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With bills on his desk, Jerry Brown hears from celebs, clerics

September 18, 2012 |  9:59 am

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As Gov. Jerry Brown considers whether to sign or veto 700 bills on his desk, he is getting an earful from all quarters, including Hollywood celebrities and a group of lobbyists who serve a higher calling.

Over the weekend, "Glee" actress Jane Lynch spoke out for SB 1172, which would ban discredited therapy that claims to be able to turn gay minors straight. On Monday, actress Alicia Silverstone of "Clueless" fame tweeted. "Ask Jerry Brown to sign SB 1221 to protect bears and bobcats.’’

That had nothing to do with her son, whom she named Bear, but was an endorsement of legislation on Brown’s desk that would prohibit the use of dogs in hunting bears and bobcats. On Tuesday, Brown was sent a letter from several entertainment figures, including James Cromwell, Doris Day and Ellen DeGeneres, urging him to sign the ban on hound hunting.

But perhaps the most influential group lobbying the governor will make its appearance Tuesday morning at the Capitol, when a delegation hands over a letter signed by 250 clergy members urging him to support AB 1081. The bill, also known as the Trust Act, would prohibit police from detaining arrestees for possible deportation unless the suspects have previous convictions for a serious or violent felony.

Brown nearly became a Catholic priest as a youth, and the clergy members urging him to sign the bill "represent Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, Jewish, Muslim and Unitarian traditions,’’ the group says.

The letter to Brown quotes Old Testament scripture, Psalm 72, saying in part "Give the king your justice, O God.'' The letter concludes: "Therefore, in the tradition of the Psalmist, we, the undersigned, are asking for your leadership, counting on your wisdom, and invoking a measure of God’s justice and grace, as we call upon you to defend our shared values of fairness and justice.''

The group is also giving Brown 4,000 prayer cards signed by church and temple goers throughout California asking him to use his pen to sign the law.

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--Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown, shown at a news conference last month, is facing pressure to sign bills from all quarters, including a group of priests, rabbis and other clerics. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times.

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