Anti-gay Tactics by Republicans in Dean Johnson and Al Juhnke's District
The Truth Truck People were in this district. If gays expect to turn this around, we need to figure out effective advertising to counter this. Radio ads would be good. This was Karl Rove's strategy, and is part of the reason why I have absolute contempt for Karl Rove. I also didn't vote for Bush because these tactics were used. Marginalizing an unpopular minority for political gain is wrong.
This is one of the signs carried at the 2004 Marriage Amendment Rally. This is all about hate.
From a reader tip:
Letters in the Willmar paper around election time about the Minnesotans for Marriage billboards--one billboard in Willmar and one in Benson.
Gay marriage’s a political pawn (10/26/2004)
I cannot believe that while recently browsing my home state's newspaper columns online, I would see hatred and bigotry sprout up where I grew up and against me and my family.
The question of gay marriage is being used in Minnesota like a pawn in a political chess game. I live in San Francisco now and saw pictures of this billboard in a recent story in the St. Paul newspaper when our beloved president, George Bush, was campaigning. And when my mother called in hysterics that they had put the same billboard up in Willmar, I was in shock that the people that I respected, learned from, and looked up to as a child would allow that hatred to be spread in their community against me. Judge not, lest ye be judged.
I just want to ask everyone that is in Willmar and surrounding rural areas: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? This election has nothing to do with gay marriage and you are in no way in jeopardy of losing the sanctity of marriage. As a gay man that grew up there, I would never deny the sanctity of marriage.
So leave this issue out of the election booth this year and vote from your heart. You all know the truth, do not vote in fear.
Brent R. Roelofs
A billboard smear (11/1/2004)
Recently an organization known as Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage has been placing billboards around west central Minnesota, and is running television ads on various cable outlets. These ads have all the elements of a smear campaign, and they have been aimed at my state representative, Aaron Peterson.
As in all smear campaigns, it is a surrogate organization, the MCDM, that conducts the smear while the opposition candidate remains seemingly blameless and consequently benefits at the ballot box. The ads also feature the essentially baseless accusation, in this case that Peterson favors gay marriage, while any check of his voting record reveals that he does not - but why bother with the truth when you are conducting character assassination?
The use of the term "liberal" as a pejorative label is another essential, this time directed at the Senate Majority Leader Dean Elton Johnson. Nor is this a local organization. If the established pattern holds, MCDM will turn out to be another suburban group using their access to money in an attempt to buy a rural election.
Politics is filled with individuals who build mountains out of single issues so that they can stand on them, and lecture the rest of us on our moral shortcomings. This unearned moral superiority allows them to claim that their cause is just. But there are no shortcuts in life to character, it must be earned and demonstrated to your community. No one should be allowed to claim a moral advantage when the means they use to advance their single-issue candidacy include lies and innuendoes, character assassination and other smear campaign tactics.
If the strategy of any organization is to win at all costs, to slander your opponent at every opportunity, then you also destroy Americans' confidence in the honesty of their representatives at the same time. You destroy the process of democracy itself. And if democracy fails, we all lose.
If I have one desire for Election Day, it is that Minnesotans honor democracy on Nov. 2 and vote their conscience, not their prejudices.
Billboard is horrible (10/25/2004)
It is so sad to see the level of political campaign smear and deception that has come right to our rural community here in Benson.
I am talking about the disgusting billboard placed in our community by some outside right-wing smear artists. It shows two smiling men in tuxedos and says, "Want gay marriage? Vote Democrat this November." The number 866-60-TRUTH is listed, but of course, it is actually a lie, not the truth.
Our Minnesota Legislature passed a law saying that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman in Minnesota. Democrats voted for the law. This wasn't good enough for some other people, so they started beating the political drum for a statewide referendum on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages. Our own state representative, Aaron Peterson, voted for that to let the people decide in a statewide vote.
The outside right-wing groups, however, do not want fair and square elections. In Nevada a contractor hired by the Republican Party was registering thousands of people to vote outside government buildings and shopping centers. Last week they were caught red-handed shredding the registrations where people had checked Democrat as their party affiliation. The truth is clear, the right wing is afraid to have a fair election and will resort to destroying registrations and offensive advertising to obtain that end.
In all the elections I have seen over my lifetime (and that’s quite a few), I have never seen anything like the desperate right-wing smear tactics that I have witnessed this year.
It shows that voting for this amendment does nothing to stop these sorts of billboards attacking democrats.
Outfront Minnesota should contact the mother of the man who wrote from San Francico if they can find who she is.