Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Who Will Prosecute The Prosecutor? Lesbian District Attorney Caught in Web of Compromise

The James Hartline Report
- On The Frontlines Of The Culture War -
September 15, 2009

Who Will Prosecute The Prosecutor?
San Diego's Lesbian District Attorney Caught in Web of Compromise

San Diego Lesbian District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis refuses to prosecute lesbian activist
arrested for assaulting sheriff's deputy after Dumanis receives pressure letter from gay political group with ties to her campaign donors.

New and troubling questions are now being raised over the recent refusal of San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis to file charges against two women who were arrested during a June 26th fundraiser for Democratic congressional candidate Francine Busby. One woman was arrested for assaulting a sheriff's deputy. A second woman was arrested for interfering with law enforcement during the incident. Particularly disturbing is recently uncovered evidence that District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis refused to file charges against the lesbian activist who assaulted Deputy Sheriff Marshall Abbott after Dumanis received a pressure letter from a homosexual political group whose members have given substantial amounts of campaign contributions to Dumanis.

The San Diego Democratic Club, which has endorsed Francine Busby in her race for the 50th congressional district, sent a letter to Dumanis and newly appointed Sheriff Bill Gore several days after the arrest of Shari Barman and Pamela Morgan. The letter, which is featured in the club's July 2009 newsletter, called on Dumanis' office to take over the sheriff's investigation of the incident.

San Diego Democratic Club members who have given campaign contributions to Bonnie Dumanis include California State Senator Christine Kehoe and Alex Sachs, a former employee of the San Diego City Attorney's office. The campaign contributions by these liberal Democrats to Bonnie Dumanis, a Republican, seems to indicate that Dumanis' lesbian activism plays a significant role in who supports her campaigns.

According to their club's July 2009 newsletter, a number of San Diego Democratic Club members and former club officers attended the Busby campaign fundraiser which was hosted by lesbian partners Shari Barman and Jane Stratton at their home. In the newsletter, club president Larry Baza stated that club members accused Deputy Sheriff Marshall Abbott, a former marine, of using "poor judgment" during an event that media sources have described as a melee and a riot. Baza also states that members of his organization claim Deputy Abbott used "unnecessary force" during the event.

Members of the San Diego Democratic Club are actively involved in promoting the election of politicians who will lobby for the legalization of gay marriage. A number of the organization's members have also been actively campaigning to defeat Prop. 8, as well as lobbying for the passage of prior city council proclamations in support of same-sex marriage.

Alex Sachs is a long time Democratic Party activist. County records also reveal that Sachs has made a number of campaign contributions to Dumanis in the past several years. Sachs is also the Vice-President for Political Action for the San Diego Democratic Club. Democratic California State Senator Christine Kehoe is listed as a patron of the San Diego Democratic Club, along with her lesbian partner Julie Warren. According to campaign disclosure forms, Kehoe contributed $500 to Dumanis' campaign account in 2005.

For her part, Dumanis was a loud voice of opposition to last year's Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative that now bans same-sex marriages in the state of California. The lesbian district attorney married her lesbian partner in 2008 right before the passage of Prop. 8. She stated during a press conference for last year's No on 8 campaign, "This is about equality, this is about fairness. Prop. 8 would take away the right Denise and I waited so long to have." Her lesbian partner Denise Nelesen, who was also at that press conference, stated, "Stand up against those who say some big bad gay tide is sweeping this state."

Shortly after the San Diego Democratic Club issued their controversial July 3rd letter about the Busby fundraiser, both District Attorney Dumanis and Sheriff Bill Gore participated in the July 17, 2009 San Diego Gay Pride Parade. The parade, which emphasized the legalization of gay marriage and the election of pro-homosexual candidates for public office, featured a large contingent from the San Diego Democratic Club. The participation of Gore and Dumanis in the same political event as the San Diego Democratic Club was made all the more controversial on a number of problematic fronts.

Dumanis was investigating the Busby incident while Francine Busby and her supporters were participating in the same politically-motivated Gay Pride parade that included the district attorney. Additionally, members of the San Diego Democratic Club were actively cheered all along the parade route while Dumanis was still involved with investigating the incident. Both Dumanis and Gore are actively seeking to garner support from San Diego's homosexual community for their respective 2010 campaigns.

According to Equality California, the homosexual organization seeking to legalize same-sex marriages in the state of California, Pamela Morgan, still under investigation from the Busby fundraiser, was once again involved in another political fundraiser on August 22, 2009. Just weeks after the San Diego Gay Pride Parade featuring Dumanis and the San Diego Democratic Club, gay activists gathered at Morgan's home for an event called Garden Party for Equality. Morgan and her lesbian partner Joyce Rowland hosted the event at their Rancho Santa Fe home. Christine Kehoe was listed as the featured guest for that event. Three days later, District Attorney Dumanis declined to file charges against Pamela Morgan or Shari Barman.

The San Diego Deputy Sheriffs' Association issued a scathing letter of rebuke of District Attorney Dumanis in response to her refusal to prosecute the two lesbian activists who the association states, unequivocally, committed prosecutable crimes during the June 26th Francine Busby congressional fundraiser.

Ernie Carrillo, President of the Deputy Sheriffs' Association, wrote in his letter to Dumanis: "It is clear that the DA's office found there was sufficient evidence that the two suspects that were arrested at the time were, in fact, in violations of the law(s). It was also made quite clear that your office found that the deputy had a right to be at the location after responding to a complaint, and was investigating the said complaint. The deputy sheriff, in the course of his official duties, was assaulted and suffered injury. The deputy sheriff also had a female civilian psychiatric clinician working with him who was present at the event. She was also assaulted more than once and subsequently suffered sustained visible injuries."

President Carrillo closed his letter to Dumanis with this sharply worded denunciation of the district attorney: "We respectfully wish to convey our thorough disappointment in the handling of this case by your office. We feel it sends an unnerving message to the public, as well as showing a lack of support for law enforcement officers who are assaulted in the course of their lawful duties."

When reporting on this unfolding investigation on June 30th, the James Hartline Report asked an extremely relevant, and perhaps prophetic question, regarding the issue of ethics and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis: "The big question is this: Will San Diego's lesbian District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis honestly investigate this case and adequately prosecute Shari Barman? Or will one lesbian cover for another?"

Bonnie Dumanis has now answered that question. The next question to be considered is of equal significance for the citizens of San Diego County: Will San Diego voters adequately prosecute lesbian prosecutor Bonnie Dumanis over her refusal to prosecute a lesbian activist who assaulted San Diego Deputy Sheriff Marshall Abbott? San Diego voters will decide in 2010 whether the injustice done to former marine Marshall Abbott by Bonnie Dumanis is worth voting her out of office.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And this is different how from the way you right wingnuts pressured Ruth Sterling into retracting her letter of support for Gay Pride 2009?