Mar 10, 2010
California State Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) was pulled over for drunk driving last week after leaving Faces, a gay bar. His passenger was someone he had met at the bar, which was having its regular "Latin night." The owner of the bar doesn't remember his having been there that night, saying that the middle-aged Caucasian would have "stuck out like a sore thumb," but others claim he's often been seen at various gay establishments.
According to Equality California, Ashburn had a 0% voting record on issues favoring LGBT rights in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009 (he got a 10% voting record in 2007). I don't have his ratings from any comparable immigrants' rights group, so I'm taking the word of others in the blogosphere on that count.
Since his arrest, Ashburn has officially come out of the closet. He explains his antigay voting record as simply following the wishes of his electorate.
"My votes reflect the wishes of the people in my district, and I have always felt that my faith and allegiance was to the people there in the district, my constituents."--Roy Ashburn on KERN radio
In fact, Ashburn is so sensitive to the winds of popular opinion in Bakersfield that he announced months ago that he wouldn't run for reelection.