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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Was Romney's Camenker Attack a Forti Mistake?

Eye on 08 believes the Mitt Romney attack on Brian Camenker was a tactical error by his deputy campaign manager and political director, Carl Forti.

However, National Journal's Danny Glover has what might be the beginning of the explanation: Carl Forti doesn't get the new media:

Yes, that's right, the same Mitt Romney who earned endless kudos this week for being so smart about new media has hired as deputy campaign manager and political director the same man (Forti) who has been dismissive of blogs. While working as communications director at the National Republican Congressional Committee, Forti pretty much ignored blogs and made it clear why: "A lot of times, you just don’t know how reliable the information on these things is. … Ninety percent of the time, we know more than they do."

Forti's problem is that they have to find a way to respond. But do you respond to a whisper and blog campaign with a press release? Whatever you do attracts attention to it, validating it. For the campaign to go to these lengths, it appears that "The Mitt Romney Deception" must really be making a difference.

In addition, however, Forti acted on a bad habit of his. He didn't attack the substance of the attacks on Romney. Instead, he attacked the messenger. He did the same thing last year when Charlie Cook and Stu Rothenberg made ultimately correct predictions of the 2006 elections.


Matt Lewis describes plenty of ways that this could have been done much more gracefully .. by someone else:

If Camenker is so irrelevant, then why is Romney trying to take him down? Why not let someone else take down Camenker (heck, the AP is already doing the dirty work by calling him a gadfly)? Get a surrogate, for crying out loud, Gov. Romney, but don't dirty your hands on this man

A number of strongly Romney-friendly blogs could have done this. Or a conservative activist could have gone on Fox to disagree. But no. They use a press release.

I have heard that there are already some recriminations over this. And justifiably. Matt Lewis was told by someone from an opposing camp:

As a source close to one of Romney’s potential rivals told me, "This is the dumbest stunt by a tier one presidential candidate since George Romney claimed he had been brainwashed by the generals and diplomats."

As a side note, this comparison is vicious.


Brian Camenker vs Mitt Romney

Previously on Lloydletta's Nooz.

After AP covered anti-gay activist Brian Camenker's attacks on Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney for being too supportive of gays, the Romney campaign posted an attack of Camenker on their website. Peter LaBarbera from the anti-gay activist organization, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality had a cow over the attack. Then Romney's campaign engaged LaBarbera in a blog posting.

From the AP:

But Camenker's report and other reports of pro-gay statements by Romney have struck a nerve with some conservatives.

"He does need to address better the comments he made in the past if he truly wants to court social conservatives," said Tom McClusky, spokesman for the conservative Family Research Council. "Too many people are going to be cynical and wonder if his actions are politically motivated."

Ya think?

Evangelicals for Mitt has been playing defense. The DNC has taken note, trying to play down the gay issues this is about in their press release.

This is from one of the sources the Romney campaign used to attack anti-gay activist Brian Camenker:

His 17-year-old son says he may have to start wearing a paper bag over his head to Newton North High School. His 19-year-old daughter has forbidden him from ever doing such a thing again.

Brian Camenker now knows there are few worse ways to score points with your children than to be interviewed for a segment on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

Camenker, who heads a group campaigning to repeal same-sex marriage, played the unwitting straight man in a report called "Mass.Hysteria," which examined whether Massachusetts had deteriorated since gay marriage was legalized.

Despite being peppered with such questions as: "Is it hard to stay interested in your wife with temptation out there?" Camenker professed to having come away relatively unscathed.

"I didn't think they treated me that badly," Camenker said. "They treated me a lot better than I thought they would."

Camenker was the second political figure from Newton to serve as the butt of a Comedy Central pseudo-newscast over the past two weeks. But while Camenker said he could take the joke, US Representative Barney Frank was not amused.

Frank, the nation's first openly gay congressman, was featured on the Oct. 27 "The Colbert Report," a recent spinoff of "The Daily Show." Host Stephen Colbert, the network's answer to Bill O'Reilly of Fox TV, interviewed him for the second installment of a 435-part series called "Better Know A District."

"To sum up," Colbert intoned, "you're left-handed, you're Jewish. But there is something else about you. And this is sort of the elephant in the room that I'm not naming, but as a journalist I feel like I have to name it. Um, you're a little overweight."

Colbert then asked Frank if his weight bothered his wife.

"I can honestly say to you whether or not I lose weight is of no concern whatsoever to my wife," said Frank, who though known for his quick wit didn't crack a smile during the interview.

"I was disappointed," said Frank, who called the show "sub-Three Stooges." "It was silly. I like political humor, but I found this really strange. His basic interview technique was to pretend he didn't know things. That wouldn't be funny in junior high school."

Camenker and Frank both acknowledged not knowing what they were getting into when they went on the shows.

"I don't know why I did it," said Camenker, adding that he had earlier turned down the producers several times. "They said, `We promise we'll be fair with you.' So in a moment of weakness, I agreed to do it. If I had to do it over again, I'd be more into the comedy thing of it. I really didn't know. I figured I'd just be myself."

Camenker, a Newton resident and director of the Waltham-based Article 8 Alliance, is widely known for his strong positions and is often lampooned by the local and national media.

On last week's segment, correspondent Ed Helms asked whether the quality of life in Massachusetts was on the decline because of legalized gay marriage.

"Yeah," Camenker said.

Has homelessness gone up? Is crime on the rise? Is the air quality diminishing? Helms asked.

Camenker smiled as he saw where Helms was heading. "I could probably, you know, find some way of connecting the dots to gay marriage to all of these if I had enough time and I did some research," Camenker said.

"Yeah, why take time to do the research when saying it is so much faster?" Helms responded.

At one point, Camenker said, "gay activists use a lot of the PR tactics and propaganda tactics that the Nazis used."

"That comparison is a bit extreme, don't you think?" Helms deadpanned. "I mean, what did the Nazis do that was so bad?"

Camenker said the crew filmed for about 3 1/2 hours in a hotel suite at the Hyatt Regency in Boston. For the first half, they filmed just Camenker's responses to Helms's questions. Then, they moved the camera and filmed Helms asking the questions this time, a little more embellished.

"They really could have made me a lot worse," Camenker said. "When you have 3 1/2 hours' worth of stuff, you could really murder somebody."

Camenker's daughter, who is in college, saw the show while at a party with friends. "She wasn't too happy," he said.

"I've heard from a lot of my relatives around the country," said Camenker, who has been on several national news shows and rarely gets feedback. "It's amazing how many people watch this. Clergymen, people that I know."

Camenker said that while his argument against gay marriage may not have been convincing in the footage that was aired, he may have changed some hearts and minds among the "25-year-olds from New York City who naturally are all pro gay marriage."

"They were moved by what I said about the subject," Camenker said. "They didn't use 99 percent of my stuff. But the arguments I said, you could tell they were visibly moved, and that I was saying things they hadn't heard before."

Frank was less enthusiastic about his interview. "I really regretted the waste of my time, but even more the waste of TV space," he said. "Getting younger people to watch who are interested in the issues is important. What a waste to make them think it's all Silly Putty." - Source: Interviews No Laughing Matter for Local Notables,
Matt Viser, GLOBE STAFF. Boston Globe. Boston, Mass.: Nov 10, 2005. pg. 6

The Boston Globe also published the text of the interview.

Ed Helms, a correspondent for "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart, last Thursday presented a news segment called "Mass.Hysteria" that looked back on the year since Massachusetts legalized gay marriage. Prominently featured was Brian Camenker, a Newton resident and director of the Article 8 Alliance, a Waltham-based organization fighting same-sex marriage. Here are portions of the show, which can be viewed in full at index.jhtml).

Helms: Last year, Massachusetts became the first state to allow gay marriage and critics feared the worst. . . . Now, just one year later, Massachusetts pro-family activist Brian Camenker believes those fears have become reality.

Camenker: The gay marriage issue is destructive on many levels. You have to deal with it in business, you have to deal with it in the public square, you have to deal with it in the public schools.

Helms: So the quality of life has decreased?

Camenker: Yeah.

Helms: Homelessness gone up?

Camenker: (Laughs) I can, you know . . .

Helms: Crime rates?

Camenker: Crime rates?

Helms: Air quality?

Camenker: I mean, let me put it this way. I could sit here and I could probably, you know, find some way of connecting the dots to gay marriage to all of these if I had enough time and I did some research.

Helms: Yeah, why take time to do the research when saying it is so much faster?

. . .

Helms: How does legalized gay marriage affect your relationship with your wife?

Camenker: That's such a ridiculous question, I don't even want to answer it.

Camenker: Are you like asking me serious questions or not?

Helms: Of course.

Camenker: OK. Good.

Helms: Is it hard to stay interested in your wife with temptation out there?

Camenker: I'm not going to answer that. I mean, come on.

Helms: What are some other gay activities you haven't indulged in?

Camenker: Indulged in, what do you mean?

Helms: Has legalized same-sex marriage led to more homosexuals?

Camenker: I think in the broad way, it has.

. . .

Camenker: It's a little scary as to where this movement might be headed. Gay activists use a lot of the PR tactics and propaganda tactics that the Nazis used.

Helms: That comparison is a bit extreme, don't you think? I mean, what did the Nazis do that was so bad?

Did Jason Lewis Help KTLK?

Or would they have been better off keeping Lambert and Janacek?

Compared with the previous fall, ratings dropped at Minnesota Public Radio's news and information station KNOW (91.1 FM), female-oriented WFMP (107.1 FM), talker KSTP (1500 AM), old-guard regional flagship WCCO (830 AM), conservative-geared WWTC (1280 AM) and sports-chat KFAN (1130 AM). Only liberal KTNF (950 AM) showed improvement.

The news also was bad at new conservative talker KTLK (100.3 FM), which launched last January. Executives had hoped that Jason Lewis' return in the summer would provide a sustained ratings boost. Initially his afternoon talk show drew more listeners ages 25-54 -- advertisers' prized demographic -- but ratings for KTLK's 3 to 7 p.m. slot (which also includes syndicated host Sean Hannity) sagged from a 3.7 share during the summer quarter to 2.1 in the fall.

Even Vikings broadcasts didn't improve KTLK's overall rating. Among listeners 12 and older, the station's share dropped to 1.9 percent compared with the previous fall, when it scored 2.8 with its smooth-jazz format.

Graphic of ratings here.

Friday, January 19, 2007

There's No Reason to Add Driver Distractions

Here's the latest episode of the billboard wars.

Programming Alert!

Watch Senator Brownback's Presidential Campaign Kickoff Announcement Speech LIVE Tomorrow...

United States Senator
Sam Brownback (R-KS)

Will announce his intention to run for President of the United States tomorrow in Topeka, KS.

You can watch this historic event LIVE at 1:00 PM EST tomorrow morning on C-SPAN.

Please spread the word to your friends and family so they can also tune in. Thank you!


C-SPAN Live Coverage of Senator Brownback's Announcement
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Coverage Begins: 1:00 PM EST
Coverage Ends: Approximately 1:35 PM EST


PS: Senator Brownback will also appear on ABC News: This Week with George Stephanopoulos this Sunday morning, January 21st. He will be discussing his plans for the 2008 campaign. Please check your local listings for what time it will be shown in your area.

He'll probably perform an exorcism on camera, or take testimony from a fetus.

Rep. Mark Olson Hearing Postponed

Saint Cloud Times

ELK RIVER — A court hearing scheduled for today for state Rep. Mark Olson on charges that he assaulted his wife in November has been postponed until February.

The delay came after Olson hired a new attorney.
Olson, a Republican lawmaker from Big Lake, had been scheduled to appear today in Sherburne County District Court on two misdemeanor counts of domestic assault. The new lawyer he hired was unavailable for today’s hearing. His next court date has been set for Feb. 9.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Anti-Gay Americans for Truth Didn't Intend to Register with IRS as Pro-Gay Rights Organization

Peter LaBarbera from Americans for Truth returned from earlier this week. I had called to see if Mitch Romney's campaign taking down the press release attacking Brian Camenker was enough, or whether they still wanted the formal apology. LaBarbera said the press release was up again, and he thought Romney was trying to play both sides of this issue. I'd have to agree with that. Pam Spaulding has more on this website scrubbing and reverse scrubbing by the Romney campaign.

I also asked LaBarbera about this.

I didn't realize that the actual name for Americans for Truth is Americans for Truth about Homosexuality. I suppose that is what AFTAH stands for, but why don't they put their full title in their website? I think when this group is mentioned the full legal title should be used. What also really made me angry is that when I looked this organization up in GuideStar (a source of information about non-profit organizations), their 'National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities,' code is R26--Lesbian/Gay Rights. These NTEE codes are used to help people search for non-profit organizations. And get this--this code of R26 is used for "R20 Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups"! So Americans for Truth about Homosexuality claim to be a civil rights group for lesbians and gays!

The section for R26 is reserved for: "Organizations that support the passage and enforcement of laws and other social measures that protect and promote the rights and interests of individuals who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered."

LaBarbera said the IRS made the mistake, and that the anti-gay Americans for Truth did not intend to register as a GLBT civil rights group.

Al Franken's Anti-Gay Past

Dan Blatt at Gay Patriot talks about double standards.

C Scott Cooper of Outfront Minnesota failed to return my call.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Black Helicopters are Circling

MN Speak has more (see the comments).

KMSP hops on the

Posted January 17, 2007

Local Fox station (KMSP) shows video of a Barack Obama rally during a story about a sex offender's sentencing. Finally we get a local angle to this national trend of casually/accidentally smearing Obama.
» Categories: media | Author: robfargo

The comments on that YouTube page are hilarious in their stupidity. To think that a weekend newscast would purposely try to smear Obama by airing 3 seconds of video of a draft obama rally during the wrong story is insane.

It was clearly a mistake. An embarrassing mistake, but come on people.

KMSP's news director apologised:

# Bill Dallman wrote:
As News Director of KMSP, I can assure you this was an unfortunate error. We sincerely apologize. On Friday we changed to a new video server playback system and we encountered a few problems, however that is not an excuse. We are running a correction in our newscasts tonight, and apologizing once again to anyone who viewed this story. I would also add that FOX 9 did an entire reporter package on the "Run Obama" rally here in the Twin Cities this weekend. Clearly this was positive coverage of the groundswell of support for the Senator. I know readers will view this with skepticism, but that's truly what happened, and again, we are sincerely apologetic. Bill Dallman, News Director KSMP Television.
Reply to this

1. 15 Jan 2007, 9:41 PM Not Dillman wrote:
I do not believe you Mr. Dillman...oops, I guess I accidently got your name wrong you asshole (darn, meant to say sir).

Were you associated with any other network I would be inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt. Alas, you aren't and I won't.

Hope you choke! I mean, have a nice day...really.
Reply to this

# 15 Jan 2007, 2:44 PM Evy Kas wrote:
What a load of rubbish! How can you say this was an accident? This move was so transparent! A mistake? Hah! Go ahead and make your "mistakes" Obama will win in 08 regardless of your tricks to keep him out!
Reply to this
# 15 Jan 2007, 5:41 PM stephanie wrote:
Clearly this was not a mistake. Another good reason for staying away from FOX.

Go 950 am.

I'm surprised no one said Karl Rove was responsible for this.

Twins Baseball Takes a Broad View of "Supporter"

I got this e-mail blast today.

A Special Message for New Ballpark Supporters

January 17, 2007

The 2006 season was a very special time in Twins history for many reasons. Certainly one the highlights was the approval of our long struggle to build a new outdoor ballpark for our players and our amazing fans.

Your help and support of the new ballpark initiative was instrumental in our efforts to achieve legislative approval. Thanks to you, we now can all look forward to watching our favorite team play in a beautiful, state-of-the-art ballpark in 2010.

Now is the time to position yourself for seats in the new ballpark. The month of January marks the official launch of our 2007 season ticket campaign. Out in front of this campaign, we would like to give those of you who were so supportive of our new ballpark efforts the opportunity to choose your season ticket plan and seat locations before they are sold to other new season ticket buyers. By joining the Twins season ticket holder family now you'll not only be able to select from the best available locations, but you'll also establish priority for seats in the new ballpark immediately. Twins season ticket plans in the Lower Level of the Metrodome start at just $340!

This is an incredibly exciting time for the ball club. The journey toward our new ball park is well underway and we're hopeful that you'll join us. Please call us at 612-375-7454 or visit for information on how to join the Twins season ticket holder family. In the meantime, please enjoy our fun, new E-brochure and learn more about the options available to you.

Thanks again for your fantastic support of the Twins.

I believe the reason I got this message was because in the past I've ordered single tickets on-line (maybe once a year).

There is an enormous chasm between being an occasional ticket buyer (and I enjoy the games) and supporting the 30 year sales tax scam with no referendum. I found the tone of this message to be incredibly offensive.

I wrote back, and copied a few Hennepin County Commissioners along the way.....

Are you kidding me?

I am as far removed from being a 'New Ballpark Supporter' as I can possibly get.

You're writing to a person who had letters to the editor published in the New Ulm Journal last fall, complaining about Brad Finstad's support for this sales tax with no referendum.

Please stop sending me marketing solicitations. My time is focused on re-directing my discretionary spending outside of Hennepin County.

If their ticket marketing strategy involves what is hugely arrogant assumption about support for a new stadium, I can permanently cross Twins baseball off of my list of entertainment options.

Email Exchange Between City Pages and the Strib

The Rake has it. Hat Tip: MN Speak. Bloggers tend to get obsessed with interblog spats. It's the same story with the mainstream media.

Michael Brodkorb isn't the only Drama Queen in town.

Michele Bachmann on Wonkette Again

Bill Bennett Lays Odds on Bachamnn

Is Al Franken a Gay Bashing Bigot?

Triple A at Residual Forces poses the question about Al Franken joking about the murder of a gay man.

I suppose we'll get the good old, but I was young or I was on drugs when I said that, excuse from Franken on this one.

Al Franken Jokes About the Murder of a Gay Man

Michael Brodkorb has the story.

"He [Al Franken] recalled writing a skit called 'Seamen on Broadway' that was rejected from the Hasty Pudding show 'by some preppie so they could take some other preppie's skit.' Franken started to smile again, but his tone was serious, too serious. 'It's not preppies, cause I'm a preppie myself. I just don't like homosexuals. If you ask me, they're all homosexuals in the Pudding. Hey, I was glad when that Pudding homosexual got killed in Philadelphia.' The smile became so broad it pushed his eyes shut. He couldn't stand it any longer. 'Put that in, put that in,' Franken laughed, leaning over the desk. 'I'd love to see that in The Crimson.'" Source: Harvard Crimson, April 16, 1976

I'd like to hear what DFL Chair Brian Melendez thinks about this. Is this a Midwest Value? I also called OutFront's lobbyist, C Scott Cooper, who also works full time at Take Action Minnesota to get a comment. I'll keep readers posted of the response.

UPDATE: I assume Outfront has no comment. C Scott Cooper, the Outfront Lobbyist did not return my call.

Listen for talk of 'Timeless Values'

Governor Tim's annual 'State of the State' address is at noon today. It will be interesting to hear what is on his mind, given the strong DFL majorities in both chambers of the legislature, and his involvement with the McCain presidential campaign.

I'll be interested to hear if gays and gynecology are mentioned in the speech. Governor Tim has sometimes been sly .... he'll frame those wedge issues as 'timeless values', but avoid explicit references.


I didn't hear every word of the Governor's speech, but I caught most of it.

Curse those election consequences! From what I heard, there wasn't anything offered to the Minnesota Family Council or MCCL.

It's a new day (at least for now....)

Oberstar Votes With Bachmann on Stem Cell Research

Roll call vote on Stem Cell Research.

Democratic Underground...

Because he puts embryos' interests ahead of Alzheimers, Parkinsons victims

These people aren't "pro-life"--they're pro-death! With their votes, they attempted to sentence people suffering from Alzheimers, Parkinson's and many other diseases to an early death--just so they can continue pretending they care about embryos that will continue to be thrown in the dumpsters of fertility clinics every day. I hope they never need to be cured of these diseases--and if they do, I hope they reject the cures derived from embryonic stem cells.

The bill passed. Why bitch about Oberstar's vote?

Edited on Mon Jan-15-07 06:39 PM by scarletwoman
I'm sure he knew there were enough votes for it to pass, therefore he also knew that voting his OWN conscience wouldn't change the outcome.

He's MY representative, and I'm happy to defend him. As a past DFL activist, I've met and conversed with him, asked him hard questions and gotten thougthtful and respectful answers.

He IS "pro-life", but he is in no way a demagogue about it. He does not actively advocate and work against the right to choose, but he does vote his personal conscience on this kind of legislation.

As his constituent, I really have no problem with that. I believe it was Lydia Leftcoast who put it most succinctly back in 2004: Oberstar is economically liberal and socially conservative. It's a winning combination in the rural 8th District that has returned him to the House for over 30 years now. I'd FAR rather have Jim Oberstar looking after my and my neighbor's interests than Rod Grams, for gawdsakes!

So, please get over your outrage. He didn't endanger the outcome of the vote while he stayed true to his personal principles. It looks like a win-win situation to me. He hasn't served all this time without being a damn smart politician.

Sorry, plenty of outrage here

"So, please get over your outrage. He didn't endanger the outcome of the vote while he stayed true to his personal principles. It looks like a win-win situation to me. He hasn't served all this time without being a damn smart politician."

What a crock! Lots of politicians "stayed true to their principles" and voted for Bush's war in Iraq too. Look where that got us. How about if all the politicians who "voted their personal principles" would have voted FOR stem-cell research. Where would we be? The American people are overwhelmingly in favor of ALL stem-cell research, regardless of what Oberstar's warped pro-disease "principles" are. Instead, Oberstar voted to continue throwing embryos into the dumpster instead of using them to cure disease. There's no ngetting away from that fact.

Oberstar doesn't get off the hook on this one any more than Michele Bachmann does (Oberstar and Bachmann voted the same way). As for Rod Grams, Oberstar voted EXACTLY the same way Rod Grams would have voted.

Tell that to people suffering from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Edited on Tue Jan-16-07 06:41 PM by Minnesota Raindog
I guess it's easy to call yourself "pro-life" when your own life isn't at stake.

And if these blastocysts are equal to human beings and their destruction is murder, why isn't there a move to stop the "holocaust" going on inside fertility clinics?
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Jan-16-07 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Oh for cripesakes! The bill PASSED! Oberstar certainly KNEW the bill would pass!

Therefore, it was safe for him to vote the way he did.

If you don't live in the 8th District, I guess you'll just have to keep sputtering on the sidelines. I suggest you get over it and move on. We have bigger fish to fry than a bill that actually passed.

Like the Iraq invasion and occupation, which Oberstar voted against.

Oberstar deserves grief on this one. Oberstar should be asked whether he thinks In Vitro Fertilization should be made illegal - since it creates excess blastocysts, that are subsequently destroyed.

Doug Tice Promotes IDiocy

It's clear he knows nothing about anything he is talking about.

Big Question here.

Speaking of creationists, here's something amusing to add to your calendar. I wonder if Michele Bachmann sends her kids to this Creation Science Fair for home schoolers.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Another heterosexual who can't leave children alone....

Wife, 16, Has Baby; Dad, 22, Faces Sex Charge
(AP) Sheboygan, Wis. A 22-year-old man who impregnated his 16-year-old wife when she was 15 shouldn't have to face prison time for what appears to be consensual activity, Sheboygan County, Wis., district attorney Joe DeCecco said Monday.

The state couldn't overlook the case, DeCecco said, but he noted the couple is now married and living together in apparent harmony.

"We can't ignore this kind of thing, but ... it is something that should not result in registration as a sexual offender or any appreciable jail time," he said. "Prison is out of the question as far as I'm concerned."

Jason Lee, 22, of Sheboygan, Wis., conceived a child with Jessica Yang in April when she was 15, according to a criminal complaint. The two were married six months later, two days after Jessica turned 16, the complaint said.

Lee was charged Jan. 10 with repeated sexual assault of a child, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. He spent one night in jail and was released on a $20,000 signature bond.

DeCecco said he supported a deferred prosecution agreement, under which the felony charge would be dismissed if Lee stays out of trouble for a year.

The district attorney said he would send a plea agreement to Lee's attorney ahead of a hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Lee told The Sheboygan Press on Monday he hadn't received official word of a plea deal but he would welcome the phone call.

"I would be happy. That would be a relief," said Lee, a part-time worker at Johnsonville Sausage. "I'd just like to move on with what I'm doing with my life and with my wife and kid."

DeCecco said a social worker at Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center alerted authorities, as required, after determining the mother had been having sex as an unmarried 15-year-old.

Wisconsin law allows individuals to marry at age 15 with parental consent. Had the girl been married at the time of conception, there would be no basis for the charge, he said.

Jason Lee's father said there was no reason to charge his son since Jason and Jessica are now married.

"I thought if they get a marriage license they should be OK," said Vang Pao Lee, 45, of Sheboygan. "If Jason goes to jail, who will support his wife and children?"

Jessica was hopeful the ordeal was near an end.

"Hopefully they will just drop it. I don't want to deal with it," she said. "It wasn't a rape or anything. We decided on everything -- having a kid, getting married, everything."

I just worry about the impact on young children. Can't these heterosexuals control themselves? Why do they keep insisting on recruiting young children into their lifestyle?

It's also noteworthy that this story comes from Wisconsin, where the sanctity of heterosexual marriage is now constitutionally protected. Age of consent? Who cares, as long as the two people aren't of the same gender.

*** Wednesday Update*****

Yet another heterosexual going after underage children:

Attorney Found Naked In Courthouse With 14-Year-Old

POSTED: 1:07 pm EST January 16, 2007
UPDATED: 7:02 am EST January 17, 2007

PHILADELPHIA -- A criminal defense lawyer was arrested after a sheriff's deputy found him naked with a 14-year-old girl in a courthouse conference room, authorities said Tuesday.

Larry Charles, 49, has been charged with solicitation, attempted statutory sexual assault and related counts, said Lt. Dan Bagnell of the Police Department's Special Victims Unit.

A sheriff's deputy making his rounds in the Criminal Justice Center on Monday afternoon looked into a lawyers' conference room on the third floor and discovered Charles and the girl, Bagnell said.

"He had asked for sex. But there was no physical contact we're aware of by the time the deputy arrived at the scene", Bagnell said.

Bagnell said the girl was not a client of Charles, but their exact relationship was not clear.

Charles was awaiting arraignment early Tuesday afternoon and bail was not yet set. A woman who answered the phone at his office said she could not immediately comment.

Courts were closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and it was unclear how Charles and the girl got into the conference room.

Though court proceedings were not in session, the courthouse was open for attorneys who might want to conduct other business in the building

Colorado Senator Wayne Allard Announces Plan to Honor Pledge

This should be a hotly contested seat.

Says He Will Not Seek Re-Election in 2008

January 15th, 2007 - DENVER, CO - U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) announced on Monday that he will honor his term limit pledge and will not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008.

“When I first announced for Congress, I made a pledge to be a citizen legislator and serve in the Jeffersonian ideal of public service where you serve for a period of time and then return to live under the laws you have helped enact,” said Allard. “I also pledged to the people of Colorado, that if elected, I would serve no more than two terms in the United States Senate. Today, I am honoring both of those pledges to the citizens of Colorado.”

Allard said that in an age when promises are treated almost cavalierly, it was important for him to honor the trust placed in him by the people of Colorado.

“In an age when promises are cast away as quickly as yesterday’s newspaper, I believe a promise made is a promise kept,” said Allard. “The people of Colorado placed their trust in me based on my promise to them to serve no more than two terms, and it was very important to me to not dishonor that trust.”

Allard added that he still has two years remaining in his term and he expects those two years to be two of the most productive.

“I have already introduced this year the first-phase of my Colorado legislative agenda comprising 16 bills,” said Allard. “In the coming weeks, I will be building on this agenda with the introduction of several more pieces of legislation. I intend my final two years to be my most productive of my congressional career and will continue to work just as hard for the people of Colorado my last two years in office as I have over the last 16 years.”

Minnesota's own Gil Gutknecht and Paul Wellstone did not honor comparable pledges.


It's Official: Brownback to Announce for the Presidency...

United States Senator
Sam Brownback (R-KS)

Will announce his intention to run for President of the United States this Saturday in Topeka, KS. Please join the Senator as he begins this historic quest from his home state.

Saturday, January 20, 2007
Doors Open: 10:30 AM
Doors Close: 11:30 AM
Event Begins: 12:00 PM Sharp!

This event is by invitation only and is non-transferable!

Heritage Hall at the Kansas Expocentre
1 Expocentre Drive Topeka, KS 66612

Please RSVP by 5:00 PM on Wednesday to:
Martin Gillespie (

Please contact the Brownback for President campaign at (785) 220-2615.


P.O. Box 2008 Topeka, KS 66601-2008

Monday, January 15, 2007

Romney's Campaign Responds to LaBarbera

On the blog:

I have no doubt that Brian Camenker believes in his cause, but is attacking Romney's past going to help him in the present. Romney's record has proven that he is solidly conservative, so I won't get into that. What I will bring into question is Camenker's credibility. (Check out the link to the YouTube video)

If you see the video of his interview on The Daily Show you'll understand what I mean. Camenker openly stated that he could link gay marriage to being a cause (not the cause) to every problem we have in society. The interviewer specifically mentioned prime rates, homelessness, and air quality. He said that if he thought long enough he could "connect the dots" with all these issues, and that gay marriage was a cause. THAT IS INSANELY STUPID!! All that tells me is that he can conjure facts to prove make-up anything. This only re-affirms what I suspected from earlier when I first read the "Mitt Romney Deception". While reading it I began to notice very quickly that nearly all his sources come from The Boston Globe and other extremely liberal newspapers. What I had read in the Globe that very week was enough to tell me what kind of liberal trash it produces - which tells me a lot about Camenker's claims as well.

Now "Americans for Truth" wants Romney to apologize. I say - for what? For not idly standing by and letting some wacko slander his image? And they accuse Romney of using liberal media stories? Hypocrisy. (Sorry, I guess I will bad-mouth them a little.)

If Camenker wants to promote pro-family causes why doesn't he work with Romney instead of antagonizing him? That would certainly help him in not making an idiot out of himself.

~~~Nate Gunderson

Back to you, Peter LaBarbera.

Massachusetts Anti-Gay Activists Challenge Mitt Romney's Spin

UPDATE: Romney's campaign now posted the press release again.

Mass Resistance
is upset about this among other things:


The Romney campaign responded with a press release attacking Brian Caemaker. After getting attacked by anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbara, the Romney campaign removed the press release from the Romney campaign website. A google search retrieved it from the Texans for Mitt blog. I'm posting the complete press release below.

LaBarbera was especially incensed that the Romney campaign used this Daily Show Interview with Camenker to go after him.

"Romney's use of a deceptive Daily Show set-up interview to smear a pro-family warrior like Brian says much more about Romney than it does about Camenker," LaBarbera said.

LaBarbera called on Mitt Romney to appologise to Caemaker:

He urged Romney to retract the anti-Camenker web posting and apologize to the pro-family advocate, noting that Camenker has done nothing wrong in "reminding the American public that Romney has flip-flopped from being a very committed pro-abortion and pro-homosexual-activist politician."

Did the Romney campaign respond to LaBarbara or to Pam Spaulding's humorous post on the topic?

I left a message for LaBarbara at the phone number listed on the Americans for Truth website, and asked if having the posting removed from the Romney website was enough to make things good.

Friday, Jan 12, 2007

Today, The Associated Press Profiled Brian Camenker And His Attacks On Governor Romney:

Brian Camenker Is A "Conservative Gadfly" Who Has Focused On Attacking Governing Romney And His Strong Record On Conservative Issues. "Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's political record is relatively brief – four years as Massachusetts governor and a failed campaign for the U.S. Senate. That's enough, however, for Brian Camenker, a conservative gadfly and longtime thorn in Romney's side, to write a 28-page report that portrays Romney as sympathetic to gay rights and sexual behavior that clashes with his burnished image as a defender of traditional values." (Steve LeBlanc, "Romney's Record On Gay Rights, Social Issues In Cross-Hairs," The Associated Press, 1/12/07)

-Brian Camenker Is The President Of MassResistance. (Ryan Lizza, "Urine Trouble," The New Republic, 12/25/06)

Camenker Is Not A Credible Voice And Pushes An Extreme Ideology :

The Boston Globe Noted That Camenker Is "Often Lampooned By The Local And National Media." (Matt Viser, "Interviews No Laughing Matter For Local Notables," The Boston Globe, 11/10/05)

During An Interview On Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," Camenker Was Mocked For His Extreme Ideological Views. (Matt Viser, "Interviews No Laughing Matter For Local Notables," The Boston Globe, 11/10/05)

- Click Here To View The YouTube Of Brian Camenker On Comedy Central's "The Daily Show":

Camenker Admits He Used To Be "A Social Liberal." "For much of my life I thought of myself as a social liberal. I voted for John Anderson for president and Michael Dukakis for governor." (Brian Camenker, "How A Good Jewish Boy Joined The 'Religious Right'," The Jewish Advocate, 12/25/96)

Camenker Has A Record Of Attacking Prominent Republicans:

In 2001, Camenker Attempted To Derail President Bush's Nomination Of Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci To Be Ambassador To Canada. "Brian Camenker, president of the Waltham-based Parents' Rights Coalition, privately met in Washington Thursday with about a dozen Republican staff members on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which would evaluate [Gov. Paul] Cellucci's nomination. Camenker said they were 'shocked' to hear about homosexual teachings in Massachusetts but nervous about how President Bush would receive criticism about Cellucci, who is not only his choice for ambassador but a longtime family friend." (Tina Cassidy, "Cellucci Foe Takes Case To US Senate," The Boston Globe, 3/3/01)

- The Boston Herald Praised The Cellucci Nomination And Called On Camenker To Stop His Attacks. "And surely between now and Cellucci's confirmation hearings someone will tell the increasingly shrill Brian Camenker of the Parents Rights Coalition to simply go to his room. ? But you can't reason with zealots and Camenker is a zealot. Cellucci is a good choice for the post." (Editorial, "Bush Chooses Well For Ottawa Embassy," Boston Herald, 2/14/01)

THE FACTS On Governor Romney's Record On Social Conservative Issues:

FACT: Governor Romney Has Said He Has Been Wrong On Some Issues In The Past And Is Not Embarrassed To Admit It.

- Click Here To View Mitt TV Video Of Governor Romney Talking About His 1994 Debate With Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)

FACT: Governor Romney Has Been A Champion Of Traditional Marriage And The Sanctity Of Life.

FACT: Governor Romney Is Opposed To Abortion, Except In The Cases Of Rape, Incest, And The Life Of The Mother. Like President Ronald Reagan, Henry Hyde and others before him, he has acknowledged that in the past he had this issue wrong.

FACT: As Governor Of Massachusetts, When Governor Romney Has Been Presented With Legislation On Life Issues, He Has Sided With Life.

- FACT : Governor Romney vetoed legislation that would have provided for the "Morning After Pill" without a prescription; fought the battle to promote abstinence education in the classroom; vetoed legislation that would have redefined in Massachusetts the longstanding definition of the beginning of human life from fertilization to implantation; supported parental notification laws and opposed efforts to weaken parental involvement; opposed efforts to advance embryo destructive research in Massachusetts; and has not supported public funding for embryo destructive research.

FACT: Governor Romney Fought For A Constitutional Amendment To Preserve The Longstanding Traditional Definition Of Marriage.

FACT: Governor Romney Supports The Federal Marriage Amendment, Testified Before The Senate On The Federal Marriage Amendment, And Sent A Letter To All 100 U.S. Senators Asking Them To Vote For The Amendment.

Martin Luther King: I have a Dream

Pam Spaulding has an excellent post on Dr King.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Please, Dr. Dobson, Support Sam Brownback for President in 08!

From WorldNet Daily

Dobson says 'no way' to McCain candidacy
Christian leader declares he couldn't support senator 'under any circumstances'

Posted: January 13, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2007

A prominent Christian leader whose radio and magazine outreaches are solidly in support of biblically-based marriages – and keeps in touch with millions of constituents daily – says he cannot consider Arizona Sen. John McCain a viable candidate for president.

"Speaking as a private individual, I would not vote for John McCain under any circumstances," said James Dobson, founder of the Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family as well as the Focus Action cultural action organization set up specifically to provide a platform for informing and rallying constituents.

Dobson, who always is careful to note that he's not speaking for the non-profit ministry, which cannot advocate for or against candidates legally, also doesn't hesitate to state his personal opinions on social or political issues and agendas.

Several times he's talked to Republicans, the traditionally conservative political party, about the need to maintain the values of that large part of the U.S. population, or lose the support of those people.

His most recent comments came during an interview on the Jerry Johnson Live program on KCBI 90.9 FM.

The show host noted that pro-family conservatives already are thinking about the next cycle of leadership in the United States, which will be determined in the 2008 presidential and congressional elections. He also noted that McCain and New York mayor Rudy Guiliani appear to be the leaders.

Then he asked Dobson to listen to a statement from McCain and respond.

"I think, uh … I think that gay marriage should be allowed if there's a ceremony kind of thing, if you wanna call it that … I don't have any problem with that," McCain says.

"Dr. Dobson, would you be comfortable with someone like John McCain as the … conservative or Republican candidate for president?" Johnson asked.

"Well, let me say that I am not in the office. I'm in the little condo so I can speak for myself and not for Focus on the Family," Dobson said in rejecting McCain's leadership.

He noted that legislation he'd just been discussing on the program, regarding an attempt by Democrat leaders in Congress to create obstacles for ministries such as Focus to reach constituents with action messages about pending legislation, is being supported by McCain, too.

"That came from McCain, and the McCain Feingold Bill kept us from telling the truth right before elections … and there are a lot of other things. He's not in favor of traditional marriage, and I pray that we won't get stuck with him," Dobson said.

The provisions of the new congressional proposal, hidden deep inside a plan to reform lobbying rules to eliminate the many recent scandals involving members of Congress, would require pro-family groups to provide documentation of their actions to the government any time they try to spark any "grass-roots" action.

Phone calls, personal visits, e-mails, magazines, broadcasts, phone banks, appearances, travel, fundraising and other items all would be subject to government tabulation, verification and audits, Dobson said during a recent program. "On and on it goes."

"Clearly, the objective here is to hide what goes on from the public and punish and silence those of us who would talk about what our representatives are doing," Dobson said of the plan by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. American Family Association Chairman Donald Wildmon, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and American Values President Gary Bauer joined Dobson in urging listeners to flood Capitol Hill with phone calls demanding those speech limits be removed.

Bauer said the telephone number to call is: 202-224-3121.

Focus also has begun an online petition, at

Wildmon characterized the Washington proposal as a message to the American public: "We don't want to hear from you, and this is the way we're going to handle it."

Dobson also earlier scolded Republicans for blaming the 2006 election victories by Democrats in many races across the country on conservatives.

"Dick Armey emerged from four years in the wilderness to blame conservative Christians for Tuesday's defeat. They were, he said, 'too involved' with the party. He can't be serious! Someone should tell him that without the support of that specific constituency, John Kerry would be president and the Republicans would have fallen into a black hole in '04," Dobson said in a story WND reported earlier.

"Values Voters are not going to carry the water for the Republican Party if it ignores their deeply held convictions and beliefs," he said.

"Republican leaders in Congress during this term apparently never understood, or they forgot, why Ronald Reagan was so loved and why he is considered one of our greatest presidents. If they hope to return to power in '08, they must rediscover the conservative principles that resonated with the majority of Americans in the 1980s – and still resonate with them today. Failure to do so will be catastrophic," Dobson said.

Dobson noted he'd been interviewed by U.S. News and World Report after the 2004 elections and warned if Republicans squandered their opportunity, they would pay a price at the polls in either 2008 or 2006.

Dobson's predictions about values and the Republican Party go back even further than that, too.

In 1998 he told a reporter that the GOP was in danger of losing its ability to "claim to speak for those of us with deep moral convictions."

He said at that time the party has "ignored the moral issues year after year, term after term" and said at that time it was "time to fish or cut bait."

At that time he also warned the GOP Christians and conservatives "will abandon them if they continue to ignore the most important issues."

Lordy, Lordy, I hope that Dobson and his ilk abandon the Republican party. They might have to support the always entertaining, totally bat-shit Senator Sam Brownback, or Mormon cult member Mitt Romney.

Minnesota Congressional website errors

The Drama Queen has had a field day over finding that Representative Tim Walz's website isn't finished. It's interesting that Brodkorb dings Walz for this, but stays silent on Michele Bachmann - who makes the same mistake. A commenter to Walz's site points out that Walz doesn't have contact information for his district offices on the site. That's a more substantive complaint.

Michele Bachmann:  Congresswoman "firstname, lastname". Ellison has the same error on his "newsroom" page. Here's my question. Why isn't the house using reusable code to manage congressional websites? You should not have to change the title tags on each page for a website if it's properly designed.

Dump Bachmann was the first to point out that Bachmann's congressional website
failed to identify her congressional district. Minnesota Monitor posted a screen shot reading Dump Bachmann. Bachmann's staff fixed the error after Dump Bachmann pointed it out.

Dump Bachmann also pointed out numerous errors in her official bio on the website:

The 3 term error was corrected after we pointed it out.

We also questioned Bachmann's claim that the 6th district was a major hub of the financial services sector.

After the Dump Bachmann challenge, it appears Bachmann's staff got busy scrubbing the Bachmann congressional website.

The financial services sector claim was dropped - but after investigating this, it appears that Michele Bachmann is confusing her financial contributors with her constituents.

Baby Squid, Born Like Stars

The download time is worth it.

Hat Tip: Pharyngula.

Stonewall Democrats Condemn DLC for Appointing Anti-gay Democrat Harold Ford as Chairman

Anti-gay Democrat Harold Ford is in no position to talk about the sanctity of marriage.

Finally Stonewall Democrats are showing some spine.  They are not happy that anti-gay Democrat Harold Ford Junior is likely to be the new chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council.  Stonewall is urging democrats to contact the DLC to let them know about Ford's selection as DLC chairman. 

Democrats can contact the Democratic Leadership Council by phone at (202) 546-0007 or by email form at

If the DLC appoints Ford as Chairman, I'd assume they can expect a repeat of this, when Ford tries to raise money in San Francisco.

Memphis Commercial Appeal

Ford's choice has not been formally announced although the current chairman, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, has endorsed him, and Ford has expressed interest. A spokesman for the DLC, Jamie Radice, said Friday that Ford and DLC founder Al From are "working toward an agreement" on his role with the group but that there won't be confirmation of the arrangement until next week.

Ford's selection would be "in contradiction to the platform of the Democratic Party and to past positions that have been taken by the Democratic Leadership Council," the Stonewall Democrats' Marble said.

Beyond that, Marble said, Ford changed his position on the amendment "shortly after he told our members in private that he would oppose it" in the summer of 2004.

Ford could not be reached Friday through his previous chief of staff or through his brother Newton J. 'Jake' Ford, who sought his Ninth District seat last year.

Harold Ford Jr. was one of 40 Democratic members of the New Democratic Coalition in the 109th Congress and was the centrist think tank's "Democrat of the Week" last April.

Gay Democrats voiced "deep concern" Friday over the naming of former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. as Chair of the Democratic Leadership Council.


Former Iowa Governor, and presidential candidate, Tom Vilsack announced Thursday that he is stepping down of Chair of the DLC while indicating his replacement by Congressman Ford, who possesses a poor record on issues that impact LGBT families.

"Congressman Harold Ford has demonstrated a lack of leadership and judgment on family issues that causes our members great concern," said Joanne Wyrick, National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director.
"His willingness to lightly amend the U.S. Constitution and to exploit gay families for political gain should alarm Democrats across the country. The Democratic Leadership Council is in need of leadership that supports and affirms all American families."

In 2004 Ford reversed his past opposition to an amendment to the United States Constitution that would permanently bar civil unions and civil marriage to same-sex couples.

In 2006 he again joined a small minority of Democrats who voted for the amendment.

Stonewall's Press Release Condemning DLC for their appointment of Anti-Gay Democrat Harold Ford


Stonewall Issues Concern over Harold Ford

(Friday, January 12, 2007)

Washington, DC - Today, the National Stonewall Democrats issued deep concern over the decision to name former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. as Chair of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). Stonewall also urged the DLC and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to closely scrutinize the record of Congressman Ford in light of the development. On Thursday, Former Iowa Governor, and presidential candidate, Tom Vilsack announced that he is stepping down of Chair of the DLC while indicating his replacement by Congressman Ford, who possesses a poor record on issues that impact LGBT families.

"Congressman Harold Ford has demonstrated a lack of leadership and judgment on family issues that causes our members great concern," said Joanne Wyrick, NSD Executive Director. "His willingness to lightly amend the U.S. Constitution and to exploit gay families for political gain should alarm Democrats across the country. The Democratic Leadership Council is in need of leadership that supports and affirms all American families."

In 2004, with his eye on his senate race, Harold Ford reversed his past opposition to an amendment to the United States Constitution that would permanently bar the legal responsibilities of domestic partnerships, civil unions and civil marriage to same-sex couples. In 2006, Ford again joined only a small minority of Democrats who voted for the amendment, which was dramatically defeated by both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

"This is not about ideology," continued Wyrick. "Conservative, centrist and progressive Democrats agree that those who support such a constitutional amendment threaten the stability of thousands of American homes. Given that Harold Ford is at odds with the past position of the Democratic Leadership Council, we hope that this presents the DLC with an opportunity to reaffirm their supportive position and for Congressman Ford to rejoin Democrats across the country in rejecting the divisive policies of the Bush administration and discredited Republican leadership."


Harold Ford's support of the anti-gay amendment opposes the policy of the Democratic Leadership Council which he now seeks to lead. In 2004, the Democratic Leadership Council called politicians like Ford who supported the amendment "cynical and desperate." "This tactic is socially divisive, morally questionable, and politically dangerous," wrote the DLC. "We suggest the president prove his own values by focusing on that threat to the institution of marriage, and stop dividing the country with an effort to bring back the 'culture wars' of the past." (“Bush and the Same-Sex Marriage Amendment: Cynical and Desperate”, DLC New Dem Daily, July 12, 2004)


In his 2006 senate race, Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. swiftly exploited a ruling by the Supreme Court of New Jersey that challenged the state legislature to provide basic legal benefits for same-sex couples. "I do not support the decision today reached by the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding gay marriage. I oppose gay marriage, and have voted twice in Congress to amend the United States Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. This November there's a referendum on the Tennessee ballot to ban same-sex marriage - I am voting for it." (National Journal, The Hotline - October 25, 2006) However, the New Jersey Supreme Court actually rejected the appeal to immediately grant civil marriage responsibilities to same-sex couples. In contrast, the court agreed with President Bush who argued in 2004 that marriage should be left to religious institutions, but that the state has an obligation to provide basic legal protections to same-sex families.

The Democratic Leadership Council was led nationally by then-Governor Bill Clinton during the 1990s and includes Vice President Al Gore as a founding member. The DLC is not an official party organization, but a non-profit organization that represents a coalition of centrist Democrats in Congress and at the state and local level. Openly-gay Democrats have previously joined the leadership of the DLC as members of State Legislative Advisory Board and Local Elected Officials Network.

Earlier this month, Congressman Stephen Cohen replaced Harold Ford, Jr. as the United States Representative in Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District centered in Memphis. Congressman Cohen easily won election as a supporter of civil marriage for same-sex couples.

Democrats can contact the Democratic Leadership Council by phone at (202) 546-0007 or by email form at


National Stonewall Democrats is the only national organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Democrats, with more than 90 local chapters across the nation. NSD is committed to working through the Democratic Party to advance the rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

# # #

Stonewall Not Happy About Anti-gay Harold Ford Heading DLC

Gay Democrats voiced "deep concern" Friday over the naming of former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. as Chair of the Democratic Leadership Council.

The DLC is not an official party organization, but a non-profit organization that represents a coalition of centrist Democrats in Congress and at the state and local level. Openly-gay Democrats have previously joined the leadership of the DLC as members of State Legislative Advisory Board and Local Elected Officials Network.

During the 1990s the Council was led nationally by then-Governor Bill Clinton and includes Vice President Al Gore as a founding member.

Former Iowa Governor, and presidential candidate, Tom Vilsack announced Thursday that he is stepping down of Chair of the DLC while indicating his replacement by Congressman Ford, who possesses a poor record on issues that impact LGBT families.

"Congressman Harold Ford has demonstrated a lack of leadership and judgment on family issues that causes our members great concern," said Joanne Wyrick, National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director.

"His willingness to lightly amend the U.S. Constitution and to exploit gay families for political gain should alarm Democrats across the country. The Democratic Leadership Council is in need of leadership that supports and affirms all American families."

In 2004 Ford reversed his past opposition to an amendment to the United States Constitution that would permanently bar civil unions and civil marriage to same-sex couples.

In 2006 he again joined a small minority of Democrats who voted for the amendment.

He's in no position to talk about the sanctity of marriage.