Hogarth, Paul


Paul Hogarth is the Managing Editor of Beyond Chron, an alternative online daily newspaper, with whose permission this article is republished.

Prop 8 Likely to Be Repealed Narrowly; Court to Hear DOMA Today

By Paul Hogarth

It is never wise to predict U.S. Supreme Court decisions on oral arguments, or else Obamacare would have been repealed. Based on the Justices' line of questioning, however, it appears that they will overrule Proposition 8 - but on narrow grounds that will only affect California. The Justices spent a significant chunk of time on "standing," but they will likely consider the Prop 8 supporters as proper litigants. But Justices Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts had clear problems with finding a "right" to same-sex marriage that would apply nationwide - and the "nine-state" compromise was widely panned. I predict they will rule Prop 8 unconstitutional by applying the Romer precedent and sustaining the Ninth Circuit decision, i.e., Prop 8 was unique because it "took away" a right that same-sex couples already had.

With Less than a Week Left, Obama Still MIA in Wisconsin

By Paul Hogarth

If the polls are any indication, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker – the Republican who annihilated workers’ rights and equal pay for women – will narrowly survive a recall attempt on June 5th. It is unbelievably tragic, and did not have to be this way. Walker has benefited from a mass influx of right-wing Super-PAC’s who clearly see his survival as a “make-or-break” moment, while President Obama and the Democratic National Committee have been frustratingly quiet in this battle. But for those who have followed the President on this issue, it is not surprising. Despite efforts by major unions to bring him to Wisconsin during last year’s legislative battle, Obama refused to get involved – leaving unions to fend for themselves.

New York Times Misinforms Readers on Jerry Brown’s Budget

By Paul Hogarth

Adam Nagourney’s report on Governor Jerry Brown’s May Revise budget got one obvious fact wrong – the state doesn’t have a “new” $16 billion shortfall. The budget deficit was already $8 billion, and now we have to deal with another $8 billion. But what also isn’t “new” about the New York Times article is the false notion (repeated ad nauseam by the traditional media) that Democrats and Republicans are somehow “equally” to blame for the budget crisis.

Credit the Gay Rights Movement for Obama’s Historic Moment

By Paul Hogarth

Barack Obama made history yesterday, when he told an ABC News reporter that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. Marriage equality activists have had a rocky history with the President, who repeatedly shunned opportunities to do the right thing – and only recently admitted that his views on the issue were “evolving.” Obama chose to make this announcement less than 24 Hours after North Carolina voters – in a swing state his campaign views as crucial in November – passed by a solid majority an anti-gay marriage amendment, which made the news even more remarkable. But credit goes to the gay rights movement who refused to take “no” for answer – holding the President accountable that made yesterday’s watershed moment possible. And after Vice President Joe Biden endorsed gay marriage on Sunday, the groundswell became too much for Obama to sit on the sidelines.

Tax Measure Compromise a Victory for Progressives: What it Means

By Paul Hogarth
Beyond Chron

After spending months attacking and belittling the Millionaire’s Tax (which polls showed had far greater support than his own Tax Measure), Governor Jerry Brown struck a compromise last week with its backers – allowing a “hybrid” tax measure for the November ballot. While less progressive than the Millionaire’s Tax, it is a vast improvement over what the Governor had proposed – and will raise more revenue for the state. And without significant infrastructure to wage a statewide campaign, progressives had the weaker hand in negotiation. But the mere fact progressives had to stand up to a Democratic Governor before cutting a deal demonstrates the sheer arrogance of the Sacramento Establishment – who think they can co-opt a few big unions and ram their flawed proposals down our throats, like they’ve done before. Grass-roots activists never have a seat at the table, which makes this compromise so historic. Hopefully, Democrats will learn we should be their true partners when it comes to the budget.

Why “Narrow” Prop 8 Decision is Good for Marriage Equality

By Paul Hogarth
Beyond Chron

On Tuesday, an ideologically diverse, three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Walker’s decision overruling Proposition 8 – and the spin is it was decided on narrow, “only-in-California” grounds. But that’s not entirely true, and even in cases where it is marriage equality advocates should celebrate a tactical victory. Justice Stephen Reinhardt’s highly readable 80-page decision was clearly written with the U.S. Supreme Court in mind – and its heavy reliance on Romer v. Evans (1996) should be enough to get Anthony Kennedy’s vote.

Gingrich vs. Romney: Who Should Progressives Root For?

By Paul Hogarth

For a partisan Democrat whose only concern is the re-election of President Obama, the choice is clear: Newt Gingrich would make a far weaker Republican opponent than Mitt Romney. But for progressives with an eye on the long haul, it’s less obvious who would be the more desirable GOP nominee in 2012. After winning the White House on a platform of “hope” and “change,” Barack Obama’s message for the Left in 2012 is “fear” – fear that right-wing extremists will undo the little progress that was made. Given the unappealing choices in front of us, the question is how to use the presidential race to shift public debate and hold politicians accountable. Gingrich could end up such a disastrous nominee that he sinks the whole G.O.P. ticket – and if that results in Democrats re-taking Congress, it may be the preferred scenario.

Taxing the 1% in 2012: Why Not Reform Prop 13?

By Paul Hogarth
Beyond Chron

The Occupy movement has given progressives an incredible opportunity to focus public attention on Wall Street greed and income inequality. Yesterday, activists launched a national Occupy Our Homes campaign to re-take foreclosed houses. But as a long-term strategy, we need serious policy changes for the 1% to pay their fair share – and in California, the logical place is the November 2012 ballot. Progressives have complained for decades that our tax system is unfair, such as the fact that Prop 13 benefits big commercial landlords who bankrupt local treasuries.

Across the Country, Voters Reject Right-Wing Extremists

By Paul Hogarth
Beyond Chron

Across the country voters rejected en masse the right-wing Tea Party politics that have plagued national politics. Nowhere was it more obvious than Ohio – where voters decisively, by a 2-1 margin, crushed Republican Governor John Kasich’s attack on public employees. In Maine, voters rescued same-day voter registration from the right-wing Governor – as marriage equality advocates prepare to go back to the ballot next year. In Arizona, voters recalled GOP State Senator Russell Pearce, who authored the anti-immigrant SB 1070. Even in Mississippi, voters rejected an extreme measure that would define a fetus as a person. After polls closed on the East Coast and before they closed in San Francisco, I followed these results on my laptop – giddy with excitement, as if America had finally awaken from a coma and was back. I hadn’t felt this much hope and optimism about politics since 2008.

Will Supreme Court Blow Another Hole in the Initiative Process?

By Paul Hogarth

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the federal Prop 8 case – after the Ninth Circuit punted to them the question as to whether private right-wing advocates who put Prop 8 on the ballot have standing, under the California Constitution, to appeal Judge Walker’s decision. Because Attorney General Kamala Harris has declined to appeal, it’s an open question as to whether Prop 8 proponents – who were allowed to intervene in the January 2010 federal trial – can now appeal to the Ninth Circuit. If they can’t, the trial decision will stand – and gay couples could finally marry in California.