Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer at Gay Pride?
This was the first I heard about this. Mary Kiffmeyer claims she was at Twin Cities Gay Pride Events.
Mark Brunswick's article about Kiffmeyer last week was quite interesting:
Staff members distributed literature at Gay Pride events in Minneapolis this year despite being harassed by people who didn't think her office should be there, she said. Critics concerned about separation of church and state raised eyebrows when her office was listed as an official sponsor of the recent Luis Palau evangelistic festival at the State Capitol.
Kiffmeyer was unapologetic.
"I don't have any squeamishness whatsoever about reaching out to all voters, one side or the other. Luis Palau, oh, my goodness sakes! Where's the Star Tribune when I'm working at Gay Pride and my staff has to take flak for being there? Most of the time we've been treated with respect and welcomed. We've done Buddhists to Luis Palau. I've been with Muslims.
"I've been to First Avenue [a Minneapolis nightclub] a couple of times. Talk about culture shock. I am a small-town girl, so going to First Avenue, I wore my black leather jacket. Yes, I have one. Of course, I got it on clearance."
This is interesting, because it's the first time I've heard that Kiffmeyer had been out at Gay Pride. Now it would be perfectly appropriate for the SOS to have a voter registration booth at Pride - but I don't recall such a booth.
Does anyone else know more about this?
It seems like Kiffmeyer could show she is serious about encouraging gay voters to vote, by advertising in Lavender Magazine. She might also wish to work with OutFront Minnesota - which is doing voter registration activities targeted at the gay community.
Tim Bonham from the Minneapolis Issues List responded:
I, too, have to question the presence of the Secretary of State's office at Gay Pride. I don't remember seeing them there.
They aren't listed as a vendor in the Pride Guide, nor as a unit in the Pride Parade. And Pride rules prohibit people who are not vendors from just showing up at the event and distributing literature, signing up people, etc. Did her office just ignore these rules?
There were many groups at the Pride Festival who DID pay to rent a booth, and were doing voter registration at their booths. And I know people from the DFL booth walked the Parade route with voter registration cards.
Typical of her partisan bias that she uses tax money to be an "official sponsor" of a right-wing fundamentalist christian event, but skips out of paying for a booth at a GLBT event.
Tim Bonham, Ward 12, Standish-Ericsson
Now I recall a Stonewall DFL booth, but not a DFL booth at Pride.