Thursday, November 30, 2006

Who is Larry Pegram? Why is he part of Reed's transition team?

Today the Mercury reported that Reed has created a transition team that will advise him on policy matters. Some of the names are very familiar, including:

Sharks President Greg Jamison, soccer star Brandi Chastain, San Jose State University President Don Kassing, and newly elected city council members Pete Constant and Sam Liccardo.

And some of the names may not be as familiar, such as Larry Pegram. Who is Pegram? Why should you care? Pegram is on the board of the Values Advocacy Council, a group that states:

We are pro-life
We encourage the use of adult and umbilical cord stem cells for research
We believe that God, not man, numbers our days
We work to preserve traditional marriage between one man and one woman

The Values Advocacy Council also sent out a questionnaire to candidates in the last election which asked candidates to answer yes or no to these questions:

1. I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.
I support a Constitutional Amendment to make this the law of the land.
I do not believe that “alternative lifestyles” are equivalent relationships to
traditional marriage and should not be taught as such in public school.

2. I believe abortion should not continue to be legal in the United States.
I believe that the procedure known as a “partial birth abortion” should be illegal.

3. I believe the doctrine of “separation of church and state” means that the government shall not establish a national or state religion (Establishment Clause, First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) but does not mean that religion should be totally removed from any and all governmental activity.

4. I believe that health, survivor and other benefits should not be made available to the “domestic partners” of School District employees.

5. The display of religious articles or symbols has a place on public school property.

6. Prayer has a place in the public school arena.

7. Do you believe that creationism or intelligent design should be taught as an alternative to or along with the theory of evolution?

8. The “faith based” community should have a “place at the table” in public policy
matters, discussions, and debates.

9. I believe that sex education classes should be designed to promote abstinence.
10. I believe that parents have the ultimate responsibility for the education of our children and should be fully aware of and involved in the curricula to which their children are exposed in public school.

11. I believe that clubs promoting a Christian lifestyle should have equal status on the school campus as other clubs and organizations.

Pegram is clearly to the far right of most of the residents in our city, and one has to wonder why the Mercury failed to mention exactly "who" Pegram is, as well as the more obvious question of why Reed picked Pegram for his transition team. The issues that VAC and Pegram support, prayer in school, anti-choice, anti-domestic partners benefits, are not representative of a majority of residents in our area, and I would also suggest that many people would be at the very least surprised to see Pegram on Reed's transition team.

What advice will Pegram give to Reed? Will he "advise" Reed that we need to open up our public areas for religious symbols? Will Reed become a champion for the far right? We will have to wait and see what happens, my hope is that Reed starts to move a bit more to the center. Stay tuned.


At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Pegram's name on the list and I commend Reed for reaching out to as many people as he could for his transition team. Many of us may not agree with Pegram's views but you have to respect a Mayor who reaches out to everyone whether he agrees with them or not.

The fact that this site fails to mention that Reed included people on his transition team who were polar opposites of Larry Pegram really shows this sites bias.

I think Reed is destined to be a Mayor for all of the people of San Jose, not just those who helped him get elected.

At 1:23 PM, Anonymous ABC said...

Well, he was a San Jose City Councilman in the 70's... However that's probably not why Chuck appointed him. When I voted for Chuck I knew he was politically right of me and voted for him anyway for reasons that have be trashed ad nauseum on this board.

I looked at the Values Advocacy Council History of Accomplishments and choked. I agree that Mr. Pegram is not the best appointment to the transition team. I'll be writing a letter to the editor, copying Chuck Reed and Phil Yost asking that he be removed from the team. It would be nice to make this a more visible issue.

At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give me a break. what a sore loser post. Reed has tons of centered Dems on hs transition team, you chose to pick on one? It's this partisan BS that ruins politics and shows how lacking chavez is as a politician. Glad to see she will be termed out soon, that sloppy mess!

At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what happened to my post about this being a ridiculous sore loser posting by SJLADY?

At 6:53 AM, Blogger SanJoseLady said...

Anonymous: while there are some people to the "left" on Reed's transition team, my point is that Pegram is someone who supports taking away the rights of many people who live in our city, and it raises many questions about who is going to advise Reed on issues that will effect all of us in San Jose.

Reaching out to everyone isn't the issue, the issue is how extreme Pegram is, and how it is a concern to think that he might have influence to "craft" public policy.

The point is twofold regarding Pegram: First of all his appointment to the transition team, and secondly to raise awareness about him, his agenda and his local organization and the issues they support (which are far from "center" )

It seems to me that those who supported Reed don't want to look at what Reed does with the same microscope that was used on Chavez. When someone as extreme as Pegram is given a position that could effect my life as a resident of San Jose you better believe I will note, blog and raise some awareness of his appointment.


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