Ever committed adultery? Are you homosexual? Prop 90 supporter Howard Ahmanson Jr. wouldn't mind stoning you.
Yesterday we discussed Howard S. Rich, a wealthy fellow from New York, and his intense desire to screw with California government by financing groups that back Proposition 90. And Prop 90 is likely to bleed the state dry like a vampire on a binge. But vampires have to be invited in, which leads one to wonder—who invited Rich out here anyway?
For the answer, look no further than our own Assemblywoman Mimi Walters. According to an interview given to the Center for Public Integrity by Kevin Spillane of the so-called Save our Homes Coalition,
[Assemblywoman Walters] asked Rich to contribute to the initiative drive after legislation she authored died in committee earlier this year. "When her legislation failed, she approached Howie Rich about providing seed money for the initiative campaign," Spillane said in an interview with the Center for Public Integrity. "He helped to do that by generating money, raising money from different sources to help get it qualified on the ballot."
Walters is honorary chair of Save our Homes.
Rich-backed groups have thus far contributed $3.37 Million out of the Yes on 90 campaign's total of $3.7 Million. Walters's own campaign committee (Mimi Walters for Assembly 2006) chipped in another $50,000. That leaves about three hundred eighty thousand bucks. More than half of that remainder comes from a man who could tolerate stoning homosexuals and prefers biblical law to United States law.
This man is Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson, Jr., son of financier Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson and inheritor of his father's fortune, $200,000 of which he has given to support Proposition 90 through Fieldstead and Company, his personal philanthropic piggy bank.
Ahmanson and his wife Roberta have been and may still be Christian Reconstructionists. His spiritual mentor, the late Rev. R.J. Rushdoony, is infamous for his belief in a return to strict biblical law, in which we do things like stone adulterous women and homosexuals. Can't we compromise and just get stoned with adulterous women? Ahmanson's personal beliefs are ever so slightly less Neolithic. Due to his Tourette's Syndrome he is somewhat reclusive, but he will speak to the press on rare occasions; in a 2004 interview with the OC Register he said,
"I think what upsets people is that Rushdoony seemed to think - and I'm not sure about this - that a godly society would stone people for the same thing that people in ancient Israel were stoned," he said. "I no longer consider that essential. "It would still be a little hard to say that if one stumbled on a country that was doing that, that it is inherently immoral, to stone people for these things," Ahmanson said. "But I don't think it's at all a necessity."
Not a necessity. Nice. This explains Ahmanson's donation of $310,000 to Proposition 22, the initiative that blocked California's recognition of same-sex marriage in 2000.
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In 2004 Fieldstead and Company provided $95,000 to oppose Proposition 71, which established the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine along with bond money to fund stem cell research.
These days Ahmanson sits on the Board of Directors of the Discovery Institute, of which he is a major financier. The Discovery Institute is responsible for the latest repackaging of Creationism that we know as Intelligent Design – the theory's "genesis", as it were.
Ahmanson was probably duped into supporting Prop 90 by Mimi Walters. After all, Fieldstead and Company gave her campaign committee $1000 back in January - long before her own eminent domain initiative (AB 590) died in committee - and pumped another grand into her on October 4. Incidentally, along with her failed initiative Walters also initiated a Private Property Rights Task Force, and who did she choose as its head? Former Assemblywoman Pat Bates, her fellow 241 (Foothill South) toll road supporter.
The No on 90 Campaign has raised $5.56 Million in contributions, only $21,000 of which comes from out of state.