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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Hillary Clinton's Speech to HRC

This speech isn't listed on her website. The question is whether she will list it on her website, or will just want HRC to promote it on their website? I stopped over to her campaign website, got an account, and asked that question.


OutFront Minnesota Puts Out the Word on Bills Related to GLBT Community

CORRECTION FROM Jo Marciano at Outfront:

The Friday March 9th hearing is for SF 1369 (state employee domestic partner bill).

Lloydletta's Nooz can help advance the bills at the legislature by keeping your readers informed with the facts.

Here are the facts:

1) First committee hearing for the Local Government Health Benefits Bill - would allow local governments to offer domestic partner benefits to employees. 28 sponsors.
Friday, March 9th, 12:30 p.m. before the Senate Committee on State and Local Government Operations and Oversight
SF 960/ HF1097

2) New bill introduced on Thursday, March 1st.- State Domestic Partner Benefit Bill - would require state employees to be offered domestic partner benefits if comparable benefits are offered to spouses. 16 sponsors.
HF 1618
SF 1369

3) New bill introduced on Thursday March 1st - Hospital Visitation Bill - would allow people to designate their domestic partners as having the status of next of kin for purposes of hospital visits and medical decision making. 27 sponsors.
HF 1589
SF 1398

4) A domestic partner amendment has been added to a Sick Leave bill. Currently workers can take sick leave for themselves or if their children are sick. The bill would expand the scope of relatives to parents, spouses, etc. and an amendment has now been added to the house version to include domestic partners. The amended bill passed the House Committee on Labor and Consumer Protection.
HF 219
SF 1128

5) If you've not done so, sign up for OutFront Minesota's E-news at
6) Visit our website for information and updates.
7) Please direct all calls and emails to me - I now handle media inquiries

I appreciate that Outfront Minnesota is starting to give me information.

The other material I have reported about these bills have also been facts. I have been questioning house and senate leadership about these bills. Two writers for Lloydletta's Nooz are constituents of Larry Pogemiller and Phyllis Kahn.

More Fallout on Coulter

UPDATE: The New York Times reports that the Giulianni campaign has also responded.

Both the Romney and McCain campaigns have responded:

Democrats were not the only denouncing Ms. Coulter. "The comments were wildly inappropriate," said Brian Jones, a spokesman for Senator John McCain, a Republican candidate for president who did not attend.

Kevin Madden, a spokesman for Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, said: "It was an offensive remark. Governor Romney believes all people should be treated with dignity and respect."

Meanwhile Pam Spaulding isn't happy with the Democrat's response to Coulter's remarks. John Edwards immediately sent out a fundraising letter to raise some "Coulter cash". Spaulding:

The above says all we need to know about the continuing inability and lack of desire of Dems to move past 2004 (HRC's Joe Solomonese has no problem pointing this out about Republicans -- see Eva's post), but what does that Edwards e-release do to condemn homophobia?

Nothing. It doesn't even mention "gay," "lesbian," or "homophobia." It doesn't point out that Coulter's use of "faggot" as a slur on Edwards is also what spills from the lips of the kind of people who beat up a gay man for wearing pink pants, or murder a 72-year-old gay man by slamming him with a metal pipe.


Why say this:

Coulter's resorting to the classic right-wing strategy of riling up hate to smear a progressive champion.

...when you can't even spend one paragraph explaining what hate is being riled up? Certainly if she had belted out "nigger," we would have seen releases go out mentioning "racism" and black people.

I can't even begin to address the fact that the Edwards campaign used this as an e-fundraising tactic right out of the box. It cheapens the message beyond all reason. This required a separate response not tied to an ATM request.

If you're a homo, the message from Dems is that we're still invisible (see Dean's statement), the crazy granny in the attic, and only the granny's nearly feeble caretaker is allowed to say anything -- and even HRC never mentions gays or lesbians at all in its release (outside of its irrelevant boilerplate at the end). Even our advocacy organization couldn't find a paragraph to place Coulter's comments into context of the larger issue of homophobia.

Pam is a liberal blogger. Unlike the HRC or John Aravosis, she is intellectually honest and holds both Democrats and Republicans accountable.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Hillary Clinton Must Be Afraid To Speak Publicly to HRC


March 02, 2007

Clinton Speaks to Gay Group, Privately

Hillary just gave a speech to a luncheon of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, before an audience of about 400, HRC spokesman Brad Luna confirms.

It was a pretty closely held secret, this speech: Not on the public schedule, and Human Rights Campaign hasn't been responding to calls or e-mails about it over the last couple of days.

Clinton, for her part, is on pretty solid ground with the gay political establishment but faces some pressure from Obama, who has said he opposed the Defense of Marriage Act back in 1996 and who talks about gays in public speeches, unprompted.

Who insisted on privacy? Clinton or HRC?

Dean Barnett on Coulter's Comments About Edwards

Posted by Dean Barnett | 6:54 PM

Idiotic. Disgusting. Stupid. Moronic.

I guess you could say that Ann loves to shock us, but at this point, who's shocked? She obviously can't behave well enough to attend a respectable political gathering. It's not a lack of intelligence. It's an indifference to self-control and a preening sort of narcissism that compels her to need the spotlight, even if it's unflattering.

Hmmmmm. Who does this remind me of?

Comments are astute:

Colin writes: Friday, March, 02, 2007 7:08 PM
The lady's got problems.

It was a good day for Romney, and for her, too, until that moment, but, instead, a), she stole the story, b) made it an ugly one, c) having received a semi-gracious quasi-intro from him, d) came close to endorsing him.

What a buzzkill for conservatives who until then were probably having a pretty good time of it all! Instead, as Ace points out, it almost validated McCain's distancing act, and ust after Romney had almost succeeded in turning "McCain-Feingold" and "McCain-Kennedy" into new cuss words, Ann instead brought us back to old prejudices and simple decent behavior. What a waste of time, but reminiscent of the confoundingly crude fixations that periodically creep into her discourse.

Better that it happened now than a year from now, and a warning, too. Barring an apology (from the woman whose theme song today was "I won't back down"?), don't expect to see Ann at very many even borderline mainstream conservative campaign events.

There's also a bit of back and forth about comments posted at the Huffington Post:

BlueTruth writes: Friday, March, 02, 2007 7:27 PM
I agree that the sentiments expressed by the HuffPo commentors was more despicable than Coulter's comments, but my point is that for as much of a stink that the right wing blogosphere made about the HuffPo comments I did not see or hear one repespected left wing pundit condone them. Coulter is a respected right wing pundit, not a trolling blogosphere commentor. And her continual slanderous and innappropriate comments get her what? More CPAC speaking gigs, more FOX exposure and longer lines of adoring right-wing fans.

I think it was a mistake for CPAC to invite her. It will be interesting to see if she gets invited next year.

At this point, it was probalbly smart for McCain to distance himself from CPAC.

No Wonder Joe Solmonese Doesn't Like Bloggers

The criticism from the blogs has gotten the Bay Area Reporter to write a hard hitting editorial about HRC. From the editorial:

Among national gay rights organizations, the Human Rights Campaign is the 800-pound gorilla in the room; and lately, it has been acting like one, flailing its arms at critics and derogatory candy ads.

Yet HRC was noticeably quiet last month when straight Wyoming Republican state Senator Dan Zwonitzer voiced support for gay marriage and killed legislation that would have prevented the state from recognizing gay marriages performed in other states.

HRC's actions have led to mounting questions in recent weeks about its purpose and ability to work in a bipartisan fashion. Its executive director, Joe Solmonese, hasn't done much to douse the firestorm of criticism.

He sent gay bloggers into a lather by saying corporate America – not government - is leading the way on gay rights and that blogs are a distraction at a Washington D.C. forum on the state of the LGBT movement.

The Scientist's View blog responded, "What Joe likes about the corporations is that they come to Joe to ask what they should do to enhance their gay benefits. And then Joe can get a contribution from the corporation to the HRC for his 'expertise' � it is just a shakedown."

Former Washington Blade editor Chris Crain, on his Citizen Crain blog, chastised HRC after it condemned the Mars Snickers ad aired during the Super Bowl. In the ad, after the two men inadvertently kiss, they pull some chest hair out to prove their manliness. [...]

Solmonese, in turn, personally attacked Crain in a letter sent to gay publications that run his column. [...]

Instead of zeroing in on his agency's critics and attacking the media, Solmonese should leverage HRC's muscle power be working the halls of Congress to build support for pro-gay legislation.

Apparently the nation's largest LGBT organization, with more than 650,000 members and a $30 million budget, the 25-year-old group doesn't have many gains in the way of federal rights.

Congress has yet to pass any pro-gay legislation. Instead, the LGBT community has been saddled with the antigay Defense of Marriage Act and the 1993 "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on gays serving openly in the military. Roughly 11,000 male and female service members have been dismissed under the ban.

For the first time since 1992, the Democrats, whom HRC kowtows to, now control Congress. Political pundits on both sides of the aisle say the stars have aligned for the passage of pro-gay legislation.

Both a hate crimes bill and a transgender-inclusive Employment Nondiscrimination Act could move through Congress. Repeal of DADT is also possible. [...]

Yet one player seems to be missing: HRC. So far the organization has signaled it will focus on hate crimes legislation and ENDA, not the repeal of DADT.

Rather than attack gay media outlets and LGBT pundits, Solmonese would better serve the cause by focusing on Congress and proving for once that HRC merits its gorilla reputation.

Unfortunately Lavender Magazine doesn't carry Crain's column. So we missed the Joe Salmonese temper tantrum.

Qweerty has an amusing account of the catfight.

If Solmonese's so concerned with credibility, perhaps he and his should start talking to the men and women on the ground, rather than sitting pretty in their ivory tower.

Of the sissy squabble, blogger Michael Petrelis has a similar take on this sissy squabble. He writes:

In case no one has explained this to you yet, Joe, HRC does not equal the movement and I see nothing in Crain's writing that is cause for disillusion.
The problem, as I see it, is that HRC and Solmonese believe they are above reproach and any criticism leveled against them is tantamount to betrayal, which is simply not the case.

Here are few recommendations for Solmonese and HRC: Start dealing honestly with the mounting valid complaints against your operations, develop a thicker skin and stop equating HRC as the entire movement.

Those are all great suggestions. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Solmonese will listen. Perhaps a coup's in order?

This is rather amusing to watch. Salmonese must be responding because he might be getting the same questions from board members.

HRC Does Democratic Party Dirty Work and Calls on Presidential Candidates and VP Cheney to Disavow Coulter

Why aren't Democratic Presidential Candidates asked what they think of Coulter's statement? Will any serious Democrat put out a press release, or are they having HRC do this as a surrogate?

As I posted earlier, it was clear that many conservative bloggers didn't like what Coulter had to say. Captain Ed has one of the AList conservative blogs in the State of Minnesota, and he stated he wasn't happy with Coulter's statements, and suggested that CPAC avoid inviting her next year. I would doubt that the Human Rights Campaign would even bother having a table at this conference, to try to talk to people who might agree on some issues. That would involve breaking their submissive relationship to the Democratic party.

Think Progress has the video.

Gay Civil Rights Group Condemns Ann Coulters Remarks as "Vile" and "Disgusting"
Demands ’08 Republican Candidates, V.P. Publicly Condemn Remarks at Conference They Attended

WASHINGTON – Today, at the Conservative Political Action Conference sponsored by the American Conservative Union, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter spoke saying, "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,' so I — so kind of an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards." The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay civil rights organization, strongly condemned Coulter's remarks and called on those Republican leaders in attendance to follow suit.

"To interject this word into American political discourse is a vile and disgusting way to sink the debate to a new, all-time low," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Make no doubt about it, these remarks go directly against what our Founding Fathers intended and have no place on the schoolyard, much less our country’s political arena."

"It is clear that some in the Republican Party plan to run in 2008 the same way they did in 2004, by using discrimination to divide the country and rally their base," said Solmonese. "But, 2008 is not 2004, and this time the politics of fear and smear will not work. The American people are tired of those who would rather divide than unite."

The Conservative Political Action Conference was attended by 2008 Republican Presidential candidates: Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and former Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA). Vice President Dick Cheney also attended the event.

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney spoke before Coulter saying, "I am happy to hear that after you hear from me, you will hear from Ann Coulter. That is a good thing."

"We demand that every single Presidential candidate in attendance at this conference, along with Vice President Cheney stand up and publicly condemn this type of gutter-style politics," continued Solmonese. "If not, then their silence will be deafening to the vast majority of Americans who believe this type of language belongs no where near the discussions about the future of our country."

To see a video of Coulter’s and Romney’s remarks, please visit:

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

It's clear that what HRC is trying to do is paint all conservatives with the broad brush of bigotry. That's not the case. The Michele Bachmann's of the world claim to be conservative. They are theocrats, not conservatives.

As expected, John Aravosis at Americablog is flogging this story.

It's also ironic that lefty talk radio constantly refers to Ann Coulter as a trannie. It's not meant to be a compliment.

Ann Coulter Drops the F Bomb at CPAC

Captain Ed from Northern Alliance Radio Network is at CPAC this weekend. He reports on Ann Coulter's speech:

Ann Coulter is speaking at the moment, and drawing a huge crowd -- with longer lines than those for the Rudy Giuliani. She's definitely one of the stars here at CPAC, and I listened to the audio stream for a bit while she opened her speech. I had to take a phone call, though, and I missed a critical, and infuriating, throw-away line. Michelle Malkin reports (from two chairs down):

"I'd say something about John Edwards, but if you use the word 'faggot', you have to go to rehab."

Yeah, that's just what CPAC needs -- an association with homophobia. Nice work, Ann.

At some point, Republicans will need to get over their issues with homosexuality. Regardless of whether one believes it to be a choice or a hardwired response, it has little impact on anyone but the gay or lesbian person. We can argue that homosexuality doesn't require legal protection, but not when we have our front-line activists referring to them as "faggots" or worse. That indicates a disturbing level of animosity rather than a true desire to allow people the same rights and protections regardless of their lifestyles.

Commenters are mixed in their responses. Audio at the American Mind.

Sounds like Captain Ed could agree with the Cody Statement. Michelle Malkin isn't happy either.

Ann Coulter just finished her riff on Al Gore, tossed out some cute jokes ("You can understand why Hollywood is concerned about global warming. You know what heat does to plastic."), and ended with a cheap one-liner about John Edwards being a "faggot." (Paraphrasing) She said she would refrain from commenting on Edwards because "if you say faggot, you have to go to rehab."

A smattering of laughter.

Not from this corner.

Crickets chirping.

Klobuchar Refuses to Issue Welcome for Gay Conference

The Minnesota Daily reports that Amy Klobuchar has alienated people attending a regional gay conference by refusing to sign a welcome statement to conference attendees.

Timeline of the efforts to communicate with Klobuchar's office here.

But an unambiguous sea of white filled the pages allotted to Minnesota's U.S. Senators, who declined to send their greetings.

Organizers of the 15th annual Alphabet Soup Conference - named for the ever-changing array of acronyms assigned to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied groups - expected a snub from the state's socially conservative senior Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, said co-director Mike Grewe.

However, some queer supporters of Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a self-declared ally, expressed disappointment at her office's refusal to extend the typically generic, mostly symbolic salutation to visitors from across the nation.

"When she was voted into office, the people who voted for her were under the impression that she would be supportive of the GLBT community," said Grewe, an officer and former co-chairman of the University's Queer Student Cultural Center. "I honestly think that Amy Klobuchar is an ally, and part of being an ally means you make mistakes."

People should not assume that.  People have to hold her accountable - and ask her hard questions at events that aren't gay only.

Klobuchar's chief of staff, Sean Richardson, said Monday that the senator would be glad to send future welcome letters.

But in her first month in office, Richardson said, she received thousands of requests and simply didn't have the resources to respond to them all.

"It was really a matter of manpower," he said.

Conference co-director Luciano Patiño called that excuse "completely unacceptable."

"The GLBT community was instrumental in getting her elected," said Patiño, a 2006 Carlson School of Management graduate. "That her office couldn't take a few minutes to write a letter of support to some of those people is offensive."

Though a staffer issued the refusal in late January after at least four separate requests, "ultimately, it's (Klobuchar's) responsibility," Patiño said. "In the end, it's her office."

Coleman's decision was perceived completely differently, Patiño said. "It's not as personal."

Messages left Sunday and Monday at the St. Paul and Washington, D.C. offices of Coleman, the only Republican asked to write a letter, were not responded to.

An assistant to openly lesbian state Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, said the legislator believes Klobuchar's intent "was in no way malicious."

State Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, an openly gay legislator who counts the U.S. Senator as a friend, echoed those views, but noted that some queer groups voiced concerns over the senator's "somewhat quiet stance" on GLBT issues during last year's campaign.

"There's a perception problem that she has to deal with right now," said Dibble, who, along with Clark, penned a welcome letter and spoke at the conference. "I'll advise her to deal with that."

Karl Kerr, an officer for the University's Campus Conservative Cultural Program, said he doesn't see any reason for the senators' refusal to send letters, but thinks it's unfortunate some students are offended.

But Patiño said the concerns warrant an explanation, though queer students will likely continue to strongly support Klobuchar.

"It's unfortunate that this happened," he said, "and there's a temporary feeling of hurt."

Why should Klobuchar do anything for gays, if the gay community is going to support her no matter what? The Gay community was an ATM machine for her during the last campaign.

The Daily has a timeline of the efforts to communicate with Klobuchar's office here.

I think what is more important is to get Amy Klobuchar to be chief sponsor on the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell).

Hat Tip: Andy at Eleventh Avenue South.  I hope he follows up on this story, and as a Minnesota Monitor, calls Klobuchar's office, and gets clarification from Klobuchar as to why her office decided to say no.  I don't buy the overwhelmed with requests explanation.

Why do Clark and Dibble defend Klobuchar?  They should just direct the reporters to ask Klobuchar these questions, and say they will decline to defend her.

Minneapolis Finest

Note: I was trying to post this last night, and blogger was goofy. I had deleted references to the name of the officer. Now the officer, Bob Kroll - who is Vice President of the Police Federation - was named in the Star Tribune this morning. This speaks poorly of the Police Federation. Is this the type of person they choose for leadership?

From the Minneapolis Rumors List:

How dare Lt. [name deleted], of the Minneapolis Police Department call Congressman Keith Ellison a Terrorist!

Before any police officer get on her and claim this to be fabricated, as I have read many times in the past, I have check and re-check and know this to be true.

During a Ethics training class in the Minneapolis Police Department, yesterday, February 27, 2007. A Lieutenant name [name deleted], said, "We are at war with Islamic Terrorists and these idiots elected one to Congress. A Black female Officer, I do not have her name yet, was angered by this statement and asked Lt. [name deleted] if he was calling Keith Ellison a terrorist and Lt. [name deleted] said, "He's Islamic and we are at war with the Islamic." My understanding was that the Black female Officer was so outraged. The instructor had to step in to cool the situation off. Clearly an Ethics class is not what Lt. [name deleted] needs. Ironically, I'm told that the Assistant Chief or a Deputy Chief was also in the class.

How dare you call our Congressman a terrorists. [name deleted] should be immediately remove from serving the City of Minneapolis.

Camille Johnson
Near North

I forwarded this message to Don Samuels and Scott Benson asking them to look into this. Scott Benson forwarded it on to the Police Department - and will let me know what he finds out. Another poster suggested this was rumor, but followed up with a defense of the Leutenant.

It sounds like you are basing your post on rumor; someone heard, someone said, you don't know the name, etc. Even if this fine police officer did say the things you say, everybody is entitled to their own opinion, even cops. How do you know Ellison not part of a Islamic terrorist plot to put people into Government positions?

Are you so naive to think they are not out to do this? Don't you know that Minnesota is one of the top states that have terrorist connections? The fact is...we are at war. Islamic fanatics are out to take over the United States...period! The sooner people realize this and quit trying to deny it the better off for all of us.

If people (cops are people) can't express their opinion without getting chastised and raked over the coals for their opinion, then we don't really have free speech, and then we really have no Democracy. And that's just what the terrorists silence the people. And you seem to play right into their hands, creating an environment that tries to stop (or belittle) people from speaking their minds, or
speaking up for themselves and for the people of the United States.

If Lt. [name deleted] did say this...good for him, he has the right to say it and the guts to say it. We need more like him.

By the way, has Ellison paid up his traffic tickets yet.


If the leutenant did say this, I have a hard time believing he would be fair when protecting and serving muslim residents and visitors to the city. I hope some reporters follow up, and get this guy on the record. I would be very interested in interviewing this guy about this for Lloydletta's Nooz.

I hear there will be some other media coverage of this. Developing...

Bob Kroll is the Vice President of the Police Federation.
The Strib now has a story about this.
It's good there is an internal investigation. The problem isn't that this officer is critical of Ellison, it's his broad-brush characterization of muslims as terrorists.

From the article:

The exact comments that Kroll made while participating in the class were not spelled out by Dolan or Rybak. But two officers present at Tuesday's ethics training class, who spoke on condition that they not be named, said Kroll made a remark about "being at war with Islamic terrorists" and that "one was elected to Congress." When an officer angered by the comment asked if he was calling Ellison a terrorist, Kroll said, "He's Islamic and we are at war with the Islamic," the two officers said.

In his e-mail, Dolan also wrote that Kroll questioned the ethics of any city that would hire a city coordinator convicted of a misdemeanor crime. Kroll said he made a statement about Rybak's appointments but never mentioned a specific position. City Coordinator Steven Bosacker, who had a misdemeanor conviction of indecent conduct in 2000, declined to comment.

Said Kroll: "I think the chief has been given an inaccurate account. When the investigation is over, I'll be cleared of any wrongdoing."

The Police Federation president was asked to comment. The article continues:

Sgt. John Delmonico, president of the Police Federation, said the allegations are serious and it would be unacceptable for anyone, let alone a federation board member, to say them. He called Dolan's department-wide e-mail unprecedented, because the matter is under investigation.

In the e-mail, Dolan said it was appropriate that classmates challenged Kroll's comments. "As a department, we must keep ourselves accountable while adhering to high standards of respect in matters of diversity," he wrote. "The comment not only offends a U.S. representative duly elected by the citizens of Minnesota, but more importantly, it offends our own officers of Muslim faith."

In February, Kroll finished serving a 20-day suspension for his involvement in an off-duty fight. He said the suspension is being appealed.

It sounds as if several people are corroborating the account about those statements.

The Chief's email to officers is on the Strib website. From the email:

The alleged comments, if they in fact they occurred, are unacceptable. Our department code of ethics states clearly that "[employees will] ....not use words or terms which hold any person, group or organization up to contempt." The reason for this code is that such statements are prejudicial and offensive to others. Prejudice is any unreasonable judgment or opinion toward an individual or group based on their race, creed, region, occupation, etc. Therefore, calling Representative Keith Ellison a terrorist is a prejudicial statement. The comment not only offends a U.S. Representative duly elected by the citizens of Minnesota, but more importantly, it offends our own officers of Muslim faith.

Was the comment about hiring a City Coordinator convicted of a misdemeanor prejudicial? Maybe not on it's face. But if the comment was said in the context of one's sexual orientation, this comment is also unacceptable as it prejudice. We do not know the Lieutenant's motivation for the comment. But I do question it since he currently is appealing my recent termination of an officer for a criminal conviction.

The real problem is whether people is these groups this officer is sworn to protect and serve are going to get a fair shake.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Minnesota Matters and Jason Lewis Talking About Municipal Domestic Partners Bill

Scanning radio channels, I heard that someone from Outfront Minnesota was going to be a guest on Minnesota Matters to talk about the municipal domestic partners bill. I assume that means that AAM owner Janet Robert has relaxed her "no guns, gays or abortion" gag rule on her local hosts. Minnesota Matters has podcasts of their show, so folks can go back and listen later.

Jason Lewis was ranting about this bill during his opening monologue, so I called in and corrected him on several of his misstatements on the matter.

Last Saturday I saw Margaret Anderson Kelliher at the Minnesota Women's Political Caucus annual meeting. I asked her about this bill. She said that it would be heard in committee. I asked whether there was a commitment to bring it to the floor. She was not willing to answer that question. I urged her as speaker to allow a floor vote on this bill.

DavidD, another contributor on Lloydletta asked Phyllis Kahn what was going on with this bill. Kahn wrote that the concern was that there were democrats who were afraid to vote on this bill because they thought it would hurt them. I'm wondering if Kahn means Democrats like the Bachmann amendment supporting Bev Scalze, Denise Dittrich, Patti Fritz and Al Juhnke to mention a few.

People should contact speaker Kelliher and other house DFL leadership and ask them to use their authority as speaker to move this bill along so it gets a floor vote.

Speaker of the House Designate
Margaret Anderson Kelliher from district 60A
Majority Leader
Anthony "Tony" Sertich from district 05B
Assistant Majority Leader
Melissa Hortman from district 47B
Assistant Majority Leader
Tina Liebling from district 30A
Assistant Majority Leader
Frank Moe from district 04A
Assistant Majority Leader
Michael V. Nelson from district 46A
Assistant Majority Leader
Aaron Peterson from district 20A
Assistant Majority Leader
Steve Simon from district 44A

Please also call the Republicans in leadership. Neil Peterson - assistant whip, has signed onto the bill. People should write him to thank him.

Minority Leader
Marty Seifert from district 21A
Deputy Minority Leader
Tom Emmer from district 19B
Assistant Minority Leader
Laura Brod from district 25A
Assistant Minority Leader
Brad Finstad from district 21B
Assistant Minority Leader
Dean Simpson from district 10B
Assistant Minority Leader
Kurt Zellers from district 32B
Minority Whip
Denny McNamara from district 57B
Assistant Minority Whip
Michael Beard from district 35A
Assistant Minority Whip
Tony Cornish from district 24B
Assistant Minority Whip
Matt Dean from district 52B
Assistant Minority Whip
Joyce Peppin from district 32A
Assistant Minority Whip
Neil W. Peterson from district 41B

MN GOP's Staffing Challenges

Earlier this week Mark H reported that the Republican Party of Minnesota was looking for a controller with vendor relations and cash flow experience. Andy Aplikowski aka Triple A has followed up on the story and posted a scan of the print version of the ad.

My initial reaction was that it seemed incredibly silly to post the job with out stating who the job was for, especially since this person will see all the little secrets, and they had better want to work for a political organization they agree with. I mean why waste everyones time? Add to that how one version had who it was for and one didn’t, and you start to wonder if the keystone cops are running human resources or something. Another impulse was that it seemed like Carey was afraid to advertise the MNGOP was hiring for this position in print because he had many favorable words at the December State Central meeting for the departing Controller.

It was really kind of speculative, so I checked with another source, and low and behold both the online and print versions were supposed to be anonymous, and Carey may have just been burned by the Strib's error. Are you kidding me? The Strib burn the Republicans? There is a sucker born everyday.

Now in the Republican party, one would think we’d be able to drum up a good accountant, auditor, or someone that is good with numbers with a simple phone call or two from with in our own ranks. Did we really have to trust the Strib to keep our secret? You’ve got to be kidding me.

Just a little more senseless bleeding from the public relations end of the Ron Carey administration of the Republican party.

At least the departing Controller wasn't among those "fired", so we can't blame Carey for the position needing replacement in the first place. But I think we may need to ask about the Human resource/PR skills, not to mention why in the heck he trusted the Strib.

Anyways, I don't know who got burned more and for what. Me for trusting the first source, Ron Carey for trusting the Strib, or Ron Carey for having Eva Young catch the lapse in judgement.

It was Mark H, not Eva Young who caught this one. Kudos to Mark.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lloydletta's Nooz Exclusive: Attorney General Laurie Swanson to Speak at the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association Annual Meeting

Laurie Swanson seems to be doing something different than her predecessor Mike Hatch in one area. She has decided to avoid baiting gays for political gain in the way Mike Hatch did in some of his campaigns.

From the MLBA home page:


Minnesota Lavender Bar Association is an organization of legal professionals and students committed to promoting social justice through education and advocacy, focusing on legal and public policy issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people. We are dedicated to fostering solidarity both within the organization and the legal community.

First and foremost, MLBA is dedicated to helping GLBTI individuals in Minnesota access the highest quality legal assistance available and to assist them with the legal needs they face through such means as referrals and clinics.

MLBA seeks to improve the responsiveness of the legal system in Minnesota to the needs of GLBTI individuals. This involves working with government officials and agencies to educate them as to the impact of existing or proposed laws and regulations on GLBTI individuals, and to seek fairness in implementation and results.

MLBA also seeks to help employers and others understand their legal responsibilities to their GLBTI employees, customers, and others.

2007 Annual Meeting will feature Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson
-- Thursday, March 8!

Hamline University School of Law -- Moot Court room -- Thursday, March 8 -- 6:00 pm

Join the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association members and friends for brief comments and questions with our honored guest, the first time an attorney general has participated in a Minnesota Lavender Bar Association function.

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson
Beyond Consumer Protection:
A Progressive Agenda for the Attorney General's Office

Meet Minnesota's new Attorney General, Lori Swanson. She has already made headlines in pursuing important consumer protection issues, but what else does Attorney General Swanson see on the horizon for her office?

Refreshments, MLBA annual meeting to follow - please stay to learn more about new opportunities to get involved with the MLBA's work to make the Minnesota legal profession a great place for GLBT lawyers and law students to thrive!

Kudos to the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association in snagging a statewide elected official to speak to their annual meeting. This is more than Outfront Minnesota has done.

Won't Somebody Please Think of the Children?

NFdL teacher in court on sex assault charges

By Sharon Roznik
The Reporter

Cash bail of $5,000 was established Tuesday when high school teacher Michael Burman made his initial appearance in Fond du Lac County Circuit Court.

Burman, 35, an English teacher at Horace Mann High School in North Fond du Lac, was formally charged with 10 counts of sexual assault of a student by school staff and 10 counts of child enticement.

Newly appointed District Attorney Michael O’Rourke had requested that intake Judge Robert Wirtz set cash bail at $25,000, noting the severity of the crime.

Burman, of Oshkosh, also a track and cross country coach at Horace Mann, is accused of carrying on a sexual relationship with a female student who was 17 years old at the time and a senior at Horace Mann during the 2005-06 school year and again, recently, when the former student returned to the area, according to a criminal complaint.

Garbed in an orange jail jump suit, Burman was represented in court by attorney Raymond Edelstein of Oshkosh, who cited his client’s ties to the area as a homeowner and married man with no prior criminal history.

“He has taken the necessary steps to obtain counseling and has the support of his friends and family,” Edelstein told the court.

O’Rourke argued for higher bail, citing the defendant’s apparent attempt to “cover his tracks” by sending the former student his statement (to police) and asking her to delete e-mails exchanged between the two.

Wirtz ordered that the defendant have no contact with the former student, now 18, and living in Georgia, or with Horace Mann High School.

If convicted as charged, Burman faces more than 300 years in prison on the 20 felony counts.

Boy, I'm glad Wisconsin has a constitutional amendment to protect the sanctity of marriage. Damn those homosexuals!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Here's What Minnesota House File 1097 Actually Says:

H.F. No. 1097, as introduced - 85th Legislative Session (2007-2008) Posted on Feb 16, 2007

1.1A bill for an act
1.2relating to local government; modifying the definition of "dependent" for
1.3purposes of group benefits for local government officers and employees;
1.4amending Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 471.61, subdivision 1a.

1.6 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 471.61, subdivision 1a, is amended to read: 1.7 Subd. 1a. Dependents. Notwithstanding the provisions of Minnesota Statutes 1969, 1.8section 471.61, as amended by Laws 1971, chapter 451, section 1, the word "dependents" 1.9as used therein shall mean spouse and minor unmarried children under the age of 18 years 1.10and dependent students under the age of 25 years actually dependent upon the employee, 1.11and others as defined by governmental units at their discretion. 1.12 Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE.
1.13Section 1 is effective the day following final enactment.

The Minnesota Family Council and Minnesotans in Defense of Marriage are having grand mal seizures because the sponsors of this bill are suggesting that local units of government could have some discretion in defining benefits for their employees.

This isn't a mandate to give benefits to anybody - it just removes a restriction from the law.

Get over it, already.

UPDATE by Eva: Jason Lewis was ranting about this bill on his show today.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Strib "Reporter" Dane Smith Channels the Drama Queen Again

He takes Brodkorb's spin, unaltered for a story in the Strib. The Drama Queen crows here and here. Mark Ritchie gets called out and responds on Air America. Minnesota Monitor's Jeff Fecke writes about former SOS's Mary Kiffmeyer's history of speaking to partisan groups in response. Brodkorb declines comment on Fecke's story.

Clearly the Drama Queen is getting under Mark Ritchie's skin.

Bill to Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell to Be Introduced Wednesday

Dameon from Pam's House Blend will be on a conference call with bill sponsor, Marty Meehan. He's taking ideas for questions.

I believe the title of the bill is Military Readiness Enhancement Act.

SLDN has organized the conference call. Here's their press release:

February 22, 2007
SLDN to Hold Conference Call on Re-Introduction of Legislation to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
WHAT: Servicmembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) will hold a conference call for members of the LGBT media to discuss Representative Marty Meehan�s (D-MA) reintroduction of The Military Readiness Enhancement Act, a bill to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual military personnel. Rep. Meehan's bill, originally introduced in the 109th Congress, garnered the support of more than 120 bi-partisan lawmakers during that session.

WHO: Congressman Meehan will be joined by C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of SLDN for this hour-long conversation on The Military Readiness Enhancement Act.

WHY: Since 1993, the Department of Defense has fired more than 11,000 service members under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." On average, 2 -3 people are dismissed under the law every day. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) at least 800 of those had skills deemed "mission-critical" by DoD, including more than 300 linguists, of which at least 55 were proficient in Arabic.

WHEN: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 ● 9:30am EST

WHERE: Dial-In Numbers: 1 (888) 550-5602 or +1 212-812-2800 and enter 8568 9882 ● Webcast link:

Media interested in participating on this conference call should contact Rebecca Sawyer, SLDN's senior communications associate, at (202) 328-3244, ext. 102, or by email at

Is Elwyn Tinklenberg Running for the 6th CD

Matt Martin comments on MN Publius:

Written by:
Posted on:
February 24, 2007 at 2:39 pm

Latham we have a challenger:
El Tinklenberg
El Tinklenberg!

Seriously, if the CD6 delegates don’t approve him this time around I may just leave the party

Tinklenberg would have a decent chance if he'd ignore stupid advice from Janet Robert.

Was the MN GOP Ad for a Controller Intended to be a Blind Ad?

When you read the ad, here is the contact information:

Please email resumes to Reply by March 2.

The Strib must have screwed up and listed the employer.

Why did the Republican Party of Minnesota want to keep this a secret?

Help Wanted at the MN GOP Office

They're advertising for a part-time controller. Here is the job description in the Star Tribune help wanted ad:

Controller (Part-time) St. Paul-based position for a seasoned financial pro seeking a flexible, part-time opportunity in a fun, fast-paced organization. Strong cash management and vendor relation skills a must. 20-30 hour work week. Aggressive salary plus paid vacation and sick time. 4-year accounting degree and 5 years of related experience required.

'Fun' is a relative term.....

When the need for cash management and vendor relation skills are highlighted, that smells of cash flow problems. Can't they pay their bills?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Is David Gaither Running Against Jim Ramstad?

MN Publius has the scoop.

Interesting comments from R. Utz:

Written by:
R. Utz
Posted on:
February 23, 2007 at 5:21 pm

I just hope David runs. I have so much to say about him. Strong legislative record and a dedicated public servant.

He’s been such a close personal friend of mine for years.

Go get’em tiger!

R. Utz
Posted on:
February 23, 2007 at 10:18 pm

David Gaither has been a hard-working public servant for years. He has a great story to tell about his work in the MN Senate and for Gov. Pawlenty. I hope he will let people like me, who have worked closely with him, tell our stories.

Republicans like strong, passionate leaders and David has both qualities.

I happen to live in the Second Cong. District and I can't vote for David. But I'll do anything to help him win. I'll even deliver coffee from Caribou Coffee in Eagan. It is a very popular place to meet for talks.

But back to David. Run. Minnesota and Washington needs more passionate leaders. If you run, I'll be right beside you.