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Chris Hassett: Queer Activist, Teacher Tells Stories in Music (tags)

San Diego Queer folksinger Chris Hassett released his most recent CD, "This I Promise You," last May. It's a collection of 11 songs, mostly quiet and understated but with country, rock, pop and jazz influences reflecting Hassett's broad musical tastes. Zenger's Newsmagazine interviewed Hassett in late June and discussed the album, as well as gossiping about musicians ranging from Willard Robison to Lady Gaga.

Queer Democrats Unanimously Oppose Pension "Reform" (tags)

The hottest issue on the June 5 ballot in San Diego is Proposition B, the public pension "reform" initiative sponsored by openly Queer Right-wing City Councilmember and Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio. It would freeze all city workers' pay for five years and abolish the city's pension system for new hires, replacing it with a 401(k)-style plan. The product of a decade-long propaganda campaign by the radical Right politicians and media, it's expected to pass easily — but the predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality, after hearing a debate on it, unanimously voted to oppose it at their April 26 meeting.

SB 48 Referendum: THE Epic Struggle for Queer Rights in California (tags)

Roland Palencia, executive director of the Queer lobbying group Equality California (EQCA), calls the radical Right's attempt to get rid of the FAIR Education Act, also known as SB 48, "the greatest threat in years to LGBT [Queer] Californians." The Act adds Queer people, people with disabilities and Pacific Islanders to the list of communities whose "role and contributions" to American and Californian history and society must be acknowledged in lessons and textbooks used by the California public schools. Radical-Right activists, including some of the same people who successfully eliminated marriage equality in California via Proposition 8, plan to make it a referendum on the very existence and legitimacy of the Queer community and will likely wage an ugly campaign based on many negative stereotypes of Queer people. Palencia's group is fighting back by setting up a broad, mostly non-Queer coalition, and he, EQCA regional field director George Zander and openly Queer San Diego Unified School District board member Kevin Beiser spoke at the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club August 25 to mobilize its members to join the campaign and help organize the grand coalition.

The Long and Winding Road of Marriage Equality Litigation (tags)

Seeking social change through litigation is not for the faint-hearted ? or the impatient. At the July 28 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club, attorney Jason Molnar of the Southern Poverty Law Center talked about the history of marriage equality litigation and brought two flow charts showing the twisted route it's already taken through the courts ? and it's likely to get even more twisted before the U.S. Supreme Court rules one way or the other.

Queer Democrats Warned About Threats to Reproductive Choice (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club heard two presentations at its June 23 meeting: a report on the likely strike by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) against southern California?s three largest grocery chains ? Ralph?s, Albertson?s and Vons ? and a warning about the potentially devastating effects of Republican and radical-Right policies against women?s rights to reproductive choice. Though the struggles of women to maintain safe and legal access to contraception and abortion may seem to have little in common with those of workers for decent pay, access to health care and other benefits, speakers on both issues noted how the radical Right has effectively linked them in the service of a paternalistic agenda that regards workers as mere cogs in a capitalist economy, and women as mere vessels for giving birth to the next generation.

Labor Representatives Under Attack, Seek Queer Democrats’ Help (tags)

Three San Diego union leaders — Central Labor Council CEO/secretary-treasurer Lorena Gonzalez, Municipal Employees’ Association general manager Michael Zucchet, and SEIU Local 221 head Eric Banks — spoke to the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club April 28 on the state of the local labor movement. They focused on the attacks on public workers by the Republican party and the radical Right, which is aimed not only at driving public-sector wages and benefits below those offered by the private sector but also denying the one source of substantial campaign funding available to Democrats and thereby winning elections by eliminating effective competition. They also talked about the Right-wing bias of San Diego’s media and their success in demonizing public workers’ pensions as the source of San Diego’s financial ills.

Queer Democrats Oppose Initiative to Add Non-Elected Members to School Board (tags)

Two multimillionaires, Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs and hedge-fund CEO Rod Dammeyer, are sponsoring an initiative called “San Diegans 4 Great Schools” to add four non-elected members to the board of the San Diego Unified School District. The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club debated this initiative March 24 and passed a motion urging voters not to sign to put it on the ballot. Among their concerns were the potential dilution of voter input on the school board, the presence of the president of Roman Catholic Church-owned University of San Diego on the panel of nine people making the appointments, and the ways paid signature gatherers routinely lie about what initiatives will do in order to get people to sign them. The club heard from Scott Himmelmeyer, USD employee and spokesperson for the initiative, as well as current school board president Richard Barrera speaking for and against it, respectively.

Assemblymember Atkins Warns Queer Democrats on State Budget Cuts (tags)

California State Assemblymember Toni Atkins spoke to the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club February 24 and warned of two approaching deadlines coming up in the state legislature's budget deliberations: March 6, the ending of the special budget session called by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; and March 10, the last day the legislature can vote to call a special election to extend the current state sales tax rates and vehicle licensing fees so that current Governor Jerry Brown's budget, which calls for $12.5 billion in spending cuts, can be enacted. Without that — and so far the Republican minority in the legislature has held firm to block any vote on the tax issue, which requires support from 2/3 of both houses of the legislature even to make it to the ballot — Brown and the Democratic majority will have to make $12.5 billion more in spending cuts, which will virtually end California state spending on health and welfare and eviscerate the state's already underfunded education system.

Redistricting, Open Primaries and the Challenges for Democrats (tags)

At the January 27 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club, Jess Durfee, chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party and former president of the club, explained the challenges the party faces as the citizens’ redistricting commission begins work on redrawing legislative lines for the 2012 election and beyond. He also talked about California’s new open primary law, which also goes into effect in 2012 and allows members of any political party, or of no party at all, to vote in primary races, with the two top finishers from the primary running against each other in the general election even if they’re from the same political party. California’s Democratic leadership opposed both these changes, but Durfee’s presentation focused on making them work and protecting the party’s interests in this new electoral environment.

Get Out the Vote for Stephen Whitburn! (tags)

Openly Gay County Supervisor candidate Stephen Whitburn made an impassioned plea for help in the last five days before the election at the October 28 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club, of which he used to be president. Whitburn talked about the barrage of nasty hit-mail pieces Republican campaign groups are sending out against him at the last minute but also said that's an indication that they don't have a grass-roots campaign. Whitburn is seeking to become the first Democrat to serve on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in 16 years.

Foundation for Change Honors Local “Changemakers” Sept. 26 (tags)

The San Diego Foundation for Change held its annual “Changemaker Celebration” Sunday, September 26 on the Prado patio in Balboa Park. Part outdoor picnic, part bazaar of social-change organizations, part fundraiser and part short commemoration, the event honored longtime local activists Larry Baza of the San Diego Democratic Club, Victor Clark-Alfaro of Tijuana’s Bi-National Center for Human Rights, and the Environmental Health Coalition and its longtime director, Diane Takvorian.

Aguirre, Frye Debate San Diego's Prop. D at Queer Democratic Club (tags)

The campaign over Proposition D — an attempt to raise the sales tax in San Diego one-half cent to avoid draconian cuts in police, fire and other city services — has made strange bedfellows. Former city attorney Mike Aguirre, an otherwise progressive Democrat, has made common cause with Right-wing talk radio hosts and anti-tax zealots in opposing the measure. He and progressive City Councilmember Donna Frye debated Prop. D at the September 23 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club — which overwhelmingly voted to endorse the measure.

“Equality Nine” Marriage Rights Demonstrators to be Arraigned Sept. 30 (tags)

The “Equality Nine” — Michael Anderson, Brian Baumgardner, Sean Bohac, Felicity Bradley, Kelsey Hoffman, Mike Kennedy, Zakiya Khabir, Chuck Stemke, and Cecile Veillard — are activists with the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME) who were arrested at a sit-in outside the San Diego County Clerk's office August 19. They're scheduled for arraignment at the San Diego County Courthouse, 220 West Broadway downtown, Thursday, September 30, and they want supporters to come to the plaza outside the courthouse at noon that day to show support.

Queer Democrats Back State Party on Redistricting (tags)

Choosing the interests of party over voters, the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club overwhelmingly voted at their July 22 meeting to support the state Democratic Party's attempt to destroy the legislative redistricting commission before it even has a chance to meet, and return to the old, corrupt system under which legislators get to draw their own district lines, thereby preserving incumbents and eliminating any real competition for legislative seats.

San Diego’s Queer Democrats Discuss Election Aftermath (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club heard from three local experts — San Diego County Democratic Party chair Jess Durfee, San Diego CityBeat editor David Rolland and political consultant Jennifer Tierney — on the aftermath of the June 8 primary election at their regular meeting June 24. The discussion centered mainly on how Democratic candidates like state gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown and local City Council candidate Howard Wayne can overcome the vast advantage of Republican money — and, in Brown's case, the multi-billion dollar personal fortune of his opponent, Meg Whitman. The club also took a position against SB 1070, the controversial anti-immigrant law recently passed by the Arizona state legislature.

Queer Democrats Oppose Strong-Mayor Proposition (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club overwhelmingly opposed continuing San Diego's experiment with strong-mayor government. At their April 22 meeting they voted to oppose Proposition D on the June 8 ballot, which would make strong-mayor permanent, add a ninth seat to the City Councll and raise the threshold to override a mayoral veto of a Council action from a simple majority to two-thirds. City Councilmember Donna Frye led the debate against strong-mayor; having served under both strong-mayor and San Diego's previous city-manager system, she said it's been harder for her as a Councilmember to hold the mayor accountable and get information she needs to make responsible decisions, to the point where she's had to sue the city, or threaten to, to get needed data from the mayor's office.

Queer Democrats’ Surprising Lieutenant Governor Endorsement (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club made a surprising choice in the June 8 Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom became a nationwide hero to the Queer community in February 2004 when he unilaterally ordered city officials to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but the club rejected him in favor of Los Angeles City Councilmember Janice Hahn. Members’ concerns about Newsom included his less than progressive stands on economic issues, his notoriously messy personal life, his potentially rocky relationship with presumed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown, and the risks of going into a statewide election with two white men at the top of the ticket against likely Republican nominees Meg Whitman for governor and Abel Maldonado for lieutenant governor.

Queer Democrats Split on Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, School Board (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club strongly supported Hector de la Torre for insurance commissioner, Tom Torklason for state superintendent of education and Mona Rios for National City city council — but they were unable to reach consensus on lieutenant governor and attorney general. Faced with two weak Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor — a Los Angeles city councilmember and a state legislator with a long voting record against marriage equality — the club held off in hopes San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will run.

Queer Democrats Split on 79th Assembly District Race (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club revealed itself dramatically split in the Democratic primary race for the 79th Assembly District. City Council president Ben Hueso is running a classic “insider” campaign, relying on major endorsements and fundraising clout. His principal challenger, Sweetwater Union High School District board member Pearl Quiñones, is seeking the office in a progressive grass-roots campaign in the tradition of Assemblymember Lori Saldaña (who endorses her) and City Councilmember Donna Frye. The club was unable to reach the 60 percent threshold needed for an endorsement, and ultimately voted to rate both candidates “acceptable.”

Queer Democrats Endorse Saldaña, Take No Position on County Term Limits (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club endorsed Assemblymember Lori Saldaña for County Supervisor but failed to take a position on whether to impose term limits on the Board of Supervisors. Supporters of the term-limit initiative, being sponsored by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), said the five Republican incumbents on the board are so entrenched only limiting their future terms will get them out. Opponents said that Democrats have historically opposed term limits and if they supported them for the Republican-dominated Board of Supervisors, they'd be perceived as hypocrites the next time they try to ease-them for the Democratic-controlled state legislature.

Queer Democrats Endorse Alvarez, Wayne for City Council (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club took two different tacks in its endorsements in City Council races at its regular meeting October 22. In District 6 they endorsed veteran politician Howard Wayne over Steve Hadley, chief of staff to incumbent Councilmember Donna Frye. In District 8 they endorsed the grass-roots Latino candidate, David Alvarez, over two better connected candidates from established local Latino political families: Felipe Hueso, older brother of incumbent Councilmember Ben Hueso; and Nick Inzunza, uncle of former Councilmember Ralph Inzunza.

Queer Democrats Can’t Agree on Marriage Strategy (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club discussed whether to seek the repeal of Proposition 8 in 2010 or 2012 at its regular meeting September 24 — and turned out to be as divided on that topic as the rest of California’s Queer community. The two major statewide Queer organizations, Equality California and the Courage Campaign, have taken totally different tacks on the issue. The Courage Campaign not only favors 2010 but is already organizing for the earlier date, while Equality California’s leaders are convinced that 2010 is premature. Both the club’s invited panelists and its own members differed widely on whether to go in 2010 or 2012, and both proposals for the club to take action on the issue were voted down by wide margins.

Queer Democrats Celebrate Women’s Equality Day (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club celebrated Women’s Equality Day August 27 with a program featuring the club’s women’s caucus chair Kate Lyon, California NOW president Patty Bellasalma, Congressional candidate Francine Busby and Assemblymember Lori Saldaña discussing the history of feminist activism in the U.S. and the continuing difficulty of electing women to public office. The club members also considered an initiative to impose term limits on the members of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, but decided to delay taking a position on that for a month.

Former Obama Adviser Attacks Him at Freedom Awards (tags)

Steve Hildebrand has been described as Barack Obama's closest Gay friend and the person he listens to on Gay issues, but at the August 22 Freedom Awards, the main fundraiser for the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club, he bluntly said, “The problem is Obama isn’t listening enough.” At the event, Hildebrand delivered a slashing attack on Obama and the Democrats in Congress -- both the so-called “Blue Dogs” in the House and the “moderates” in the Senate, as well as leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid who are letting them get away with hijacking Obama’s agenda and pushing him to the Right. Hildebrand predicted that the Democrats will lose their Congressional majority if they continue to tack Rightward and fail to do the things they were elected to do.

Queer Democrats Endorse Susan Davis for Re-Election to Congress (tags)

Ignoring Congressmember Susan Davis’s often surprisingly conservative record on issues like the war (she voted against the authorization to attack Iraq but has faithfully voted for every supplemental appropriation to fund the U.S.’s wanton aggressions in Iraq and Afghanistan), global trade and health care, the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club endorsed her for re-election seven months before the filing deadline and thereby foreclosed the possibility of considering a progressive primary challenger should one run, as Mike Copass of Progressive Democrats of America did in 2008.

Queer Democrats Endorse Busby for Congress — Barely (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club narrowly endorsed Francine Busby in her fourth attempt to unseat an incumbent Republican Congressmember in San Diego North County's 50th Congressional District. Her supporters promoted her as the most electable candidate because she's built up a large following of volunteers and contributors in the district; her opponents said she'd fudged the question of same-sex marriage equality on the club's questionnaire while her primary opponent, Tracy Emblem, had answered it forthrightly.

Don’t Rush Back to the Ballot on Marriage (tags)

The Queer community in California is asking itself the wrong question in the current debate over whether to try to repeal Proposition 8 at the ballot box in 2010 or 2012. Either date is too early, Mark Gabrish Conlan argues in this editorial from the July 2009 Zenger’s Newsmagazine. Rather than launch a premature initiative drive we will likely lose, organizing around this issue needs to occur outside the electoral process and take the form of nonviolent direct action and public education efforts to convince a majority of Californians that denying legal marriage to same-sex couples is an intolerable form of discrimination.

Queer Democrats Debate Proposition 8 Response (tags)

The wounds were still raw from the California Supreme Court decision upholding Proposition 8, the state’s voter-approved ban on marriage for same-sex couples, when the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club met May 28 and debated how the club should respond. The members heard from attorney Charlie Pratt, who had been at the sit-in at the County Administrative Center's marriage license bureau the day before and had been singled out for special harassment by police, and also discussed whether and when the Queer community should mount its own ballot initiative campaign to repeal Proposition 8.

Queer Democrats Hear from Labor on Employee Free Choice Act (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club heard from Carlos Marquez, chair of the local chapter of Pride @ Work, at its regular meeting April 23. He presented a campaign called http://www.SharedAgenda.org, aimed at building grassroots support for two proposed pieces of federal legislation: the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which will make it easier for workers to form unions; and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which will ban discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Assemblymember Marty Block Defends Prop. 8 Stance to Queer Democrats (tags)

Assemblymember Marty Block appeared before the San Diego Democratic Club March 26 to explain why he voted against a legislative resolution instructing the California Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8, the initiative passed by voters last November to restrict marriage in California to opposite-sex couples. Block said that, as a former judge, he didn't think it was appropriate for the legislature to tell a court what to do about a pending case, whether it's the Right telling judges to uphold restrictions on abortion or progressives telling the court to preserve same-sex marriage equality.

Queer Democrats Oppose Flagship Budget Compromise Proposition (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club voted overwhelmingly on March 26 to oppose Proposition 1A, centerpiece of the budget reform compromise adopted by the California legislature last January. Though 1A would extend the state's temporary tax increases from two years to four, club members decided that the price -- notably vastly increased veto powers for the governor, new corporate tax breaks and a "rainy-day fund" that could lead to cutbacks in major state programs -- wasn't worth it. The club also opposed Proposition 1D, suppported 1B, 1E and 1F, and took no position on 1C.

Commentary: State Supreme Court Hears Prop. 8 Cases (tags)

Not everything that is unjust is therefore unconstitutional. That's the lesson the progressive community should learn from the California Supreme Court's oral hearings on Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage recently approved by a narrow majority of California voters. Instead of relying on the courts to secure our rights, we should be doing education, direct action and other tactics to win majority support for equality.

San Diego Queer Democrats Endorse Beach Booze Ban (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club voted September 25 to endorse Proposition 4 on the November 4 ballot in the city of San Diego, which would make the temporary ban on alcohol consumption at city beaches permanent. Opponents have argued that the ban is an attack on individual freedom, but the club rejected that argument and instead supported beach-area residents who say the ban has improved their quality of life.

Queer Democrats Endorse Aguirre for San Diego City Attorney (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club, which had endorsed moderate Democrat Scott Peters over progressive incumbent Mike Aguirre for city attorney in the primary campaign, reversed itself and voted to endorse Aguirre over Republican Jan Goldsmith at its June 26 meeting — but not before an intense debate in which the club president threatened to eject two members to keep the meeting orderly.

San Diego Queer Democrats Endorse Morrow for Mayor (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club endorsed former City Councilmember Floyd Morrow for Mayor at thier April 24 meeting — but Morrow was upstaged by City Councilmember and former mayoral candidate Donna Frye, who brought a volunteer in a fox costume to dramatize her contention that Proposition "C," a ballot proposal to allow the mayor to appoint the city's auditor, is "putting the fox in charge of the henhouse."

“¡Aguirre Si, Labor No!” (tags)

Zenger's Newsmagazine announces its endorsement of progressive Democrat Mike Aguirre for re-election as San Diego city attorney, despite the opposition of reactionary city employee unions more concerned with preserving the pensions of current city workers than protecting the salaries and benefits of future ones.

San Diego Queer Democrats Reject Progressive City Attorney (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club supported the city's corrupt political establishment and its handmaidens in organized labor and refused to support progressive Democrat Mike Aguirre for re-election as city attorney. Instead they endorsed moderate Democrat City Councilemmber Scott Peters even though Peters voted to renew the Boy Scouts of America's sweetheart lease on city land in 2001 and refused to commit to backing Aguirre in a general election against a Republican.

Queer Democrats Hold Love-Fest for School Board Candidates (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club overwhelmingly endorsed three candidates in local school board races in a love-fest meeting February 28 that contrasted dramatically with their previous one on January, a knock-down, drag-out debate between incumbent city attorney Mike Aguirre and two of his challengers (one of whom has since left the race). They also rated openly Gay Republican Carl DeMaio "unacceptable" as a candidate for the San Diego City Council.

San Diego's Controversial City Attorney 'Speaks (tags)

To his supporters, San Diego city attorney Mike Aguirre is an activist and truth-teller who'sone of the few local elected officials dealing seriously with the city's budget crises. To his opponents, ranging from the Right-wing San Diego Union-Tribune to the city employee unions, he's a loud-mouthed obstructionist who's dividing the city and costing it money. The controversy was on display January 24, when Aguirre and two of his election oppoennts debated at the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club.

Queer Democrats Fail to Endorse for President (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club failed to endorse a candidate for President after a contentious meeting November 29. On the first ballot, Hillary Clinton received eight votes, John Edwards seven, Barack Obama three, Dennis Kucinich two and 14 club members voted against making an endorsement at all. The club also voted to oppose statewide Proposition 91 on the February ballot, which would block legislators from using gas tax money to balance the state budget.

S.F. Assemblymember Leno Speaks on Same-Sex Marriage (tags)

San Francisco Assemblymember Mark Leno was the keynote speaker at the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club's Freedom Banquet fundraiser October 6. He talked about the bill for marriage equality for same-sex couples he's pushed through the California legislature twice, the likelihood that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will veto it (as he did in 2005) and the various radical-Right initiative proposals to ban marriage for same-sex couples in California forever.

Queer Democrats Endorse Block, Pettis for Assembly (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club endorsed Marty Block, San Diego Community College board member, over more grass-roots candidates Arlie Ricasa and Auday Arabo for an open Assembly seat at its September 27 meeting. The club also endorsed openly Gay candidate Greg Pettis for another Assembly seat in Palm Springs and Riverside County.

Assembly Speaker-Designate Wesson Keynotes Freedom Banquet (tags)

Herb Wesson, L.A.-area Assemblymember and designated next-in-line for Speaker, keynoted the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club’s annual Freedom Banquet November 5 and provided its emotional highlight. Wesson’s account of his own childhood experiences as both a victim of anti-African-American discrimination and a perpetrator of discrimination against Queers, from which he learned to see both kinds of prejudice as equally wrong, moved the Democratic Club audience.

San Diego Queer Demos Reverse Stance, Rate Dumanis “Acceptable” for D.A. (tags)

Members of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club voted October 25 to rate openly Lesbian judge Bonnie Dumanis “acceptable” in her current race for San Diego County District Attorney, the highest level of support the club can give to a non-Democrat. This reversed a decision from a previous meeting (see “San Diego Queer Democrats Fail to Support a D.A. Candidate,” posted October 4) at which questions had been raised about Dumanis’ commitment to reproductive choice and her opposition to clean needle exchange.

San Diego Queer Democrats Fail to Support a D.A. Candidate (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club couldn't agree to support any of the candidates for district attorney in the March 2002 election at their regular meeting September 27. Openly Lesbian Republican Bonnie Dumanis disappointed club members with her opposition to clean needle exchange programs and government funding of abortions for poor women.

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