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Friday, September 10, 2004

Blogging at Outlet Radio

I am now a blog contributor over at Outlet Radio. I think I'm the Token Republican over there. I've got a little elephant logo next to my name. Check it out here.

Thank you to Christian Grantham for inviting me.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Two Devastating Articles about Kiffmeyer and Taxpayer's League

Originally posted to MN Politics Discuss.

Now remind me - how is it that complaining about a City Pages voter registration drive a taxpayer issue? Seems like the taxpayers league is off message an awful lot.

Mike Mosdale does a profile of Kiffmeyer and covers the Kiffmeyer/Taxpayer's League unsuccessful effort to intimate City Pages about their voter registration booth.

The article also mentions husband Ralph Kiffmeyer's legacy from the legislature, a failed attempt to ban sex toys:

In a state where informality is the norm in government, for instance, she likes to be addressed by her subordinates as "Madam Secretary." A devout Christian, she has also raised eyebrows with public remarks complaining about the separation of church and state. The secretary of state's voter registration office was listed as an official sponsor of the recent Luis Palau evangelical crusade at the state capitol. Her husband, Ralph Kiffmeyer, a former state representative, is remembered by some for an ill-fated crusade to ban the sale of dildos and other sex toys.


Steve Perry discusses the recent broohaha over City Pages Voter Registration Effort - and raises the question - with some good evidence - that the Secretary of State office had generated the Taxpayers' League "complaint" about this.

Last Thursday morning, when City Pages reporters initially contacted David Strom and the secretary of state's press liaison, Kent Kaiser, both indicated that the secretary of state's office had learned of Strom's complaint through the Taxpayers League press release, which, Strom explained, had been e-mailed to a media contacts list that included Kaiser's address. Strom told reporter Mike Mosedale that he had been tipped to the possible illegality by a fairgoing acquaintance he refused to name. Asked to respond directly to a claim that he had been told of the City Pages promotion by someone in state government, Strom denied it emphatically. He claimed he had never regarded his complaint as a very serious matter: "To be perfectly blunt, we were having a little fun at City Pages' expense--I was--based on my understanding that City Pages was doing something that was arguably against the law. How do I look at that violation of the law? Probably something a little worse than jaywalking, but I certainly wouldn't want anyone to go to jail for it."

But later that same day, when City Pages received Kaiser's speedy reply to its open records request, it contained a single e-mail thread--dated August 26, the day before Strom issued his press release--that seemed to contradict Strom's and Kaiser's earlier accounts.

In the first message, Kaiser's assistant Shaun Denham writes to Strom, "David, Kent asked me to send you the citations on providing things of value for voter registration. 42 USC1973 Let me know if you have any other questions."

Five minutes later, Strom writes back: "I don't see any reference to providing things of value being prohibited. Could you show me? DS."

Denham replies: "It is under subchapter c," which he goes on to quote.

Besides conflicting with the claims of both Strom and Kaiser about how the matter first came to the attention of the secretary of state's office, the e-mail exchange may leave some other questions as well.

Could it possibly matter, for instance, from a legal or political standpoint whether it was Strom or Kaiser who raised the subject first? Yes. The same section of the federal code that Strom accused City Pages of "probably" violating has this to say as well: "No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall...intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for urging or aiding any person to vote or attempt to vote." More plainly put, it is illegal to try to bully people into ceasing their lawful efforts to register people to vote. Statutes such as this seem rarely to be enforced,
but the law remains the law.

Contacted about the seeming discrepancy in their memories, Strom and Kaiser both said they had forgotten speaking to each other about the matter before the press release was issued--even though their talk had occurred less than a week earlier, and had provided Strom with the statutory language that he subsequently quoted in his media alert.

In a cover note attached to the e-mail exchange, Kaiser wrote to reporter Paul Demko, "I had forgotten about a phone call that David Strom originally had made to inquire about the law--I passed along that inquiry to my assistant, Shaun Denham, and you can see the e-mail correspondence relevant to answering that inquiry."

Strom likewise told City Pages that he initiated the contact with the SoS's office, though his memory seemed less certain than Kaiser's: "I have to tell you this was a one-off thing for me. I think I called over there [the secretary of state's office] to confirm the law, because obviously I'm not a lawyer. I read the thing and it looked to me like there was a problem there. I called over, and said what's the law? I forget whether it was he [Kaiser] or someone else there that sent me something....

"I called him to get his advice on it, because after all he works for the secretary of state. At the end of the day, I don't know all the ins and outs of this stuff. He was a pretty natural guy to go to." But when reporter Mike Mosedale reminded Strom that he initially claimed the secretary of state's office must have learned of his complaint from the press release, he answered this way: "I might have called him up. He sure heard about it. I don't remember the specifics of it, to be perfectly
blunt. This has not been the most significant moment in my life."


The article went on to describe some history between Strom and Perry. It isn't pretty:

Now perhaps that is entirely true. Strom has his own reasons to spite City Pages. The public profile of Strom and the Taxpayers League grew when the local bus strike began last spring. On the third day of the stoppage, he was quoted thus in the Star Tribune: "Transit just isn't that important to the smooth functioning of the Twin Cities transportation system. That's the obvious conclusion to be drawn from the lack of chaos engendered by the bus-system strike.... The bus strike shows decisively that proponents of transit are simply not telling the truth when they say that transit ridership reduces congestion. It simply doesn't."

I quoted those words when City Pages published a package about the bus strike in early April, and pointed out that behind the straw man Strom knocked down--who says the main issue concerning mass transit is whether it makes the commute any faster for people in cars?--there lay the implication that anyone who could not get in a car and drive to work during the strike did not matter enough to discuss. (Strom claimed to favor a plan whereby the county would cash in the transit budget and buy used cars for poor people, but anyone who deems that a serious policy proposal, including Strom, is nuts.)


EY: I remember this bus strike, and remember the governor took a hands off approach to this strike, while urging state mediators to intervene in the Victory Sports/ Time Warner Cable conflict.

Perry continues:
Strom called me. The conversation started out civil, even friendly. He came to his point succinctly: My conclusion amounted to climbing inside his head
and purporting to know what he thought. I explained that while I was confident he didn't think in those terms privately (because hardly anyone does; a veneer is required), I still believed that what I wrote was a fair reading of the values reflected in his public statements, whether he cared to look at it that way or not.

Strom went to flashpoint very quickly. Began screaming. You are not in my head! You do not know what I think! Nope, I agreed. You are a fucking liar! Am not, I said. I told him to write a letter lodging his objection. We would publish it. That was not nearly good enough. You are not in my head! he repeated. Our colloquy went on this way for two or three more rounds. When I was sure I had the gist of what he was saying--specifically, the second or third time he called me a fucking liar--I hung up on him. I had not convinced him that my interpretation was legitimate from any angle of repose, but he had convinced me that inside his head was no place to be.


EY: As Speaker Sviggum would say: Uff da!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Gary Bauer writes me back....

Gary Bauer puts out these Daily "End of Day" rants which usually go on about the terrible things those "homos" are up to. So I sent him a comment on one of these.

-----Original Message-----
From: Eva Young [mailto:eva@usucceed.com]
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2004 4:54 PM
To: Gary Bauer - CWF
Subject: Re: End of Day -- 7/16/04

Gary, Americans United has also gone after Black Churches doing the same
thing.

Don't you think it's interesting that house republicans are pushing Hyde - a pro-life speaker - who is not also known as anti-gay - rather than pushing for someone who is a big point person on the FMA.

It's pretty clear, the Bush campaign is ashamed to be seen with strident anti-gay speakers. Sure they will reach out to you all with targetted mailings - but they don't want to be seen with you in prime time.

You're being treated like a cheap date by the Bush campaign. Get used to it.

Eva


Gary responded the next business day:

Delivered-To: usucceed.com-eva@usucceed.com
Subject: RE: End of Day -- 7/16/04
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 13:07:41 -0400
Thread-Topic: End of Day -- 7/16/04
From: "Gary Bauer - CWF"
To: "Eva Young"

Eva, the issue in this case is life, not marriage. And I disagree with
you on that point too. President Bush endorsed the marriage amendment
in February. He is raising the issue now in campaign speeches. He
devoted an entire weekly radio address to the amendment days before the
Senate vote. The issue will come up throughout the campaign. 12 states
at least will be voting on state constitutional amendments throughout
the year, beginning in August.

Gary


The point remains, he is STILL embarrassed to be seen with the Leviticus crowd in Prime Time.

angry elephant cartoon

From the Angry Elephant on Log Cabin Republicans action.

Log Cabin Republicans Votes to Withhold Bush Endorsement

The Press release is strongly worded.

News Release
For Immediate Release
September 8, 2004

Contact: Christopher Barron
Log Cabin Republicans
(202) 347-5306 or (202) 297-9807 (cell)
press@logcabin.org



Log Cabin Republicans Vote to Withhold Endorsement from President Bush

National Board Announces Log Cabin Will Focus on Supporting Inclusive Republican Candidates for U.S. House and Senate

(Washington, DC)—Log Cabin Republicans are withholding their endorsement from President Bush for 2004. "Log Cabin's National Board has voted to withhold a Presidential endorsement and shift our financial and political resources to defeating the radical right and supporting inclusive Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives," said Log Cabin Board Chairman William Brownson of Ohio. The Log Cabin Board of Directors voted 22 to 2 not to endorse the President's re-election.

"Certain moments in history require that a belief in fairness and equality not be sacrificed in the name of partisan politics; this is one of those moments. The national board's vote empowers Log Cabin to maintain its integrity while furthering our goal of building a more inclusive Republican Party. Log Cabin is more committed than ever to its core mission to build a stronger and more inclusive Republican Party. There is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party, and that fight is bigger than one platform, one convention, or even one President," said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Patrick Guerriero.

The vote by Log Cabin's 25 member national board marks the first time since the organization opened a national office in Washington, DC in 1993 that the organization has not endorsed the Republican nominee for President. Log Cabin endorsed Bob Dole in 1996 and George W. Bush in 2000. Exit polls confirmed that over 1,000,000 gays and lesbians voted for Bush/Cheney in the 2000 election, including nearly 50,000 in Florida alone.

Log Cabin will devote its financial and political resources to elect fair-minded Republican allies to local, state and federal offices. Log Cabin will endorse more than 50 GOP candidates for the U.S. House and Senate. "Every victory by fair-minded Republicans is a victory for the future of our party. We have made it clear that we can either be the party of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rudy Giuliani or we can be the party of Alan Keyes and Rick Santorum," continued Guerriero.

"Log Cabin has proudly supported the President's firm leadership in the war on terror. As principled Republicans, we believe in our Party's commitment to a strong national defense and a confident foreign policy. We especially applaud the President's leadership in cutting taxes for American families and small businesses, his belief in free market principles and his compassionate and historic leadership in the global fight against HIV/AIDS," continued Guerriero.

"At the same time, it is impossible to overstate the depth of anger and disappointment caused by the President's support for an anti-family Constitutional Amendment. This amendment would not only ban gay marriage, it would also jeopardize civil unions and domestic partnerships. For six months, the President has made it clear what he opposes. He opposes civil marriage equality; however he has failed to articulate clearly what he supports. Does he support federal civil unions? Does he support domestic partnerships? Does he support tax fairness for gay and lesbian couples? Does he support employment non-discrimination? Does he support hate crimes legislation? Does he support allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly and honestly?" asked Log Cabin Political Director Chris Barron. "An organization's endorsement means nothing if it does not have to be earned."

"Some will accuse us of being disloyal. However, it was actually the White House who was disloyal to the 1,000,000 gay and lesbian Americans who supported him four years ago. Log Cabin's decision was made in response to the White House's strategic political decision to pursue a re-election strategy catered to the radical right. The President's use of the bully pulpit, stump speeches and radio addresses to support a Constitutional amendment has encouraged the passage of discriminatory laws and state constitutional amendments across America. Using gays and lesbians as wedge issues in an election year is unacceptable to Log Cabin," continued Guerriero.

"At the same time that we saw record numbers of gay and lesbian delegates at the Republican National Convention, and at the same convention where we saw hundreds of fair-minded Republicans gather to support Log Cabin and our allies, our party's platform adopted vicious and mean-spirited language that marginalizes gay and lesbian Americans."

Log Cabin's 2000 endorsement of the Bush/Cheney ticket came during an election where the Republican nominee ran a compassionate conservative campaign that avoided culture war issues. After meeting with gay Republicans in 2000, Mr. Bush declared "I am a better man," and welcomed gays and lesbians as valued parts of the American family. The early days of the Bush administration were marked by significant victories-maintaining existing anti-discrimination protections for federal employees, appointing openly gay employees throughout the Administration, a continuing dialogue with our organization, and the extension of survivor benefits to gay and lesbian partners who lost loved ones on 9/11.

Unfortunately these early successes were short-lived. "Last year, a dramatic and disappointing shift occurred rooted in Karl Rove's public acknowledgment that the 2004 re-election campaign would focus on turning out four million more evangelicals who he believed stayed home in 2000," said Guerriero. The President's initial reluctance to amend the Constitution became full-fledged support on February 24th of this year.

Log Cabin has spent most of the year fighting the anti-family Federal Marriage Amendment. This fight culminated with a July victory in the Senate when a growing chorus of Republican opposition to the amendment forced the pro-amendment faction to play procedural games to avoid an embarrassing loss. As many as a dozen or more Republican Senators were prepared to oppose the FMA on its merits.

"During the fight over the anti-family FMA, we sadly watched as the President and his Administration leaned on Republican members of the House and Senate to support this divisive and unnecessary amendment. We watched as the President's support for this anti-family amendment emboldened the forces of fear and exclusion to push anti-gay ballot initiatives and legislation on the state and local level. We watched as the radical right works to defeat fair-minded Republicans across the nation. We watched as the Republican Party Platform rejected our Party Unity Plank and included language opposing not only civil marriage but also civil unions, domestic partnerships or indeed any basic benefits for same-sex couples. At a time when courageous gay and lesbian military personnel are helping to win the war on terror, the platform outrageously claims 'homosexuality is incompatible with military service'," continued Guerriero. The GOP platform language continues to target gays and lesbians and fails to present a positive agenda to ensure basic fairness for millions of gay Americans, who pay taxes, serve in the military, enhance communities, and serve in government.

Throughout this challenging year Log Cabin has doubled in size and launched new chapters where none existed. Log Cabin successfully led the fight against the Federal Marriage Amendment with its first ever television advertising campaign, worked with 18 GOP lawmakers in passing hate crimes legislation in the Senate, and continued supporting and educating state and local officials. Log Cabin was proud to be the only gay and lesbian organization to endorse Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign for Governor of California. Log Cabin also was proud to see many of its closest allies speaking in primetime at the Republican National Convention. "It is not surprising to anyone at Log Cabin that the President's first real bounce in the polls came after a convention that highlighted inclusive Republicans and focused on unifying issues such as winning the war on terror. Log Cabin knows that the 2006 and 2008 elections will highlight a new generation of inclusive Republican leaders," said Guerriero.

Log Cabin calls on both major parties to return to the issues that unite the American family instead of fueling an unnecessary culture war. Log Cabin also denounces the continued flip-flops on gay and lesbian issues from Democratic nominee John Kerry. Senator Kerry has repeatedly made clear his opposition to civil marriage equality and has supported discriminatory constitutional amendments in Massachusetts and Missouri.

Log Cabin is firmly committed to seeing inclusive Republicans elected in 2004. Log Cabin will continue to oppose and expose any efforts to marginalize gays and lesbians. We also will continue to make it clear that the only way the GOP can continue as the majority party is to reach out to all Americans. Log Cabin also will continue to make it clear that the gay and lesbian community can realize full equality only if it works on building new alliances with conservative and centrist Americans.

"The battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party has just begun. We are confident that the politics of inclusion and hope will prevail over the politics of exclusion and fear. History, fairness and common decency are on our side," concluded Guerriero.

Last week, Log Cabin launched a new television advertising campaign to take this fight for the GOP's future directly to the American people. The ad makes it clear that the party has a choice. We can be the party of hope, in the best tradition of Ronald Reagan, by uniting around issues that bring Republicans together, like winning the war on terror; or the party can divide Americans with the politics of intolerance and fear that only lead to hate.

###

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Log Cabin has state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office, and a federal political action committee. www.logcabin.org


This will definitely hurt Bush in Florida. Also of note, the board was relatively united on this.

Log Cabin Republicans Vote to Withhold Endorsement to President Bush

Here.

The White House hasn't commented on this.

The Angry Elephant comments.



Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Indiana Democratic Party Gaybaiting picked up by Indy Star

Here.

Christian Granthan gets democratic party officials on record.

Another Florida Newspaper condemns Mel Martinez's bigotry

This time it's the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

A win is a win is a win, unless you're Republican Mel Martinez, who managed to give the word a new and uglier meaning by the way he came from behind to clinch his party's nomination for the U.S. Senate.

Locked in a tight race with a fellow conservative Republican, Martinez took the low road against Bill McCollum by waging a negative campaign that put him over the top.

He issued an attack ad that blasted McCollum for being "anti-family" because the former congressman from Longwood supports expanding stem cell research. The ad also accused his opponent of appeasing "the radical homosexual lobby" because McCollum favors a federal hate crimes bill that contains protections for gays and lesbians.

The disturbing message seems to be that dirt works. Martinez won this week's primary against McCollum and five other candidates who appealed to the conservative base. Just imagine what's in store for Martinez's next opponent, a Democrat.

Granted, the stakes were high. Martinez resigned as U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development at the encouragement of the president's advisers, who saw his experience and Hispanic ethnicity as a political draw in November. A loss would not have helped the Bush re-election campaign in Florida.

Martinez not only violated Ronald Reagan's "11th Commandment" against speaking ill about fellow Republicans, he also exposed a bit of hypocrisy in the process. Martinez is quick to use his life story as a Cuban immigrant who has succeeded against the odds to win enough votes to seek a seat in the U.S. Senate.

It's unsettling that a political candidate who has overcome bigotry and hatred is so quick to use them for his own personal gain.


This isn't lost on the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).

Losing candidate Bill McCollum condemned Martinez's "politics of bigotry and hatred" in the waning days of the campaign. He's also said he will not endorse Martinez, unless he gets an apology. Several Log Cabin Republicans members in Florida have told me, they will be supporting Democrat Betty Castor in the general election because of this.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Gay Baiting by the Indiana Democratic Party

Christian Grantham reports here and here.

In a stunning display of dirty politics, the Indiana Democratic party has been caught in a regrettable game of gay-baiting. Local activists have learned the Indiana Democratic Party sent emails attempting to alert Republican lawmakers and conservative groups of efforts to court the LGBT vote by Republican Gubernatorial candidate Mitch Daniels.

Daniels, former White House Office of Management and Budget Director under President Bush, is running against incumbent Democratic Governor Joe Kernan. Kernan is viewed more favorably within the lgbt community, but has no discernable record to suggest he's any better than Daniels. With Daniels holding a 6-point lead in the polls, Kernan is feeling the heat. Kernan added gender identity to the states anti-discrimation policy in an effort to woo lgbt voters, only after it was made safe by Daniels issuing the same policy in his own campaign.

Daniels hasn't taken the lgbt vote for granted, and recently requested to meet with LGBT leaders in a proactive outreach effort.

The following is Daniel's invitation to leaders of local LGBT community:

Understanding you to be a leader in the community, Mitch Daniels invites you to a meeting at Jesus MCC Church (2950 East 55th Place, Indianapolis) on Tuesday, September 7th, to discuss issues of importance to you.
Immediately following Daniels invitation to court the LGBT vote, an email surfaced from "David Fleshacker” using a yahoo email address.

Message-ID: (20040902225630.85574.qmail@web61304.mail.yahoo.com)
Received: from [67.37.15.118] by web61304.mail.yahoo.com via HTTP;
Thu, 02 Sep 2004 15:56:30 PDT
From: David Fleshacker [mailto:glbtindy@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 5:57 PM
Subject: Personal invitation to meet with Mitch Daniels
Dear Senator:
You're invited to join our candidate for Governor Mitch Daniels in a
meeting with members of Indiana's gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community. Please see the invitation below. I believe it's very important that you attend to share your concerns.
David

The email was sent to Republican lawmakers and conservative groups inviting them to attend. The only problem was the email was not sent from the Daniels
campaign or Republicans. Unbeknownst to the sender, the email headers IP
address 67.37.15.118 pointed directly to the Indiana Democratic Party.

Why would the Indiana Democratic Party want to thwart a progressive
Republican meeting with the lgbt community?


This is reminiscent of Martinez's disgusting gay baiting of McCollum in Florida.

The Indiana Democratic Party Chair should be asked to comment on this. See contact information. Also the Kerry campaign in Indiana.

This reminds me of the controversy over former Senator Rod Grams girlfriend and other Grams staff sending stuff to DFL delegates to harm Mike Ciresi's campaign. In that case, their names were on the word documents, though the posts were done from a Kinkos computer.

Log Cabin Republicans Ad Strikes a Nerve with Robert Knight

Here.

But the LCR outdid itself when, during the GOP convention, it unveiled a 30-second TV commercial that is right out of a textbook by radical, left-wing homosexual activists.

The ad begins with a clip of Ronald Reagan saying that he hoped that history would "record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears." Then the ad moves on to images of Jerry Falwell, Pat Buchanan and Rick Santorum, noting that these kinds of folks would divide "the GOP with an intolerant social agenda based on fear and exclusion."

Finally, the ad wraps up with shots of the Rev. Fred Phelps holding a sign that says "God Hates Fags" at beating victim Matthew Shepard's funeral.

**************snip*******************

In Log Cabin's ad, legitimate figures such as Falwell, Buchanan and Santorum are thrown in with pathologically hateful Fred Phelps, a nobody who shows up with incomparable timing at "gay" funerals to provide an ugly caricature of Christians. It doesn't matter that no respectable figure anywhere on the political spectrum endorses Phelps' bizarre antics. Many conservatives, including me, have openly denounced Phelps' tactics and his denial of the truth that homosexuals, like any other sinners (and that's all of us), can repent, be forgiven and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Well, even liberal CNN recognized a smear job when they saw it, and refused to run the Log Cabin ad. Log Cabin Executive Director Patrick Guerriero responded, "Last week we told the Republican Party that you cannot sugarcoat the vicious and mean-spirited platform, today we want CNN to know that you cannot sugarcoat the politics of fear and intolerance that lead to hate."

Note: the "mean-spirited platform" supports a constitutional amendment protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Log Cabin isn't the only radical group to play the Phelps card. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has done so liberally, with a four-color mailer that shows a line-up of playing cards, with President Bush as the Joker, Pat Robertson as the Ace of Diamonds, Dr. James Dobson as the King of Hearts, Sen. Bill Frist as the Jack of Spades, and Vice President Dick Cheney as the Queen of Diamonds. Phelps, as the King of Diamonds, is slotted between Rep. Tom Delay (the King of Clubs) and political consultant Ralph Reed (Jack of Diamonds). Other cards depict Attorney General John Ashcroft, Sen. Trent Lott, Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly, Campaign for Working Families' Gary Bauer, Jerry Falwell, Pat Buchanan and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

The Task Force proclaims that the answer to such bigotry is "millions of fair-minded Americans like you."


Methinks Knight doth protest too much. Phelps seemed to represent the sentiments well of those who demonstrated in the Minnesota Protect Marriage Rally called by the notorious Sen Michelle Bachmann. Signs included "death penalty for homosexuals", "no homos as leaders" and "no sodomite marriages."

What a contrast from a Fred Phelps demonstration...... Thanks for pointing that out, Mr Knight.

Log Cabin Republicans Strikes Back Against Meanspirited Rhetoric in Republican Platform

AN URGENT PLEA FROM PATRICK GUERRIERO

As our nation's eyes are on New York City for the Republican National Convention, Log Cabin's mission, our courageous delegates and our GOP allies are under intense attack from the radical right. The Republican Party Platform is an outrageous insult to all of us and our families. The platform not only calls for an anti-family Constitutional amendment, but it also opposes civil unions and domestic partnerships. While thousands of courageous gay and lesbian Americans are fighting to win the war on terror, the platform also says, "Homosexuality is incompatible with military service."

Log Cabin has decided to respond immediately to this outrageous platform. We are launching an aggressive counter attack against the radical right which has hijacked the GOP.

Please take 30 seconds to watch Log Cabin's newly produced television commercial which we launched this morning. And, if you agree with our message please help us immediately. We must broadcast this commercial in New York City this week so delegates can hear our message. We won't have this chance again for 4 years. Only you can help us do that. This morning, I personally contributed $1,000 to this effort. Please join me right now to help us take on the radical right.


CNN refuses the ad:

News Release
For Immediate Release
August 31, 2004

Contact: Christopher Barron
Log Cabin Republicans
(202) 347-5306 or (202) 297-9807 (cell)
press@logcabin.org

CNN Refuses to Air Log Cabin Republicans Television Ad

Images in Ad in Response to Politics of Fear and Intolerance Deemed Too Controversial

(Washington, DC)—CNN has informed the Log Cabin Republicans that it will not air their new television advertising campaign, which is a response to the politics of fear and intolerance. Unlike CNN, other broadcast outlets are airing the ad. The network claims that images in the ad are "too controversial." "We are deeply disappointed that CNN has refused our voices the opportunity to be heard. Last week we told the Republican Party that you cannot sugarcoat the vicious and mean-spirited platform, today we want CNN to know that you cannot sugarcoat the politics of fear and intolerance that lead to hate," said Log Cabin Executive Director Patrick Guerriero.

The 30-second commercial is being broadcast during the Republican National Convention in New York City and on other cable stations nationwide. The ad begins with footage from President Ronald Reagan's 1992 speech at the Republican National Convention in Houston. President Reagan said, "Whatever else history may say about me when I'm gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears." The commercial offers a clear choice for the GOP: follow President Reagan's lead by uniting Republicans on common beliefs or follow Jerry Falwell, Pat Buchanan and Rick Santorum's lead by dividing the GOP with an intolerant social agenda based on fear and exclusion. The ad closes with images of the Reverend Fred Phelps holding a sign that reads "God Hates Fags," at the funeral of hate crime victim Matthew Shepard.

The ad can be viewed at www.logcabin.org.

###

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Log Cabin has state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office, and a federal political action committee. www.logcabin.org




Taxpayer League Dishonoring the memory of Governor Floyd B Olson

The Taxpayer's League sat back and didn't do anything about the most imminent tax increase for Minneapolis - and that is a sales tax increase to pay for stadiums. I was at the hearing when Linda Higgins' committee was considering state funding/financing of the Twins and Vikings Stadium. David Strom and Linda Runbeck of the Taxpayer's League were conspictuous by their absence.

Gotta hand it to the Taxpayer's League. They are good at getting their goofy ideas covered in the media.

The latest, that Minnesota dishonor the legacy of the late Governor Floyd B Olson, a Depression-era figure who "embraced socialism", and honor "the president who utterly defeated communism." The league wants to tear down statues of Olson along the highway and at the State Capitol and erect monuments to Reagan, the Republican president from 1981 to 1989. "It is finally time to put official celebration of socialism and communism firmly in the past. Floyd B. Olson represents the failed path of socialism. It is ridiculous that we still celebrate his vision while not properly honoring Reagan's visionary leadership that liberated so many," concludes David Strom as quoted in the Taxpayer's League press release.

According to Conrad Defebre's article in the Strib:

David Strom, president of the Taxpayers League, acknowledged "a bit of
tongue-in-cheek" in the petition drive but also said key ideological values are at stake.


Now the Taxpayer's League proposes changing the name of the Floyd B Olson Memorial Highway to Reagan Highway and tearing town Olson statues at the state capitol and replacing them with non-Minnesotan Ronald Reagan. Now I can think of many ways to honor the memory of Ronald Reagan. Eliminating Minnesota History from Highway names isn't one of them.

Nick Coleman has an excellent column on this topic today in the Star Tribune:

From the column:

"He turned the state toward a more progressive track," says Russell
Fridley, the former director of the Minnesota Historical Society who has been working for years on writing a biography of Olson. "And what people forget is that it was liberal Republicans who carried his reforms onward, right through Harold LeVander [governor in the late 1960s]."

At a time when school systems and counties were going bankrupt, Olson
cajoled leaders of all parties to pass the state income tax. He declared a moratorium on farm foreclosures, passed laws giving rights to unions and protection for natural resources, and talked a conservative state Senate into providing relief to those in need. With the force of his personality and relentless political efforts, he gave people a reason during a time of near despair to hope for better days.

"To try to get rid of his memory shows gross ignorance of the progressive tradition that Olson laid the basis for and from which we benefit," says Fridley. "It's a sad commentary on how we take for granted the important achievements of the Farmer-Labor period."

But it isn't just ignorance. It is hostility that drives the vandals. They want to tear down the Minnesota they dislike. They are radical revisionists short on respect for the culture of the state and long on lists of what to wreck next. They are eager to dismantle government while pushing for bigger highways. Then again, they value highways more than history. So it annoys them that Hwy. 55 -- the Floyd B. Olson Memorial Highway -- is named for a man whose achievements dwarf anything they will ever accomplish.


EY: The whole column is well worth reading. The St Paul Pioneer Press also editorializes against this nonsense.

Mike O'Rouke of the Brainerd Dispatch interviews Olson's daughter, and state senator Paul Koering on this subject:

Olson's Daughter Patt Krantz:

Patt Krantz, a daughter of the Depression-era Gov. Floyd B. Olson, fondly remembers her famous father and rejects the idea the Olson highway should be stripped of her family name in deference to the late president.

"There are other roads they can choose," she said. "That makes me very upset."

......

Krantz was too young to understand much of her father's politics. The three-term governor had filed for a U.S. Senate bid when he died at 44 in 1936. She said his political career kept him away from home a great deal but he had told her she could work in his office after her schooling.

"I knew I had a very dynamic and popular father," she said. "I did get a chance to introduce him at various towns. He died too young. He would have become senator. He was ambitious and very well liked."


State Senator Paul Koering:

If the measure is introduced in the Legislature, District 12 Sen. Paul Koering, R-Fort Ripley, has vowed to stop it. While he said it's fine to name a highway after Reagan, Olson shouldn't stripped of an honor after he's served the state and he can no longer defend himself.

"I think that's in very poor taste, if you ask me," Koering said.

He wondered if some day, a similar proposal might be made to change the name of the C. Elmer Anderson Memorial Highway by opponents of his policies.

"I will be making sure this doesn't happen," Koering said of the renaming of the Olson highway.


O'Rourke quotes the Taxpayer League's David Strom:

He said critics of the proposal were trying to "air-brush" Olson and keep Reagan from being honored in Minnesota. He said he wasn't trying to smear Olson but noted that the late governor, who was elected on the Farmer-Labor Party ticket, "was certainly no stranger to the rough and tumble of politics."


Strom certainly was smearing Olson, and deserves the reaction he's gotten.

It bothers me that the Taxpayer's League frequently wander off their mission of representing taxpayers. For example sponsoring a petition supporting former commissioner Yecke is not related to their mission. Neither is this nonsense. They are missing in action on opposing a sales tax increase for stadiums. According to Dan Dobson of No Stadium Taxes, Phil Krinke told him that the Taxpayer's League had made a deal with Pawlenty to lay low on the stadium tax issue in return for Governor's support of the Taxpayer amendment to the constitution (modelled on the Colorado approach).

What taxpayers do the Taxpayers' League represent? Are they a grassroots organization or just a media shop?

And come on - isn't Red-baiting rather old as a political tactic?