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Saturday, June 07, 2003

A Parodox via Steve Miller at the Independent Gay Forum

June 7, 2003
Swinging Right.

In it's ongoing balancing act, the Bush administration has taken a symbolic move to appease it's Christian right critics who have been caterwauling about Bush "pandering to the homosexual lobby." So now the Department of Justice has decided not to allow its employees to hold gay-pride events on its property.
The Washington Post reports that DOJ Pride, which supports the department's "gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees," had planned an after-hours awards ceremony at the agency's main auditorium honoring two lawyers who have defended gay rights. Last year, Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson spoke briefly at the group's event -- outraging the religious right.

During his 2001 confirmation hearings, Attorney General John Ashcroft told the Senate Judiciary Committee he would allow DOJ Pride to use the agency's facilities on the same basis as its other employee groups. This followed then-nominee Ashcroft's meeting with national Log Cabin Republican leaders, who -- to the chagrin of gay anti-Republicans -- thereafter supported Ashcroft's confirmation.

As the Post puts it, "Conservative groups, including the Family Research Council and the Concerned Women for America, have criticized administration efforts to reach out to gay groups," and that's what this is all about. GOP administrations will only make real gestures of support for gays and lesbians when more gays and lesbians support Republicans -- and thus are able as a bloc to counter the threats of religious right activists. But alas, more gays and lesbians will support the GOP only when the party stops kowtowing to its anti-gay constituency -- an unfortunate paradox.
--Stephen H. Miller

EY: Exactly...... And after the idiotic Santorum statements, Republicans lost an openly gay elected official in New Hampshire I believe.

Did Ashcroft Lie During Confirmation Hearings?

from the San Francisco Chronicle Coverage of the Cancelled DOJ Pride Event.....

Critics said Ashcroft's decision appeared to undermine a pledge he made during his Senate confirmation hearings. During a Judiciary Committee hearing in January 2001, he was asked by Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., whether he would allow DOJ Pride the same access to Justice Department facilities as members of other employee groups.
Ashcroft replied: "It would be my intention not to discriminate against any group that appropriately constituted in the Department of Justice." In response to written questions from Feingold, Ashcroft later added, "I have no intent to change those policies or treat this group differently than any other."
On Friday, Feingold released a statement calling on Ashcroft to "uphold his direct promise to me not to discriminate against gay employees and reverse the department's decision to ban DOJ Pride from holding an event in the department's headquarters."

The Washington Blade has called yours truly about the hit piece on the CWFA site about yours truly and the US Queers egroup.....

Friday, June 06, 2003

Vaara on the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy via Savage Stupidity

"Not that such a failure to grasp the concept of political pluralism should be particularly surprising, coming from someone who, presumably, sympathizes with the 14 or so National Review-reading, Dade County ballot-counter-intimidating, Buchanan-voting, Eminem-listening, nicotine-stinking, Michael Savage-worshiping, Hummer-driving, CNN-boycotting, Ann Coulter-spouting fools who converged in Washington last weekend to protest the Nation-readers, etc."

=============================================================
Meanwhile Conspiracy Theories abound on the Conservative Think Tank yahoogroup about Eric Rudolph's capture....

In a message dated 06/01/2003 3:10:03 PM Central Daylight Time,
Ms Kitty writes:

Why the sudden capture of Eric Rudolph? Why now?

With the mind control of "multiculturalism, diversity, and tolerance", and one Muslim now claiming a white supremacist burned his motel. I am wondering if there is a connection here to set up whites in some way.

Then Matt the Cato writes:

Yes, the PC Party Line-Towers have not had a devil to hurl their monkey shit at. Rudolph fits the bill nicely.

And Nadia writes:

You've got a point there, Cato. My feeling exactly.

EY: And the black helicopters are circling also.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

PRESS RELEASE: Public Citizen to defend SavageStupidity.com co-founders against $500,000 lawsuit by Michael Savage

From: "Thomas Leavitt"
X-Yahoo-Profile: Thomas_Leavitt
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 02:47:46 -0700
Subject: [savagestupidity] PRESS RELEASE: Public Citizen to defend

PRESS RELEASE: Public Citizen to defend SavageStupidity.com co-founders
against $500,000 lawsuit by Michael Savage

June 3rd, 2003


SANTA CRUZ, CA - SavageStupidity.com's co-founders, Thomas and Gunilla
Leavitt, announced today that Public Citizen, a nationally prominent non-profit public interest law firm, has agreed to defend them from a lawsuit filed by Talk Radio Network, Inc. TRN syndicates "The Savage Nation", a nationally broadcast radio talk show hosted by the infamous Michael Savage (née Weiner). "The Weiner has demonstrated his contempt for free speech by filing this lawsuit, and we intend to dispute it vigorously," said Thomas and Gunilla. SavageStupidity.com will also be represented by David Bradford, a partner specializing in complex litigation at the prestigious Chicago-based national law firm of Jenner & Block, who will act as local counsel in the case.

On May 12th TRN filed a federal lawsuit asking for $500,000 in damages due to "lost advertising and business opportunities", in an attempt to permanently shut down three web sites containing detailed criticism of Michael Savage and encouraging consumer boycotts of advertisers on his radio and television shows. Filed in a Northern Illinois court, the suit claims that Culligan International Company canceled a contract for advertising on "The Savage Nation" worth more than $100,000 after receiving "false and malicious" email from the web site owners and their readers. Others named in the lawsuit are a John Doe (responsible for michaelsavagesucks.com), and Julie Sigwart, owner of Take Back the Media (takebackthemedia.com), both of
whom also vigorously dispute the merits of TRN's claims.

"We are extraordinarily pleased to have two such prestigious firms defending us. Public Citizen has a strong history of successfully defending web site owners like ourselves against meritless attempts to stifle free speech, and we are confident they will prevail in our case as well. TRN's claims are without substance - this lawsuit is clearly an attempt to silence a rapidly
rising flood of criticism from the grassroots that is driving all sensible advertisers away from Savage's show," said Thomas Leavitt, co-founder and content editor for SavageStupidity.com. "No sane company wants to be associated with the stream of racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and generally hateful and obnoxious comments broadcast daily on
'The Savage Nation'. Intimating that Elizabeth Smart is a slut, calling gay pride marchers 'the brownshirts of the modern age', and ranting that 'Hispanics breed like rabbits' place Michael Weiner far outside the mainstream of American political discourse. Advertisers are leaving in droves on their own - we're just helping the process along by empowering people with documented and referenceable commentary they can use to effectively communicate their pre-existing concerns to Savage's advertisers.
Savagestupidity.com is freedom of speech in action, as American as Apple Pie, and we fully expect the courts to recognize that."

Talk Radio Networks, Inc. has also filed a domain name dispute complaint with the National Arbitration Forum attempting to seize the savagestupidity.com domain name, based on unfounded claims that it is "confusingly similar" to michaelsavage.com and violates the as yet to be approved "Michael Savage" trademark. SavageStupidity.com's co-founders have chosen to answer this on their own, filing a response on May 26th, 2003.

Savage filed a similar claim against michaelsavagesucks.com, whose owner responded on May 20th, 2003. Both sites expect to prevail, but are prepared to pursue further courses of action should the corporate-biased Uniform Dispute Resolution Process fail to produce a satisfactory result.

SavageStupidity.com and michaelsavagesucks.com were the lone voices documenting Savage's hate-filled commentaries until earlier this year, when MSNBC announced plans to broadcast a talk show hosted by Michael Savage on Saturday afternoons, after dropping veteran liberal-leaning talk show host Phil Donahue from its lineup. Several national organizations, including the
Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), the National Organization for Women (NOW), and GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), responded by launching extensive publicity efforts aimed at encouraging MSNBC to reconsider its decision to offer Savage's hateful rants a televised forum, and documenting his long history of problematic remarks.

"We find it curious that Savage's lawsuit does not mention any of these nationally prominent organizations, despite their much greater ability to generate negative publicity and the fact that at least one of them, GLAAD, maintains an extensive repository of Savage-related information on their web site, including audio/visual excerpts," said Thomas. "This is obviously another case of a media giant picking on the little guy/gal, in an attempt to set an unfortunate precedent that would harm free speech on the Internet and elsewhere. We are pleased that Public Citizen and David Bradford recognized the importance of this case by agreeing to defend us. The flood of supportive and helpful email that we've received from visitors to the web site indicates that they are not alone in this recognition, and has been very much appreciated."

Full documentation of both the lawsuit and the domain dispute is available through the SavageStupidity.com website at http://www.savagestupidity.com/ in the sections on the home page labeled "Lawsuit" and "Domain Name
Dispute".


Other Resources:

Public Citizen website:
http://www.citizen.org/

Jenner & Block website... "A lawyer fights to preserve the blood-bought rights of our people in defense of the poor. -Justice Floyd E. Thompson":
http://www.jenner.com/

David J. Bradford:
http://www.jenner.com/people/bio.asp?id=41

Culligan Response to email from MichaelSavageSucks.com (received by SavageStupidity.com's editor after the lawsuit was served):
http://www.savagestupidity.com/culligan.html

GLAAD Archive on Savage (includes audio/visual samples and media coverage of Savage controversy):
http://www.glaad.org/action/campaigns_detail.php?id=3295


FAIR News Release on Savage's hiring by MSNBC "GE, Microsoft Bring Bigotry to Life":
http://www.fair.org/activism/msnbc-savage.html

Bob Lonsderry "ASK MICHAEL SAVAGE TO APOLOGIZE" (re: comments about Elizabeth Smart):
http://www.lonsberry.com/writings.cfm?story=1104

Monday, June 02, 2003

Republican recruiter says plantation mentality must stop
by Isaac Peterson III, Spokesman Recorder

Ballantine would modify, not retract, Lou Harvin’s KKK statement
Minnesota GOP not in Tune with President Bush's Inclusive Message and Policies

MSR: What specifically has the Republican Party done to improve the lives of people of color?
KB: In Minnesota, not much. In fact, there is some truth to Lou Harvin’s comments about racism within the Republican Party. If a person of color is not careful with the Minnesota Republican Party, that person will get used and dumped like road kill after
the goal is accomplished. Some of the newly elected candidates clearly engage in inclusive politics, while others only give lip service.
There is a potentially big problem if this behavior by the Republicans in Minnesota continues. For example, I served statewide as the community outreach chair for the Minnesota Republican Party. I was the only Black male on staff. After the recent election of Coleman and Pawlenty, I did not receive one job offer and no tangible expression of gratitude from Coleman, Pawlenty or the Republican Party. In fact, I’ve had to battle unemployment, an eviction, and support a disabled child as a single parent.
This plantation mentality has got to stop. You don’t burn a popular member of the minority community.
President Bush and his people would never let this happen. In fact, they have stepped up to the plate and are currently negotiating with me. They know there’s a problem here in Minnesota with relationships with communities of color, especially on the state and city levels.
This treatment is atypical of the Republican Party on a national level; however, here in Minnesota there needs to be effective leadership that ensures its minority party members receive true equity.



In conclusion, the statement of Lou Harvin [Republicans have a “KKK” mentality] should not have been retracted nor apologized for; it should have been modified. We know there are KKK members in both political parties — so what!!! Metaphorically, are we going to wear that dirty diaper or change it and throw that crap out?
If a serious charge is made, we should stand by it and face it. In communities in Boston, as a Republican, I had to face serious problems to overcome racism. The Black community worked with Republicans to overcome the racism there.
We can make Republicans work for us here also. There should have been some recognition and dialogue that openly addressed the problem. Instead, it got swept under the rug. Sometimes “Minnesota nice” puts people in denial. In my opinion, an opportunity for communication and change was lost.
It’s time for us to think about having more control in the Republican Party in Minnesota.

Keith Ellison's On the Record Response to Ron Edward's Weblog and Taxpayer Funded MTN sponsored, and E-Democracy Sponsored Minneapolis Rumours List Rumours of Jackie Cherryhomes Fundraiser.

At 08:11 AM 6/2/2003 -0500, you wrote:
You asked, "So I guess you are saying that if there are flyers out with your name on
them, they weren't put out with your knowledge or consent?"

Keith Ellison: True. If such fliers exist, I was never consulted, informed, asked, or anything of the sort. There is no part of this story that is true. It is entirely false. Linda and I ran into each other at the Capitol on May 26, 2003, and neither of us could make heads or tails of the story. The rumour is 100% false, and neither Linda nor I know anything about it.

Thanks for chasing down the facts. You can print my response anywhere you choose.

The rumour is on the Minneapolis-Rumours list - with David Brauer, editor of Skyway News and Southwest Journal as List Queen er Manager..... Sen. Linda Higgins posted on it - but the last word was from Peter Jessen. Supposedly it was included in a Booker T collumn (I have not found the column), also on Ron Edward's weblog. If untrue, seems like the Spokesman should print a retraction. So should Brauer - on the Minneapolis Rumours list.

On Northside Target closing:

Keith Ellison:
What do you think about Target decision to shut down the broadway store?

EY: I use that store regularly (mostly for purchasing milk, kitty litter and cleaning supplies), so I'm not happy. I don't use that grocery store next to the Walgrens - it seems dirty and gives me the creeps. Target never has - though a friend of mine advised against shopping at the Target.

A cub going in that place would be nice. Heck, I'd like to see a Bestbuy on the Northside. But then that's the type of shopping I like. I have to go to the burbs for my gadget shopping - or online.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Northside Politicians: Keith Ellison, Greg Gray and Mark Stenglein protest Target Closing

North Minneapolis leaders to Target: Give us more time
Rochelle Olson, Star Tribune

Published May 31, 2003

Several north Minneapolis leaders stood in the shadow of the city-subsidized Target
store on Nicollet Mall Friday to ask the corporation to keep open the W. Broadway
store it plans to close in August.

The leaders both appealed to and questioned Minneapolis-based Target Corporation's prized image as a solid
corporate citizen and community builder.

EY: I regularly shop at that Target. I for one would like to see it stay.

Eva

St Paul DFL Convention Interviews: Georgia Dietz and Randy Kelly

I went to the St Paul DFL convention - to try to interview folks about the school board races. I saw Mayor Kelly at the convention
and caught up with him - and introduced myself - Lavender Magazine columnist, and asked him why he voted to keep the sodomy law on the books in committee in 99. He said that it was all "political" - and he didn't think the bill would pass, and so did what he could to keep it off the floor.

In the house, committee Chair Stanek kept the bill from even being heard in committee.

Kelly does not personally believe the law is a good idea. So I guess there are no plans for "sodomy free zones" in St Paul under the Kelly administration.

I also talked with Georgia Dietz, St Paul School Board candidate. She fully supports abstinence only - condoms don't work sex
education. She also opposes the Out for Equity program in the St Paul public schools.

She also said she will come to the Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota meeting in July to talk about her school board campaign.

We also talked a bit about the School Board contracting with
Progressive Minnesota - the issue Tom Swift raised a while back.
That is an issue that I think is a fair issue - and I hope gets
raised in the campaign. According to Dietz, this was buying
Progressive Minnesota mailing lists - and the school board would use
these to recruit people to the site based administration councils.

I do have a problem with this - and am curious whether similar stuff
is going on in Minneapolis. I'd be interested in hearing school
board members and candidates on this list response to this. Anne
Carroll in the past wrote that this money to PM was for Latino
Outreach - and she later retracted that statement on this list. When
I interviewed Anne Carroll on this point, she told me she had gotten
this information from the ED of PM - Dan McGrath. If Dan McGrath is
on this list, I'd like to hear his side of the story. He should know
that PM does not do Latino Outreach.

After talking with Dietz for a while, it's quite clear to me that
some of her sources of information about Gays are clearly anti-gay
groups that regularly make up misleading data about gays.

However there were a number of other issues - related to fiscal
accountability with the St Paul schools that are worth talking about
here.