Day 6 on the NOM California tour, Part 1: Why go to Latinos when Latinos can come to your Best Western?

October 2, 2010 at 11:46 am 113 comments

We’ll have more from Huntington Beach later tonight. -Adam

By Arisha Michelle Hatch

Stop #29: Santa Barbara

Originally scheduled for an 8:00 am stop at Mission Park in Santa Barbara, Vota Tus Valores updated their website at some point Saturday morning after 7:30 am to reflect their new stop: the Best Western Pepper Tree Inn, their hotel.

The Santa Barbara meeting spot on the Vota Tus Valores tour

It makes sense, I hate getting up early on my vacations too.

Rather than actually get up and engage voters in Santa Barbara, organizers opted instead to host a “private meeting” with bagels and coffee in a conference room provided for free by the hotel.

Tour organizers looked shocked when we arrived at the hotel.

“This is a private meeting,” one organizer quickly said.

“It was advertised on the website,” I replied.

“It was?” asked a new organizer on the tour (he won’t confirm his name so we’ve just been referring to him as “Country Club” because he always looks ready to play golf).

“Yes [it was posted],” confirmed Allegra Herburt-Hewell, Project Director for the Latino Partnership Initiative.

As I sat down for “the meeting” a different organizer began communicating in Portuguese (we believe) with Allegra.

We were then told by Country Club just before being asked to leave that the meeting was posted for people who were invited.

Normally the Best Western Inn conference room would cost $185/a day and according to the hotel’s contract with K’s Tree House, a restaurant located on the property, any food for group events must be provided exclusively by the vendor. Those rules didn’t apply to Tus Valores, apparently; not only did they not pay for the room, the hotel manager, Shavonne, also allowed them to bring in their own food.

When I informed the hotel manager that this tour was sponsored by the National Organization for marriage – an organization that contributed millions to the passage of Proposition 8 in California – the manager stated, “I have my religious views, but I don’t judge you just because you’re agnostic.”

Okay, I don’t recall using the words agnostic at all, but I suppose it’s implied when you’re a supporter of equality.

“Do you think that the millions of gay and lesbian couples who were denied the right to marry the person they love may have a problem with your decision to enable them to meet on the hotel grounds, your personal religious views aside?”

“My head is spinning right now,” the manager said.

The Best Western Inn is located at 3850 State Street, Santa Barbara, California. You can contact the hotel at (805) 687-5511 to voice your displeasure.

It doesn’t appear that anyone other than tour organizers were actually invited to this “exclusive” meeting.

A photographer and reporter from the Santa Barbara Press were at Mission Park, the original set location, and luckily were able to get in contact with Allegra and make it to the Best Western Inn in time for the last minute “meeting.”

Stop #30: Camarillo

In Camarillo, we stopped at a private parking lot that included Bank of America, as well as “Nueva Vida”, a Spanish-Christian radio network, for an event.

Coco delivering her "speech" in Camarillo

Vota Tus Valores crowd in Camarillo

Our own Anthony Ash, a Bank of America customer, inquired whether the bank had given permission or endorsed the Vota Tus Valores tour. A bank representative informed him that it was a private lot and told us he would call the property manager to see if they had permission to host the small rally and if not then he would call the police.

A police car arrived on the scene approximately 10 minutes later as the stop was wrapping up.

“We’re leaving now,” Mark Roepke, the tour security officer, told the officer when approached.

The next stop originally planned for the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel at 2:30 was apparently canceled. We’re now sitting in a DMV parking lot in Culver City. Somebody should have informed organizers that DMVs are closed in California on Saturdays.

We’ve been sitting in the empty parking for about 20 minutes now while organizers take a stretch break. I hope they’re not counting this as a stop.

Entry filed under: NOM Exposed, NOM Tour Tracker-California, Right-wing.

NOM’s version of the cavalry joins the Vota Tus Valores tour Day 6, Part 2: NOM’s bizarre tour embarrassment at the Ritz Carlton (yep, the Ritz)

113 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Steven  |  October 2, 2010 at 11:55 am


    • 2. bonobo  |  October 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm


    • 3. JonT  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm

      Just following the herd.

  • 4. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  October 2, 2010 at 11:55 am

    What is the Spanish term for “epic fail?”

    • 5. Felyx  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm

      I believe in this case it would be a ‘BUSt Tour’!

      Hahahahaha!!! They got the cops called on them!…

      It’s a BUSted Tour!

      The tour was, ‘BUSSED’ all over the place!!! :P

    • 6. AndrewPDX  |  October 4, 2010 at 7:39 am

      “Vota Tus Valores” apparently.

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

    • 7. fiona64  |  October 4, 2010 at 3:04 pm

      El Autobus del Fall = “The bus of fail.”

      I looked it up just the other day. :-)


  • 8. Ronnie  |  October 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    So they are using businesses illegally & w/o permission?…Is lying & disobeying rules as well as the law a new anti-gay “Christian” commandment that the “burning bush” just left out because it ran out of tablet space?…

    Hey Alfonso…you a mucho loco hombre, & one puerco fascista… ; ) ….Ronnie

    • 9. Felyx  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:10 pm

      Ronnie… I believe the word you are looking for is ‘pendejo’. Trust me, it covers Alfonso completely!

      Pendejo = Pubic hair… seriously demeaning though.

      • 10. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm

        he’s going for pig,

      • 11. Felyx  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:13 pm

        I understood Ronnie’s comment. This word was a suggestion that is far more potent! :P

      • 12. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm

        And kinder to pigs!

      • 13. Felyx  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:17 pm

        We had a pet pig. ‘Po’ was very not ‘fascista’. :P

      • 14. Carpool Cookie  |  October 2, 2010 at 10:16 pm

        We had a pet pig. ‘Po’ was very not ‘fascista’.

        Napoleon was.

        Don’t trust them!

    • 15. AndrewPDX  |  October 4, 2010 at 7:41 am

      Maybe it was on the 3rd tablet…

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 16. rick jacobs  |  October 2, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Can someone please explain why they are doing this “tour?” Is it so that Brian Brown can show his secret donors that they are spending money in Caifornia so that his secret donors will channel more money from charities to pay his salary? This is wacky, even for people whose hate speech spurs stigma, which stigma pushes gay teens to kill themselves.

    Arisha, Anthony and Phyllis are doing a terific job of holding businesses accountable for supporting NOM.

    It’s also going to be fasincating to watch NOM claim that it “won” California for senate when their rallies are in conference rooms, their “stars” leave the bus and their message is, “California has nice restaurants.”

    This has to be about personal financial gain for Brian Brown and his team. Nothing else even makes sense at this point.

    • 17. Bob  |  October 2, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      @Rick jacobs “This is wacky, even for people whose hate seech surs stigma, which stigma pushes teens to kill themselves”

      Thanks for making that statement exposing the connection, I’m hoping we can find a way to focus more attention on that.

      Arisha , Anthony, and Phyllis are doing a great job, and I bet they would also do a great job interviewing the people involved in these teen suicide cases.

    • 18. AndrewPDX  |  October 4, 2010 at 7:43 am

      ..So that [Brown’s] secret donors will channel more money from charities to pay his salary?

      100% exactly… Cannot think of any other reason for this failure of a bus tour than some horrible money-making scam

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 19. Kathleen  |  October 2, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Looks like the BW Pepper Tree Inn is owned by the S.B. Hotel Group, privately held company and run by the Webber family.

    I searched the Prop 8 donor database and couldn’t find anything for Webber in S.B. County, nor for anyone with employer Santa Barbara Hotel Group. I don’t know how thorough the database is. Anyway, might be worth a call to them and see if they sanctioned this freebie for tus valores.

    Also might be worth contacting S.B. New Press (though they were shifting toward major conservative by the time I left S.B.) and also the Santa Barbara Independent.

    We bring a lot of tourism money into SB. I would think some press around this might not be so good for the SB Hotel Group.

    • 20. Kathleen  |  October 2, 2010 at 12:14 pm

      And meant to subscribe.

    • 21. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm

      Santa Barbara was the only city in the county that voted No on Prop8.

      • 22. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:26 pm

        Santa Barbara Mom — Do you have connections that will help get the word out about what the Best Western did????

    • 23. Sapphocrat  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks to Arisha’s most informative report, I just added the BW PTI to Base8 (with a link back here, of course):

      (Yep, my PH8 donor database is better than any of the “official” ones, if I do say so myself. LOL)

      And you’re right, Kathleen, there are no monetary donors named Webbers of any note — nor any matching the “executive personnel” listed by the SB Hotel Group.

      Which makes me wonder if a potentially decent hotel employs one really stupid manager. But that’s their decision — and it’s my decision not to fund such bigot gatherings the manager sees fit to comp.

      Btw, Arisha — did you catch “Shavonne’s” last name?

      • 24. Kathleen  |  October 2, 2010 at 7:16 pm

        Sapphocrat, unless we learn that this was the action of a rogue employee at the Pepper Tree Inn, I think it’s fair to put every hotel owned by the S.B. Hotel Group on your list.

      • 25. Sapphocrat  |  October 2, 2010 at 7:47 pm

        Kathleen — Oh, but I did list them all, right off the bat. See the Base8 entry. :)

      • 26. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 8:00 pm

        This hotel is part of a national chain, too. Best Western national is also responsible.

      • 27. Kathleen  |  October 2, 2010 at 8:59 pm

        Sapphocrat, thanks for pointing that out. That’s what I get for reading too quickly. :)

  • 28. OldCoastie  |  October 2, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    darn! I coulda made it to Laguna Niguel by 230…

    why do I have to miss all the fun?

  • 29. Sagesse  |  October 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    When BB joins the ‘tour’, will he speak to the Latino voters in Spanish?

    • 30. Anonygrl  |  October 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

      He couldn’t do any worse in Spanish than he did trying to get his message across in English, so why not?


      Of course, the picture of Brian, standing in front of a crowd of three saying “ho-la Ameegos. Como es-ta us…usst..ussted-ays?” while holding a Spanish/English dictionary is rather delicious.

      • 31. fiona64  |  October 4, 2010 at 3:06 pm

        I envision him being more like Dan Quayle in South America …



      • 32. Kate  |  October 4, 2010 at 3:07 pm

        Fiona: As in Dan Quayle “speaking Latin?”

  • 33. Kathleen  |  October 2, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Wasn’t BB once a California surfer boy? Maybe he didn’t want to miss out on the socal beach segment of the tour.

  • 34. Paulie  |  October 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Is there anywhere these folks are reporting on their movement/”success” what are they saying about themselves. I’m just shocked this is taking place with so very much nonsense all at once.

    What’s really up with this whole thing?

    This idea of private groups posted on a website for the invited. It’s all so Orwellian.

    The more I read, the more I feel the desire to read. It’s like gaping at an ugly automobile accident…

    • 35. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:21 pm

      yeah……. I feel the same way, Paulie. Now I see how people can get addicted to soap operas.

      • 36. Rhie  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:01 pm

        Hah I was just thinking the same thing.

  • 37. Valerie  |  October 2, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    What is it with all the parking lots! Again and again with the parking lots?!?!?! It’s like a parking lot fetish.

    • 38. Kathleen  |  October 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm

      Maybe they’re hoping to document the existence of the mythical anchor baby — you know, as part of the Latino friendly immigration reform proposals by the Repubs.

      (see 6th graph here):

    • 39. draNgNon  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:38 pm


      where else does the bus fit?

  • 40. celdd  |  October 2, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Looking ahead on their schedule, note Tuesday pm. Scheduled 4:30 pm in San Bernardino, What time do you think they leave? Then they need to get to East LA by 6. Well, they should be able to use the car pool lanes, but I would have allowed at least 2 hours if not more. Then they’re back to Riverside (next door to San Bernardino) the next am.


    • 41. Kathleen  |  October 2, 2010 at 1:33 pm

      I noticed that time crunch, as well. Let’s hope the car pool lanes are moving nicely during Tues rush hour.

  • 42. Anonygrl  |  October 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I am enjoying the fact that their rooms are $200 a night. How many people are on that bus, Adam? I would LOVE to do a cost breakdown of Total Tour Costs divided by number of actual live Latinos not associated with the Tour spoken to and find out how many thousands of dollars each vote they are trying to win cost them.

    • 43. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:22 pm

      Start with the cost of that bus and paint job and the fuel cost to get it to CA, Anonygrl.

      • 44. Anonygrl  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:14 pm

        It’s better than paint. It is wrapped in plastic that is pre-printed with the graphics, basically and sort of heat sealed.

        So it is is shrinky dinked.

      • 45. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:20 pm

        Ah — I wondered how those photos were so well-done. (Quality of photos I mean, not content…..)

  • 46. Jonathan H  |  October 2, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I like the implication that they instantly knew full well why the cops were there. I imagine a planning session that includes: “We’ll have to keep this one short since we’ll be there illegally and the bank will probably call the cops.”

  • 47. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    What part of this morning’s tweet is NOT an open invitation to the Best Western in Santa Barbara?

    .Join us this morning at the Best Western Pepper Tree Hotel for Bagels and Coffee! #votabus
    about 7 hours ago via web

  • 48. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    So they still went to Dana Point? Tweet:

    exploring dana point now! Exploring dana point before our next stop in huntington! Another beautiful cali day! #votabus

  • 49. Felyx  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    I just called the number provided for Best Western and spoke with a Jennifer who was manning the phones.

    She believes the claims as posted on this post are absurd. I encouraged her to view the site and contact it to clarify any information that may be inaccurate.

    I hope that she and her management do call and clarify anything they dispute. Perhaps, of the information that may be true, perhaps not all persons at this Best Western agree with the views that may have been espoused.

    I encourage others to call and question for themselves. Companies like to hear their patrons take concern in their businesses.


    • 50. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:09 pm

      I have screen shots if the Bumble Bus takes the info down. Felyx, did Jennifer look at the “” site? I e-mailed Best Western management earlier this morning, but this is now far more urgent than just doing that — it needs to get in the Santa Barbara newspaper. Surely there’s an LGTB group in SB? Anyone here with a connection?

      • 51. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:13 pm

        A Boxer office in Santa Barbara? PFLAG group? Unitarians?

      • 52. Felyx  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:31 pm

        I did not mention the site. Please call her as she is there at the time of this comment. I am sure she would be pleased to receive another call confirming that there is a community awareness of what goes on in that establishment and relaying further sites to gather information.


      • 53. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:41 pm

        Just sent to the e-mail that Kathleen posted above:

        Good afternoon:

        It has come to my attention that one of the properties you own, the Santa Barbara Best Western Pepper Tree Inn, has this morning provided free services for a political gathering advertised instead as an open tour stop on the Internet.

        The “Vota Tus Valores” tour promoted their tour stop at your Inn on their public web site ( encouraging voters for Carly Fiorina and those who object to equal rights for homosexuals to attend their stops and rallies this way:

        Saturday, October 2:

        8:00 AM – Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara) – Best Western Pepper Tree Inn

        In addition, they sent out this Tweet encouraging attendance:

        Join us this morning at the Best Western Pepper Tree Hotel for Bagels and Coffee! #votabus about 7 hours ago via web

        I am writing to express my disappointment that Best Western would permit free use of their facilities to publicly encourage partisan politics and discrimination against a particular group of people (gays). Clearly, this is an inappropriate stance for a public business to take. Speaking for myself, Best Western will no longer be my first choice for lodging when I travel; in fact, the Best Western chain won’t be on my lodging at all now.

        As you well know, Santa Barbara is a popular vacation destination. Certainly there are many other properties there who will benefit from a boycott against Best Western for this egregious behavior.


      • 54. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:43 pm

        I mean to say, the e-mail at the site Kathleen posted above.

        Which is:

      • 55. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:46 pm

        list. lodging LIST. damn.

      • 56. Kathleen  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm

        Just so you know, the Best Western chain appears to be a franchise. The Santa Barbara Hotel Group owns this one (Pepper Tree Inn) and another Best Western (Encina Lodge and Suites), as well as five other hotels in the area.

      • 57. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:25 pm

        Yes — I wrote the chain national management this morning and will also send them a copy of what I sent the local owner.

  • 58. Alan E  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    DMV. Best place to find and angry mob (when it is open [and at the very least an irritated mob]).

  • 59. bonobo  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    For anyone meeting press, or just for your own records:
    the Bus tour as it stands:
    Monday Sept. 27
    10 am Bakersfield 15 minutes late to The Park at RiverWalk
    12 noon – Visalia Plaza Park – Yep, they were there
    1 pm – Hanford Hidden Valley Park – Yep, there too
    2:45 pm Madera – Pan American Park They made it to talk to 15 men from the Christian Men’s Shelter
    6:30 pm Roseville – On the Border – This was supposed to be a stop, but it turned out to be dinner.

    Tuesday September 28
    9 am – Sacramento – State Capitol – Yep
    11 am – Placerville – Placerville Station – Yep, but stayed on Bus
    1:15 pm – Yuba City – Cauche Aquatic Center – No Show Apparently they opted for a food stop instead.
    2:30 pm – Colusa – Memorial Park – No Show. Burger King instead. Invited 5 kids onto bus for tour.
    3:45 pm – Willows – Central Park – No Show. Stopped at gas station / Sav Mor for beer & Pork Rinds
    5:30 pm – Davis – Central Park – They went to Davis, but I’m not sure they actually made it to Cenral Park.

    Wednesday, September 29
    9:30 am – Fairfield – Jelly Belly Gift Shop – went on Private tour
    10:30 Napa – Fuller Park – Yep, but 20 minutes late
    12 pm Concord – Concord Communty Park – No Show (Drive By)
    1:30 pm – Alameda – Main St. & Navy Way – kind of a No Show. They went to the wrong side of “park”. didn’t stay.
    3:15 pm – San Jose – Hillview Park. They were there, but were not well received (I’ll bet you they thought they’d be welcome there. I guess they don’t know that Carly is not well liked in SJ semi home of HP Home is actually Palo Alto, my home town.)
    4:45 pm – San Mateo – Central Park – They were there too. Same story as San Jose.

    10 am – Stockton – Weber Point Events Center – 20 minutes late.
    11:15 am – Modesto – McClatchy Square – Yep
    12:45 pm – Merced – Applegate Communtiy Park – Yep
    2:30 pm – Fresno – Vallarta Supermarket – Unknown
    4:30 pm – Los Banos – Community Center Park – Unknown

    9:30 am – Santa Cruz – Santa Cruz Mission Park – 15 minutes late.
    11:15 am – Hollister – Veteran’s Memorial Bldg. – Yep
    12:30 pm – Salinas – Central Park – Unknown
    1:30 pm – Soledad – Gabilan Park – Unknown
    3:15 pm – Paso Robles – Paso Robles City Park – No Show
    5 pm – Santa Maria – Preiskar Park – No Show

    The unknowns mean unknown to me.
    Sadly I’ve just received word that my best friend successfully committed suicide last night. I am signing off for the next little while for personal reasons. Can someone else keep this list afloat, and correct the errors for me? Please.
    Love to you all, and take care of yourselves.
    Bo and yes, I checkie the boxie.

    • 60. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm

      Oh no, Bo — what horrible news for you. Is this your pal Irma???

    • 61. Kathleen  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:22 pm

      I’m so sorry, Bo. <3 :(

    • 62. Jonathan H  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:33 pm

      I’ll keep an eye on the list for a while, Bo. Great big hugs, and take care, ok?

      I can add:
      2:30 pm – Fresno – Vallarta Supermarket – 35 minutes late

      Anybody else?

    • 63. Sheryl Carver  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:43 pm

      I am adding my condolences, Bo.

      Please take very good care of yourself. Someone very close to me committed suicide 2 years ago, so I have some understanding of how hard this is for friends & family.

      May you be well.

    • 64. Felyx  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:56 pm

      Condolences Bo. Felyx

    • 65. Rhie  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:13 pm

      I am so sorry. My condolences and hugs.

    • 66. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  October 2, 2010 at 7:09 pm

      So sorry to hear of the tragic death of your friend. My prayers will be with you and the family.

      Sheryl, Mormon Mother

    • 67. Carpool Cookie  |  October 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm

      Dear Bo:

      I’m sorry you’re having to go through that. I hope you have lots of friends and support around.

      Wishing you happier times….soon!

  • 68. Bob  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Bo sending love, to accompany you on your journey through grief. PEACE

  • 69. The Reverend Canon Susan Russell  |  October 2, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    One definition of “agnostic” is:

    “someone who is doubtful about something.”

    IMHO there’s a lot less damage being done by people who are agnostic about God than there is by people who are agnostic about homophobia. I’ll take loving doubters over hating believers any day of the week!

  • 70. Sean  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Oh, wow. They hung up on me! They actually hung up on me!

    I called the Best Western to express my displeasure and the moment I mentioned I was calling “in regards to a political gathering that took place at your location this morning,” the woman asked for my name and then hung up!!

    Wondering, should I try calling back?

    • 71. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:03 pm

      Yes! It may truly have been an accident.

      • 72. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:04 pm

        If it turns out that she really did hang up on you, email a complaint and describe what happened (did you get her name?) to the owner of the property at

      • 73. Sean  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm

        Aaaaaaand they just did it again. Unbelievable.

        I told they I had just called a few minutes ago, they took my name, and then they actually had time to ‘thank’ me for calling before hanging up.

        Am I doing something wrong here?

      • 74. Sean  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm

        I didn’t receive a name either time. Sorry.

      • 75. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm

        Email the owners of the Inn. This is unacceptable customer service. Now you have TWO things to complain about with them!

      • 76. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:08 pm

        Include in your email the times you called, and they will be able to determine who was on duty at that location at that time.

      • 77. Christian  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:08 pm

        I wonder if they are being bombarded with calls about this. Might explain the hang-ups, though improper and not conducive to offering a good impression of them, they might be a bit overwhelmed.

      • 78. Kathleen  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:12 pm

        Before you say anything, ask “To whom am I speaking?” I always do that first before disclosing the purpose of my call if I think they’re going to hang up on me.

      • 79. Felyx  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm

        I didn’t mention this in the earlier comment but I was also disconnected. I apologized as though it may have been my accidental disconnect and tried again. Jennifer was polite to me. Perhaps I was the first to call or perhaps someone else is now in the phone.

        I will mention again that I informed them of our website and encouraged them to view it.


      • 80. Felyx  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:24 pm

        BTW, I do hope the company calls or responds so that they can express their official view on the matter. Felyx

      • 81. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm

        Also, this is the email for the national offices of Best Western; I’m sure they’d like to hear about these hang-ups on their customers.

  • 82. Sagesse  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    My son just sent this to me. For working out your frustrations.

    • 83. Bob  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:09 pm

      Sagesse, thank your son, I needed that, love manic mode

  • 84. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    OMG, how ridiculous is this!

    • 85. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:46 pm

      Santa Barbara Mom — Are you affliated with any pro-equality groups in the Santa Barbara area who can help get the word out about what the Best Western did this morning?

      • 86. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:46 pm

        Boxer/Democratic voters groups?

      • 87. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:54 pm

        I’m a volunteer with the Pacific Pride Foundation when they need me.

      • 88. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:56 pm

        You’re needed. Can you inform them of what is going on?

        Merit badge, Ann.

      • 89. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

        I’ll send them an email.
        Here’s the address if anyone else wants to add their comments:

      • 90. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:07 pm

        Thank you, Santa Barbara Mom!

      • 91. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm

        My pleasure, Kate. Mission accomplished :)

    • 92. alaneckert  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:55 pm

      I love how they focused on the man’s hands at about 1:45. He had a ring on his finger! =)

  • 93. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    This is their latest video:

    This is what they say about it:

    In this, our latest video from the road, Pastor Richard gives his moving testimony in front of a boisterous audience. Notice how the organized protesters quiet down at times as they attempt to hear what Pastor Richard is saying.

    Several of the counter-demonstrators, who were sent by bus to the event by union organizers, came up afterwords and thanked us for what we are doing. We’re always excited to discover new support – especially in unlikely places!

    • 94. Felyx  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:17 pm

      Finally some spin… there was so very little coverage that they were looking… well… kinda honest like.

      I like the part where they only mention ‘audience’ as though anyone was there to really be engaged but mentioned the opposition twice. I like the spin on the ‘organized union protesters that were bussed in’ who were actually supportive.

      Kinda like… ‘We were surrounded by sharks but a few of them were not really eating us alive!’

      (Don’t confuse good natured protesters being polite with actual support.)


      • 95. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:22 pm

        I liked it that they initially dismissed the union supporters because they were “bussed in” but neglected to say that they themselves had “vanned in” a church group. And then took that same group of people to their next stop, where they handed out literature all over again.

      • 96. Jonathan H  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:28 pm

        I wish I’d been paying more attention, I might have to go back and check later. As far as I can tell that church group has been to at least four stops. They generally made up the majority of supporters, in Fresno at least they made up all the supporters.

        Heck, I’d thank them for it too. On the whole they’re probably doing Boxer a favour.

      • 97. Felyx  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:37 pm

        I was kind of a good kid. Never really was into drugs… (one puff of a cigarette once. LOL), didn’t join any gangs (does Boy Scouts count?), not sexually active as a teen (certainly not with girls :P). I stayed in school, made very good grades, got Pell Grant for college (didn’t have my own money), never was able to finish due to family issues but I tried and later went back to get an AS in Nursing. Now I am a nurse taking care of sick and elderly and those in need.

        Pastor Richard did drugs, joined gangs (where he was probably sexually active before marriage), dropped out of school, did not pursue an education, faced horrid Mexican discrimination (not like gay teens who despair realize they are deceived by Master Satan and ‘mercifully’ hang themselves so as to spend eternity in hell) and is still probably not educated in any real science or art.

        Why is he more deserving than me again?

        Oh, that’s right… I’m “Agnostic”.

  • 98. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I was at our AIDS Walk this morning, where Lois Capps and Das Williams spoke.

  • 99. grod  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    K. Yakabuski, in an article in today’s Canadian leading newspaper, has the ‘Vota tu valors’ bus delivering a different political message than is described here. The article –
    make no mention of ‘Married Same-Sex -Headed Families’ or SSM – accepted realities in all of Canada. Perhaps our bus trackers are following a different bus! Or Konrad Yakabuski has heard a different message from the people on the bus. Could someone set Konrad straight!
    His email address appears below the header of the article or can be gotten from the Globe and Mail.

    • 100. Sagesse  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:09 pm

      This is who Alfonso is…. !!??

      “Mr. Aguilar, a former chief of the U.S. Office of Citizenship in the administration of George W. Bush.”

      Explains his people skills.

  • 101. Kate  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Hey Trackers — Can you bring back a bunch of those fans Alfonso is handing out? They’d be perfect for our Maggie-photo masks.

  • 102. Straight Ally #3008  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    OT: Dan Savage’s latest column, “Almost Sorry,” is a must-read. I don’t think I’ve read such a scathing indictment of the pernicious effect the religious right has on LBGT kids anywhere, ever.

    • 103. JonT  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:14 pm

      Yeah, I saw that earlier today. A definite must-read.

  • 104. draNgNon  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    I’m not so sure hassling the hotel is a good idea. they are a business too. how do you know the conference room was free? and even if it was – is it considered a tax-deductible-inkind donation (IMO it shouldn’t be, but who knows how the non-NOM group sponsoring the tour characterizes themselves to the IRS). if I was having a meeting in a hotel conference room assigned to my group, I would eject crashers too, and have hotel security deal with it if they refused to leave. think about if the tables were reversed, and NOM was following around a Courage Campaign bus tour, how annoying it would be if they crashed your coffee and bagels in an otherwise unused conference room the hotel decided they’d kindly let you use for the morning.

    maybe the writeup is a bit unclear. but the hotel really isn’t the responsible party for the disorganized bus tour demonstrating yet again that they are disorganized and subject to miscommunication by publishing a private meeting as a public gathering.

    anyhow. regardless all the above. this entire comment chain is complete red meat for NOM. they will cite it as justification in their myriad court cases where they cry about not disclosing donors.

    • 105. Kathleen  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:00 pm

      They advertised this get-together on their website, inviting people to attend. Nowhere did they indicate that it was an “invitation only” event. It Courage Campaign did the same, I would expect anyone who showed up and wasn’t being disruptive to be welcome to attend. If tus valores wanted this be a private event they needed to say so in their public announcement.

      As to the hotel, until the owners/management make a public statement either affirming or denying that they offered funding to the group in the way of free facilities, we have every right to believe the information we were given is true. And while the business may be within its legal rights to offer endorsements to the group in this fashion, that doesn’t spare them from the PR consequences of doing so.

      • 106. Rhie  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:21 pm

        Yup. Even if it was legal – and I am doubtful about that – for the hotel to offer the room free, it is ALSO legal for people here to pressure the hotel chain to give account. It is also legal for people who are pro-equality to decide to boycott.

        Yes, it’s a franchise, but one that bears a national name. That’s the downside of the arrangement – even if another hotel is perfectly fine and not engaged in anti-equality practices, it will get hit because it has the same name.

      • 107. Sapphocrat  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:33 pm

        Agreed, agreed, and agreed.

        As for the “private event,” I’m certain everything the hotel did is legal. The question is: Will NOM itemize this non-monetary donation (for, if they were comp’d a conference room, that’s what it is) on its income reports?

        (I, for one, am dying to see NOM’s itemized expenditures report for this Bust Tour.)

    • 108. alaneckert  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:01 pm

      NOM is a 510 (c) 4 group. Donations to them are not tax-deductible (or legally aren’t so).

    • 109. Chrys  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:13 pm

      Whether or not the conference room was free, the fact remains thaqt the “meeting” was advertised as a public event, and people were urged to join them for it. Except for people on the side of equality, apparently.

      The fact remains that listed hotel policy includes the hotel catering any such meetings in their facility, yet this tour was allowed to bring in outside food. And you know something, I’ve been in many hotels with unused conference frooms – they don’t decide to “kindly” let someone use them. That’s not how hotels make money, since they then have to clean the room, etc.

      The fact remains that people calling about this are being hung up on. I have often stayed at Best Westerns across the country – I am a customer, as many of us are. Yes, they are a business – but…

      Also yes, the hotel is responsible for their actions, and should be called on it.

      As far as NOM attending a Courage rally or tour? They’d be welcome, I’d think. Over and over they have been invited and urged to engage in dialogue with pro-equality folks. They have refused. Over and over again.

      • 110. Chrys  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:17 pm

        And I really can usually post comments without multiple typos… Sigh.

  • 111. Felyx  |  October 2, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Pushing the Gay agenda onto defenseless bullies.

    Damn Sneaky Gays!

  • 112. truthspew  |  October 2, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I’m so glad you guys are dogging the hell out of the NOM bigots. Let them know that they can’t get away with the crap they’re always spouting.

  • 113. Box Turtle Bulletin » Valores tour Days 5, 6, and 7  |  October 4, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    […] to have the first “rally” at their hotel. Sadly, they forgot to tell the press. (Courage Campaign) Rather than actually get up and engage voters in Santa Barbara, organizers opted instead to host a […]


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