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Claim: Vietnam veteran (and former POW) Admiral Jeremiah Denton was prevented from speaking before the California Assembly on Independence Day 2004.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2004]
Origins: The text reproduced above was taken from a memo written by California Assemblyman John Campbell which was posted on the State of California web site on
Upon hearing about this, Governor Schwarzenegger offered his meeting room last Monday for a ceremony with Admiral Denton. The room wasThere doesn't seem much to be much to doubt about the veracity of Assemblyman Campbell's account, as news sources from both ends of the political spectrum have covered it without reporting any contradictory information.
Then this American hero, whose debt from us all can never be repaid, flew home to Alabama.
The Assembly did meet on that day. And we did have a ceremony that lasted nearly
Four years of Cinco De Mayo and not one recognition of the 4th of July. An
Admiral Jeremiah Denton is a hero not because he was politician, but like all the other men and women of the Armed Forces, because he defended the ideals set forth with America's independence.
Democrats are always railing about intolerance and discrimination. But yet in practice, it is they who engage in regular state-sanctioned discrimination and who are intolerant of the presentation of other views. Maybe they are worried that people will listen.
I do not send you this to bash Democrats. I send you this to demonstrate the huge chasm that exists between registered, voting Democrats, and elected Democrat leadership. I hope those of you who are not Democrats, will send this to your friends who are. If you are a Democrat, don't be ashamed. Be angry. Change your party and your leadership, or leave it.
Fortunately, we do not need the approval of the Speaker of the Assembly to celebrate our nation's independence this Sunday. Nor do we need his permission to thank those who fought to give us and to maintain our freedoms. On this 4th of July, as the burgers cook and the fireworks fly, let us remember . . . and give thanks.
As a final offering, I give you a poem that Admiral Denton read to us this week, through eyes clouded with tears:
It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier,
Who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
Amen. God bless America.
According to the Washington Times:
Some California Republican lawmakers are upset that the Democrat-controlled state Assembly refused to let them hold a Fourth of July celebration on the Assembly floor to honor a Vietnam veteran and formerAnd according to the Los Angeles Times:
Republican Assemblyman Jay LaSuer of San Diego wanted to honor
"Suffice it to say, Jeremiah Denton is unquestionably an American hero," Republican Assemblyman John Campbell of Irvine wrote in a Wednesday memo on the issue.
Mr. Campbell said the state Assembly holds celebrations on the floor for holidays such as Cinco de Mayo, and Republicans wanted to have one for the Fourth of July.
Democratic leadership refused to let Adm. Denton on the Assembly floor, however, so Republicans couldn't hold their patriotic celebration there, he said.
Democrats apparently felt Adm. Denton didn't believe in "separation of church and state" and they didn't like his policies when he was senator,
Republican lawmakers ultimately were able to honor
"It's OK to speak, as long as you speak what liberals want to hear. And even if you have suffered unbelievable sacrifice for this nation ... and the right of all of us to speak, you may be denied that right if you don't agree with the liberal majority," he said in a phone interview yesterday.
Nick Velasquez, spokesman for Speaker of the Assembly Fabian Nunez, Los Angeles Democrat, said the issue was resolved because the governor agreed to honor
But Mr. Campbell notes in his memo that on the day Republicans wanted to honor
Assemblyman John Campbell (R-Irvine) has been swamped with attaboy messages after the widespread distribution of a screed he penned against Sacramento Democrats who he said blocked plans for a Fourth of July ceremony on the Assembly floor.Nick Velasquez, spokesman for California State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, also confirmed to us that Admiral Denton was deemed to be too controversial and partisan a speaker for the Independence Day ceremony:
The dust-up started, as they so often do, over good intentions.
Assemblyman Jay La Suer (R-La Mesa) had arranged for Vietnam War hero Adm. Jeremiah Denton, a former U.S. senator from Alabama, to be honored at a
Such legislative celebrations aren't unusual — the Assembly has honored Cinco de Mayo,
But Denton isn't just any war hero. He later was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he voted with conservatives and once remarked that he didn't believe in the separation of church and state.
Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles) pulled the plug. "Problems have arisen both with regards to the spirit, content and participation of various individuals with regard to the ceremony," Diane M. Pugh of Nuñez's office wrote in an
That fried Campbell, who chided the "party of tolerance" for tolerating only those messages and people with whom it agrees. It also got back to
Nuñez spokesman Nick Velasquez later told the Washington Times that the Assembly didn't have time for the event because of budget negotiations. However, Campbell pointed out that the Assembly did take time out for a floor ceremony later that day — to honor retiring Los Angeles Times staff writer Carl Ingram.
For the first time in many, many years, the California State Assembly, under the Democratic leadership of Speaker Fabian Núñez, recognized Independence Day with the bipartisan passage of a formal resolution.Last updated: 15 July 2004
The Speaker and the members of the Democratic Caucus decided that this year it was important that we honor our nation's founding and the ideals of liberty and justice so many of our forebears have fought and died for.
Certain Republican Assemblymembers requested a waving of the rules and permission to have a brief ceremony honoring the holiday, in addition to the resolution honoring the 4th of July.
Permission for the brief ceremony was granted.
However, the organizer of the ceremony added several unauthorized elements to the ceremony, including color guards, musical numbers, more guests than could be accommodated in the Assembly chambers, and a lengthy speech by a very controversial individual, Jeremiah Denton.
Mr. Denton is widely regarded as an ultraconservative Republican and member of the religious right who is opposed to the separation of church and state; and is founder of an organization the Baltimore Sun calls "an ad-hoc umbrella organization of fundamentalist Christian groups."
While serving in the U.S. Senate, Mr. Denton tried to make the case that husbands who sexually assault their wives ought to be prosecuted under assault charges instead of rape charges because, he noted, "
Mr. Denton is way too partisan and controversial to be an appropriate speaker at a patriotic event that all members of the Assembly wanted to observe.
In the end, a more appropriate venue was found for the partisan ceremony Republicans wanted to conduct.
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