counter statistics

Friday, June 16, 2006

Wisconsin GOP works to make their party smaller....

GOP Faithful Would Bar Help For Moderates
The Capital Times May 26, 2006
by Anita Weiner

Are moderates being frozen out of the Republican Party of Wisconsin? It appears a large majority of party delegates would like exactly that, according to a nonbinding resolution passed at last weekend's state convention in Appleton.

Resolution 25 urged the GOP "to withhold all promotional and financial support of those candidates that do not consistently subscribe to this overall conservative agenda, be they incumbent or new candidates."

It also urges the party to "actively and vigorously" seek out candidates for office who "will go in this conservative direction, and respect the wishes of party members."

"I have worked hard to raise the conservative voice," convention chair and state Sen. Cathy Stepp, R-Sturtevant, told the delegates in Appleton last weekend. "We should never apologize for our conservative agenda."

From the speech by Stepp to the prominent booths of pro-life groups, the Appleton convention was a conservative's paradise.

It was a paradise with no prominent moderate elected officials, such as former state Sens. Mary Panzer and Peggy Rosenzweig, both previously defeated by more conservative Republicans.

The fundamental touchstones of conservatism like family values, freedom for everyone and fiscal responsibility must be preserved, Stepp said.

The convention delegates later approved a collection of resolutions that strongly promote conservative stands, such as securing the nation's borders, supporting the death penalty and calling for a ban on so-called partial-birth abortion.

But perhaps the most resounding support of conservatism was the resolution that could freeze moderate candidates out of the party.

Resolution 25 states that because the convention "passed numerous resolutions of a conservative nature," that is the direction that party members want their representatives to follow. It went on to urge the restriction of campaign help to conservative Republican candidates only, and the direction of all candidate recruiting efforts to the political right.

The resolution did concede that "the people of the party recognize that while they cannot compel representatives to vote" conservative, "they can and do expect them to."

Rep. Terri McCormick, R-Appleton, who is running for the 8th Congressional District seat in the party primary against Rep. John Gard, R-Peshtigo, said she at first thought the resolution was meant to justify the action of Wisconsin members of a Republican national committee who decided to endorse her opponent early in the race.

Later, she came to believe that it was not in response to her situation. But McCormick, who said she is a solid fiscal conservative, remains concerned about the resolution, because "the word conservative can be spun."

She also contends that if more delegates were present in the convention hall during the vote, the resolution might not have passed.

Rick Wiley, executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said he does not believe that the resolution excludes any potential candidates.

"Nothing talks about moderate or conservative," Wiley said. "I think they were talking about being fiscally conservative. I don't think this boxes out moderates."

What a Fashion Statement

Wingman brings this to our attention.

Santorum on the Senate Floor

Winger comments:

Slick Rick

When one is in the political fight of his life to retain a U.S. Senate seat, it would be wise for him to skip the U.S. Senate's annual summer "Seersucker Thursday." The Casey campaign will just eat this one up. Just think of all of the "sucker" lines they could use.


Senator Santorum is making quite the fashion statement. Santorum is well known for this statement in an AP interview:

Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that's what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality —

AP: I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator, it's sort of freaking me out.


Googling Santorum puts Rick Santorum attack blogs at the top of the search. Santorum's campaign website is the last of the entries on the first page.

Bad Press for Matt Entenza

Here.

Entenza pressed on wife's ties to United
Republican foe asks how DFL attorney general hopeful would avoid possible conflict in probe
BY PATRICK SWEENEY
Pioneer Press

Rep. Matt Entenza, the Democratic candidate for Minnesota attorney general, should explain how — and if — he could avoid a serious conflict of interest involving a state investigation of UnitedHealth Group, a company that has given millions of dollars in stock options to Entenza's wife, the Republican attorney general candidate said Thursday.

"We can be certain no attorney general in Minnesota history has faced such a significant personal conflict of interest on such an important issue," charged the GOP candidate, Rep. Jeff Johnson of Plymouth.

At a news conference, Johnson recognized the attorney general's office has procedures to deal with conflicts of interest. But he said he could not imagine how Entenza, if elected, could adequately separate himself from an investigation of UnitedHealth Group initiated by Mike Hatch, the current attorney general.

In reply, Entenza said that, if elected, he would follow standard policies in the attorney general's office that allow, and demand, new members of the staff avoid any contact with actions against former clients or employers.

"I'm a former assistant attorney general," Entenza said. "The office has a rigorous conflict-of-interest policy that anyone would have to follow, and I would do exactly the same thing."

The Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group is being investigated by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service and a federal prosecutor in New York. The company and certain officers also have been named as defendants in multiple shareholder lawsuits.

Entenza's wife, Lois Quam, is a top executive at the health insurance company. And she, like many UnitedHealth employees, earned huge sums on stock options she received from the company.

Entenza, a state representative from St. Paul who leads the Democratic-Farmer-Labor minority in the House, estimated Quam has earned "probably $20 million" from stock options during her career at UnitedHealth.

The federal investigations and the civil lawsuits center on allegations that UnitedHealth CEO William McGuire, Chief Operating Officer Stephen Hemsley and several other executives received several billion dollars worth of stock-option grants that were backdated to times when stock prices were particularly low.

That allegedly allowed them to realize bigger profits when they exercised the options and sold the shares. UnitedHealth is one of several dozen companies across the country that face federal investigations involving similar allegations.

Quam has not been accused of wrongdoing in any of the public filings by federal investigators, and Hatch said he had seen no documents accusing Quam of any impropriety.

In addition, Brian Rice, a Minneapolis attorney for eight public employee pension funds that initiated one of the civil lawsuits against UnitedHealth, said he knew of no allegation in any of the suits that Quam's stock options were handled improperly.

Hatch, who disclosed his investigation of UnitedHealth in a June 6 letter to a federal magistrate supervising the civil suits, said the state investigation would look at the role UnitedHealth's directors played in awarding stock options and at the question of whether shareholders were defrauded.


Rural Democratic blogs are very cool to Matt Entenza.

Mark Kennedy Supporters and their Turkish Muslim Complex

Here.

Pay attention and you might actually learn something. We added the crescent last week, because our blog was hacked by Turkish Muslims after we disrespected their boy Zarqawi, you dolt!


Whatever.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

IDiocy Reigns in South Carolina

Here.

A lawmaker in South Carolina is hailing the approval of new evolutionary biology standards for public high schools. The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee has approved these standards, which require students to "summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory."

State Senator Mike Fair, a member of the Education Oversight Committee, believes the update of the public schools' biology curriculum guidelines is a step in the right direction. "That, we think, is going to give a new freedom to teachers and a new freedom to the students in the science classrooms around South Carolina," he says.

With these standards in place, students will be less afraid to ask questions, Fair asserts. And likewise, these educational objectives will give teachers the freedom "to answer questions and to do what we think good science is all about, and that is to always be asking questions," he says.

Opponents of the new standards want to protect "philosophical materialism," the South Carolina senator contends. He describes this mindset as a "religion" that runs rampant on college campuses.

"Biology departments in the universities around our state are absolutely controlled by people who are afraid, for some reason or another, to look into and encourage students to look at all aspects of the question of evolution," Fair says. He believes the newly established biology standards will help change this situation.

According to the Seattle, Washington-based Discovery Institute, South Carolina is the fifth U.S. state to require students to learn about scientific criticisms of evolution. The state's new guidelines do not, however, require the teaching of alternative theories to Darwinian evolution.

Senator Fair believes the new biology standards for South Carolina high schools will help create an atmosphere where science education can flourish without materialist ideology. Also, he says it is his hope that these guidelines will be a precursor to allowing alternatives to the theory of evolution, such as intelligent design, to be taught in the state's schools.


South Carolina is also having a vote on a anti-gay marriage amendment.

SC State Amendment

Article XVII of the Constitution of this state would be amended by adding:
A marriage between one man and one woman is the only lawful domestic union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This State and its political subdivisions shall not create a legal status, right or claim respecting any other domestic union, however denominated. This State and its political subdivisions shall not recognize or give effect to a legal status, right or claim created by another jurisdiction respecting any other domestic union, however denominated. Nothing in this section shall impair any right or benefit extended by the State or its political subdivisions other than a right or benefit arising from a domestic union that is not valid or recognized in this State. This section shall not prohibit or limit parties, other than the State or its political subdivisions, from entering into contracts or other legal instruments.

Mike Hatch Avoids Stonewall DFL Caucus Like the Plague

Stonewall DFL is the GLBT caucus of the DFL party. When they held screenings for the Governor's race earlier this year, Steve Kelley got endorsed, and Becky Lourey got an acceptable rating. Mike Hatch didn't fill out the questionaire, but rather sent an envelope of printed materials. Mike Hatch did not get endorsed nor get an acceptable rating from Stonewall.

I had lunch with a friend of mine who attended the state convention, and went to the Stonewall DFL meeting. She told me that Becky Lourey and Steve Kelley both stopped in on the Stonewall Caucus meeting. Mike Hatch did not.

It will be interesting to see if Hatch makes any attempt to reach out to gay voters this election season.

Lloydletta's Nooz Talks with Ember Reichgott Junge

At a recent event, Ember Reichgott Junge told me that she had taken the public position in favor of including gays in the institution of marriage. I followed up with her on this and some other issues.

While at the legislature, Ember voted against the state Defense of Marriage Act. This was when she was a statewide candidate for Attorney General. I asked Ember whether Hatch used this issue against her, and she said he did not. In 1994, Hatch tried unsuccessfully to use John Marty's support of domestic partner benefits against him in the DFL governor primary.

Ember also believes gay people should be able to serve openly in the military. Ember did say she will be adding these issues to her website, but they are not currently there.

Ember has a press release on her website commenting on Senate Federal Bachmann Amendment vote:

Gay Marriage Amendment Vote
Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I congratulate the 48 senators who today stood as a blockade against those who would undermine human rights in favor of discrimination, ignorance, and bigotry. This was a victory for compassion and realism over ideology.

I see a future in which we treat each other with respect and dignity. This is a future in which our public policies honor the social bonds that individuals enter into voluntarily.

When so many vital issues remain to be addressed in this Congress, the Republican majority in Congress has decided to push its conservative ideological agenda. They have failed in Iraq, failed to provide the health care reform they promised, and failed to meaningfully address the energy and environmental challenges.

I am not optimistic that today’s vote will persuade Republican leaders to drop their strategy to sidestep the real issues. I am very optimistic that new Democratic majorities will be elected this fall to put America's real agenda back on track.


Ember's campaign has been criticized for push-polling. I asked Ember about those concerns. Ember said this was a standard messaging poll, and was handled by Celinda Lake, who follows the AAPOR standards against push polling.

Ember's campaign team has impressed Roll call. Like Mike Erlandson, so far, she has been running an inside the beltway focused campaign.

John Binkowski

I met with John Binkowski yesterday. John is the Independence candidate to represent the 6th District in Congress. He's an intelligent, articulate guy.

Is it possible that Binkowski could eke out a Jesse Ventura-type win in November? Binkowski has the odds stacked against him... he isn't as well known as Ventura. It's unlikely he will be able to raise the amount of money to achieve that name recognition.

Binkowski intends to bring his independent perspective to debates and forums and I look forward to hearing what he has to say.

Here's a recent blog mention of Binkowski.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Blogs on Cheney's Fundraiser for Bachmann

Pam Spaulding.

The obsessive, craven homobigotry of Minnesota State Senator Michele Bachmann is well-known to residents of the state, and she wants to impose her batsh*ttery on the Hill by running for Congress (MN’s 6th District). She has made a name for herself by railing on and on about protecting the sanctity of marriage and the sickness of gays (she's a running buddy of professional "former homosexual" Janet "rape causes lesbianism" Boynes) and has made my blog several times now. Her pet issue to date has been a state marriage amendment (which didn't make it to the MN Senate floor for debate).

It looks like, even though he has a lesbian daughter and opposes a federal marriage amendment, the Dark Lord is welcome to raise cash for Bachmann's coffers. According to the AP, Cheney will be slithering into the state to attend a Minneapolis fundraiser for her on June 26.


Winger quotes Roll Call on the upcoming fundraiser.

Gay Opinion Blog
reprinting Strib Letter to Editor:

Cheney stumps for Bachmann

So, Vice President Dick Cheney, loving father of a lesbian, is flying to Minnesota to help Michele Bachmann, the highly outspoken enemy to gay marriage and gay civil rights, raise money for her bid for the U.S. Congress. What makes me so spitting mad is that I cannot decide whether irony or pandering has the upper hand here.

JERALD LEE, MINNEAPOLIS


MN Publius:

Michelle [sic] Bachmann screams from the mountaintops for years about how gay marriage is so important that she's willing ot bring the legislature to a grinding halt. One of her arguments is that the traditional family is under attack. I wonder, what does she think of Vice-President Cheney's family?
She'll gladly keep her mouth shut, I imagine, as long as he brings in $250/head [$1K for an 'intimate reception with a picture] at a swanky fundraiser on Lake Minnetonka on June 26th.


William Hawks, who is holding the fundraiser is the owner of Crown Hydro, proposing to take over Mill Ruins Park using eminent domain. Minneapolis Park Watch has lots of good information about Crown Hydro.

DU Thread about William Hawks, Cheney and Bachmann here.

Are Patty Anderson, Mary Kiffmeyer and Phil Krinkie Libertarians?

The Drama Queen has been highly critical of Sue Jeffers for her connections to the Libertarian party. Well now it looks as if other Republicans are speaking at Libertarian conventions. MNGOPWatch has more.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Podfisking Howard Dean

Terrance, a liberal black gay blogger podfisks Howard Dean's speech at Yearly Kos.

Honestly, what it comes down to for me is this. I'm not asking the Democrats or anyone to make same-sex marriage their top priority. I've got it through my head that it's just not going to matter that much to most people. What I want is to hear that Democrats aren't going to run from the issue, that they aren't going to dismiss it as "not important," and that they're going to equivocate when it comes to equality. When and where it comes up, I want to hear that they're going to to say plainly that discrimination is wrong, period, and has no place in our laws or constitution.

What I hear from the progressive netroots is pretty much that if Democrats have to put our issues on the back burner, and reach out to more conservative voters, in order to get back into power, we should understand that, and help them win so that they can move those issues forward later. I keep asking how they're going to do that and stay in power if they have a new, more conservative, conservative constituency that won't let them do that and stay in power. I keep asking how this doesn't add up to a more conservative Democratic party.

The answer that I get from the netrootsy types is that it's "our job" to shift public opinion so that it's "safe" for Democratic leaders to stand up on those issues. Well, if we're out and we’re educating our friends, family, and communities about our issues and how they affect our lives, we're already doing our job. It took me this long to figure out what the netrootsy types were saying: from now on progress on our issues is our job and nobody else's.

Fine. So let's take our job up a notch. Let's start an organized effort to support and reward those candidates (leaving parties out of it for now) who have the courage of their convictions — or who even have convictions — when it comes to our issues.

That's the kind of gay netroots I'm talking about.


Terrance has some interesting things to say about the Yearly Kos convention:

I've written before about my dismay with Democrats when it come to gay issues, and my frustration with Howard Dean and the direction the party seems to be taking where LGBT issues are concerned. And I suppose going into YearlyKos I should have known what I was getting into. Kos is, after all, known for saying that us "single issue" folks should zip it, sit tight on the back burner and support the party no matter what, even when it backs candidates that don't support our concerns or issues. I should have known what to expect based on the comments I'd seen when the subject came up on netroots sites like MyDD and DailyKos. I should have figured I’d hear the same things I'd heard all along, even during the FMA debate.

I guess just hoped being there and bringing it all up might help, or might mean something. But I heard the same thing, even from gay folks who are just as frustrated as I am, and from supportive straight people too: this is what we have to do to win, and if gay issues have to take an extended back seat consider it taking one for the team.

I have to admit I got argued down. I can't take on the whole progressive netroots, and clearly I can't change anyone's mind. It kind of seems like gays have morphed into the ugly prom date who'd better just shut up about her date ignoring her and just be glad she got to go the prom at all. The best message I could salvage from it all, when it comes to gay & lesbian issues is "just keep doing what you've always done, vote Democratic, and don't expect much."


This says more than ever why gays need a bipartisan strategy in order to move forward. If you look at history, Democrats said the same thing to convince gays to shut up and elect Bill Clinton. When Democrats held both houses, plus the presidency, we got Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

My question for the list is - why should a middle of the road, independent gay individual vote for Hatch over Pawlenty when they tend to agree with Pawlenty more on tax issues and on limiting the role of government. Will Mike Hatch make any effort to reach out to gay voters in his primary and general election campaign? For example, will the Hatch campaign have a booth at Gay Pride? Pride is a very mainstream event which draws up to 300,000.

I am curious what Stonewall Democrats will say about Mike Hatch. He did not bother to answer their questionaire, and has said "there is no difference between Governor Pawlenty and myself on gay marriage", and has refused to take a public position in opposition to the Bachmann amendment (hardly a radical stand).

Meanwhile, the anti-gay non-profit arm of Michele Bachmann's campaign, Edwatch is attacking Tim Pawlenty for "promoting the homosexual agenda".

Monday, June 12, 2006

MSM Goes After Edwatch Conspiracy Theorists

The Rake Blog, Read Menace.

If you want our state to be the international subject of ridicule, like the cretins in Kansas who wanted to teach creationism, look no further than the cretins at EdWatch. They are out there and want inform all education by the jingoist and radical Christian agenda they're pushing. Now didn't we just get all upset when the Saudis were doing the same thing?


Strib

Still, a handful of conservative groups nationally have attacked IB as too "globally focused" and somehow anti-American.

That's absurd. Since when has being a brilliant, well-prepared student been comparable to treason? And in our increasingly global economy, what's wrong with exposing students to other cultures?

The well-regarded program started in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1968 to provide a high-quality education for children of diplomats that would be recognized in schools around the world. High school students pursuing an IB diploma study subjects from six groups: language, individuals and societies, math and computer science, the arts, experimental sciences and a second language (for most non-American students, that second language is English). The learning approach emphasizes self-motivation and has a community service requirement.

Among critics who want to banish the program is Minnesota's EdWatch, a conservative advocacy group. A recent Star Tribune news story about the popularity of the program also reviewed concerns from its local detractors. According to EdWatch leaders and its website, IB is "un-American" because it teaches global citizenship as a priority over American citizenship. They say the courses and teaching approach are too much like the once controversial and now replaced Profile of Learning standards because of its emphasis on projects, critical thinking and discovery learning. And they object to the fact that tests are reviewed and scored by educators around the world.

Minnesota's Department of Education did its own research about those complaints, then soundly rejected them. Department officials examined programs in South St. Paul, Minnetonka and St. Louis Park and found no evidence that students are somehow indoctrinated with any agenda. And, they said, the Profile comparison is wrong because IB participation is voluntary while the Profile was mandatory.


Edwatch claims that the Republican party passed a resolution opposing IB at the State Convention.

This year, the Minnesota GOP platform for the first time includes opposition to federal and state funding and district implementation of International Baccalaureate.


This resolution passed at the 6th District convention - the same convention that endorsed Michele Bachmann. I did not see this resolution on the resolutions committee report to the state convention. So I'd like to see Edwatch back up their claims.

Do the Opposite

From the Anti-gay AFA:

June 10, 2006

Environmental Protection Agency (Funded by your tax dollars) Celebrates Gay And Lesbian Pride Month

Dear Lloydletta,

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), your tax supported agency of the federal government, is currently promoting June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.

The theme for the month is "Pride, not Prejudice."

The EPA Office of Civil Rights, Diversity Program for Sexual Orientation, is sponsoring an opening event to be held on June 14. On June 28 EPA will hosts Gilles Marchildon, Executive Director for Egale Canada (Equality Canada) as a guest speaker.

Karen Higginbotham, Director, Office of Civil Rights, states there will be other activities in which the homosexual lifestyle will be celebrated in EPA offices across the country.

I thought you might like to know that the EPA, funded by your tax dollars, has joined the push for the homosexual agenda.

To see the official notice which went out to all EPA employees, click here.

Take Action
Send your email to Stephen L. Johnson, EPA Administrator, and to President George W. Bush, to protest the tax-funded EPA celebrating this destructive and unhealthy lifestyle. Forward this to your friends and family.

Our children's future is at stake. Thanks for caring enough to get involved.

Email the EPA and President Bush Now!


You can put your own text in the email. I encourage readers to send their own comments.

Here's what upset them:

MEMORANDUM SUBJECT: Gay and Lesbian Pride Month 2006

FROM: Karen D. Higginbotham, Director Office of Civil Rights

TO: All EPA Employees

During the month of June, we recognize the diversity of our workforce by celebrating and observing Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. This year’s international theme is “Pride, not Prejudice.” As members of the EPA workforce and community, it is important that we treat each other with dignity and respect.

The EPA Office of Civil Rights, Diversity Program for Sexual Orientation is sponsoring an opening event in concert with the EPA-approved Chapter of Gay, Lesbian, Or Bisexual Employees (GLOBE). The opening ceremony will be held on Wednesday, June 14, 2006, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Pavilion Room on the second floor of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. We are extremely pleased to have an outstanding guest speaker -- accomplished actress, writer, and producer Sheryl Lee Ralph.

In addition, we will have Gilles Marchildon, Executive Director for Egale Canada (Equality Canada) and the Egale Canada Human Rights Trust as a speaker. The program will take place June 28, 2006 in the Rachel Carson Room of the Ariel Rios Building from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

There will be other activities sponsored at regional offices and laboratories during the month. Please join us at these events and encourage all employees to attend. If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Jerome King, National Diversity Program Manager, at (202) 564-7429.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Conservatives Losing On Gay Rights

Steve Chapman at Real Clear Politics.

The state-level successes on gay marriage are about the only ones his side can boast. On other fronts, the portents are anything but auspicious.

Start with public attitudes, which are growing more and more favorable to gays and gay rights. The hard Right thinks the citizenry absolutely detests "activist judges," but when the Supreme Court issued a stunning decision overturning state laws against sodomy in 2003, the public barely blinked.

In fact, 74 percent said they favored striking down such statutes. If Brownback and his allies think the public is with them on gay issues, where is the federal anti-sodomy amendment?


That's what I've always wondered. The anti-gay activists changed the subject from sodomy laws to gay marriage, because they knew they'd be pilloried on talk radio if they proposed a Federal No-Sodomy Amendment (FNA).

The greatest consolation for them is that same-sex marriage is still unpopular. But more than half of Americans endorse either gay marriage or civil unions, which are marriages in all but name. Two states (Vermont and Connecticut) have legalized civil unions, without attracting 1 percent of the attention that has gone to Massachusetts. Once considered a radical step, this has taken on the look of a soothing, sensible compromise.

A more telling sign is the huge shift in opinion on discrimination. In 1977, when Gallup asked if homosexuals should have "equal rights in terms of job opportunities," 56 percent said yes and 33 percent no. Nowadays, opposition to this form of gay rights has only slightly broader appeal than the Socialist Workers Party. This year, 89 percent of Americans favored equal employment rights, with only 9 percent disagreeing.

That evolution suggests attitudes on gay marriage are likely to grow more positive, not less. The battle for tolerance has largely been won among young people, who will be guiding policy in the not-too-distant future. "They're much, much, much more accepting" of gay rights than their elders, says American Enterprise Institute polling expert Karlyn Bowman.

Growing tolerance presents a huge obstacle to another cause of social conservatives. Earlier this year, they were trumpeting a multi-state push to ban adoption by same-sex couples -- to prevent homosexuals from "experimenting on children through gay adoption," in the words of Russell Johnson, head of the Ohio Restoration Project.

It seemed a shrewd and logical follow-up to the state-by-state offensive against gay marriage. Since Florida was alone in explicitly outlawing adoptions by same-sex couples, the opponents of gay adoption thought they had a target-rich environment -- not to mention a winning issue with voters.

But they had a little problem launching the campaign. Kent Markus, director of the National Center for Adoption Law and Policy at Capital University Law School in Ohio, says that in state after state, "it peeked above the surface and got knocked right back down. Nothing has gained any momentum anywhere in the United States."

Right now, the defeat of the marriage amendment is a disappointment to opponents of gay rights. But someday, it will look like the good old days.


It will be interesting to see if any of the state amendments can be defeated. I think Wisconsin is the most likely state to defeat their amendment - and I hope that folks in Minnesota drive over the boarder to help folks in the Badger State defeat this nonsense. If the amendment gets voted down in Wisconsin, the push for the amendment in Minnesota will suddenly get dropped by Republicans.

A successful campaign against the amendment requires direct arguments about why the amendment is a bad idea, not the argument that the amendment is divisive, which doesn't successful make the case for a no vote.

Ritchie Endorsed for Secretary of State

Minvolved and Powerliberal liveblogged.

Net Neutrality Debate

Kip Esquire has a thoughtful post on the topic here.

I'm still hesitantly leaning toward supporting net neutrality. It seems to be a choice between two business models. Net neutrality is like the cell phone industry — if I use twice as much capacity (i.e., twice as many minutes), then I pay twice as much for it (give or take) in a market that is (relatively) competitive, and it doesn't matter whom I'm calling and he pays nothing to my provider (he might have to pay his own provider, but not mine).

Anti-neutrality is clearly like the cable television model — both buyers and sellers of content (i.e., subscribers and media companies) pay the gatekeeper for access to the pipe, in an arrangement awarded and protected by government monopoly.

Would anyone dare suggest that innovation in cable television has progressed more quickly than in wireless telephony, or that most people are more satisfied with their cable provider than with their cell phone company? I think not.

History, short as it may be, is clearly on the side of the net neutrality crowd. As is basic economics, I think.