woman has been talking about building on PG&E for 8 years but has NOTHING to show for it? PG&E is not interested and it would be cost-prohibitive for the city to force their hand. End of story.

    What else do you have to offer Sue? A bike museum? A second screen at the Varsity? More gifts for your neighbor-buddy Mischa Gushiken? Are those also unfunded needs contributing to your imaginary “structural deficit”? For shame.

  93. campaign watcher

    Anonymous 12:16 PM:
    “I don’t remember you or Cecilia bringing up this issue until you received the package on your doorstep indicating that the firefighter union is endorsing the three Ss. I didn’t see any mention or alarmism until that happened, so it raises a question about the motivation and opportunism.”

    I did a little research on this.

    Actually, this issue was first raised on this blog on 12/17/2007 within the comments from the article: Quietly…Council Looks to Change City’s Campaign Finance Ordinance.” Rich Rifkin brought up the increasing participation by special interest groups, including the firefighters, and the discussion took off from there. This was well before any endorsement in this current election and wasn’t the focus of the original blog article.

    This is what I said at the time:

    12/17/2007
    “The Fire Fighters endorse, then have union members contribute $100 whether they live in the city or not. They walk pricincts and publish their own mailers & door hangers, etc. It is unwise for any politician to question the goings on in the department. We will have to see if the union endorses Sue Greenwald again after she voted against the last budget request by the department. They endorsed her twice so far, but her no vote may be a deal breaker. This is also why Souza and Saylor seem to go along with whatever the fire fighters want regardless if it is fiscally prudent to do so. A large majority of fire fighters do not live in Davis and do not vote in city elections so you’d think that the endorsement wouldn’t matter so much, yet an endorsement by the Fire Union means $3000 + in campaign contributions and a group of workers. It is a big deal for council members who desire re-election.”

    I was incorrect only in the amount of money that the firefighters were to invest in this election.

  94. campaign watcher

    Anonymous 12:16 PM:
    “I don’t remember you or Cecilia bringing up this issue until you received the package on your doorstep indicating that the firefighter union is endorsing the three Ss. I didn’t see any mention or alarmism until that happened, so it raises a question about the motivation and opportunism.”

    I did a little research on this.

    Actually, this issue was first raised on this blog on 12/17/2007 within the comments from the article: Quietly…Council Looks to Change City’s Campaign Finance Ordinance.” Rich Rifkin brought up the increasing participation by special interest groups, including the firefighters, and the discussion took off from there. This was well before any endorsement in this current election and wasn’t the focus of the original blog article.

    This is what I said at the time:

    12/17/2007
    “The Fire Fighters endorse, then have union members contribute $100 whether they live in the city or not. They walk pricincts and publish their own mailers & door hangers, etc. It is unwise for any politician to question the goings on in the department. We will have to see if the union endorses Sue Greenwald again after she voted against the last budget request by the department. They endorsed her twice so far, but her no vote may be a deal breaker. This is also why Souza and Saylor seem to go along with whatever the fire fighters want regardless if it is fiscally prudent to do so. A large majority of fire fighters do not live in Davis and do not vote in city elections so you’d think that the endorsement wouldn’t matter so much, yet an endorsement by the Fire Union means $3000 + in campaign contributions and a group of workers. It is a big deal for council members who desire re-election.”

    I was incorrect only in the amount of money that the firefighters were to invest in this election.

  95. campaign watcher

    Anonymous 12:16 PM:
    “I don’t remember you or Cecilia bringing up this issue until you received the package on your doorstep indicating that the firefighter union is endorsing the three Ss. I didn’t see any mention or alarmism until that happened, so it raises a question about the motivation and opportunism.”

    I did a little research on this.

    Actually, this issue was first raised on this blog on 12/17/2007 within the comments from the article: Quietly…Council Looks to Change City’s Campaign Finance Ordinance.” Rich Rifkin brought up the increasing participation by special interest groups, including the firefighters, and the discussion took off from there. This was well before any endorsement in this current election and wasn’t the focus of the original blog article.

    This is what I said at the time:

    12/17/2007
    “The Fire Fighters endorse, then have union members contribute $100 whether they live in the city or not. They walk pricincts and publish their own mailers & door hangers, etc. It is unwise for any politician to question the goings on in the department. We will have to see if the union endorses Sue Greenwald again after she voted against the last budget request by the department. They endorsed her twice so far, but her no vote may be a deal breaker. This is also why Souza and Saylor seem to go along with whatever the fire fighters want regardless if it is fiscally prudent to do so. A large majority of fire fighters do not live in Davis and do not vote in city elections so you’d think that the endorsement wouldn’t matter so much, yet an endorsement by the Fire Union means $3000 + in campaign contributions and a group of workers. It is a big deal for council members who desire re-election.”

    I was incorrect only in the amount of money that the firefighters were to invest in this election.

  96. campaign watcher

    Anonymous 12:16 PM:
    “I don’t remember you or Cecilia bringing up this issue until you received the package on your doorstep indicating that the firefighter union is endorsing the three Ss. I didn’t see any mention or alarmism until that happened, so it raises a question about the motivation and opportunism.”

    I did a little research on this.

    Actually, this issue was first raised on this blog on 12/17/2007 within the comments from the article: Quietly…Council Looks to Change City’s Campaign Finance Ordinance.” Rich Rifkin brought up the increasing participation by special interest groups, including the firefighters, and the discussion took off from there. This was well before any endorsement in this current election and wasn’t the focus of the original blog article.

    This is what I said at the time:

    12/17/2007
    “The Fire Fighters endorse, then have union members contribute $100 whether they live in the city or not. They walk pricincts and publish their own mailers & door hangers, etc. It is unwise for any politician to question the goings on in the department. We will have to see if the union endorses Sue Greenwald again after she voted against the last budget request by the department. They endorsed her twice so far, but her no vote may be a deal breaker. This is also why Souza and Saylor seem to go along with whatever the fire fighters want regardless if it is fiscally prudent to do so. A large majority of fire fighters do not live in Davis and do not vote in city elections so you’d think that the endorsement wouldn’t matter so much, yet an endorsement by the Fire Union means $3000 + in campaign contributions and a group of workers. It is a big deal for council members who desire re-election.”

    I was incorrect only in the amount of money that the firefighters were to invest in this election.

  97. Progressive Smart Guy

    Frankly, firefighters need to be paid that much to live in Davis.

    This is a result of the zero growth crowd’s policies.

    If you make life expensive by destroying the housing industry and sponsoring monopolies, don’t act so outraged when reasonable people want to pay city safety employees (ones that we really want in town in case of a major emergency) a wage that permits them to live in town.

    This is just another “knock-on cost” caused by those who cynically milk the zero growth urges of greedy homeowners for their own political advantage.

    And I’m so sick of you people disparaging developers for funding certain candidates. If one set of candidates wanted to utterly destroy your legitimate business and the value of your property, what the hell would you do? You’d support their opponents. To disparage people who do just that as being somehow immoral is outrageous, and reflects more on you than them.

    Saylor, Souza, and Virgis are “progressive” by any standard. Do you really submit that these liberal Democrats are ideal developer candidates because they might want to keep the local building, architecture, and home furnishing industries on life support (rather than pulling the plug, as the Greenwalds would prefer)? Give me a break!!!

  98. Progressive Smart Guy

    Frankly, firefighters need to be paid that much to live in Davis.

    This is a result of the zero growth crowd’s policies.

    If you make life expensive by destroying the housing industry and sponsoring monopolies, don’t act so outraged when reasonable people want to pay city safety employees (ones that we really want in town in case of a major emergency) a wage that permits them to live in town.

    This is just another “knock-on cost” caused by those who cynically milk the zero growth urges of greedy homeowners for their own political advantage.

    And I’m so sick of you people disparaging developers for funding certain candidates. If one set of candidates wanted to utterly destroy your legitimate business and the value of your property, what the hell would you do? You’d support their opponents. To disparage people who do just that as being somehow immoral is outrageous, and reflects more on you than them.

    Saylor, Souza, and Virgis are “progressive” by any standard. Do you really submit that these liberal Democrats are ideal developer candidates because they might want to keep the local building, architecture, and home furnishing industries on life support (rather than pulling the plug, as the Greenwalds would prefer)? Give me a break!!!

  99. Progressive Smart Guy

    Frankly, firefighters need to be paid that much to live in Davis.

    This is a result of the zero growth crowd’s policies.

    If you make life expensive by destroying the housing industry and sponsoring monopolies, don’t act so outraged when reasonable people want to pay city safety employees (ones that we really want in town in case of a major emergency) a wage that permits them to live in town.

    This is just another “knock-on cost” caused by those who cynically milk the zero growth urges of greedy homeowners for their own political advantage.

    And I’m so sick of you people disparaging developers for funding certain candidates. If one set of candidates wanted to utterly destroy your legitimate business and the value of your property, what the hell would you do? You’d support their opponents. To disparage people who do just that as being somehow immoral is outrageous, and reflects more on you than them.

    Saylor, Souza, and Virgis are “progressive” by any standard. Do you really submit that these liberal Democrats are ideal developer candidates because they might want to keep the local building, architecture, and home furnishing industries on life support (rather than pulling the plug, as the Greenwalds would prefer)? Give me a break!!!

  100. Progressive Smart Guy

    Frankly, firefighters need to be paid that much to live in Davis.

    This is a result of the zero growth crowd’s policies.

    If you make life expensive by destroying the housing industry and sponsoring monopolies, don’t act so outraged when reasonable people want to pay city safety employees (ones that we really want in town in case of a major emergency) a wage that permits them to live in town.

    This is just another “knock-on cost” caused by those who cynically milk the zero growth urges of greedy homeowners for their own political advantage.

    And I’m so sick of you people disparaging developers for funding certain candidates. If one set of candidates wanted to utterly destroy your legitimate business and the value of your property, what the hell would you do? You’d support their opponents. To disparage people who do just that as being somehow immoral is outrageous, and reflects more on you than them.

    Saylor, Souza, and Virgis are “progressive” by any standard. Do you really submit that these liberal Democrats are ideal developer candidates because they might want to keep the local building, architecture, and home furnishing industries on life support (rather than pulling the plug, as the Greenwalds would prefer)? Give me a break!!!

  101. SODAite

    A question: When the firefighters “pass the boot” at intersections, does that money go into the pot that may become campaign contributions? If so, I have given my last ‘boot bit’.

  102. SODAite

    A question: When the firefighters “pass the boot” at intersections, does that money go into the pot that may become campaign contributions? If so, I have given my last ‘boot bit’.

  103. SODAite

    A question: When the firefighters “pass the boot” at intersections, does that money go into the pot that may become campaign contributions? If so, I have given my last ‘boot bit’.

  104. SODAite

    A question: When the firefighters “pass the boot” at intersections, does that money go into the pot that may become campaign contributions? If so, I have given my last ‘boot bit’.

  105. campaign watcher

    I think that they only “Pass the Boot” around Thanksgiving and that money goes to help the Firefighters hand out food boxes during that holiday. I don’t believe that this is done to fundraise for their union.

    I am certain enough about this to tell you to keep contributing to the “Boot” campaign when you see them out there, especially this next year when you’ll see more and more families struggling to make ends meet.

  106. campaign watcher

    I think that they only “Pass the Boot” around Thanksgiving and that money goes to help the Firefighters hand out food boxes during that holiday. I don’t believe that this is done to fundraise for their union.

    I am certain enough about this to tell you to keep contributing to the “Boot” campaign when you see them out there, especially this next year when you’ll see more and more families struggling to make ends meet.

  107. campaign watcher

    I think that they only “Pass the Boot” around Thanksgiving and that money goes to help the Firefighters hand out food boxes during that holiday. I don’t believe that this is done to fundraise for their union.

    I am certain enough about this to tell you to keep contributing to the “Boot” campaign when you see them out there, especially this next year when you’ll see more and more families struggling to make ends meet.

  108. campaign watcher

    I think that they only “Pass the Boot” around Thanksgiving and that money goes to help the Firefighters hand out food boxes during that holiday. I don’t believe that this is done to fundraise for their union.

    I am certain enough about this to tell you to keep contributing to the “Boot” campaign when you see them out there, especially this next year when you’ll see more and more families struggling to make ends meet.

  109. Richard

    Frankly, firefighters need to be paid that much to live in Davis.

    This is a result of the zero growth crowd’s policies.

    If you make life expensive by destroying the housing industry and sponsoring monopolies, don’t act so outraged when reasonable people want to pay city safety employees (ones that we really want in town in case of a major emergency) a wage that permits them to live in town.

    This is just another “knock-on cost” caused by those who cynically milk the zero growth urges of greedy homeowners for their own political advantage.

    One can only charitably describe this comment as rather odd.

    Firefighters are getting increased benefits in Davis as they have done elsewhere, because they have the leverage to do so. A home in Davis could sell for $125,000, and they would have still demanded, and received, the contracts they obtained.

    As for the housing industry, there are a lot of obvious reasons why it is in distress. Try going here for some clues:

    http://www.thehousingbubbleblog.com

    or here:

    http://www.calculatedrisk.blogspot.com

    or, maybe, just run the term “subprime mortgage” through a search engine and see what turns up

    and, then, as to this earlier comment:

    What else do you have to offer Sue? A bike museum? A second screen at the Varsity? More gifts for your neighbor-buddy Mischa Gushiken? Are those also unfunded needs contributing to your imaginary “structural deficit”? For shame.

    When you’ve lost the substantive side of the argument, I guess petty personal attacks are all that remain.

    If the person who posted this comment doesn’t like Sue, one really has to wonder about the thought process that would lead them to believe that this is going to cost her votes.

    I can’t imagine how it does.

    –Richard Estes

  110. Richard

    Frankly, firefighters need to be paid that much to live in Davis.

    This is a result of the zero growth crowd’s policies.

    If you make life expensive by destroying the housing industry and sponsoring monopolies, don’t act so outraged when reasonable people want to pay city safety employees (ones that we really want in town in case of a major emergency) a wage that permits them to live in town.

    This is just another “knock-on cost” caused by those who cynically milk the zero growth urges of greedy homeowners for their own political advantage.

    One can only charitably describe this comment as rather odd.

    Firefighters are getting increased benefits in Davis as they have done elsewhere, because they have the leverage to do so. A home in Davis could sell for $125,000, and they would have still demanded, and received, the contracts they obtained.

    As for the housing industry, there are a lot of obvious reasons why it is in distress. Try going here for some clues:

    http://www.thehousingbubbleblog.com

    or here:

    http://www.calculatedrisk.blogspot.com

    or, maybe, just run the term “subprime mortgage” through a search engine and see what turns up

    and, then, as to this earlier comment:

    What else do you have to offer Sue? A bike museum? A second screen at the Varsity? More gifts for your neighbor-buddy Mischa Gushiken? Are those also unfunded needs contributing to your imaginary “structural deficit”? For shame.

    When you’ve lost the substantive side of the argument, I guess petty personal attacks are all that remain.

    If the person who posted this comment doesn’t like Sue, one really has to wonder about the thought process that would lead them to believe that this is going to cost her votes.

    I can’t imagine how it does.

    –Richard Estes

  111. Richard

    Frankly, firefighters need to be paid that much to live in Davis.

    This is a result of the zero growth crowd’s policies.

    If you make life expensive by destroying the housing industry and sponsoring monopolies, don’t act so outraged when reasonable people want to pay city safety employees (ones that we really want in town in case of a major emergency) a wage that permits them to live in town.

    This is just another “knock-on cost” caused by those who cynically milk the zero growth urges of greedy homeowners for their own political advantage.

    One can only charitably describe this comment as rather odd.

    Firefighters are getting increased benefits in Davis as they have done elsewhere, because they have the leverage to do so. A home in Davis could sell for $125,000, and they would have still demanded, and received, the contracts they obtained.

    As for the housing industry, there are a lot of obvious reasons why it is in distress. Try going here for some clues:

    http://www.thehousingbubbleblog.com

    or here:

    http://www.calculatedrisk.blogspot.com

    or, maybe, just run the term “subprime mortgage” through a search engine and see what turns up

    and, then, as to this earlier comment:

    What else do you have to offer Sue? A bike museum? A second screen at the Varsity? More gifts for your neighbor-buddy Mischa Gushiken? Are those also unfunded needs contributing to your imaginary “structural deficit”? For shame.

    When you’ve lost the substantive side of the argument, I guess petty personal attacks are all that remain.

    If the person who posted this comment doesn’t like Sue, one really has to wonder about the thought process that would lead them to believe that this is going to cost her votes.

    I can’t imagine how it does.

    –Richard Estes

  112. Richard

    Frankly, firefighters need to be paid that much to live in Davis.

    This is a result of the zero growth crowd’s policies.

    If you make life expensive by destroying the housing industry and sponsoring monopolies, don’t act so outraged when reasonable people want to pay city safety employees (ones that we really want in town in case of a major emergency) a wage that permits them to live in town.

    This is just another “knock-on cost” caused by those who cynically milk the zero growth urges of greedy homeowners for their own political advantage.

    One can only charitably describe this comment as rather odd.

    Firefighters are getting increased benefits in Davis as they have done elsewhere, because they have the leverage to do so. A home in Davis could sell for $125,000, and they would have still demanded, and received, the contracts they obtained.

    As for the housing industry, there are a lot of obvious reasons why it is in distress. Try going here for some clues:

    http://www.thehousingbubbleblog.com

    or here:

    http://www.calculatedrisk.blogspot.com

    or, maybe, just run the term “subprime mortgage” through a search engine and see what turns up

    and, then, as to this earlier comment:

    What else do you have to offer Sue? A bike museum? A second screen at the Varsity? More gifts for your neighbor-buddy Mischa Gushiken? Are those also unfunded needs contributing to your imaginary “structural deficit”? For shame.

    When you’ve lost the substantive side of the argument, I guess petty personal attacks are all that remain.

    If the person who posted this comment doesn’t like Sue, one really has to wonder about the thought process that would lead them to believe that this is going to cost her votes.

    I can’t imagine how it does.

    –Richard Estes

  113. Richard

    Yes, congratulations to Shelly and Ellen. It was great to see them on the front page of the Bee and the Chronicle. But, sort of bittersweet that they have had to struggle so hard for something that they should have been able to do long ago.

    –Richard Estes

  114. Richard

    Yes, congratulations to Shelly and Ellen. It was great to see them on the front page of the Bee and the Chronicle. But, sort of bittersweet that they have had to struggle so hard for something that they should have been able to do long ago.

    –Richard Estes

  115. Richard

    Yes, congratulations to Shelly and Ellen. It was great to see them on the front page of the Bee and the Chronicle. But, sort of bittersweet that they have had to struggle so hard for something that they should have been able to do long ago.

    –Richard Estes

  116. Richard

    Yes, congratulations to Shelly and Ellen. It was great to see them on the front page of the Bee and the Chronicle. But, sort of bittersweet that they have had to struggle so hard for something that they should have been able to do long ago.

    –Richard Estes

  117. Call Me Independent

    “The collapse of progressivism and liberalism nationwide has resulted from these kinds of irresponsible policies. If liberals want to spend money on the kinds of social programs, then they have to hold the line with giveaways to special interest groups. As the result, a lot of liberals have become deficit hawks because they know they are not going to get additional tax money. “

    I personally don’t think the issue of firefighters being overpaid is a liberal vs conservative issue. Nor is the budget crisis in our schools. Bottom line is if taxpayer money is wasted, there is not enough to go around to pay for gov’t services, period. It is in everyone’s best interests to watch our budget like a HAWK, regardless of political ideologies. We do not want out city to end up bankrupt like Vallejo, nor do we want our schools in further fiscal crisis than they already are!

  118. Call Me Independent

    “The collapse of progressivism and liberalism nationwide has resulted from these kinds of irresponsible policies. If liberals want to spend money on the kinds of social programs, then they have to hold the line with giveaways to special interest groups. As the result, a lot of liberals have become deficit hawks because they know they are not going to get additional tax money. “

    I personally don’t think the issue of firefighters being overpaid is a liberal vs conservative issue. Nor is the budget crisis in our schools. Bottom line is if taxpayer money is wasted, there is not enough to go around to pay for gov’t services, period. It is in everyone’s best interests to watch our budget like a HAWK, regardless of political ideologies. We do not want out city to end up bankrupt like Vallejo, nor do we want our schools in further fiscal crisis than they already are!

  119. Call Me Independent

    “The collapse of progressivism and liberalism nationwide has resulted from these kinds of irresponsible policies. If liberals want to spend money on the kinds of social programs, then they have to hold the line with giveaways to special interest groups. As the result, a lot of liberals have become deficit hawks because they know they are not going to get additional tax money. “

    I personally don’t think the issue of firefighters being overpaid is a liberal vs conservative issue. Nor is the budget crisis in our schools. Bottom line is if taxpayer money is wasted, there is not enough to go around to pay for gov’t services, period. It is in everyone’s best interests to watch our budget like a HAWK, regardless of political ideologies. We do not want out city to end up bankrupt like Vallejo, nor do we want our schools in further fiscal crisis than they already are!

  120. Call Me Independent

    “The collapse of progressivism and liberalism nationwide has resulted from these kinds of irresponsible policies. If liberals want to spend money on the kinds of social programs, then they have to hold the line with giveaways to special interest groups. As the result, a lot of liberals have become deficit hawks because they know they are not going to get additional tax money. “

    I personally don’t think the issue of firefighters being overpaid is a liberal vs conservative issue. Nor is the budget crisis in our schools. Bottom line is if taxpayer money is wasted, there is not enough to go around to pay for gov’t services, period. It is in everyone’s best interests to watch our budget like a HAWK, regardless of political ideologies. We do not want out city to end up bankrupt like Vallejo, nor do we want our schools in further fiscal crisis than they already are!

  121. Dangerous Predendent

    “Lets hear it for Gay Marriage on June 17th , it’s about TIME !!!!!!!!!!!”

    Can’t say that I agree. I am all for equal rights, and civil unions, and against discrimination of any kind. But marriage is supposed to be and always has been between a man and a woman, a tradition that needs to be upheld rather than diminished. We are seeing the collapse of our institutions, especially the institution of marriage. To further undermine it by redefining it against the will of the voters is WRONG. The higher courts in CA are now dabbling in legislating from the bench – which sets a very dangerous precedent. Expect to see an attempt at enacting a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. I know this comment will probably draw considerable fire on this website, but strangely enough I am in the majority rather than the minority relative to the rest of this country and this state.

  122. Dangerous Predendent

    “Lets hear it for Gay Marriage on June 17th , it’s about TIME !!!!!!!!!!!”

    Can’t say that I agree. I am all for equal rights, and civil unions, and against discrimination of any kind. But marriage is supposed to be and always has been between a man and a woman, a tradition that needs to be upheld rather than diminished. We are seeing the collapse of our institutions, especially the institution of marriage. To further undermine it by redefining it against the will of the voters is WRONG. The higher courts in CA are now dabbling in legislating from the bench – which sets a very dangerous precedent. Expect to see an attempt at enacting a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. I know this comment will probably draw considerable fire on this website, but strangely enough I am in the majority rather than the minority relative to the rest of this country and this state.

  123. Dangerous Predendent

    “Lets hear it for Gay Marriage on June 17th , it’s about TIME !!!!!!!!!!!”

    Can’t say that I agree. I am all for equal rights, and civil unions, and against discrimination of any kind. But marriage is supposed to be and always has been between a man and a woman, a tradition that needs to be upheld rather than diminished. We are seeing the collapse of our institutions, especially the institution of marriage. To further undermine it by redefining it against the will of the voters is WRONG. The higher courts in CA are now dabbling in legislating from the bench – which sets a very dangerous precedent. Expect to see an attempt at enacting a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. I know this comment will probably draw considerable fire on this website, but strangely enough I am in the majority rather than the minority relative to the rest of this country and this state.

  124. Dangerous Predendent

    “Lets hear it for Gay Marriage on June 17th , it’s about TIME !!!!!!!!!!!”

    Can’t say that I agree. I am all for equal rights, and civil unions, and against discrimination of any kind. But marriage is supposed to be and always has been between a man and a woman, a tradition that needs to be upheld rather than diminished. We are seeing the collapse of our institutions, especially the institution of marriage. To further undermine it by redefining it against the will of the voters is WRONG. The higher courts in CA are now dabbling in legislating from the bench – which sets a very dangerous precedent. Expect to see an attempt at enacting a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. I know this comment will probably draw considerable fire on this website, but strangely enough I am in the majority rather than the minority relative to the rest of this country and this state.

  125. Rich Rifkin

    “Sue Greenwald objected to firefighters gorging at the public trough long before Rich Rifkin discussed it. Let’s give credit where credit is due.”

    I agree. In my column, I mentioned that the firefighters specifically did not give money to Sue Greenwald this year — though they had in the past — because she did not approve of their demands, opposing their 36% increase in pay in their last contract, opposing the opening of a 4th fire station, and opposing the increase in the number of officer positions within the department.

    Also, before I wrote about the firefighters in my column, I spoke to Sue quite a few times. However, I don’t believe the information I revealed last December had been publicly reported on before — at least not in terms of how much overtime the firefighters were taking in conjunction with their rapidly increasing base salaries and other benefits.

    “Furthermore, Rich Rifkin never bothered to comment on the Parks and Rec Dept gorging at the public trough. Their salaries are about as high, without the danger factor.”

    I don’t know that that is true. I’m happy to look into it. I’d welcome an email from you to explain to me what you know about this. I did, however, report in my column about 3-4 years ago about how many highly paid (over $100,000/year, then) administrators the City had, including some in Parks & Rec.

    ——

    In my Enterprise column today, I addressed in a general sense where the budget for the City of Davis now stands. One thing that I did not get into is how the mentality of this and past city councils has led us into our growing crisis. I think this comment, made above, reveals it:

    “To be fair to the firefighters, the retirement package they get is a statewide package – they are not getting special treatment in Davis. Furthermore the salary sturctures in Davis are lower than the salary structures in the Bay Area.”

    This could be said of almost all labor contracts with the city of Davis and of those of most similar cities. It’s a sheepish mentality.

    A neighboring city gave its employees free retiree medical care, then all the others followed that lead; a different city decided its classified employees should get a 2.5% @ 55 retirement plan, then all the other towns followed that lead; another one gave its firefighters and cops 3% @ 50, Davis and most others followed the lead; one town raised its city manager’s salary to $200,000, all the others followed the lead. It was really that mentality and negotiating process which got us — and every other city around here — into the problems we are now facing.

    It is truly no wonder that almost every town around us, without any cuts in revenues, is on the road to bankruptcy.

  126. Rich Rifkin

    “Sue Greenwald objected to firefighters gorging at the public trough long before Rich Rifkin discussed it. Let’s give credit where credit is due.”

    I agree. In my column, I mentioned that the firefighters specifically did not give money to Sue Greenwald this year — though they had in the past — because she did not approve of their demands, opposing their 36% increase in pay in their last contract, opposing the opening of a 4th fire station, and opposing the increase in the number of officer positions within the department.

    Also, before I wrote about the firefighters in my column, I spoke to Sue quite a few times. However, I don’t believe the information I revealed last December had been publicly reported on before — at least not in terms of how much overtime the firefighters were taking in conjunction with their rapidly increasing base salaries and other benefits.

    “Furthermore, Rich Rifkin never bothered to comment on the Parks and Rec Dept gorging at the public trough. Their salaries are about as high, without the danger factor.”

    I don’t know that that is true. I’m happy to look into it. I’d welcome an email from you to explain to me what you know about this. I did, however, report in my column about 3-4 years ago about how many highly paid (over $100,000/year, then) administrators the City had, including some in Parks & Rec.

    ——

    In my Enterprise column today, I addressed in a general sense where the budget for the City of Davis now stands. One thing that I did not get into is how the mentality of this and past city councils has led us into our growing crisis. I think this comment, made above, reveals it:

    “To be fair to the firefighters, the retirement package they get is a statewide package – they are not getting special treatment in Davis. Furthermore the salary sturctures in Davis are lower than the salary structures in the Bay Area.”

    This could be said of almost all labor contracts with the city of Davis and of those of most similar cities. It’s a sheepish mentality.

    A neighboring city gave its employees free retiree medical care, then all the others followed that lead; a different city decided its classified employees should get a 2.5% @ 55 retirement plan, then all the other towns followed that lead; another one gave its firefighters and cops 3% @ 50, Davis and most others followed the lead; one town raised its city manager’s salary to $200,000, all the others followed the lead. It was really that mentality and negotiating process which got us — and every other city around here — into the problems we are now facing.

    It is truly no wonder that almost every town around us, without any cuts in revenues, is on the road to bankruptcy.

  127. Rich Rifkin

    “Sue Greenwald objected to firefighters gorging at the public trough long before Rich Rifkin discussed it. Let’s give credit where credit is due.”

    I agree. In my column, I mentioned that the firefighters specifically did not give money to Sue Greenwald this year — though they had in the past — because she did not approve of their demands, opposing their 36% increase in pay in their last contract, opposing the opening of a 4th fire station, and opposing the increase in the number of officer positions within the department.

    Also, before I wrote about the firefighters in my column, I spoke to Sue quite a few times. However, I don’t believe the information I revealed last December had been publicly reported on before — at least not in terms of how much overtime the firefighters were taking in conjunction with their rapidly increasing base salaries and other benefits.

    “Furthermore, Rich Rifkin never bothered to comment on the Parks and Rec Dept gorging at the public trough. Their salaries are about as high, without the danger factor.”

    I don’t know that that is true. I’m happy to look into it. I’d welcome an email from you to explain to me what you know about this. I did, however, report in my column about 3-4 years ago about how many highly paid (over $100,000/year, then) administrators the City had, including some in Parks & Rec.

    ——

    In my Enterprise column today, I addressed in a general sense where the budget for the City of Davis now stands. One thing that I did not get into is how the mentality of this and past city councils has led us into our growing crisis. I think this comment, made above, reveals it:

    “To be fair to the firefighters, the retirement package they get is a statewide package – they are not getting special treatment in Davis. Furthermore the salary sturctures in Davis are lower than the salary structures in the Bay Area.”

    This could be said of almost all labor contracts with the city of Davis and of those of most similar cities. It’s a sheepish mentality.

    A neighboring city gave its employees free retiree medical care, then all the others followed that lead; a different city decided its classified employees should get a 2.5% @ 55 retirement plan, then all the other towns followed that lead; another one gave its firefighters and cops 3% @ 50, Davis and most others followed the lead; one town raised its city manager’s salary to $200,000, all the others followed the lead. It was really that mentality and negotiating process which got us — and every other city around here — into the problems we are now facing.

    It is truly no wonder that almost every town around us, without any cuts in revenues, is on the road to bankruptcy.

  128. Rich Rifkin

    “Sue Greenwald objected to firefighters gorging at the public trough long before Rich Rifkin discussed it. Let’s give credit where credit is due.”

    I agree. In my column, I mentioned that the firefighters specifically did not give money to Sue Greenwald this year — though they had in the past — because she did not approve of their demands, opposing their 36% increase in pay in their last contract, opposing the opening of a 4th fire station, and opposing the increase in the number of officer positions within the department.

    Also, before I wrote about the firefighters in my column, I spoke to Sue quite a few times. However, I don’t believe the information I revealed last December had been publicly reported on before — at least not in terms of how much overtime the firefighters were taking in conjunction with their rapidly increasing base salaries and other benefits.

    “Furthermore, Rich Rifkin never bothered to comment on the Parks and Rec Dept gorging at the public trough. Their salaries are about as high, without the danger factor.”

    I don’t know that that is true. I’m happy to look into it. I’d welcome an email from you to explain to me what you know about this. I did, however, report in my column about 3-4 years ago about how many highly paid (over $100,000/year, then) administrators the City had, including some in Parks & Rec.

    ——

    In my Enterprise column today, I addressed in a general sense where the budget for the City of Davis now stands. One thing that I did not get into is how the mentality of this and past city councils has led us into our growing crisis. I think this comment, made above, reveals it:

    “To be fair to the firefighters, the retirement package they get is a statewide package – they are not getting special treatment in Davis. Furthermore the salary sturctures in Davis are lower than the salary structures in the Bay Area.”

    This could be said of almost all labor contracts with the city of Davis and of those of most similar cities. It’s a sheepish mentality.

    A neighboring city gave its employees free retiree medical care, then all the others followed that lead; a different city decided its classified employees should get a 2.5% @ 55 retirement plan, then all the other towns followed that lead; another one gave its firefighters and cops 3% @ 50, Davis and most others followed the lead; one town raised its city manager’s salary to $200,000, all the others followed the lead. It was really that mentality and negotiating process which got us — and every other city around here — into the problems we are now facing.

    It is truly no wonder that almost every town around us, without any cuts in revenues, is on the road to bankruptcy.

  129. Rich Rifkin

    “Unions like SEIU know that such pension plans as 3% at 50 are unsustainable as Dave Hart wrote, and thus threaten ALL pensions.”

    If you get the Enterprise, I discuss briefly the 3%@50 situation. You might be very surprised to read what I learned about changing it.

  130. Rich Rifkin

    “Unions like SEIU know that such pension plans as 3% at 50 are unsustainable as Dave Hart wrote, and thus threaten ALL pensions.”

    If you get the Enterprise, I discuss briefly the 3%@50 situation. You might be very surprised to read what I learned about changing it.

  131. Rich Rifkin

    “Unions like SEIU know that such pension plans as 3% at 50 are unsustainable as Dave Hart wrote, and thus threaten ALL pensions.”

    If you get the Enterprise, I discuss briefly the 3%@50 situation. You might be very surprised to read what I learned about changing it.

  132. Rich Rifkin

    “Unions like SEIU know that such pension plans as 3% at 50 are unsustainable as Dave Hart wrote, and thus threaten ALL pensions.”

    If you get the Enterprise, I discuss briefly the 3%@50 situation. You might be very surprised to read what I learned about changing it.

  133. Anonymous

    “But marriage is supposed to be and always has been between a man and a woman, a tradition that needs to be upheld rather than diminished.”

    Tradition is a matter of perspective. Go back a couple of thousand years to Greece- is that the traditional marriage you are talking about? Arranged marriages will little love and no rights for the wife, lots of concubines and relationships with young boys – some might call that traditional. The institution of marriage has evolved over time and this just adds to change for the better. By the way voters, do not always get it right – voters were against interracial marriages also.

    I am married to my wife and have three kids and I really not understand the objections to gay marriages. Please get over it and move forward. SAH

  134. Anonymous

    “But marriage is supposed to be and always has been between a man and a woman, a tradition that needs to be upheld rather than diminished.”

    Tradition is a matter of perspective. Go back a couple of thousand years to Greece- is that the traditional marriage you are talking about? Arranged marriages will little love and no rights for the wife, lots of concubines and relationships with young boys – some might call that traditional. The institution of marriage has evolved over time and this just adds to change for the better. By the way voters, do not always get it right – voters were against interracial marriages also.

    I am married to my wife and have three kids and I really not understand the objections to gay marriages. Please get over it and move forward. SAH

  135. Anonymous

    “But marriage is supposed to be and always has been between a man and a woman, a tradition that needs to be upheld rather than diminished.”

    Tradition is a matter of perspective. Go back a couple of thousand years to Greece- is that the traditional marriage you are talking about? Arranged marriages will little love and no rights for the wife, lots of concubines and relationships with young boys – some might call that traditional. The institution of marriage has evolved over time and this just adds to change for the better. By the way voters, do not always get it right – voters were against interracial marriages also.

    I am married to my wife and have three kids and I really not understand the objections to gay marriages. Please get over it and move forward. SAH

  136. Anonymous

    “But marriage is supposed to be and always has been between a man and a woman, a tradition that needs to be upheld rather than diminished.”

    Tradition is a matter of perspective. Go back a couple of thousand years to Greece- is that the traditional marriage you are talking about? Arranged marriages will little love and no rights for the wife, lots of concubines and relationships with young boys – some might call that traditional. The institution of marriage has evolved over time and this just adds to change for the better. By the way voters, do not always get it right – voters were against interracial marriages also.

    I am married to my wife and have three kids and I really not understand the objections to gay marriages. Please get over it and move forward. SAH

  137. Rich Rifkin

    “I’m concerned that the city is going to be raising taxes on all sorts of things without getting their house in order. I’m concerned that there may not be money for schools in the future because we are spending it on new water projects.”

    I am convinced that in the next few years, there will be a new parcel measure on the ballot to fund street and sidewalk repairs. Our streets are now in fairly good shape all over the city. The sidewalks are in bad shape in some parts of town. However, streets need regular maintenance and periodic resurfacing in order to not fall apart over time. We have no money for this — and the result is going to be a serious deterioration in the coming 4-5 years.

  138. Rich Rifkin

    “I’m concerned that the city is going to be raising taxes on all sorts of things without getting their house in order. I’m concerned that there may not be money for schools in the future because we are spending it on new water projects.”

    I am convinced that in the next few years, there will be a new parcel measure on the ballot to fund street and sidewalk repairs. Our streets are now in fairly good shape all over the city. The sidewalks are in bad shape in some parts of town. However, streets need regular maintenance and periodic resurfacing in order to not fall apart over time. We have no money for this — and the result is going to be a serious deterioration in the coming 4-5 years.

  139. Rich Rifkin

    “I’m concerned that the city is going to be raising taxes on all sorts of things without getting their house in order. I’m concerned that there may not be money for schools in the future because we are spending it on new water projects.”

    I am convinced that in the next few years, there will be a new parcel measure on the ballot to fund street and sidewalk repairs. Our streets are now in fairly good shape all over the city. The sidewalks are in bad shape in some parts of town. However, streets need regular maintenance and periodic resurfacing in order to not fall apart over time. We have no money for this — and the result is going to be a serious deterioration in the coming 4-5 years.

  140. Rich Rifkin

    “I’m concerned that the city is going to be raising taxes on all sorts of things without getting their house in order. I’m concerned that there may not be money for schools in the future because we are spending it on new water projects.”

    I am convinced that in the next few years, there will be a new parcel measure on the ballot to fund street and sidewalk repairs. Our streets are now in fairly good shape all over the city. The sidewalks are in bad shape in some parts of town. However, streets need regular maintenance and periodic resurfacing in order to not fall apart over time. We have no money for this — and the result is going to be a serious deterioration in the coming 4-5 years.

  141. Anonymous

    “This could be said of almost all labor contracts with the city of Davis and of those of most similar cities. It’s a sheepish mentality.”

    I agree that our leaders have acted like sheep, however the reality is that the problem is bigger than a Davis issue. There has to be discussion with other cities.

  142. Anonymous

    “This could be said of almost all labor contracts with the city of Davis and of those of most similar cities. It’s a sheepish mentality.”

    I agree that our leaders have acted like sheep, however the reality is that the problem is bigger than a Davis issue. There has to be discussion with other cities.

  143. Anonymous

    “This could be said of almost all labor contracts with the city of Davis and of those of most similar cities. It’s a sheepish mentality.”

    I agree that our leaders have acted like sheep, however the reality is that the problem is bigger than a Davis issue. There has to be discussion with other cities.

  144. Anonymous

    “This could be said of almost all labor contracts with the city of Davis and of those of most similar cities. It’s a sheepish mentality.”

    I agree that our leaders have acted like sheep, however the reality is that the problem is bigger than a Davis issue. There has to be discussion with other cities.

  145. Rich Rifkin

    “Bottom line is if taxpayer money is wasted, there is not enough to go around to pay for gov’t services, period. It is in everyone’s best interests to watch our budget like a HAWK, regardless of political ideologies.”

    I second this. Insofar as we waste money in one area, we deny it in another: be that in the pockets of taxpayers or the services people truly need or in the jobs of other workers who don’t have as much political pull. Waste makes all of us poorer, save those who are gorging at the public trough.

    One of the reasons I was so upset over the mindless attempt by the County Board of Supervisors to purchase the Conaway Ranch through eminent domain was because I knew this waste of money — $2.4 million to outside lawyers* for the county — was taking away money that otherwise could have gone to public health clinics, food stamps, welfare checks, programs to feed and house the homeless and drug rehab programs the county runs for its inmates. It is always those most needy, at the bottom of the heap, who are hurt worst by government waste.

    * Yolo County was fortunate to get (in real dollars) about 3/4ths of this back, because Steve Gidaro (principal owner of Conaway) realized that he would have to spend even more to keep fighting Yolo County in court. The county likewise realized that it was going to lose in court, because the ranch itself was far more valuable than the county wanted to pay for it…. As such, the majority of the Board of Supes (Chamberlain was the lone desenter; Rexroad was not yet on the BoS) did not pay the price for this folly; the Sheriffs did not pay; and the county judges and county lawyers did not pay; the bill landed squarely on the back of the poor people who rely on county services and will find there is no money left for them.

  146. Rich Rifkin

    “Bottom line is if taxpayer money is wasted, there is not enough to go around to pay for gov’t services, period. It is in everyone’s best interests to watch our budget like a HAWK, regardless of political ideologies.”

    I second this. Insofar as we waste money in one area, we deny it in another: be that in the pockets of taxpayers or the services people truly need or in the jobs of other workers who don’t have as much political pull. Waste makes all of us poorer, save those who are gorging at the public trough.

    One of the reasons I was so upset over the mindless attempt by the County Board of Supervisors to purchase the Conaway Ranch through eminent domain was because I knew this waste of money — $2.4 million to outside lawyers* for the county — was taking away money that otherwise could have gone to public health clinics, food stamps, welfare checks, programs to feed and house the homeless and drug rehab programs the county runs for its inmates. It is always those most needy, at the bottom of the heap, who are hurt worst by government waste.

    * Yolo County was fortunate to get (in real dollars) about 3/4ths of this back, because Steve Gidaro (principal owner of Conaway) realized that he would have to spend even more to keep fighting Yolo County in court. The county likewise realized that it was going to lose in court, because the ranch itself was far more valuable than the county wanted to pay for it…. As such, the majority of the Board of Supes (Chamberlain was the lone desenter; Rexroad was not yet on the BoS) did not pay the price for this folly; the Sheriffs did not pay; and the county judges and county lawyers did not pay; the bill landed squarely on the back of the poor people who rely on county services and will find there is no money left for them.

  147. Rich Rifkin

    “Bottom line is if taxpayer money is wasted, there is not enough to go around to pay for gov’t services, period. It is in everyone’s best interests to watch our budget like a HAWK, regardless of political ideologies.”

    I second this. Insofar as we waste money in one area, we deny it in another: be that in the pockets of taxpayers or the services people truly need or in the jobs of other workers who don’t have as much political pull. Waste makes all of us poorer, save those who are gorging at the public trough.

    One of the reasons I was so upset over the mindless attempt by the County Board of Supervisors to purchase the Conaway Ranch through eminent domain was because I knew this waste of money — $2.4 million to outside lawyers* for the county — was taking away money that otherwise could have gone to public health clinics, food stamps, welfare checks, programs to feed and house the homeless and drug rehab programs the county runs for its inmates. It is always those most needy, at the bottom of the heap, who are hurt worst by government waste.

    * Yolo County was fortunate to get (in real dollars) about 3/4ths of this back, because Steve Gidaro (principal owner of Conaway) realized that he would have to spend even more to keep fighting Yolo County in court. The county likewise realized that it was going to lose in court, because the ranch itself was far more valuable than the county wanted to pay for it…. As such, the majority of the Board of Supes (Chamberlain was the lone desenter; Rexroad was not yet on the BoS) did not pay the price for this folly; the Sheriffs did not pay; and the county judges and county lawyers did not pay; the bill landed squarely on the back of the poor people who rely on county services and will find there is no money left for them.

  148. Rich Rifkin

    “Bottom line is if taxpayer money is wasted, there is not enough to go around to pay for gov’t services, period. It is in everyone’s best interests to watch our budget like a HAWK, regardless of political ideologies.”

    I second this. Insofar as we waste money in one area, we deny it in another: be that in the pockets of taxpayers or the services people truly need or in the jobs of other workers who don’t have as much political pull. Waste makes all of us poorer, save those who are gorging at the public trough.

    One of the reasons I was so upset over the mindless attempt by the County Board of Supervisors to purchase the Conaway Ranch through eminent domain was because I knew this waste of money — $2.4 million to outside lawyers* for the county — was taking away money that otherwise could have gone to public health clinics, food stamps, welfare checks, programs to feed and house the homeless and drug rehab programs the county runs for its inmates. It is always those most needy, at the bottom of the heap, who are hurt worst by government waste.

    * Yolo County was fortunate to get (in real dollars) about 3/4ths of this back, because Steve Gidaro (principal owner of Conaway) realized that he would have to spend even more to keep fighting Yolo County in court. The county likewise realized that it was going to lose in court, because the ranch itself was far more valuable than the county wanted to pay for it…. As such, the majority of the Board of Supes (Chamberlain was the lone desenter; Rexroad was not yet on the BoS) did not pay the price for this folly; the Sheriffs did not pay; and the county judges and county lawyers did not pay; the bill landed squarely on the back of the poor people who rely on county services and will find there is no money left for them.

  149. Jack Dean

    Indeed, Davis is not alone. For the past 4 years PensionTsunami.com has been tracking the rapidly growing public employee pension and benefits crisis on a daily basis. To stay informed about this critical taxpayer issue, visit us regularly.

  150. Jack Dean

    Indeed, Davis is not alone. For the past 4 years PensionTsunami.com has been tracking the rapidly growing public employee pension and benefits crisis on a daily basis. To stay informed about this critical taxpayer issue, visit us regularly.

  151. Jack Dean

    Indeed, Davis is not alone. For the past 4 years PensionTsunami.com has been tracking the rapidly growing public employee pension and benefits crisis on a daily basis. To stay informed about this critical taxpayer issue, visit us regularly.

  152. Jack Dean

    Indeed, Davis is not alone. For the past 4 years PensionTsunami.com has been tracking the rapidly growing public employee pension and benefits crisis on a daily basis. To stay informed about this critical taxpayer issue, visit us regularly.

  153. Be Careful What You Wish For

    “Tradition is a matter of perspective.”

    Yes, and in this country, since its inception, marriage has been between a man and a woman. Marriage as an institution is being downgraded in importance, which will result in a lot of children not having any sense of permanence. This cannot be a good thing for their psyches. Already, polygamists are jumping on the “gay marriage rights” bandwagon, and claiming polygamy must be allowed. To allow gay marriage is a slippery slope…

    “The institution of marriage has evolved over time and this just adds to change for the better. By the way voters, do not always get it right – voters were against interracial marriages also.”

    Do you really want the courts to be legislating from the bench? That is not their role. They are supposed to be upholding the law, not defying it. Think about it. There was a judge in a southern state, who decided he would keep the ten commandments on display in his courthouse, despite a ruling to the contrary. He defied the law, and was summarily removed. Would you have preferred that he make new law, that was in line with his views only? Be careful what you wish for if you allow judges to make new law from the bench. There is a reason we have separation of powers in a democracy.

  154. Be Careful What You Wish For

    “Tradition is a matter of perspective.”

    Yes, and in this country, since its inception, marriage has been between a man and a woman. Marriage as an institution is being downgraded in importance, which will result in a lot of children not having any sense of permanence. This cannot be a good thing for their psyches. Already, polygamists are jumping on the “gay marriage rights” bandwagon, and claiming polygamy must be allowed. To allow gay marriage is a slippery slope…

    “The institution of marriage has evolved over time and this just adds to change for the better. By the way voters, do not always get it right – voters were against interracial marriages also.”

    Do you really want the courts to be legislating from the bench? That is not their role. They are supposed to be upholding the law, not defying it. Think about it. There was a judge in a southern state, who decided he would keep the ten commandments on display in his courthouse, despite a ruling to the contrary. He defied the law, and was summarily removed. Would you have preferred that he make new law, that was in line with his views only? Be careful what you wish for if you allow judges to make new law from the bench. There is a reason we have separation of powers in a democracy.

  155. Be Careful What You Wish For

    “Tradition is a matter of perspective.”

    Yes, and in this country, since its inception, marriage has been between a man and a woman. Marriage as an institution is being downgraded in importance, which will result in a lot of children not having any sense of permanence. This cannot be a good thing for their psyches. Already, polygamists are jumping on the “gay marriage rights” bandwagon, and claiming polygamy must be allowed. To allow gay marriage is a slippery slope…

    “The institution of marriage has evolved over time and this just adds to change for the better. By the way voters, do not always get it right – voters were against interracial marriages also.”

    Do you really want the courts to be legislating from the bench? That is not their role. They are supposed to be upholding the law, not defying it. Think about it. There was a judge in a southern state, who decided he would keep the ten commandments on display in his courthouse, despite a ruling to the contrary. He defied the law, and was summarily removed. Would you have preferred that he make new law, that was in line with his views only? Be careful what you wish for if you allow judges to make new law from the bench. There is a reason we have separation of powers in a democracy.

  156. Be Careful What You Wish For

    “Tradition is a matter of perspective.”

    Yes, and in this country, since its inception, marriage has been between a man and a woman. Marriage as an institution is being downgraded in importance, which will result in a lot of children not having any sense of permanence. This cannot be a good thing for their psyches. Already, polygamists are jumping on the “gay marriage rights” bandwagon, and claiming polygamy must be allowed. To allow gay marriage is a slippery slope…

    “The institution of marriage has evolved over time and this just adds to change for the better. By the way voters, do not always get it right – voters were against interracial marriages also.”

    Do you really want the courts to be legislating from the bench? That is not their role. They are supposed to be upholding the law, not defying it. Think about it. There was a judge in a southern state, who decided he would keep the ten commandments on display in his courthouse, despite a ruling to the contrary. He defied the law, and was summarily removed. Would you have preferred that he make new law, that was in line with his views only? Be careful what you wish for if you allow judges to make new law from the bench. There is a reason we have separation of powers in a democracy.

  157. Doug Paul Davis

    I have to ask: are the courts really legislating here. Is there not a clause in the 14th amendment that provides that the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances.

    If that’s the case, then when you look at the rights that same sex partners have under the law in terms of things like benefits, power of attorney, distribution of assets, custody of children, etc. you see a decided inequality.

    Now you may or may not agree that the 14th amendment applies here, but it is at the very least a question that the court should weigh in on.

  158. Doug Paul Davis

    I have to ask: are the courts really legislating here. Is there not a clause in the 14th amendment that provides that the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances.

    If that’s the case, then when you look at the rights that same sex partners have under the law in terms of things like benefits, power of attorney, distribution of assets, custody of children, etc. you see a decided inequality.

    Now you may or may not agree that the 14th amendment applies here, but it is at the very least a question that the court should weigh in on.

  159. Doug Paul Davis

    I have to ask: are the courts really legislating here. Is there not a clause in the 14th amendment that provides that the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances.

    If that’s the case, then when you look at the rights that same sex partners have under the law in terms of things like benefits, power of attorney, distribution of assets, custody of children, etc. you see a decided inequality.

    Now you may or may not agree that the 14th amendment applies here, but it is at the very least a question that the court should weigh in on.

  160. Doug Paul Davis

    I have to ask: are the courts really legislating here. Is there not a clause in the 14th amendment that provides that the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances.

    If that’s the case, then when you look at the rights that same sex partners have under the law in terms of things like benefits, power of attorney, distribution of assets, custody of children, etc. you see a decided inequality.

    Now you may or may not agree that the 14th amendment applies here, but it is at the very least a question that the court should weigh in on.

  161. Anonymous

    “Marriage as an institution is being downgraded in importance, which will result in a lot of children not having any sense of permanence.”

    Is that due to Gay marriage or are you really talking about divorce?

  162. Anonymous

    “Marriage as an institution is being downgraded in importance, which will result in a lot of children not having any sense of permanence.”

    Is that due to Gay marriage or are you really talking about divorce?

  163. Anonymous

    “Marriage as an institution is being downgraded in importance, which will result in a lot of children not having any sense of permanence.”

    Is that due to Gay marriage or are you really talking about divorce?

  164. Anonymous

    “Marriage as an institution is being downgraded in importance, which will result in a lot of children not having any sense of permanence.”

    Is that due to Gay marriage or are you really talking about divorce?

  165. Don Shor

    Do you really want the courts to be legislating from the bench?
    Laws against miscegenation in 16 states were overturned in 1967 by a judge who was, I guess, legislating from the bench. I have little doubt that those laws were supported by a majority of the citizens of those states. The thing is, we turn to the courts to uphold individual rights when they are abridged by the majority.

    I can’t think of a single argument against gay marriage that wouldn’t have also been applied against mixed-race marriages.

    Let’s see: 26-year-old Anna Nicole Smith married an 89-year-old, and that marriage had the full sanction of the state. By comparison, I’d say gay couples will improve the status of the institution of marriage.

    Opponents of gay marriage are on the losing end of this argument. Look at the poll results in today’s Sac Bee. The next generation supports gay marriage by a stunning 68% to 25%. A majority of Californians under the age of 50 supports gay marriage. In twenty years, we will look at bans on gay marriage as the kind of bizarre anachronism we now consider anti-miscegenation laws to be.

  166. Don Shor

    Do you really want the courts to be legislating from the bench?
    Laws against miscegenation in 16 states were overturned in 1967 by a judge who was, I guess, legislating from the bench. I have little doubt that those laws were supported by a majority of the citizens of those states. The thing is, we turn to the courts to uphold individual rights when they are abridged by the majority.

    I can’t think of a single argument against gay marriage that wouldn’t have also been applied against mixed-race marriages.

    Let’s see: 26-year-old Anna Nicole Smith married an 89-year-old, and that marriage had the full sanction of the state. By comparison, I’d say gay couples will improve the status of the institution of marriage.

    Opponents of gay marriage are on the losing end of this argument. Look at the poll results in today’s Sac Bee. The next generation supports gay marriage by a stunning 68% to 25%. A majority of Californians under the age of 50 supports gay marriage. In twenty years, we will look at bans on gay marriage as the kind of bizarre anachronism we now consider anti-miscegenation laws to be.

  167. Don Shor

    Do you really want the courts to be legislating from the bench?
    Laws against miscegenation in 16 states were overturned in 1967 by a judge who was, I guess, legislating from the bench. I have little doubt that those laws were supported by a majority of the citizens of those states. The thing is, we turn to the courts to uphold individual rights when they are abridged by the majority.

    I can’t think of a single argument against gay marriage that wouldn’t have also been applied against mixed-race marriages.

    Let’s see: 26-year-old Anna Nicole Smith married an 89-year-old, and that marriage had the full sanction of the state. By comparison, I’d say gay couples will improve the status of the institution of marriage.

    Opponents of gay marriage are on the losing end of this argument. Look at the poll results in today’s Sac Bee. The next generation supports gay marriage by a stunning 68% to 25%. A majority of Californians under the age of 50 supports gay marriage. In twenty years, we will look at bans on gay marriage as the kind of bizarre anachronism we now consider anti-miscegenation laws to be.

  168. Don Shor

    Do you really want the courts to be legislating from the bench?
    Laws against miscegenation in 16 states were overturned in 1967 by a judge who was, I guess, legislating from the bench. I have little doubt that those laws were supported by a majority of the citizens of those states. The thing is, we turn to the courts to uphold individual rights when they are abridged by the majority.

    I can’t think of a single argument against gay marriage that wouldn’t have also been applied against mixed-race marriages.

    Let’s see: 26-year-old Anna Nicole Smith married an 89-year-old, and that marriage had the full sanction of the state. By comparison, I’d say gay couples will improve the status of the institution of marriage.

    Opponents of gay marriage are on the losing end of this argument. Look at the poll results in today’s Sac Bee. The next generation supports gay marriage by a stunning 68% to 25%. A majority of Californians under the age of 50 supports gay marriage. In twenty years, we will look at bans on gay marriage as the kind of bizarre anachronism we now consider anti-miscegenation laws to be.

  169. Rich Rifkin

    “Marriage as an institution is being downgraded in importance, which will result in a lot of children not having any sense of permanence.”

    I don’t get this.

    I understand how our high (entirely heterosexual) divorce rate is harmful to children. But I cannot see how letting homosexuals to lawfully marry “downgrades the institution of marriage” or harms children in any way.

    In fact, to the extent that some gays have minor children, permitting them to lawfully marry will improve the lot of their kids, insofar as marriage tends to create stability in the family unit.

    We do have a crisis in our country with regard to marriage now: The vast majority of children born to poor mothers or to mothers who are members of some minority groups are bastards; and a large percentage of the rest of children are being raised in families of divorce.

    Allowing gay marriage won’t change that at all. I’m not sure what exactly we ought to do to improve the lot of these broken families, other than highly discourage women in unstable relationships from giving birth. (I would support paying them to not have kids, if they are emotionally and financially unprepared to rear children.)

  170. Rich Rifkin

    “Marriage as an institution is being downgraded in importance, which will result in a lot of children not having any sense of permanence.”

    I don’t get this.

    I understand how our high (entirely heterosexual) divorce rate is harmful to children. But I cannot see how letting homosexuals to lawfully marry “downgrades the institution of marriage” or harms children in any way.

    In fact, to the extent that some gays have minor children, permitting them to lawfully marry will improve the lot of their kids, insofar as marriage tends to create stability in the family unit.

    We do have a crisis in our country with regard to marriage now: The vast majority of children born to poor mothers or to mothers who are members of some minority groups are bastards; and a large percentage of the rest of children are being raised in families of divorce.

    Allowing gay marriage won’t change that at all. I’m not sure what exactly we ought to do to improve the lot of these broken families, other than highly discourage women in unstable relationships from giving birth. (I would support paying them to not have kids, if they are emotionally and financially unprepared to rear children.)

  171. Rich Rifkin

    “Marriage as an institution is being downgraded in importance, which will result in a lot of children not having any sense of permanence.”

    I don’t get this.

    I understand how our high (entirely heterosexual) divorce rate is harmful to children. But I cannot see how letting homosexuals to lawfully marry “downgrades the institution of marriage” or harms children in any way.

    In fact, to the extent that some gays have minor children, permitting them to lawfully marry will improve the lot of their kids, insofar as marriage tends to create stability in the family unit.

    We do have a crisis in our country with regard to marriage now: The vast majority of children born to poor mothers or to mothers who are members of some minority groups are bastards; and a large percentage of the rest of children are being raised in families of divorce.

    Allowing gay marriage won’t change that at all. I’m not sure what exactly we ought to do to improve the lot of these broken families, other than highly discourage women in unstable relationships from giving birth. (I would support paying them to not have kids, if they are emotionally and financially unprepared to rear children.)

  172. Rich Rifkin

    “Marriage as an institution is being downgraded in importance, which will result in a lot of children not having any sense of permanence.”

    I don’t get this.

    I understand how our high (entirely heterosexual) divorce rate is harmful to children. But I cannot see how letting homosexuals to lawfully marry “downgrades the institution of marriage” or harms children in any way.

    In fact, to the extent that some gays have minor children, permitting them to lawfully marry will improve the lot of their kids, insofar as marriage tends to create stability in the family unit.

    We do have a crisis in our country with regard to marriage now: The vast majority of children born to poor mothers or to mothers who are members of some minority groups are bastards; and a large percentage of the rest of children are being raised in families of divorce.

    Allowing gay marriage won’t change that at all. I’m not sure what exactly we ought to do to improve the lot of these broken families, other than highly discourage women in unstable relationships from giving birth. (I would support paying them to not have kids, if they are emotionally and financially unprepared to rear children.)

  173. Don Shor

    I’m not sure what exactly we ought to do to improve the lot of these broken families…
    Talk about an anachronism. Avoid using terms like ‘bastard’ for starters. It has no meaning other than the stigma it attaches to the child.

    Provide the social safety net of support, AFDC, health care, adequate education, etc.

    Poor, single, and/or divorced mothers and fathers are perfectly capable of raising healthy, well-adjusted children. Barack Obama comes to mind. An extended family, support from others, mentoring, all help children and especially adolescents.

  174. Don Shor

    I’m not sure what exactly we ought to do to improve the lot of these broken families…
    Talk about an anachronism. Avoid using terms like ‘bastard’ for starters. It has no meaning other than the stigma it attaches to the child.

    Provide the social safety net of support, AFDC, health care, adequate education, etc.

    Poor, single, and/or divorced mothers and fathers are perfectly capable of raising healthy, well-adjusted children. Barack Obama comes to mind. An extended family, support from others, mentoring, all help children and especially adolescents.

  175. Don Shor

    I’m not sure what exactly we ought to do to improve the lot of these broken families…
    Talk about an anachronism. Avoid using terms like ‘bastard’ for starters. It has no meaning other than the stigma it attaches to the child.

    Provide the social safety net of support, AFDC, health care, adequate education, etc.

    Poor, single, and/or divorced mothers and fathers are perfectly capable of raising healthy, well-adjusted children. Barack Obama comes to mind. An extended family, support from others, mentoring, all help children and especially adolescents.

  176. Don Shor

    I’m not sure what exactly we ought to do to improve the lot of these broken families…
    Talk about an anachronism. Avoid using terms like ‘bastard’ for starters. It has no meaning other than the stigma it attaches to the child.

    Provide the social safety net of support, AFDC, health care, adequate education, etc.

    Poor, single, and/or divorced mothers and fathers are perfectly capable of raising healthy, well-adjusted children. Barack Obama comes to mind. An extended family, support from others, mentoring, all help children and especially adolescents.

  177. wdf

    “Yes, and in this country, since its inception, marriage has been between a man and a woman.”

    I’m definitely not smitten w/ that argument. This country, at its inception, institutionalized slavery and gave the vote only to men who owned property.

    Years from now, this argument about marriage only being between a man and a woman will be viewed as narrow-minded as women not being allowed to vote, or treating other races as having fewer rights. Marriage has been about lifelong companionship and commitment.

    If one wanted to appeal to biblical authority on this, then the Bible also has specific instructions on how one should treat his slaves, that a husband has a right to punish his wife for disobedience, that a father can kill his son for misrespect.

  178. wdf

    “Yes, and in this country, since its inception, marriage has been between a man and a woman.”

    I’m definitely not smitten w/ that argument. This country, at its inception, institutionalized slavery and gave the vote only to men who owned property.

    Years from now, this argument about marriage only being between a man and a woman will be viewed as narrow-minded as women not being allowed to vote, or treating other races as having fewer rights. Marriage has been about lifelong companionship and commitment.

    If one wanted to appeal to biblical authority on this, then the Bible also has specific instructions on how one should treat his slaves, that a husband has a right to punish his wife for disobedience, that a father can kill his son for misrespect.

  179. wdf

    “Yes, and in this country, since its inception, marriage has been between a man and a woman.”

    I’m definitely not smitten w/ that argument. This country, at its inception, institutionalized slavery and gave the vote only to men who owned property.

    Years from now, this argument about marriage only being between a man and a woman will be viewed as narrow-minded as women not being allowed to vote, or treating other races as having fewer rights. Marriage has been about lifelong companionship and commitment.

    If one wanted to appeal to biblical authority on this, then the Bible also has specific instructions on how one should treat his slaves, that a husband has a right to punish his wife for disobedience, that a father can kill his son for misrespect.

  180. wdf

    “Yes, and in this country, since its inception, marriage has been between a man and a woman.”

    I’m definitely not smitten w/ that argument. This country, at its inception, institutionalized slavery and gave the vote only to men who owned property.

    Years from now, this argument about marriage only being between a man and a woman will be viewed as narrow-minded as women not being allowed to vote, or treating other races as having fewer rights. Marriage has been about lifelong companionship and commitment.

    If one wanted to appeal to biblical authority on this, then the Bible also has specific instructions on how one should treat his slaves, that a husband has a right to punish his wife for disobedience, that a father can kill his son for misrespect.

  181. Objective observations

    “Look at the poll results in today’s Sac Bee. The next generation supports gay marriage by a stunning 68% to 25%….”

    Two polls, worded slightly differently, gave two different results, one 51% in support of the gay marriage court decision and the other 53% against this decision. Polls on gay marriage, much like exit polls which attempted to learn if voters were NOT choosing Obama because of his race,are known to
    not accurately reflect how people vote in the privacy of the voting booth. Although there is a definite generational shift occuring on this subject, the constitutional amendment AGAINST gay marriage WILL pass in November although not with the 61% plurality that the CA anti-gay marriage initiative received several years ago. This will immediately void the CA supreme court decision and it will be left up to the US Supreme Court.

  182. Objective observations

    “Look at the poll results in today’s Sac Bee. The next generation supports gay marriage by a stunning 68% to 25%….”

    Two polls, worded slightly differently, gave two different results, one 51% in support of the gay marriage court decision and the other 53% against this decision. Polls on gay marriage, much like exit polls which attempted to learn if voters were NOT choosing Obama because of his race,are known to
    not accurately reflect how people vote in the privacy of the voting booth. Although there is a definite generational shift occuring on this subject, the constitutional amendment AGAINST gay marriage WILL pass in November although not with the 61% plurality that the CA anti-gay marriage initiative received several years ago. This will immediately void the CA supreme court decision and it will be left up to the US Supreme Court.

  183. Objective observations

    “Look at the poll results in today’s Sac Bee. The next generation supports gay marriage by a stunning 68% to 25%….”

    Two polls, worded slightly differently, gave two different results, one 51% in support of the gay marriage court decision and the other 53% against this decision. Polls on gay marriage, much like exit polls which attempted to learn if voters were NOT choosing Obama because of his race,are known to
    not accurately reflect how people vote in the privacy of the voting booth. Although there is a definite generational shift occuring on this subject, the constitutional amendment AGAINST gay marriage WILL pass in November although not with the 61% plurality that the CA anti-gay marriage initiative received several years ago. This will immediately void the CA supreme court decision and it will be left up to the US Supreme Court.

  184. Objective observations

    “Look at the poll results in today’s Sac Bee. The next generation supports gay marriage by a stunning 68% to 25%….”

    Two polls, worded slightly differently, gave two different results, one 51% in support of the gay marriage court decision and the other 53% against this decision. Polls on gay marriage, much like exit polls which attempted to learn if voters were NOT choosing Obama because of his race,are known to
    not accurately reflect how people vote in the privacy of the voting booth. Although there is a definite generational shift occuring on this subject, the constitutional amendment AGAINST gay marriage WILL pass in November although not with the 61% plurality that the CA anti-gay marriage initiative received several years ago. This will immediately void the CA supreme court decision and it will be left up to the US Supreme Court.

  185. wdf

    “objective observations said…

    the constitutional amendment AGAINST gay marriage WILL pass in November although not …”

    It’s all about framing and presentation. This is an ammendment against marriage, or more mildly, for restricting marriage. Fewer people will want to vote for something that restricts marriage?

    In November, once Californians see that the sky didn’t fall because gay marriage was legalized for a few months, ammendment proponents will have a harder case to make. Their arguments will just look more mean-spirited if they have to get sharper in a close race.

    DPD, you really need to open up a separate thread on this issue.

  186. wdf

    “objective observations said…

    the constitutional amendment AGAINST gay marriage WILL pass in November although not …”

    It’s all about framing and presentation. This is an ammendment against marriage, or more mildly, for restricting marriage. Fewer people will want to vote for something that restricts marriage?

    In November, once Californians see that the sky didn’t fall because gay marriage was legalized for a few months, ammendment proponents will have a harder case to make. Their arguments will just look more mean-spirited if they have to get sharper in a close race.

    DPD, you really need to open up a separate thread on this issue.

  187. wdf

    “objective observations said…

    the constitutional amendment AGAINST gay marriage WILL pass in November although not …”

    It’s all about framing and presentation. This is an ammendment against marriage, or more mildly, for restricting marriage. Fewer people will want to vote for something that restricts marriage?

    In November, once Californians see that the sky didn’t fall because gay marriage was legalized for a few months, ammendment proponents will have a harder case to make. Their arguments will just look more mean-spirited if they have to get sharper in a close race.

    DPD, you really need to open up a separate thread on this issue.

  188. wdf

    “objective observations said…

    the constitutional amendment AGAINST gay marriage WILL pass in November although not …”

    It’s all about framing and presentation. This is an ammendment against marriage, or more mildly, for restricting marriage. Fewer people will want to vote for something that restricts marriage?

    In November, once Californians see that the sky didn’t fall because gay marriage was legalized for a few months, ammendment proponents will have a harder case to make. Their arguments will just look more mean-spirited if they have to get sharper in a close race.

    DPD, you really need to open up a separate thread on this issue.

  189. objective observer

    While the phrase,”… a right postponed is a right denied…” has been bandied about, this issue will draw the Republican(and social-conservative Independents) base out in droves this November, both in CA and nation-wide. If it puts McCain over the top, the US Supreme Court will remain with a strong conservative majority and gay marriage rights will languish or even be eroded with additional state constitutional amendments.

  190. objective observer

    While the phrase,”… a right postponed is a right denied…” has been bandied about, this issue will draw the Republican(and social-conservative Independents) base out in droves this November, both in CA and nation-wide. If it puts McCain over the top, the US Supreme Court will remain with a strong conservative majority and gay marriage rights will languish or even be eroded with additional state constitutional amendments.

  191. objective observer

    While the phrase,”… a right postponed is a right denied…” has been bandied about, this issue will draw the Republican(and social-conservative Independents) base out in droves this November, both in CA and nation-wide. If it puts McCain over the top, the US Supreme Court will remain with a strong conservative majority and gay marriage rights will languish or even be eroded with additional state constitutional amendments.

  192. objective observer

    While the phrase,”… a right postponed is a right denied…” has been bandied about, this issue will draw the Republican(and social-conservative Independents) base out in droves this November, both in CA and nation-wide. If it puts McCain over the top, the US Supreme Court will remain with a strong conservative majority and gay marriage rights will languish or even be eroded with additional state constitutional amendments.

  193. objective observer

    “In November, once Californians see that the sky didn’t fall because gay marriage was legalized for a few months”

    My understanding is that there is a motion before the CA supreme court to stay their decision until the CA voters have an opportunity to vote on the constitutional amendment in Nov. The argument is the state of chaos and limbo that would occur if there was a flood of gay marriages, based upon this decision, in the next few months that were then voided. The court decision will be made by the middle of June.

  194. objective observer

    “In November, once Californians see that the sky didn’t fall because gay marriage was legalized for a few months”

    My understanding is that there is a motion before the CA supreme court to stay their decision until the CA voters have an opportunity to vote on the constitutional amendment in Nov. The argument is the state of chaos and limbo that would occur if there was a flood of gay marriages, based upon this decision, in the next few months that were then voided. The court decision will be made by the middle of June.

  195. objective observer

    “In November, once Californians see that the sky didn’t fall because gay marriage was legalized for a few months”

    My understanding is that there is a motion before the CA supreme court to stay their decision until the CA voters have an opportunity to vote on the constitutional amendment in Nov. The argument is the state of chaos and limbo that would occur if there was a flood of gay marriages, based upon this decision, in the next few months that were then voided. The court decision will be made by the middle of June.

  196. objective observer

    “In November, once Californians see that the sky didn’t fall because gay marriage was legalized for a few months”

    My understanding is that there is a motion before the CA supreme court to stay their decision until the CA voters have an opportunity to vote on the constitutional amendment in Nov. The argument is the state of chaos and limbo that would occur if there was a flood of gay marriages, based upon this decision, in the next few months that were then voided. The court decision will be made by the middle of June.

  197. Rich Rifkin

    “Provide the social safety net of support, AFDC, health care, adequate education, etc.”

    Of course, we must do this to some extent.* However, there is no doubt that giving benefits to those who engage in socially harmful behavior — that is, having children out of wedlock; having children when you are financially and emotionally unstable; having children when you are a teenager; having children when you are not in a stable and faithful relationship; etc. — encourages and expands that behavior.

    The evidence for this is clear: when we began greatly expanding welfare benefits in the early 1960s, the percentage of children born into and reared in broken homes expanded dramatically.

    “Poor, single, and/or divorced mothers and fathers are perfectly capable of raising healthy, well-adjusted children.”

    Capable? Yes. But on average, every study shows it is better for children to grow up in intact families.

    * Since the passage of the Clinton/Gingrich welfare reform in the 1990s, the encouragement of welfare dependency is way down. The key to that reform program was not just limiting the number of years a person could be on the dole: it was that it asked something of the recipients in return for their benefits. That is largely what was so wrong with the Johnson-era welfare programs: they created dependency, but never required the recipients to give back anything to society.

  198. Rich Rifkin

    “Provide the social safety net of support, AFDC, health care, adequate education, etc.”

    Of course, we must do this to some extent.* However, there is no doubt that giving benefits to those who engage in socially harmful behavior — that is, having children out of wedlock; having children when you are financially and emotionally unstable; having children when you are a teenager; having children when you are not in a stable and faithful relationship; etc. — encourages and expands that behavior.

    The evidence for this is clear: when we began greatly expanding welfare benefits in the early 1960s, the percentage of children born into and reared in broken homes expanded dramatically.

    “Poor, single, and/or divorced mothers and fathers are perfectly capable of raising healthy, well-adjusted children.”

    Capable? Yes. But on average, every study shows it is better for children to grow up in intact families.

    * Since the passage of the Clinton/Gingrich welfare reform in the 1990s, the encouragement of welfare dependency is way down. The key to that reform program was not just limiting the number of years a person could be on the dole: it was that it asked something of the recipients in return for their benefits. That is largely what was so wrong with the Johnson-era welfare programs: they created dependency, but never required the recipients to give back anything to society.

  199. Rich Rifkin

    “Provide the social safety net of support, AFDC, health care, adequate education, etc.”

    Of course, we must do this to some extent.* However, there is no doubt that giving benefits to those who engage in socially harmful behavior — that is, having children out of wedlock; having children when you are financially and emotionally unstable; having children when you are a teenager; having children when you are not in a stable and faithful relationship; etc. — encourages and expands that behavior.

    The evidence for this is clear: when we began greatly expanding welfare benefits in the early 1960s, the percentage of children born into and reared in broken homes expanded dramatically.

    “Poor, single, and/or divorced mothers and fathers are perfectly capable of raising healthy, well-adjusted children.”

    Capable? Yes. But on average, every study shows it is better for children to grow up in intact families.

    * Since the passage of the Clinton/Gingrich welfare reform in the 1990s, the encouragement of welfare dependency is way down. The key to that reform program was not just limiting the number of years a person could be on the dole: it was that it asked something of the recipients in return for their benefits. That is largely what was so wrong with the Johnson-era welfare programs: they created dependency, but never required the recipients to give back anything to society.

  200. Rich Rifkin

    “Provide the social safety net of support, AFDC, health care, adequate education, etc.”

    Of course, we must do this to some extent.* However, there is no doubt that giving benefits to those who engage in socially harmful behavior — that is, having children out of wedlock; having children when you are financially and emotionally unstable; having children when you are a teenager; having children when you are not in a stable and faithful relationship; etc. — encourages and expands that behavior.

    The evidence for this is clear: when we began greatly expanding welfare benefits in the early 1960s, the percentage of children born into and reared in broken homes expanded dramatically.

    “Poor, single, and/or divorced mothers and fathers are perfectly capable of raising healthy, well-adjusted children.”

    Capable? Yes. But on average, every study shows it is better for children to grow up in intact families.

    * Since the passage of the Clinton/Gingrich welfare reform in the 1990s, the encouragement of welfare dependency is way down. The key to that reform program was not just limiting the number of years a person could be on the dole: it was that it asked something of the recipients in return for their benefits. That is largely what was so wrong with the Johnson-era welfare programs: they created dependency, but never required the recipients to give back anything to society.

  201. objective observer

    The CA Supreme Court decision made a very sound observation. The legislature could change its authorization wording from marriage to civil unions for all. Then, if individuals want to be married by institutions outside of the State’s authority, it is their perogative. This would certainly more accurately reflect our concept of separation of church and state although it does sound like something out of the former “godless” Soviet Union.

  202. objective observer

    The CA Supreme Court decision made a very sound observation. The legislature could change its authorization wording from marriage to civil unions for all. Then, if individuals want to be married by institutions outside of the State’s authority, it is their perogative. This would certainly more accurately reflect our concept of separation of church and state although it does sound like something out of the former “godless” Soviet Union.

  203. objective observer

    The CA Supreme Court decision made a very sound observation. The legislature could change its authorization wording from marriage to civil unions for all. Then, if individuals want to be married by institutions outside of the State’s authority, it is their perogative. This would certainly more accurately reflect our concept of separation of church and state although it does sound like something out of the former “godless” Soviet Union.

  204. objective observer

    The CA Supreme Court decision made a very sound observation. The legislature could change its authorization wording from marriage to civil unions for all. Then, if individuals want to be married by institutions outside of the State’s authority, it is their perogative. This would certainly more accurately reflect our concept of separation of church and state although it does sound like something out of the former “godless” Soviet Union.

  205. opening a can of legal worms

    If the CA supreme court now says that marriage is not defined as between a man and a woman, what legal argument can be made to deny that a loving, life commitment relationship between more than two people(polygamy) is not a marriage?

  206. opening a can of legal worms

    If the CA supreme court now says that marriage is not defined as between a man and a woman, what legal argument can be made to deny that a loving, life commitment relationship between more than two people(polygamy) is not a marriage?

  207. opening a can of legal worms

    If the CA supreme court now says that marriage is not defined as between a man and a woman, what legal argument can be made to deny that a loving, life commitment relationship between more than two people(polygamy) is not a marriage?

  208. opening a can of legal worms

    If the CA supreme court now says that marriage is not defined as between a man and a woman, what legal argument can be made to deny that a loving, life commitment relationship between more than two people(polygamy) is not a marriage?

  209. be careful what you wish for

    “I have to ask: are the courts really legislating here. Is there not a clause in the 14th amendment that provides that the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances.”

    The voters already decided the issue of gay marriage. The CA courts have ignored the law, and made new law. This sets a dangerous precedent for two reasons.

    Firstly, for a judge, who is not an elected official, to make new law, it is in fact usurping the legislative branch. Legislators are answerable to the people because they are elected to office and can be voted out. Judges appointed to their positions are not answerable to the people. What if this court decided to enact something the voters didn’t approve of and that you, yourself did not approve of? What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    I will repeat the argument I used before. A judge in the south recently defied the law, and decided to continue displaying the ten commandments in his courtroom in contravention of the law. Should his will have overridden the law, which requires separation of church and state?

    Secondly, polygamists are already bootstrapping their cause onto the gay marriage issue to argue polygamy should be allowed if gay marriage is permissable. As I said before, allowing “gay marriage” is a slippery slope.

    The better approach is to grant “civil unions” to gay couples among others, that give any domestic partnership the same rights and privileges afforded to married couples. This has the added advantage of including situations such as relatives who live together for fiscal reasons, or friends who are trying to share costs. It also takes care of any problems with the “equal treatment” argument you posed. But it kills the argument that polygamy should be allowed if gay marriage is.

    “Two polls, worded slightly differently, gave two different results, one 51% in support of the gay marriage court decision and the other 53% against this decision. Polls on gay marriage, much like exit polls which attempted to learn if voters were NOT choosing Obama because of his race,are known to
    not accurately reflect how people vote in the privacy of the voting booth. Although there is a definite generational shift occuring on this subject, the constitutional amendment AGAINST gay marriage WILL pass in November although not with the 61% plurality that the CA anti-gay marriage initiative received several years ago. This will immediately void the CA supreme court decision and it will be left up to the US Supreme Court.”

    You ignore the will of the people at your peril. (According to the last vote, the majority of Californians were against gay marriage, like it or not!) Once you have judges setting the agenda, there is no longer separation of powers, and a minority can become a tyranny of the few. One may be OK with that if the judges uphold the minority view and you agree with it, but the next time you may hold the majority view that is overridden by some judge aligned with some special interest group you do not agree with. Think about it.

    Unfortunately, CA courts have one of the worst records for having their decisions overturned. Too often their maverick image goes to their heads and causes them to be out of touch with reality. In the federal court system, the 9th circuit (which basically covers CA and a few other extremely liberal states)is the most overruled of all of them.

    On its face, gay marriage may have some appeal (I used to see things that way but have thought better of it), but in practice it is a bad move for a number of reasons, a few which I have stated above. Logic needs to be employed here, not visceral reaction. Which brings up another question. Why are gays so opposed to leaving marriage as is, but push for civil unions that give them the full panoply of rights that a married couple receive? Why is that so terrible a concept? It solves more problems than it creates, which cannot be said of “gay marriage”.

  210. be careful what you wish for

    “I have to ask: are the courts really legislating here. Is there not a clause in the 14th amendment that provides that the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances.”

    The voters already decided the issue of gay marriage. The CA courts have ignored the law, and made new law. This sets a dangerous precedent for two reasons.

    Firstly, for a judge, who is not an elected official, to make new law, it is in fact usurping the legislative branch. Legislators are answerable to the people because they are elected to office and can be voted out. Judges appointed to their positions are not answerable to the people. What if this court decided to enact something the voters didn’t approve of and that you, yourself did not approve of? What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    I will repeat the argument I used before. A judge in the south recently defied the law, and decided to continue displaying the ten commandments in his courtroom in contravention of the law. Should his will have overridden the law, which requires separation of church and state?

    Secondly, polygamists are already bootstrapping their cause onto the gay marriage issue to argue polygamy should be allowed if gay marriage is permissable. As I said before, allowing “gay marriage” is a slippery slope.

    The better approach is to grant “civil unions” to gay couples among others, that give any domestic partnership the same rights and privileges afforded to married couples. This has the added advantage of including situations such as relatives who live together for fiscal reasons, or friends who are trying to share costs. It also takes care of any problems with the “equal treatment” argument you posed. But it kills the argument that polygamy should be allowed if gay marriage is.

    “Two polls, worded slightly differently, gave two different results, one 51% in support of the gay marriage court decision and the other 53% against this decision. Polls on gay marriage, much like exit polls which attempted to learn if voters were NOT choosing Obama because of his race,are known to
    not accurately reflect how people vote in the privacy of the voting booth. Although there is a definite generational shift occuring on this subject, the constitutional amendment AGAINST gay marriage WILL pass in November although not with the 61% plurality that the CA anti-gay marriage initiative received several years ago. This will immediately void the CA supreme court decision and it will be left up to the US Supreme Court.”

    You ignore the will of the people at your peril. (According to the last vote, the majority of Californians were against gay marriage, like it or not!) Once you have judges setting the agenda, there is no longer separation of powers, and a minority can become a tyranny of the few. One may be OK with that if the judges uphold the minority view and you agree with it, but the next time you may hold the majority view that is overridden by some judge aligned with some special interest group you do not agree with. Think about it.

    Unfortunately, CA courts have one of the worst records for having their decisions overturned. Too often their maverick image goes to their heads and causes them to be out of touch with reality. In the federal court system, the 9th circuit (which basically covers CA and a few other extremely liberal states)is the most overruled of all of them.

    On its face, gay marriage may have some appeal (I used to see things that way but have thought better of it), but in practice it is a bad move for a number of reasons, a few which I have stated above. Logic needs to be employed here, not visceral reaction. Which brings up another question. Why are gays so opposed to leaving marriage as is, but push for civil unions that give them the full panoply of rights that a married couple receive? Why is that so terrible a concept? It solves more problems than it creates, which cannot be said of “gay marriage”.

  211. be careful what you wish for

    “I have to ask: are the courts really legislating here. Is there not a clause in the 14th amendment that provides that the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances.”

    The voters already decided the issue of gay marriage. The CA courts have ignored the law, and made new law. This sets a dangerous precedent for two reasons.

    Firstly, for a judge, who is not an elected official, to make new law, it is in fact usurping the legislative branch. Legislators are answerable to the people because they are elected to office and can be voted out. Judges appointed to their positions are not answerable to the people. What if this court decided to enact something the voters didn’t approve of and that you, yourself did not approve of? What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    I will repeat the argument I used before. A judge in the south recently defied the law, and decided to continue displaying the ten commandments in his courtroom in contravention of the law. Should his will have overridden the law, which requires separation of church and state?

    Secondly, polygamists are already bootstrapping their cause onto the gay marriage issue to argue polygamy should be allowed if gay marriage is permissable. As I said before, allowing “gay marriage” is a slippery slope.

    The better approach is to grant “civil unions” to gay couples among others, that give any domestic partnership the same rights and privileges afforded to married couples. This has the added advantage of including situations such as relatives who live together for fiscal reasons, or friends who are trying to share costs. It also takes care of any problems with the “equal treatment” argument you posed. But it kills the argument that polygamy should be allowed if gay marriage is.

    “Two polls, worded slightly differently, gave two different results, one 51% in support of the gay marriage court decision and the other 53% against this decision. Polls on gay marriage, much like exit polls which attempted to learn if voters were NOT choosing Obama because of his race,are known to
    not accurately reflect how people vote in the privacy of the voting booth. Although there is a definite generational shift occuring on this subject, the constitutional amendment AGAINST gay marriage WILL pass in November although not with the 61% plurality that the CA anti-gay marriage initiative received several years ago. This will immediately void the CA supreme court decision and it will be left up to the US Supreme Court.”

    You ignore the will of the people at your peril. (According to the last vote, the majority of Californians were against gay marriage, like it or not!) Once you have judges setting the agenda, there is no longer separation of powers, and a minority can become a tyranny of the few. One may be OK with that if the judges uphold the minority view and you agree with it, but the next time you may hold the majority view that is overridden by some judge aligned with some special interest group you do not agree with. Think about it.

    Unfortunately, CA courts have one of the worst records for having their decisions overturned. Too often their maverick image goes to their heads and causes them to be out of touch with reality. In the federal court system, the 9th circuit (which basically covers CA and a few other extremely liberal states)is the most overruled of all of them.

    On its face, gay marriage may have some appeal (I used to see things that way but have thought better of it), but in practice it is a bad move for a number of reasons, a few which I have stated above. Logic needs to be employed here, not visceral reaction. Which brings up another question. Why are gays so opposed to leaving marriage as is, but push for civil unions that give them the full panoply of rights that a married couple receive? Why is that so terrible a concept? It solves more problems than it creates, which cannot be said of “gay marriage”.

  212. be careful what you wish for

    “I have to ask: are the courts really legislating here. Is there not a clause in the 14th amendment that provides that the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances.”

    The voters already decided the issue of gay marriage. The CA courts have ignored the law, and made new law. This sets a dangerous precedent for two reasons.

    Firstly, for a judge, who is not an elected official, to make new law, it is in fact usurping the legislative branch. Legislators are answerable to the people because they are elected to office and can be voted out. Judges appointed to their positions are not answerable to the people. What if this court decided to enact something the voters didn’t approve of and that you, yourself did not approve of? What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    I will repeat the argument I used before. A judge in the south recently defied the law, and decided to continue displaying the ten commandments in his courtroom in contravention of the law. Should his will have overridden the law, which requires separation of church and state?

    Secondly, polygamists are already bootstrapping their cause onto the gay marriage issue to argue polygamy should be allowed if gay marriage is permissable. As I said before, allowing “gay marriage” is a slippery slope.

    The better approach is to grant “civil unions” to gay couples among others, that give any domestic partnership the same rights and privileges afforded to married couples. This has the added advantage of including situations such as relatives who live together for fiscal reasons, or friends who are trying to share costs. It also takes care of any problems with the “equal treatment” argument you posed. But it kills the argument that polygamy should be allowed if gay marriage is.

    “Two polls, worded slightly differently, gave two different results, one 51% in support of the gay marriage court decision and the other 53% against this decision. Polls on gay marriage, much like exit polls which attempted to learn if voters were NOT choosing Obama because of his race,are known to
    not accurately reflect how people vote in the privacy of the voting booth. Although there is a definite generational shift occuring on this subject, the constitutional amendment AGAINST gay marriage WILL pass in November although not with the 61% plurality that the CA anti-gay marriage initiative received several years ago. This will immediately void the CA supreme court decision and it will be left up to the US Supreme Court.”

    You ignore the will of the people at your peril. (According to the last vote, the majority of Californians were against gay marriage, like it or not!) Once you have judges setting the agenda, there is no longer separation of powers, and a minority can become a tyranny of the few. One may be OK with that if the judges uphold the minority view and you agree with it, but the next time you may hold the majority view that is overridden by some judge aligned with some special interest group you do not agree with. Think about it.

    Unfortunately, CA courts have one of the worst records for having their decisions overturned. Too often their maverick image goes to their heads and causes them to be out of touch with reality. In the federal court system, the 9th circuit (which basically covers CA and a few other extremely liberal states)is the most overruled of all of them.

    On its face, gay marriage may have some appeal (I used to see things that way but have thought better of it), but in practice it is a bad move for a number of reasons, a few which I have stated above. Logic needs to be employed here, not visceral reaction. Which brings up another question. Why are gays so opposed to leaving marriage as is, but push for civil unions that give them the full panoply of rights that a married couple receive? Why is that so terrible a concept? It solves more problems than it creates, which cannot be said of “gay marriage”.

  213. wdf

    “be careful what you wish for said…

    The better approach is to grant “civil unions” to gay couples among others, that give any domestic partnership the same rights and privileges afforded to married couples. This has the added advantage of including situations such as relatives who live together for fiscal reasons, or friends who are trying to share costs. It also takes care of any problems with the “equal treatment” argument you posed. But it kills the argument that polygamy should be allowed if gay marriage is.”

    You lost me, here.

    Why would polygamysts’ desire for some kind of legal standing be killed by offering a civil union policy over marriage?

  214. wdf

    “be careful what you wish for said…

    The better approach is to grant “civil unions” to gay couples among others, that give any domestic partnership the same rights and privileges afforded to married couples. This has the added advantage of including situations such as relatives who live together for fiscal reasons, or friends who are trying to share costs. It also takes care of any problems with the “equal treatment” argument you posed. But it kills the argument that polygamy should be allowed if gay marriage is.”

    You lost me, here.

    Why would polygamysts’ desire for some kind of legal standing be killed by offering a civil union policy over marriage?

  215. wdf

    “be careful what you wish for said…

    The better approach is to grant “civil unions” to gay couples among others, that give any domestic partnership the same rights and privileges afforded to married couples. This has the added advantage of including situations such as relatives who live together for fiscal reasons, or friends who are trying to share costs. It also takes care of any problems with the “equal treatment” argument you posed. But it kills the argument that polygamy should be allowed if gay marriage is.”

    You lost me, here.

    Why would polygamysts’ desire for some kind of legal standing be killed by offering a civil union policy over marriage?

  216. wdf

    “be careful what you wish for said…

    The better approach is to grant “civil unions” to gay couples among others, that give any domestic partnership the same rights and privileges afforded to married couples. This has the added advantage of including situations such as relatives who live together for fiscal reasons, or friends who are trying to share costs. It also takes care of any problems with the “equal treatment” argument you posed. But it kills the argument that polygamy should be allowed if gay marriage is.”

    You lost me, here.

    Why would polygamysts’ desire for some kind of legal standing be killed by offering a civil union policy over marriage?

  217. Just Plain Silly

    “Years from now, this argument about marriage only being between a man and a woman will be viewed as narrow-minded as women not being allowed to vote, or treating other races as having fewer rights. Marriage has been about lifelong companionship and commitment.”

    This argument is just plain silly.

  218. Just Plain Silly

    “Years from now, this argument about marriage only being between a man and a woman will be viewed as narrow-minded as women not being allowed to vote, or treating other races as having fewer rights. Marriage has been about lifelong companionship and commitment.”

    This argument is just plain silly.

  219. Just Plain Silly

    “Years from now, this argument about marriage only being between a man and a woman will be viewed as narrow-minded as women not being allowed to vote, or treating other races as having fewer rights. Marriage has been about lifelong companionship and commitment.”

    This argument is just plain silly.

  220. Just Plain Silly

    “Years from now, this argument about marriage only being between a man and a woman will be viewed as narrow-minded as women not being allowed to vote, or treating other races as having fewer rights. Marriage has been about lifelong companionship and commitment.”

    This argument is just plain silly.

  221. be careful what you wish for

    “Why would polygamysts’ desire for some kind of legal standing be killed by offering a civil union policy over marriage?”

    Civil unions allow domestic partnerships to have all the rights and privileges a married couple has, such as tax breaks, visitation rights at a hospital, etc. Whereas polygamists, who are trying to legitimize their type of relationship as a “marriage” are currently arguing that if the law allows gays to marry, then why not polygamists? Polygamist are trying to legitimize their lifestyle as are gays, but could care less about rights and privileges. That is not what they are after. Instead, they are after being allowed to have multiple spouses. Hope that explains it to your satisfaction. Even though you may not agree, I assume you take my point?

  222. be careful what you wish for

    “Why would polygamysts’ desire for some kind of legal standing be killed by offering a civil union policy over marriage?”

    Civil unions allow domestic partnerships to have all the rights and privileges a married couple has, such as tax breaks, visitation rights at a hospital, etc. Whereas polygamists, who are trying to legitimize their type of relationship as a “marriage” are currently arguing that if the law allows gays to marry, then why not polygamists? Polygamist are trying to legitimize their lifestyle as are gays, but could care less about rights and privileges. That is not what they are after. Instead, they are after being allowed to have multiple spouses. Hope that explains it to your satisfaction. Even though you may not agree, I assume you take my point?

  223. be careful what you wish for

    “Why would polygamysts’ desire for some kind of legal standing be killed by offering a civil union policy over marriage?”

    Civil unions allow domestic partnerships to have all the rights and privileges a married couple has, such as tax breaks, visitation rights at a hospital, etc. Whereas polygamists, who are trying to legitimize their type of relationship as a “marriage” are currently arguing that if the law allows gays to marry, then why not polygamists? Polygamist are trying to legitimize their lifestyle as are gays, but could care less about rights and privileges. That is not what they are after. Instead, they are after being allowed to have multiple spouses. Hope that explains it to your satisfaction. Even though you may not agree, I assume you take my point?

  224. be careful what you wish for

    “Why would polygamysts’ desire for some kind of legal standing be killed by offering a civil union policy over marriage?”

    Civil unions allow domestic partnerships to have all the rights and privileges a married couple has, such as tax breaks, visitation rights at a hospital, etc. Whereas polygamists, who are trying to legitimize their type of relationship as a “marriage” are currently arguing that if the law allows gays to marry, then why not polygamists? Polygamist are trying to legitimize their lifestyle as are gays, but could care less about rights and privileges. That is not what they are after. Instead, they are after being allowed to have multiple spouses. Hope that explains it to your satisfaction. Even though you may not agree, I assume you take my point?

  225. Anonymous

    The polygamy argument is very weak and sound like something you picked up off of Fox News. These are just people who want to have a union and want that union recognized as something important – because it is important. I can not think of anything I would lose if the guys across the street decided to get married. That marriage would have no impact on my marriage or my life in any way. You might argue it would corrupt my children, but they are more understanding of these relationships than I am.

    I feel a little ill at ease in Gay bars but I have been to several. I have worked with dozens of gay people, I have watched a few of my co-workers die of Aids and hugged a co-worker at the funeral of his partner. The more you experience the more you will realize that the people you are objecting to are really the same as the rest of us in almost every respect. Why don’t we stop trying to treat them as if they are different. SAH

  226. Anonymous

    The polygamy argument is very weak and sound like something you picked up off of Fox News. These are just people who want to have a union and want that union recognized as something important – because it is important. I can not think of anything I would lose if the guys across the street decided to get married. That marriage would have no impact on my marriage or my life in any way. You might argue it would corrupt my children, but they are more understanding of these relationships than I am.

    I feel a little ill at ease in Gay bars but I have been to several. I have worked with dozens of gay people, I have watched a few of my co-workers die of Aids and hugged a co-worker at the funeral of his partner. The more you experience the more you will realize that the people you are objecting to are really the same as the rest of us in almost every respect. Why don’t we stop trying to treat them as if they are different. SAH

  227. Anonymous

    The polygamy argument is very weak and sound like something you picked up off of Fox News. These are just people who want to have a union and want that union recognized as something important – because it is important. I can not think of anything I would lose if the guys across the street decided to get married. That marriage would have no impact on my marriage or my life in any way. You might argue it would corrupt my children, but they are more understanding of these relationships than I am.

    I feel a little ill at ease in Gay bars but I have been to several. I have worked with dozens of gay people, I have watched a few of my co-workers die of Aids and hugged a co-worker at the funeral of his partner. The more you experience the more you will realize that the people you are objecting to are really the same as the rest of us in almost every respect. Why don’t we stop trying to treat them as if they are different. SAH

  228. Anonymous

    The polygamy argument is very weak and sound like something you picked up off of Fox News. These are just people who want to have a union and want that union recognized as something important – because it is important. I can not think of anything I would lose if the guys across the street decided to get married. That marriage would have no impact on my marriage or my life in any way. You might argue it would corrupt my children, but they are more understanding of these relationships than I am.

    I feel a little ill at ease in Gay bars but I have been to several. I have worked with dozens of gay people, I have watched a few of my co-workers die of Aids and hugged a co-worker at the funeral of his partner. The more you experience the more you will realize that the people you are objecting to are really the same as the rest of us in almost every respect. Why don’t we stop trying to treat them as if they are different. SAH

  229. Dave Hart

    My name has been thrown around in this blog and I’ve been out of town and unable to respond to what I see as a runaway debate on the firefighter pay/benefits issue that is losing sight of the bigger picture. I think it is important for me to weigh back in here and revise what I said earlier.

    On May 4 I made a statement that I want to repudiate:

    “3% at 50 is in my opinion an unsustainable pension benefit. It threatens to undermine the pension system for everyone else in public service.” I made that assertion after succumbing to the same misleading press as Rich Rifkin and everyone else who is watching the crisis in school funding that there “isn’t enough money to pay for everything” as Arnold Schwarzenegger has recently stated. Like most people we can easily be stampeded by fear on these issues.

    The bi-partisan OPEB Commission appointed by the Governor determined that the public pension system is sustainable. The commission was headed by a Republican. But it is hard to pick up a newspaper or listen to any media outlet that has anything positive to say about ANY public programs and that the only solution is to privatize. Toll roads, Social Security, every other state function that one of Arnold’s friends can make a dollar on.

    I’ll say right here that I am worried about the future of our pension system in the same way I worry about the future of public education, Social Security, and our entire public infrastructure. All of these publicly financed programs are unsustainable if we don’t support them politically by reforming our tax structure to adequately finance our priorities.

    California has allowed its tax structure to become so heavily dependent on personal income taxes, that the average person feels like any tax adjustments will fall on him or her. Well, the fact is there are many folks who have gotten a free ride on taxes as a result of Proposition 13, the elimination of the Vehicle tax and massive tax cuts at the federal level. The solution, we are told, is to attack the public sector and privatize. How gullible will people continue to be?

    I don’t know what happened in Vallejo and I doubt many others reading this blog know all the details. I do think it is time we all toned down the bash-the-firefighters-pension rhetoric. This issue is being used to divert attention from the real local political problem of land use decision-making.

  230. Dave Hart

    My name has been thrown around in this blog and I’ve been out of town and unable to respond to what I see as a runaway debate on the firefighter pay/benefits issue that is losing sight of the bigger picture. I think it is important for me to weigh back in here and revise what I said earlier.

    On May 4 I made a statement that I want to repudiate:

    “3% at 50 is in my opinion an unsustainable pension benefit. It threatens to undermine the pension system for everyone else in public service.” I made that assertion after succumbing to the same misleading press as Rich Rifkin and everyone else who is watching the crisis in school funding that there “isn’t enough money to pay for everything” as Arnold Schwarzenegger has recently stated. Like most people we can easily be stampeded by fear on these issues.

    The bi-partisan OPEB Commission appointed by the Governor determined that the public pension system is sustainable. The commission was headed by a Republican. But it is hard to pick up a newspaper or listen to any media outlet that has anything positive to say about ANY public programs and that the only solution is to privatize. Toll roads, Social Security, every other state function that one of Arnold’s friends can make a dollar on.

    I’ll say right here that I am worried about the future of our pension system in the same way I worry about the future of public education, Social Security, and our entire public infrastructure. All of these publicly financed programs are unsustainable if we don’t support them politically by reforming our tax structure to adequately finance our priorities.

    California has allowed its tax structure to become so heavily dependent on personal income taxes, that the average person feels like any tax adjustments will fall on him or her. Well, the fact is there are many folks who have gotten a free ride on taxes as a result of Proposition 13, the elimination of the Vehicle tax and massive tax cuts at the federal level. The solution, we are told, is to attack the public sector and privatize. How gullible will people continue to be?

    I don’t know what happened in Vallejo and I doubt many others reading this blog know all the details. I do think it is time we all toned down the bash-the-firefighters-pension rhetoric. This issue is being used to divert attention from the real local political problem of land use decision-making.

  231. Dave Hart

    My name has been thrown around in this blog and I’ve been out of town and unable to respond to what I see as a runaway debate on the firefighter pay/benefits issue that is losing sight of the bigger picture. I think it is important for me to weigh back in here and revise what I said earlier.

    On May 4 I made a statement that I want to repudiate:

    “3% at 50 is in my opinion an unsustainable pension benefit. It threatens to undermine the pension system for everyone else in public service.” I made that assertion after succumbing to the same misleading press as Rich Rifkin and everyone else who is watching the crisis in school funding that there “isn’t enough money to pay for everything” as Arnold Schwarzenegger has recently stated. Like most people we can easily be stampeded by fear on these issues.

    The bi-partisan OPEB Commission appointed by the Governor determined that the public pension system is sustainable. The commission was headed by a Republican. But it is hard to pick up a newspaper or listen to any media outlet that has anything positive to say about ANY public programs and that the only solution is to privatize. Toll roads, Social Security, every other state function that one of Arnold’s friends can make a dollar on.

    I’ll say right here that I am worried about the future of our pension system in the same way I worry about the future of public education, Social Security, and our entire public infrastructure. All of these publicly financed programs are unsustainable if we don’t support them politically by reforming our tax structure to adequately finance our priorities.

    California has allowed its tax structure to become so heavily dependent on personal income taxes, that the average person feels like any tax adjustments will fall on him or her. Well, the fact is there are many folks who have gotten a free ride on taxes as a result of Proposition 13, the elimination of the Vehicle tax and massive tax cuts at the federal level. The solution, we are told, is to attack the public sector and privatize. How gullible will people continue to be?

    I don’t know what happened in Vallejo and I doubt many others reading this blog know all the details. I do think it is time we all toned down the bash-the-firefighters-pension rhetoric. This issue is being used to divert attention from the real local political problem of land use decision-making.

  232. Dave Hart

    My name has been thrown around in this blog and I’ve been out of town and unable to respond to what I see as a runaway debate on the firefighter pay/benefits issue that is losing sight of the bigger picture. I think it is important for me to weigh back in here and revise what I said earlier.

    On May 4 I made a statement that I want to repudiate:

    “3% at 50 is in my opinion an unsustainable pension benefit. It threatens to undermine the pension system for everyone else in public service.” I made that assertion after succumbing to the same misleading press as Rich Rifkin and everyone else who is watching the crisis in school funding that there “isn’t enough money to pay for everything” as Arnold Schwarzenegger has recently stated. Like most people we can easily be stampeded by fear on these issues.

    The bi-partisan OPEB Commission appointed by the Governor determined that the public pension system is sustainable. The commission was headed by a Republican. But it is hard to pick up a newspaper or listen to any media outlet that has anything positive to say about ANY public programs and that the only solution is to privatize. Toll roads, Social Security, every other state function that one of Arnold’s friends can make a dollar on.

    I’ll say right here that I am worried about the future of our pension system in the same way I worry about the future of public education, Social Security, and our entire public infrastructure. All of these publicly financed programs are unsustainable if we don’t support them politically by reforming our tax structure to adequately finance our priorities.

    California has allowed its tax structure to become so heavily dependent on personal income taxes, that the average person feels like any tax adjustments will fall on him or her. Well, the fact is there are many folks who have gotten a free ride on taxes as a result of Proposition 13, the elimination of the Vehicle tax and massive tax cuts at the federal level. The solution, we are told, is to attack the public sector and privatize. How gullible will people continue to be?

    I don’t know what happened in Vallejo and I doubt many others reading this blog know all the details. I do think it is time we all toned down the bash-the-firefighters-pension rhetoric. This issue is being used to divert attention from the real local political problem of land use decision-making.

  233. Anonymous

    OK Dave, your comment sounds like something I would expect from a good Union person.

    I have been defending Fire because I think they have been singled out when in fact they are only part of the equation. However, I recognize that simply relying on more revenue is not the answer. There have to be some limits on property taxes and people don’t want to pay higher license fees to fund state government. Given constraints on the revenue side something has to give on the cost (benefit) side – so what is it? Is the 3% at 50 really sustainable? We might as well start being honest about what is possible and what is not. Put your tax payer hat on before you answer the question.

  234. Anonymous

    OK Dave, your comment sounds like something I would expect from a good Union person.

    I have been defending Fire because I think they have been singled out when in fact they are only part of the equation. However, I recognize that simply relying on more revenue is not the answer. There have to be some limits on property taxes and people don’t want to pay higher license fees to fund state government. Given constraints on the revenue side something has to give on the cost (benefit) side – so what is it? Is the 3% at 50 really sustainable? We might as well start being honest about what is possible and what is not. Put your tax payer hat on before you answer the question.

  235. Anonymous

    OK Dave, your comment sounds like something I would expect from a good Union person.

    I have been defending Fire because I think they have been singled out when in fact they are only part of the equation. However, I recognize that simply relying on more revenue is not the answer. There have to be some limits on property taxes and people don’t want to pay higher license fees to fund state government. Given constraints on the revenue side something has to give on the cost (benefit) side – so what is it? Is the 3% at 50 really sustainable? We might as well start being honest about what is possible and what is not. Put your tax payer hat on before you answer the question.

  236. Anonymous

    OK Dave, your comment sounds like something I would expect from a good Union person.

    I have been defending Fire because I think they have been singled out when in fact they are only part of the equation. However, I recognize that simply relying on more revenue is not the answer. There have to be some limits on property taxes and people don’t want to pay higher license fees to fund state government. Given constraints on the revenue side something has to give on the cost (benefit) side – so what is it? Is the 3% at 50 really sustainable? We might as well start being honest about what is possible and what is not. Put your tax payer hat on before you answer the question.

  237. Rich Rifkin

    “I made that assertion after succumbing to the same misleading press as Rich Rifkin and everyone else who is watching the crisis in school funding that there “isn’t enough money to pay for everything” as Arnold Schwarzenegger has recently stated.”

    Unlike you, Dave, I’ve never asserted so matter of factly that 3%@50 is unsustainable. Please don’t attribute that idea to me or attribute to me how I have formed my opinions when you don’t know.

    However, I do believe 3%@50 is unfair to taxpayers and, because it costs so much, it makes other necessary or desirable city services unaffordable. Further, we have given 2.5%@55 to all other city employees, which makes absolutely no sense. Why should an office worker need to retire at age 55? Such retirees are apt to live another 30 years or more in many cases. They are not doing jobs which require youthful vigor or extraordinary mulscularity. We, the taxpayers, will pay for these workers full pension and full medical care (save Medicare after 65). The money we spend on that retiree will not be available for fixing our roads and maintaining our parks and so on.

    What I have concluded that is unsustainable, however, in large part because of our policy of rewarding early retirement for ALL city employees, is the free medical benefits — a Rolls Royce policy* costing now $15,000/year each — for life, even for employees who only worked 5 years for the city of Davis.

    To date, we have built up a $40 million liability in retiree medical benefits. That is 6.67 times the amount left in our dwindling general fund reserve. It will keep growing, lest we change course.

    The worst mistake we have made as a city — like other cities, as well — is to determine what our compensation packages ought to be based on a false market model of giving out whatever the others in our region give out. One city gives out 2%@55, we follow suit like sheep. We don’t stop to think that age 55 retirement makes no sense. We simply copy what everyone else is doing. Some city nearby raises its department head salaries to $150,000 a year and we act like sheep, following the leader. And so it goes: 3%@50, one does it, everyone follows; free retiree medical, one does it and the others follow; and so on and so on, until added all together, the package makes no sense for the taxpayers and yes, is unsustainable.

    Up until now, the public employee unions have been great at playing this game: “You’d better give this that and the other, because City X is doing that and City Y is doing that and if you don’t, you will lose all of your employees.”

    But that is completely wrong. It always has been wrong. It only makes sense if there is a severe shortage of qualified people to do jobs like being a Parks & Rec supervisor or a file clerk or a firefighter. The fact is, there never has been any kind of shortage of these folks. If some other city overbids for our employees, we can turn to the marketplace and find dozens of others fully capable of doing these jobs for reasonable amounts of money.

    You ask, what is reasonable? The answer is what the market really will bear. We pay roughly four times as much for a parks worker, for example, as the private market pays for someone of equal skill and training, when you account for all of the higher benefits, retirement, paid time off, etc., we give that person. This is true up and down the city’s costs for all of its labor and for many of its outside contractors.

    I don’t blame the public employees’ unions** for asking for ridiculous amounts from the taxpayers. It’s a negotiating process and they have every right to ask for more, more, more, if the other side wants to give it to them. However, the other side — the taxpayers, represented by the council — need to say, “No more. You are ripping us off.”

    * What is Rolls Royce? No copays; free dental and free vision care (free eyeglasses, etc.); covers a spouse or domestic partner; covers depedents. This is the highest cost Kaiser Plan available.

    ** The exception in Davis is the firefighters union, because it has clearly (in my opinion) crossed the line by putting in tens of thousands of dollars in order to help people get elected who will turn around and give millions of dollars to them. That is unethical of both parties.

  238. Rich Rifkin

    “I made that assertion after succumbing to the same misleading press as Rich Rifkin and everyone else who is watching the crisis in school funding that there “isn’t enough money to pay for everything” as Arnold Schwarzenegger has recently stated.”

    Unlike you, Dave, I’ve never asserted so matter of factly that 3%@50 is unsustainable. Please don’t attribute that idea to me or attribute to me how I have formed my opinions when you don’t know.

    However, I do believe 3%@50 is unfair to taxpayers and, because it costs so much, it makes other necessary or desirable city services unaffordable. Further, we have given 2.5%@55 to all other city employees, which makes absolutely no sense. Why should an office worker need to retire at age 55? Such retirees are apt to live another 30 years or more in many cases. They are not doing jobs which require youthful vigor or extraordinary mulscularity. We, the taxpayers, will pay for these workers full pension and full medical care (save Medicare after 65). The money we spend on that retiree will not be available for fixing our roads and maintaining our parks and so on.

    What I have concluded that is unsustainable, however, in large part because of our policy of rewarding early retirement for ALL city employees, is the free medical benefits — a Rolls Royce policy* costing now $15,000/year each — for life, even for employees who only worked 5 years for the city of Davis.

    To date, we have built up a $40 million liability in retiree medical benefits. That is 6.67 times the amount left in our dwindling general fund reserve. It will keep growing, lest we change course.

    The worst mistake we have made as a city — like other cities, as well — is to determine what our compensation packages ought to be based on a false market model of giving out whatever the others in our region give out. One city gives out 2%@55, we follow suit like sheep. We don’t stop to think that age 55 retirement makes no sense. We simply copy what everyone else is doing. Some city nearby raises its department head salaries to $150,000 a year and we act like sheep, following the leader. And so it goes: 3%@50, one does it, everyone follows; free retiree medical, one does it and the others follow; and so on and so on, until added all together, the package makes no sense for the taxpayers and yes, is unsustainable.

    Up until now, the public employee unions have been great at playing this game: “You’d better give this that and the other, because City X is doing that and City Y is doing that and if you don’t, you will lose all of your employees.”

    But that is completely wrong. It always has been wrong. It only makes sense if there is a severe shortage of qualified people to do jobs like being a Parks & Rec supervisor or a file clerk or a firefighter. The fact is, there never has been any kind of shortage of these folks. If some other city overbids for our employees, we can turn to the marketplace and find dozens of others fully capable of doing these jobs for reasonable amounts of money.

    You ask, what is reasonable? The answer is what the market really will bear. We pay roughly four times as much for a parks worker, for example, as the private market pays for someone of equal skill and training, when you account for all of the higher benefits, retirement, paid time off, etc., we give that person. This is true up and down the city’s costs for all of its labor and for many of its outside contractors.

    I don’t blame the public employees’ unions** for asking for ridiculous amounts from the taxpayers. It’s a negotiating process and they have every right to ask for more, more, more, if the other side wants to give it to them. However, the other side — the taxpayers, represented by the council — need to say, “No more. You are ripping us off.”

    * What is Rolls Royce? No copays; free dental and free vision care (free eyeglasses, etc.); covers a spouse or domestic partner; covers depedents. This is the highest cost Kaiser Plan available.

    ** The exception in Davis is the firefighters union, because it has clearly (in my opinion) crossed the line by putting in tens of thousands of dollars in order to help people get elected who will turn around and give millions of dollars to them. That is unethical of both parties.

  239. Rich Rifkin

    “I made that assertion after succumbing to the same misleading press as Rich Rifkin and everyone else who is watching the crisis in school funding that there “isn’t enough money to pay for everything” as Arnold Schwarzenegger has recently stated.”

    Unlike you, Dave, I’ve never asserted so matter of factly that 3%@50 is unsustainable. Please don’t attribute that idea to me or attribute to me how I have formed my opinions when you don’t know.

    However, I do believe 3%@50 is unfair to taxpayers and, because it costs so much, it makes other necessary or desirable city services unaffordable. Further, we have given 2.5%@55 to all other city employees, which makes absolutely no sense. Why should an office worker need to retire at age 55? Such retirees are apt to live another 30 years or more in many cases. They are not doing jobs which require youthful vigor or extraordinary mulscularity. We, the taxpayers, will pay for these workers full pension and full medical care (save Medicare after 65). The money we spend on that retiree will not be available for fixing our roads and maintaining our parks and so on.

    What I have concluded that is unsustainable, however, in large part because of our policy of rewarding early retirement for ALL city employees, is the free medical benefits — a Rolls Royce policy* costing now $15,000/year each — for life, even for employees who only worked 5 years for the city of Davis.

    To date, we have built up a $40 million liability in retiree medical benefits. That is 6.67 times the amount left in our dwindling general fund reserve. It will keep growing, lest we change course.

    The worst mistake we have made as a city — like other cities, as well — is to determine what our compensation packages ought to be based on a false market model of giving out whatever the others in our region give out. One city gives out 2%@55, we follow suit like sheep. We don’t stop to think that age 55 retirement makes no sense. We simply copy what everyone else is doing. Some city nearby raises its department head salaries to $150,000 a year and we act like sheep, following the leader. And so it goes: 3%@50, one does it, everyone follows; free retiree medical, one does it and the others follow; and so on and so on, until added all together, the package makes no sense for the taxpayers and yes, is unsustainable.

    Up until now, the public employee unions have been great at playing this game: “You’d better give this that and the other, because City X is doing that and City Y is doing that and if you don’t, you will lose all of your employees.”

    But that is completely wrong. It always has been wrong. It only makes sense if there is a severe shortage of qualified people to do jobs like being a Parks & Rec supervisor or a file clerk or a firefighter. The fact is, there never has been any kind of shortage of these folks. If some other city overbids for our employees, we can turn to the marketplace and find dozens of others fully capable of doing these jobs for reasonable amounts of money.

    You ask, what is reasonable? The answer is what the market really will bear. We pay roughly four times as much for a parks worker, for example, as the private market pays for someone of equal skill and training, when you account for all of the higher benefits, retirement, paid time off, etc., we give that person. This is true up and down the city’s costs for all of its labor and for many of its outside contractors.

    I don’t blame the public employees’ unions** for asking for ridiculous amounts from the taxpayers. It’s a negotiating process and they have every right to ask for more, more, more, if the other side wants to give it to them. However, the other side — the taxpayers, represented by the council — need to say, “No more. You are ripping us off.”

    * What is Rolls Royce? No copays; free dental and free vision care (free eyeglasses, etc.); covers a spouse or domestic partner; covers depedents. This is the highest cost Kaiser Plan available.

    ** The exception in Davis is the firefighters union, because it has clearly (in my opinion) crossed the line by putting in tens of thousands of dollars in order to help people get elected who will turn around and give millions of dollars to them. That is unethical of both parties.

  240. Rich Rifkin

    “I made that assertion after succumbing to the same misleading press as Rich Rifkin and everyone else who is watching the crisis in school funding that there “isn’t enough money to pay for everything” as Arnold Schwarzenegger has recently stated.”

    Unlike you, Dave, I’ve never asserted so matter of factly that 3%@50 is unsustainable. Please don’t attribute that idea to me or attribute to me how I have formed my opinions when you don’t know.

    However, I do believe 3%@50 is unfair to taxpayers and, because it costs so much, it makes other necessary or desirable city services unaffordable. Further, we have given 2.5%@55 to all other city employees, which makes absolutely no sense. Why should an office worker need to retire at age 55? Such retirees are apt to live another 30 years or more in many cases. They are not doing jobs which require youthful vigor or extraordinary mulscularity. We, the taxpayers, will pay for these workers full pension and full medical care (save Medicare after 65). The money we spend on that retiree will not be available for fixing our roads and maintaining our parks and so on.

    What I have concluded that is unsustainable, however, in large part because of our policy of rewarding early retirement for ALL city employees, is the free medical benefits — a Rolls Royce policy* costing now $15,000/year each — for life, even for employees who only worked 5 years for the city of Davis.

    To date, we have built up a $40 million liability in retiree medical benefits. That is 6.67 times the amount left in our dwindling general fund reserve. It will keep growing, lest we change course.

    The worst mistake we have made as a city — like other cities, as well — is to determine what our compensation packages ought to be based on a false market model of giving out whatever the others in our region give out. One city gives out 2%@55, we follow suit like sheep. We don’t stop to think that age 55 retirement makes no sense. We simply copy what everyone else is doing. Some city nearby raises its department head salaries to $150,000 a year and we act like sheep, following the leader. And so it goes: 3%@50, one does it, everyone follows; free retiree medical, one does it and the others follow; and so on and so on, until added all together, the package makes no sense for the taxpayers and yes, is unsustainable.

    Up until now, the public employee unions have been great at playing this game: “You’d better give this that and the other, because City X is doing that and City Y is doing that and if you don’t, you will lose all of your employees.”

    But that is completely wrong. It always has been wrong. It only makes sense if there is a severe shortage of qualified people to do jobs like being a Parks & Rec supervisor or a file clerk or a firefighter. The fact is, there never has been any kind of shortage of these folks. If some other city overbids for our employees, we can turn to the marketplace and find dozens of others fully capable of doing these jobs for reasonable amounts of money.

    You ask, what is reasonable? The answer is what the market really will bear. We pay roughly four times as much for a parks worker, for example, as the private market pays for someone of equal skill and training, when you account for all of the higher benefits, retirement, paid time off, etc., we give that person. This is true up and down the city’s costs for all of its labor and for many of its outside contractors.

    I don’t blame the public employees’ unions** for asking for ridiculous amounts from the taxpayers. It’s a negotiating process and they have every right to ask for more, more, more, if the other side wants to give it to them. However, the other side — the taxpayers, represented by the council — need to say, “No more. You are ripping us off.”

    * What is Rolls Royce? No copays; free dental and free vision care (free eyeglasses, etc.); covers a spouse or domestic partner; covers depedents. This is the highest cost Kaiser Plan available.

    ** The exception in Davis is the firefighters union, because it has clearly (in my opinion) crossed the line by putting in tens of thousands of dollars in order to help people get elected who will turn around and give millions of dollars to them. That is unethical of both parties.

  241. A No on X

    Frm 5/28/08 12:50 PM:

    “Sue Greenwald did NOT vote on the firefighters’ benefit package. She conveniently left the room just before the vote occurred and stood outside the door while it happened so that she could play her political cards.

    Mayor Sue does NOT have the skills to lead our city… she can’t build consensus, she is overly focused on pipe dreams (PG&E redevelopment), and she alienates anyone who doesn’t agree with her.

    Doesn’t anyone else think that its interesting that this woman has been talking about building on PG&E for 8 years but has NOTHING to show for it? PG&E is not interested and it would be cost-prohibitive for the city to force their hand. End of story.

    What else do you have to offer Sue? A bike museum? A second screen at the Varsity? More gifts for your neighbor-buddy Mischa Gushiken? Are those also unfunded needs contributing to your imaginary “structural deficit”? For shame.”

    **************

    Interesting. I am a progressive, and I could not agree with you more about Sue. So many of my friends refuse to endorse or vote for her. However, the tone and information in your post suggests you are a member of the CC, certainly a strong supporter of Covell Village, sprawl, SSV, etc etc. I am sure I would vote completely opposed to your choices for CC, Target, the next CV nightmare foisted on us by Johnnie and his developer pals. But you know, we will stop you and your buddies, again, at the Measure J polls.

    I know why you fear it. I know why the SSV seek to change it, and for good reason.

    Go ahead: hire your minions. How about Brian “Biolab” Misek? Get him next time for your CV campaign, boys.

    But you know, we will work , night and day, to stop you. Spend those seven figures. Hide that money, like you did when you lied to your CV treasurer about the true status of your Yes on X expenditures.

    It does not matter. We will stop you.

    However, as to Sue, you are ssssoooo right. And that is why she is going to lose, and lose big.

    Cheers, Sue: good riddance, and go back to your yard ducks to keep you off the streets and away from CC chambers.

    As a big name progressive told me recently, “Sue? Sue needs to move on. Her time is done. She has been hateful and rude to all of us for years. We don’t need her, and she does not represent us anymore anyway.”

    Cheers.

  242. A No on X

    Frm 5/28/08 12:50 PM:

    “Sue Greenwald did NOT vote on the firefighters’ benefit package. She conveniently left the room just before the vote occurred and stood outside the door while it happened so that she could play her political cards.

    Mayor Sue does NOT have the skills to lead our city… she can’t build consensus, she is overly focused on pipe dreams (PG&E redevelopment), and she alienates anyone who doesn’t agree with her.

    Doesn’t anyone else think that its interesting that this woman has been talking about building on PG&E for 8 years but has NOTHING to show for it? PG&E is not interested and it would be cost-prohibitive for the city to force their hand. End of story.

    What else do you have to offer Sue? A bike museum? A second screen at the Varsity? More gifts for your neighbor-buddy Mischa Gushiken? Are those also unfunded needs contributing to your imaginary “structural deficit”? For shame.”

    **************

    Interesting. I am a progressive, and I could not agree with you more about Sue. So many of my friends refuse to endorse or vote for her. However, the tone and information in your post suggests you are a member of the CC, certainly a strong supporter of Covell Village, sprawl, SSV, etc etc. I am sure I would vote completely opposed to your choices for CC, Target, the next CV nightmare foisted on us by Johnnie and his developer pals. But you know, we will stop you and your buddies, again, at the Measure J polls.

    I know why you fear it. I know why the SSV seek to change it, and for good reason.

    Go ahead: hire your minions. How about Brian “Biolab” Misek? Get him next time for your CV campaign, boys.

    But you know, we will work , night and day, to stop you. Spend those seven figures. Hide that money, like you did when you lied to your CV treasurer about the true status of your Yes on X expenditures.

    It does not matter. We will stop you.

    However, as to Sue, you are ssssoooo right. And that is why she is going to lose, and lose big.

    Cheers, Sue: good riddance, and go back to your yard ducks to keep you off the streets and away from CC chambers.

    As a big name progressive told me recently, “Sue? Sue needs to move on. Her time is done. She has been hateful and rude to all of us for years. We don’t need her, and she does not represent us anymore anyway.”

    Cheers.

  243. A No on X

    Frm 5/28/08 12:50 PM:

    “Sue Greenwald did NOT vote on the firefighters’ benefit package. She conveniently left the room just before the vote occurred and stood outside the door while it happened so that she could play her political cards.

    Mayor Sue does NOT have the skills to lead our city… she can’t build consensus, she is overly focused on pipe dreams (PG&E redevelopment), and she alienates anyone who doesn’t agree with her.

    Doesn’t anyone else think that its interesting that this woman has been talking about building on PG&E for 8 years but has NOTHING to show for it? PG&E is not interested and it would be cost-prohibitive for the city to force their hand. End of story.

    What else do you have to offer Sue? A bike museum? A second screen at the Varsity? More gifts for your neighbor-buddy Mischa Gushiken? Are those also unfunded needs contributing to your imaginary “structural deficit”? For shame.”

    **************

    Interesting. I am a progressive, and I could not agree with you more about Sue. So many of my friends refuse to endorse or vote for her. However, the tone and information in your post suggests you are a member of the CC, certainly a strong supporter of Covell Village, sprawl, SSV, etc etc. I am sure I would vote completely opposed to your choices for CC, Target, the next CV nightmare foisted on us by Johnnie and his developer pals. But you know, we will stop you and your buddies, again, at the Measure J polls.

    I know why you fear it. I know why the SSV seek to change it, and for good reason.

    Go ahead: hire your minions. How about Brian “Biolab” Misek? Get him next time for your CV campaign, boys.

    But you know, we will work , night and day, to stop you. Spend those seven figures. Hide that money, like you did when you lied to your CV treasurer about the true status of your Yes on X expenditures.

    It does not matter. We will stop you.

    However, as to Sue, you are ssssoooo right. And that is why she is going to lose, and lose big.

    Cheers, Sue: good riddance, and go back to your yard ducks to keep you off the streets and away from CC chambers.

    As a big name progressive told me recently, “Sue? Sue needs to move on. Her time is done. She has been hateful and rude to all of us for years. We don’t need her, and she does not represent us anymore anyway.”

    Cheers.

  244. A No on X

    Frm 5/28/08 12:50 PM:

    “Sue Greenwald did NOT vote on the firefighters’ benefit package. She conveniently left the room just before the vote occurred and stood outside the door while it happened so that she could play her political cards.

    Mayor Sue does NOT have the skills to lead our city… she can’t build consensus, she is overly focused on pipe dreams (PG&E redevelopment), and she alienates anyone who doesn’t agree with her.

    Doesn’t anyone else think that its interesting that this woman has been talking about building on PG&E for 8 years but has NOTHING to show for it? PG&E is not interested and it would be cost-prohibitive for the city to force their hand. End of story.

    What else do you have to offer Sue? A bike museum? A second screen at the Varsity? More gifts for your neighbor-buddy Mischa Gushiken? Are those also unfunded needs contributing to your imaginary “structural deficit”? For shame.”

    **************

    Interesting. I am a progressive, and I could not agree with you more about Sue. So many of my friends refuse to endorse or vote for her. However, the tone and information in your post suggests you are a member of the CC, certainly a strong supporter of Covell Village, sprawl, SSV, etc etc. I am sure I would vote completely opposed to your choices for CC, Target, the next CV nightmare foisted on us by Johnnie and his developer pals. But you know, we will stop you and your buddies, again, at the Measure J polls.

    I know why you fear it. I know why the SSV seek to change it, and for good reason.

    Go ahead: hire your minions. How about Brian “Biolab” Misek? Get him next time for your CV campaign, boys.

    But you know, we will work , night and day, to stop you. Spend those seven figures. Hide that money, like you did when you lied to your CV treasurer about the true status of your Yes on X expenditures.

    It does not matter. We will stop you.

    However, as to Sue, you are ssssoooo right. And that is why she is going to lose, and lose big.

    Cheers, Sue: good riddance, and go back to your yard ducks to keep you off the streets and away from CC chambers.

    As a big name progressive told me recently, “Sue? Sue needs to move on. Her time is done. She has been hateful and rude to all of us for years. We don’t need her, and she does not represent us anymore anyway.”

    Cheers.

  245. Anonymous

    As you discussed the herd of sheep mentality, you forgot one thing. Elected officials also fall victim to union assertions that manpower ratios (headcount divided by population) have to be the same everywhere. So if LA has one police officer for every one thousand people that means that Davis also needs the same ratio. Is it really necessary in a community with very little crime?

    Another thing to look at is overtime. Somewhere I read that the average salary/benefit package for Fire is about $150K. Assuming benefits are roughly 30%, that means that base salary and overtime combined is about $115K. How much of that is OT? – I do not know by I would guess it represents 25% of the $115K. If there is a line of people wanting to join Fire why is the city paying so much OT?

  246. Anonymous

    As you discussed the herd of sheep mentality, you forgot one thing. Elected officials also fall victim to union assertions that manpower ratios (headcount divided by population) have to be the same everywhere. So if LA has one police officer for every one thousand people that means that Davis also needs the same ratio. Is it really necessary in a community with very little crime?

    Another thing to look at is overtime. Somewhere I read that the average salary/benefit package for Fire is about $150K. Assuming benefits are roughly 30%, that means that base salary and overtime combined is about $115K. How much of that is OT? – I do not know by I would guess it represents 25% of the $115K. If there is a line of people wanting to join Fire why is the city paying so much OT?

  247. Anonymous

    As you discussed the herd of sheep mentality, you forgot one thing. Elected officials also fall victim to union assertions that manpower ratios (headcount divided by population) have to be the same everywhere. So if LA has one police officer for every one thousand people that means that Davis also needs the same ratio. Is it really necessary in a community with very little crime?

    Another thing to look at is overtime. Somewhere I read that the average salary/benefit package for Fire is about $150K. Assuming benefits are roughly 30%, that means that base salary and overtime combined is about $115K. How much of that is OT? – I do not know by I would guess it represents 25% of the $115K. If there is a line of people wanting to join Fire why is the city paying so much OT?

  248. Anonymous

    As you discussed the herd of sheep mentality, you forgot one thing. Elected officials also fall victim to union assertions that manpower ratios (headcount divided by population) have to be the same everywhere. So if LA has one police officer for every one thousand people that means that Davis also needs the same ratio. Is it really necessary in a community with very little crime?

    Another thing to look at is overtime. Somewhere I read that the average salary/benefit package for Fire is about $150K. Assuming benefits are roughly 30%, that means that base salary and overtime combined is about $115K. How much of that is OT? – I do not know by I would guess it represents 25% of the $115K. If there is a line of people wanting to join Fire why is the city paying so much OT?

  249. CA populist

    “…but the next time you may hold the majority view that is overridden by some judge aligned with some special interest group you do not agree with.”

    This is EXACTLY why we, unlike states back East, have the provision to change our state constitution by a majority vote of the people. This populist idea was propelled by the “railroad baron” special interests taking control of the CA Supreme Court. Another avenue is impeachment. We all remember that Gov. Jerry Brown’s chief justice was impeached for her ruling against capital punishment which flew in the face of strong CA majority opinion.At the end of the day, while I have strong antipathy towards capital punishment and am neutral on recognizing same-sex unions as a marriage,I’ll go with CA populism. Well-informed California voters will make more good public decisions comcerning their lives than bad ones.

  250. CA populist

    “…but the next time you may hold the majority view that is overridden by some judge aligned with some special interest group you do not agree with.”

    This is EXACTLY why we, unlike states back East, have the provision to change our state constitution by a majority vote of the people. This populist idea was propelled by the “railroad baron” special interests taking control of the CA Supreme Court. Another avenue is impeachment. We all remember that Gov. Jerry Brown’s chief justice was impeached for her ruling against capital punishment which flew in the face of strong CA majority opinion.At the end of the day, while I have strong antipathy towards capital punishment and am neutral on recognizing same-sex unions as a marriage,I’ll go with CA populism. Well-informed California voters will make more good public decisions comcerning their lives than bad ones.

  251. CA populist

    “…but the next time you may hold the majority view that is overridden by some judge aligned with some special interest group you do not agree with.”

    This is EXACTLY why we, unlike states back East, have the provision to change our state constitution by a majority vote of the people. This populist idea was propelled by the “railroad baron” special interests taking control of the CA Supreme Court. Another avenue is impeachment. We all remember that Gov. Jerry Brown’s chief justice was impeached for her ruling against capital punishment which flew in the face of strong CA majority opinion.At the end of the day, while I have strong antipathy towards capital punishment and am neutral on recognizing same-sex unions as a marriage,I’ll go with CA populism. Well-informed California voters will make more good public decisions comcerning their lives than bad ones.

  252. CA populist

    “…but the next time you may hold the majority view that is overridden by some judge aligned with some special interest group you do not agree with.”

    This is EXACTLY why we, unlike states back East, have the provision to change our state constitution by a majority vote of the people. This populist idea was propelled by the “railroad baron” special interests taking control of the CA Supreme Court. Another avenue is impeachment. We all remember that Gov. Jerry Brown’s chief justice was impeached for her ruling against capital punishment which flew in the face of strong CA majority opinion.At the end of the day, while I have strong antipathy towards capital punishment and am neutral on recognizing same-sex unions as a marriage,I’ll go with CA populism. Well-informed California voters will make more good public decisions comcerning their lives than bad ones.

  253. Frustrated

    “However, as to Sue, you are ssssoooo right. And that is why she is going to lose, and lose big.”

    To this self-proclaimed progressive…..GROW UP! Your juvenile harangue is EXACTLY why we get Davis council majorities like Asmundson, Saylor and Souza. Put aside your perceived personal hurts, slights and other elementary schoolyard feelings and vote for the best candidates available that will protect your progressive principles.

  254. Frustrated

    “However, as to Sue, you are ssssoooo right. And that is why she is going to lose, and lose big.”

    To this self-proclaimed progressive…..GROW UP! Your juvenile harangue is EXACTLY why we get Davis council majorities like Asmundson, Saylor and Souza. Put aside your perceived personal hurts, slights and other elementary schoolyard feelings and vote for the best candidates available that will protect your progressive principles.

  255. Frustrated

    “However, as to Sue, you are ssssoooo right. And that is why she is going to lose, and lose big.”

    To this self-proclaimed progressive…..GROW UP! Your juvenile harangue is EXACTLY why we get Davis council majorities like Asmundson, Saylor and Souza. Put aside your perceived personal hurts, slights and other elementary schoolyard feelings and vote for the best candidates available that will protect your progressive principles.

  256. Frustrated

    “However, as to Sue, you are ssssoooo right. And that is why she is going to lose, and lose big.”

    To this self-proclaimed progressive…..GROW UP! Your juvenile harangue is EXACTLY why we get Davis council majorities like Asmundson, Saylor and Souza. Put aside your perceived personal hurts, slights and other elementary schoolyard feelings and vote for the best candidates available that will protect your progressive principles.

  257. objective observer

    “That is not what they are after. Instead, they are after being allowed to have multiple spouses.”

    What “they are after” has nothing to do with the LAW. The issue is that the the CA Supreme Court majority opinion(it was a 5-4 decision) rejected the argument that “custom and tradition” should be considered and carry legal weight. The legal argument against recognizing polygamy as a marriage rests upon “custom and tradition”.

  258. objective observer

    “That is not what they are after. Instead, they are after being allowed to have multiple spouses.”

    What “they are after” has nothing to do with the LAW. The issue is that the the CA Supreme Court majority opinion(it was a 5-4 decision) rejected the argument that “custom and tradition” should be considered and carry legal weight. The legal argument against recognizing polygamy as a marriage rests upon “custom and tradition”.

  259. objective observer

    “That is not what they are after. Instead, they are after being allowed to have multiple spouses.”

    What “they are after” has nothing to do with the LAW. The issue is that the the CA Supreme Court majority opinion(it was a 5-4 decision) rejected the argument that “custom and tradition” should be considered and carry legal weight. The legal argument against recognizing polygamy as a marriage rests upon “custom and tradition”.

  260. objective observer

    “That is not what they are after. Instead, they are after being allowed to have multiple spouses.”

    What “they are after” has nothing to do with the LAW. The issue is that the the CA Supreme Court majority opinion(it was a 5-4 decision) rejected the argument that “custom and tradition” should be considered and carry legal weight. The legal argument against recognizing polygamy as a marriage rests upon “custom and tradition”.

  261. Rich Rifkin

    “Another thing to look at is overtime. Somewhere I read that the average salary/benefit package for Fire is about $150K. Assuming benefits are roughly 30%, that means that base salary and overtime combined is about $115K. How much of that is OT? – I do not know by I would guess it represents 25% of the $115K. If there is a line of people wanting to join Fire why is the city paying so much OT?”

    I wrote about firefighters’ overtime in my December column. What I found was that in the 2006-07 fiscal year, the average was for every 100 hours of regular time, firefighters took 29 hours of OT.

    In a later phone conversation with fire chief Rose Conroy, she told me that that ratio was unusual, that because of unique circumstances in that one year, the OT percentage was high.

  262. Rich Rifkin

    “Another thing to look at is overtime. Somewhere I read that the average salary/benefit package for Fire is about $150K. Assuming benefits are roughly 30%, that means that base salary and overtime combined is about $115K. How much of that is OT? – I do not know by I would guess it represents 25% of the $115K. If there is a line of people wanting to join Fire why is the city paying so much OT?”

    I wrote about firefighters’ overtime in my December column. What I found was that in the 2006-07 fiscal year, the average was for every 100 hours of regular time, firefighters took 29 hours of OT.

    In a later phone conversation with fire chief Rose Conroy, she told me that that ratio was unusual, that because of unique circumstances in that one year, the OT percentage was high.

  263. Rich Rifkin

    “Another thing to look at is overtime. Somewhere I read that the average salary/benefit package for Fire is about $150K. Assuming benefits are roughly 30%, that means that base salary and overtime combined is about $115K. How much of that is OT? – I do not know by I would guess it represents 25% of the $115K. If there is a line of people wanting to join Fire why is the city paying so much OT?”

    I wrote about firefighters’ overtime in my December column. What I found was that in the 2006-07 fiscal year, the average was for every 100 hours of regular time, firefighters took 29 hours of OT.

    In a later phone conversation with fire chief Rose Conroy, she told me that that ratio was unusual, that because of unique circumstances in that one year, the OT percentage was high.

  264. Rich Rifkin

    “Another thing to look at is overtime. Somewhere I read that the average salary/benefit package for Fire is about $150K. Assuming benefits are roughly 30%, that means that base salary and overtime combined is about $115K. How much of that is OT? – I do not know by I would guess it represents 25% of the $115K. If there is a line of people wanting to join Fire why is the city paying so much OT?”

    I wrote about firefighters’ overtime in my December column. What I found was that in the 2006-07 fiscal year, the average was for every 100 hours of regular time, firefighters took 29 hours of OT.

    In a later phone conversation with fire chief Rose Conroy, she told me that that ratio was unusual, that because of unique circumstances in that one year, the OT percentage was high.

  265. Don Shor

    Ok, so we have two predictions so far on this blog.
    1. the anti-gay-marriage amendment will pass.
    2. Sue will lose “big”.

    I think both predictions are wrong.

  266. Don Shor

    Ok, so we have two predictions so far on this blog.
    1. the anti-gay-marriage amendment will pass.
    2. Sue will lose “big”.

    I think both predictions are wrong.

  267. Don Shor

    Ok, so we have two predictions so far on this blog.
    1. the anti-gay-marriage amendment will pass.
    2. Sue will lose “big”.

    I think both predictions are wrong.

  268. Don Shor

    Ok, so we have two predictions so far on this blog.
    1. the anti-gay-marriage amendment will pass.
    2. Sue will lose “big”.

    I think both predictions are wrong.

  269. Anonymous

    “I do think it is time we all toned down the bash-the-firefighters-pension rhetoric.”

    Well at least Dave Hart got something right. Are you listening,
    Cecilia??

  270. Anonymous

    “I do think it is time we all toned down the bash-the-firefighters-pension rhetoric.”

    Well at least Dave Hart got something right. Are you listening,
    Cecilia??

  271. Anonymous

    “I do think it is time we all toned down the bash-the-firefighters-pension rhetoric.”

    Well at least Dave Hart got something right. Are you listening,
    Cecilia??

  272. Anonymous

    “I do think it is time we all toned down the bash-the-firefighters-pension rhetoric.”

    Well at least Dave Hart got something right. Are you listening,
    Cecilia??

  273. Anonymous

    DPD,
    An interesting comment; “The Public Safety Unions are Not Willing To Step Forward”.
    Unions and union reps don’t belong in the public employment sector. A good reason to not vote for any union rep’s. Wait a minute, cecilia is a union rep!!

  274. Anonymous

    DPD,
    An interesting comment; “The Public Safety Unions are Not Willing To Step Forward”.
    Unions and union reps don’t belong in the public employment sector. A good reason to not vote for any union rep’s. Wait a minute, cecilia is a union rep!!

  275. Anonymous

    DPD,
    An interesting comment; “The Public Safety Unions are Not Willing To Step Forward”.
    Unions and union reps don’t belong in the public employment sector. A good reason to not vote for any union rep’s. Wait a minute, cecilia is a union rep!!

  276. Anonymous

    DPD,
    An interesting comment; “The Public Safety Unions are Not Willing To Step Forward”.
    Unions and union reps don’t belong in the public employment sector. A good reason to not vote for any union rep’s. Wait a minute, cecilia is a union rep!!

  277. be careful what you wish for

    “The polygamy argument is very weak and sound like something you picked up off of Fox News.”

    Unfortunately, the polygamists are already trying to bootstrap the legitimacy of their sort of marriage onto the gay marriage issue. Don’t know how successful they will be, but it has already caused us to go down that slippery slope of “anything goes”.

    I read in the Davis Enterprise that domestic partnerships allow all the rights and privileges that traditional marriage does. If that is the case, then I ask again, why are the gays pushing “marriage” so hard, and not willing to accept civil unions as equivalent. If someone has an answer, I would really like to know…

    Furthermore, I haven’t heard a single cogent argument in opposition of the problem of judges legislating from the bench – which is what has happened with the latest court ruling. As I said, be careful what you wish for – to approve gay marriage against the will of the people, who have already weighed in on this issue, is dangerous at best, and undemocratic at worst. It will give the impetus for the creation of new laws by the minority…

  278. be careful what you wish for

    “The polygamy argument is very weak and sound like something you picked up off of Fox News.”

    Unfortunately, the polygamists are already trying to bootstrap the legitimacy of their sort of marriage onto the gay marriage issue. Don’t know how successful they will be, but it has already caused us to go down that slippery slope of “anything goes”.

    I read in the Davis Enterprise that domestic partnerships allow all the rights and privileges that traditional marriage does. If that is the case, then I ask again, why are the gays pushing “marriage” so hard, and not willing to accept civil unions as equivalent. If someone has an answer, I would really like to know…

    Furthermore, I haven’t heard a single cogent argument in opposition of the problem of judges legislating from the bench – which is what has happened with the latest court ruling. As I said, be careful what you wish for – to approve gay marriage against the will of the people, who have already weighed in on this issue, is dangerous at best, and undemocratic at worst. It will give the impetus for the creation of new laws by the minority…

  279. be careful what you wish for

    “The polygamy argument is very weak and sound like something you picked up off of Fox News.”

    Unfortunately, the polygamists are already trying to bootstrap the legitimacy of their sort of marriage onto the gay marriage issue. Don’t know how successful they will be, but it has already caused us to go down that slippery slope of “anything goes”.

    I read in the Davis Enterprise that domestic partnerships allow all the rights and privileges that traditional marriage does. If that is the case, then I ask again, why are the gays pushing “marriage” so hard, and not willing to accept civil unions as equivalent. If someone has an answer, I would really like to know…

    Furthermore, I haven’t heard a single cogent argument in opposition of the problem of judges legislating from the bench – which is what has happened with the latest court ruling. As I said, be careful what you wish for – to approve gay marriage against the will of the people, who have already weighed in on this issue, is dangerous at best, and undemocratic at worst. It will give the impetus for the creation of new laws by the minority…

  280. be careful what you wish for

    “The polygamy argument is very weak and sound like something you picked up off of Fox News.”

    Unfortunately, the polygamists are already trying to bootstrap the legitimacy of their sort of marriage onto the gay marriage issue. Don’t know how successful they will be, but it has already caused us to go down that slippery slope of “anything goes”.

    I read in the Davis Enterprise that domestic partnerships allow all the rights and privileges that traditional marriage does. If that is the case, then I ask again, why are the gays pushing “marriage” so hard, and not willing to accept civil unions as equivalent. If someone has an answer, I would really like to know…

    Furthermore, I haven’t heard a single cogent argument in opposition of the problem of judges legislating from the bench – which is what has happened with the latest court ruling. As I said, be careful what you wish for – to approve gay marriage against the will of the people, who have already weighed in on this issue, is dangerous at best, and undemocratic at worst. It will give the impetus for the creation of new laws by the minority…

  281. Please explain

    “The issue is that the the CA Supreme Court majority opinion(it was a 5-4 decision) rejected the argument that “custom and tradition” should be considered and carry legal weight. The legal argument against recognizing polygamy as a marriage rests upon “custom and tradition”.”

    What are you trying to say here???

  282. Please explain

    “The issue is that the the CA Supreme Court majority opinion(it was a 5-4 decision) rejected the argument that “custom and tradition” should be considered and carry legal weight. The legal argument against recognizing polygamy as a marriage rests upon “custom and tradition”.”

    What are you trying to say here???

  283. Please explain

    “The issue is that the the CA Supreme Court majority opinion(it was a 5-4 decision) rejected the argument that “custom and tradition” should be considered and carry legal weight. The legal argument against recognizing polygamy as a marriage rests upon “custom and tradition”.”

    What are you trying to say here???

  284. Please explain

    “The issue is that the the CA Supreme Court majority opinion(it was a 5-4 decision) rejected the argument that “custom and tradition” should be considered and carry legal weight. The legal argument against recognizing polygamy as a marriage rests upon “custom and tradition”.”

    What are you trying to say here???

  285. Anonymous

    To Anon, re: Herd of Sheep Mentality and unions comparing L.A. police force to Davis.

    The Federal Government requires that there be one Police Officer on the street for every 10,000 people. This is not a choice but a mandate from OUR Government.
    Davis is a peaceful city? How many calls for service were there last year to the Police Dept.? 57,000.
    L.A. needs a lot of cops just to keep up with the mexicans,(sons and daughters of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS),blacks,assorted white trash and asian gang banger assholes that keep that city hostage. And yes, I lived in that sewer
    Yes, the firefighters in Davis fight very few fires and respond to every hangnail that occurs with two to three engines. They are wasteful and overpaid and the city council has allowed it.

  286. Anonymous

    To Anon, re: Herd of Sheep Mentality and unions comparing L.A. police force to Davis.

    The Federal Government requires that there be one Police Officer on the street for every 10,000 people. This is not a choice but a mandate from OUR Government.
    Davis is a peaceful city? How many calls for service were there last year to the Police Dept.? 57,000.
    L.A. needs a lot of cops just to keep up with the mexicans,(sons and daughters of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS),blacks,assorted white trash and asian gang banger assholes that keep that city hostage. And yes, I lived in that sewer
    Yes, the firefighters in Davis fight very few fires and respond to every hangnail that occurs with two to three engines. They are wasteful and overpaid and the city council has allowed it.

  287. Anonymous

    To Anon, re: Herd of Sheep Mentality and unions comparing L.A. police force to Davis.

    The Federal Government requires that there be one Police Officer on the street for every 10,000 people. This is not a choice but a mandate from OUR Government.
    Davis is a peaceful city? How many calls for service were there last year to the Police Dept.? 57,000.
    L.A. needs a lot of cops just to keep up with the mexicans,(sons and daughters of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS),blacks,assorted white trash and asian gang banger assholes that keep that city hostage. And yes, I lived in that sewer
    Yes, the firefighters in Davis fight very few fires and respond to every hangnail that occurs with two to three engines. They are wasteful and overpaid and the city council has allowed it.

  288. Anonymous

    To Anon, re: Herd of Sheep Mentality and unions comparing L.A. police force to Davis.

    The Federal Government requires that there be one Police Officer on the street for every 10,000 people. This is not a choice but a mandate from OUR Government.
    Davis is a peaceful city? How many calls for service were there last year to the Police Dept.? 57,000.
    L.A. needs a lot of cops just to keep up with the mexicans,(sons and daughters of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS),blacks,assorted white trash and asian gang banger assholes that keep that city hostage. And yes, I lived in that sewer
    Yes, the firefighters in Davis fight very few fires and respond to every hangnail that occurs with two to three engines. They are wasteful and overpaid and the city council has allowed it.

  289. objective observer

    “What are you trying to say here???”

    The CA supreme court(in 5-4 ruling)rejected the legal concept that “custom and tradition” needs to be considered in how marriage is defined. They will then have difficulty making the legal argument that “custom and tradition” are to be given legal weight when it comes to rejecting polygamy as a marriage.

  290. objective observer

    “What are you trying to say here???”

    The CA supreme court(in 5-4 ruling)rejected the legal concept that “custom and tradition” needs to be considered in how marriage is defined. They will then have difficulty making the legal argument that “custom and tradition” are to be given legal weight when it comes to rejecting polygamy as a marriage.

  291. objective observer

    “What are you trying to say here???”

    The CA supreme court(in 5-4 ruling)rejected the legal concept that “custom and tradition” needs to be considered in how marriage is defined. They will then have difficulty making the legal argument that “custom and tradition” are to be given legal weight when it comes to rejecting polygamy as a marriage.

  292. objective observer

    “What are you trying to say here???”

    The CA supreme court(in 5-4 ruling)rejected the legal concept that “custom and tradition” needs to be considered in how marriage is defined. They will then have difficulty making the legal argument that “custom and tradition” are to be given legal weight when it comes to rejecting polygamy as a marriage.

  293. don shor

    “Furthermore, I haven’t heard a single cogent argument in opposition of the problem of judges legislating from the bench – which is what has happened with the latest court ruling. As I said, be careful what you wish for – to approve gay marriage against the will of the people, who have already weighed in on this issue, is dangerous at best, and undemocratic at worst. It will give the impetus for the creation of new laws by the minority…”

    You also didn’t reply to the issue of such decisions upholding the rights of minorities against the subjugation of their rights by legislatures and voters. I specifically mentioned laws against miscegenation.

    Do you support laws prohibiting mixed-race marriages in states where a majority of voters support such restrictions? Do you believe the long-standing “custom and tradition” against mixed-race marriages should be upheld? If you don’t support such restrictions, what is the difference between a mixed-race marriage and marriage between gays?

    Judges have often upheld the rights of individuals that were being restricted by laws passed by legislators and voters. Segregation, religious soliciting, freedom of speech, and conflicts about public displays of religion are other examples. We turn to the courts to protect individuals from having their rights harmed by the majority. This isn’t “creating new laws by the minority,” it is protecting the minority from discrimination by the majority.

    Civil unions are not recognized between states, cannot be used in sponsoring an immigrant spouse, don’t allow for joint tax returns, and don’t automatically provide the many benefits that are conferred by marriage. Just google “civil union vs. marriage” and you’ll find many examples.

    Just for the record, none of this pertains to me. But if you, like me, knew any committed gay couples, I think you’d have trouble explaining to them why they should be denied the rights married straight couples have.

  294. don shor

    “Furthermore, I haven’t heard a single cogent argument in opposition of the problem of judges legislating from the bench – which is what has happened with the latest court ruling. As I said, be careful what you wish for – to approve gay marriage against the will of the people, who have already weighed in on this issue, is dangerous at best, and undemocratic at worst. It will give the impetus for the creation of new laws by the minority…”

    You also didn’t reply to the issue of such decisions upholding the rights of minorities against the subjugation of their rights by legislatures and voters. I specifically mentioned laws against miscegenation.

    Do you support laws prohibiting mixed-race marriages in states where a majority of voters support such restrictions? Do you believe the long-standing “custom and tradition” against mixed-race marriages should be upheld? If you don’t support such restrictions, what is the difference between a mixed-race marriage and marriage between gays?

    Judges have often upheld the rights of individuals that were being restricted by laws passed by legislators and voters. Segregation, religious soliciting, freedom of speech, and conflicts about public displays of religion are other examples. We turn to the courts to protect individuals from having their rights harmed by the majority. This isn’t “creating new laws by the minority,” it is protecting the minority from discrimination by the majority.

    Civil unions are not recognized between states, cannot be used in sponsoring an immigrant spouse, don’t allow for joint tax returns, and don’t automatically provide the many benefits that are conferred by marriage. Just google “civil union vs. marriage” and you’ll find many examples.

    Just for the record, none of this pertains to me. But if you, like me, knew any committed gay couples, I think you’d have trouble explaining to them why they should be denied the rights married straight couples have.

  295. don shor

    “Furthermore, I haven’t heard a single cogent argument in opposition of the problem of judges legislating from the bench – which is what has happened with the latest court ruling. As I said, be careful what you wish for – to approve gay marriage against the will of the people, who have already weighed in on this issue, is dangerous at best, and undemocratic at worst. It will give the impetus for the creation of new laws by the minority…”

    You also didn’t reply to the issue of such decisions upholding the rights of minorities against the subjugation of their rights by legislatures and voters. I specifically mentioned laws against miscegenation.

    Do you support laws prohibiting mixed-race marriages in states where a majority of voters support such restrictions? Do you believe the long-standing “custom and tradition” against mixed-race marriages should be upheld? If you don’t support such restrictions, what is the difference between a mixed-race marriage and marriage between gays?

    Judges have often upheld the rights of individuals that were being restricted by laws passed by legislators and voters. Segregation, religious soliciting, freedom of speech, and conflicts about public displays of religion are other examples. We turn to the courts to protect individuals from having their rights harmed by the majority. This isn’t “creating new laws by the minority,” it is protecting the minority from discrimination by the majority.

    Civil unions are not recognized between states, cannot be used in sponsoring an immigrant spouse, don’t allow for joint tax returns, and don’t automatically provide the many benefits that are conferred by marriage. Just google “civil union vs. marriage” and you’ll find many examples.

    Just for the record, none of this pertains to me. But if you, like me, knew any committed gay couples, I think you’d have trouble explaining to them why they should be denied the rights married straight couples have.

  296. don shor

    “Furthermore, I haven’t heard a single cogent argument in opposition of the problem of judges legislating from the bench – which is what has happened with the latest court ruling. As I said, be careful what you wish for – to approve gay marriage against the will of the people, who have already weighed in on this issue, is dangerous at best, and undemocratic at worst. It will give the impetus for the creation of new laws by the minority…”

    You also didn’t reply to the issue of such decisions upholding the rights of minorities against the subjugation of their rights by legislatures and voters. I specifically mentioned laws against miscegenation.

    Do you support laws prohibiting mixed-race marriages in states where a majority of voters support such restrictions? Do you believe the long-standing “custom and tradition” against mixed-race marriages should be upheld? If you don’t support such restrictions, what is the difference between a mixed-race marriage and marriage between gays?

    Judges have often upheld the rights of individuals that were being restricted by laws passed by legislators and voters. Segregation, religious soliciting, freedom of speech, and conflicts about public displays of religion are other examples. We turn to the courts to protect individuals from having their rights harmed by the majority. This isn’t “creating new laws by the minority,” it is protecting the minority from discrimination by the majority.

    Civil unions are not recognized between states, cannot be used in sponsoring an immigrant spouse, don’t allow for joint tax returns, and don’t automatically provide the many benefits that are conferred by marriage. Just google “civil union vs. marriage” and you’ll find many examples.

    Just for the record, none of this pertains to me. But if you, like me, knew any committed gay couples, I think you’d have trouble explaining to them why they should be denied the rights married straight couples have.

  297. Rich Rifkin

    “I read in the Davis Enterprise that domestic partnerships allow all the rights and privileges that traditional marriage does.”

    This is untrue. Being that I am not an absolutist (or gay), I don’t see any reason why “gay marriage” could not be replaced by “civil unions” with all of the same rights and privileges. However, it is most certainly wrong to suggest that the current “domestic partnerships” afford all the rights and privileges of marriage. In fact, they include almost none of those.

    Just one example: If Kevin is lawfully married to Joan and Joan is accused in a court of law by the IRS of tax evasion, Kevin, because he is her husband, cannot be compelled to testify against her. He has privilege. By contrast, if Kevin and John were “domestic partners,” and the same situation arose, Kevin could be forced by law to testify in court against his “domestic partner.”

    There are something like 191 such privileges automatically afforded to married couples that are not granted without marriage. In some of them, a committed couple can go to a lawyer in advance and legally assign certain rights to one’s partner. However, besides the fact that that is expensive and something most people never think about in advance — such as when your spouse gets sick all of the sudden and you are not allowed to visit him in the hospital because he is not your blood relative — it creates a degree of unfairness to force one group of couples, who want to be married, to have to go through additional legal hoops to get ordinary rights, while other married folks get them in 5 minutes, filling out a marriage license. And of course, the former group can never get a lot of those rights, no matter what, such as testimonial rights and a lot of inheritance rights, such as with Social Security.

  298. Rich Rifkin

    “I read in the Davis Enterprise that domestic partnerships allow all the rights and privileges that traditional marriage does.”

    This is untrue. Being that I am not an absolutist (or gay), I don’t see any reason why “gay marriage” could not be replaced by “civil unions” with all of the same rights and privileges. However, it is most certainly wrong to suggest that the current “domestic partnerships” afford all the rights and privileges of marriage. In fact, they include almost none of those.

    Just one example: If Kevin is lawfully married to Joan and Joan is accused in a court of law by the IRS of tax evasion, Kevin, because he is her husband, cannot be compelled to testify against her. He has privilege. By contrast, if Kevin and John were “domestic partners,” and the same situation arose, Kevin could be forced by law to testify in court against his “domestic partner.”

    There are something like 191 such privileges automatically afforded to married couples that are not granted without marriage. In some of them, a committed couple can go to a lawyer in advance and legally assign certain rights to one’s partner. However, besides the fact that that is expensive and something most people never think about in advance — such as when your spouse gets sick all of the sudden and you are not allowed to visit him in the hospital because he is not your blood relative — it creates a degree of unfairness to force one group of couples, who want to be married, to have to go through additional legal hoops to get ordinary rights, while other married folks get them in 5 minutes, filling out a marriage license. And of course, the former group can never get a lot of those rights, no matter what, such as testimonial rights and a lot of inheritance rights, such as with Social Security.

  299. Rich Rifkin

    “I read in the Davis Enterprise that domestic partnerships allow all the rights and privileges that traditional marriage does.”

    This is untrue. Being that I am not an absolutist (or gay), I don’t see any reason why “gay marriage” could not be replaced by “civil unions” with all of the same rights and privileges. However, it is most certainly wrong to suggest that the current “domestic partnerships” afford all the rights and privileges of marriage. In fact, they include almost none of those.

    Just one example: If Kevin is lawfully married to Joan and Joan is accused in a court of law by the IRS of tax evasion, Kevin, because he is her husband, cannot be compelled to testify against her. He has privilege. By contrast, if Kevin and John were “domestic partners,” and the same situation arose, Kevin could be forced by law to testify in court against his “domestic partner.”

    There are something like 191 such privileges automatically afforded to married couples that are not granted without marriage. In some of them, a committed couple can go to a lawyer in advance and legally assign certain rights to one’s partner. However, besides the fact that that is expensive and something most people never think about in advance — such as when your spouse gets sick all of the sudden and you are not allowed to visit him in the hospital because he is not your blood relative — it creates a degree of unfairness to force one group of couples, who want to be married, to have to go through additional legal hoops to get ordinary rights, while other married folks get them in 5 minutes, filling out a marriage license. And of course, the former group can never get a lot of those rights, no matter what, such as testimonial rights and a lot of inheritance rights, such as with Social Security.

  300. Rich Rifkin

    “I read in the Davis Enterprise that domestic partnerships allow all the rights and privileges that traditional marriage does.”

    This is untrue. Being that I am not an absolutist (or gay), I don’t see any reason why “gay marriage” could not be replaced by “civil unions” with all of the same rights and privileges. However, it is most certainly wrong to suggest that the current “domestic partnerships” afford all the rights and privileges of marriage. In fact, they include almost none of those.

    Just one example: If Kevin is lawfully married to Joan and Joan is accused in a court of law by the IRS of tax evasion, Kevin, because he is her husband, cannot be compelled to testify against her. He has privilege. By contrast, if Kevin and John were “domestic partners,” and the same situation arose, Kevin could be forced by law to testify in court against his “domestic partner.”

    There are something like 191 such privileges automatically afforded to married couples that are not granted without marriage. In some of them, a committed couple can go to a lawyer in advance and legally assign certain rights to one’s partner. However, besides the fact that that is expensive and something most people never think about in advance — such as when your spouse gets sick all of the sudden and you are not allowed to visit him in the hospital because he is not your blood relative — it creates a degree of unfairness to force one group of couples, who want to be married, to have to go through additional legal hoops to get ordinary rights, while other married folks get them in 5 minutes, filling out a marriage license. And of course, the former group can never get a lot of those rights, no matter what, such as testimonial rights and a lot of inheritance rights, such as with Social Security.

  301. objective observer

    ‘I think you’d have trouble explaining to them why they should be denied the rights married straight couples have.’

    EVERY individual right under the State’s jurisdiction that is afforded a married couple should be afforded to a civil-union couple and our courts are the appropriate venue to protect these rights. Changing the definition of the word marriage to include same-sex unions is not the perogative of 5 of 9 supreme court judges. The most appropriate judicial remedy would be to instruct the State to stop using the “discriminating” word marriage and substitute civil-union as the descriptive word in all issues that fall under the State’s jurisdiction.

  302. objective observer

    ‘I think you’d have trouble explaining to them why they should be denied the rights married straight couples have.’

    EVERY individual right under the State’s jurisdiction that is afforded a married couple should be afforded to a civil-union couple and our courts are the appropriate venue to protect these rights. Changing the definition of the word marriage to include same-sex unions is not the perogative of 5 of 9 supreme court judges. The most appropriate judicial remedy would be to instruct the State to stop using the “discriminating” word marriage and substitute civil-union as the descriptive word in all issues that fall under the State’s jurisdiction.

  303. objective observer

    ‘I think you’d have trouble explaining to them why they should be denied the rights married straight couples have.’

    EVERY individual right under the State’s jurisdiction that is afforded a married couple should be afforded to a civil-union couple and our courts are the appropriate venue to protect these rights. Changing the definition of the word marriage to include same-sex unions is not the perogative of 5 of 9 supreme court judges. The most appropriate judicial remedy would be to instruct the State to stop using the “discriminating” word marriage and substitute civil-union as the descriptive word in all issues that fall under the State’s jurisdiction.

  304. objective observer

    ‘I think you’d have trouble explaining to them why they should be denied the rights married straight couples have.’

    EVERY individual right under the State’s jurisdiction that is afforded a married couple should be afforded to a civil-union couple and our courts are the appropriate venue to protect these rights. Changing the definition of the word marriage to include same-sex unions is not the perogative of 5 of 9 supreme court judges. The most appropriate judicial remedy would be to instruct the State to stop using the “discriminating” word marriage and substitute civil-union as the descriptive word in all issues that fall under the State’s jurisdiction.

  305. Be Careful What You Wish For

    “Civil unions are not recognized between states, cannot be used in sponsoring an immigrant spouse, don’t allow for joint tax returns, and don’t automatically provide the many benefits that are conferred by marriage. Just google “civil union vs. marriage” and you’ll find many examples.

    Just for the record, none of this pertains to me. But if you, like me, knew any committed gay couples, I think you’d have trouble explaining to them why they should be denied the rights married straight couples have.”

    Just for the record I have gay friends, and many disagree with gay marriage! What makes you think “gay marriage” will be recognized between states? I think something like 26 states now have a prohibition against gay marriage. It is very unlikely they will recognize a gay marriage sanctioned by the state of CA.

    My understanding from what I read in the Davis Entrprise is that domestic partnerships give all the same rights and privileges as marriage does. If that is not truly the case, such as the examples you cite with respect to income tax status and the like, then that is what needs to change in the law, the definition of a civil union rather than the definition of marriage.

    Frankly, if a state defines civil unions as such, I see no reason why all the same rights and privileges afforded to a marriage should not apply to civil unions as a matter of the equal protection clause of the US Constitution. This is what is more reasonable to fight for, is well within current law, and makes the most sense in context.

    “You also didn’t reply to the issue of such decisions upholding the rights of minorities against the subjugation of their rights by legislatures and voters. I specifically mentioned laws against miscegenation. Do you support laws prohibiting mixed-race marriages in states where a majority of voters support such restrictions?”

    The issue in this case is not one of upholding the rights of a minority, contrary to the discussion as reframed above. Voters decided they wanted marriage to remain as between a man and a woman, PERIOD. Voters did not decide gay couples were not afforded all the same rights and privileges as married couples. The courts decided to override the voters wishes, and declared marriage could include gay couples, expressly against the wishes of voters. That is legislating from the bench, by making new law. It sets a very dangerous precedent, as I have discussed before. Many judges in the south are not real crazy about separation of church and state. Do you want them legislating from the bench? Do you want polygamist arguing that their definition of marriage is just as valid as gay marriage (which has already happened by the way)?

    “Do you believe the long-standing “custom and tradition” against mixed-race marriages should be upheld? If you don’t support such restrictions, what is the difference between a mixed-race marriage and marriage between gays?”

    Now we get to the heart of the matter in a sense, because the above is a nonsequitor and red herring. From a purely common sense point of view, marriage is the logical consequence of the ability of human beings to procreate. Thus race is irrelevant to the definition of marriage.

    However, the law has begun to recognize that people live together for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with procreation – gays, relatives, friends, etc. There does not seem any good reason not to afford them all the same rights and privileges afforded to a married couple, and hence the birth of “domestic partnerships”.

    If domestic partnerships and/or civil unions do not afford all the same rights and privileges, let’s make sure they do, for the benefit of not only gays, but relatives who live together, life-long friends who live together, etc.

    “The CA supreme court(in 5-4 ruling)rejected the legal concept that “custom and tradition” needs to be considered in how marriage is defined. They will then have difficulty making the legal argument that “custom and tradition” are to be given legal weight when it comes to rejecting polygamy as a marriage.”

    If I am understanding this comment correctly, if “custom and tradition” can no longer be used as justification for defining marriage, then what stops polygamist from arguing that their form of marriage should be legitimized? Something that is already being attempted as we speak? And in light of what is happening right now in Texas in the mass polygamy case, I find this a dangerous precedent which will have a tendency to put a stamp of approval on cults in general. Do we really want to go there? I, for one, don’t.

    “I don’t see any reason why “gay marriage” could not be replaced by “civil unions” with all of the same rights and privileges… There are something like 191 such privileges automatically afforded to married couples that are not granted without marriage.”

    So let’s make sure civil unions are afforded all the same rights and privileges as married couples? That would allow relatives or best friends who live together, for instance, the same rights and privileges as married couples. Works for me!

    “EVERY individual right under the State’s jurisdiction that is afforded a married couple should be afforded to a civil-union couple and our courts are the appropriate venue to protect these rights. Changing the definition of the word marriage to include same-sex unions is not the perogative of 5 of 9 supreme court judges. The most appropriate judicial remedy would be to instruct the State to stop using the “discriminating” word marriage and substitute civil-union as the descriptive word in all issues that fall under the State’s jurisdiction.”

    Amen!!! It has the added advantage of removing emotion from the equation, which has a tendency to confuse the real issue. It would also prevent the use of emotion to justify judges legislating from the bench. Remember, and remember it well, if judges are allowed to legislate from the bench, they become a tyranny of the minority – that are appointed for life and not answerable to the people. Judges are supposed to uphold the law, not create new law.

  306. Be Careful What You Wish For

    “Civil unions are not recognized between states, cannot be used in sponsoring an immigrant spouse, don’t allow for joint tax returns, and don’t automatically provide the many benefits that are conferred by marriage. Just google “civil union vs. marriage” and you’ll find many examples.

    Just for the record, none of this pertains to me. But if you, like me, knew any committed gay couples, I think you’d have trouble explaining to them why they should be denied the rights married straight couples have.”

    Just for the record I have gay friends, and many disagree with gay marriage! What makes you think “gay marriage” will be recognized between states? I think something like 26 states now have a prohibition against gay marriage. It is very unlikely they will recognize a gay marriage sanctioned by the state of CA.

    My understanding from what I read in the Davis Entrprise is that domestic partnerships give all the same rights and privileges as marriage does. If that is not truly the case, such as the examples you cite with respect to income tax status and the like, then that is what needs to change in the law, the definition of a civil union rather than the definition of marriage.

    Frankly, if a state defines civil unions as such, I see no reason why all the same rights and privileges afforded to a marriage should not apply to civil unions as a matter of the equal protection clause of the US Constitution. This is what is more reasonable to fight for, is well within current law, and makes the most sense in context.

    “You also didn’t reply to the issue of such decisions upholding the rights of minorities against the subjugation of their rights by legislatures and voters. I specifically mentioned laws against miscegenation. Do you support laws prohibiting mixed-race marriages in states where a majority of voters support such restrictions?”

    The issue in this case is not one of upholding the rights of a minority, contrary to the discussion as reframed above. Voters decided they wanted marriage to remain as between a man and a woman, PERIOD. Voters did not decide gay couples were not afforded all the same rights and privileges as married couples. The courts decided to override the voters wishes, and declared marriage could include gay couples, expressly against the wishes of voters. That is legislating from the bench, by making new law. It sets a very dangerous precedent, as I have discussed before. Many judges in the south are not real crazy about separation of church and state. Do you want them legislating from the bench? Do you want polygamist arguing that their definition of marriage is just as valid as gay marriage (which has already happened by the way)?

    “Do you believe the long-standing “custom and tradition” against mixed-race marriages should be upheld? If you don’t support such restrictions, what is the difference between a mixed-race marriage and marriage between gays?”

    Now we get to the heart of the matter in a sense, because the above is a nonsequitor and red herring. From a purely common sense point of view, marriage is the logical consequence of the ability of human beings to procreate. Thus race is irrelevant to the definition of marriage.

    However, the law has begun to recognize that people live together for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with procreation – gays, relatives, friends, etc. There does not seem any good reason not to afford them all the same rights and privileges afforded to a married couple, and hence the birth of “domestic partnerships”.

    If domestic partnerships and/or civil unions do not afford all the same rights and privileges, let’s make sure they do, for the benefit of not only gays, but relatives who live together, life-long friends who live together, etc.

    “The CA supreme court(in 5-4 ruling)rejected the legal concept that “custom and tradition” needs to be considered in how marriage is defined. They will then have difficulty making the legal argument that “custom and tradition” are to be given legal weight when it comes to rejecting polygamy as a marriage.”

    If I am understanding this comment correctly, if “custom and tradition” can no longer be used as justification for defining marriage, then what stops polygamist from arguing that their form of marriage should be legitimized? Something that is already being attempted as we speak? And in light of what is happening right now in Texas in the mass polygamy case, I find this a dangerous precedent which will have a tendency to put a stamp of approval on cults in general. Do we really want to go there? I, for one, don’t.

    “I don’t see any reason why “gay marriage” could not be replaced by “civil unions” with all of the same rights and privileges… There are something like 191 such privileges automatically afforded to married couples that are not granted without marriage.”

    So let’s make sure civil unions are afforded all the same rights and privileges as married couples? That would allow relatives or best friends who live together, for instance, the same rights and privileges as married couples. Works for me!

    “EVERY individual right under the State’s jurisdiction that is afforded a married couple should be afforded to a civil-union couple and our courts are the appropriate venue to protect these rights. Changing the definition of the word marriage to include same-sex unions is not the perogative of 5 of 9 supreme court judges. The most appropriate judicial remedy would be to instruct the State to stop using the “discriminating” word marriage and substitute civil-union as the descriptive word in all issues that fall under the State’s jurisdiction.”

    Amen!!! It has the added advantage of removing emotion from the equation, which has a tendency to confuse the real issue. It would also prevent the use of emotion to justify judges legislating from the bench. Remember, and remember it well, if judges are allowed to legislate from the bench, they become a tyranny of the minority – that are appointed for life and not answerable to the people. Judges are supposed to uphold the law, not create new law.

  307. Be Careful What You Wish For

    “Civil unions are not recognized between states, cannot be used in sponsoring an immigrant spouse, don’t allow for joint tax returns, and don’t automatically provide the many benefits that are conferred by marriage. Just google “civil union vs. marriage” and you’ll find many examples.

    Just for the record, none of this pertains to me. But if you, like me, knew any committed gay couples, I think you’d have trouble explaining to them why they should be denied the rights married straight couples have.”

    Just for the record I have gay friends, and many disagree with gay marriage! What makes you think “gay marriage” will be recognized between states? I think something like 26 states now have a prohibition against gay marriage. It is very unlikely they will recognize a gay marriage sanctioned by the state of CA.

    My understanding from what I read in the Davis Entrprise is that domestic partnerships give all the same rights and privileges as marriage does. If that is not truly the case, such as the examples you cite with respect to income tax status and the like, then that is what needs to change in the law, the definition of a civil union rather than the definition of marriage.

    Frankly, if a state defines civil unions as such, I see no reason why all the same rights and privileges afforded to a marriage should not apply to civil unions as a matter of the equal protection clause of the US Constitution. This is what is more reasonable to fight for, is well within current law, and makes the most sense in context.

    “You also didn’t reply to the issue of such decisions upholding the rights of minorities against the subjugation of their rights by legislatures and voters. I specifically mentioned laws against miscegenation. Do you support laws prohibiting mixed-race marriages in states where a majority of voters support such restrictions?”

    The issue in this case is not one of upholding the rights of a minority, contrary to the discussion as reframed above. Voters decided they wanted marriage to remain as between a man and a woman, PERIOD. Voters did not decide gay couples were not afforded all the same rights and privileges as married couples. The courts decided to override the voters wishes, and declared marriage could include gay couples, expressly against the wishes of voters. That is legislating from the bench, by making new law. It sets a very dangerous precedent, as I have discussed before. Many judges in the south are not real crazy about separation of church and state. Do you want them legislating from the bench? Do you want polygamist arguing that their definition of marriage is just as valid as gay marriage (which has already happened by the way)?

    “Do you believe the long-standing “custom and tradition” against mixed-race marriages should be upheld? If you don’t support such restrictions, what is the difference between a mixed-race marriage and marriage between gays?”

    Now we get to the heart of the matter in a sense, because the above is a nonsequitor and red herring. From a purely common sense point of view, marriage is the logical consequence of the ability of human beings to procreate. Thus race is irrelevant to the definition of marriage.

    However, the law has begun to recognize that people live together for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with procreation – gays, relatives, friends, etc. There does not seem any good reason not to afford them all the same rights and privileges afforded to a married couple, and hence the birth of “domestic partnerships”.

    If domestic partnerships and/or civil unions do not afford all the same rights and privileges, let’s make sure they do, for the benefit of not only gays, but relatives who live together, life-long friends who live together, etc.

    “The CA supreme court(in 5-4 ruling)rejected the legal concept that “custom and tradition” needs to be considered in how marriage is defined. They will then have difficulty making the legal argument that “custom and tradition” are to be given legal weight when it comes to rejecting polygamy as a marriage.”

    If I am understanding this comment correctly, if “custom and tradition” can no longer be used as justification for defining marriage, then what stops polygamist from arguing that their form of marriage should be legitimized? Something that is already being attempted as we speak? And in light of what is happening right now in Texas in the mass polygamy case, I find this a dangerous precedent which will have a tendency to put a stamp of approval on cults in general. Do we really want to go there? I, for one, don’t.

    “I don’t see any reason why “gay marriage” could not be replaced by “civil unions” with all of the same rights and privileges… There are something like 191 such privileges automatically afforded to married couples that are not granted without marriage.”

    So let’s make sure civil unions are afforded all the same rights and privileges as married couples? That would allow relatives or best friends who live together, for instance, the same rights and privileges as married couples. Works for me!

    “EVERY individual right under the State’s jurisdiction that is afforded a married couple should be afforded to a civil-union couple and our courts are the appropriate venue to protect these rights. Changing the definition of the word marriage to include same-sex unions is not the perogative of 5 of 9 supreme court judges. The most appropriate judicial remedy would be to instruct the State to stop using the “discriminating” word marriage and substitute civil-union as the descriptive word in all issues that fall under the State’s jurisdiction.”

    Amen!!! It has the added advantage of removing emotion from the equation, which has a tendency to confuse the real issue. It would also prevent the use of emotion to justify judges legislating from the bench. Remember, and remember it well, if judges are allowed to legislate from the bench, they become a tyranny of the minority – that are appointed for life and not answerable to the people. Judges are supposed to uphold the law, not create new law.

  308. Be Careful What You Wish For

    “Civil unions are not recognized between states, cannot be used in sponsoring an immigrant spouse, don’t allow for joint tax returns, and don’t automatically provide the many benefits that are conferred by marriage. Just google “civil union vs. marriage” and you’ll find many examples.

    Just for the record, none of this pertains to me. But if you, like me, knew any committed gay couples, I think you’d have trouble explaining to them why they should be denied the rights married straight couples have.”

    Just for the record I have gay friends, and many disagree with gay marriage! What makes you think “gay marriage” will be recognized between states? I think something like 26 states now have a prohibition against gay marriage. It is very unlikely they will recognize a gay marriage sanctioned by the state of CA.

    My understanding from what I read in the Davis Entrprise is that domestic partnerships give all the same rights and privileges as marriage does. If that is not truly the case, such as the examples you cite with respect to income tax status and the like, then that is what needs to change in the law, the definition of a civil union rather than the definition of marriage.

    Frankly, if a state defines civil unions as such, I see no reason why all the same rights and privileges afforded to a marriage should not apply to civil unions as a matter of the equal protection clause of the US Constitution. This is what is more reasonable to fight for, is well within current law, and makes the most sense in context.

    “You also didn’t reply to the issue of such decisions upholding the rights of minorities against the subjugation of their rights by legislatures and voters. I specifically mentioned laws against miscegenation. Do you support laws prohibiting mixed-race marriages in states where a majority of voters support such restrictions?”

    The issue in this case is not one of upholding the rights of a minority, contrary to the discussion as reframed above. Voters decided they wanted marriage to remain as between a man and a woman, PERIOD. Voters did not decide gay couples were not afforded all the same rights and privileges as married couples. The courts decided to override the voters wishes, and declared marriage could include gay couples, expressly against the wishes of voters. That is legislating from the bench, by making new law. It sets a very dangerous precedent, as I have discussed before. Many judges in the south are not real crazy about separation of church and state. Do you want them legislating from the bench? Do you want polygamist arguing that their definition of marriage is just as valid as gay marriage (which has already happened by the way)?

    “Do you believe the long-standing “custom and tradition” against mixed-race marriages should be upheld? If you don’t support such restrictions, what is the difference between a mixed-race marriage and marriage between gays?”

    Now we get to the heart of the matter in a sense, because the above is a nonsequitor and red herring. From a purely common sense point of view, marriage is the logical consequence of the ability of human beings to procreate. Thus race is irrelevant to the definition of marriage.

    However, the law has begun to recognize that people live together for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with procreation – gays, relatives, friends, etc. There does not seem any good reason not to afford them all the same rights and privileges afforded to a married couple, and hence the birth of “domestic partnerships”.

    If domestic partnerships and/or civil unions do not afford all the same rights and privileges, let’s make sure they do, for the benefit of not only gays, but relatives who live together, life-long friends who live together, etc.

    “The CA supreme court(in 5-4 ruling)rejected the legal concept that “custom and tradition” needs to be considered in how marriage is defined. They will then have difficulty making the legal argument that “custom and tradition” are to be given legal weight when it comes to rejecting polygamy as a marriage.”

    If I am understanding this comment correctly, if “custom and tradition” can no longer be used as justification for defining marriage, then what stops polygamist from arguing that their form of marriage should be legitimized? Something that is already being attempted as we speak? And in light of what is happening right now in Texas in the mass polygamy case, I find this a dangerous precedent which will have a tendency to put a stamp of approval on cults in general. Do we really want to go there? I, for one, don’t.

    “I don’t see any reason why “gay marriage” could not be replaced by “civil unions” with all of the same rights and privileges… There are something like 191 such privileges automatically afforded to married couples that are not granted without marriage.”

    So let’s make sure civil unions are afforded all the same rights and privileges as married couples? That would allow relatives or best friends who live together, for instance, the same rights and privileges as married couples. Works for me!

    “EVERY individual right under the State’s jurisdiction that is afforded a married couple should be afforded to a civil-union couple and our courts are the appropriate venue to protect these rights. Changing the definition of the word marriage to include same-sex unions is not the perogative of 5 of 9 supreme court judges. The most appropriate judicial remedy would be to instruct the State to stop using the “discriminating” word marriage and substitute civil-union as the descriptive word in all issues that fall under the State’s jurisdiction.”

    Amen!!! It has the added advantage of removing emotion from the equation, which has a tendency to confuse the real issue. It would also prevent the use of emotion to justify judges legislating from the bench. Remember, and remember it well, if judges are allowed to legislate from the bench, they become a tyranny of the minority – that are appointed for life and not answerable to the people. Judges are supposed to uphold the law, not create new law.

  309. objective observer

    “That would allow relatives or best friends who live together, for instance, the same rights and privileges as married couples…”

    CA civil union couples also incur the same responsibilities as married couples.. e.g. community property division,child-support, spousal support in civil-union divorces.

  310. objective observer

    “That would allow relatives or best friends who live together, for instance, the same rights and privileges as married couples…”

    CA civil union couples also incur the same responsibilities as married couples.. e.g. community property division,child-support, spousal support in civil-union divorces.

  311. objective observer

    “That would allow relatives or best friends who live together, for instance, the same rights and privileges as married couples…”

    CA civil union couples also incur the same responsibilities as married couples.. e.g. community property division,child-support, spousal support in civil-union divorces.

  312. objective observer

    “That would allow relatives or best friends who live together, for instance, the same rights and privileges as married couples…”

    CA civil union couples also incur the same responsibilities as married couples.. e.g. community property division,child-support, spousal support in civil-union divorces.

  313. wdf

    “Judges are supposed to uphold the law, not create new law.”

    This statement suggests that Loving v. Virginia, Warren Court decision, which ruled unconstitutional any laws against interracial marriage, was an improper decision because it overruled decades worth of “tradition and custom” as well as lots of legislation.

    I don’t think of it as creating new law, but interpretting existing law in a way that is relevant to our times.

    “marriage is the logical consequence of the ability of human beings to procreate”

    When I think of marriage in the 21st century, I don’t automatically think of procreation. A couple can procreate w/o getting married; a couple can get married and never procreate.

    Today, I don’t think we think of a marriage w/o offspring as a failed marriage. But we tend to think of a long marriage as a successful marriage.

    If you’d like to go back a couple of centuries, then I think you might have an argument, because having lots of children in a marriage was viewed more as a successful one.

    There are same-sex couples who have been together for a long time who might be able to offer experienced suggestions for having a strong marriage to heterosexual couples.

  314. wdf

    “Judges are supposed to uphold the law, not create new law.”

    This statement suggests that Loving v. Virginia, Warren Court decision, which ruled unconstitutional any laws against interracial marriage, was an improper decision because it overruled decades worth of “tradition and custom” as well as lots of legislation.

    I don’t think of it as creating new law, but interpretting existing law in a way that is relevant to our times.

    “marriage is the logical consequence of the ability of human beings to procreate”

    When I think of marriage in the 21st century, I don’t automatically think of procreation. A couple can procreate w/o getting married; a couple can get married and never procreate.

    Today, I don’t think we think of a marriage w/o offspring as a failed marriage. But we tend to think of a long marriage as a successful marriage.

    If you’d like to go back a couple of centuries, then I think you might have an argument, because having lots of children in a marriage was viewed more as a successful one.

    There are same-sex couples who have been together for a long time who might be able to offer experienced suggestions for having a strong marriage to heterosexual couples.

  315. wdf

    “Judges are supposed to uphold the law, not create new law.”

    This statement suggests that Loving v. Virginia, Warren Court decision, which ruled unconstitutional any laws against interracial marriage, was an improper decision because it overruled decades worth of “tradition and custom” as well as lots of legislation.

    I don’t think of it as creating new law, but interpretting existing law in a way that is relevant to our times.

    “marriage is the logical consequence of the ability of human beings to procreate”

    When I think of marriage in the 21st century, I don’t automatically think of procreation. A couple can procreate w/o getting married; a couple can get married and never procreate.

    Today, I don’t think we think of a marriage w/o offspring as a failed marriage. But we tend to think of a long marriage as a successful marriage.

    If you’d like to go back a couple of centuries, then I think you might have an argument, because having lots of children in a marriage was viewed more as a successful one.

    There are same-sex couples who have been together for a long time who might be able to offer experienced suggestions for having a strong marriage to heterosexual couples.

  316. wdf

    “Judges are supposed to uphold the law, not create new law.”

    This statement suggests that Loving v. Virginia, Warren Court decision, which ruled unconstitutional any laws against interracial marriage, was an improper decision because it overruled decades worth of “tradition and custom” as well as lots of legislation.

    I don’t think of it as creating new law, but interpretting existing law in a way that is relevant to our times.

    “marriage is the logical consequence of the ability of human beings to procreate”

    When I think of marriage in the 21st century, I don’t automatically think of procreation. A couple can procreate w/o getting married; a couple can get married and never procreate.

    Today, I don’t think we think of a marriage w/o offspring as a failed marriage. But we tend to think of a long marriage as a successful marriage.

    If you’d like to go back a couple of centuries, then I think you might have an argument, because having lots of children in a marriage was viewed more as a successful one.

    There are same-sex couples who have been together for a long time who might be able to offer experienced suggestions for having a strong marriage to heterosexual couples.

  317. objective observer

    “what is the difference between a mixed-race marriage and marriage between gays?”

    ….two points, Don. First,denying a mixed-race marriage denies a legal relationship and all the rights and responsibilities that go with it. Civil unions do NOT do that and if are faulty in this regard, should be corrected. Second, the most obvious remedy is to have the State only be involved with civil-unions for all; the term marriage(which is seen by many to have strong religious/custom and tradition meaning) would not be in the State’s vocabulary. The problem with that is that it sounds like the “godless” Soviet Union and the USA is described as the most “religious” Western country on the planet.

  318. objective observer

    “what is the difference between a mixed-race marriage and marriage between gays?”

    ….two points, Don. First,denying a mixed-race marriage denies a legal relationship and all the rights and responsibilities that go with it. Civil unions do NOT do that and if are faulty in this regard, should be corrected. Second, the most obvious remedy is to have the State only be involved with civil-unions for all; the term marriage(which is seen by many to have strong religious/custom and tradition meaning) would not be in the State’s vocabulary. The problem with that is that it sounds like the “godless” Soviet Union and the USA is described as the most “religious” Western country on the planet.

  319. objective observer

    “what is the difference between a mixed-race marriage and marriage between gays?”

    ….two points, Don. First,denying a mixed-race marriage denies a legal relationship and all the rights and responsibilities that go with it. Civil unions do NOT do that and if are faulty in this regard, should be corrected. Second, the most obvious remedy is to have the State only be involved with civil-unions for all; the term marriage(which is seen by many to have strong religious/custom and tradition meaning) would not be in the State’s vocabulary. The problem with that is that it sounds like the “godless” Soviet Union and the USA is described as the most “religious” Western country on the planet.

  320. objective observer

    “what is the difference between a mixed-race marriage and marriage between gays?”

    ….two points, Don. First,denying a mixed-race marriage denies a legal relationship and all the rights and responsibilities that go with it. Civil unions do NOT do that and if are faulty in this regard, should be corrected. Second, the most obvious remedy is to have the State only be involved with civil-unions for all; the term marriage(which is seen by many to have strong religious/custom and tradition meaning) would not be in the State’s vocabulary. The problem with that is that it sounds like the “godless” Soviet Union and the USA is described as the most “religious” Western country on the planet.

  321. be careful what you wish for

    “This statement suggests that Loving v. Virginia, Warren Court decision, which ruled unconstitutional any laws against interracial marriage, was an improper decision because it overruled decades worth of “tradition and custom” as well as lots of legislation. I don’t think of it as creating new law, but interpretting existing law in a way that is relevant to our times.”

    I’ll say it again. The voters only decided that marriage was to be between a man and a woman, period. They did not weigh in on any other issue. The judges overrode the decision of the voters, and made new law that indicates marriage can be between two people of the same sex. If that decison is allowed to stand, then polygamists will argue (and have argued) marriage should be allowed between men and woman, regardless of whether they are previously married. In addition, it permits judges to ignore voter initiatives, and legislate from the bench.

    Again, let’s take the recent case in the South. A judge overrode the law, and decided for himself that he would continue allowing the ten commandments to be displayed in the courthouse, despite the edict that there must be separation of church and state. Does he get to decide what the law is all by himself? If this had been a case of gays arguing for equal protection under the law, because a civil union does not afford equal protection, I might have agreed with the CA ruling, but that is not what happened.

    In addition, what do you do about the problem of the other states that will not recognize a CA marriage between gays? The CA judges got it wrong IMHO, and my guess is “gay marriage” will get overturned in some fashion. Gays are picking the wrong fight.

  322. be careful what you wish for

    “This statement suggests that Loving v. Virginia, Warren Court decision, which ruled unconstitutional any laws against interracial marriage, was an improper decision because it overruled decades worth of “tradition and custom” as well as lots of legislation. I don’t think of it as creating new law, but interpretting existing law in a way that is relevant to our times.”

    I’ll say it again. The voters only decided that marriage was to be between a man and a woman, period. They did not weigh in on any other issue. The judges overrode the decision of the voters, and made new law that indicates marriage can be between two people of the same sex. If that decison is allowed to stand, then polygamists will argue (and have argued) marriage should be allowed between men and woman, regardless of whether they are previously married. In addition, it permits judges to ignore voter initiatives, and legislate from the bench.

    Again, let’s take the recent case in the South. A judge overrode the law, and decided for himself that he would continue allowing the ten commandments to be displayed in the courthouse, despite the edict that there must be separation of church and state. Does he get to decide what the law is all by himself? If this had been a case of gays arguing for equal protection under the law, because a civil union does not afford equal protection, I might have agreed with the CA ruling, but that is not what happened.

    In addition, what do you do about the problem of the other states that will not recognize a CA marriage between gays? The CA judges got it wrong IMHO, and my guess is “gay marriage” will get overturned in some fashion. Gays are picking the wrong fight.

  323. be careful what you wish for

    “This statement suggests that Loving v. Virginia, Warren Court decision, which ruled unconstitutional any laws against interracial marriage, was an improper decision because it overruled decades worth of “tradition and custom” as well as lots of legislation. I don’t think of it as creating new law, but interpretting existing law in a way that is relevant to our times.”

    I’ll say it again. The voters only decided that marriage was to be between a man and a woman, period. They did not weigh in on any other issue. The judges overrode the decision of the voters, and made new law that indicates marriage can be between two people of the same sex. If that decison is allowed to stand, then polygamists will argue (and have argued) marriage should be allowed between men and woman, regardless of whether they are previously married. In addition, it permits judges to ignore voter initiatives, and legislate from the bench.

    Again, let’s take the recent case in the South. A judge overrode the law, and decided for himself that he would continue allowing the ten commandments to be displayed in the courthouse, despite the edict that there must be separation of church and state. Does he get to decide what the law is all by himself? If this had been a case of gays arguing for equal protection under the law, because a civil union does not afford equal protection, I might have agreed with the CA ruling, but that is not what happened.

    In addition, what do you do about the problem of the other states that will not recognize a CA marriage between gays? The CA judges got it wrong IMHO, and my guess is “gay marriage” will get overturned in some fashion. Gays are picking the wrong fight.

  324. be careful what you wish for

    “This statement suggests that Loving v. Virginia, Warren Court decision, which ruled unconstitutional any laws against interracial marriage, was an improper decision because it overruled decades worth of “tradition and custom” as well as lots of legislation. I don’t think of it as creating new law, but interpretting existing law in a way that is relevant to our times.”

    I’ll say it again. The voters only decided that marriage was to be between a man and a woman, period. They did not weigh in on any other issue. The judges overrode the decision of the voters, and made new law that indicates marriage can be between two people of the same sex. If that decison is allowed to stand, then polygamists will argue (and have argued) marriage should be allowed between men and woman, regardless of whether they are previously married. In addition, it permits judges to ignore voter initiatives, and legislate from the bench.

    Again, let’s take the recent case in the South. A judge overrode the law, and decided for himself that he would continue allowing the ten commandments to be displayed in the courthouse, despite the edict that there must be separation of church and state. Does he get to decide what the law is all by himself? If this had been a case of gays arguing for equal protection under the law, because a civil union does not afford equal protection, I might have agreed with the CA ruling, but that is not what happened.

    In addition, what do you do about the problem of the other states that will not recognize a CA marriage between gays? The CA judges got it wrong IMHO, and my guess is “gay marriage” will get overturned in some fashion. Gays are picking the wrong fight.

  325. Don Shor

    “Again, let’s take the recent case in the South. A judge overrode the law, and decided for himself that he would continue allowing the ten commandments to be displayed in the courthouse, despite the edict that there must be separation of church and state. Does he get to decide what the law is all by himself?”

    This seems like an odd example if you’re trying to bolster your case. Judge Roy Moore was ordered by a federal judge to remove the display. A poll at the time showed something like 75% of the public agreed with Judge Moore’s decision to display the commandments. But the US Supreme Court — I think we can all agree this is a fairly conservative court? — declined to hear Judge Moore’s appeal of the order to remove them.
    So he did legislate from the bench, and he lost on appeal.

    “judges …. are appointed for life and not answerable to the people.”
    I think Chief Justice Rose Bird and a few of her colleagues would disagree with you about that.

  326. Don Shor

    “Again, let’s take the recent case in the South. A judge overrode the law, and decided for himself that he would continue allowing the ten commandments to be displayed in the courthouse, despite the edict that there must be separation of church and state. Does he get to decide what the law is all by himself?”

    This seems like an odd example if you’re trying to bolster your case. Judge Roy Moore was ordered by a federal judge to remove the display. A poll at the time showed something like 75% of the public agreed with Judge Moore’s decision to display the commandments. But the US Supreme Court — I think we can all agree this is a fairly conservative court? — declined to hear Judge Moore’s appeal of the order to remove them.
    So he did legislate from the bench, and he lost on appeal.

    “judges …. are appointed for life and not answerable to the people.”
    I think Chief Justice Rose Bird and a few of her colleagues would disagree with you about that.

  327. Don Shor

    “Again, let’s take the recent case in the South. A judge overrode the law, and decided for himself that he would continue allowing the ten commandments to be displayed in the courthouse, despite the edict that there must be separation of church and state. Does he get to decide what the law is all by himself?”

    This seems like an odd example if you’re trying to bolster your case. Judge Roy Moore was ordered by a federal judge to remove the display. A poll at the time showed something like 75% of the public agreed with Judge Moore’s decision to display the commandments. But the US Supreme Court — I think we can all agree this is a fairly conservative court? — declined to hear Judge Moore’s appeal of the order to remove them.
    So he did legislate from the bench, and he lost on appeal.

    “judges …. are appointed for life and not answerable to the people.”
    I think Chief Justice Rose Bird and a few of her colleagues would disagree with you about that.

  328. Don Shor

    “Again, let’s take the recent case in the South. A judge overrode the law, and decided for himself that he would continue allowing the ten commandments to be displayed in the courthouse, despite the edict that there must be separation of church and state. Does he get to decide what the law is all by himself?”

    This seems like an odd example if you’re trying to bolster your case. Judge Roy Moore was ordered by a federal judge to remove the display. A poll at the time showed something like 75% of the public agreed with Judge Moore’s decision to display the commandments. But the US Supreme Court — I think we can all agree this is a fairly conservative court? — declined to hear Judge Moore’s appeal of the order to remove them.
    So he did legislate from the bench, and he lost on appeal.

    “judges …. are appointed for life and not answerable to the people.”
    I think Chief Justice Rose Bird and a few of her colleagues would disagree with you about that.

  329. objective observer

    to be careful what you wish for…

    Your premise that courts do not make new law applies to lower courts but the role of Supreme Courts IS to go to the “outer edges” of the current law for intepretation and, in the case of activist courts, MAKE NEW LAW. This usually requires extending a clear precedent or redefining the language, as in this case, redefining the word “marriage”. It is then up to the society- at- large, through the mechanisms of constitutional amendment, legislative action of their reps or judicial impeachment to accept or reject this NEW LAW. This is the checks and balance of our CA Supreme Court judicial power in our populist-style State democracy.

  330. objective observer

    to be careful what you wish for…

    Your premise that courts do not make new law applies to lower courts but the role of Supreme Courts IS to go to the “outer edges” of the current law for intepretation and, in the case of activist courts, MAKE NEW LAW. This usually requires extending a clear precedent or redefining the language, as in this case, redefining the word “marriage”. It is then up to the society- at- large, through the mechanisms of constitutional amendment, legislative action of their reps or judicial impeachment to accept or reject this NEW LAW. This is the checks and balance of our CA Supreme Court judicial power in our populist-style State democracy.

  331. objective observer

    to be careful what you wish for…

    Your premise that courts do not make new law applies to lower courts but the role of Supreme Courts IS to go to the “outer edges” of the current law for intepretation and, in the case of activist courts, MAKE NEW LAW. This usually requires extending a clear precedent or redefining the language, as in this case, redefining the word “marriage”. It is then up to the society- at- large, through the mechanisms of constitutional amendment, legislative action of their reps or judicial impeachment to accept or reject this NEW LAW. This is the checks and balance of our CA Supreme Court judicial power in our populist-style State democracy.

  332. objective observer

    to be careful what you wish for…

    Your premise that courts do not make new law applies to lower courts but the role of Supreme Courts IS to go to the “outer edges” of the current law for intepretation and, in the case of activist courts, MAKE NEW LAW. This usually requires extending a clear precedent or redefining the language, as in this case, redefining the word “marriage”. It is then up to the society- at- large, through the mechanisms of constitutional amendment, legislative action of their reps or judicial impeachment to accept or reject this NEW LAW. This is the checks and balance of our CA Supreme Court judicial power in our populist-style State democracy.

  333. wdf

    “If that decison is allowed to stand, then polygamists will argue (and have argued) marriage should be allowed between men and woman, regardless of whether they are previously married.”

    If that is your fear of this decision, a combination of legislative action or constitutional ammendment could easily clarify that marriage rights do not extend beyond two people.

    General expectation of society right now probably finds polygamy much too radical and unacceptable. At what point would one stop?

    At a hypothetical extreme, you could perform a group marriage on all of society, and then marriage clearly loses its meaning or specialness between two people.

  334. wdf

    “If that decison is allowed to stand, then polygamists will argue (and have argued) marriage should be allowed between men and woman, regardless of whether they are previously married.”

    If that is your fear of this decision, a combination of legislative action or constitutional ammendment could easily clarify that marriage rights do not extend beyond two people.

    General expectation of society right now probably finds polygamy much too radical and unacceptable. At what point would one stop?

    At a hypothetical extreme, you could perform a group marriage on all of society, and then marriage clearly loses its meaning or specialness between two people.

  335. wdf

    “If that decison is allowed to stand, then polygamists will argue (and have argued) marriage should be allowed between men and woman, regardless of whether they are previously married.”

    If that is your fear of this decision, a combination of legislative action or constitutional ammendment could easily clarify that marriage rights do not extend beyond two people.

    General expectation of society right now probably finds polygamy much too radical and unacceptable. At what point would one stop?

    At a hypothetical extreme, you could perform a group marriage on all of society, and then marriage clearly loses its meaning or specialness between two people.

  336. wdf

    “If that decison is allowed to stand, then polygamists will argue (and have argued) marriage should be allowed between men and woman, regardless of whether they are previously married.”

    If that is your fear of this decision, a combination of legislative action or constitutional ammendment could easily clarify that marriage rights do not extend beyond two people.

    General expectation of society right now probably finds polygamy much too radical and unacceptable. At what point would one stop?

    At a hypothetical extreme, you could perform a group marriage on all of society, and then marriage clearly loses its meaning or specialness between two people.

  337. objective observer

    “a combination of legislative action or constitutional ammendment could easily clarify that marriage rights do not extend beyond two people.”

    …but the CA Supreme Court’s response to a court challenge would have to come up with some argument why marriage between 3 people is not denying them their equal rights. There is no sound legal reason other than giving “custom and tradition” enough legal clout. The current CA supreme court majority rejected “custom and tradition” as having that legal weight with regard to same-sex marriage.

  338. objective observer

    “a combination of legislative action or constitutional ammendment could easily clarify that marriage rights do not extend beyond two people.”

    …but the CA Supreme Court’s response to a court challenge would have to come up with some argument why marriage between 3 people is not denying them their equal rights. There is no sound legal reason other than giving “custom and tradition” enough legal clout. The current CA supreme court majority rejected “custom and tradition” as having that legal weight with regard to same-sex marriage.

  339. objective observer

    “a combination of legislative action or constitutional ammendment could easily clarify that marriage rights do not extend beyond two people.”

    …but the CA Supreme Court’s response to a court challenge would have to come up with some argument why marriage between 3 people is not denying them their equal rights. There is no sound legal reason other than giving “custom and tradition” enough legal clout. The current CA supreme court majority rejected “custom and tradition” as having that legal weight with regard to same-sex marriage.

  340. objective observer

    “a combination of legislative action or constitutional ammendment could easily clarify that marriage rights do not extend beyond two people.”

    …but the CA Supreme Court’s response to a court challenge would have to come up with some argument why marriage between 3 people is not denying them their equal rights. There is no sound legal reason other than giving “custom and tradition” enough legal clout. The current CA supreme court majority rejected “custom and tradition” as having that legal weight with regard to same-sex marriage.

  341. be careful what you wish for

    “Your premise that courts do not make new law applies to lower courts but the role of Supreme Courts IS to go to the “outer edges” of the current law for intepretation and, in the case of activist courts, MAKE NEW LAW.”

    This is incorrect. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, Judicial power means “The authority exercised by that department of gov’t which is charged with declaration of what law is and its construction. The authority vested in courts and judges, as distinguished from the executive and legislative power.”

    It is the legislative branch that makes new law. The judiciary answers questions that are “proper for the determination of a court of justice, as distinguished from moot questions or from such questions as belong to the decision of the legislative or executive departments of gov’t and with which the courts will not interfere, called “political” or “legislative” questions.

    The problem here in CA is that its courts have so overstepped their bounds on so many occasions, that residents now think the judicial branch makes new law. Hence the reason that federal courts in CA are the most overturned courts in the country.

    “General expectation of society right now probably finds polygamy much too radical and unacceptable. At what point would one stop?”

    You just made my point for me. General expectation of society right now probably finds gay marriage much too radical and unacceptable ACCORDING TO A VOTE ALREADY TAKEN HERE IN CA (26 states ban gay marriage). At what point would one stop?

    “This seems like an odd example if you’re trying to bolster your case. Judge Roy Moore was ordered by a federal judge to remove the display. A poll at the time showed something like 75% of the public agreed with Judge Moore’s decision to display the commandments. But the US Supreme Court — I think we can all agree this is a fairly conservative court? — declined to hear Judge Moore’s appeal of the order to remove them.
    So he did legislate from the bench, and he lost on appeal.”

    You are correct as to the disposition of the case. However, it was an example of how the judiciary can make bad law from the bench, which is not a good idea. I favored Judge Moore’s view on the issue – to me there was no problem displaying the tablet that had stood as an historical monument for many years. However, the court made a ruling as to what the law was, and ordered him to remove the tablet. He had no right as a single judge, to decide what the law was all by himself. Hence he was removed from the bench, a decision I absolutely agreed with. We cannot have judges making new law or their own interpretation.

    As such, when voters made a law that said marriage was between a man and a woman, the CA judiciary should have respected the new law as the will of the people, or overruled it on constitutional grounds as against the equal protection clause or some such argument. Instead, the CA Court made new law, by simply stating they didn’t agree with the voters, and decided marriage can be between two people of the same sex. This is clearly legislating from the bench.

  342. be careful what you wish for

    “Your premise that courts do not make new law applies to lower courts but the role of Supreme Courts IS to go to the “outer edges” of the current law for intepretation and, in the case of activist courts, MAKE NEW LAW.”

    This is incorrect. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, Judicial power means “The authority exercised by that department of gov’t which is charged with declaration of what law is and its construction. The authority vested in courts and judges, as distinguished from the executive and legislative power.”

    It is the legislative branch that makes new law. The judiciary answers questions that are “proper for the determination of a court of justice, as distinguished from moot questions or from such questions as belong to the decision of the legislative or executive departments of gov’t and with which the courts will not interfere, called “political” or “legislative” questions.

    The problem here in CA is that its courts have so overstepped their bounds on so many occasions, that residents now think the judicial branch makes new law. Hence the reason that federal courts in CA are the most overturned courts in the country.

    “General expectation of society right now probably finds polygamy much too radical and unacceptable. At what point would one stop?”

    You just made my point for me. General expectation of society right now probably finds gay marriage much too radical and unacceptable ACCORDING TO A VOTE ALREADY TAKEN HERE IN CA (26 states ban gay marriage). At what point would one stop?

    “This seems like an odd example if you’re trying to bolster your case. Judge Roy Moore was ordered by a federal judge to remove the display. A poll at the time showed something like 75% of the public agreed with Judge Moore’s decision to display the commandments. But the US Supreme Court — I think we can all agree this is a fairly conservative court? — declined to hear Judge Moore’s appeal of the order to remove them.
    So he did legislate from the bench, and he lost on appeal.”

    You are correct as to the disposition of the case. However, it was an example of how the judiciary can make bad law from the bench, which is not a good idea. I favored Judge Moore’s view on the issue – to me there was no problem displaying the tablet that had stood as an historical monument for many years. However, the court made a ruling as to what the law was, and ordered him to remove the tablet. He had no right as a single judge, to decide what the law was all by himself. Hence he was removed from the bench, a decision I absolutely agreed with. We cannot have judges making new law or their own interpretation.

    As such, when voters made a law that said marriage was between a man and a woman, the CA judiciary should have respected the new law as the will of the people, or overruled it on constitutional grounds as against the equal protection clause or some such argument. Instead, the CA Court made new law, by simply stating they didn’t agree with the voters, and decided marriage can be between two people of the same sex. This is clearly legislating from the bench.

  343. be careful what you wish for

    “Your premise that courts do not make new law applies to lower courts but the role of Supreme Courts IS to go to the “outer edges” of the current law for intepretation and, in the case of activist courts, MAKE NEW LAW.”

    This is incorrect. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, Judicial power means “The authority exercised by that department of gov’t which is charged with declaration of what law is and its construction. The authority vested in courts and judges, as distinguished from the executive and legislative power.”

    It is the legislative branch that makes new law. The judiciary answers questions that are “proper for the determination of a court of justice, as distinguished from moot questions or from such questions as belong to the decision of the legislative or executive departments of gov’t and with which the courts will not interfere, called “political” or “legislative” questions.

    The problem here in CA is that its courts have so overstepped their bounds on so many occasions, that residents now think the judicial branch makes new law. Hence the reason that federal courts in CA are the most overturned courts in the country.

    “General expectation of society right now probably finds polygamy much too radical and unacceptable. At what point would one stop?”

    You just made my point for me. General expectation of society right now probably finds gay marriage much too radical and unacceptable ACCORDING TO A VOTE ALREADY TAKEN HERE IN CA (26 states ban gay marriage). At what point would one stop?

    “This seems like an odd example if you’re trying to bolster your case. Judge Roy Moore was ordered by a federal judge to remove the display. A poll at the time showed something like 75% of the public agreed with Judge Moore’s decision to display the commandments. But the US Supreme Court — I think we can all agree this is a fairly conservative court? — declined to hear Judge Moore’s appeal of the order to remove them.
    So he did legislate from the bench, and he lost on appeal.”

    You are correct as to the disposition of the case. However, it was an example of how the judiciary can make bad law from the bench, which is not a good idea. I favored Judge Moore’s view on the issue – to me there was no problem displaying the tablet that had stood as an historical monument for many years. However, the court made a ruling as to what the law was, and ordered him to remove the tablet. He had no right as a single judge, to decide what the law was all by himself. Hence he was removed from the bench, a decision I absolutely agreed with. We cannot have judges making new law or their own interpretation.

    As such, when voters made a law that said marriage was between a man and a woman, the CA judiciary should have respected the new law as the will of the people, or overruled it on constitutional grounds as against the equal protection clause or some such argument. Instead, the CA Court made new law, by simply stating they didn’t agree with the voters, and decided marriage can be between two people of the same sex. This is clearly legislating from the bench.

  344. be careful what you wish for

    “Your premise that courts do not make new law applies to lower courts but the role of Supreme Courts IS to go to the “outer edges” of the current law for intepretation and, in the case of activist courts, MAKE NEW LAW.”

    This is incorrect. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, Judicial power means “The authority exercised by that department of gov’t which is charged with declaration of what law is and its construction. The authority vested in courts and judges, as distinguished from the executive and legislative power.”

    It is the legislative branch that makes new law. The judiciary answers questions that are “proper for the determination of a court of justice, as distinguished from moot questions or from such questions as belong to the decision of the legislative or executive departments of gov’t and with which the courts will not interfere, called “political” or “legislative” questions.

    The problem here in CA is that its courts have so overstepped their bounds on so many occasions, that residents now think the judicial branch makes new law. Hence the reason that federal courts in CA are the most overturned courts in the country.

    “General expectation of society right now probably finds polygamy much too radical and unacceptable. At what point would one stop?”

    You just made my point for me. General expectation of society right now probably finds gay marriage much too radical and unacceptable ACCORDING TO A VOTE ALREADY TAKEN HERE IN CA (26 states ban gay marriage). At what point would one stop?

    “This seems like an odd example if you’re trying to bolster your case. Judge Roy Moore was ordered by a federal judge to remove the display. A poll at the time showed something like 75% of the public agreed with Judge Moore’s decision to display the commandments. But the US Supreme Court — I think we can all agree this is a fairly conservative court? — declined to hear Judge Moore’s appeal of the order to remove them.
    So he did legislate from the bench, and he lost on appeal.”

    You are correct as to the disposition of the case. However, it was an example of how the judiciary can make bad law from the bench, which is not a good idea. I favored Judge Moore’s view on the issue – to me there was no problem displaying the tablet that had stood as an historical monument for many years. However, the court made a ruling as to what the law was, and ordered him to remove the tablet. He had no right as a single judge, to decide what the law was all by himself. Hence he was removed from the bench, a decision I absolutely agreed with. We cannot have judges making new law or their own interpretation.

    As such, when voters made a law that said marriage was between a man and a woman, the CA judiciary should have respected the new law as the will of the people, or overruled it on constitutional grounds as against the equal protection clause or some such argument. Instead, the CA Court made new law, by simply stating they didn’t agree with the voters, and decided marriage can be between two people of the same sex. This is clearly legislating from the bench.

  345. Anonymous

    That’s whole lotta money for a fire department that don’t run that many calls in a day. That means these firefighters getting paid all this cash for watching alot of TV or washing there cars in the back of the station during downtime. I have personally seen it. Im all for the fire dept. to make a deceit salary however these amounts are outrageous.

  346. Anonymous

    That’s whole lotta money for a fire department that don’t run that many calls in a day. That means these firefighters getting paid all this cash for watching alot of TV or washing there cars in the back of the station during downtime. I have personally seen it. Im all for the fire dept. to make a deceit salary however these amounts are outrageous.

  347. Anonymous

    That’s whole lotta money for a fire department that don’t run that many calls in a day. That means these firefighters getting paid all this cash for watching alot of TV or washing there cars in the back of the station during downtime. I have personally seen it. Im all for the fire dept. to make a deceit salary however these amounts are outrageous.

  348. Anonymous

    That’s whole lotta money for a fire department that don’t run that many calls in a day. That means these firefighters getting paid all this cash for watching alot of TV or washing there cars in the back of the station during downtime. I have personally seen it. Im all for the fire dept. to make a deceit salary however these amounts are outrageous.

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