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The 7 Worst Things About Sen. Roy Ashburn’s DUI Arrest

By now we all know California’s State Sen. Roy Ashburn, representing Bakersfield, was arrested early Wednesday morning. But getting picked up by police is one thing. It’s an entirely different scenario when you get arrested for drunk driving while leaving a gay bar — hey, $1 well drinks on Wednesdays! — and you’ve consistently voted against gay rights issues. So just what are the worst things about Ashburn’s arrest?

He’s an elected public official. And shouldn’t he be more responsible? One only needs to look at New York State to know politicians are often criminals, but these men and women are held to a higher standard, because they are our representatives in this democracy. We voted to put them there, and they walk all over that respect by breaking the law? These folks don’t need to be perfect; we don’t expect that. But every single one of them campaigned to some degree on moral character — that they are good enough people to know right from wrong, justice from oppression. Getting arrested throws all of that in our faces. (Though we’re big supporters of “innocent until proven guilty,” so until Ashburn is convicted or pleads guilty to DUI charges, we’ll withhold our most brutal assessments, but he’s already apologized for his “actions,” so that’s an admission of wrongdoing right there.)

He was (allegedly) drunk. A cop pulled Ashburn over after spotting his car, around 2am, weaving on the road in downtown Sacramento. Sgt. Rick Campbell of the California Highway Patrol says Ashburn’s eyes were bloodshot and he reeked of alcohol. He failed a sobriety test. How embarrassing. And how lucky for Ashburn that he didn’t hit anybody. Drunk politicians is such a cliche.

He was driving a state vehicle. Taxpayers funded the black Chevy Tahoe that Ashburn was driving. It now sits in an impound lot. Are state cars supposed to be used for personal business, like cruising bars for hookups? Either way, the image of Ashburn using it to pick up tricks is disturbing. Taxpayers shouldn’t fund the trysts of elected officials; even South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford knows that.

He was arrested next to a hotel. Ashburn was pulled over around 13th Street at L Street, right next to the Sacramento Hyatt Regency. We don’t know Ashburn’s final destination, but a junior suite with his male passenger certainly appears a possibility.

He’s married with kids. Ashburn was arrested after leaving a bar, with a stranger in the car. You do the math. So much for those Republican family values and the institution of marriage we hear so much about.

He didn’t even break the rules. Yes, this is one of the worst things: Driving drunk, and being convicted of it, doesn’t even violate any California State Senate ethics rule. Which means there can be no action taken against him by the legislature. If Ashburn wants to finish his term, he’s free to do so. (To be fair, he’s been booked on misdemeanor drunk driving, not felony charges, which are usually required by any political body to take disciplinary action.)

He’s a bigot! You knew this one was coming. As a lawmaker, Ashburn has spent years denying gay Californians their rights. “In March 2009, Sen. Ashburn voted against a Senate resolution declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional,” relays Joe My God. “Ashburn voted three times to oppose the creation of Harvey Milk Day. In September he voted against California recognizing out of state same-sex marriages. In 2008 he voted to oppose an expansion of the state’s insurance laws to include sexual orientation as a protected class.” But he feels totally comfortable with The Gays when it comes to getting his rocks off? This is the worst type of lawmaker: The hypocrite who votes against an entire class of people to whom he belongs.

And if we even hear from a bartender that he’s a bad tipper, we’ll lose it.

By:           editor editor
On:           Mar 4, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , ,
    • Dan Spencer
      Dan Spencer

      #8: He was leaving FACES. Have you ever been there? The place used to be a Denny’s. I feel bad for him AND his trick. I’d have been drunk, too.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 3:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GetALife

      “He was arrested near a hotel.” Give me a break!

      Here’s an idea you can include in your list… ‘He was arrested near a church. We don’t know his final destination, but it’s possible he was planning on attempting to organize a threeway with an alter boy and his unidentified male passenger.’

      God you guys are pathetic.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 3:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jen

      GetALife: Yes, clearly the author of this article is the pathetic one — and not the anonymous GOP sycophant that defends a drunk-driving, hypocritical bigot.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 3:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe

      One cannot make a mistake if you live your life in hypocrisy. He gets no sympathy because he spent his past condemning others. Now it’s his turn. That’s how it works. He gets no pass because he gave no love. Sounds like a song doesn’t it?

      Mar 4, 2010 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kurt

      @GetALife: Altar boy, not alter boy. Why do people have such difficulty with this? Alter boy refers to a male to female gender reassignment.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ggreen

      Faces is the reason all those tacky Sacramento queens rush to SF to get blind drunk.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 3:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jayson

      This just in on FOX News…White Girl Missing!

      Mar 4, 2010 at 3:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin

      @ggreen: “Faces is the reason all those TACKY Sacramento queens rush to SF to get blind drunk.”

      Really GG, that’s quite a generalization…….

      Mar 4, 2010 at 4:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • OS2Guy

      This is my favorite passage: “Ashburn was arrested after leaving a bar, with a stranger in the car. You do the math. So much for those Republican family values and the institution of marriage we hear so much about.”

      We ALL know the GOP can’t do the math and will be claiming he was set up – he wasn’t drunk but loopy from a mild inner ear infection which caused his breath to smell of peppermint schnopps and his driving to be gayly forward.

      The majority of those commenting make me laugh loud and hard. TACKY Sacto queens? LOL! “White Girl Missing!” another gagger!

      Too too funny.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      “In March 2009, Sen. Ashburn voted against a Senate resolution declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional,” …. given that the
      Well, one question is whether his votes should reflect his own opinions or those of the constituents he represents. Aside from that, a few of the incidents QUEERTY mentioned need more details.

      California Supreme Court upheld Proposition Eight in May 2009 (after legalizing same-sex marriages in May 2008), I wouldn’t hold his vote on that question against Ashburn – you can believe a law is constitutional even if you think it is a bad one. Recognizing out of state same-sex marriages is arguably disallowed by Proposition Eight, so he could legitimately claim recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages should wait until Prop 8 is repealed by the voters or declared unconstitutional by a court. Let’s see how he votes if Judge Walker declares Proposition Eight to be unconstitutional.

      Schwarzenegger also opposed the creation of a Harvey Milk Day
      several times, claiming that Milk deserved local, not state-wide, recognition. The interesting question is whether these guys opposed the creation of a Harvey Milk Day after Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is hard to reconcile with an “only local recognition” argument.

      As to “he voted to oppose an expansion of the state’s insurance laws to include sexual orientation as a protected class,” Republicans don’t want any constraints on insurance companies. As for me, I think every citizen of California should be treated as a member of a protected class when dealing with the insurance industry. That industry is completely out of control.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      As has been said before. Most of these really really really anti-gay people have to be hiding something. ACTUAL hetrosexual people have their own lives to worry about. The supposedly hetro people that get all fired up about US are mostly terrified, hypocritical closet cases, brainwashed religious fools, or people that are upset racism is illegal and just looking for anybody that can be bigoted towards.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      http://prop8trialtracker.com/ has some information about
      Ashburn that really is grounds for criticism:

      “But Ashburn is a slightly different case. Back when he still had campaigns to think about, he was something of an anti-marriage crusader:

      “In better days Ashburn, a fierce opponent of gay rights, was fighting marriage equality and organizing anti-gay marriage rallies as part of his “Traditional Family Values” campaign.

      “In fact, Ashburn’s efforts weren’t only focused on marriage equality. His little coalition actually wanted to ban domestic partnerships. The effort never really got anywhere; it wasn’t until In re Marriage Cases, the case that gave California marriage equality, that the move to ban marriage again really gained steam.

      “But Ashburn was there. Campaigning against gay rights in the day light while cruising for gay men after hours.”

      Mar 4, 2010 at 4:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rf

      Maybe Lauren Ashly can stone him during the talent portion of the miss California pageant. For extra points, she can stone that killer whale too (didja hear about that?)…and by killer whale, I mean Maggie Gallagher.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael

      I wonder who this trick was? With a ‘face’ like that at Faces one could only assume this trick was taking American Express.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 4:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GimmeABreak

      I feel sorry for anybody from Bakersfield. What a craphole.

      By the way, I don’t think he’s married anymore. I thought he got divorced. Maybe he re-married.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Richard

      Now per Talking Points Memo the bar owner $ays he didn’t $ee A$hburn there, and would have — it wa$ Latin night.

      I call “Latin” in the guess-his-trick’s-ethnicity pool.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 5:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Phil

      Ashburn wasn’t married. He is divorced with 4 daughters so you should scratch that one off of your list.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 6:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark

      Can you say douche fag?

      I hope he gets the FULL Larry Craig, I noticed he’s on HuffPo, and FOX News.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 6:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BernieKe

      @Phil: Divorced Roman Catholic. Add that on.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 6:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Timothy

      Faces was a Denny’s? When? I can remember the place since the 80’s and if I recall correctly it was way too big for a Denny’s and didn’t resemble one at all.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Qjersey

      This “stranger” who is as of yet is nameless and undescribed in full, is probably going to be enjoying a nice all expenses paid vacation to get the hell out of Dodge before the press can track him down.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 7:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AlwaysGay

      @Cam: STFU! Almost all anti-gay bigots are heterosexual. Roy Ashburn’s wife, kids and anti-gay bigotry were apart of his heterosexual cover. He learned from day one how heterosexuals live and the negativity they project onto gay people so he decided to hide his homosexuality AND pretend to be heterosexual. Roy Ashburn’s situation is a reflection of the heterosexual environment he grew up in.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 7:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff from Miami Limo
      Jeff from Miami Limo

      I think this story is so funny. I love it when someones hypocricy gets outed.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 8:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      QUEERTY wrote, “He was driving a state vehicle. Taxpayers funded the black Chevy Tahoe that Ashburn was driving. It now sits in an impound lot. Are state cars supposed to be used for personal business, like cruising bars for hookups?”

      Well, according to http://www.smartvoter.org/gtg/ca/state/overview/legislative.html , “Each legislator also receives $5,400 or 90 percent, whichever is less, towards a state-leased automobile, allowances for postage, expenses in district offices, and mileage on personal cars. The state pays commercial transportation costs and expenses for cars owned or leased by the state.”

      So, it seems that a state-leased vehicle is part of a state senator’s compensation in California.

      There’s plenty to criticize Roy Ashburn for – use of a state-owned vehicle is not one of them, even for hookups.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 9:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      what a hypocrite..equal rights should never be a referremdum issue…it covers up the stupity of elected officials

      Mar 4, 2010 at 10:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      No. 21 · Qjersey wrote, “This ‘stranger’ who is as of yet is nameless and undescribed in full, is probably going to be enjoying a nice all expenses paid vacation to get the hell out of Dodge before the press can track him down.”

      … let’s hope the “stranger” remains nameless. He was probably slightly inebriated when he took off with Ashburn, but he still deserves some privacy – he probably didn’t know he was hooking up with a state senator, especially one with a homophobic agenda.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 10:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe

      @rf: thank you RF. I needed a good laugh. That was really funny at the right moment.

      Mar 4, 2010 at 11:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael

      @AlwaysGay: Um, actually, no anti-gay men are usually closet cases. Look up a study done by the University of GA on homophobia.

      Mar 5, 2010 at 12:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lukas P.
      Lukas P.

      @Qjersey: LOL, poor Mr Wrong-Bar-Wrong-Night may be the next Senator! I just hope he milks the story for all its worth.

      @Michael: “No anti-gay men are usually closet cases”
      Actually, many anti-gay men ARE actually gay. Real, straight men have less to prove.

      @alan brickman: Agreed! No more “stupity” and no further “referremdum” on basic human rights such as marriage.

      I wonder if the police checked the carseats with UV lights and swabbed for DNA evidence. Probably not, because no claim of sexual assault appears to have been filed. Still, the case would have been a great plot for “Law & Order SUV”!

      Mar 5, 2010 at 12:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • reason

      @B: It may not be a problem to drive state vehicles to cruise for boys, but it’s a problem to operate a taxpayer owned deadly weapon while wasted on alcohol. As for the stranger, he will probably cash in; like Rahm says you never want a serious crisis to go to waste, and Mr. Ashburn is having the crisis of his life.

      Mar 5, 2010 at 1:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HueMan

      The Hypocrite criminal gets to keep his job! Which means he can sponsor bills to take rights away from the LGBT community and vote against ENDA-type legislation. Thousands of other employers – U.S. Military to start – would fire him on the spot.

      Mar 5, 2010 at 3:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joedee1969

      After watching these bums do what they did with unemployment,I want all the scamps to go:


      Mar 5, 2010 at 6:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • trickstertara

      Wow, we’re getting a bucketload of gay karma these days! Between Iris, Roy and now the Vatican, I haven’t stopped laughing in months.

      Mar 5, 2010 at 8:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"
      Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

      Queerty, there are not 7 worst things Ashburn’s arrest; there is only 1: that this self-loathing homophobic bigoted faggot was able to hide his pathetic ass behind his anti-gay rhetoric.

      No holds barred for outing these sociopath losers! Fuck the newspapers who knew about his hypocrisy and fuck the openly out mayor of West Sacramento for maintaining this asshole’s secret.

      Attention to David Erhstein: This is the proper case to call out someone as a KAPO!

      Mar 5, 2010 at 9:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hardmannyc

      Good point about the hotel!

      Mar 5, 2010 at 9:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Artist
      The Artist

      He’s just lucky he didn’t kill someone while under the influence and operating a vehicle. The other stuff seems trite. PEACELUVNBWILD!

      Mar 5, 2010 at 10:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AlwaysGay
      AlwaysGay [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Michael: I read that study. The researchers broke their heterosexual male subjects into two groups, moderately and extremely anti-gay, based on a test. They couldn’t find any heterosexual male who was not anti-gay. The researchers found the subjects were in fact heterosexual because they were most aroused by lesbian porn (all women) followed by heterosexual porn. The heterosexual males were slightly aroused by gay porn (all men). Yet the researchers exaggerated the results of the extremely anti-gay group to make them look like closet gay men because their arousal was slightly more than the moderately anti-gay group when looking at gay porn.

      Mar 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      No. 30 · reason wrote, “@B: It may not be a problem to drive state vehicles to cruise for boys, but it’s a problem to operate a taxpayer owned deadly weapon while wasted on alcohol.” … you missed the point – whether taxpayer owned or not is irrelevant because private use of a state-leased vehicle is a fringe benefit for state legislatures. Driving while being “wasted on alcohol” is known as DUI and the ownership of the vehicle is not relevant to that.

      Furthermore if you look at the item QUEERTY listed, entitled, “He was driving a state vehicle,” you’ll see no mention of DUI. Instead QUEERTY asked, “Are state cars supposed to be used for personal business, like cruising bars for hookups?”. A different item was entitled, “He was (allegedly) drunk.” You should note that I didn’t criticize QUEERTY for that one.

      “As for the stranger, he will probably cash in” – that’s the stranger’s decision as far as I’m concerned. If he doesn’t want his name plastered all over the front page, that should be respected – he wasn’t doing anything illegal and is not even a public figure as far as we know.

      Mar 5, 2010 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lexicon devil
      lexicon devil

      Ashburn is the worst of the WORST.

      I suggest that everyone take a look at that neo-con’s HORRIFIC voting record.

      How did that guy get himself elected ?

      Mar 6, 2010 at 8:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hank

      He is cute, I’d do him anytime! :)

      Mar 8, 2010 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • julie Goesling
      julie Goesling

      A long time resident of Kern County California. My daughter and Senator’s daughter Stacy were friends as children. I am extremely impressed with this mans courage. No one, Republican or Democrat has demonstrated such personal integrity in my lifetime. I am so sorry for his broken heart and I know how much he loves his job, his constituents, and most importantly his family.

      This is a man of the times. I think the guy has a real shot at more serious and effective positions in politics. I would dedicate all my time and energy to have hime re=elected to state politics.


      Julie Goesling

      Mar 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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