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Daniel Weintraub

California Insider

A Weblog by
Sacramento Bee Columnist Daniel Weintraub

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« February 15, 2004 | | February 18, 2004 »
February 17, 2004

Rumor up in smoke

I fielded a call from BBC radio this morning, asking me to comment on our good governor's plans to blow a hole in the Capitol roof to accommodate his cigar smoke. I told them that as far as I knew, Schwarzenegger had no such plan. This afternoon, the Don & Mike Show, fresh off a two-week suspension for allowing foul language on the air, reported the story on their newscast: Schwarzenegger plans to blow a hole in the Capitol dome as part of his effort to install a smoking lounge. Just in case, I checked with the governor's office. They officially confirmed: no plans for any demolition or altering of the Capitol. They have, of course, installed a donated tent, about 10 feet by 10 feet, in the center of the governor's (pre-existing) open air courtyard. The tent looks for all the world like a smoking tent, complete with ashtrays. But Schwarzenegger aides insist on calling the shelter a "deal-making tent."

UPDATE: Now the story. inching its way toward full urban legend status, is in the Washington Times. The governor's office had demanded a retraction.

Posted by dweintraub at 5:37 PM

Gov: SF wrong on gay marriage

Schwarzenegger has just called on San Francisco to obey the law. Here is his statement:

"I support all of California's existing laws that provide domestic partnership benefits and protections. However, Californians spoke on the issue of same-sex marriage when they overwhelmingly approved California's law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. I support that law and encourage San Francisco officials to obey that law. The courts should act quickly to resolve this matter."

Posted by dweintraub at 5:17 PM

Gay marriage flap

All eyes are on San Francisco, where the city spent the holiday weekend issuing marriage licenses to gay couples and where a legal challenge to the action will be heard in court today. The Chronicle reports here that the marraiges could face an unexpected administrative hurdle as well: the state won't recognize marriage licenses not recorded on an official state-approved form, and San Francisco altered theirs to accommodate same-sex couples. At some point, this suggests, the governor might have to weigh in. Mayor Newsom is defying state law but says the constitution's guarantee of equal protection overrides Proposition 22, the voter-approved measure that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman.

UPDATE: The first of two courts expected to rule on this today has delayed any action until at least Friday. Here is an AP story from the Bee. The second court is expected to rule later today.

Gov. Schwarzenegger, under pressure from conservatives to take some kind of action against Newsom, said through a spokesman today that he has nothing planned. Communications Director Rob Stutzman said that while the governor opposes gay marriage, he doesn't have any more standing than any other citizen to act against Newsom. "The best place for this to be resolved," Stutzman said, "is inside that courtroom."

Posted by dweintraub at 9:45 AM



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Daniel Weintraub


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