Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Today's bigotry in the name of creeping theocracy brought to you by one Howard Ahmanson.

In case you were wondering who was behind Prop 8, The Daily Beast has a profile:

The campaign for Prop 8 has reaped massive funding from conservative backers across the country. Much of it comes from prominent donors like the Utah-based Church of Latter Day Saints and the Catholic conservative group, Knights of Columbus. Prop 8 has also received a boost from Elsa Broekhuizen, the widow of Michigan-based Christian backer Edgard Prince and the mother of Erik Prince, founder of the controversial mercenary firm, Blackwater.

While the Church of Latter Day Saints’ public role in Prop 8 has engendered a growing backlash from its more liberal members, and Broekhuizen’s involvement attracted some media attention, the extreme politics of Prop 8’s third largest private donor, Howard F. Ahmanson, reclusive heir to a banking fortune, have passed almost completely below the media’s radar. Ahmanson has donated $900,000 to the passage of Prop 8 so far.

...Few Americans have heard of Ahmanson—and that's the way he likes it. He donates cash either out of his own pocket or through his unincorporated Fieldstead & Co. to avoid having to report the names of his grantees to the IRS. His Tourette's syndrome only adds to his mysterious persona, as his fear of speaking leads him to shun the media. While Ahmanson once resided in a mental institution in Kansas, he now occupies a position among the Christian right’s power pantheon as one of the movement’s most influential donors. During a 1985 interview with the Orange County Register, Ahmanson summarized his political agenda: “My goal is the total integration of biblical law into our lives.”

The campaign to teach “intelligent design” in public school classrooms, the Republican takeover of the California Assembly, and the rollback of affirmative action in California—Ahmanson has been behind them all. He has also taken a special interest in anti-gay crusades. Ahmanson’s most controversial episode related to his funding of the religious empire of Rousas John Rushdoony, a radical evangelical theologian who advocated placing the United States under the control of a Christian theocracy that would mandate the stoning to death of homosexuals. With Prop 8 organizers claiming in a virtual mantra that their measure will not harm gays or take rights away from heterosexual Californians, Ahmanson has good reason to conceal his involvement in the campaign...

What the world needed: A Batman for "The Handmaid's Tale."

While we're on the subject of rightful finger pointing, can we please put a proposition on the next ballot to invalidate the marriage of Frank Schubert? Or, I don't know, take away his right to go to the toilet unsupervised, something? I mean:

Democratic legislators ask state Supreme Court to void Prop. 8

Reporting from Sacramento -- Forty-three Democratic legislators, including leaders of the California Senate and Assembly, filed a brief Monday urging the California Supreme Court to void Proposition 8.

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata and incoming President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg signed the friend of the court brief, filed with the state Supreme Court.

No Republican legislator signed the petition, though Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, denounced the anti-gay marriage measure over the weekend.

..."This is a Hail Mary, no question about it," said Frank Schubert, manager of the Proposition 8 campaign.

..."Proposition 8 seeks to effect a monumental revision of this foundational principle and constitutional structure by allowing a bare majority of voters to eliminate a fundamental right of a constitutionally protected minority group," the brief says.

"If Proposition 8 takes effect, this court will no longer be the final arbiter of the rights of minorities," it continues.

The action contends that the ban, created by the initiative that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, cannot be done by a mere constitutional amendment. Rather, it must be done by a revision of the entire Constitution and the Legislature would have to be involved.

As advocates of same-sex marriage turn to courts, protests, and perhaps a future ballot measure in an attempt to overturn Proposition 8, Schubert declared that the vote is "as over as Barack Obama's election."

...One of the closing ads featured Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Popular though she is, Schubert said, it was odd that Proposition 8 foes would select Feinstein to lecture voters, including minorities, about discrimination.

"It had the feel of a lily white, liberal campaign," Schubert said.


Oh, this is Frank Schubert: (whose image I can't seem to be -positive- I'm connecting it to the right Frank Schubert--there are several--but I am 99.7% positive he himself is "lily white," surprise):

The parents of two children featured most prominently in video footage in a Yes on 8 ad have repeatedly asked the campaign to stop using images of their children to promote changing the California Constitution to eliminate same-sex marriage. They've written letters. They've made phone calls. The Yes on 8 campaign has refused to pull the footage.

The parents are at their wits' end. So two of them came to Sacramento on Thursday to appeal to legislators and to Yes on 8 campaign manager Frank Schubert in person. I followed them on their journey.

To legislators, their message was: "I don't want to see another parent have to go through this." Assemblyman Mark Leno told the parents that under current law if the ads were for a commercial purpose, consent to use the images would be required. But ads for a political purpose don't require consent. Leno continued that the Yes on 8 use of children's images, however, reveals a tension between First Amendment rights to free speech and the right to privacy. This is a particularly sensitive issue because the campaign did not use images of adults, but of young children -- without the knowledge or consent of the parents. He made a commitment to explore solutions in the upcoming legislative session. But that doesn't do anything now.

Then the parents went to Schubert's office at Schubert Flint Public Affairs at 14th and L. "I've heard he's a father," said one parent. "I want to ask him how he would feel if his children were manipulated like this." She wanted to appeal to him as a moral human being. "This is our last hope," she said.

Neither Schubert nor others in his office would speak to the two parents. Schubert's office called security and a guard escorted them out of the building. The parents left a letter saying, "We appeal to your sense of decency as a parent to take those ads off the air and off your website."


Comrade Physioprof said...

What a motherfucking scumbag. "What about the children?" my fucking ass. These theocratic scuzbuckets don't care about children any more than they care about Jesus.

All they care about is imposing their twisted Bronze Age wackaloon fantasy shit on our entire society by subverting the constitution.

The Scarlet Pervygirl said...

Your political posts are incisive, readable, gorgeous, and concise, and a lot of the time find myself nodding along in a thoughtful manner or hissing "Yesss!" without realizing that you are, in fact, not in the room with me. I'll try to get better about commenting, but, as an all-purpose thing, thanks: your posts are useful as hell, and I really appreciate them, even if I don't always say so.

Chris Clarke said...

Ahmanson's also a sleazeball developer of self-described "upscale" suburban developments on some of coastal southern California's last remaining wildlands. Class act.

ajollypyruvate said...

Ahmanson summarized his political agenda: “My goal is the total integration of biblical law into our lives.”
Pfft. As if he follows all the biblical laws.

belledame222 said...

Scarlet!! Long time no see, missed ya. And, thank you.

Jon said...

You'll love this:

Frank Schubert, Mastermind Behind Prop 8 False Ads, Has a Gay Sister

belledame222 said...

color me shocked. I think it's like, a requirement that rabid anti-gay crusaders either have at least one immediate family member who's (more or less) openly gay, or are blatantly in the closet themselves, or both.

belledame222 said...

and, welcome Jon, if I haven't already.

Anonymous said...

Guess what. While webbing I ran into a Yahoo piece entitled "Dangerous Radicals of the Religious Right" - glimpses into some mindsets just like the minds of Howard and Roberta Ahmanson. You just have to see it because you will be astounded that America has lasted as long as it has.
All kinds of shocks these day, right? Jennifer