Two spunky women have taken on the League of Women Voters, originally a women's suffrage organization but now a shill for left-wing causes. Phyllis Loya is the mother of slain police officer Larry Lasater. Debra Saunders is a conservative columnist in the epicenter of American leftism. Saunders has this column today in the SF Chron, with the above title.
The League of Women Voters boasts that it presents "unbiased nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process and issues." Phyllis Loya always assumed that meant the league believed in presenting both sides of issues to its members, but recently she discovered she was wrong.
In 2005, Alexander Hamilton, 18, and Andrew Moffett, 17, robbed a Wells Fargo branch in a Pittsburg Raley's supermarket. Loya's son, Larry Lasater, then 35, was the cop who had the bad luck to find them after they crashed a stolen getaway car. As Lasater chased the suspects, Hamilton fired four shots that killed Lasater.
In 2007, a jury convicted Hamilton of first-degree murder and robbery and sentenced him to death. (Moffett was sentenced to life without parole.) Upon sentencing, Hamilton proclaimed, "I got the death penalty. I ain't got no problem with that." He also told a judge he didn't see any point in listening to Loya or Lasater's widow, Jo Ann, as they testified about the pain he had caused.
It seems Hamilton has something in common with the Piedmont League of Women Voters - the league also doesn't want to hear what Loya has to say.
Loya recently came across a press release for a Piedmont League Oct. 24 event on Proposition 34, the ballot measure to end California's death penalty. The league invited only a supporter of the measure to speak. So Loya got in touch with the group and asked if she could present an opposing viewpoint. The answer was no.
"Apparently I never understood what the League of Women Voters is about," Loya, now a co-chair of the No on 34 campaign, told me. "I mistakenly thought it was about presenting both sides." Wrong.
Loya's son lost his life serving his community. Before he was a cop, Lasater served in the Marines. He died two months before his first child was born. Son Cody is now 7. "What more could my son possibly have given the citizens of this state?"
Julie McDonald, president of the Piedmont league, did not return my calls and e-mails, but state league Vice President Helen Hutchison said, "We are an organization that does two different things. People know us best for our voter services, but we also do advocacy. My guess is this is an advocacy meeting."
When the league isn't giving out neutral advice on ballot measures, you see, it also endorses ballot measures.