Aiello, Dan


Dan Aiello, is the Sacramento reporter for the California Progress Report.

Floor Vote On Brownley Bag Ban Expected Monday

By Dan Aiello 
California Progress Report

In what may turn out to be this year's most memorable legislative fight in Sacramento, Assembly Bill 1998, the single-use plastic bag ban introduced by Democrat Julia Brownley of Santa Monica, is scheduled for a Senate floor vote Monday, just one day before the legislature wraps up.

If a legislator managed to miss the television ads placed on every Sacramento station by the bill's opponents, a coalition led by the American Chemistry Council representing plastic bag manufacturers, there was no missing the giant blow-up turtle exhibited on the West Steps of the Capitol Friday, part of the bill sponsor, Heal the Bay's, last minute efforts to garner the two-thirds Senate vote required to pass the legislation.

Rove's 'Crossroads' Says California Senator Is In Its Texas Crosshairs

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Just one day before a new survey release showed California's incumbent Democratic Senator, Barbara Boxer, holding a narrow, one point lead over her conservative opponent,  Carly Fiorina, a new Texas-based and funded group announced its plan to assist the Texas native and former Hewlett Packard CEO in her bid to unseat Boxer and restore Republican control of the US Senate.

The Karl Rove-linked conservative group, Crossroads GPS, an affiliate of Rove's American Crossroads, announced it will hit Los Angeles airwaves Wednesday with a $1 million dollar ad campaign attacking Boxer's support of Medicare cuts that were a part of President Obama's health-care overhaul, according to the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday

Water Bond Delay Denies Voters Chance To Send Message On Environment, Spending

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

While water bond proponents like Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrat Senate Pro Tem, Darrell Steinberg, scrambled for the two-thirds vote necessary to snatch Proposition 18 from the jaws of almost certain defeat at the hands of deficit and economy weary voters in November - the measure's environmental and conservationist opponents - having joined forces with good governance, education and taxpayer rights advocates - lost their bid to keep the initiative alive. Not to pass it, but to present it as a sacrificial lamb for voters to slaughter as a warning to future legislative attempts to govern by favoring special interests over the best interests of the state's economic and natural resources.

Prop 8 Goes Way Of Prop 22: Unconstitutional

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

A federal judge has thrown out Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage today, ruling it unconstitutional.

The action mirrored the California Supreme Court's May 15, 2008 ruling overturning Prop 8's predecessor, Proposition 22. Both rulings found the government had no compelling reason to deny the essential liberty of marriage to its gay and lesbian citizens.

"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license," wrote U.S. 9th District Court Judge, Vaughn Walker in his ruling released today. 

"Indeed," wrote Walker, "the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples."

For nation's LGBT, Obama's quiet snub of Scouts a reminder struggle for equality far from over

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

President Barack Obama, citing "scheduling conflict," will not attend the taxpayer-funded Boy Scouts of America Jamboree in Virginia today, an absence which drew criticism from conservative news media for what they described as the "political decision" not to attend the anti-gay, anti-atheist group's publicly-funded 100th annual gathering.   

An equal rights activist, however, belittled Obama's absence from the 45,000 scouts-attended Jamboree as, "a victory for scheduling conflicts." 

2010 Sees Return of Conservative Exploitation of LGBT, Minority Groups

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

In Hawaii, the state where Mormon and Catholic leaders first organized to fight "Homosexual Lesbian Marriage" after polling found the public had little innate opposition to same-sex marriage, Republican Governor Linda Lingle last week vetoed a bill approved by the state legislature in April that would have legalized civil unions in the Aloha state.

“After carefully reviewing each of these bills and weighing the considerable amount of input that we received from the public, I made the decision to not allow these measures to become law,” read the Lingle veto statement.

“Although the legislature passed bills they believe are important, I have the final responsibility to ensure that any new law is constitutional, fiscally responsible and in the best interest of the state,” Lingle stated.  

Resolution Calling on Congress, President to Repeal Defense of Marriage Act Passes Senate Judiciary

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

AJR 19 (Brownley, Feuer), a non-binding resolution calling on the U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama to repeal the nation's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), advanced to California's Senate floor today, after it was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 3-2 vote.

The resolution by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, (D-Santa Monica, photo on the right) and Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), calls on the U.S. Congress and President to repeal DOMA because it "discriminates against married same-sex couples." 

AD5: Stonewall Dems Endorse Pan, Will Counter Prop 8 Contributions to Pugno

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

With 43 percent of the vote, self-described Proposition 8 author, Andrew Pugno (photo on the right), has won the Republican primary and will face off against Democrat Dr. Richard Pan for California's 5th Assembly District in what both sides anticipate will be a tough race for the open seat of this once solidly Republican district east of Sacramento.

Pugno won the race after raising more than $350,000 dollars using the Protectmarriage.com's Yes on Prop 8 contributors list shortly after the anti-marriage equality initiative passed. 

Sacramento's Stonewall Democratic Club responded with the launch of the website, StopAndrewPugno.com, and is calling on the LGBT community to help stop Pugno's political aspirations in their tracks.

Mormons Found Guilty on 13 Counts of Prop 8 Malfeasance, Fined by FPPC

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

On Wednesday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints became the first religious organization to be fined for political malfeasance in California, according to Californians Against Hate (CAH), the non-profit organization that filed the complaint after voters narrowly approved the anti-marriage equality initiative, proposition 8, November, 2008.

Leaders of the Mormon Church "failed to timely report making late non-monetary contributions" to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign, an amount totaling $36,928, according to the June 10, 2010 finding by California's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), announced at the commission's meeting Wednesday in Sacramento.  The commission's enforcement included levying a 15% punitive fine against the LDS organization, totaling $5,539 dollars.

Gatto Takes Assembly Office for California's 43rd District

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) swore in Mike Gatto as assembly member for the 43rd District following Gatto's win in Tuesday's special runoff election.  Gatto won the seat by a 20 point margin. 

Gatto was one of four Democratic assembly hopefuls backed by Perez in his first election season as Speaker.  All four candidates won.

Gatto will represent the communities of Burbank, Glendale, Montrose, La Crescenta, Atwater Village, Franklin Hills, Laurel Grove, Los Feliz, North Hollywood, Silver Lake, Toluca Lake, Toluca Terrace, Valley Glen and Van Nuys.

Gatto took the oath of office accompanied at the Assembly Chamber podium by a group of legislators that included both Democrats and Republicans.