This is what democracy looks like

Photo by McGregor

The naked truth: Readers may recall last week’s item about Sherry Glaser and her friends in the guerrilla theater group Breasts Not Bombs (BNB), being threatened with arrest if they bared their bodies during a protest at the Capitol on Monday.

Well, Glaser and comrade Renee Love went ahead and exercised their First Amendment rights, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) was only too ready with the cuffs. Men who took off their tops, of course, went unmolested.

The two were booked on charges of indecent exposure and solicitation of a lewd act, both sex offenses. According to BNB’s lawyer, if the local district attorney pursues the charges, and if the women are actually convicted, the pair would have to register as sex offenders, just like rapists and child molesters. The group is considering its own lawsuit against the CHP’s policy.

Fox 40 broadcast footage of the arrest of Glaser with her torso obscured by the video blurring effect used so provocatively on shows like Cops. The Bee ran a single column on the inside with no picture at all. So, folks, Bites presents to you this bit of free speech—enjoy it while supplies last.

Comforting the enemy: On Tuesday, Move America Forward (MAF) began running ads on local radio stations, denouncing the Sacramento City Council for passing a non-binding resolution that calls for the “humane, orderly, rapid, and comprehensive withdrawal” of troops from Iraq.

The ads are meant to pressure the council to rescind the resolution, which passed 8-1 on November 1.

MAF activist and right-wing radio talk-show host Mark Williams said that the council has blood on its hands. “Every time some bunch of morons does something like this, the insurgency takes it very seriously,” Williams explained, adding that “it’s probably not entirely a coincidence that the next day 20 people died from a truck bomb in Iraq.”

The group hopes to start airing the ads nationwide in the coming weeks, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. But Councilman Ray Tretheway, who co-sponsored the resolution with Councilwoman Lauren Hammond, said the council probably wouldn’t revisit the issue. Still, Bites thinks they may want to watch their backs. “We got one e-mail saying that we should all be beheaded,” Tretheway noted. Gee, Ray, maybe you guys are encouraging the terrorists after all.

The business of politics: There may not be a wholesale corporate takeover of California, but there appears to be a blue-light special on the Golden State’s GOP.

For this new and (not so) shocking confirmation that the state’s elected Republicans always side with business interests, just look at the California Chamber of Commerce’s legislative scorecard.

The pro-business boosterism and lobbying organization tallied up how many times each of the state’s 120 legislators voted alongside the chamber. And boy, guess what!? Republicans are the tops! Four Republican senators and 21 Republican Assembly members sided with the chamber every single time they cast a vote. All other Republicans were extremely supportive, voting against the business lobby just once or twice. The most critical capital-R lawmaker was Assemblywoman Shirley Horton, who voted nine times with and two times against.

Even the least supportive Republican outranked the most supportive Democrat. As far as Sacramento’s elected politicians (both Democrats) are concerned, Assemblyman Dave Jones only sided with the chamber two out of 12 times, and Senator Deborah Ortiz three out of 15. Why do they hate our freedom?