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04/19/2007


Wealthy LGBT Americans To Congress: Work With Obama, Let Tax Cuts For Rich Expire

ObamaEconomy

With the nation headed toward the dreaded, abstract "fiscal cliff," a group of wealthy LGBT Americans have penned a letter to Congressional lawmakers urging them to maintain tax cuts for the middle class while making up the difference by taxing the rich.

The matter is especially near and dear to them, they say, because at-need LGBT Americans will suffer an enormous toll. From the letter, published at the Washington Post:

For LGBT Americans, this “fiscal cliff” isn’t just an abstract concept. A report released by the Center for American Progress, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, and a coalition of 23 national LGBT organizations outlines the real and lasting impact it would have.

Across-the-board cuts would compromise LGBT health by reducing programmatic funding used to address the health care needs of gay and transgender Americans, impair the federal government’s ability to investigate claims of workplace discrimination, and remove critical resources from government agencies working to prevent bullying and school violence.

At the same time, higher tax rates would further endanger middle class and working class members of our community. LGBT Americans have lower levels of income than other Americans, according to a recent Gallup report, and face additional economic obstacles caused by the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the lack of federal workplace protections.

The signatories, including former DNC treasurer Andrew Tobias and entrepreneur Tim Gill, conclude: "We urge Congress to work with President Obama to avoid the fiscal cliff with a balanced approach, and to preserve the middle class tax cuts while allowing tax cuts for the best off to expire. It’s the right thing to do."


Out DNC Treasurer Andrew Tobias Is Top Obama Fundraiser

TobiasbundlerPresident Obama regularly cites small donors as an integral part of his 2008 campaign success. And, yes, nearly half of his political donations come in the form of $5 or $10 gifts, but the other half, as The New York Times reports today, comes from deep-pocketed donors hoping to see the commander-in-chief stay in the White House.

"All told, Mr. Obama’s top 'bundlers' — people who gather checks from friends and business associates — raised or gave at least $200 million for Mr. Obama’s re-election bid and the Democratic National Committee through the end of May, close to half of the total up to that point," writes Nicholas Confessore.

At the top of the list of most efficient, productive Obama fundraisers is openly gay author and Democratic National Committee treasurer Andrew Tobias, who helped rake in more dough than any other bundler during the 2011 and 2012 seasons so far, thanks in part to his connections to gay donors.

But documents obtained by the Times only reveal a small portion of Obama's big money donors.

Mr. Obama’s publicly disclosed categories stop at the $500,000-and-up level, however. The internal documents show that at least 60 individuals and couples reside in an even more elite club, having raised more than $1 million for Mr. Obama and the party.

They include Frank White Jr., a technology entrepreneur who has raised $2.3 million for Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign; Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, who has raised $2.7 million; Robert Wolf, a former executive at UBS Americas, the banking company, who has raised about $1.3 million; and Reshma Saujani, a lawyer who is running for New York City public advocate next year and is active among young larger donors, who has raised about $1 million.

Of all the hundreds of bundlers flung from coast-to-coast, Confessore points out that 260 of them did not raise money for Obama during his 2008 race against Hillary Clinton.


Gay DNC Treasurer Andrew Tobias Talks About Money and LGBT Equality at DNC Convention: VIDEO

Tobias

Andrew Tobias, DNC Treasurer, spoke about money and LGBT equality in a speech earlier today to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Said Tobias, in part:

First: Money. The Democratic Party is the party of Social Security, federally insured bank accounts, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, workers' rights, the minimum wage, Pell grants—and so much more that's helped lift the American middle class.

The economy does significantly better under Democrats and so do investors. The stock market is up 58 percent since Barack Obama took office. And listen to this: If you had started in 1925 with $10,000 and invested it in the market only in the 44 years that Republicans held the White House, it would have grown—not counting dividends—to less than $30,000. But to more than $300,000 in the 44 years Democrats held the White House!

I favor the party that invests in the future and boosts the middle class and those aspiring to join it. I favor the party under whose leadership $10,000 grows to $300,000 instead of $30,000.

Second: Equality. The Democratic Party under the leadership of Barack Obama has dramatically improved the lives of millions of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual Americans and at no cost to anyone else.

In college, I thought I was the only guy in the world who liked other guys. Later I found there was someone else like me, our 26-year-old resident tutor. He and I never talked about it at the time. No one talked about being gay back then. People killed themselves over being gay. Tragically, some kids still do. But, the progress we have made. Eight weeks ago, I attended that young tutor's wedding! To a guy! He and I never talked about it at the time. Love that had been unspeakable 46 years ago was celebrated by hundreds of people—straight and gay, surfers and senators.

In a way, it was a wedding that married my two topics—money and equality—because that young tutor had grown up to become the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay DNC Treasurer Andrew Tobias Talks About Money and LGBT Equality at DNC Convention: VIDEO" »


Designer Charles Nolan Dies at 53

Andy_charles

Designer Charles Nolan has died at the age of 53, the NYT reports:

Nolan The cause was cancer of the head and neck, said Andrew Tobias, the financial writer, who was Mr. Nolan’s partner of 16 years.

Early in his career, Mr. Nolan was a major force behind the expansion of mainstream American sportswear labels like Bill Blass, Ellen Tracy and Anne Klein. But he was perhaps better known publicly for the work he did dressing private clients, including many prominent women on the political scene.

***

Mr. Nolan was fond of highlighting how wearable his clothes were by hiring nonprofessional models, like a retired New York City police detective, the captain of a Fire Island ferry and the swimmer Dara Torres.

But his most surprising political statement, at least in the eyes of his colleagues on Seventh Avenue, came in 2003, when he abruptly quit as the head designer of Anne Klein, where he had led a successful turnaround of the brand’s image, to volunteer for the presidential campaign of Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont.

Mr. Nolan said he had been disillusioned by the hesitancy of major designers to get involved in, or even talk about, politics — although there was little evidence that his own activism had negatively affected his career.

“Fashion is about image,” Mr. Nolan said. “People I know are afraid to take political stands because they are afraid to turn off their customers.”

On a personal note, Charles Nolan was a friend of mine, as is Andy Tobias.

It's such a very sad loss. I give thanks for Charles' life and celebrate the generous, loving, and exemplary couple they were, and will always be.

Charles Nolan, Designer, is Dead at 53 [nyt]

(Top, a photo I shot of Andy and Charles at the 2008 Democratic National Convention)


News: Dominick Dunne, Elephants, Waterworld, James Duke Mason

 road Domestic Partner benefits for federal employees advances through Senate committee in 8-1 vote. "On Wednesday morning, Dec. 16, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee favorably reported the Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act out of committee on an 8-1 vote. The mark-up, which took less than a half hour, stood in stark contrast to the several hours of debate that the bill faced before being reported out of the relevant House committee in November."

Mason_carlisle road Some pretty adorable photos of Belinda Carlisle and her gay son James Duke Mason from the new issue of Attitude.

 road Jake Gyllenhaal is A Single Man.

 roadExperts weigh in on Ron Livingston's lawsuit against Wikipedia over frequently reappearing claims on his page that he is gay.

 roadBeenie Man: Anatomy of a Facebook protest.

 roadNYDN: DNC Treasurer Andrew Tobias was behind Jon Cooper's endorsement of Kirsten Gillibrand.

 roadBuju Banton being transferred to Tampa.

 roadIf you've watched the documentary Food Inc, you've heard of Monsanto, the evil seed company forcing smaller farmers out of business. The AP has just finished an investigation on them: "We now believe that Monsanto has control over as much as 90 percent of (seed genetics). This level of control is almost unbelievable. The upshot of that is that it's tightening Monsanto's control, and makes it possible for them to increase their prices long term. And we've seen this happening the last five years, and the end is not in sight."

 roadWATCH: the much better director's cut of Britney Spears' "3" video.

Dunne  roadDominick Dunne: confirmed bisexual. "His son said on the TV news show that it was just like his dad to 'finally come out and then leave. It was hardly a big deal either way. He was was closeted about heterosexuality as much as bisexuality as he was about celibacy. He didn't have boyfriends or lovers, they were never part of our lives.'"

 roadRingling Brothers' elephant training method: break 'em young.

 roadWATCH: Ridley Scott's new trailer for Robin Hood.

 roadGay couple living in lockdown fear in Tasmania: "Tasmania Police also has been advised of the couple's situation after their clothes were slashed on the clothes line and bricks and rocks were thrown through their windows on several occasions. But because their lives are not considered at risk by police, they must remain locked inside, limit their movements outside their tiny apartment and wait for another property to become available for them to move into."

 roadJohn Mayer tells Ellen he's tired of thinking with his penis.

Waterworld road Astronomers discover massive waterworld orbiting nearby star more "earthlike" than any seen before.

 roadNJ Governor-elect Chris Christie on Bruce Springsteen's announcement endorsing marriage equality and The Boss's decision not to play his inauguration: "Obviously, two bad decisions on his part...Bruce and I don't agree on certain things politically -- big shock. But it doesn't diminish at all my enjoyment of him as an artist and a performer."

 roadAndy Murray and his team have a shirtless training session.

 roadDisgusting: Italian student arrested in UK while filming for fun.

 roadTruro, Nova Scotia mayor gets hate crime complaint after remarks he made about a local gay cruising area.

 roadFantastic new image from the Hubble.

 roadAT&T calls 'Operation Chokehold' "pointless" and "irresponsible".

 roadMeet the designers for Project Runway: Season 7.

 roadThe L.A. Times looks at the Autry museum's current exhibition about gays and transgender people in the American West: "So far, the Autry hasn't received any complaints about the series either from the public or internally, according to museum leaders. One trustee they wouldn't name voiced concern that the program might portray conservatives as bigots in the vein of the character played by Randy Quaid in 'Brokeback Mountain.'"


Two More Drop Out of LGBT DNC Fundraiser Over DOMA Brief

Two more high profile gay figures have decided not to attend next week's Democratic Party LGBT fundaiser, joining those who opted out earlier this week.

Shumlin Vermont Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin has said no, protesting the DOMA brief: "One thing I have learned dealing with marriage equality in Vermont is that we all have a responsibility to stand up for the civil rights of all Americans. This memo from the Justice Department is more Bush than Bush. It takes the only minority group left in America that national politicians can publicly discriminate against and still see their numbers go up in the polls and it reinforces the horrible stereotypes about our friends and neighbors."

Replied DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias, who's organizing the event: "I think Pete Shumlin is terrific. I totally get why he feels the way he does. If I thought that the Department of Justice brief reflected the Obama position and vision of America, I would be boycotting or not going to the dinner either. But it doesn't."

Bastian Prominent donor Bruce Bastian went a step further, saying he'll no longer be donating to the DNC, at least for now:

"'I will continue to support certain congressmen, congresswomen and senators whom I believe will continue to fight for our rights, but I don't think blanket donations to the Democratic Party right now are justified, at least not in my book,' he said. Bastian, a major donor to many LGBT groups, said he sent an e-mail to the DNC on Wednesday saying he wouldn't attend the event 'because of the remarks on DOMA.' He found the filing 'very offensive.' ... Bastian said the brief was the "tipping point" for him in his perception for how the Democratic Party supports LGBT issues. 'The LGBT community raised a lot of money in support for Obama, and, I think he has to have the courage — well, not just him — but, I think the Democratic Party now has to have the courage to fight back, and when they do, they'll have my support,' he said."

(via slog)

Previously...
Democratic Party LGBT Fundraiser Tainted by DOMA Brief [tr]


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