Aiello, Dan


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

Cost for PG&E's Effort to Mislead California Voters: Priceless

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

PG&E has

launched its latest salvo against any remaining vestige of truth in its self-created, single-sided and almost embarrassingly lopsided funded political battle the energy provider is waging to win voter approval of Proposition 16 in California's June primary.  

This week's ordnance: A strategic parody of the well-known "Priceless" Mastercard campaign, apparently chosen to link within voters minds their legitimate concern over the state's budget deficit with the spurious "Voter's RIghts" prop 16, conceived, qualified and financed by PG&E stockholders as a way to preserve the utility company's monopolies throughout the state and, not inconsequentially, their annual dividends.

President Directs HHS to Enforce Basic Protections in Hospital Stays for LGBT Families

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

By signing friday a memorandum directing Health and Human Services to ensure the advanced medical directives of a patient are respected and followed, President Obama demonstrated his support for the visitation and healthcare decision-making rights of gay and lesbian Americans who sought the administration's intervention following one Florida couple's tragic experience last year that galvanized the community behind the issue.

Partners Lisa Pond and Janice Langbehn, despite having an advanced healthcare directive in place, found Pond's wishes ignored by the staff of Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami following Pond's last admission.  Langebahn, along with the couple’s children, were refused admission to Pond's room and kept from her bedside as she lay dying. 

PG&E strategy: exploit voter angst to pass Prop 16 under 'voter's rights' guise

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Over the weekend California households received in their mailboxes a slick Yes on Prop 16 flier describing the initiative as a voter safeguard against local governments wanting to spend unlimited amounts to get into the energy business.

The imagery of the flier, solar panels and sunflowers, belie the $35 million dollar effort by PG&E to maintain its energy monopoly by manipulating voter's concern over government spending to impose an insidious "two-thirds" approval benchmark that is all but unattainable at the ballot box or in the state legislature to protect PG&E investors and the company's future bottom line. 

Prop 8 Supporters Target New Enemy: Impartial Judges of California Courts

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

In what has been described as an attempt by right wing religious conservatives to "pack the courts" with judges who will oppose Separation of Church and State and "uphold traditional moral beliefs," an organization created by former Prop 8 activists is working to shift the San Diego Superior Court further to the right with a slate judicial conservative candidates to challenge four moderate incumbents of San Diego County's Superior Court in the June primary.

The candidates of the organization, Better Courts Now, were vetted on issues of Separation of Church and State, abortion, same-sex marriage and "traditional moral values," according to the group's web site and BCN leaders.  In what has become the all-too-familiar alliance between religious fundamentalists and pro-business interests, Better Courts Now candidates also pledged their opposition to "end frivolous lawsuits against California businesses."

Judicial Candidacy of Prop 8 Mastermind's Conservative Lesbian Sister is Ended by Schwarzenegger Appointment

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Anne Marie Schubert, the conservative Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney who made headlines late last year when California's LGBT community learned she was the lesbian, domestically partnered sister of Proposition 8 mastermind Frank Schubert, has ended her conservative, law and order candidacy for Sacramento County Superior Court judge following a last-minute appointment by California's Governor.

Nation, State Mourn Passing Of Jaime Escalante: ‘He Opened The Doors Of Success For His Students’

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

The extraordinary California math teacher who ignored the stereotypes of inner city youth attending a tough East Los Angeles high school and inspired the movie, "Stand and Deliver," died Tuesday evening. He was 79.

Family friend Keith Miller says Jaime Escalante died at Washoe County Medical Center in Reno, Nevada, where he was undergoing treatment for bladder cancer.  Mr. Escalante had been staying at his family home in Roseville, California, a Sacramento suburb.

An immigrant from Bolivia, he transformed L.A.’s Garfield High School by motivating struggling students to tackle and excel at advanced calculus and science. The school had more Advanced Placement calculus students than all but three other public high schools in the country, a result so improbable it was initially rejected, requiring his students to retake the exam.

Prop 17 Opponents Welcome April With Fools Day Spoof

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Using April Fool's Day to its full advantage, StopProp17.org has launched a clever, tongue-in-cheek ad which mocks the premise and talking points of the "Mercury (Insurance) initiative."

Few would argue that StopProp17.org represents the out-funded opponents of an initiative financed with the deep corporate pockets of the auto insurance industry, but while the group's financial resources are slim their latest video suggests abundance in wit and ingenuity.  

Oil and Gas Industry Fights to Preserve Billions in Tax Credits

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

For the second time President Barack Obama will request from Congress an end to more than $36.5 billion in Federal tax breaks for the nation’s oil and natural gas industry.

The billions in tax credits were passed in 2005 by the Republican-controlled Congress using the reconciliation process and signed into law by former oil man and president, George W. Bush, as part of the massive corporate tax credits widely referred to as the ‘Bush Tax Cuts.’

The industry also is fighting climate and clean energy legislation, claiming thousands of California jobs are threatened by the legislation.

Gay California Political Groups Reach Out To Ashburn

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Republican Senator Roy Ashburn, the conservative state legislator from Bakersfield who garnered scrutiny last week following his arrest for suspicion of DUI after leaving one of Sacramento's downtown gay bars, acknowledged during a radio interview Monday he is gay, but remained unapologetic about his solidly ant-gay voting record.

In response to the senator's admission, organizations advocating equal rights for gay and lesbian Californians at both ends of the political spectrum have publicly offered to meet with the embattled legislator to help him "preserve his legacy."

Ashburn admits, 'I'm Gay' - returns to Capitol unapologetic about anti-gay record

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Senator Roy Ashburn, the conservative Republican state senator from Bakersfield whose solidly anti-gay voting record garnered scrutiny last week following his DUI arrest after leaving one of Sacramento's downtown gay bars, came out as gay today on a Bakersfield radio station talk show.

“I am gay.  Those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long.