Politics, government and public life for Southern California

A look back at the money in the fight over Prop 8

DOMA/Prop 8

Kitty Felde/ KPCC

Gay rights supporters pose in front of the Supreme Court after Wednesday's decision on DOMA and Proposition 8.

As lawyers and activists analyze the Supreme Court’s ruling on California’s Proposition 8, it's worth recalling that the original 2008 campaign was an expensive battle, with more than $80 million spent by both sides combined. A combination of religion, politics, and activism motivated most of the money.

MapLight, the nonpartisan group that studies money’s influence on politics, took another look at data from California’s Secretary of State to see who the largest donors were in the effort to ban gay marriage in California.

The number one contributor to the “yes” on Prop 8 campaign was the Catholic men’s group, the Knights of  Columbus, followed by Fieldstead & Company, which manages the assets of Home Savings heir Howard Ahmanson, Jr. “as part of a Christian worldview.” The Knights of Columbus and Fieldstead each about $1.4 million.


Maven's Morning Coffee: DOMA struck down, Schwarzenegger rehabs image, LA City Council votes on financing for developer

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Orders On DOMA And Prop 8 Cases

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 26: Gay rights activist Vin Testa of DC, waves a flag in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, June 26, 2013 in Washington DC. Today the high court is expected to rule on California's Proposition 8, the controversial ballot initiative that defines marriage as between a man and a woman (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Wednesday, June 26, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:


The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act this morning. Proposition 8 was dismissed on standing. KPCC, Los Angeles Times, New York Times.

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is working to reinvent himself as a climate change advocate, even though he remains absent from local politics and the Republican Party, according to the Los Angeles Times. "You look back at his life story, he's someone you can't ever count out," says strategist Paul Begala.


Prison officials hope a new medical facility will appease federal judges

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

The state Department of Corrections is about to open a 200-acre, $839 million prison medical facility in Stockton.

California prison officials on Tuesday dedicated a new 200-acre facility in Stockton designed to improve treatment for 1,700 of the state’s inmates who require ongoing medical care. 

Warden Ron Rackley asked hundreds of prison officials,  politicians and press at the opening ceremony to stand for the inaugural raising of the flags at the California Health  Care Facility while a bugler played "To the Colors."

It was a moment of celebration for prison officials in an otherwise grim month when a succession of legal decisions haven't gone their way. Just last week a three-judge court ordered the state to release 9,600 inmates by the end of the year to relieve overcrowding. Those judges say that’s the only way to ensure inmates get adequate healthcare.

But Secretary of Corrections Jeff Beard says California is already providing good care and should be allowed to regain full control of the prison system.


City gives historic monument status to former WWII detention center

Tuna Canyon Internment Camp

David Scott/The Scott Family and Little Landers Historical Society

Guard towers watch over detainees at the Tuna Canyon Detention Center in Tujunga. The site of the camp is now the Verdugo Hills Golf Course.

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday designated one acre of the former Tuna Canyon Detention Station — now the site of the Verdugo Hills Golf Course — as a historic-cultural monument.  

During World War II, the detention center held more than 2,000 people, mostly Japanese-Americans. The golf course is now owned by Snowball West Investments, which wants to build a housing subdivision on the property. Designating something a historic-cultural monument means there are additional reviews if changes are made to the site.

“The Tuna Canyon Detention Station is an important piece of our history in the Northeast San Fernando Valley and a reminder of some of our darkest times as a community, nation and world,” said councilmember Richard Alarcon, whose district includes the site.  “Declaring the Tuna Canyon Detention Station as a Historic-Cultural Monument allows us to protect this important piece of our history, and give us the opportunity to continue to learn from our past mistakes and preserve this lesson for generations to come."


Payback on election day for GOP lawmakers who vote for immigration reform?

Voting booth

Sharon McNary/KPCC

A new poll concludes that nearly half of Republican voters would be less likely to re-elect a politician who votes for immigration reform.

There has been a careful dance on the Senate side of Congress. A bipartisan group of lawmakers crafted a bill, then crafted a compromise with Republican colleagues to include tougher border security measures. That "border surge" measure guaranteed enough GOP votes to get past the 60 vote filibuster line.

But will there be payback on election day for Senators who vote for immigration?

According to a new United Technologies/National Journal poll, the answer is "yes."

The poll asked registered voters whether in the next election they'd be more or  less likely to support a Senator or Representative who votes for an immigration reform bill that included a path to citizenship.

Among Democrats, just one in five said it would make them less likely to vote to re-elect that lawmaker. Nearly half said it made no difference one way or the other.