Carole Migden

Carole Migden

Infobox State Senator

name = Carole Migden
imagesize = 170
state_senate = California
district = 3rd
term_start = 2004
Term_end =
preceded = John L. Burton
state_assembly2 = California
district2 = 13th
term_start2 = 1996
term_end2 = 2002
preceded2 =
succeeded2 = Mark Leno
birth_date = birth date and age|1948|08|14
birth_place =
nationality = USA
party = Democrat
residence = San Francisco, California
website = []

Carole Migden (born August 14 1948) is an American politician from San Francisco, California who currently represents the third district in the California State Senate.Migden's current district, the 3rd Senate district, includes parts of San Francisco, Sonoma County, and Marin County. [ [ Senate District 3 Map] ] She was previously a member of the California State Assembly (1996–2002) and Chairwoman of the California Board of Equalization (2002–2004), the nation's only publicly-elected tax commission. Prior to that, she had served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (1991–1996). She also chaired the San Francisco Democratic Party for eight years and is a member of the Democratic National Committee.

Carole Migden is the Chairperson of California Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee and the Chairperson of the Senate Majority Caucus. She was previously the Senate Appropriations Committee Chair. She is the only lesbian state legislator from Northern California and one of just ten woman Senators.

tate legislature

In the State Assembly, Migden served for five years as Chairwoman of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. She was the first woman and the first lesbian to chair that committee. She also served for four years as a conferee on the state's Joint Budget Conference Committee, which writes the final version of California's state budget. As a member of the State Assembly, Migden authored legislation to create California's domestic partner registry, promote children's health, preserve the old growth Headwaters Forest, increase accountability in K-12 schools, protect borrowers from predatory and deceptive lending practices, protect consumers from manipulation by energy generators, and promote the use of emergency contraception. [ [{7613C7A6-5517-4A69-BCFA-CF29F5F79636} Senator Carole Migden - Senator Migden ] ] [ [ Carole Migden Leading: Carole's Issues ] ]

Migden authored the ‘‘Clean Water Act’’ in 1999 that imposed tougher penalties on industrial polluters dumping harmful toxins in California waterways. She also authored the Headwaters Forest and SF Wetlands/Cargill legislation that enabled the state preservation of the ancient Headwaters Forest and restoration of the San Francisco Baylands into a wildlife habitat and recovery of endangered species. []

Over the last seven years Migden has authored legislation for domestic partnership in California providing benefits to the LGBT community and unmarried senior citizens. Assembly Bill 26 in 1999 marked the first time in the nation a state legislature passed a domestic partnership statute without forcible intervention of the courts. (Assembly Bill 26). [ [ AB 26 Assembly Bill - Bill Analysis ] ] [ [ Gay & Lesbian History Timeline ] ]

Migden’s SB 565 provided for the legalization of the transfer of property between domestic partners without reassessment for tax purposes (Senate Bill 565) [ [ ACLU News: Assembly Passes Landmark Domestic Partner Rights Expansion Despite Right-Wing Campaign to Nix the Bill ] ] and provided for the filing of domestic partner income-tax returns under the same status as married couples. (Senate Bill 1827). [ [ 2006 Legislation - Equality California ] ]

During her time on the Board of Equalization, Migden strengthened property rights for same sex couples, helped level the playing field between brick and mortar establishments and online retailers, and protected California's precious open space.Fact|date=March 2008

In 2005, Migden's SB 663 closed tax loopholes allowing corporate giants to put millions in offshore tax shelters and depleting the state of revenues. (SB 663).Fact|date=March 2008 Migden has authored legislation to improve foster care that created new programs such as transitional housing, increased savings accounts, and adoption incentives for parents adopting teenagers. []

Migden has authored legislation providing for rapid HIV testing (AB 1263), [ [ AB 1263 Assembly Bill - Bill Analysis ] ] protection of health care workers from needle injuries (AB 1046) and enabling of HIV positive people to have healthy children (SB 443). [ [ Senator Carole Migden - Sen. Migden’S Bill Making It Safe For Women To Conceive When Partner Is Hiv Positive Passes Assembly ] ] Before entering the assembly, as a San Francisco supervisor, Migden strengthened HIV/AIDS prevention, service delivery programs, protection of the health budget and created innovative safe-sex programs.Fact|date=March 2008

In 2002 Migden authored legislation (AB 1860) requiring the state to provide information regarding the “morning after” contraception to female victims of sexual assault. [ [ State Politics & Policy | California Assembly Unanimously Passes Bill Requiring Hospitals to Provide EC to Rape Survivors - ] ] Migden passed legislation (AB 673) creating a state wide DNA data base for rapists, murders, and other violent crimes.Fact|date=March 2008

Staunchly opposed to the war in Iraq, Migden became one of the first critics of the war and passed a Senate resolution making California the first state in the nation to formally oppose the surge of troops in Iraq.Fact|date=March 2008


In the fall of 2007 Migden helped resolve a five-year- standoff between Marin county and the state of California regarding property taxes taken by the State and diverted to fund education deficits. With rising property tax values, the state decided to withhold an additional 4 million of county generated tax revenues to pay for programs for troubled children throughout California. Marin officials claimed the state was forcing the county to shoulder an unfair degree of state oriented funding. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed two bills pushed forward by Migden to resolve the issue. Migden's third bill passed and resulted in cutting the amount of surplus funds the county will annually pay to the state by half. The bill resulted in an extra 1.9 million a year for Marin County and a total return of 24.7 million to the area. [ [] ]

Migden spent her first night in California on a Marin houseboat and in 2006 passed SB 1701 which allowed Sausalito houseboats to be legally moored on Richardson Bay for the first time since 1865.Fact|date=March 2008


Since joining the Senate in 2004, Migden has had three chiefs of staff. Staff members commonly referred to serving under Migden as "combat tours." Migden has been rated the worst member to work for in the Capitol Weekly which conducted a staff survey. The San Francisco Examiner has called Migden "Sacramento's scariest boss." [ [ Arrogance, San Francisco-style] ] She has been repeatedly reprimanded for her hostile behavior in the state Legislature, including verbal attacks on peace officers who are charged with keeping lawmakers safe.Citation
last =Harmon
first =Steven
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title = Controversy has followed legislator
newspaper =The Oakland Tribune
pages =
year =2007
date = May 29, 2007
url =

When Migden was chairwoman of the powerful Assembly appropriations committee, which determines whether hundreds of bills live or die, Migden routinely held fundraisers during committee lunch breaks, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. When Migden headed the Senate Appropriations Committee, she put her title on a fundraiser invitation. In 2005, Migden pressed the "aye" button on behalf of Guy Houston, a Republican, in the California Assembly of which Migden was no longer a member.

Personal life

A native of New York City, Migden was born August 14, 1948. Migden is a member of the Jewish faith. After moving to San Francisco, she became very active in community service.


In February 2004, she married Cristina Arguedas, a criminal defense attorney and her partner since 1985, in a ceremony at San Francisco City Hall officiated by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. [ [ Newsom does the honors for Migden, partner] , The San Francisco Chronicle, February 21, 2004] That marriage was later annulled by the California Supreme Court. [ [ Top State Court Voids S.F.'s Gay Marriages] , The San Francisco Chronicle, August 13, 2004]


On May 23, 2007, Migden announced that she was diagnosed with leukemia in 1997 (about a year into her first assembly term). She was only expected to live 3–5 years after her diagnosis. [ Migden says she's battling leukemia / She suspects medication is a factor in accidents / ] ]

Migden underwent rigorous and difficult chemotherapies for several years before finally becoming a participant in clinical trial which ultimately got FDA approval for Gleevec [ [ Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) - National Cancer Institute ] ] which has proven to be a watershed cancer drug. She has been in complete remission for several years.

Driving history

On May 18, 2007, Migden was involved in an automobile accident where she crashed her SUV into a sedan, which was stopped at a red light. There were no serious injuries and no citation was written. Migden was given a Breathalyzer test, which showed that she was not drunk. Migden claims that she may have suffered from an adverse response to her Leukemia treatment that lead her to drive erratically. [ [ SFist: Carole Migden's Health Revelations ] ] 911 tapes released in August show other drivers who saw her during her 30-mile trip along I-80 were panicking as they reported seeing her hit the center divider, and repeatedly come close to hitting other cars, before finally hitting one. [ [ > News > State - 911 tapes show California senator sent other drivers into panic ] ] One motorist claimed Migden told her "You can't talk to me like that. I'm a senator."Migden voluntarily ceased driving as she continued to undergo treatment and as medical tests are pursued.

In May 2007, Migden said "I owe an explanation to the public and myself and, in particular, the person I hurt."

On August 10, 2007, Migden entered a no contest, also known as nolo contendre, plea to charges of reckless driving related to the May 18, 2007 incident. Migden paid a $710 fine and is required to participate in two years of court probation. A no-contest plea is the same as a guilty plea except it cannot be used in a civil lawsuit to establish liability. [ [ Migden pleads no contest to reckless driving] ]

In 1996, Migden ran a stop sign by the State Capitol and crashed into a 1990 Dodge Spirit owned by Teresa Latham. The crash injured Latham and destroyed Latham's car. Latham claimed that Migden did not "seem concerned at all about the situation." [ [ How's Carole Migden's Driving?: An 11-Year Grudge] ]


In 1999, Migden, a confirmed lesbian, received the National Center for Lesbian Rights' "Lesbian Leadership Award". In 2000, she was recognized with the "Affordable Housing Leadership Award". In 2001, Migden was named "Legislator of the Year" by the California National Organization for Women. In 1999 she also received “Legislator of the Year” honors from the California School Employees Association.

In 1998 Migden was named “Rookie of the year” award by the California Journal. She took top honors in the categories of most integrity, most intelligence, hardest working, most ambitious, and most influential.

Migden was also awarded the "Geraldine Johnson Award" for outstanding support of the labor community; and received "Cape Crusader Award" from California Alliance for Pride and Equality.

Migden has received leadership awards from prominent environmental and civil rights organizations. She continuously received high honors in California Journal's annual rankings, including "Quick Study" in 2002.

Election 2008

Seeking a second term in the state senate, Migden failed to win renomination in the 2008 primary election held on 2008-06-03. She finished second in a three-way race. Assemblyman Mark Leno won the nomination, while Migden finished slightly ahead of former Assemblyman Joe Nation from El Verano. [ [ Election Night Results - CA Secretary of State ] ] She was the first legislator to lose a renomination since Assemblyman Brian Setencich lost his primary race in 1996.

The race was one of the costliest legislative races in the state. [ [ Marin Independent Journal - State Senate race keeps heating up] ] Migden came into the race with $647,000 in the bank from past races, but according to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), she did not properly transfer campaign funds. The FPPC investigators found 89 violations in campaign finance reporting.cite news | url= | title=State campaign watchdog levies record fine against Migden | author=John Diaz | publisher="The San Francisco Chronicle" | date=2008-03-18 | accessdate=2008-03-18] The FPPC originally prevented her from using the $647,000 from previous races. On March 6, Migden filed a legal challenge against the FPPC, claiming the FPPC ruling had violated her right to free speech. [ [ Migden Sues FFPC Charging Campaign Finance Law Unconstitutional] ] The FPPC settled the dispute with Migden for a record $350,000 fine. Richie Ross, Migden's campaign consultant, called the issues in the complaint legitimate, saying, "There's no excuse, and she will have to take her legitimate lumps. I know it, and she knows it." [ [ sfgate column] ]

Democratic delegates at the state party convention in March 2008 voted not to endorse Migden 742–298. [cite news | url= | title=Dems refuse to endorse Migden Leno engineers massive rejection at state convention| author=John Wildermuth | publisher="The San Francisco Chronicle" | date=2008-03-31 | accessdate=2008-04-17]


External links

* [ Official Website]
* [ Campaign Website]
* [ Carole Migden Election History]

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