Anti-gay state senator arrested after leaving gay bar
March 6, 2010
California Highway Patrol officers arrested Ashburn for allegedly driving drunk after leaving a Sacramento gay nightclub with another man in his car. His blood alcohol level was .14 when he was arrested.
The owner of Faces, the club where Ashburn was hanging out prior to his arrest, told CBS 13 he was unsure if Ashburn was there on Tuesday night because the club was packed with 400 patrons who had come to enjoy a Latin drag queen beauty pageant. [CBS13]
The father of four and Republican state senator representing parts of Kern, Tulare and San Bernardino counties has a long history of opposing gay rights. The senator has voted against every gay rights measure, according to Project Vote Smart.
“I am deeply sorry for my actions and offer no excuse for my poor judgment,” Ashburn said in a statement he released Wednesday morning. “I accept complete responsibility for my conduct and am prepared to accept the consequences for what I did. I am also truly sorry for the impact this incident will have on those who support and trust me – my family, my constituents, my friends, and my colleagues in the Senate.”
Ashburn, along with San Luis Obispo County Assessor Tom Bordonaro, their wives, and Sherry Leonard, the wife of Board of Equalization member Bill Leonard, sit on the board of a controversial nonprofit they founded in 2005. The Pacific Policy Research Foundation solicits donations from big industry and union lobbyists that it uses to pay for a yearly Hawaiian trip the group sponsors for state politicians and lobbyists.
Ashburn was booked into Sacramento Jail and released on $1,400 bail. He continues to be on personal leave through Sunday.