Opinion

San Diego’s Other Embarrassing Leader

San Diego’s Other Embarrassing Leader

File photo by Sam Hodgson

The San Diego County Administration Building

Bob Filner’s loss is Ernie Dronenburg’s gain.

The incredibly disturbing allegations against the mayor – which reached new heights Monday with a sensational Gloria Allred press conference – have effectively sucked all the oxygen out of the room, sparing another San Diego elected official  national embarrassment.

Sara Libby on NewsDronenburg filed a petition Friday that would allow him to continue denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in spite of a recent Supreme Court ruling that spurred the state to allow them again. He defended his actions in a Tuesday press conference, even after the attorney general’s office urged the court to reject his bid.

Here are a few reasons we should make some room for Dronenburg in the shame spotlight.

He is going back on his word.

Courtesy of Ernie Dronenburg

Courtesy of Ernie Dronenburg

County Clerk Ernie Dronenburg

Dronenburg is a conservative Republican. But he earned an endorsement from CityBeat in 2010 in large part because “he’s promised us that if Prop. 8 is ultimately negated, his office will treat same-sex couples with respect and dignity.”

Now, Dronenburg is seizing on what he sees as a legal loophole in order to avoid doing precisely what he promised. Dronenburg is arguing that the Supreme Court’s decision last month only cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in the jurisdiction where the original suit was filed. That means he believes gay marriage should only move forward in Los Angeles and Alameda counties, the two counties named in the injunction and the suit against Prop. 8.

Here’s how the group representing Dronenberg described the argument to San Diego Rostra:

Because the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry vacated the Ninth Circuit’s decision only, there is no appellate decision holding that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.  As a result, Proposition 8 is still good law, and the District Court injunction against should apply only to the parties in that case.

Dronenburg and the group representing him, the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, have said the petition merely seeks clarity on the issue. But that doesn’t add up: If he was simply seeking guidance, why did he enlist an “expert on countering the gay agenda,” Charles Limandri, to file the petition on his behalf?

Dronenburg also promised throughout his campaign to eliminate red tape for those who came through his office by making more documents available online, and bringing more uniformity to the assessment process. Now, instead of streamlining, he’s throwing the ultimate roadblock in front of gay couples by possibly refusing to perform a key function of his office.

It’s rare that assessors’ campaign promises receive much press, and rarer still that such promises are ever revisited.

The state attorney general’s office quickly swatted down Dronenburg’s issue – “The filing offers no new arguments that could deny same-sex couples their constitutionally protected civil rights. The federal injunction is still in effect, and it requires all 58 counties to perform same-sex marriages. No exceptions,” Kamala Harris said in a statement. (Disclosure: My husband works for the attorney general’s office.)

Dronenburg’s actions cloud San Diego’s history of bipartisan support for same-sex couples.

For all the ridicule that San Diego’s pension scandal, and now the Filner crisis, has wrought upon the city, San Diego has a proud tradition of leaders from both parties who have spoken up on behalf of equality.

Republicans Jerry Sanders, Carl DeMaio, Bonnie Dumanis, Kevin Faulconer and others have all expressed support for same-sex marriage over the years. Sanders’ leadership, especially, drew the eyes of the nation to San Diego for all the right reasons.

When the Filner scandal first emerged, many pointed to the San Diego Pride Festival as a reason to maintain, well, pride in the city.

 

Dronenburg’s actions don’t erase all that, but they do complicate the picture.

He’s a fiscal conservative who’s throwing away money.

In this May 2010 Q-and-A, Dronenburg offers up some pretty basic conservative orthodoxy: “I think that taxes are a drag on the economy. That means the more taxes you give the government, the less that money is going into the economy.”

But when it comes to same-sex marriage, that assessment flies in the face of what researchers say will be a boon for the state economy. KPCC reported last month:

The state of California could gain $46 million in tax and fee revenue from same-sex weddings and there will be a boost of $492 million to the state’s economy over the next three years, according to the Williams Institute, a research center at UCLA School of Law.

The county isn’t really in a position to be turning down more revenue at the moment. Indeed, Supervisor Greg Cox tried to distance the supervisors from Dronenburg’s decision in a statement Friday: “No one else from the county was consulted or had any part of this court action, including the Board of Supervisors. The county’s position is and always has been that we, the county, will follow applicable law with regards to same-sex marriage.”

The county clerk’s mission statement includes this line: “to provide prompt and courteous service to the public.” Nothing says prompt and courteous like holding up people’s marriages because you disapprove of their lifestyle.

In the end, both Filner and Dronenburg’s actions come down to stripping people of dignity.

But what separates them is that if the allegations against Filner are true, they’d violate his own stated commitment to equality. Dronenburg, on the other hand, believes his actions are part of his duty as an elected official. He said so at his Tuesday press conference, though he also admitted that the petition was “all done on my own dollars,” which contradicts his insistence that it was part of his official duties.

Filner’s damage is being contained and investigated. But Dronenburg seems free and determined to pursue more.

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Sara Libby

Sara Libby

Sara Libby is VOSD’s managing editor. She oversees VOSD’s newsroom and its content. You can reach her at sara.libby@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0526.

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72 comments
Howard Ahmanson
Howard Ahmanson subscriber

I'm glad someone is fighting this. If the people of California now want same sex civil marriage, (which has nothing to do with Holy Matrimony) they can vote it in. But to try to read same sex marriage into the Constututions is an utter travesty. I support VOSD for its journalistic research, not this kind of propaganda.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster

Mr. Dronenburg is a poignant example of why Republicans are very much the minority party in California. He would be well served to put his green eye shade back on and focus on his work. The era he longs for is now in the rearview mirror. The more he reminds voters that a lot of conservative Republicans oppose gay marriage, the deeper he digs their political grave.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster subscribermember

Mr. Dronenburg is a poignant example of why Republicans are very much the minority party in California. He would be well served to put his green eye shade back on and focus on his work. The era he longs for is now in the rearview mirror. The more he reminds voters that a lot of conservative Republicans oppose gay marriage, the deeper he digs their political grave.

Joe Jones
Joe Jones

Oh, please. Moral equivalency between Filner and Dronenburg is complete nonsense. For starters, Filner's actions have had a direct negative impact on his constituency, from headlock to gridlock. Dronenburg's query has had zero impact on a single action at City Hall. "Possibly" refusing to perform begs the question--Libby provides zero evidence that a single wedding has been impeded, much less refused. Next, take the ridiculous--and absolutely untrue--claim that he's "throwing away money." No such thing has happened. It's a "what if" argument, as we haven't lost a nickel to date. She then tries to twist the fact that his query has cost the City zero dollars into a moral failure on his part? Conversely, that must make Filner a hero--just think of the dollars his adventures will cost us. This column is utter tripe.

Joe Jones
Joe Jones subscriber

Oh, please. Moral equivalency between Filner and Dronenburg is complete nonsense. For starters, Filner's actions have had a direct negative impact on his constituency, from headlock to gridlock. Dronenburg's query has had zero impact on a single action at City Hall. "Possibly" refusing to perform begs the question--Libby provides zero evidence that a single wedding has been impeded, much less refused. Next, take the ridiculous--and absolutely untrue--claim that he's "throwing away money." No such thing has happened. It's a "what if" argument, as we haven't lost a nickel to date. She then tries to twist the fact that his query has cost the City zero dollars into a moral failure on his part? Conversely, that must make Filner a hero--just think of the dollars his adventures will cost us. This column is utter tripe.

Joe Jones
Joe Jones

I congratulate the Voice on hiring Sara Libby. I consider her to be a self-righteous, sanctimonious clown--which means she's doing what a columnist is supposed to do--elicit passion from the readership. Keep up the pathetic work, Sara!

Joe Jones
Joe Jones subscriber

I congratulate the Voice on hiring Sara Libby. I consider her to be a self-righteous, sanctimonious clown--which means she's doing what a columnist is supposed to do--elicit passion from the readership. Keep up the pathetic work, Sara!

Bob Hudson
Bob Hudson

Surprise - Dronenberg turns out to be very conservative! Who would've thunk, other than anyone who paid attention to him over the years. Way back when I worked for elected Republican officials - some quite conservative - a lot of Republican staffers looked upon Dronenberg as being too far out there - really kind of an ultra-right gadfly and we tried to keep him at arm's length. As a bean counter he got appointed to state boards that had the effect of giving him some apparent credibility, but until now he was only a bean counter and not someone in charge of distributing the beans. Now though he is himself an elected official and as such in a position to try to make policy based on his politics. And that's what's happened here: his political lenses view this issue one way, while the liberal State Attorney General's office sees it differently. That's what we call a political dispute and it is not at all like being a groper. Whether you like it or not, he is trying to make policy that is in line with what have been his politics all of his adult life. It shocked me when Ernie got elected and I don't know what they were thinking at City Beat when they endorsed him, but, again, he's doing exactly what you would expect him to do. Call it a "loophole," but his novel argument has just enough merit to maybe get a hearing before a judge. On such nuances, do decisions turn and frankly if he believes his own argument, then as far as he is concerned, Prop 8 has not been "ultimately negated." He could still keep his promise to City Beat, but for now he seems to think it's not over. As noted by others, trying to influence policy is quite different than being a politician who tries to cop a feel in the elevator. The only similarity is that Dronenberg has been well known as an ultra-conservative and Filner has been well known as a disrespectful bully, but that didn't stop either of them from being elected. Perhaps the headline of this commentary should be changed to "San Diego's Embarrassing Voters."

Bob Hudson
Bob Hudson subscriber

Surprise - Dronenberg turns out to be very conservative! Who would've thunk, other than anyone who paid attention to him over the years. Way back when I worked for elected Republican officials - some quite conservative - a lot of Republican staffers looked upon Dronenberg as being too far out there - really kind of an ultra-right gadfly and we tried to keep him at arm's length. As a bean counter he got appointed to state boards that had the effect of giving him some apparent credibility, but until now he was only a bean counter and not someone in charge of distributing the beans. Now though he is himself an elected official and as such in a position to try to make policy based on his politics. And that's what's happened here: his political lenses view this issue one way, while the liberal State Attorney General's office sees it differently. That's what we call a political dispute and it is not at all like being a groper. Whether you like it or not, he is trying to make policy that is in line with what have been his politics all of his adult life. It shocked me when Ernie got elected and I don't know what they were thinking at City Beat when they endorsed him, but, again, he's doing exactly what you would expect him to do. Call it a "loophole," but his novel argument has just enough merit to maybe get a hearing before a judge. On such nuances, do decisions turn and frankly if he believes his own argument, then as far as he is concerned, Prop 8 has not been "ultimately negated." He could still keep his promise to City Beat, but for now he seems to think it's not over. As noted by others, trying to influence policy is quite different than being a politician who tries to cop a feel in the elevator. The only similarity is that Dronenberg has been well known as an ultra-conservative and Filner has been well known as a disrespectful bully, but that didn't stop either of them from being elected. Perhaps the headline of this commentary should be changed to "San Diego's Embarrassing Voters."

Felix Tinkov
Felix Tinkov

Sara, I'm afraid I cannot agree with your position largely because you failed to convey a supremely important aspect of this matter - gay marriages will continue during the pendency of the litigation. While I disagree with Mr. Dronenburg's personal views on gay rights, as you and, I suspect, most San Diegans do, I cannot fault the man based upon his actions in public office. I have no affiliation with Mr. Dronenburg or the law firm filing suit. I voted against Prop 8. I can't recall if I voted for Dronenburg (I'm designated as non-partisan). I think the U.S. Supreme Court punted on the matter before them earlier this year by resolving that the plaintiffs did not have standing when they could have chosen to resolve the matter based upon its constitutionality. I also believe reasonable people can differ even if their positions may be/seem unreasonable to the other. It is abhorrent that in 2013 we still argue whether ANY group should be denied equal rights. Having gone through the Women's Suffrage and Civil Rights Movements it is a shame that some people in this country need a court to remind them of one of our most basic precepts - equality. But shame or not, the First Amendment also permits each of us the rights of free speech and to seek redress for our grievances. Mr. Dronenburg has chosen to exercise his Constitutional rights. He did so with his own resources (likely because no one at the County would support his position, and rightfully so). He is seeking the court's determination on several novel aspects of the California Constitution - e.g. whether a state appellate court must make a determination in order to overturn or a law or whether a federal district court can do so under the Supremacy Clause. And, he made it explicitly clear, on multiple occasions, that he would not attempt to hinder gay marriages in the County while his complaint was heard. Being a public official should not prohibit Mr. Dronenburg from following his personal beliefs or interests, so long as he continues to follow the law. To say that you don't like his politics is one thing, but to say that he went back on his word is twisting the truth beyond recognition. To equate his constitutional right to seek clarification from a court, while using his own funds and not trampling over people's rights by way of his political office, to that of the allegations of civil and criminal wrongdoing by Mayor Filner is outrageous. Kneejerk political rambling has a place. I had just hoped it wasn't in the Voice of San Diego.

Felix Tinkov
Felix Tinkov subscribermember

Sara, I'm afraid I cannot agree with your position largely because you failed to convey a supremely important aspect of this matter - gay marriages will continue during the pendency of the litigation. While I disagree with Mr. Dronenburg's personal views on gay rights, as you and, I suspect, most San Diegans do, I cannot fault the man based upon his actions in public office. I have no affiliation with Mr. Dronenburg or the law firm filing suit. I voted against Prop 8. I can't recall if I voted for Dronenburg (I'm designated as non-partisan). I think the U.S. Supreme Court punted on the matter before them earlier this year by resolving that the plaintiffs did not have standing when they could have chosen to resolve the matter based upon its constitutionality. I also believe reasonable people can differ even if their positions may be/seem unreasonable to the other. It is abhorrent that in 2013 we still argue whether ANY group should be denied equal rights. Having gone through the Women's Suffrage and Civil Rights Movements it is a shame that some people in this country need a court to remind them of one of our most basic precepts - equality. But shame or not, the First Amendment also permits each of us the rights of free speech and to seek redress for our grievances. Mr. Dronenburg has chosen to exercise his Constitutional rights. He did so with his own resources (likely because no one at the County would support his position, and rightfully so). He is seeking the court's determination on several novel aspects of the California Constitution - e.g. whether a state appellate court must make a determination in order to overturn or a law or whether a federal district court can do so under the Supremacy Clause. And, he made it explicitly clear, on multiple occasions, that he would not attempt to hinder gay marriages in the County while his complaint was heard. Being a public official should not prohibit Mr. Dronenburg from following his personal beliefs or interests, so long as he continues to follow the law. To say that you don't like his politics is one thing, but to say that he went back on his word is twisting the truth beyond recognition. To equate his constitutional right to seek clarification from a court, while using his own funds and not trampling over people's rights by way of his political office, to that of the allegations of civil and criminal wrongdoing by Mayor Filner is outrageous. Kneejerk political rambling has a place. I had just hoped it wasn't in the Voice of San Diego.

Robert Cohen
Robert Cohen

The sad part about the County Clerk's petition is that he and his lawyer don't seem to care about the effect it could have on same-sex couples and their children. Don't these guys have an ounce of compassion?

Robert Cohen
Robert Cohen subscriber

The sad part about the County Clerk's petition is that he and his lawyer don't seem to care about the effect it could have on same-sex couples and their children. Don't these guys have an ounce of compassion?

Mark Giffin
Mark Giffin

Much ado about nothing Sara. Gay marriage is a done deal and he is blowing procedural smoke.

Mark Giffin
Mark Giffin subscribermember

Much ado about nothing Sara. Gay marriage is a done deal and he is blowing procedural smoke.

sandiegosteven
sandiegosteven

Great piece. His actions are so offensive and outrageous.

Lee Knight
Lee Knight

Well done and informative article - thank you! I was angry when I first learned about Dronenburg's petition, but I didn't know till now that he was a hypocrite to boot. Dronenburg's action is not only foolish and inappropriate, but it makes our city look backward and hateful, which it is not. Same sex couples who wish to marry and have the right to do so have waited long enough! Every delay causes further harm and is simply mean-spirited.

Lee Knight
Lee Knight subscribermember

Well done and informative article - thank you! I was angry when I first learned about Dronenburg's petition, but I didn't know till now that he was a hypocrite to boot. Dronenburg's action is not only foolish and inappropriate, but it makes our city look backward and hateful, which it is not. Same sex couples who wish to marry and have the right to do so have waited long enough! Every delay causes further harm and is simply mean-spirited.

amy roth
amy roth

I agree with what Jim Jones said below. No comparison between a disgusting human being and someone whose politics you don't happen to agree with. PLEASE, VOSD, don't become another ideological outlet whose viewpoint we'll know even before we open you up!!! I just became a supporter; don't give me buyer's regret.

amy roth
amy roth subscribermember

I agree with what Jim Jones said below. No comparison between a disgusting human being and someone whose politics you don't happen to agree with. PLEASE, VOSD, don't become another ideological outlet whose viewpoint we'll know even before we open you up!!! I just became a supporter; don't give me buyer's regret.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Trying to paint opponents of same sex marriage with the same brush an alleged abuser of women is painted with is hysterical nonsense. I understand pushing an agenda, but why let Libby become the gay version of Papa Doug, pushing personal agenda under the thin guise of news?

Steve Mehlman
Steve Mehlman

Wow, you really got Jim Jones' panties in a bunch this time, Randy. He really seems upset that VOSD would investigate an elected official who tried to overturn a ruling by the nation's highest court that affirms the Constitutional mandate of equal protection under the law for ALL Americans. Of course, that tends to happen when people think that the only thing in the Constitution is the Second Amendment. And I guess VOSD was at fault for not joining the UT and the other right-wing jackals that were trying to take Filner out since the day he took office.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga

What you have here, Jim Jones, is an editor being open about her political opinions. But they don't really matter in the big picture of whether VOSD is a "propaganda sheet." I don't agree with every choice VOSD makes, but I know it's willing to be hard on any politician, Republican or Democrat. You ignore, for example, VOSD's extensive critical coverage of Filner, who's as liberal as they get. If VOSD was truly a leftie enclave, he'd be immune to that sort of coverage.

Richard Gorin
Richard Gorin

Asking the California Supreme Court to halt same-sex marriages is not my idea of being protected. If he really had LGBT interests at heart, he could have asked the CSC to affirm the validity of Judge Walker's injunction and its applicability on a statewide basis. While Dronenburg cites the invalidation of 4000 marriages in 2004, he blithely ignores the CSC's affirmation of the 1700 marriages in 2008.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga

But he's working with an attorney who has a conservative, anti-gay agenda. That casts suspicion on his motives.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Especially when Dronenburg himself said something along the lines that he is doing this not out of a political agenda, but because he stills sees doubt in the law and wants it to be completely resolved before he starts issuing licenses. There is a right way to do this story. Libby's personal attack on Dronenburg, trying to Filner him, isn't it.

Steve Mehlman
Steve Mehlman subscriber

Wow, you really got Jim Jones' panties in a bunch this time, Randy. He really seems upset that VOSD would investigate an elected official who tried to overturn a ruling by the nation's highest court that affirms the Constitutional mandate of equal protection under the law for ALL Americans. Of course, that tends to happen when people think that the only thing in the Constitution is the Second Amendment. And I guess VOSD was at fault for not joining the UT and the other right-wing jackals that were trying to take Filner out since the day he took office.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga memberauthor

What you have here, Jim Jones, is an editor being open about her political opinions. But they don't really matter in the big picture of whether VOSD is a "propaganda sheet." I don't agree with every choice VOSD makes, but I know it's willing to be hard on any politician, Republican or Democrat. You ignore, for example, VOSD's extensive critical coverage of Filner, who's as liberal as they get. If VOSD was truly a leftie enclave, he'd be immune to that sort of coverage.

Richard Gorin
Richard Gorin subscriber

Asking the California Supreme Court to halt same-sex marriages is not my idea of being protected. If he really had LGBT interests at heart, he could have asked the CSC to affirm the validity of Judge Walker's injunction and its applicability on a statewide basis. While Dronenburg cites the invalidation of 4000 marriages in 2004, he blithely ignores the CSC's affirmation of the 1700 marriages in 2008.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga memberauthor

But he's working with an attorney who has a conservative, anti-gay agenda. That casts suspicion on his motives.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Especially when Dronenburg himself said something along the lines that he is doing this not out of a political agenda, but because he stills sees doubt in the law and wants it to be completely resolved before he starts issuing licenses. There is a right way to do this story. Libby's personal attack on Dronenburg, trying to Filner him, isn't it.

Lee Knight
Lee Knight

A done deal? Prop 8 fell because Brown wasn't willing to enforce it. All it will take is for a Republican governor to be elected and to start trying to enforce Prop 8. We could easily be back in the same mess again.

Lee Knight
Lee Knight subscribermember

A done deal? Prop 8 fell because Brown wasn't willing to enforce it. All it will take is for a Republican governor to be elected and to start trying to enforce Prop 8. We could easily be back in the same mess again.

amy roth
amy roth

Doesn't seem to be much diversity in VOSD's audience. Sigh

Ken Brucker
Ken Brucker

But do you have anything besides ad hominems to support your argument(s) with?

Richard Gorin
Richard Gorin

The agenda of restricting marriage to heterosexual partners has been determined by a Federal District Court to be anathema to the Constitution of the United States. That determination was allowed to stand by the Supreme Court. The discussion is over, and while individuals are free to question the wisdom of the outcome, public officials are sworn to uphold the Constitution. Dronenburg must go.

Sydney Allen
Sydney Allen

I see no moral difference between sexist pigs and gay bashers. Thanks Sara.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga

An editor wrote a commentary. This is not new. Editors have done this forever. So what?

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Except, Randy, aside from the fact that Libby's opinion is extreme and deliberately insulting, she is attempting to strip away the dignity of a man she disagrees with politically, the fact is that VOSD didn't cover Filner's issues well prior to the election. Comments on his two trips to Paris reportedly with a terrorist group footing the bill were not allowed, and you let Filner attack the motives of the United employee without giving her a voice in response, and there are more examples. You did a fluff piece on Filner's dad, leaving out that his dad was a member of the communist party. Prior to the election VOSD did what they could to protect Filner, and VOSD has not published any Filner story that wasn't already out in public, and VOSD ignored any bad press on Filner they could ignore. No, Randy, you can't say you covered Filner well. VOSD did the bare minimum they could do and still claim to be a news outlet.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Exactly the way VOSD having a liberal, pro-gay agenda editor casts suspicion on it's status as a news outlet as opposed to a propaganda blog?

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Except, Randy, aside from the fact that Libby's opinion is extreme and deliberately insulting, she is attempting to strip away the dignity of a man she disagrees with politically, the fact is that VOSD didn't cover Filner's issues well prior to the election. Comments on his two trips to Paris reportedly with a terrorist group footing the bill were not allowed, and you let Filner attack the motives of the United employee without giving her a voice in response, and there are more examples. You did a fluff piece on Filner's dad, leaving out that his dad was a member of the communist party. Prior to the election VOSD did what they could to protect Filner, and VOSD has not published any Filner story that wasn't already out in public, and VOSD ignored any bad press on Filner they could ignore. No, Randy, you can't say you covered Filner well. VOSD did the bare minimum they could do and still claim to be a news outlet.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Exactly the way VOSD having a liberal, pro-gay agenda editor casts suspicion on it's status as a news outlet as opposed to a propaganda blog?

Mark Giffin
Mark Giffin

Lee. Its over. that was my point. Brown and Harris chose not to represent the voters by not defending prop 8. They chose Oligarchy over representative government. Shameful yet no one cares about that aspect of what transpired That was the real story and yes....we will be back in the same mess.

Mark Giffin
Mark Giffin subscribermember

Lee. Its over. that was my point. Brown and Harris chose not to represent the voters by not defending prop 8. They chose Oligarchy over representative government. Shameful yet no one cares about that aspect of what transpired That was the real story and yes....we will be back in the same mess.

Joe Vargo
Joe Vargo

Were laying low. Save the substance for later!

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

The SCOTUS did not say gay marriage is a constitutional right, they just said the group in the suit didn't have standing, so the rhetoric that upholding the constitution means upholding gay marriage is false. I understand the desires of gays to have validation through government licenses, but it's a minor issue that belongs on the sideline and on slow news days, and it certainly doesn't need to be used to try to excuse Filner's alleged abuse of women by lessing that act to the status of being not in favor of gay marriage, especially when a majority, including reliable liberal voting blocs voted in prop 8 to begin with.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Sydney, I don't try to fool anyone. Libby is a very biased person, and trying to tie Dronenburg's attempted delay of gay marriage licenses, explained as a step toward legal clarification to Filner's alleged uninvited fondling of women is the tactic of an extremist. Libby has the right to her opinion, but when she posts hysterical nonsense it reflects poorly on VOSD's status as a news site rather than as just another left wing propaganda site. There are plenty of those as well. If VOSD wants to be considered seriously, if things like Fact Check and the scope of their publishing is supposed to be credited as news regardless of where the reader is on the political/social spectrum, then fanatics like Libby are exactly the wrong persons to be editors. Libby is in a position to affect the news that VOSD reports, to steer the narrative outside the commentary pages, and being so polarized in opinion I don't see how anyone could think her bias doesn't get reflected on all of VOSD in some fashion. Maybe they should change the name to Left Wing Voice of SD?

Sydney Allen
Sydney Allen

Who are you trying to fool Jim? Now you're hypothetically arguing that in the midst of a sexual scandal involving a republican politician; you would openly discredit a conservative editor, on a right-leaning online site, who published a get even commentary about a liberal politician who politically marginalized tea party groups? Fat chance! No matter how you slice it, hit piece or not, Dronenburg is just as detestable as Filner. It's a shame you're too politically biased to admit it. It's legitimate news, and Sara Libby has every right to her opinion. There are plenty of online "news" outlets that only publish the right-wing propaganda you ache for.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Sorry Sydney, my point in this thread is not about Filner being a sexist pig, not my choice of words for him but something he admitted in his non-confession confession, it's about Libby's extremism. If she were being the other side of the same coin and saying the supporters of gay marriage were "stripping people of dignity" and painting them as being as bad as what Filner is alleged to be I would be just as critical of her extremism as I am now. Extremism is all well and good, many consider my love of liberty, responsibility and free will extreme in todays world of making a god of the state, but extremism doesn't belong in a real news site editor, it belongs in a propagandist manifesto at best.

Sydney Allen
Sydney Allen

Is it acceptable then for me to call Filner a "sexist pig"? Note how you didn't condemn me for using that label. Could it be you let it slide simply because you openly "hate" and "bash" Filner right here at VOSD on a regular basis? The proof is in the pudding for all to see, nice try at righteousness though Jim. Again, if VOSD irritates you so much with "hit pieces" that expose despicable republicans, maybe you should high-tail it over to one of the many right-wing websites that write exactly want you want to hear.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Nope, I just want to say that those that resort to hateful labels, who try to misrepresent someone as a "gay basher" because they don't champion a pro gay agenda, are themselves the "bashers" Libby is trying to dehumanize Dronenburg, to take his dignity away, to sew a yellow star to his lapel, and that sort of action is the very embodiment of what we all as thinking, reasoning, caring humans should stand against, if we claim to be anti-hate and anti basher.

Sydney Allen
Sydney Allen

Now you want to back pedal and play with semantics?

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

I am not defending any "bashers", be they gay or straight.

Sydney Allen
Sydney Allen

Defending gay bashers because you happen to agree with them politically? Hypocritical much? If you want one-sided right wing commentary head on over to Drudge.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

I see no moral difference between "gay bashers", and people who try to paint anyone who doesn't follow the gay communities agenda as a "gay basher".

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

It's an agenda driven hit piece. Commentary this politically one sided runs counter to a neutral news outlet, it paints the most senior staff here as biased to the extreme left, devoid of reason when they try to paint an unrelated, completely different issue with Filners behavior. Didn't VOSD publish how "the other" media got the Filner story wrong because it was a different sort of sex scandal? Now VOSD are drawing parallels between allegedly fondling women against their will, and a legal opinion on gay marriage that isn't on the pro side? This belongs in one of the far left gay periodicals, not in a serious news site trying to cover a broad audience.