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Monday, December 20, 2004

Email of the Day

Wow!!!!! I find it astounding that Natalie could have not read the column, from over a month ago, naming her as a supporter of any controversial issue -- and she's up for re-election and faces a tough race!!!!!!!

So she didn't really say what her position is, right???


Natalie Johnson Lee and the Bachmann Amendment

I called Natalie Johnson Lee's Office, and got the council member. She did not answer my question about whether she supported or opposed the Bachmann amendment - even after I explained what that amendment was.

At first she said she didn't know who Bob Battle was - but that was because she thought I was referring to a reporter. She also said that she had not talked to anyone about this issue before - so it sounds like the 5th District Green Party Chair, and Johnson Lee have a different story here.

I've emailed Battle for clarification.

Don Jorovsky noted that he posted a question on this topic on November 20 and that neither Natalie Johnson Lee nor her office responded. Johnson Lee told me that she does not read nor respond to the Minneapolis Issues list.

Terrell Brown responded to Jorovsky's post.

David Strand, Chair of Minnesota Lavender Greens also responded to Jorovsky's post.

Still Developing. . .

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Minneapolis Issues Responses Regarding Natalie Johnson Lee

Mark Snyder sez:

Let's see.

You have Natalie Johnson Lee's own words and you have Bob Battle's claims.

I don't know what Bob Battle's deal is and I really don't care, but it seems pretty straightforward to me that Natalie Johnson Lee would believe in what she actually said...

My response to the list:

Many politicians are notorious for saying different things to different audiences. I'd like to hear something from Natalie Johnson Lee on this topic. I have emailed her requesting clarification.

Bob Battle was profiled in the Strib recently and quoted saying this:

"This society has to make a course correction. ... We've lost our moral dignity, lost our sense of family and morality, and we're about to go down the same path as the Roman Empire."

My question stands on NJL. Battle's column was written a month ago. NJL's speech was 3 years ago.

Darrell Gerber from the Green Party responds:

Natalie Johnson Lee has indicated to Green Party members that the claims
made by Bob Battle are not true. She has explicitly stated that she does not support Bachman's proposal to amend the constitution.

My guess is that this is an attempt to show to a relatively uninformed audience that there is widespread support for Bachmann's proposal in the African-American community. As we all know, the truth is often a victim in political struggles. It does not matter, in this case, whether or not there is support by a Minneapolis Councilperson because they will not be voting on it. It also, apparently, does not matter to those advocating legalizing another form of hatred whether or not their claim is true....only the impression counts.

Battle does have an out in that he only says that Natalie supports biblical marriage. It does not explicitly claim support for Bachmann's proposal nor does it even explicitly state the negative argument that she does NOT support other forms of marriage. The statements may be factually correct but the intended inferences left to the reader are not. This is a pretty underhanded ploy by Battle.

I'd be interested in hearing if the other people mentioned by Battle, Spike Moss and Rev. John Thomas, have the position on the Bachmann proposal Battle attributes to them.

Darrell Gerber
5th Congressional District Green Party chair

This leaves more questions:

Is Darrell saying that after the Battle article was published, Green Party members asked NJL about this? She represents me - and I really want her to make a public clarification on this. Did she write to the Pioneer Press requesting a clarification?

Does Minneapolis 5th Ward Councilwoman, Natalie Johnson Lee Support the Bachmann Amendment

Originally posted to Minneapolis Issues:

Former DFL Activist, now Republican, Bob Battle wrote a column defending Michele Bachmann in the Pioneer Press last month:

Battle claims:

"Leaders such as Minneapolis 5th Ward Council Member Natalie Johnson Lee, community activist Spike Moss and the Rev. John Thomas have added their voices of support for biblical marriage."

I'm curious whether Natalie Johnson Lee really made this statement. Does she support the Bachmann amendment to support "biblical marriage". When I googled Natalie Johnson Lee gay marriage, I retrieved items relating to her Green Party response to Bush's state of the union.

Martin Luther King, who Battle quotes, had a Leutenant - Bayard Rustkin who was openly gay. Rustkin was the brains behind the 1963 March on Washington. Coretta Scott King, King's widow has come out in opposition to these efforts to write anti-gay discrimination into state and federal constitutions.

From Natalie Johnson Lee's response to Bush's State of the Union:

"We support the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people in housing, jobs, civil marriage and benefits, child custody and in all areas of life, the right to be treated equally with all other people."

Does Bob Battle correctly speak on Natalie Johnson Lee's behalf in this oped? Or is he bearing false witness?

Does Battle mean that Natalie Johnson Lee has signed on in support of the Bachmann amendment?

Developing. . .