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     Election '78-Prop. 5-Smoking Initiative and Prop. 6-Homosexuals in
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Welcome to election 78 one of a series of special programs on channel 50 presenting candidates and issues to the voters. Join us each Friday night at 7:00 p.m. to hear newsmen interview the candidates. Today's program is divided into two parts one a discussion of proposition 5 the smoking initiative and the other a discussion of proposition six homosexuals in education. Now here's your host Jim Cooper. Rocking the voter's pipeline. Today's program takes a look at two key ballot propositions for Orange County voters. The first half will be discussion of proposition 5 the smoking initiative. The second half will center on Prop. 6. Homosexuals in education. Joining me in discussing the proposition will be a guest from the Orange County media and a proponent and an opponent of each proposition. First proposition 5 the smoking initiative. Here is how proposition 5 will appear on your voting ballot. Smoking initiative makes smoking unlawful in certain enclosed areas requires signs designating nonsmoking areas. Restaurant nonsmoking sections financial impact modest cost to
state and to individual local governments for purchase. Installation of the no smoking signs in public buildings minor enforcement costs possible cost to alter public employee working facilities to accommodate smoking employees. If a proposition leads to significant reduction in smoking could result in a substantial reduction in health and other smoking related government costs and would result in substantial reduction in state and local sales and cigarette tax collections. Well in a moment we'll be discussing proposition 5. And we'll have some questions from our special guest and now let's meet here. Joining me is sound Rick Carl editor of the Orange City News. She's winner of the Independent Press Telegram Newspaper Guild Award for Outstanding editorial writing in 1077 and the Pacific Coast Press Club Award in 1978. She recently received a California Graduate Fellowship to the professional writers program at USC. And now let's meet our spokespersons. Speaking in favor of Proposition 5 Mr. Jules Kercher Mr. Kercher is one of the
founding members in 1974 of Orange County group against smoking pollution gas VSB. He did the active advocate for the clean indoor air initiative and is a member of the Orange County speakers bureau for the initiative. Speaking in opposition to Prop 5 this Cassandra Foster and actress and model she's a graduate of Cal State Los Angeles where she majored in business finance. She states this is her first political involvement and that she's volunteering her time to work against Prop 5 because of her personal conviction about it. Well now we're going to ask each of the spokespersons to give a one minute statement about Prop 5. Then we'll be asking them some questions we're going to ask that they hold that one minute limit. And now let's start with Mr. Kirchner. Thank you Jim. In 1964 the surgeon general of the United States released a report which concerns the smoke that is traveling this way to the person on the other end. But this is not what prop. 5 is all about. Proposition 5 is concerned with the smoke that is coming off of this and this cigarette.
Many scientific studies from all around the world including the surgeon general's report in 1972 say that this smoke which is coming off the island end of the cigarette is a definite health hazard to persons who have to share the same indoor air. This secondhand smoke contains many many pollutants and greater concentrations of what's found through here. This is what prop. 5 is all about. It was not brought to you by the regulators but by the people of the state of California who by the initiative process demanded action. Many of these same people are the ones who are sick and tired of continuously having to inhale poisons and pollutions. It's a major issue. Please listen carefully for the real issue. Thank you. Dissenter Thank you. At first glance proposition 5 looks good and sounds good. The further investigation shows up some serious flaws with this initiative. First off it's a poorly drafted piece of legislation. It has become a civil liberties issue. It's
discriminatory. You have the cost of compliance from 40 to 43 million dollars for the taxpayers and two hundred sixty million dollars for the private sector your businesses. Then we have the enforcement problem with this. It is not popular with the law enforcement agencies and officially Californias from common sense does not consider this to be a health issue at all. I think you want that one of the questions that always should be addressed in my judgment in a political campaign. Is who is running the campaign and where the money coming from I think there are interesting questions and go to the I don't know those. So let us start again with Mr. Perper and ask you number one how much money is going to be spent to persuade people to vote yes on 5. And number two who is running the campaign. A and B Very good. The Californians for a clean indoor air are comprised almost entirely of volunteers. How much money are in our coffers. I'm not aware of all I know is that we don't have very much and that's evidenced by our inability
to reach the public through the media. We're talking I've heard figures given of about $300000 or something of that nature is that a fair estimate of what the bankroll of the war chest is going to be to to persuade people you know what you're advertising campaign and all that. I'm not you know the financial end of it except for the fact that I know we've got continuously appeals from our money. We have asked some people from the office in Los Angeles and other people working and that figure has been given to me I don't know how authentic it is but let's ask the same question A and B to Cassandra. OK Californians for Common Sense was put together by HEWSON I flying on John F. Kennedy have been on other past political contests in the past one is a Republican and one is a Democrat. One is a smoker and one is a nonsmoker. Together they form California's for common sense which is made up of a vast network of volunteers and we have about 2000 contributors to our campaign. This ranges from individuals who contributed a dollar to organizations that have gone up. Five of our contributors are the tobacco company which
makes a lot of sense. How many of you contribute 5 5 out of about 2000. Can you give me some idea about the total that we're talking about for the overall advertising campaign to persuade people to vote no. And so far we were approaching the 3 million dollar mark which includes like volunteers we add that in when wrong clears contribute their time and we put that in as as as you know so it's not just straight dollars it's time that people put in as well. But we have a lot of organizations behind this too. So so there's such a varied and vastly different group of people out there it's amazing. Could you help us by giving us a percentage though it would be fair to say 90 percent of your money is from the back of company is that when I present something like that. But it makes sense when you when you sit down you think seven individuals who became annoyed at some smokers smoke and I don't smoke myself and I do not advocate whether you smoke or not that's not the issue here. It's seven individuals sit down they write up in it and the initiative that is
trying to tell the people the state of California one how to conduct their businesses and to how to run their social habits in their own personal lives. This is going too far it's not democratic and it's not the free enterprise system. Would you would you want to say something you know. I think I did. We're talking about the money or what. Yes the money because Sandra mentioned that it makes sense for the tobacco people to be involved in this and I can I think I can explain why by putting the words of Mr. William de Hobbs whose name William B. He's chairman of the board of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. All right. In his words words if the efforts of nonsmoking groups result in every smokers smoking one less cigarette per day the cost of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company would be 92 million dollars a year in sales. This in the state of California this is around the country from the whole country. But he says we have no intention of standing idly by to see this happen. Miles along with that my recent. Information is so far
RJ Reynolds has competed contributed over two million dollars. The next company I don't have her name I think was Philip Morris contribute over one million the coffers to the tobacco are over 3 million do you have any a quarrel with that. Yes I do. The figures I gave you I will stand behind the million. Yes that's all that's been spent so far. So but as far as whether it's from Phillips company R.J. Reynolds company or Philip Morris or whoever and you know having a breakdown like that I do I have it in here someplace and during the course I bring it out for you. I buy you a few but I what I'm saying in America and in democracy in a free enterprise system. There's nothing wrong with a business trying to protect its own interests I mean that's what the democracy and that's how America runs itself. But to further pollute our system with more taxation and to build more laws upon more laws. I mean if the founders of the Constitution were alive today they wouldn't believe the laws that we promised on ourselves.
Right. You've been very patient. So I have a question for Mr. Kirk on the issue of significant reduction in medical costs in health care. If I pass through Minnesota and Utah I've had something similar with similar laws for several years and there has been the reduction. Medical costs. I don't I don't believe that that is absolutely correct there is a great difference between Minnesota and Utah and California the Minnesota law was snuck in by the legislature catching everybody unaware. It did not have the public information or dissemination of the California law does. But let me talk specifically about what the actual economic benefit to society will be if Proposition 5 passes. No one might question what price tag we put on public health. But I'm going to quote to you from a summary that was prepared for the state legislature by two UCLA professors. Is it fairly short so I will just get to this one from the School of Medicine one from the professor of health economics looking at the breakdown of the
cost of California's over 1 billion dollars last year based on a 15 percent reduction in smoking which will occur. They anticipate one hundred seventy eight million dollar annual savings and to continue on and growing ever more after that each and every year. A hundred seventy a month in savings because of reduced health costs that the health costs and medical costs. Property OK related damage and sick leave use by smoking employees. OK you want to go out of that line. Because I'm good tobacco the the research on tobacco is not conclusive and at best it leaves a lot of puzzlement and contradictions. We have evidence you know we we have files and files of evidence saying that smoking in no way secondhand passive smoke is what we're talking about second hand smoke sidestream smoke has no way proved detrimental to your health we're talking about an annoyance and that ok you have no quarrel with the fact
that not what I think what you think that the surgeon general of the United States reported in 1972 officially that nonsmokers as well as smokers could be harmed by tobacco. Well with that thank you 72 finding of the surgeon general of the United States. Yes. Gassed and the which we identified before it emits and one of its own publications that the chemical research has not yet proved beyond a reasonable doubt that secondhand smoke in brown terribly inhaled by help the nonsmokers. How does one person smoke I think their house first hand smoke I have no quarrel with that. OK and you know that. People who choose to smoke today do so out of their own choice and they have that choice to make. And the hazards of smoking and the potential hazards a small thing is one of the most publicized facts noted States today in this thing here. I beg your pardon you use the first one as 64 but the second one is 72 he said nonsmokers as well as smokers could be heard and that you take will you take issue with that. Yeah right I'd like to have a yes.
I think we've got something that we need a little clarification here. We're missing the whole point here. Go ahead I will quote now and I gladly quote this from our own publication I to date there's no scientific evidence implicating secondhand smoke as a cause of disease in healthy adults. However the role of voluntary smoking in the before disease development cannot be completely dismissed. In other words we're not saying we don't have to prove that it causes disease. The jury is still out on that. But we know it does have a detrimental effect on healthy people and people who do have cardiovascular and lung disease which in counts for over two million Californians by the way are those I think would be helpful for our discussion to see how what strategy both groups are using to try and persuade voters to vote either yes or no on this and let's start with a look at one of the TV spots which urges urges people to vote yes on number five. The débâcle industry bombard us with phony figures about the cost of Prop.
5. But they forget to mention that they paid for the study that developed these wild exaggerations and they never imagined that creating non smoking sections will save California one hundred seventy eight million dollars a year in fire and health costs. Maybe we should remind the tobacco companies about all that we can by voting yes on Proposition 5. It's a smart way to share the air. What about that method you want to talk to for a second or two about that. How does that strike you that meth is allowing a vote yes for the Lloyd Bridges and his gorgeous voice. And he's a nice man to want to sing in their literature they say the probable savings of fire and health costs number one. If it is a savings it doesn't say how it will be saved and if it will be returned to the taxpayer or who exactly it say's. And I also talked to the fire chief of The Los Angeles Fire Department who's a chief inspector and he said that the number of fires that are caused by cigarette smoking. Is a drop in the bucket relative to everything else. Now granted it does happen but the fires that
that we're talking about public buildings and facilities those places are already so well guarded that he says it wouldn't affect that it wouldn't save fires in those buildings and they say the health cost is still so inconclusive because it's not proven that secondhand smoke is going to cause you to get ill in the first place. It may have a center just like I say in relation to other things the attorney general or rather the surgeon general and 972 did say so but you take you so you take accept that second hand smoke. Yes OK we're going to look at another one you want to ask a question here very quickly. Mandatory fines $500 for a day for your proprietor that work a hardship on small business that can't afford to tell its customers to go elsewhere and order and can't afford to erect partitions for smoking non smoking. Well first off a businessman is not required to erect partitions only if he chooses to establish smoking or nonsmoking sections. Most of them went out fine though you heard quite a bit about a $500 fine. OK he asked about the
affordability of the partitions and the affordability the fines. Unquestionably when this law is passed there's going to be a great educational process involved. There aren't there isn't going to be smoking patrols going out looking for people we realize that in by the same token that that business owner must comply with certain health and safety codes. This is just another one of those goals that he must comply with. For this take a look at another commercial now on the other side of the coin and this is the commercial that is trying to get you to vote no. It's a very slick well-produced commercial and let's have some reaction on this one. This is the one that is telling you to vote no on final when I have to do with Proposition 5 passes. I'd have to cut out all smoking in here or else build a special section just for smokers. Well where do you suggest Dallas. Something else this time is smoking probably try to regulate next but we can say what we can read. Where does it stop. Well the regulators try to regulate next. Oh no.
5. We have seen more of this kind of commercial on the air simply because of the figure we talked about. Something like 300000 for your size and something like 3 million on your side but let's set that aside for a minute what about that message you want to comment on that certainly and be glad to the message that just came across. Are you a regulator. Yes where the regulators were the people who through the initiative process got this put on the ballot. But let's put it this way that me and as I said is obliged to follow certain health and safety codes in the public health interest. Secondhand smoke is a very definite health hazard and it's a public health issue. And it's just another one of the things that a business means should comply with for public health. And that the reason OK in the L.A. Times wrote an article on October 8th and it says not all physicians even some who specialize in chest diseases are convinced of the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. They base their belief flea on the differences of the interpretation of the various studies.
That's why we don't consider the health issue. All right let me let me read it. I figure if I mean I'm going to come right back to you how this is put out by the lung association of Orange County this is one paragraph that kind of got to me it says this. Number five the acceptable maximum in most industrial system situations is 50 parts of carbon monoxide to a million parts of there a roomful of cigarette smokers investigators have found raise the carbon monoxide content between 20 and 80 parts per million. If that's true that's in the considerable. Damage that's going on by the carbondioxide you think you'll relax when you can just extract that information something you're forgetting is like it's a 12 by 14 room the door is sealed and you have two cigarettes and Bernie at all times when those are going to go out of the current smokers. Well what about one of the rooms will tend to want to use that. OK you have two cigarettes going the same time you take that out you have two more going. Yes and it goes off for 12 hours. I don't know who's going to be in a sealed room for 12 hours under those conditions and that size of a closet. I don't know a lot about all of
it. Scuse me I'd like to add something since it doesn't seem like I'm getting my fair share of the time here. Go Doc there are no recently conducted a study for the UC Irvine at the Long Beach veterans hospital. Establish and reinforce the belief that people subject to carbon monoxide as a result of smokers cigarettes both in well ventilated rooms and then later grooms have problems affecting their ability to work and I'm talking about angina patients. We can find and I have them here all over the place as a matter of fact I've got a clipping of the. Of a machine that was developed so that cigarettes can be tested for carbon monoxide carbon monoxide being one of the most insidious results of the effluence that are coming off the cigarette. It's a very real problem. Why do. Insurance companies allow the nonsmokers discounts for drivers because they know when the driver is in the car smoking a cigarette he's got his ability is acuity his physical
abilities are affected by the carbon monoxide. Saunders OK our big question that I asked before about a small businessman who's a small businessman who smokes will nonetheless be forbidden to have smoking in his establishment if he cannot have partitions right. Well you know it will be the law that truly falls. Who would you want to as I think you're the editor coconspirator in that small business me if he it is business is open to the public. OK he must add here to the health regulation. True. If he's all alone he can smoke up to his heart's content wrong. Not according to the initiative he's not even allowed to smoke in let's say his own store is own barbershop before it's open and before the public comes in because when it was opened the public would be exposed to his slope and that's what the law's about to keep secondhand smoke from going from the smoke from the No. Section to the no smoking section and it would be in violation. I think that the two commercials bring out two different strategies that are being applied to different lines
of argument. The first commercial I tell you to vote yes on 5. Attacks from the health problem the other that says hey we have a health problem B therefore we're trying to do something about it. The second commercial I want to tell you to vote no on 5 takes a totally different strategy the strategy there is this is endangering our civil liberties it is endangering their right it is another area of someone's quote as they said to regulate our lives. Now I'd like to ask each of you to comment on which do you think is the most important issue we're talking about the health question or the civil liberties question. OK I'll start with you. What I'd like to say in these hills here is kept on talking about all these sick people. It's about 12 percent to help California. Yeah. Top percent is not a majority and although I believe these people have a problem we should try and help them out. Doesn't mean that everybody should. It should cost the taxpayers this kind of money and it should be this sort of civil liberties issue in order to help these people out what you think is most important in the health question or those same liberties civil liberties is because we can solve this problem with common sense and common
courtesy. But you don't start eroding the democratic process just to solve a minor social economic right. Let's not give the same opportunity to Mr. Kirk today. Which issue is most important and why. Very definitely the health aspect of this. Where was this common sense before when we needed it. We've gone a long years without excuse me. Me I get your time raise your head. And as far as civil rights go yes. And I have legal opinions here. The individual rights are not inalienable. In other words the individual rights and when public injury begins. Secondhand smoke is a very definite critical health issue. I have that exemplified by a lady who passed me a note who had to give up her job because she couldn't take the secondhand smoke. In other words earning a living for. Absorbing that smoke and watching your health so obviously you're
there. You're both at odds over the which is the important issue that the root of much aside and is it a health issue that we must do something about. Or the civil liberties question. That's primarily because the tobacco people in NO WAY could defend themselves against the real issues being the health issue. There is no help. Throughout the campaign I've been talking a great deal of literature on both sides but there's been no mention of the fact that the Department of Agriculture is subsidized with tobacco farming. Why not while you're campaigning against smoking why not campaign against government support of tobacco farmers tobacco farmers. You know there's many different problems in the world. Which one do you want to address yourselves to first. There are people who are involved with this area that let them handle it. Our primary concern is our public health which is a very easily solved problem. And I'd like to get my people time and answering back in her rebuttal that I didn't have the opportunity before I went she said she spoke with the firemen and said a drop in the bucket. I have a specific cost here from this analysis provided to the legislature.
This is what California lost to fires twenty nine point one million dollars as a result of fires ignited from smoking careless smoking materials and that is not a drop in the bucket still makes it a relative drop in the fact that compared to the other cars a five hundred seventy eight million dollars and you'll say no anything at all of these areas that I quoted to you it is not a drop in the bucket it far exceeds any imagined cost that the tobacco people are trying to put out. And by the way those costs in themselves were disputed by the California legislature of analysis. They hired a Economic Research Associates. And you know you are all coming in just a minute. They hired Economic Research Associates to come up with their own figures quote the words from the legislative analysis. We do not agree with the methodology used by E. R. A. And we question the validity of their calculations. OK now you want a very quick note I want to get to another question. All
government the government subsidizes all farmers and you just pick on the tobacco farmers is it that we subsidize all farmers and their farmers as well. It's a different substance than corn or wheat or rice. Whether you agree with that. You know that is a fact. Another thing is Economic Research Associates is a very conservative firm that came up with conservative figures. The opposition had a chance to to fight our figures in Sacramento County Superior Court with Judge Mason and they didn't because they had no grounds on which to do so. And they're crying now. But that's not in front of the mirror one of the one of the things that strikes me is the tremendous disparity is what the public is being told about these little things that were not how they live. I'm talking about another sign I'm talking this is the sign that is required I've been told You have to put in a sign that says no smoking. Health and Safety Code Section number 2 5 9 3 2. All right now one side is saying it's going to cost 20 million dollars to put these signs up in the number of 700 17000 signs. That is the best tobacco people or I should say the people who are saying I would not use for
common sense California or common sense. Now the Clean Indoor initiative people. Are saying it will only cost a million one hundred twenty five thousand dollars and I want to be three hundred seventy five thousand signed to be put up in entrances. This is a 20 to 1 difference of opinion that word is the truth life for someone who is a voter and has to know we want to got about a minute a little over a minute left to give this our very quickly. I'd like to say that Californians for common sense get their figure of approximately $7 for signs that sign would not comply because in some cases it have to be bilingual or trilingual it also have to say what areas you could smoke in and which areas you cannot it's a word a 20 word sign some case it has to be analogous ass to be outside and weatherproof OK OK. And the opposition has a figure 3 cents. You can even buy bubble gum for that right. What is your answer to that. Your rebuttal again. What cost public health. And besides we can forget about the cost of the XYZ because the American Cancer Society has agreed to pay for those signs.
You know I can share with the American Cancer Society and I think that my contributions are growing for something that's not research is upsetting to me. OK how do you feel you give money you can't use this as your due. How do you think of everything that they do. All right this it's been a very grossing subject of the final analysis the final truth of this will have to be decided by the voters on November 7th our time is just about up in a very stimulating discussion we cover a lot of area in it and I hope that we make people think about it and I thank you both for being part of it. Thanks for joining us this this will conclude this part of our program. We're now entering the second half of the program the second half of our program will focus on Proposition 6 homosexuals in education. As with Prop. 5 This proposition is generating heated discussion from both sides. Proposition 6 is described on your voter's ballot. As follows. Homosexuality initiative provides a system for determining fitness of school employees engaged in activities related to
homosexuality financial impact on known but potentially substantial costs of state counties and school districts depending on number of cases which receive an administrative hearing. And now let's meet the spokespersons who will be discussing Proposition 6 with us speaking on behalf of Proposition 6 as its author state senator John Briggs. Senator break represents the thirty fifth district in the state senate and comes from Fullerton area in Orange County. Before the election to this seat he served five terms in the state assembly. Senator Briggs has been the center of much controversy between both sides on Proposition 6. He's also author of proposition 7 which deals with the death penalty on this year's ballot. Speaking in opposition to proposition 6 is Mr. Alan Robertson who is a co chair person of the No 1 6 committee for Orange County and the homosexuals Mr. Robertson has spoken out against discrimination of all kinds to work homosexuals. He is the treasurer of the Laguna Beach Coalition for human rights and he's active in that we're going to beach civic affairs. He is a realtor and we're going to beach. Now we'll be asking each chairperson or rather spokesperson to
make a one minute statement about Proposition 6 after which we'll be asking some questions of them on behalf of you the voters. So let's start with Senator Briggs. Thank you very much Jim. This proposition is a referendum dated wives on the rights of parents to determine who will be a proper role model for their children in the California classrooms. What Proposition 6 does not do. It does not call for the removal mass removal of homosexual teachers. But what it does do is give school boards new authority to remove from the classroom a teacher who is pushing homosexuality to the point that the school board believes they could go to court and make it hold up in court that that teacher was misusing his classroom as a forum. One school district was heavily petitioned by a group of parents in northern California to remove a teacher from the classroom that they felt was pushing their children towards homosexuality. The school board lawyer told them there was
nothing the school board could do. He told them they needed a new law. Proposition 6 Is that a new law and the principle behind it is what teachers do in private is their own business. But what they teach in the California classroom is our business and that's why we need to vote yes on Proposition 6. All right Mr. Robertson please. Thank you Jim. Sandra. I'd like to stress five major points during this discussion today. The first four of these points are the issues that we see as the major issues in this campaign. First we see the implications of the Proposition 6 as being very difficult for all teaching professionals all school professionals to bear because Proposition 6 implies an invasion of the privacy of all school professionals. Secondly we feel that the proposition establishes a very bad precedent in many areas to many to go into in one minute. Thirdly Proposition 6 by Senator Briggs admission in previous interviews
is duplications of existing law. And fourthly the cost of the bureaucracy that Proposition 6 would establish is more than our school school systems can bear. In this post 13 year a cutting budgets the first major point that I would like to speak to this afternoon is to point out misrepresentations as they are being put forward by the forces in favor of Proposition 6. Thank you. One of the things that we've had many headlines in Orange County about is the source of money the handing of money. The question of campaign funding and so forth so let's get that cleared up at the beginning of the discussion. I'll ask this question a three headed question. Who is running your campaign. Where is the money coming from and how much have you got. So let's start with you personally Robert. Who was running the WHO ARE THE know people and they know on sick people where their money coming from and who's running the race. The no money 6 people are people. To my understanding who are concerned about this issue I got involved in the campaign through my connections with her going to beach Coalition for human
rights. I've met people from all over the state who are involved in the campaign from all levels of society. I could not give you a median picture of a No 1 6 campaigner. Who is funding the campaign. Was the next portion by and large at least in Orange County and in the coalition where I've been active. Our funding has come in from individuals in amounts all the way from $5 to in some cases I think the largest one I'm going to beaches books is 300. I would say that that indicates that the funding from our point of view has been very much by individuals through a massive outreach. Do you have a paid outfit to do the to do your campaign to run your campaign. Oh ok I did I'm here representing No 1 6 today. We have one paid staff member in Orange County and that's nice A-K our county coordinator. All right I guess a rescue that the statewide question let's go to the greater greater
area. Yes. Let me speak for him if I might he can correct me if I'm wrong first of all they have two highly paid professional Don Bradley old Democratic warhorse and a felony David Mixner who is a homosexual that ran the McGovern campaign on a statewide level on a statewide level to have headquarters at Wilshire Boulevard they have one in San Francisco they have outlets in every single city in the entire state of California they have raised well over one million dollars mainly coming from the Hollywood crowd the ones that push porn or pornography at everybody's children. Our campaign. We have you know that there are the people who push pornography. Well 85 percent of all pornographic films are homosexual nature Jim Young boys of the old man and vice versa. And the Hollywood crowd is well known for you know their level of morality and they want to push it into Orange County and San Diego and everywhere else that they possibly can. Let's go to my camera. Let me go back I'll come back to you OK. My campaign right here our campaign has raised about $80000. No more or no less the largest contribution we receive is $1000. And what kind of people are these they're giving to people throughout the state of California mainly a lot of fundamental churches have been involved because every homosexual
church across this country some 100 21 of them have the record with it with me if anybody wants to look at it had been pouring money from throughout the entire country from Alabama Texas Tennessee New York you name it they have sent homosexuals churches into California to beat this initiative. We have five people working on the campaign. And one of them is paid with so very low in funds if anybody's watching the program was a semi and we could use it and keep our show on television if you want your Ford in the primary or you don't and we really don't have any professional campaign help today. But you did have at the beginning is that not true. Sure that's true so what. I'm just asking Is it true but they're no longer connected with the campaign we don't have any money to pay anybody on a professional basis this is a people's campaign Jim. I one of the questions that had been and I'm sure you've heard this allegation before the John Briggs is not doing this out of conviction John Briggs is doing this as a political stepping well the Jim that I give John break state wide visibility for a future politician. There were there were some accusations made about the finding in our campaign. I don't like to answer before let me I have mentioned is not coming at the very next
question right back yes I want you want to and I'm not going away. Jim I'm not going to waste one minute talking about that I am here today to discuss Do you want to comment on it. No I don't I want to talk about the initiative because. We have a very important initiative that's important to children in California to come back after the campaign and talk about anything you want to talk about the initiative. OK but I think there's a lot of what I was either you or what your motives are and I think we're going to write that my motives are to protect the people the children of the state of California from homosexually influence that's what my motive is right now you said you want to make a challenge on some of the figures that were given. Yes the senator mentions two high powered political campaign people we in fact have at least two people in our campaign that have been either ones of you was talking about he didn't mention the name so I can't really answer David Westin and Don Bradley. OK those two people in fact have a breadth of experience in political campaigns. All right. We are not contrary to his indications in every city in this state because we have a very well laid out campaign plan. We have not raised in excess of 1 million dollars it is currently under 1 million dollars and it is not being donated by that
Hollywood crowd because Laguna Beach alone has raised in excess of $30000. And I just these accusations are the kinds of things that are being thrown at this initiative is not being opposed by a Hollywood crowd or a San Francisco crowd. It's being opposed by people all over this state who understand the implications of the initiative. Well I think the Burt Lancaster Bob Wagner Natalie Wood Carol Burnett. I could name you Harry Reems star of Deep Throat the greatest point of a graphic movie that ever showed in this country. We could go on for about four hours let's give Sondra a chance to have some Hollywood name they just do a big benefit for universal $230000 don't try telling people that's not true it's true. Burt Lancaster and Carol Burnett are not exactly pornographic films they are from the Hollywood crowd and they would know a homosexual one. I mean heterosexual so he walked in front of them I mean I was or not. Which my way what do you call in Hollywood people are the Hollywood crowd. I think that's it's a subjective thing you could say that some of the some of the people that you have helped are from Hollywood I think it's a fair and even when they don't know which county are kooky I think people who are in the Hollywood crowd are a little kinky. OK well let me
present you ever write that and it doesn't mean it's correct. Wild I mean it's wrong either. And then not all of them of course not all of them but many of them. Yes many of them and I think Senator Briggs your proposition changes the standard for a teacher from competent or incompetent to is this teacher a good role model now. It is a known fact I think that there are people let's take men who are in a famine it but who are married and have children. Wouldn't it be possible for a parent if perhaps it's passed to say I don't want in the famine it teaching my children. Similarly atheists divorced people single couples living together all of those who talk the language of the proposition could be told in effect that they are not going they're not good role models for children and therefore no matter how competent they are as teachers they shouldn't be teaching in the California schools. Just because Sandra Evidently you have a regular handbook and I doubt if you have you haven't read it very carefully and I like it over with your other program if you like to the mission is very clear what it states
that is if in the opinion of the board a teacher is either practicing homosexuality not discreetly and not privately. And the school board believes that that person is using his classroom or her classroom. To as a form and to encourage school children into homosexuality then that's good board not just outside commission as presently constituted it cost $5000 a hearing only cost three thousand but the school board will have local control they do not have now to remove that teacher. Now the other situation is if a teacher advocates promote solicits or encourages school children into homosexuality in the opinion of the board. Then the school board could remove that teacher you see it is not aimed at a homosexual teacher. It is aimed at any teacher who misuses his or her classroom. The court the board must do it in private with a lawyer and they have to go to court if the teacher wants to go
there. And so there's a judicial review in the event that there is some kind of rigs. Now this is from the attorney general of California and the nation of the Briggs initiative and he said that as a result of Karr continued closer and prolonged canned contact with school children a teacher etc. becomes a role model whose words behavior and actions are likely to be emulated by students coming under his or her care instruction supervision administration guidance and protection. That's where my question came from. If but you see that we have a new law here if it's enacted then the local school board will have this law to work with I don't work with it and you don't work with if they work at it. And the bottom line he said very clearly if in the opinion of the board they feel you are unfit to teach because you either conduct yourself not discretely and not in private homosexually. Or you are advocating or pushing with sexuality in your classroom. They can use this law if they feel you are pushing homosexuality. They will use this law to remove you as being unfit to teach.
But isn't that isn't it true that under your law that even if a teacher is a homosexual but he never advocates it never forces his attentions on anyone else in an improper manner another way he doesn't do anything that isn't perfect behavior for a school teacher. But it is known that he is a homosexual is that not in itself grounds to bring you before a hearing. No you interpret it as not it would not do that he won't be there for 20 years and I would not. The law doesn't say anything about not being a homosexual sage. It's just that if you if you go if you do. We had time we were greedy initiative and I don't want to be my friend here and I should let him talk and I let him talk right now. The initiative said very clearly the bottom line is you have to be found unfit to teach homosexuality in California no longer is illegal. Therefore it's not immoral it's not a professional it's on a status with heterosexuality. And so you just can't be found unfit to teach because you are a homosexual. The law is written clearly that it has to be you have to be using it to encourage children into homosexuality which if they were that are going to favor that lifestyle in some way for example
you know way to the point is encourage children into homosexuality like Senator for you know the law is not clear in fact. Legal Counsel to the state assembly states that the law is vague and that it's vague in these areas. Since Senator Briggs is hesitant to answer questions put directly to him regarding the implications of his initiative I would like to quote from the Los Angeles Times when asked a question similar regarding whether or not people could be fired from teaching jobs on the basis of what they appeared to be or what they espoused. He said if you look like a duck and you walk like a duck. In my opinion my friend you are a duck. Now that's exactly the kind of bad precedent that we're talking about you know opposing this initiative when when we can start talking about how people look how they walk how they think how they exercise their freedom of speech. And I very much would like to spend some time on the question of the misrepresentation of the Healdsburg case. Then we're talking
about laws that are hard to define. Laws that are almost impossible to be executed fairly and equally. And and this again is a very long article I imagine that most of the readers in Orange County have seen that article. Senator Briggs over and over during this interview implied the real meaning of his initiative and that is that he wants to stifle any free discussion and it doesn't matter to him or to the backers of this proposition whether or not that free discussion is might be about the lifestyle of a homosexual or in letters to the San Francisco Chronicle by a teacher who is now trying to persecute in Healdsburg much to the chagrin of the community. And it's very clear if one reads beyond the clear language of the initiative into Senator Briggs intent in foisting this initiative off on the people of California that he intends to begin singling out and a cutting away of people from the mainstream of their society.
Again as you stated the only time let me speak for myself first of all I'm used to having this going to beauty people on the eye. I take a position that I want to protect children and I expect this from somebody who is supporting the homosexual movement in this country but the fact the matter is on that particular Times article that was about an eight hour article. And were you misquoted. I mean while I was not misquoted but I was asked the same question 40 different times to the point that even the people of the L.A. Times have scratched out on the L.A. Times where that appears on the bulletin board it says instead of an interview with Senator Briggs is that an argument. Let's talk a bit of a slight sense of Let's talk about the gay movement in the rights of children. According to the University of Berkeley here's what you've got to do for the for the gay rights in the and the identification of children a gay identity must be presented to children as a viable development option. Children must be informed. Who are these adults are the gay lifestyle. This can be accomplished through the educational system and through television positive role models of gay identified adults must be available to children right
now and that's where you starting from and I think we should make that as a gay rights the gay movement and the rights of children even if more in San Francisco University of California Berkeley what it says is an order to. You get the gay movement and the right to children together you have to provide this positive role model right now the homo sexual predators I've got a book called gay young and proud to be distributed at every high school in this country. And this was by people who are sympathetic to the gay movement when the initiative is defeated. They maintain it will be defeated so they will establish homosexual clubs on every high school in California like they already have in every college. That's what the people of California want. Then vote no on the initiative if you want gay young and proud outside your high school you better it vote yes on the Internet here. Now I need to correct several misimpressions contrary to what the senator says I am not a GAY ACTIVIST I have never been a gay activist. I have been happy in my life leading my life privately and with the consent of those who are my personal friends and
associates. And I never came out of the closet on this issue thank God I am not a teacher until this issue was thrown at us. Senator Briggs accuses the homosexual rights community for wasting this issue out on the people of California. He did not write this initiative. We did not spend in excess of eight hundred thousand dollars qualifying this initiative for the ballot which is another question about funding. We did not ask for this battle. Senator Briggs has drawn the line and there are those of us who see not homosexual rights as the issue but rights of privacy of free speech and efficient government. The question that I think the voters have to decide who may be looking to program right now is that is this law that would be on the books of a pattern that would this law be good for our society or would it be bad for our society and like each of you to answer that very quickly. But I do. I think my opinion on that is obvious now when you let me know what your reason why you feel strongly that the law is very bad for the society in that it
violates due process. The hearing system which is set up under the initiative is quasi judicial in nature it exposes teachers who are accused to teachers or school employees who are accused to to assume guilt prior to hearings. It puts them not in front of the community with with horrible consequences to their reputations and careers. I mean that I mean that that just by the virtue of being charged. That's right. I think that we feel that way very strongly I feel one of the most dangerous precedents in this initiative is that for the first time in the history of California the voters are being asked to put nonprofessional criteria on the basis of what a good professional is i.e. a good teacher or school professional. We don't feel that homosexuality or advocacy of homosexuality which is whether the senator cares to admit it or not the right of free speech. We don't feel that any of these issues have anything to do with the professional competence of a school employee and the school employees ought to be judged on their professional competence alone.
But you know what. Let's get clear on the record that if you were on a school board and you heard of anyone in any way harming a child I don't care whether that harming physically sexually or anything else. Would you be the first to. Absolutely that that's why that person be a homosexual or heterosexual. It doesn't matter and existing law covers actual offenses what this initiative does is to try to create an atmosphere of fear and hysteria and accusation. The question again coming back is a right or wrong for our society. The current law current law already takes care of child molestation whether done by a heterosexual home like did make a difference whether in and when we go to the argument of we're going to look at the teacher's competency to teach or we fire teachers all the time for getting drunk falling down on the curb for shoplifting for dealing drugs and doing other things. We don't remove teachers just for what the weather. They don't teach in a classroom we remove them for a lot of reasons I want to talk to you about them. Is it good for our society. I have an article here in the San Bernardino Sun appeared October the 19th seems like a high school teacher named Mr Twitchell was accused of a 17 year old
girl kissing a 17 year old boy on the mouth in San Bernardino just a week ago I mean is a big witch hunt going on in San Bernardino my initiative and how you think a witch hunt. Well I mean there are going to look into corners in which poor Mr. Twichell over in San Bernardino the whole community know that he kissed this 17 year old boy in the mouth. Maybe she accused him of it. Now what happens under current law. What happens under current law is the school board said we're going to suspend this teacher with pay We're going to look into it. So under current law Jim they appoint a board member Mr. Twichell appoints a teacher and then they call an outside arbitrator in from Sacramento and they sit down and they try Mr. Twichell. They tried to Twichell the school board member cancels out the teacher the teacher catches up with the school board member and you're left with an outside job or a traitor. And according to a subcommittee report they were just issued by Senator John still in knight in March of this year. It takes seven years and $20000 and you got one chance out of 11000 of dismissing any teacher for any reason and the reason the establishment educational establishment is
so opposed to this initiative Wilson rolls right on down is because the school board in California is the only governing body that doesn't have the right does not have the right to fire people they hire a commissioned. I am giving it back to the local school district and what could occur from this point is we may give the local school district the authority to fire incompetent teachers in the future rather than some commission and that's what's got the educational establishment. I like EST but do you concede that the year law has the element in it the danger inode some innocent teacher could be just accused by a mighty dude that doesn't like you could do that today we have corporate I mean under years old you know we have corporal punishment in Los Angeles. We could have the biggest witch hunt in Los Angeles right now I have a kid in town going to my my teacher beat me they go right now state if teachers are homosexually going right now saying his teacher is a draw if they can do that right now. You've been very patient. If Proposition 6 passes and. Some attorneys I spoke to one ORANGE COUNTY ATTORNEY something that it would be a status offense that you could be removed just for
being homosexual. If homosexuals are removed because of being homosexuals will they be exempt from paying school tax. What happens then. Well first of all you cannot be removed for being a homosexual homosexuality in California is not a basis for removal a public homosexual is a basis for removal meaning that what you do in private is now in public where a teacher doesn't private is their right. What they do in public is our business. And you would have to go to a school board and the school boy would have to say look we believe that what is occurring here is a threat to children in that you will lead them into a homosexual lifestyle like pied piper of course not every child. Of course not. Some children yes we believe that and therefore we find you unfit to teach. They've got to be prepared to go to court and make that stick in court and they're going to be very few school districts that are going to take a very competent teacher out just because he or she is known to be a homosexual because that's unconstitutional you can't do that.
Senator Briggs your campaign has glamorized homosexuality in such a way that one gets the impression that if there's a homosexual teacher children will be drawn sexually to the teacher will then commit a mortal sin which will be wicked and evil but which will be so enjoyable that then they will be lost to heterosexuality forever. Now the philosophy of young people today is you do your thing I'll do my thing just on your trip sonny. And there's a lot of tolerance that I see on the part of a lot of young people but that doesn't mean that they get involved in any way. Well I wish we had about an hour and a half but if you put a role model in front of a child I mean from the U.S. Army to the Catholic Church they are all trying to recruit into their organization there's a big competition for this and to a second the homosexuals family life they want the opportunity to be presented in this article just that as a good role model in front of our children while they love children so much that years old have their own little women role model for Tarzan Superman Captain Kirk doctor so I don't know Rice's license they have a key point is that. Teachers give homework I mean they make you study easier if one of the things that bothers me is that if ever role models are more than make children want to copy them how come the reading scores are so bad when for 50 years we've
had teachers who were role model trying to get them to be good readers good in the arithmetic good in history good yagi and some of those stories are terrible I would like them pandering to the right others for just a moment ago and they can redirect us here from Misrata. There are a lot of ironies in my being here to day one my mother was raised in Healdsburg and went to fish mountain school too. My father was probably the most perseverant role model in my life. And because he feels so strongly about this issue and about my involvement in it and because he feels that Senator Briggs and his supporters are attacking our family unit he flew from Fresno to be here with me today. Now now I don't like the accusations that people who advocate free rights for homosexuals somehow don't believe in the American family. If the senator cares after this is over I would be glad to introduce him to my family to my roommate's you'll pardon the expressions family. All of them except us in their homes and none of whom think that we are in any danger to any of our nephews or nieces and I think that that is a
fallacious argument. And that role modeling does not work as an argument. I have taught children I have never molested a child. The few incidences that Senator Briggs can pull out that do in fact happen in this state don't even measure up to the percentage of homosexuals in the society. And I think it's time to put an end to that argument. I'd like your family I have absolutely no argument with you I joy being on this program with you I just don't think that homosexuals who push you have it. Homosexuality towards children didn't get to that lifestyle should be teaching that when another Larry burner in Healdsburg California never pushed homosexuality toward his children he pushed his rights as a free citizen of this country to take a stand on an issue. I realize you will say it was a year before you were initially qualified Grady has a right to speak his mind. When that is spoken 60 miles away and when it is in no way directed at his children when hearings were held in at school the only parents of children in his class that spoke were parents that spoke about what a fine teacher he was. The the school board says that if
your initiative passes in all likelihood they will not fire him because they don't want the hot potato that you thrown in there loud that is a big issue and secondly let's talk about Article 1 of the US constitution amendment number one. Citizens have the right to petition their government. 300 out of 400 parents petition the school board to remove Mr going to because they felt that he was a role model and some of the children into homosexuality many of them were taking their children out and Senator and this and the school board is supporting four to one. So don't tell me about Healdsburg date go read the voter pamphlet. People I don't want let me read another ought to read this program and get the real true story how about parents are being denied their right to determine who's going to teach their children particularly from people who won't even have children. Let me be the one that I'm going to quote I've learned where I am now nice and in most of my friends do I let me read this quote and it comes from Santa Clara. This is child sexual abuse treatment center handle fewer than half a dozen cases of a homosexual nature out of a total of 700 cases of child abuse in the last six years. Now that's something like the
nature of one or two percent of the cases of sexual abuse that came from homosexuals. The other 98 percent according to this statistics was from heterosexual males. You want to talk about child molestation Let's talk about a felony then you look great. He's books like you react to these figures for I'm not. Look at we're not talking about heterosexual heterosexuals are the norm. We know that they haven't had a guy for 98 percent of the child abuse. How many and I think about 90 percent of the talent you know that we had a felony Nathaniel McRae. He talked for seven years in San Jose he molested 200 young boys along with six other men and 10000 photographs later. And somebody said to the Superintendent George Slager just a year ago why did you take that fellow out of there you know he was bringing home sexual materials into the classroom where gay liberation buttons and pushing it. He said because current law and when you have you have said we already have laws on the books to deal with the sexual offender that you really got yourself but it went on for seven years because he didn't know he was doing these things but he was promoting homosexuality and this law had been in effect that teacher would not have been there for seven years and that
it wasn't just about a two second 300 young boys. All right Senator Lott Riggs admits that what he is really after is cutting away the homosexuals from the society and I think there's a large part of the society that frankly doesn't care what one's personal private sexuality is. And this initiative that every time we get up against these issues we find that is reduced his own arguments to no need for the law and in fact if he wants to ban homosexuality he should repeal the 1975 consenting adults. So I'm sorry I'm not going to have to go along you heard from various stimulating discussion at a very crucial. If you proposition six or seven when channel 50 election night coverage in Orange County on election night it will bring you all the results including some interviews with the gentleman on what the results are. Thank you.
Voter's Pipeline
Election '78-Prop. 5-Smoking Initiative and Prop. 6-Homosexuals in Education
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PBS SoCal (Costa Mesa, California)
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Episode Description
In this episode of Voter's Pipeline two ballot propositions on the 1978 ballot are debated.
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Voter's Pipeline is a talk show hosted by Jim Cooper and featuring conversations with politicians and experts about local and state politics.
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Social Issues
Public Affairs
Politics and Government
Copyright 1978
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Director: O'Neill, Bill
Guest: Briggs, John
Guest: Kerker, Jules
Guest: Foster, Cassandra
Guest: Robertson, Alan
Host: Cooper, Jim
Host: Carl, Sandra
Producing Organization: PBS SoCaL
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: AACIP_0878 (AACIP 2011 Label #)
Format: VHS
Generation: Master
Duration: 01:00:00
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Chicago: “Voter's Pipeline; Election '78-Prop. 5-Smoking Initiative and Prop. 6-Homosexuals in Education ,” PBS SoCal, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 28, 2023,
MLA: “Voter's Pipeline; Election '78-Prop. 5-Smoking Initiative and Prop. 6-Homosexuals in Education .” PBS SoCal, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 28, 2023. <>.
APA: Voter's Pipeline; Election '78-Prop. 5-Smoking Initiative and Prop. 6-Homosexuals in Education . Boston, MA: PBS SoCal, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from
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