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LA LGBTQ politicos react to Democratic debate

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Local LGBT politicos reacted much as the rest of the country to the sixth and final Democratic presidential debate of the year at Loyola Marymount University on Dec. 19. The two most striking observations were the dearth of people of color candidates on the stage, given the diverse demographic strength of the Democratic Party, and that LGBTQ issues were finally raised as a party concern.

Most of the attention, however, was focused on the dramatic flareups as Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar attacked out South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is leading in Iowa, over fundraising transparency and his comparable lack of experience.

Local LGBTQ politicos are still assessing the field, but starting to hone in on top choices.

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago and LA County Democratic Party Chair Mark Gonzalez at the debate (Photo courtesy Gonzalez)

“California will play one of the most crucial roles in deciding the next president of the United States, and we were proud to welcome seven of our candidates to Loyola Marymount University here in Los Angeles,” out LA County Democratic Party Chair Mark Gonzalez told the Los Angeles Blade. “As a proud gay, Latino Angeleno, it’s great to see one of the most diverse fields in history crisscross the country. My only hope is that we will get a chance to see more of our black and brown leaders on future debate stages. We’re just over 40 days away from the first votes cast, and as we’ve continued to see over the past few months, our candidates are ready to take on this president and present a strong case to the American people for Democratic leadership.”

Determined to make a difference in the primary winnowing process, California moved its primary to Super Tuesday, March 3. Early vote-by-mail starts on Feb. 3, ironically the same day as the Iowa Caucuses. The last day to register to vote is Feb. 18 and the last day to request a Vote-By-Mail ballot is Feb. 25. This takes on even greater importance in light of billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to skip the early primary states and flood Super Tuesday states like California with ads. (See the Sec. of State website for more info at , where Sec. of State Alex Padilla also refutes recent reports about a widespread glitch with the Motor Voter program at the DMV changing voters’ party affiliation.)

Photo: longtime activist/organizer Torie Osborn, a senior advisor to Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, addresses her “Resist and Rise” team at an event for Rep. Karen Bass’ PAC Sea Change, with out LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin, Rep. Ted Lieu, Kuehl and Bass last Sept. (Photo by Linda Garnets)

“Perhaps it’s the afterglow of democracy at work – the orange fascist is IMPEACHED! (thanks to our work building the Blue Wave last year), but I felt really positive about our Democratic field at the debate,” Osborn told the Los Angeles Blade. “I really missed [Sen. Kamala] Harris, [former HUD Sec. Julian] Castro and [Sen. Cory] Booker but overall I like us! I really like us!”

Recently, Osborn announced her endorsement of Warren. “I love, love, love her bold populism and authenticity – and laughed out loud at her line ‘I’d also be the youngest women elected!’ But I liked everyone. Even [former Vice President Joe] Biden is so damn nice, compared to the chaos and cruelty and corruption emanating from the White House. I’ll work my ass for any of them. I believe we must have a woman and person of color on the ticket. But I’m dedicated to winning the Senate and Presidency next year.”

#NotAboveTheLaw organizers Karen Eyres and attorney Patrick Ryan Blood speak at the West Hollywood rally on the eve of President Trump’s impeachment (photo courtesy Blood)

Entertainment attorney Patrick Ryan Blood, a huge #KHive Harris fan, thought Sen. Bernie Sanders sounded like a “broken record” but Biden “flexed his experience across the board, enjoyed a gaffe free night and showed us that he very much so is a candidate who on day 1 would be ready to assume the office of Presidency.”

But Blood’s heart is trending toward Klobuchar.  “It is fairly clear Amy Klobuchar won the night, easily. She made her policy, experience, and plan for America front and center, took aim at Trump being weak, and took aim at the inexperience of Pete Buttiegieg (which so many seem willing to overlook),” Blood told the Los Angeles Blade. “Pete has a weird way of escaping unharmed even when factual failures or shortcomings are illuminated. I am curious how the media will cover the exchanges with Warren and Klobuchar against Pete because if Kamala did the same it would have been the ‘angry black woman’ rhetoric.”

Longtime gay politico Fred Karger, who made history as the first gay person to mount a serious run for president, seeking the Republican nomination in 2012, now supports fellow gay political pioneer, Pete Buttigieg.

“Sens. Warren and Klobuchar took some cheap shots at frontrunner Pete Buttigieg on the debate stage, but that’s bound to happen when you’re in the lead by double digits in both Iowa and New Hampshire,” Karger told the Los Angeles Blade. “Pete deflected the hits well and went on to wow millions more Americans with his smart answers and closing statement on ‘belonging.’”

Billionaire businessman Tom Steyer did better than many expected but still struggles with the albatross of appearing to buy his way onto the debate stage. High tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang also made points but failed to score. His best moment was when asked about the balance of men and women in politics. “If you get too many men, and leave us alone for a while,” Yang said, “we kind of become morons.”

Klobuchar gave a shout out to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who was sitting in the front row. But when asked in the spin room who he is going to endorse now that Harris has dropped out, Newsom demurred.

“The problem is legitimately, I have a lot of friends up there … so it’s hard. Kamala Harris was easy for me,” Politico reported Newsom as saying. “I just feel pretty good and proud that these are good choices the American people can look forward to have. And we’re going to see how big a role we’re going to play here in California.”

Newsom also threw some shade at Warren in her use of the Hall Wines cave fundraiser against Buttigieg. “Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States,” she said.

“There are literally hundreds of Democrats that have been in that same cave. Some of the most enlightened progressive voices in American politics today,” Newsom said, according to AP reporter Kathleen Ronayne.

“Having dinner in a wine cave is so typical for us in Napa Valley,” Hall Wines owner Kathryn Walt Hall told the San Francisco Chronicle, noting that the wine cave is open to the public.

Hall — President Bill Clinton’s ambassador to Austria who was introduced to her real estate tycoon husband Craig Hall by the late Democratic Texas Gov. Ann Richards — said she has hosted numerous political and other fundraisers there, including for victims of the 2017 wildfires in Napa Valley.

“We think that Pete Buttigieg is just a great candidate, and we reached out to a wide cross-section of people in Napa Valley,” Hall said, noting that about 200 guests attended with ticket prices at $500, $1,000 and $2,800.

On the one elitist detail that really stood out, the Chronicle reported: It’s not quite true that Hall Wines has $900 bottles of Cabernet for sale, as has been widely reported. The winery does sell a $900 jeroboam — the equivalent of four standard bottles of wine — but its regular-size bottles range from $28 to $250.”

Asked about the 1,500 Swarovski crystal chandelier, Hall laughed. “I don’t know how many crystals it’s got, but it has a lot and it’s really beautiful,” she said, “and it’s wonderful because Swarovski comes from Austria, where I served.”

The Warren vs Buttigieg “wine cave” spat didn’t bother Osborn.

“I work daily against Trumpism,” she said. “Every single day, I either organize door-knocking in the Antelope Valley or north Huntington Beach to hold those newly flipped House seats or I work for our March 22 $50 fundraiser with [shooting victim, former Rep] Gabby Giffords for [her husband] Mark Kelly to flip that Arizona Senate seat. From my perch they all look good.”

Osborn is focused. “Remember activism is the antidote to rage and despair. We learned that from AIDS. We are warriors. All my lessons from the height of AIDS are put to use in this fight. My resistance group had over 100 at last meeting Dec 8,” Osborn said. “Focus. Empower. Build a leadership team. Analysis. Action. Collaboration.  It works! We win in 2020 just like we won in 2018….We do our jobs: organize, organize, organize. Register and mobilize youth, people of color, LGBT folks, poor people. Get them to the polls. And we win.”

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Los Angeles

LAT: Arrests made in gun theft burglary at Karen Bass’s home

The case has yet to be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for the filing of charges

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Karen Bass speaking at an event in San Pedro, Calif. Sept. 2022 (Photo Credit: Bass mayoral campaign/Facebook)

LOS ANGELES – Two men have been arrested in the burglary and theft of guns from the home of U.S. Rep. Karen Bass according to the Los Angeles Times. Bass told the Times that she met with the Los Angeles Police Department Wednesday and officials confirmed the arrests.

Bass, a mayoral candidate running against local businessman and real estate developer Rick Caruso, returned home last Friday after an event to find that her home in LA’s Baldwin Vista neighborhood had been burglarized.

“Last night, I came home and discovered that my house had been broken into and burglarized. LAPD was called, and I appreciate their assistance. At this time, it appears that only two firearms, despite being safely and securely stored, were stolen. Cash, electronics and other valuables were not. It’s unnerving and, unfortunately, it’s something that far too many Angelenos have faced,” the Congresswoman wrote in a statement issued Saturday morning.

Later Wednesday, in a release whose details align with the burglary at Bass’s home, the LAPD said the two men were arrested Tuesday evening after officers matched their vehicle to one that was at the scene of the theft Friday the Times reported.

Police identified the burglars as 42-year-old Patricio Munoz, who is being held in lieu of $600,000 bail, and 24-year-old Juan Espinoza, who is being held without bail. Both face a residential burglary charge.

The Times also reported that Munoz provided police an alias of Matias Milito, and Espinoza identified himself as Baltazar Rodriguez, police said.

They were booked into jail under those names, and they are being held at the LAPD’s Valley Jail in Van Nuys.

No information was released as to whether the guns were returned to Bass or if they remain outstanding.

The case has yet to be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for the filing of charges.

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Los Angeles

Home of mayoral candidate Karen Bass burglarized; firearms stolen

“It appears that only two firearms were stolen. It’s unnerving and, unfortunately, it’s something that far too many Angelenos have faced”

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Rep. Karen Bass speaking to LGBTQ+ supporters during a campaign event earlier this year (Photo Credit: Bass mayoral campaign)

LOS ANGELES – U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif. a candidate running in the race to become the next mayor of Los Angeles released a statement Saturday indicating that her home had been burglarized and that two firearms were taken.

“Last night, I came home and discovered that my house had been broken into and burglarized. LAPD was called, and I appreciate their assistance. At this time, it appears that only two firearms, despite being safely and securely stored, were stolen. Cash, electronics and other valuables were not. It’s unnerving and, unfortunately, it’s something that far too many Angelenos have faced,” the Congresswoman wrote.

Bass said she has been in contact with the Los Angeles Police Department. A LAPD spokesperson said that the police were unable to release any specific details about the investigation.

Bass, a Democratic congresswoman who represents an area west and southwest of downtown Los Angeles, is facing developer Rick Caruso in the upcoming November General Election for the city’s mayoral seat.

UPDATED Sunday Sept. 11, 2022:

The LAPD released this photo of the suspect in a Sept. 9, 2022, burglary of two guns in Baldwin Vista.

Police described the suspect as a man who is about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs about 200 pounds, and was wearing dark clothing, a surgical mask, a blue baseball cap with a white logo, and black Asics sneakers.

Anyone with information about the LAPD press release is asked to call Detective Colleen Stout-Ryder at 213-485-7522.

During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).

To report information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or go directly to lacrimestoppers.org

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Los Angeles

Two shot during follow home robbery, LAPD needs public’s help

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Robbery-Homicide Division or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477)

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Photo Credit: City of Los Angeles LAPD

NORTH HOLLYWOOD – Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division are looking into a robbery and shooting that injured two males in what investigators termed a follow home robbery.

Patrol officers from the LAPD’s North Hollywood Division responded to a shooting call in the 11100 block of Califa Street at approximately 11:55pm Thursday, September 1.

As the two male victims arrived at the home and exited their vehicle in the driveway, they were approached by at least one suspect and multiple shots were fired.  Both victims were struck numerous times by gunfire.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded and transported both victims to a local hospital in critical condition.

Based on initial reports, it is believed that the victims were followed home from a recording studio and robbed.  During the robbery attempt, shots were fired.  Numerous casings were observed at scene and one firearm.  Bullets also struck the victim’s vehicle and residence.

One suspect is described as a male Black wearing a ski mask.  The suspect vehicle is described as a white sport utility vehicle.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Robbery-Homicide Division Detective, Freddy Arroyo at (213) 486-6840.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). 

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org

Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. 

Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

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