Mary Bono Mack: ‘One quick answer’ not ‘doing justice’ for Newtown victims

Standing in Newtown, Conn. today, Rep. Mary Bono Mack said the country needed to take a comphrensive look at mental health services and called for a deep debate on gun control.

The Palm Springs Republican made the comments on CNN this morning, as part of a weekly guest appearance she has been doing with her husband, Rep. Connie Mack of Florida.

“To simply throw out one quick answer is not doing justice to any of the vicitims and their families right now,” Bono Mack said. “There is going to be so much that we have to really delve into and not just look for the quick, quick, quick fix.”

Bono Mack said the president was on “the right path” in his response to Friday’s horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman killed 20 young students and six adults. The gunman also killed his mother before turning the weapon on himself.

But Bono Mack, who has just a couple weeks left remaining in her final House term, did not elaborate on what types of gun control measures she would support.

Mack, who after November’s election loss is also leaving Congress, said it was the first time the couple had been to Newtown.

“Our hearts and praryers are with the families, with this community,” Mack said on CNN. “This should never happen to our children or our citizens.”

You can see the CNN clip here:

The issue of gun control is being fiercely debated among many California leaders.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, plans to introduce an assault weapon ban when the 113th Congress takes over on Jan. 3.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Rancho Mirage Democrat, has also said “it is long past time that we enacted sensible gun laws and school safety legislation.”

Bono Mack has not released any statements about Friday’s shooting. But she did express some brief observations today on Twitter.

“In Newtown today for CNN. Beautiful, quaint little town that will now have hallowed ground as well as enduring spirit of love and grace,” Bono Mack wrote.


Politicians react to Supreme Court decision on Prop 8

Today’s news that the U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in on the controversial issue of same-sex marriage has prompted a responses from state and federal elected leaders as well as interested groups.

The court’s decision will provide the ultimate ruling on Prop 8, a ban on same-sex marriage that California passed in 2008, as well as the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Here’s what officials are saying:

“I sincerely hope that the Supreme Court finds that both of these laws – Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act – violate the promise of equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution. I believe support for marriage equality keeps growing stronger nationwide because it is a matter of fairness and justice.” — U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Rancho Mirage Democrat

“Same-sex couples live their lives like all married couples. They raise children, share finances, care for each other and love each other in good times and bad. But DOMA denies these couples more than 1,100 federal rights and benefits that other Americans enjoy. I fully expect the court will come to the same conclusion I have—that this is a violation of equal protection and must be struck down.” — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who has championed efforts to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act

“With the Supreme Court’s decision, marriage equality will finally have its day in the highest court in the land. Americans will hear whether inequality and discrimination are consistent with the high standards and deepest values of our Constitution. We remain confident that the justices’ ruling will fall on the side of civil rights and discard DOMA and Prop 8 in the dustbin of history. … By taking up the Prop 8 case, the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to make a strong statement that laws, in California and nationwide, must not target the LGBT community unfairly and that families across our state and our country deserve fair and equal treatment under the law. We have now reached a landmark moment in the history of civil rights in our nation. Let’s end discrimination and ensure equality for all of America’s families. Let’s get this over with and on to the future!” — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat

“Today’s announcement that the Supreme Court will take up Hollingsworth v. Perry and the challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act is a reminder that the pathway to justice is long and difficult. The plaintiffs in the initial challenge to Proposition 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, presented a powerful and compelling argument that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, which was eloquently recognized in Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling in that case. I am very confident that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of our community in Hollingsworth v. Perry, as it is now known, and affirm that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. But until that outcome is secured, our community must continue to fight for justice on every front, from working to secure the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to addressing the issues of homelessness among LGBT youth.” — California Assembly Speaker John Perez, the first openly gay man to serve as speaker

“Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to consider marriage equality takes our nation one step closer to realizing the American ideal of equal protection under the law for all people. For justice to prevail, Proposition 8 must be invalidated so that gay and lesbian families are finally treated with equality and dignity.” — California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris

“Should the Supreme Court decide to overturn the marriage laws of 41 states, the ruling would become even more divisive than the Court’s infamous Roe v. Wade decision. Marriage, unlike abortion laws in the 1970s, has been incorporated into the state constitutions of 30 states. Voters in these states will not accept an activist court redefining our most fundamental social institution. … Additionally, we believe that the people’s vote on Proposition 8 should be respected. Activist courts like the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit should not overturn their decision. We hope the Supreme Court will recognize the right of the people to uphold marriage as it has always been defined.” —  Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, whose group helped draft and enact DOMA

Senators Boxer, Feinstein place bet on World Series

California’s two U.S. senators — Democrats Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein — have a friendly World Series wager going with their Michigan counterparts.

Game 1 between the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers is tonight at AT&T Park.

California’s lawmakers are wagering San Francisco’s own Ghirardelli chocolates and a selection of California wines. Michigan Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow are betting Sanders chocolates and Michigan wine.

“The Giants have shown throughout the season that they never quit, and I am looking forward to a hard-fought series that ends with another victory parade down Market Street in San Francisco,” Boxer, a Rancho Mirage Democrat, said in a statement today.

Dem convention: Day 3

We got some more convention updates from Greg Rodriguez, a Palm Springs political activist who is one of seven locals in Charlotte to attend the Democratic convention.

Rodriguez had nothing but praise for the first full day of floor speeches, dubbing it “absolutely incredible.”

“I love the personal stories of ‘regular’ Americans who have been positively impacted by the president’s policies, especially in the area of healthcare,” Rodriguez wrote by email.

Today’s events started with a breakfast for the California delegation. Rodriguez said there was “very light turnout” for the morning kickoff.

“Everyone must have been celebrating the incredible first day of the convention, especially our first lady’s moving speech,” Rodriguez noted.

Speaking of First Lady Michelle Obama, Rodriguez had a chance to meet her today at a lunch with the Human Rights Campaign and The Victory Fund. Both groups advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

In short summary, Rodriguez said “Michelle was amazing.”

Other early speakers he had the chance to hear from included California’s Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Former President Bill Clinton is the headliner of tonight’s events. The Democratic convention wraps Thursday, with President Obama officially accepting the party’s nomination.

Senate candidates plan debate outside Desert Sun

What’s the best way to make sure your photo op gets noticed by the local media? For some of the U.S. Senate candidates, the new tactic is to hold a debate at The Desert Sun’s doorstep.

Republican Orly Taitz, who is best known for launching the “birther” movement, will join Marsha Feinland, a Peace and Freedom Party candidate, will be on the sidewalk outside of 750 N. Gene Autry Trail on April 24. Other unnamed challengers to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein are being invited as well.

The 10 a.m. event,  announced in a short email over the weekend, is billed as a debate. It will be moderated by Earl Ammerman, who ran for a congressional seat in Nevada.

“The goal of the debate is to bring the story to the media,” the email said.

Part-time valley resident eyes U.S. Senate

Republican Al Ramirez, a part-time Palm Desert resident, has opened an exploratory committee to run against U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Ramirez in 2010 ran against U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Rancho Mirage Democrat. But he barely made a blip on the statewide campaign radar.

Ramirez hopes to fare better in the new open primary system.

“While fairly called a long shot challenger against an incumbent, I offer a unique strategy as a Hispanic Republican in California,” Ramirez said in a press release announcing his candidacy.

“Furthermore, I am running because, in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the voters deserve better than re-electing an incumbent by default.”

At least 10 other Republicans are also trying to unseat Feinstein this year.

Feinstein makes 2012 plans

In case there are any lingering doubts, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has confirmed she’s planning to run for re-election in 2012.

“That’s my intention,” the California Democrat told Desert Sun contributor Hank Plante today.

She could have a tough road ahead: A Field Poll released in June showed voters are “less enthusiastic than usual” to reelect the veteran lawmaker.

Feinstein, first elected in 1992, is among the wealthiest members of Congress. Earlier this year, Feinstein gave her campaign $5 million to replace what she feared may have been stolen by a longtime campaign treasurer.

In addition to her reelection bid, Feinstein plans to spend much of next year trying to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act


New poll doesn’t bode well for Feinstein

A new Field Poll shows voters are “less enthusiastic than usual” to reelect U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

The poll, released this morning, indicates only 43 percent are inclined to support the veteran Democrat. But another 39 percent of those surveyed are not supportive of her reelection bid.

The 4 point margin is “considerably smaller” than what Feinstein faced in previous election cycles, where she would benefit from a polling spread that ranged between 19 and 29 points.

“Despite this less than enthusiastic level of reelection support, Feinstein still continues to receive favorable job performance ratings from this state’s voters,” the Field Poll noted.

Feinstein was first elected in 1992 and is up for reelection in 2012.

You can see the entire Field Poll analysis here.