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Obama Opposes California's Marriage Protection Act

By    |   Sunday, 20 July 2008 06:36 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Obama Opposes California's Marriage Protection Act
2. McCain's Campaign Mimicking Hillary's
3. Lieberman's Support for McCain Worries Jews
4. Obama Widens Lead in California
5. Few House Republicans Contributing to McCain
6. We Heard: Mike Huckabee, Michael Bloomberg, Tom Marr, More

1. Obama Opposes California's Marriage Protection Act

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has come out in opposition to the California ballot initiative that would amend the state's Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

In a letter sent to the Alice B. Toklas L.G.B.T. Democratic Club, a San Francisco gay rights group, Obama declared: "I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states."

The California Marriage Protection Act, which will appear on the state's November ballot, asserts: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

The move to amend California's Constitution came after the May 15 decision by the state's Supreme Court that gave same-sex couples the right to marry.

While Obama opposes the initiative, he remains opposed to same-sex marriage, the New York Times reported. He does support civil unions and domestic partnerships.

Obama expressed opposition to the amendment, on the ballot as Proposition 8, because "as we have seen in some states, enshrining a definition of marriage into the constitution can allow states to roll back the civil rights and benefits that are provided in domestic partnerships and civil unions," campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told The Times.

Obama's presumptive Republican rival John McCain announced his support for the initiative last month.

A Los Angeles Times/KTLA poll conducted shortly after the California Supreme Court decision found that 54 percent of registered voters surveyed supported the amendment, and 35 percent said they opposed it.

Among voters who said they did not know a friend, family member or co-worker who is gay, 70 percent supported the amendment.

Editor's Note:

2. McCain's Campaign Mimicking Hillary's

John McCain appears to be running the same campaign against Barack Obama that failed Hillary Clinton.

But that might not be all bad.

John Heilemann writes in New York magazine: "In ways large and small, strategic and tactical, temperamental and attitudinal, the McCain campaign strikes me as having been cut from the same cloth as Hillary Clinton's."

The story is headlined, "McCain's Hillary Problem — He's running her same campaign. And she lost."

But Heilemann notes that general elections are very different from primaries, and for Barack Obama "there are reasons to worry that Clintonianism, taken to its logical (and gruesome) extreme, may serve McCain better than it did the real McCoy."

The McCain and Clinton campaigns have been similar in stressing experience and avoiding "big, bold animating ideas and grand thematics," the writer observes.

According to Heilemann, the McCain camp believes the fall election will largely be a referendum on Obama: Will voters trust him enough to elect him president?

McCain and Clinton share the view that Obama is "a lightweight, that he's a line-cutter, that he's arrogant, elitist, all talk no action," Heilemann writes.

"And that perspective is evident in the campaign that McCain and the Republicans more broadly are running against Obama. In tone and substance, once again, the similarities to the broadsides that Clinton and her people launched against him are striking."

But it might be pointed out that following in Hillary's footsteps could prove to be a wily move come November.

While Obama amassed many of his delegates in states that have been staunchly Republican in recent general elections, Hillary won almost every big state, including Florida, Ohio, California, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. She also won a majority of the Latino vote and finished strong by winning six of the last nine primaries.

McCain, then, could well be targeting the traditional Democratic voters in these states who opted for Clinton over Obama.

Editor's Note:

3. Lieberman's Support for McCain Worries Jews

Jewish Democrats are concerned that Sen. Joe Lieberman's backing of Republican John McCain for president will hurt their party's nominee among Jewish voters.

Lieberman, an independent Democrat and one of the most prominent Jewish members of Congress, "has sought to drive Jews … further from presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama," The Hill newspaper observed.

Lieberman raised Democrats' ire when, after Obama secured the nomination, he took part in a conference call organized by the McCain campaign in which he criticized Obama for appearing to blame the current tension between Israel and Iran on American foreign policy.

"I'm certainly disappointed that he would be such an active part of the [McCain] campaign," said Jewish lawmaker Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.

"I feel disappointed as a Jew, but primarily as a Democrat, and around a whole myriad of issues."

According to The Hill, Lieberman's efforts include "convincing Jewish leaders to back McCain, even if it means making the case that Obama would not be the leader Israel would want."

Editor's Note:

4. Obama Widens Lead in California

Democrat Barack Obama has opened up a huge lead over Republican presidential rival John McCain in the nation's most populous state, California.

The latest statewide poll conducted by the Field organization shows Obama with a 24-percentage-point lead, getting 54 percent of the vote to McCain's 30 percent.

Obama's lead in May was 17 points, and in January, just 7 points.

The Field poll conducted from July 8 to July 14 also found that 51 percent of Obama's supporters are very enthusiastic about the candidate, compared to only 17 percent of McCain's backers who are very enthusiastic about the Republican.

Among independent voters, Obama led 64 percent to 18 percent.

McCain has insisted that he will contest California in the general election.

"But most political observers believe that vow reflects a desire to keep voters and donors happy rather than any serious intention to compete in California, where running statewide ads costs millions of dollars per week that can be more optimistically spent elsewhere," Cathleen Decker writes in the Top of the Ticket blog at LATimes.com.

In 2004, Democrat John Kerry beat George Bush by 10 points in California.

Hillary Clinton garnered support from women and Latino voters to beat Obama in the California primary, but both of those demographic groups support Obama over McCain by a wide margin in the latest poll.

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5. Few House Republicans Contributing to McCain

Only a handful of Republicans in the U.S. House have donated money to John McCain's campaign since he clinched the GOP presidential nomination in February.

In the Senate, at least 22 Republicans — nearly half the total — have donated to McCain's campaign.

But just 21 House Republicans have made contributions from their personal campaign accounts, according to House fundraising reports released on Wednesday. Another 11 Republicans have contributed from their leadership political action committees (PACs), The Hill newspaper reports.

That means less than 20 percent of House Republicans have given financial aid to McCain.

The campaign recently announced that McCain had raised $22 million in June. But presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama raised more than twice as much, $52 million, last month.

McCain has clashed with House Republicans over the years on a range of issues, including immigration and campaign finance reform. A survey by The Hill in June found that more than a dozen GOP members of the House refused to endorse McCain.

McCain has also irked some Republicans by not doing more to raise money for Congressional candidates, and he has reportedly been slow to write fundraising letters on behalf of Republican fundraising committees.

But Republican Rep. James Walsh of New York, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, said McCain could probably raise more from House Republicans if he tried harder to solicit their support.

"I don't think he's been aggressive about it," Walsh told The Hill.

"There [is] gold in them thar hills."

Editor's Note:

6. We Heard…

THAT just weeks after signing on as a Fox News commentator, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is meeting with Fox officials about plans to host his own show on the network.

In an e-mail to supporters, Huckabee said: "I'm in New York for a few days to meet with Fox officials and discuss a show I would host, as well as [to] appear on numerous Fox programs in the next few days.

"On Tuesday and Wednesday, a really special opportunity for me — I'll be subbing for the legendary and immortal Paul Harvey on the ABC Radio Network."

According to Politico, Huckabee is still being mentioned as a possible running mate for John McCain.

THAT Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes has bought a weekly newspaper, The Putnam County News and Recorder in New York.

"It's a really quaint paper," Ailes' wife Elizabeth told The New York Times. "It reflects the community. We really like it, and that's why Roger wanted to buy it."

Ailes recently built a home in Putnam County.

THAT Republican-turned-independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is hosting a fund-raiser for a Democrat — Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

Bloomberg's July 30 cocktail reception will be held at his New York residence, with $1,000 as the minimum contribution to Landrieu's re-election campaign.

Bloomberg was elected as a Republican in 2001 and 2005 and was a major fundraiser for the GOP. He left the party in June 2007.

THAT voters in San Francisco will vote in November on a measure seeking to "commemorate" President Bush's years in office by slapping his name on a sewage plant.

The measure, which was certified on Thursday, would rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant the George W. Bush Sewage Plant.

CNN reported: "Local Republicans say the plan stinks and they will oppose it."

THAT veteran conservative talk show host Tom Marr has signed a new contract with WCBM Radio in Baltimore that will keep him at the station until at least 2012.

Marr first signed a 10-year deal in 1997, which was extended until 2009, and the new agreement was officially announced on July 10.

"Tom is still at the top of his game both as a broadcaster in general and talk show host in particular. We are delighted he will be on the air through 2012 with WCBM and he just may decide to stay longer," said WCBM Radio owner Nick Mangione.

"Tom has a large following within the reach of our 50,000-watt transmitter and is building a solid national and international following on WCBM's worldwide reach via the Internet."

Colleagues in the talk radio industry have high praise for Marr.

"In our business Tom is an all pro," said talk radio legend Bob Grant. "I am proud to call him a true friend and colleague. The big winners are the many WCBM fans who will continue to enjoy rewarding and worthwhile listening."

And Sean Hannity said: "Tom is not only a dear friend, but one of the greatest talk radio hosts of all-time. I am honored to be in the same profession as this great American."

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Obama Opposes California's Marriage Protection Act2. McCain's Campaign Mimicking Hillary's3. Lieberman's Support for McCain Worries Jews4. Obama Widens Lead in California5. Few House Republicans Contributing to McCain6. We...
Sunday, 20 July 2008 06:36 PM
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