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Posts for November, 2008

A Few Silver Linings

Jim Burroway

November 5th, 2008

As we continue to watch California’s results trickle in, there are some silver linings to report. Arizona State Sen. Tim Bee (R-Tucson) lost his congressional race against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 55% to 43%, with 73% of precincts reporting. Bee is the guy responsible for casting the crucial sixteenth vote which put Prop 102 onto the Arizona ballot. His political career is now, fittingly, over.

And perennial Federal Marriage Amendment sponsor Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) has lost her bid for re-election. With 67% of precincts reporting, Betsy Markey is thumping her 57% to 42%.

Update: With 99% of the precincts reported, Bee is down 56% to 43%. The Arizona Daily Star is reporting that Bee has still declined to concede as of 1:30 am. What a loser.

Update: After the lights went out and the cameras left, Bee finally conceded via email this morning.

Election Day Update Live Blogging

Jim Burroway

November 4th, 2008

As of 2:12 pm EST/11:12 am PST:
Okay, one last update. The Los Angeles Times declared Prop 8 as passed, and so will we. I hope we’re premature.

Now, this ends the live blog.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,040,122 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,437 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,873 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,406 (43%)
96% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,235,486 (52%) – Projected winner
No: 4,800,656 (48%)
97% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,710,928 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,877,193 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:35 pm EST/10:35 am PST:
At this point, there has been no substantial movement in the election results for the past several hours — just a few tweaks here and there as the last precincts report in. There may be more changes as absentee and provisional ballots are counted over the next few hours and perhaps days. We will continue to update these figures periodically in other posts, and put this particular marathon “live blog” to an end for now.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,845 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,346 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,873 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,406 (43%)
96% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,220,694 (52%)
No: 4,792,873 (48%)
96% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,674,662 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,855,432 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:20 pm EST/10:20 am PST:
Just a few minor tweaks to the Arkansas and Florida counts. No change on Arizona or California. The No on Prop 8 campaign called a hastily organized press tele-conference refusing to concede, saying that 3 million to 4 million ballots remain uncounted statewide.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,792 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,315 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,873 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,406 (43%)
96% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,220,694 (52%)
No: 4,792,873 (48%)
96% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,674,662 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,855,432 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 12:20 pm EST/9:20 am PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,792 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,315 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,774 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,344 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,220,694 (52%)
No: 4,792,873 (48%)
96% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,674,626 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,966 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 11:30 am EST/8:30 am PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,792 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,315 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,873 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,406 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,195,136 (52%)
No: 4,779,297 (48%)
96% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,674,654 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,855,427 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 10:00 am EST/7:00 am PST:
It’s time for me to head to work, so updates may be sporadic.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,774 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,344 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,163,908 (52%)
No: 4,760,336 (48%)
95% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,662,558 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,598 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 9:35 am EST/6:35 am PST:
Interesting exit polling results for California’s Prop 8. The present is difficult, but the future is ours. Hang in there.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 571,392 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 432,512 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,125,752 (52%)
No: 4,725,313 (48%)
95% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,662,558 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,598 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 9:15 am EST/6:15 am PST:
Interesting exit polling results for Arizona’s Prop 102. Things will definitely be different in another decade or so. Despite these losses, time and history are clearly on our side.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 571,392 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 432,512 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,019,930 (52%)
No: 4,656,291 (48%)
92% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,662,558 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,598 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 8:45 am EST/5:45 am PST:
None of the networks are calling California’s Prop 8 yet.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 571,392 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 432,512 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,010,855 (52%)
No: 4,650,469 (48%)
92% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,662,558 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,598 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 8:00 am EST/5:00 am PST:
Well, we’re back. Let’s see where things stand right now.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 571,392 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 432,512 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,948,765 (52%)
No: 4,597,609 (48%)
91% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,632,316 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,832,236 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 2:15 am EST/11:15 pm PST:
I’m afraid this will have to be my last update for the night. My partner has rolled over and turned off the light, and our two dogs are staring at me with that look that says, “aren’t you done yet?” And there’s the fact that I still have to get up early in the morning for my real job.

So here is where things stand right now. We’ll pick it up in the morning. Feel free to add your updates in the comments.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,008,420 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 776,896 (44%)
92% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 544,197 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 544,197 (43%)
90% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 2,457,023 (53%)
No: 2,202,737 (47%)
39% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,632,316 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,832,236 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 2:00 am EST/11:00 pm PST:
California is still hanging in there.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,007,350 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 776,264 (44%)
92% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 509,879 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 379,606 (43%)
84% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 2,282,644 (53%)
No: 2,055,774 (47%)
35% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,632,316 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,832,236 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:40 am EST/10:40 pm PST:
As we continue to watch California’s results trickle in, there are some silver linings to report. Arizona State Sen. Tim Bee (R-Tucson) lost his congressional race against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 55% to 43%, with 73% of precincts reporting. Bee is the guy responsible for casting the crucial sixteenth vote which put Prop 102 onto the Arizona ballot. His political career is now, fittingly, over.

And perennial Federal Marriage Amendment sponsor Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) has lost her bid for re-election. With 67% of precincts reporting, Betsy Markey is thumping her 57% to 42%.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,004,467 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 774,471 (44%)
91% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 501,385 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 373,806 (43%)
83% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 2,252,980 (53%)
No: 1,983,079 (47%)
32% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,614,855 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,816,930 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:20 am EST/10:20 pm PST:
The web site for California’s results is extremely slow right now. It’s been slow all evening, but right now I’m really having a hard time getting the results to come up.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,003,365 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 774,034 (44%)
91% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 481,397 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 361,804 (43%)
77% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,996,918 (53%)
No: 1,810,938 (47%)
29% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,614,855 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,816,930 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:00 am EST/10:00 pm PST:
It’s official; Florida has fallen. California is still standing — and the gap is beginning to close.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 998,429 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 771,350 (44%)
91% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 475,310 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 356,953 (43%)
75% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,867,373 (53%)
No: 1,633,120 (47%)
24% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,589,831 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,800,945 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 12:40 am EST/9:40 pm PST:
I’m back home now, keeping an eye on Arizona and California. It looks like Arkansas and Arizona are lost. I can however take consolation that Pima County (Tucson), my home, has stayed true to its better nature and is trending against Prop 102. California and Florida are still too close to call, although I think we’ll be able to call Florida soon, unfortunately.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 973,264 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 747,932 (44%)
85% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 446,081 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 337,638 (43%)
67% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,682,717 (55%)
No: 1,407,141 (45%)
22% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,479,514 (62%)
No: 2,719,369 (38%)
92% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 12:20 am EST/9:20 pm PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 930,710 (56%)
No: 728,183 (44%)
81% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 415,261 (57%)
No: 317,625 (43%)
61% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,451,505 (55%)
No: 1,213,319 (45%)
17% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,414,880 (62%)
No: 2,678,415 (38%)
91% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 11:35 pm EST/8:35 pm PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 877,204 (56%)
No: 684,143 (44%)
71% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 378,764 (57%)
No: 288,143 (43%)
54% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,053,742 (54%)
No: 894,081 (46%)
6% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,249,773 (62%)
No: 2,591,180 (38%)
86% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 11:07 pm EST/8:07 pm PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 754,526 (56%)
No: 585,886 (44%)
49% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 287,692 (57%)
No: 218,441 (43%)
40% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,184,771 (62%)
No: 2,558,175 (38%)
84% of precincts reporting
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 10:00 pm EST/7:00 pm PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 90,920 (59%)
No: 63,362 (41%)
3% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 3,623,476 (62%)
No: 2,179,355 (38%)
62% of precincts reporting
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 9:30 EST/6:30 PST:

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 3,388,335 (62%)
No: 2,066,794 (38%)
50% of precincts reporting
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 21,273 (57%)
No: 16,366 (43%)
3% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 3,388,335 (62%)
No: 2,066,794 (38%)
50% of precincts reporting

* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

Who Is Behind Arizona’s Marriage Amendment?

Jim Burroway

August 6th, 2008

This woman: Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy. CAP is an official state policy council of Colorado Springs-based Focus On the Family.

YouTube Preview Image

This is the lobbyist who Arizona Senate President Timothy Bee (R-Tucson) denounced from the Senate dias — just before he crumpling himself under the pressure and casting the deciding 16th vote to put yet another anti-marriage amendment before the voters. Arizonans already said no to a previous attempt in 2006. Herrod didn’t like that answer, so she’s trying again for 2008.

Here’s shorter video featuring Cathi Herrod. Notice the message discipline. You can help to defeat Arizona’s Prop 102 here.

[Hat tip: Tucson Observer]

Bee “Doesn’t See The Point” of Ethics Investigation

Jim Burroway

July 24th, 2008

State Sen. Timothy Bee (R-Tucson)Arizona State Senate President Tim Bee (R-Tucson) rejected a request to appoint a bipartisan panel to investigate whether Republicans broke legislative rules when they improperly ended a filibuster attempt to vote on the same-sex marriage amendment:

“I don’t see the point in it,” Bee, a Tucson Republican, said Wednesday of the request to appoint an independent panel. “If I were to appoint a separate commission it wouldn’t have any authority other than to have a hearing.”

… Bee said, “I had concerns about the way that came down that night,” but he said he would leave the decision to the Ethics Committee. He said he was “absolutely not” involved in any plan to break Senate rules.

A Senate attorney has already concluded Senate Chairman Jack Harper (R-Surprise) violated the rules by cutting off the discussion. Sen. Ken Cheuvront (D-Phoenix) filed a complaint to the Senate Ethics committee, which has agreed to discuss the issue on Monday.

Bee’s unethical performance in those final hours of the legislative session is a topic that he wishes would just go away. He’s currently running for Congress in District 8 against Democratic incumbent Gabrielle Giffords.  In 2006, CD8 voted to defeat a proposed same-sex marraige ban 45.4% to 54.6%. That was a significantly wider margin than the statewide vote of 48.2% to 51.8%.

More Evidence Tim Bee Isn’t Ready For Prime Time

Jim Burroway

July 12th, 2008

State Sen. Timothy Bee (R-Tucson)He sees nuclear-powered cars in our future:

And, he said, there are new technologies being developed, including hydrogen and perhaps nuclear-powered vehicles. “There are incredible things on the horizon,” he said.

Bumbling Bee Won’t Say Where He’ll Land

Jim Burroway

July 10th, 2008

State Sen. Timothy Bee (R-Tucson)This is just nuts. Arizona Sen. Tim Bee (R-Tucson), who cast the crucial sixteenth vote to place the anti-marriage amendment on the ballot, just can’t make up his mind about where he stands on the issue. First, he signed on as a co-sponsor of the amendment. Then he took on Rep. Jim Kolbe as his honorary chairman for his race against Gabrielle Giffords (D) for the eighth Congressional district. That led him to try to bottle the amendment up in the state Senate. Then, in the final hours of the legislative session, he blasted the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) for their threats and coercive tactics, but then crumpled under the pressure to cast the deciding vote. That led Kolbe to abandon Bee’s campaign. Then the Tucson Citizen asked Bee about his opinion on same-sex marriage and he struggled to come up with a coherent answer.

Now the Arizona Daily Star is reporting that he won’t answer another simple question: will he vote for the marriage ban in November?

But asked whether he’d support the measure — a hallmark issue for social conservatives — now that he’s voted to put it on the ballot, Bee wouldn’t say, calling it his “private vote.”  “I think ultimately, as I tell my members, vote your conscience,” he said.

Bee is trying to play both sides and failing miserably. You cannot denounce CAP’s threats and divisive politics on one hand only to turn around and do their bidding on the other. And you cannot first sponsor a same-sex marriage ban before trying to duck the question just because you’re running in a congressional district that voted against Prop 107 in 2006 by more than a 9% margin.

That 2006 vote was decisive. Bee isn’t. If he can’t make up his mind on this and show some fortitude in front of fellow Arizonans, how can we expect him to make an unassisted decision in Washington?

Bee Knows His Anti-Marriage Vote Was A Mistake

Jim Burroway

July 10th, 2008

Arizona State Sen. Tim Bee knows that his crucial sixteenth vote to place the anti-marriage amendment on the ballot was a terrible mistake that he wishes would just go away. Especially now that Kolbe has withdrawn his support. The Tucson Citizen’s Mark Kimble offers this anecdote:

State Sen. Timothy Bee (R-Tucson)In a visit this week with the Tucson Citizen Editorial Board, Arnie Bermudez, the Citizen’s cartoonist, asked Bee a logical question: Why shouldn’t gay couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples?

Bee was speechless. He looked at his aide, Dunn, then back at Bermudez. For an uncomfortable 15 or 20 seconds, he said absolutely nothing hunting for an answer. Then Bee said he “was not judgmental,” “likes people of all persuasions” and feels “the core family is an important thing.”

This is not an issue Bee wants in this campaign. But Kolbe’s absence will not let it go away.

And neither will we.

More On Kolbe and Bee’s Parting of Ways

Jim Burroway

July 10th, 2008

Former US Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) still isn’t directly saying why he has withdrawn his support for Arizona State Senate President Tim Bee’s run for Kolbe’s old Congressional seat. But what he’s not saying is leaving little doubt about the reasons.

Last week, Kolbe announced that he would no longer serve as Bee’s honorary chairman. That announcement came just a few days after Bee’s crucial sixteenth vote to place the anti-marriage amendment again on the ballot. A similar effort was rejected by Arizona voters in 2006.

While Kolbe isn’t talking about his decision, that’s not keeping others from talking. Mark Kimble, writing for today’s Tucson Citizen, describes Kolbe’s reversal as “a stunning six-month turnaround”:

On Jan. 19, Kolbe stood at Bee’s side as Bee announced he would run against Democratic incumbent Gabrielle Giffords for the U.S. House in District 8 – a seat that Kolbe held until he retired in 2006. When Bee stressed his commitment to bipartisanship, Kolbe told reporters, “That’s what we need in Washington.”

Kolbe’s support went beyond that. Just last month, Kolbe opened his Washington, D.C., townhome to host a fundraiser for Bee. And now Kolbe is out, with neither man saying why.

Kimble reports that Kolbe remained circumspect in a telephone interview. When asked why he withdrew, Kolbe said he would “not have a long, protracted discussion” about it. But when asked directly whether he still supported Bee, Kolbe demurred, saying, “I’m not going to get into playing that game.”

You know, if Kolbe still supported Bee in the general, non-endorsing, “I hope we can change the seat to a Republican seat” kind of way, that would not be difficult to say. But Kolbe didn’t even offer that minimal support.

But if that’s not clear enough, there’s this: When Bee was asked why Kolbe withdrew his support, Bee said, “Jim has some personal things going on now that he needs to focus on.” What are those “personal things”? Illness? Death in the family? Catching up on All My Children episodes? He wouldn’t say. But whatever they are, they aren’t keeping Kolbe from hosting a fundraiser tomorrow for state Rep, Pete Hershberger (R-Tucson), who is running for the state Senate.

Why Hershberger and not Bee? Maybe it’s because Hershberger was one of only two state House Republicans who voted against the anti-marriage amendment last May.

Kolbe Ends Support For Bee

Jim Burroway

July 5th, 2008

Kolbe and BeeLast week, after Arizona Senate President Tim Bee (right) buckled under the threats and pressure from Cathi Herrod’s Center for Arizona Policy and cast the cowardly deciding vote to place the anti-marriage amendment on the ballot, we asked where former Rep. Jim Kolbe stood in all this. Kolbe (left) was Tim Bee’s honorary chairman for Bee’s campaign for Congress in Arizona’s eighth district, which was the the seat that Kolbe once held as an out gay Congressman for ten years.

Today, we may have something of an answer:

“I will not be actively campaigning for Bee,” the former Republican congressman said during a telephone interview with the Herald/Review on Thursday.

… Tom Dunn, a spokesman for the Bee campaign, also confirmed Kolbe’s decision. “For personal reasons, Mr. Kolbe is no longer associated with our campaign,” Dunn said. Neither Kolbe nor Dunn provided specific reasons for the former congressman dropping out of campaigning for Bee.

I don’t understand why Kolbe needs to be so coy about this, but I’m glad that he’s distancing himself from Bee nevertheless.

In 2006, the eighth Congressional district defeated Prop 107, that year’s proposed anti-marriage amendment, by more than ten percentage points: 45.4% to 54.6%. That was a significantly wider margin than the statewide tally of 48.2% to 51.8%.

Update: While Kolbe is silent on why he broke with Bee, Daniel Scarpinato is setting the obvious conclusions to print in this morning’s Arizona Daily Star (registration required):

According to Dunn, the switch came within the last week. Also in the last week: Bee, president of the state Senate, was the decisive vote on sending a measure to the ballot asking voters to define marriage in the Arizona Constitution as solely between one man and one woman.

And Kolbe, the only openly gay Republican in Congress before his retirement in 2006, had expressed disagreement with Bee on the issue shortly after it was announced in January that Kolbe would be the honorary chairman for Bee’s campaign. For his part, Bee dodged questions about the measure all year — and avoided bringing it up for a vote until the final hours of a 166-day legislative session. Up to that point, Kolbe had been active in the campaign throughout the spring and summer, hosting a fundraiser for Bee in Washington just last month.

… The support of Kolbe — a highly popular moderate during his 22-year tenure representing Southern Arizona — was a major highlight of Bee’s long-awaited campaign kickoff in January. Kolbe had refused to endorse the GOP nominee for his seat in 2006, Randy Graf. And we all remember how that ended.

For those outside of Arizona who don’t know, Graf lost badly what had been a reasonably reliable Republican seat to Democrat Gabrielle Giffords.

Meanwhile, Bee and Cochise County Republicans are trying to pretend that all is well.

Anti-Gay Politics, Arizona Style

Jim Burroway

July 1st, 2008

The Tucson Observer has published a first person account of the final hours of the Arizona Senate’s passage of the anti-marriage amendment. In this Legislative Update by Representative Steve Farley (D-Tucson) you really get a sense of the boorish, contemptible behavior of a Republican majority with no regard for their own rules. And you also get a sense of how spineless Senate President Timothy Bee was throughout all of this.

After the budget was finished Thursday night, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Mesa) made an attempt to adjourn sine die and end the session right away. Unfortunately, he got the wording wrong, so Majority Leader Tom Boone (R-Peoria)–who had other plans in mind for a number of unfinished bills–made a substitute motion to recess which canceled out Biggs’ motion when the vast majority of the body, unsure what to do, stood in support of Boone.

That paved the way for us to come back the next day for a horrible day of legislating where a whole lot of bad things happened, none worse than the resurrection of the anti-marriage amendment.

You may recall that we have spent much of the session fighting Republican efforts to place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to outlaw Gay marriage, which is already illegal. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix) carried out an ingenious strategy to derail the House version of the bill several months ago.

As a referendum, it is not subject to veto by the Governor — it goes directly to the voters if approved by both houses of the Legislature. Right-wingers in the House have been conspiring with the Center for Arizona Policy ever since to find a way to bring another version to the floor.

On May 12, that new version, SCR1042, passed out of the House by one vote when Rep. Marian McClure (R-Green Valley) changed her vote to Yes, under pressure from her partners running for the Corporation Commission–Bob Robson (R-Chandler) and Bob Stump (R-Peoria). They all have been led to believe that the anti-marriage amendment will bring more hard-right voters to the polls in November, and they will benefit from it. It would appear it doesn’t matter to them how many LGBT people get hurt on their way to higher office.

Despite withering pressure from the hard right lobbyists, the bill never made it to the floor. Senate President Tim Bee (R-Tucson) apparently came to understand that a yes vote on the amendment would compromise the image of moderation and bipartisanship he has built up over the years, so he refused to bring it forth while at the same time saying to members of his own caucus that he would bring it forth in time.

His caucus members brought it forth for him on Wednesday when they voted to force it to the floor, but it did not receive the votes to carry at that time because the 16th vote was in a cabin in northern Arizona — Senator Karen Johnson (R-Mesa). She is not running for re-election, and had declared early in the session that her last day would be June 21. She left and planned not to return.

What she didn’t plan on was members of her church–including her bishop for Arizona–surrounding her cabin at all hours of the day and night praying for her that she be moved into returning to Phoenix to vote for the amendment.

The pressure worked, and she arrived at the Capitol on Friday, when the bill would be brought back up for reconsideration. Senator Tom O’Halleran (R-Sedona) was rumored to be gone as well, but he stayed to vote Yes. Sixteen votes in favor, including Tim Bee, were present, but we found out that two of them, Senator Pam Gorman (R-Anthem) and Karen Johnson, had plane flights out of town that evening and would be gone by 7pm.

So we forces of reason had our mission — drag things out until those two were gone, then adjourn sine die. For reasons way too complicated to explain in this already voluminous missive, we had to filibuster in the House and in the Senate, without making it appear we were actually filibustering. Rep. Sinema served as field general, and she picked four of us to do the talking, based on the fact that we always did a lot of talking and we didn’t want others to catch on to what we were doing.

The four were Reps. Prezelski (D-South Tucson), Ableser (D-Tempe), Ulmer (D-Yuma), and me. We asked a whole lot of questions in caucus (at one point we stretched out discussion of two of the bills to 40 minutes), in Committee of the Whole, and in explaining our votes in third read and final passage. We were so convincing that certain other members of our own caucus who were not in on the plan began to openly mock us for talking too long and told us to sit down and shut up. In the end we were able to extend debate past 7pm.

Our colleagues in the Senate were doing the same thing on the floor, but things were not going so well. Republicans began suspending Senate rules left and right to deprive the Democrats of talking time, and in one case suspended an entire calendar of bills that had already been passed, a move that had the effect of killing them. People called each other names and nearly got into shoving matches. Senators cried, while other senators openly laughed at those who cried.

Decorum broke down almost completely as the torchbearers for the “moral majority” followed a scorched-earth policy in their single-minded quest to take away rights from LGBT people. After 7pm, it became clear that Gorman and Johnson had no intention to leave to make their planes, and by 7:20, the filibuster could hold out no longer.

The vote was called for through a series of rule suspensions, and voting finally proceeded. Senator Carolyn Allen (R-Scottsdale) left in disgust before the vote. Senator Paula Aboud (D-Tucson), the only open lesbian in the Senate, talked about the power of the love between her and her partner, and asked the other senators, “Why are you afraid of our love? Are you afraid of me? Do I scare you?” Every Republican (besides Carolyn Allen) voted yes, then turned their backs and left the floor in the middle of Aboud’s speech.

After all had voted except President Bee, the tally stood at 15 in favor. Weighing in last, Bee explained his vote. He hammered the Center for Arizona Policy and its tactics, calling the issue divisive and saying that the lobbyists in favor of the amendment had “confronted members in hostile ways and coerced them.”

Many of us watching held our breath, wondering if Bee would step up courageously to do the right thing–not the easy thing. Would he vote No, and show that he puts policy above politics? Would he reject the Republican strategists who were convinced the anti-marriage amendment would help spur conservative voters to vote for him in his congressional race against Gabrielle Giffords?

His voice moved swiftly lower–almost to a whisper–as he concluded, “But my constituents want to vote on this, so I will vote Aye.”

With that, Tim Bee cast the deciding 16th vote, and in effect personally placed the anti-marriage amendment on the ballot once again, ensuring that the divisiveness will continue into the electorate at large.

This concluded the session like a punch to the gut. Exhausted and dispirited, we adjourned sine die shortly thereafter without doing much else. Bills that were in process died, including a vital bill to enact new tax credits for attracting huge solar energy plants to Arizona–plants and factories we are currently losing to California and Oregon in increasing numbers. But apparently, outlawing Gay marriage again was much more important than rebuilding our economy through renewable energy.

Tim BeeAfter lambasting CAP’s political tactics, Bee turned around and blamed his constituents for his cowardly vote. His constituents don’t deserve being scapegoated like this. They already voted on this in 2006 and gave a resounding “no” — 47.5% to 52.5%. That was wider than the statewide margin of 48.2% to 51.8%. And the Congressional district that he wants to represent come November also said “no” by a wider margin still: 45.4% to 54.6%. What part of “no” does Bee not understand?

More Reactions to AZ Anti-Marriage Amendment Fiasco

Jim Burroway

June 30th, 2008

I like the way “Tedski” at the Arizona political blog Rum Romanism and Rebellion thinks, probably because I myself in almost perfect agreement with his reaction to Arizona Senate President Tim Bee’s disgraceful performance in the closing hours of the legislative session:

Tim BeeOn the other hand, there was the leadership that he applied to the gay marriage referendum. He went back and forth on this one. For example, he was one of the main sponsors of the legislation, but delayed the vote in the hopes that time would run out and it would never actually be presented. This back and forth was so public that it didn’t fool anyone. He even pulled a Marion McClure on this, giving an impassioned speech that seemed to be against the bill then casting the deciding vote for the darned thing.

Apparently, he then disappeared into his office to “compose” himself for about an hour.

Now, that’s leadership.

My take on Bee’s performance is here. Is this the man we’re supposed to send to Congress? If he can’t stand up to Cathi Herrod at the Center for Arizona Policy, how can we expect him to stand up to lobbyists in Washington?

By now it should be obvious to anyone paying attention that his political career is toast. Good thing he has his brother’s Bee Line school bus service to go back to.

Tedski closes with this:

Say, what does Bee’s campaign chair, Jim Kolbe, think of all this?

Yeah! That what I want to know!

Arizona Senate Breaks Own Rules To Pass Anti-Marriage Amendment

Jim Burroway

June 28th, 2008

The Republican-controlled Arizona Senate late yesterday broke its own rules to shut down debate and force a vote to place a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage on the ballot.

According to Equality Arizona and the Arizona Daily Star, Sen Paula Aboud (D-Tucson) was engaged in a debate with Sen. Ken Cheuvront (D-Phoenix) on another tax bill in a move similar to a filibuster according to the Senate rules. During the debate, Majority Leader Thayer Verschoor (R-Gilbert) and Majority Whip John Huppenthal (R-Chandler), among others, devised a scheme with committee chairman Jack Harper (R- rural district 4) to violate the rules of the Senate and the rights of Senators Aboud and Cheuvront.

Barbara McCullough-Jones and Sam Holdren of Arizona Equality describe what happened next:

In the middle of their discussion, Senator Harper turned off the microphones of Senators Paula Aboud (D-28) and Ken Cheuvront (D-15) and called on the Majority Leader to make a motion. Then, when Senators Aboud and Cheuvront loudly called for a Point of Order several times, even walking to the front desk where Senator Harper sat, he deliberately ignored their calls. To add insult to injury, these people attempted to justify their actions, even after the Senate President and other Senators admonished them for deliberately breaking the rules. Tonight’s actions of these and other Senators have forever tainted that body, and it’s important that we all let the people of Arizona know how these individuals acted so unethically.

The chamber broke down into chaos for the next twenty minutes when]the matter was finally brought before Senate President Tim Bee (R-Tucson) for resolution. Bee, who had been trying to keep the proposed amendment off the calendar, lambasted the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), the right-wing lobbying group behind the marriage amendment, for what he described as their divisive tactics, hostility, coercion and threats. He then publicly buckled under the pressure and became the constitutionally-mandated sixteenth vote to placed the measure on the ballot.

Sens. Aboud and Cheuvront are the only two openly gay members of the Arizona Senate. After the shouting was over, Sen. Aboud spoke again to the Senate:

“I just don’t understand how my personal, private relationship between two people affects anyone else in this room?

“Get your love off my back,” Aboud said. “Is your relationship with your family so fragile that you’re threatened by me?”

Today was a shameful day in the Senate’s history under Bee’s weak leadership. Bee is running for Congress to try to replace Gabrielle Giffords (D-Tucson) in a congressional district which voted against the 2006 attempt to write discrimination into the constitution by a wider margin than did voters statewide (45.4% to 54.6% in CD8, versus 48.2% to 51.8% statewide). During his term in the Senate, Bee represented a district which also defeated Prop 107 a margin wider than the statewide tally (47.5% to 52.5%).

Yesterday may well have marked the end of Bee’s political career. And with his shameful display of cowardice under pressure, it is an end well deserved.

Kolbe and Bee

Jim Burroway

June 27th, 2008

Kolbe and Bee“Tim Bee has demonstrated his toughness and his compassion, his ability to lead while at the same time listening to others. These are skills few people in public life have. We need Tim Bee working for us in Congress.” — Jim Kolbe (left), the gay former U.S. Congressman for the district Tim Bee is running in and the campaign’s “Honorary Chairman.”

Tim Bee was the sixteenth vote in the Arizona Senate’s shameless vote to put the anti-marriage amendment on the ballot yet again. Bee is running for the congressional seat that Kolbe once held. Kolbe voted for DOMA in 1996, a vote that led to his outing. I have heard him speak passionately against Prop 107 in 2006.

So what does Kolbe have to say about this? Is he ducking back into the closet again?

[Hat tip: Tucson Observer]

Arizona Senate Passes Anti-Marriage Amendment

Jim Burroway

June 27th, 2008

We just received word that late this evening that the Arizona Senate was able to scare up the sixteen votes needed to put a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage onto the ballot.

Tucson’s District 30 Senator and Senate President Tim Bee was the sixteenth vote. He will be running against incumbent Gabrielle Giffords in November for the Congressional District 8 house seat. Voters in CD8 voted against the 2006 Arizona amendment, with 52.5%54.6% voting against Prop 107 and only 47.5%45.4% voting for it. That was a wider margin than the state-wide result of 51.8% against and 48.2% in favor.

Update: I had my figures crossed. I originally posted the results for Sen. Bee’s Senate district, not the Congressional district he is currently running for. As you can see, voters in the Congressional district defeated Prop 107 by a wider margin still. I apologize for the error.