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04/19/2007


So Who are the Democratic Senate Hold-Outs on Marriage Equality?

Holdouts
(Landrieu, Pryor, and Hagan)

As you've noticed in the last three days, U.S. Senate Democrats have been scrambling to get on board with marriage equality before the Supreme Court hears arguments with Claire McCaskill (MO), Mark Warner (VA), and Mark Begich (AK) all signaling their support in the last two days.

So who's left?

TIME reports, and breaks it down:

The 11 remaining Senate Democrats who have not endorsed gay marriage publicly are: Mark Pryor (Ark.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Bill Nelson (Fl.), Jon Tester (Mt.), Tom Carper (Del.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.). They can be broken down into three groups.

The first group was blunt in their opposition. The offices of Senators Manchin, Johnson and Pryor each responded to TIME in one or two sentences point-blank that they still don’t endorse gay marriage. Each of these Senators represents a conservative state, and West Virginia, South Dakota and Arkansas all went heavily for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.

TIME hit a wall speaking to the second group — Senators Landrieu, Tester and Donnelly — none of whom responded for comment. Louisiana, Montana and Indiana also went red in the past presidential election. Of the second group, Senator Donnelly might be able to look to his Midwestern neighbor for cover. Donnelly has endorsed benefits for gay partners in the past and said, “I stand with Rob on much of this” after Portman endorsed gay marriage after his son told him he was gay.

The rest — Senators Casey, Nelson, Carper, Heitkamp and Hagan — still do not endorse gay marriage, but are making clear signals that they are more moderate than some. Nelson spokesman Ryan Brown said he “strongly supports civil rights for same-sex couples, while believing marriage should be between a man and a woman.” He added that the decision might be out of the Senator’s hands, as “the issue will likely be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court before the end of the year.”


National Stonewall Democrats Closes Office, Announces 'Hiatus'

The National Stonewall Democrats,  a grassroots network connecting LGBT Democratic activists, is "on hiatus" according to its Executive Director Jerame Davis.

StonewalldemocratsThe Dallas Voice reports:

The organization suspended operations on Jan. 1 but plans a relaunch for 2014.

“A lot of decisions are being made,” Davis told the Voice. “It’s likely our office will be closed for most of this year.”

Davis continues to work as an unpaid volunteer and will use the current office in Washington, D.C., at least through the end of the month. Local and state chapters will continue to operate normally.

The organization recently reported a possible $30,000 deficit.


53% Think Republicans 'Too Extreme': POLL

Angry-elephant-300x225With the dreaded "fiscal cliff" approaching, and Democrats and Republicans still squabbling over what's to be done with the economy, CNN decided to ask Americans what should be done with Democrats and Republicans.

And according to their findings, a slight majority of the nation thinks the GOP needs to mellow out.

...53% say the GOP should compromise more, with 41% saying the Democratic Party should give up more of the proposals it supports to develop bipartisan solutions.

"That's due in part to the fact that the Republican brand is not doing all that well," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Fifty-three percent of those surveyed say they view the policies of the GOP as too extreme, up 17 points from two years ago. Only 37% say they view the polices of the Democratic Party as too extreme.

The same percentage of the public, 53%, believes that when it comes to bipartisan compromise, the GOP should be the party to cave on its demands.


Charlie Crist Regrets 2006 Anti-Gay Marriage Petition: VIDEO

CristDem

Former Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist today filed the paperwork officially making him a Democrat, a party switch Crist announced after a holiday party at the White House last weekend.

Speaking with the reporters who turned out for the event, Crist was asked about his decision in 2006 to sign a petition pushing for a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage in The Sunshine State.

"Would I do it today? No," Crist said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "I think the best way to judge where my heart is is to look at the deeds that I have done, whether as attorney general, governor - restoration of rights, civil rights cases, things of that nature that I think show a compassionate heart and hopefully someone who cares and knows who the boss is - and the boss is the people of Florida."

Crist also said he signed up with the Democrats because "they care"; "they're compassionate," he said, contrasting them with Florida's current governor, Rick Scott.

Watch video of Crist discussing his marriage equality position, whether anyone in the Obama administration has encouraged him to run for governor again (yes) and his place in the political world today AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Charlie Crist Regrets 2006 Anti-Gay Marriage Petition: VIDEO" »


Nancy Pelosi Blasts Luke Russert for 'Offensive' Question About Stepping Aside Because She's Old: VIDEO

Russert

A question from NBC correspondent Luke Russert was met with boos and cries of  "age discrimination!" at Nancy Pelosi's press conference this morning announcing her decision to stay on as Minority Leader.

Asked Russert:

"Colleagues privately say that your decision to stay on prohibits the party from having a younger leadership and hurts the party in the long term. What's your response?"

Snapped Pelosi: "You've always asked that question, but not to Mitch McConnell."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

She added:

The fact is that everything that I have done in my almost decade now of leadership is to elect younger and newer people to the Congress. In my own personal experience it was very important for me to elect young women. I came to Congress when my youngest child Alexandra was a senior in high school and practically on her way to college. I knew that my male colleagues had come when they were 30. They had a jump on me because they didn't have to, children to stay home. Now, I did what I wanted to do, I was blessed to have that opportunity to sequentially raise my family and then come to Congress. But I wanted women to be here in greater numbers at an earlier age so that their seniority would start to account much sooner. And it wasn't confined to women, though. [...]

You've got to take off of that 14 years for me because I was home raising a family, getting the best experience of all in diplomacy, interpersonal skills. No, the answer is no.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Russert defended himself on Twitter: "While Pelosi laughed off my Q as age-ist, many House Ds will privately gripe it hurts caucus that all 3 leaders are 70+....The longer the top 3 stay, the longer it takes to infuse the caucus with new blood like #GOP did w Cantor, Ryan, McCarthy etc."

Continue reading "Nancy Pelosi Blasts Luke Russert for 'Offensive' Question About Stepping Aside Because She's Old: VIDEO" »


Nancy Pelosi to Remain House Minority Leader

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will stay on as House Minority Leader, the Washington Post reports:

PelosiDemocrats say she feels compelled to remain in leadership because the issues Congress is set to tackle are at the core of why she first ran for office.

Pelosi, 72, revealed her decision in a 9 a.m. meeting with House Democrats, surrounded by nearly 40 members of her party who were victorious in elections last week.

“The message is clear from the American people. They want us to work together to get things done. And that’s what these folks are here to do. Just like all of you,” Pelosi said, according to the notes taken a Democrat in the room. “We may not have the gavel, but as I can see in this room, we have the unity.”


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