The Buzz: California Assembly calls for Nagorno-Karabakh Republic

May 8, 2014 

Circumcision Ban

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, seen in 2011, says the state can “be a thought leader that seeks to motivate change” via a legislative measure on an Armenian region.

RICH PEDRONCELLI — Associated Press file

  • Bill watch

    Responding to a campaign finance transgression that produced an unprecedented fine, the California Assembly voted on Thursday to ban fundraisers at the homes of lobbyists. Lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 1673 without a single no vote or a moment of debate. The California Fair Political Practices Commission slapped a record-setting six-figure penalty on lobbyist Kevin Sloat in February, saying Sloat had exceeded limits in current law by hosting expensive fundraisers at his house.

    – Jeremy B. White

Assembly takes a stand

on Azerbaijan’s border

In another foray into international politics, the California Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution calling for independence of an Armenian-dominated enclave in Azerbaijan.

Calling the Azerbaijani borders that encompass the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region an example of a country “improperly drawn by Stalin,” Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, urged the Assembly to take a stand despite its lack of authority to set or enforce foreign policy. He noted past resolutions condemning apartheid in South Africa or the treatment of gays and lesbians in Russia.

“California can on issues of relevance to our constituents and, on issues of moral clarity, continue to be a thought leader that seeks to motivate change,” Gatto said.

Many lawmakers invoked lofty ideals of freedom and self-determination. Others delved into their personal relationship to the issue.

“This is one of those issues, probably one of the hallmark issues, that’s led me to want to serve in public service and to be here,” said Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D-Burbank.

Assembly Joint Resolution 32 passed 70-1, drawing loud applause from Armenian visitors in the gallery.

– Jeremy B. White

Worth repeating

“MY President is coming to CA & is highlighting Wal-Mart? I guess that shows his commitment to workers. Disappointed is an understatement.”

ASSEMBLYWOMAN LORENA GONZALEZ, D-San Diego, noting via Twitter the president’s visit Thursday.

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