counter statistics

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Judge Scalia: Strict Constructionist or Unhinged Theocrat?

Blogger Berg and a Lawyer otherwise known as the "Learned Foot" have blogged on Sandra Day OConnor's resignation from the Supreme Court.

I stopped by and offered this counterpoint:

Bush would do well to nominate someone like Judge Ed Prado, a moderate and thoughtful judge rather than a theocratic Scalia clone. Scalia btw, claims to be a "strict constructionist" but doesn't seem to get that the founding fathers purposely left God out of the constitution - focusing rather on "we the people" being where government gets its legitimacy.

Clarence Thomas is a legimate limited government conservative. Scalia is a theocrat who believes in masturbation laws (don't believe me, read his Lawrence v Texas disent).
Posted by: Eva Young at July 1, 2005 06:33 PM

Scalia the theocrat in his own words

The death penalty is undoubtedly wrong unless one accords to the state a scope of moral action that goes beyond what is permitted to the individual. In my view, the major impetus behind modern aversion to the death penalty is the equation of private morality with governmental morality. This is a predictable (though I believe erroneous and regrettable) reaction to modern, democratic self–government.

Few doubted the morality of the death penalty in the age that believed in the divine right of kings. Or even in earlier times. St. Paul had this to say (I am quoting, as you might expect, the King James version):

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. (Romans 13:1–5)

This is not the Old Testament, I emphasize, but St. Paul. One can understand his words as referring only to lawfully constituted authority, or even only to lawfully constituted authority that rules justly. But the core of his message is that government—however you want to limit that concept—derives its moral authority from God. It is the "minister of God" with powers to "revenge," to "execute wrath," including even wrath by the sword (which is unmistakably a reference to the death penalty). Paul of course did not believe that the individual possessed any such powers. Only a few lines before this passage, he wrote, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." And in this world the Lord repaid—did justice—through His minister, the state.

Note the citing of the Bible, rather than the constitution, to back Scalia's support for the Death penalty. From the preamble to the US Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I'd like to challenge the MOBsters and Leviticus Crowd types to find references to God, or Christian Nation appear in the Constitution.

Scalia on Masturbation Laws:

"State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers' validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today's decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding." - Antonin Scalia, Disent, Lawrence v Texas

Blogger Berg Responds:

Eva, I'm sorry, but that's untrue. Scalia believes the Tenth Amendment was put there for a reason.

Allowing states their tenth-amendment right to pass and uphold their own laws (even if they're "theocrats") is constructionist.

Scalia said in "Lawrence": "It is clear from this that the Court has taken sides in the culture war, departing from its role of assuring, as neutral observer, that the democratic rules of engagement are observed." The SCOTUS MUST be neutral and interpret THE LAW (as passed by LEGISLATURES), not determine moral norms.

As to your claim that Scalia is a "theocrat" who "believes in masturbation laws", Scalia goes on to say: " Let me be clear that I have nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda through normal democratic means. Social perceptions of sexual and other morality change over time, and every group has the right to persuade its fellow citizens that its view of such matters is the best. That homosexuals have achieved some success in that enterprise is attested to by the fact that Texas is one of the few remaining States that criminalize private, consensual homosexual acts. But persuading one’s fellow citizens is one thing, and imposing one’s views in absence of democratic majority will is something else. I would no more require a State to criminalize homosexual acts–or, for that matter, display any moral disapprobation of them–than I would forbid it to do so. What Texas has chosen to do is well within the range of traditional democratic action, and its hand should not be stayed through the invention of a brand-new “constitutional right” by a Court that is impatient of democratic change."

Which is PURELY constructionist, if inconvenient, I suspect, to your personal worldview, Eva. You've clearly misrepresented Scalia, I'd say; are you sure you read it? Or did you let your emotions do the reading? (Or did I miss something)?

THe last thing the SCOTUS needs is another "moderate" who will be eventually stampeded into activism.
Posted by: mitch at July 1, 2005 09:09 PM

Sandra Day OConnor's concurring opinion in Lawrence used a 14th amendment "equal protection" argument. She held that Texas's sodomy law was unconstitutional because it only applied to gays, and didn't also apply to straights. If the court had all ruled with OConnor, the Texas and Arkinsas laws would have been overturned, while the Minnesota law would stay on the books - being an equal opportunity sodomy law.

If Scalia's opinion had been short and to the point, as Thomas's was, I'd have no problem with it. Scalia's disclaimer that he has nothing against gays that you quote, is disputed by the rest of his opinion, where he makes it evident that he clearly does have something against gays.

What's totally ironic is that after the Lawrence Ruling, the constitutional remedy for those upset with the decision would have been a Federal No-Sodomy Amendment (FNA). It's revealing that noone wanted to go there, and instead changed the subject to gay marriage (explicitly excluded from the majority ruling in this case).

Also rather ironic: Clinton when Governor of Arkinsas supported the same sex sodomy ban there, and Bush as Governor in Texas campaigned on the issue of maintaining the Texas same sex sodomy ban when he ran against Ann Richards.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Kiffmeyer's Office Responds

I posted on Minneapolis Issues and here about Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer having a booth at Pride but not showing. I got this from her communications director today:

From: "Kent Kaiser"
Subject: Re: [Mpls] Kiffmeyer has booth at Pride - but doesn't show
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2005 12:44:22 -0500

Dear Eva:

It wasn't "weird" that our office was not able to attend Pride this year. It was a matter of not having the resources (for those who are unaware: the state budget is tight, and our office has been hit particularly hard for the past several years). Last year, we had a windfall of resources because of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, which allowed us to attend the many events listed below. (As a result of that windfall, I had 2 student workers to cover most of these multiple-day events, plus we had another employee on loan from another department to cover the one-day/evening-type of events). Last year was a great opportunity to see what events were worthwhile. Pride was worthwhile, but not as much so as the State Fair or Taste of Minnesota, the only two events that our office is attending this year, in terms of traffic to our booth and voter registrations collected. (This year I have zero student workers to cover events.) We hope to return to more of the worthwhile events, like Pride, next year, another major election year, if we can scrape together the resources. The fact that our office was listed as supposed to be having a booth at Pride should give you some clue to the fact that we found it worthwhile and only as the date approached found ourselves short staffed and therefore having to pull back. As for Secretary Kiffmeyer's attendance, she never claimed to have attended Pride herself, and in fact did not attend or claim to attend most of the events on the list.

And, as I have invited on multiple occasions in the past, if you have questions about our office's activities, I welcome you contacting me so you avoid making uninformed comments. Indeed, Eva, I would like to have a conversation w/you off-line to discuss further.

Thank you,

Kent Kaiser
Communications Director
Office of the MN Secretary of State

This is an email I sent to a media outlet that inquired in August, 2004:

Here is a list of recent events at which our office staffed voter education displays:
Paddle for the Presidency (free booth)
Pride (paid booth)
Taste of MN (free booth, underwritten by Waste Management, Inc.)
Heritagefest in New Ulm (paid)
Farm Fest in Gilfillan (paid)
Game Fair in Ramsey (paid)
Vietnamese New Year Festival (paid)
MLK celebration (paid)
Vietnamese Community in MN event (paid)
Somali Action Alliance event (free)
Founders of Vietnam event (free)
Cinco de Mayo banquet (free)
Somali education night (paid)
Lao Community of MN, Inc. event (paid)
Latino Voter Participation Summit (paid)
First African Women's Conference (paid)
Somali Independence Day (free)
Lao Family Community Midwest Sport Tourney (paid)
Dragon Festival (paid)
In the spring we had displays at several colleges and universities across the state (free).
There also were several events a staffer attended to distribute materials, but we didn't specifically put up a display, including events with the Urban League, Liberians of MN, Hispanic Media and Marketing Network, United Cambodian Association of MN (at a Buddhist temple), JCRC Yom Hashoah Commemoration (at a synagogue), American Indian Heritage Celebration, Festival of Nations, Juneteenth Celebration, and several others.

And, we'll be at the State Fair (paid booth).
In the past, we've done only a few events, but this year we have been able to do more (paid) because of funds having been made available for voter education through the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002. HAVA also has allowed us to afford a couple of student workers to staff these events.


NOTICE: E-mail correspondence to and from the Office of the Secretary of State of Minnesota may be public data subject to the Minnesota Data Practices Act and/or may be disclosed to third parties

I believe my post on the blog and on Minneapolis Issues was correct. Secretary Kiffmeyer's Office did purchase a booth at Pride - and then didn't send people to staff the booth. That's what I posted.

As I recall Kiffmeyer said something about attending Pride to the Strib when she was under fire last fall. This was a discussion item on the Minneapolis Issues list last year.

"Where's the Star Tribune when I'm working at Gay Pride and my staff has
to take flak for being there?" - Mary Kiffmeyer, quoted in Mark Brunswick Strib story.

UPDATE: Kent Kaiser follows up:

Oh, and as for the Star Tribune quotation, it's somewhat of a misquote--I was there as Sec. Kiffmeyer spoke to the reporter, and she didn't say she was actually at the Pride booth but that our staffer was. The part about the staffer being harassed for being there is accurately quoted.

Duly noted.

Developing. . .

OConnor Resigns

The Leviticus Crowd is already calling on Bush to nominate one of their own to replace her. From Focus on the Family:

Most pro-family activists also applauded O'Connor's service to the nation, but see her actions on the Court in a somewhat different light. Focus on the Family Action Chairman James C. Dobson, Ph.D., called today's announcement "a watershed moment in American history: the resignation of a swing-vote justice on the Supreme Court and the opportunity to change the Court's direction.

"The rulings by the Court this June, particularly the schizophrenic decisions on the Ten Commandments cases," Dobson said, "have once again demonstrated the desperate need for justices who will interpret the Constitution as it was written, not as the latest fads of legal theorists."

Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, said pro-family groups often found themselves on the losing side of her most controversial decisions.

"This past week," Perkins said, "Justice O'Connor sided with judicial activists and ruled against the display of the Ten Commandments on public property in two cases before the high court that have offended the values of a great segment of the American public."

Indeed, in ACLU v. McCreary County, O'Connor joined four other justices in ordering officials in two Kentucky counties to remove the Commandments from the walls of their courthouses.

Alan Sears, president of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), said O'Connor leaves a mixed legacy, especially with regard to religious freedom, the sanctity of life, marriage and the family.

"At times we were pleased with her rulings, such as in the 1995 Rosenberger decision, the first big Supreme Court victory ADF backed," he said, "which led to many legal dominoes falling with regard to equal access."

But Sears said the justice also dragged international law into Supreme Court decisions, found a constitutional "right" for sodomy in the Lawrence v. Texas decision and allowed the nightmare of abortion to continue in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Stenberg v. Carhart.

Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, said because O'Connor was the pivotal vote in numerous 5-4 decisions, she became the justice both the left and right would look to in predicting how a case might come out.

"The left side of the aisle knows full well how critically important this position is," Dacus said. "Chief Justice Rehnquist has almost always sided with conservatives on close votes, so replacing him with a conservative is not as pivotal as replacing O'Connor with a conservative who pledges to respect the Constitution."

There's a push to to promote a moderate Justice, Judge Prado for the Supreme Court. Prado is far more moderate and doesn't have the pro-torture baggage that Al Gonzalez does.

From the Draft Prado site:

Meet Judge Ed Prado.

Judge Prado would be a Supreme Court nominee who all Americans could be proud of. He is truly a uniter, not a divider.

Ed Prado, a Hispanic American from Texas, has served as a District Attorney, a Public Defender, a State District Judge, a United States Attorney, a Federal District Judge and is currently a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Judge Prado was first nominated to the Federal District Court in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan. In 2003, President George W. Bush nominated him for his current position on the Fifth Circuit and the Senate confirmed him 97-0.

Go sign the petition to urge President Bush to Draft Ed Prado for the Supreme Court Vacancy..

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Blogger Berg to State Employees: Suck it Up



Look, State Employees - and I know there are a few of you who read this blog - I feel for ya. I really do.

I've never worked for the government in my life. Never even had the opportunity, had I wanted to. Come to think about it, I've only applied for one government job in my life (two if you count MPR).

No, I'm a private sector guy. I work "at will", no union. I have a defined-contribution pension (that's still rebuilding after a divorce and after 2003), spotty and declining benefits, and no assurance that I'm going to have a job next week.

In the past two years, I've had four months of complete unemployment, five more months of gross underemployment (40-60 hours of freelance contract work a month), a one-month scramble between jobs (ameliorated by plenty of freelance work on the fly - for which I got paid 45 days later), an unplanned interruption in the job (which turned out to be only two days, but still...) - and nobody knows what next week will bring.

So you state employees will be out, if at all, a few days or weeks (and vacation pay, which I don't get, will cover a chunk of that). Inconvenient at best, a hassle, maybe a hardship for some. Par for the course for most of the people who pay your salaries.

That's what I thought.

And here are some of the meanspirited comments:

State fo Minnesota employees are the biggest bunch of whiny-baby pantywastes in the history of mankind. Period.
Posted by: Dave at June 30, 2005 10:15 AM

This "shutdown" is pure liberal politics, from begining to end.

Granted the "shutdown" will have a minor impact on the taxpayers of the state, the services that will close were selected simply based upon those that will have the greatest marketing impact.

No traffic info ensures that all motorists are aware and consently reminded of the shutdown. Libraries, state parks (over the 4th of July)and licensing being shutdown also causes the greatest number of people to become aware of the impase.

Of course, not enforcing minimum wage standards, workplace standards, MNCare etc. make for great articles in the Strib and MonkeyBoy rants on AirAmerica about how we are all unsafe, being taken advantage of and we need big gov't to protect us from the evil corporations.
Posted by: GeneK at June 30, 2005 10:20 AM

We'll have to be sure we have all the employees' summer cabin (or Florida marina) phone numbers, so we can call them when the shutdown is over.
Posted by: RBMN at June 30, 2005 10:30 AM

If you are a State Employee, go and drop by Mitch's blog and give him your two cents.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Dickinson's Speech at her Press Conference

Opening Campaign Speech

Good morning and thanks to all of you for coming today.

My name is Elizabeth Dickinson and today I am announcing my candidacy for Mayor of St. Paul. I want to be a leader for all the people of St. Paul.

As my Latino friends say it:

Quiero ser la alcadesa para el pueblo.

And as a Hmong friend of mine translates it:


What does this mean?

It means I will honor the universal Green principles of grassroots democracy and non-violence by bringing my deeply collaborative nature to the mayor's office, promoting both vision and cooperation between the city council, the neighborhoods, and small and large businesses. Of paramount importance is restoring the balance in government by inviting the neighborhoods back into the decisionmaking processes, particularly around issues of development, creating more affordable housing, and maintaining and expanding green spaces in the city.

It also means having an "open door" policy at the mayor's office where individual voices are listened to respectfully. It even means bringing back a spirit of kindness to all and the politics of joy back to the city during difficult budget times.

Another value I want to bring back to the city is environmental wisdom and justice. As many of you know, I was instrumental in Clean Energy Now, which successfully pressured Xcel Energy to make the cleanest choice available by transforming two of its dirtiest coalburning utilities to natural gas, saving $1.2 billion dollars in health care costs.

And while we must acknowledge our successes, we simply must do better with energy conservation efforts and promoting renewable energy, not just for St. Paul, or for the U.S., but for the people of our world and the planet itself. Investments in energy efficiency yield two to ten times as many JOBS per dollar invested as do investments in fossil fuels and nuclear power. I¹m going to repeat that: investments in energy efficiency yield two to ten times as many jobs per dollar invested as do investments in fossil fuels and nuclear power.

That's beside the fact that when we cut down on energy use through simple behavioral changes and simple fixes, it saves money, prevents the pollution that changes the climate, gives our kids asthma, and makes our water unfishable, undrinkable and unswimmable. St. Paul can be a green leader not just through developing a sustainability plan, although that's important, but through exercising its collective political will through franchise agreement negotiations to make our utilities more accountable through investments in renewable energy. And if they won¹t do it, than we need to look at setting up our green municipal utility with a better commitment to service, conservation, and renewable energy.

And I want to take a moment to acknowledge the SEE Program (School Energy Efficiency program) in our schools whose goal is to reduce energy consumption by up to 25%. The St. Paul Public School System will exceed savings of $100,000 this year. If we were to conserve at a 25% level of the $7 million energy budget in the St. Paul Schools, it would mean savings of one and three quarter million dollars. You can bet that could pay for an awful lot more teachers.

This type of conservation program should be implemented all over St. Paul. We should also offer low interest loans to homeowners to be able to install solar hot water heaters as they do in Minneapolis. For heaven's sakes, my parents installed solar hot water panels in the mid-seventies during the Carter administration. We need to be further ahead! St. Paul has more sunshine than Jacksonville, Florida and Houston, Texas--

I am also working with Fresh Force, the student service learning group and the Department of Commerce to see if we can get an ananometer or wind measuring device near one of our schools to see if we have wind speeds sufficient to make a wind turbine economically feasible. Again, we must be aggressive in becoming energy independent.

I would also like to speak about economic and social justice. I fully support the current union-led coalition striving to tie our city's investment in companies to the need for a living wage. It's just common sense that if the city gives hard earned taxpayer dollars to assist companies with development that we should expect something in return that allows our citizens to live with dignity. If we value work the way we say we do, than that work must allow our citizens to afford the basics---food,
decent affordable housing, and health care.

We must also support small businesses. I am a member of MIBA, the Metropolitan Independent Business Alliance that promotes the interests of small, locally-owned businesses. I am very proud of the way the Green Party has engaged in this effort. Small businesses account for over 75% of the new jobs in this country. We must explore ways to adjust the tax structure so that small businesses are not taxed at the same level as multi-national corporations. We need to look at giving tax breaks for landlords that promise to give rental breaks to new small businesses, and explore size caps for big box development.

Obviously there are other issues dear to the hearts of St. Paulites, including education. I fully support excellent educational opportunities for ALL in St. Paul. Education is the pillar of our democracy and our economy and the main avenue for becoming a productive citizen and moving ahead in life. I will work with the school board, teachers, and students to ensure good communication and to try to involve business in a more substantive way to improve our educational options. I will also be ready at a moment's notice to appear at the capitol to lobby for school funding.

There are obviously more issues than I have time to address today, including the need to maintain core services like police, fire, and medical services, the need to improve our mass transportation options, and the everpresent worries around health care. But before I open up to questions, I would like to acknowledge all of you here today here to support me.

This is going to be a energetic, focused campaign, and I am going to need all of your support, including financial, intellectual, emotional and spiritual help. You have called upon me to provide a progressive voice and I have answered the call. Thank-you for your faith in me and I will do all I can to carry and articulate our collective dreams for a cleaner and kinder St. Paul. Let's all move ahead together.

And now I'd be happy to take any questions!


Elizabeth Dickenson's Announcement Sets Off the Usual Debate Among St Paul DFLers

From the St Paul Issues List:

From: Jeanne Schnitzen
Sent: Monday, June 27, 2005 11:32 PM
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Announcing candidacy

Thank god we will finally have a real race on our hands, instead of the let's-just-flip-a-coin contest between Randy and Chris.

I hope all of us who call ourselves progressive will seriously consider Elizabeth's campaign. By coming so incredibly close in her 2003 campaign, she's already proven that it's not just about money and the Chamber endorsement.

Let's get behind this campaign and start speaking the truth about the issues we care about.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for making the sacrifice to take on this campaign!!

Jeanne Schnitzen
Highland Park

Paul Skrbec encourages people to stick with the DFL:

Jeanne et. al.

While I respect your desire for choices, I disagree with your sentiments in your statement. As a DFLer, I view it this way - we had our choice during the endorsement process and endorsed Chris Coleman. Rafael threw his support behind Chris in this process.

If you consider yourself progressive and a DFLer, you (all) have a responsibility to work within the process. I will be working within the DFL to continue to working for Chris - I just have to work that much harder now that a 3-party candidate will be tugging from the left.

Paul R. Skrbec
Chair, Stonewall DFL
Inver Grove Heights, MN

The question is whether St Paul DFLers will get so divided over the non-partisan Mayor's race in St Paul, that they can't come together during the next Statewide election in 2006.

Developing. . .

Monday, June 27, 2005


Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer was listed in the Pride map as having a booth at number 2009. I stopped by - and found booths 2008 and 2010 with booths. There was noone at booth number 2009. I'm not sure why Kiffmeyer bought the booth space then didn't staff it.

Elizabeth Dickenson to Announce Candidacy for Mayor of St Paul

From the St Paul Issues Forum:

Announcing candidacy

Dear St. Paul Forum,

Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 28th at 11 am on the West Side bluffs on Prospect St. between Hall and Stryker, I will be announcing my candidacy for Mayor of St. Paul.

I welcome support from old friends and new. However, especially for those who don't already know me, I will welcome questions over the next several months about my vision and platform for St. Paul.

My website designer got married last Saturday, so please be patient until I can get my website up and running.

Below is my press release, and there should be articles in both the Strib and PiPress tomorrow.


Elizabeth Dickinson
West Side

Elizabeth Dickinson for Mayor

June 27, 2005
Press Release --


Saint Paul - Activist and former city council candidate Elizabeth Dickinson will announce her candidacy for Mayor of Saint Paul at a press conference tomorrow, Tuesday, June 28. The event will take place on the blufftop along Prospect St., just west of where Hall Ave. runs into Prospect, at 11:00 a.m.

Dickinson is a founder of the Clean Energy Now coalition which successfully pushed for conversion of Xcel Energy's urban High Bridge and Riverside power plants from coal to gas -- two of only five such conversions nationally to date -- and the installation of pollution controls on the larger A.S. King plant near Stillwater. She has also been highly visible as a spokesperson on other issues: she narrated and coproduced widely-distributed videos on Wal-Mart and on AIDS, as well as one on the power plant conversion. She is leaving her position as Community Affairs Manager and lobbyist for the Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP) to enter the race.

Dickinson¹s campaign will focus on city government collaboration with Saint Paul's neighborhoods -- especially cooperation with the city's District Councils -- and honoring the voices of individual citizens; on environmental and clean energy issues including the opportunity to give Saint Paul a national profile as a clean-energy leader; on firmly establishing the city's current living wage policy as a requirement for businesses seeking significant financial help -- such as tax-increment financing -- from city government; and on vigorously supporting small businesses, which create over 75% of new American jobs. A Co-Chair of the Green Party of Saint Paul, a boardmember of the West Side Citizens' Organization and of Clean Water Action, and a member of the Saint Paul Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Dickinson has worked tirelessly with numerous like-minded groups and individuals to maintain city environmental standards, back the INS/Police Separation Ordinance and the Code for Corporate Responsibility, and work for Instant Runoff Voting and other progressive causes.

Dickinson's motivation for running includes a strong awareness that many Saint Paul voters have been dismayed by the absence to date of a strong progressive voice in the mayoral contest. "I've had people come up to me and ask if I'm running, because they don't feel they're represented by either of the current candidates," she says. "Many of them became very excited when I began privately telling people I had decided to run." She felt strongly enough about the need to give voters a real choice, she
says, that she was willing to risk her household's primary income by leaving her job at MAP.

Her campaign will lean heavily on the grassroots outreach Dickinson strongly believes in -- in her 2003 Ward 2 race for city council, she nearly took the second spot in the open primary by knocking on nearly every single-family door in the ward, while spending less than 20% of the eventual winner¹s total campaign outlay -- and less than 10% of the budget of the ultimate runner-up. Saint Paulites can expect to become
familiar with her face, as Dickinson anticipates knocking on doors in every city ward before the September 13 primary.


Elizabeth Dickinson, (651) 235-1208 (cell)
Christopher Childs, Communications Manager, (651) 312-1216

Elizabeth Dickinson for Mayor ~ 384 Hall Avenue ~ Saint Paul, MN ~

Elizabeth Dickinson is not the typical flakey Green Party Candidate. She is a tireless campaigner, is articulate and can motivate supporters to work hard. Chris Coleman's campaign is in trouble with this announcement.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Steve Miller from Independent Gay Forum Parrots Christian Law Association Talking points


Homophobe Rights?
Blogger Jonathan Rowe looks at the case of a man fired by Allstate for posting an anti-gay-rights missive (that quoted the discredited statistics of Paul Cameron) on a socially conservative website. The fired guy is now claiming religious discrimination.

I think that, in general, companies shouldn't fire employees for away-from-work activities that don't break any laws unless the activity is truly egregious.

A simple google search on Matt Barber Allstate retrieves his article in the Men's News Daily.

J. Matt Barber is a non-practicing attorney, an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer (Matt "Bam Bam" Barber), and a professional jazz drummer in the Chicago Land (IL) area. In addition to his Law Degree, Barber holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy. Matt Works for Allstate Insurance Company as a Territorial Senior Manager in Allstate's Law and Regulation Corporate Security (Internal Fraud Investigations) Department.

That's why Allstate fired him. He dragged their corporate name into it. He is denying that he brought Allstate into it.

From Worldnet Daily:

Barber says the human resources assistant vice president told him the column didn't reflect Allstate's view and that he was suspended with pay. Barber was immediately ushered off company grounds – "which was humiliating," the former employee said.

"I explained to Allstate that the article was a reflection of my personal Christian beliefs, and that I had every right to both write it and to have it published," Barber told WND. "I further explained that I had written the article while at home on my own time, that I never mentioned Allstate's name and that I neither directly nor indirectly suggested that Allstate shared my Christian beliefs or my views on same-sex marriage."

Three days later, on Feb. 3, Barber, who had worked for Allstate for five years, says he got a call informing him he was fired "for writing the article," he said. Now, with the help of the Christian Law Association and David Gibbs III, who represented Terri Schiavo's family in the final weeks of her life, Barber is challenging Allstate in federal court.

According to an investigation by the state of Illinois' Department of Employment Security related to Barber's claim for unemployment benefits, an organization – likely a "gay"-rights group – complained to Allstate about the column. But how did the group connect Barber to the insurance company? It turns out one site that posted the column,, added to the bio line on the article the fact that Barber worked for Allstate.

Barber says he did not include that fact in the original column submission but that the site "disclosed that without my knowledge or consent." According to Barber, he is somewhat well-known in the boxing field in Chicago, and Allstate would sometimes tout the fact that he worked for the company.

At this point it seems to be he said, she said..... This is clearly not Allstate firing him because of writing stuff during off work time - this is Allstate firing him for sullying their corporate name.

I don't list my employer's name on my blog for exactly this reason. This blog represents my opinions as an individual, not my employer's oppinions. So I keep my blog life separate from my work life. When I've gotten interviewed about blogging (and this happens occasionally) I ask that they not mention who I work for in what gets published.