Tag Archives: U.S. Rep. Barney Frank

U.S. Representative Barney Frank: Spurs Crowd to Work for Pettis for 80th Assembly District

U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), dean of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation and Congressmember from the Massachusetts 4th CD, gave a stirring speech early this evening to spur local Progressive Democratic activists to action on behalf of Cathedral City Councilmember Greg Pettis in his bid to replace the termed-out Bonnie Garcia (R) in the CA 80th Assembly District.  Pettis is in his 14th year as Cathedral City Councilmember and has served as Cathedral City Mayor Pro-Tem.  Frank noted in his talk that State government always benefits from having someone of Pettis’ caliber move from local government to the State Assembly.

Frank, as usual, a combination entertainer, progressive Democratic rabble-rouser, and spiritual leader to thousands in the 80th AD, spoke about the failures of the Bush Administration in the areas of the environment, the economy, and education.  Sometimes self-deprecating, sometimes assertive, and oftentimes Barney Frank, he delighted his audience with stories of Washington, D.C., and hopes for California and the 80th AD.  Frank attacked the incompetence of the Bush Administration and the ambivalence of the Republicans towards freedom of speech.  Frank noted that the monies wantonly spent during election campaigns is necessary and is protected under ‘Freedom of Speech.’  However, according to Frank, the financing of campaigns is one of the few areas where Republicans seem interested in protecting Freedom of Speech.  Frank exhorted the attendees to help to fund Pettis’ bid for the 80th AD, especially in light of the appalling amounts of monies being spent by the AFL-CIO-labeled rogue union and associations on behalf of the pretender to the Democratic nomination.

More below the flip…

Frank was introduced to the almost 200 attendees by Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, co-host to the event.  Pougnet discussed Franks’ leadership in the LGBT community and his recent work as Chair of the Financial Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representative to help those severely affected by the mismanagement of the Bush Administration’ housing and financial policies.  Frank noted that Pres. Ronald Reagan spoke about a ‘rising tide lifting all ships.’  However, according to Frank, if one could not afford a ship, then one is face with certain difficulty in a rising tide, standing on tippy-toe.

The Barney Frank fundraiser was hosted by Andy Linsky, boardmember of the Human Rights Campaign, and his partner, in their Little Tuscany home in Palm Springs overlooking the Coachella Valley.  This is the type of home and living situation that certain bloggers from the Victor Manuel Perez campaign derides as ‘the West Valley elite.’  Perhaps the blogger forgets for what the American dreams stands.

Following Franks’ strong endrosement of  Pettis as a leader in the local community, a man of extensive governmental experience and expertise, and a stellar representative of the LGBT community, Frank turned the ‘podium’ over to Pettis.  Frank also noted that the results for LGBT candidates in the California June primary will affect the results of the November proposition banning Marriage Equality.  For sure, he indicated, the California newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the Desert Sun, will report that the success of LGBT candidates bodes poorly for the proposition should the LGBT candidates fare well across the state.  However, should LGBT candidates fare less than expected or surprisingly poorly, then the media will report that that bodes poorly for the November proposition from the LGBT perspective.

Pettis discussed his start in politics with his experience forty years ago next week with attendance at a Bobby Kennedy rally in California, a week prior to his assassination.  Pettis took his lead from Kennedy’s commitment to government as a response to peoples’ needs and began his quest to improve people’s economic situations, to protect the environment, and to improve their schools.  The attendees responded with resounding applause and cheers.

With the focus on improving the State and local eocnomies, protecting the environment, and improving the local schools and protecting them from the proposed budget cuts, Pettis held true to the central themes of his Progressive Democratic campaign.

Palm Springs City Councilmember Ginny Foat followed Pettis with a discussion about recent events of the campaign.  She discussed Pettis’ consistent support for the families of the Coachella Valley, for the CA National Organization for Women and freedom of choice, and for Marriage Equality and LGBT issues.  Foat indicated that the Coachella and Imperial Valleys could not afford to have someone inexperienced and with less-than-adequate success as State Assemblymember.  The 80th AD has had enough of that with Garcia.  This writer’s thinking is that although a janitor might be a good representative in theory, an ill-equipped maintenance engineer is not up to the job of helping the Coachella and Imperial Valleys with the economic, environmental, and educational challenges of the 21st Century.

Foat focused on the appalling amount of money that the AFL-CIO-labled rogue union is spending on independent expenditures thus far:  $450,000.  This writer wonders how the SEUI member who typically makes $18,000 to $24,000 per annum would respond to finding out that his/her union is spending his/her union dues in this manner.  And, just what might the ‘rogue union’ expect in return from Perez should he win the nomination?  Foat extolled the fundraiser attendees to meet the challenge.  She noted that with the problems that Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley communities face, they are unable to approach State Assemblymember Garcia to assist given her poor legislative skills and reputation in Sacramento.  Foat discussed the need for someone like Pettis with his experience and legislative skills in order to work for the peoples of the Coachella and Imperial Valleys.

Following Foat’s cajolling, Linsky again took the ‘podium’ and discussed the fact that he was reminded that he himself was at the Ambassador Hotel in the second ballroom when Kennedy was assassinated 40 years ago.  This experience also set him on his path to public service.  He enjoined attendees to join him in supporting Pettis and the campaign.

Elected attendees at the Frank fundraiser included Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, Palm Springs Mayor Pro-Tem Ginny Foat, Palm Springs City Councilmember Rick Hutcheson, Desert Water Agency Trustee Craig Ewing, Candidate for Palm Springs Unified School District Greg Rodriguez, Cathedral City Councilmember and Candidate for Cathedral City Mayor Paul Marchand, and Desert Hot Springs Councilmember Karl Baker.

Other local Progressive Democratic activists in attendance included Desert Hot Springs Vice-President Chuck McDaniel, Central Labor Council AFL-CIO of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties Executive Secretary-Treasurer Laurie Stalnaker, City of Riverside Arts & Cultural Affairs Manager Jonathan Yorba, Ph.D., Pass Democratic Club President and Riverside County Democratic Central Committeemember Jaqueline Atwood, Pass Democratic Club Treasurer and Vets for Peace Boardmember Robert Atwood, Pass Democratic Club Recording Secretary David Knight, Palm Springs Democratic Club Co-Chair Sandy Eldridge, Palm Springs Democratic Club Secretary Peter East, Democratic Women of the Desert Member Nikki Stone, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club President George Zander, Desert Stonewall Democratic Club Treasurer Bob Silverman, and Desert Stonewall Democratic Club Steering Committee Members Donald W. Grimm, Ph.D., Richard Oberhaus, Greg Rodriguez, Robert Lee Thomas, and Lynn Worley.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the United Healthcare Workers, and the Central Labor Council AFL-CIO of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties amongst other unions had various members in attendance including Chuck McDaniel, IBEW Local 440, Laurie Stalnaker, Central Labor Council AFL-CIO of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, Joe Duffle, and others.  Having been a union member of District Council 37, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, New York City’s largest municipal employee’s union and having had to walk a picket line when necessary, these Progressive Democratic leaders and activists hold a special place in this gay boyz’ heart.

Vets for Peace activists attending included Robert Atwood, Tom Swann, and Tracy Turner.  In addition, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Co-Leaders Mike and Carol Balassa cajolled their friends and fully embraced the spirit of the event.  Carol spoke of the need to continue to work to protect the newly-sanctioned Marriage Equality especially in the face of ongoing fanatacism of the fringe-right and their fellow travellers in the Coachella Valley.

All-in-all, a good day for democracy and the progressive Democratic movement in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys.  More on the doings at the Frank fundraiser and pictures to follow in the blog of BluePalmSpringsBoyz on the online ediation of the Desert Sun, mydesert.com.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) May 24 Fundraiser for Progressive Pettis for CA 80th Assembly District

XPosted 5/9/2008 2:53 PM PDT on MyDesert.com

Andy Linsky

HRC Board of Directors*

and co-hosts

Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet

Palm Springs City Councilmember Ginny Foat

Palm Springs City Councilmember Rick Hutcheson

Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund

Equality California

The Bottom Line Magazine

Palm Springs Democratic Club

Desert Stonewall Democratic Club

Invite you to meet

U.S. Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA)

and to join him in supporting

Greg Pettis

For California State Assembly (80th AD)

Saturday May 24, 2008 at 5:00 p.m.

Location for the Cocktail Reception at the home of Andy Linsky will be provided with a confirmed reservation

Suggested minimum contribution: $100 per person

Sponsor: $500 ~ Co-Host: $1000

Computer Generated; Labor Donated. © 2008 | Pettis for Assembly 2008 | P.O. Box 2692 Cathedral City, CA 92235-2692 | FPPC ID# 1285158

Contributions are not tax deductible for income tax purposes.

Limits to this campaign are $3600 per person, company or PAC

Reservations: [email protected] or (760) 841-3189

For more information, or to contribute online:


Marriage Equality: Press Releases from National Stonewall, Sacramento Stonewall, Barney Frank

I received Press Releases from National Stonewall Democrats, the Sacramento Stonewall Democratic Club, and U.S. Representative Barney Frank regarding the decision by the Republican-dominated California Supreme Court overturning the ban on Marriage Equality in the State.

National Stonewall Democrats, co-founded by U.S. Representative Frank (D-MA), is the National voice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Democrats.  The Desert Stonewall Democratic Club is the official local Democratic Club for LGBT Democrats, sanctioned by both the National Stonewall Democrats as well as the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee.  Zander, Vice-President Roger Tansey, Treasurer Bob Silverman, and Secretary James Reynolds are amongst the leaders of the local club.

More below the flip…

Sacramento Stonewall Press Release concerning the historic decision by the California Supreme Court is as follows:

Sacramento Stonewall joins in the celebration of today’s historic verdict.  The Supreme Court of California has decided in favor of equality.  Legal marriage is now the law of this state!  In just 30 days, gay and lesbian couples will be able to apply for marriage licenses.  

Bennett, President of Sacramento Stonewall said, “Full and equal recognition of our relationships means that we have crossed a final barrier toward full and equal citizenship, at least in California.  This day has been years in the making.  But we know we can’t celebrate for long.”

Bennett went on to describe the efforts of a small, vocal minority that has been organizing all Spring to deny us this basic human right.  According to Bennett, they spent some $2 million dollars to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to limit marriage.

Bennett said, “Today we celebrate.  Today we savor the full and equal recognition of our relationships, our families… and all the responsibilities that come with it.  But tomorrow we organize.   Our equality did not come easily.  We will not let it go.”

The official press release from the National Stonewall Democrats focuses on the freedom for all of California’s couples to marry regardless the sex of the partner.

National Stonewall Democrats is the only national organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Democrats, incorporating more than 90 local chapters across the Nation.  National Stonewall Democrats is committed to working through the Democratic Party to advance the rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity:

Legal Recognition of Marriage in CA

(Thursday, May 15, 2008)

Washington, DC – Today, the National Stonewall Democrats expressed the organization’s support for a ruling today by the California Supreme Court which recognized the freedom of all California couples to marry.

“Stonewall Democrats welcomes the ruling of the California Supreme Court to legally recognize the freedom to marry. California voters have twice supported this position through their elected officials,” said Jon Hoadley, Executive Director. “In 2005 and 2007, Democratic control ensured that marriage legislation was successfully approved and passed to the Governor’s desk. Thanks to the tireless work of Stonewall Democrats chapters and other advocates across the state, the California Democrats strongly support the freedom of all California couples to marry. We must now turn our attention to protecting this landmark victory.”

In a ruling today, the California Supreme Court recognized that all California couples, including same-sex couples, are entitled to the legal recognition of marriage.

“Throughout California, Stonewall Democrats have strategically worked to build support for pro-equality positions among Democratic candidates, party officials and elected leaders,” said Laurie McBride (Sacramento, CA), Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of National Stonewall Democrats. “This ruling reflects the values of our Party and the will of California voters as already expressed twice by the state legislature. Democrats are working to support this court ruling and to defeat any proposed anti-marriage initiative.”

The efforts of Stonewall Democrats chapters across California ensured that the California Democratic Party first voiced its support for legislation recognizing the freedom to marry in 2005, with the party permanently ratified that position in its platform earlier this year. Their work created a political climate which included more pro-equality legislators, stronger advocates and diverse partnership opportunities for the crucial work of statewide groups.

In 2005 and 2007, the California legislature successfully passed the “Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act” which would have recognized the freedom of all California couples to enter into civil marriage. Stonewall Democrats throughout California worked through their chapters to build support for the legislation among local Democratic bodies and the state party. Their efforts supported the work of partners like Equality California who successfully built a majority of support for the legislation in both the California Assembly and Senate. Although the “Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act” was twice vetoed by the Republican Governor, chapters of the Stonewall Democrats continued to build Democratic support for the freedom of all Californians to marry.

On Thursday, May 15, 2008, Frank issued his own Press Release regarding the decision of California to join his home state of Massachusetts in formally and legally allowing Marriage Equality:

News release from Barney Frank


Congressman, 4th District, Massachusetts

2252 Rayburn Building · Washington, D.C. 20515 · (202) 225-5931

Thursday, May 15, 2008


CONTACT:  Steven Adamske 202-225-7141

Joe Racalto 202-225-5931


I want to offer to my friends in California both congratulations and reassurance:  I congratulate California’s Supreme Court for recognizing that all of California’s citizens are entitled to basic civil rights; and I can assure the people of the state that the result of this decision will be to improve the quality of life of tens of thousands of Californians who will now be able legally to express their love for each other, while having no negative effect whatsoever on the overwhelming majority of Californians who will choose not to marry someone of the same sex.  

As in California, Massachusetts’ experience with same sex marriage began with a 4-3 decision of our highest court.  There was initially some controversy.  Subsequently, after reality banished the concerns that many had expressed about the impact of this decision, our State Legislature voted by more than 3-1 to ratify the decision, and today, most people find it hard to remember that there was ever any serious fear about it.

LGBT Community Coalesces Behind Pettis for CA 80th Assembly District: Frank Fundraiser

The Greg Pettis for the California 80th Assembly District Campaign has announced that U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) will headline a fundraiser for the campaign on Saturday, May 24, 2008.  Pettis has served with distinction for more than 13 years on the Cathdral City Council, also serving previously as Mayor Pro-Tem, and is presently the leading Democratic candidate for the 80th AD.  Pettis was one of the first openly-gay electeds in the Coachella Valley and has solid support in the LGBT community amongst local, state, and National electeds.

Rep. Frank has served in Congress since 1981.  He is the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.  Previously, he was a Massachusetts State Representative and an assistant to the Mayor of Boston.   Frank has also taught at several Boston area universities.

In 1998, Frank founded the National Stonewall Democrats, the national gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Democratic organization.  In 2004, and again in 2006, a survey of Capitol Hill staffers published in Washingtonian magazine gave Frank the title of the “brainiest”, “funniest”, and “most eloquent” member of the House.

As of May 2007, Frank is one of two openly-gay members of Congress, the other being Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), who has also endorsed Pettis for the CA 80th AD (see BlogActive.com for its listing of the closeted gay members of Congress who regularly vote to harm their own clan).

Frank’s blunt stance on outing certain gay Republicans has become well-publicized, dubbed “The Frank Rule” – that it is acceptable to out a closeted gay person, if that person uses their power or notoriety to hurt gay people.

More below the flip…

Others co-hosting the Frank fundraiser include Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, Palm Springs Councilwoman Ginny Foat, Palm Springs Councilmember Rick Hutcheson, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, Equality California, The Bottom Line Magazine, the Palm Springs Democratic Club, and the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club.

Mayor Pougnet was elected to the Palm Springs City Council in 2003, and was elected its second openly-gay Mayor in November 2007.  Pougnet serves on numerous boards and committees, including President of the Mizell Senior Center, chairman of the Coachella Valley Association of Government’s Energy Conservation subcommittee, board member of the Valley Action Group, and a member of the Palm Springs Unified School District Advisory Committee.  He was also co-chair of the Citizens Task Force for Mountain and Foothill Preservation and Planning.

Pougnet lives in Palm Springs with his partner of 15 years, Christopher Green.  They became the father of twins, Beckham and Julia in April 2006.

Councilmember “Ma” Foat has been a businesswoman, activist and community volunteer in a variety of settings prior to and following her elections to Palm Springs City Council as its first openly-lesbian Councilmember.  In addition to Councilmember, Foat serves as Human Resources Committee Member of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments, Alternate to the Riverside County Transportation Commission, Member of the League of California Cities, Member of the Sub Committee on Neighborhood Involvement, Member of the Sub Committee on Convention Center Opening, and Member of the Sub Committee on Indian Oasis.

Councilmember Hutcheson was first elected to Palm Springs City Council in November 2007.  Hutcheson is a former-member of the Palm Springs Planning Commission, former-member of the Palm Springs Police Advisory Board, founding board member of the Old Las Palmas Neighborhood Organization, and former-member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Community Development Block Grants in Palm Springs.

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund is the nation’s largest LGBT political action committee and the only national organization dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBT elected officials at all levels of government. Since 1991, the Victory Fund and its national donor network have helped hundreds of openly LGBT candidates win election to local, state and federal offices.  The Fund provides strategic, technical and financial support to openly-LGBT candidates and their campaigns.  Victory Fund staff of political professionals help to recruit and vet qualified candidates, train them, and assist them in raising the crucial funds required to run for office.  In addition to providing funding from its political action committee, the Victory Fund cultivates a national network of donors whose commitment to the Victory Fund mission results in vital support for our endorsed candidates.

Equality California (EQCA)was founded in 1998, and celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2008, commemorating a decade of building a state of equality in California.  In the past ten years, EQCA has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation.  EQCA endorsed Pettis for the 80th AD as Pettis fully supports the principles of the organizaiton.  Pettis has a long history of fighting for equal rights for all residents of the Coachella and Imperial Valleys, unlike his three opponents who either oppose full equal rights for all including Marriage Equality or equivocate on their support.

The Palm Springs Democratic Club (PSDC) is a growing group of concerned and committed citizens who are taking an active and vocal role in the political process.  The founders of PSDC created the club as a section 527 organization in July 2006.  PSDC focuses on Palm Springs because it is the home of its members

We focus on Palm Springs because it is our home — where we live out fundamental family values and care deeply about our loved ones, friends, neighbors, community and livelihood.  Currently, we have more than 100 members, are chartered under the auspices of the Riverside Democratic Committee and guided by a nine-member Board.

PSDC endorsed Pettis for the 80th AD because he best represents their guiding principles of

Social equality and equal opportunity, guided by a conviction that government should be used to pursue both.

A safe, secure America, fair wages, universal healthcare, first-rate education systems accessible to all, environmental policy that sustains the planet and human life on it.

A belief that the only role for the United States in world affairs is to practice foreign policy that reflects fundamental tenets of our Constitution, goodness of our citizens and irrevocable commitment to continuity of human existence.

A belief that we can best achieve these principles by actively working for them in our own city.

A belief that the government and citizens of Palm Springs face growing challenges in addressing homelessness, healthcare, environmental and energy matters, housing, development and quality of life issues.

A belief that activism and involvement in political processes are fundamental responsibilities of citizenship.

A community of Palm Springs Democratic registered voters where all can express their beliefs, promote their values and actively pursue a progressive society within our city.

A focus on voter registration and turnout because these are proven, direct methods to influencing outcome of elections.

PSDC Co-Chair David Pye, PSDC Co-Chair Sandy Eldridge, PSDC co-founder Lisa Arbalaez, and PSDC Secretary Peter East, amongst other PSDC activists, are all energetically, and sometimes frenetically, involved in the Pettis for Assembly campaign.

The Desert Stonewall Democratic Club organization is devoted to advancing equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.  DSD supports the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates who support this mission.  DSD endorsed Pettis for the 80th AD as the only candidate working to realize equality for all:

To educate the LGBT community and people who are supportive of it about the vast differences that exist between the two major parties on the issues of concern to our community;

To lead our party to improve its record on issues of importance to our community, and to work for the nomination of Democratic candidates from the local to national level, including qualified openly LGBT candidates who will be fully supportive of our fight against bigotry and intolerance;

To encourage our community to support and vote for Democratic candidates who are committed to defeating homophobia and prejudice; and

To work with local LGBT Democratic clubs and individuals to encourage and foster the creation of new clubs.

Pettis’ support in the National, State, and local LGBT communities include but is not limited to:


U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA)

U.S. Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)


The Entire LGBT Caucus in Sacramento including

CA State Senator Christine Kehoe

CA State Senator Sheila Kuehl

CA State Senator Carol Migden

Ca State Assemblyman John Laird, Chair LGBT Caucus

CA State Assemblyman Mark Leno


Palm Springs City Councilmember Ginny Foat

Palm Springs City Councilmember Rick Hutcheson

Cathedral City City Councilmember Paul Marchand

Desert Hot Springs City Councilmember Karl Baker

Organizations and their Leaders:

Desert Stonewall Democratic Club

Vice-President Desert Stonewall Democrats Roger Tansey

Treasurer Desert Stonewall Democrats Bob Silverman

Secretary Desert Stonewall Democrats James Reynolds

Membership Chair Desert Stonewall Democrats Lynn Worley

Public Relations Chair Desert Stonewall Democrats Donald W. Grimm, Ph.D.

Steering Committee Member Desert Stonewall Democrats Bob Mahlowitz

Steering Committee Member Desert Stonewall Democrats Richard Oberhaus

Steering Committee Member Desert Stonewall Democrats Greg Rodriguez

Steering Committee Member Desert Stonewall Democrats Robert Lee Thomas

Steering Committee Member Desert Stonewall Democrats Lynn Worley

Political Action Committee Member Desert Stonewall Democrats Bond Shands

Desert Stonewall Democrats Member Bill Cain-Gonzales

Equality California

HRC Board Member Andy Linsky

Inland Stonewall Democratic Club

Co-Chair Palm Springs Democratic Club Sandy Eldridge

Co-Chair Palm Springs Democratic Club David Pye

Secretary Palm Springs Democratic Club Peter East

San Diego Democratic Club

Victory Fund

Below is the announcement for the Frank fundraising event:

Andy Linsky

HRC Board of Directors*

and co-hosts

Mayor Steve Pougnet

Hon. Ginny Foat

Hon. Rick Hutcheson

Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund

Equality California

The Bottom Line Magazine

Palm Springs Democratic Club

Desert Stonewall Democrats

Invite you to meet

Congressman Barney Frank

and to join him in supporting

Greg Pettis

For California State Assembly (80th AD)

Saturday May 24th 2008 at 5 O’clock

Location for the Cocktail Reception at the home of Andy Linsky will be provided with a confirmed reservation

Suggested minimum contribution: $100 per person

Sponsor: $500 ~ Co-Host: $1000

Computer Generated; Labor Donated. © 2008 | Pettis for Assembly 2008 | P.O. Box 2692 Cathedral City, CA 92235-2692 | FPPC ID# 1285158

Contributions are not tax deductible for income tax purposes.

Limits to this campaign are $3600 per person, company or PAC

Reservations: [email protected] or (760) 841-3189

For more information, or to contribute online: