Paul Ryan

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Anti-Prop 8 Lawyer Ted Olson Will Help Prep Paul Ryan For Debates

Attorney Theodore Olsen. (Photo: U.S. Department of Justice)

Attorney Theodore Olsen. (Photo: U.S. Department of Justice)

Word that legal eagle Theodore Olson will stand in as Vice President Joe Biden in debate preparations for Republican VP nominee Paul Ryan confirms the old adage that politics makes strange bedfellows. Both Ryan and Romney strongly oppose same sex marriage (Romney even opposes civil unions).

LGBT activists considered it a coup three years ago when Republican stalwart Olson and top Democrat David Boies signed onto the legal team fighting Prop. 8. And with good reason. Olson’s conservative bona fides were impeccable. Legal counsel in the Reagan Administration. Solicitor General for President George W. Bush. He also outmaneuvered David Boies at the U.S. Supreme Court in the infamous 2000 Bush v. Gore case that settled that year’s political debacle in the 2000 presidential election in Florida. It was the legal dream team.

Olson and Boies have two rounds in federal court, successfully challenging Prop. 8 on historic grounds that it violated the federal constitution. It’s now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

It shouldn’t come as a shock that Olson — who tears up talking about the importance of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry — is helping to elect the Romney-Ryan ticket. He is, after all, a conservative at his core. Even his argument for gay marriage is based on conservative principles.

And don’t forget he was also part of the winning legal team in the infamous Citizens United case that opened the floodgates of corporate campaign donations. But in addition to winning historic legal victories for LGBT rights, Olson is also helping gay rights groups make connections with other like-minded Republicans who support their cause (including David Koch).

It brings to mind the old saying that Willie Brown and other smart pols adhere to: “In politics, there are no such things as permanent enemies.” And wouldn’t it be fun to see Olson prepping Ryan on a gay marriage question?

California GOP Delegates Dig Paul Ryan

GOP candidate for Congress Ricky Gill, from Calif's 9th district, speaks at convention. (Mark Wilson/Getty)

KQED’s Rachael Myrow spoke with KPCC’s Frank Stoltze, who’s in Tampa covering the 2012 Republican National Convention. Stoltze got a read on some California delegates and their hopes for the California Republican Party.

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Edited transcript…

KQED’S RACHAEL MYROW: Republicans from California, the ones who haven’t been trapped in Sacramento voting on bills this week, have been having a grand ol’ time in Tampa Bay at the GOP convention. The Golden State may not be in play this presidential election, but our Republicans still manage to attract a lot of attention and generate a lot of discussion. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze is there. Can you set the scene for us?

KPCC’s FRANK STOLTZE: The convention itself is in the city of Tampa. The California delegation is staying in St. Pete Beach, across Tampa Bay. It’s a beautiful resort area – big wide, white beaches. In fact, I caught up with one of the delegates on the beach – Gina Gleason from Chino Hills.

STOLTZE: It’s nice out here.

CALIF. GOP DELEGATE GINA GLEASON: Nice and warm and sunny. And the breeze is fantastic, and the water’s warm.

MYROW: Paul Ryan’s speech was last night. What was the California delegation’s reaction to it?

STOLTZE: They were just as excited as all the other delegates. I talked to a number of them afterwards, and here’s a couple of the California delegates who listened in on Paul Ryan last night.

DELEGATE GWEN DYRUD: Gwen Dyrud of Santa Ana, California. His confidence: “We can do this.” Oh, I loved that. I loved the straightforward talk. He didn’t talk like a high-falutin’ Congressman. He talked like your neighbor. Continue reading

PBS NewsHour, NPR and KQED Cover the 2012 Republican Convention

The 2012 Republican National Convention to officially nominate Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the GOP’s presidential candidate and Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate is now under way in Tampa, Florida.

PBS NewsHour has full online coverage and analysis of the event.

[View the story "RNC Live Blog" on Storify]

NPR has a full rundown of upcoming convention highlights including a schedule of speakers, and will have live radio coverage and analysis beginning Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 8 p.m. ET.

KQED’s Forum held an hour-long discussion about the Republican convention with journalists, analysts and California delegates on Aug. 28. Host Michael Krasny spoke with:

  • Belva Davis, host of KQED Public Television’s “This Week in Northern California”
  • Bill Whalen, research fellow at the Hoover Institution
  • Carla Marinucci, political writer for The San Francisco Chronicle
  • Ricky Gill, Republican candidate in California’s 9th Congressional District
  • Sally Zelikovsky, California delegate (San Rafael) to the 2012 RNC

Listen to the audio here.