Let me say that these claims of a vast anti-gay, GOP conspiracy against Mark Leno is completely bogus. As many of you know, I am a Democrat and have worked for many years in the Capitol – Mark Leno’s soft on crime label is absolutely true and the Jessica’s Law debacle only highlights the fact.
Now for some interesting behind the scenes info. Leno has consistantly killed pro-public safety, tough on crime legislation as Chair of Assembly Public Safety Committee. It is common knowledge by staffers ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE, that if your bill increases penalties on convicted felons – Leno will kill it.
Now this is not a comment from a member of the “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” (At least I haven’t seen him at any of the meetings I have attended.) Rather, it is a comment based on a common perception by Republicans and Democrats who work in and around the capitol. And as we all know, in politics- perception is reality. So how can Speaker Nunez change the perception that Democrats are soft on crime? Easy… by removing the one individual who is perceived to be the primary roadblock to our getting tough on sexually violent predators; that being the Chairman of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, Mark Leno (D- San Francisco).
In Mr. Leno’s defense, “get tough on sexual predators” legislation heard by his committee in 2005 was more often killed once it reached Assembly Appropriations or the even more liberal Senate Public Safety Committee. But his prior opposition to such measures (See Who’s Girlie on Crime) , coupled with statements he has made equating the possession of child porn with stealing a bicycle (See Hogue Blog) supports the perception that Leno is soft on child porn (if not soft on crime). And as I said before, in politics- perception is reality.
And the reality is; if Nunez is to be taken seriously, Leno must go.
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