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04/19/2007


Mitt Wins Nevada

Picture 20

That's it! CNN just announced that Romney's taken Nevada:

With 10% of the results in, Romney had about 48% of the vote while Rep. Ron Paul and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were in a tight race for second with 21% and 20% of the vote, respectively. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who had largely bypassed the state, had 11% of the vote. Those numbers were gathered from vote counters at caucus sites across the state.

With a win in Nevada, Romney will be the first GOP candidate in this cycle to score back-to-back wins. The former Massachusetts governor appeared to win in the Iowa caucuses but the contest was later awarded to Santorum when the vote was certified. Romney scored a big win in New Hampshire but was then stunned in South Carolina by Gingrich. Romney scored a 14-point victory over Gingrich and the rest of the field in Tuesday's Florida primary and entered Saturday's contest with a sizable lead in polls.

No surprises here. Momentum or no, Nevada's pretty Mornon.

The big news from tonight's primary, if any news from tonight's primary can be ascribed qualities of bigness, is how utterly defeated looked the massively homophobic Rick Santorum as he delivered his concession speech. He took off and signed his tie right at the beginning of his address -- it's to be auctioned off later by some improbable groupie -- and rambled on, looking sad and rumpled, for a good fifteen minutes about imperiled American freedoms and imperiled American values and the cruel vagaries of money politics before Wolf Blitzer cut him off.

Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul have yet to speak. (Gingrich says he's foregoing the usual concession speech and intends to do an honest-to-goodness press conference.) If anybody says anything interesting, I'll post the speeches tomorrow.


White House Issues Response To Claim From Communications Director That Obama Didn't Fill Out 1996 Same-Sex Marriage Statement

Obama
Yesterday, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told a panel at Netroots Nation that a 1996 questionnaire published by the Windy City Times and signed by Barack Obama in which he favored marriage equality was actually not signed by the President. Said Pfeiffer: "If you actually go back and look, that questionnaire was actually filled out by someone else, not the President."

Today White House spokersperson Shin Inouye responded to Pfeiffer's claim, though it was still unclear if Obama had or had not filled the questionnaire out himself.

“'Dan was not familiar with the history of the questionnaire that was brought up today, but the president’s views are clear,' Inouye said. 'He has long supported equal rights and benefits for gay and lesbian couples and since taking office he has signed into law the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ signed into law the hate crimes bill, made the decision not to defend Section 3 of DOMA and expanded federal benefits for same sex partners of federal employees.'"

In case you missed the video the fist time, watch it, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "White House Issues Response To Claim From Communications Director That Obama Didn't Fill Out 1996 Same-Sex Marriage Statement" »


White House Communications Director Says Obama Didn't Fill Out 1996 Statement Supporting Same-Sex Marriage: VIDEO

Pfeiffer

At Netroots Nation today, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer was asked about the 1996 questionnaire published by the Windy City Times and signed by Barack Obama when he was running for State Senate in Illinois.

The questionnaire (seen below) features a range of statements, one of them being "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages."

Said Pfeiffer at the Netroots panel: "If you actually go back and look, that questionnaire was actually filled out by someone else, not the President."

When pressed on if the questionnaire is faked, Pfeiffer dodges the question and goes on to explain that Obama's position is that he is "evolving" on the issue, adding:

"I can't tell you today when that evolution will continue, but that is where he is, and I will say, people in this room have pushed him on this, and he believes you should continue to push him on it."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Marriage_obama

Continue reading "White House Communications Director Says Obama Didn't Fill Out 1996 Statement Supporting Same-Sex Marriage: VIDEO" »


Dan Choi Rips Up 'Obama for America' Pamphlet, Throws it at Volunteer at Netroots Nation Panel: VIDEO

Choi

During a panel at Netroots Nation this afternoon called 'What To Do When The President Is Just Not That Into You', activist Lt. Dan Choi ripped up an "Obama for America" pamphlet that a campaign volunteer delivered to the stage as he tried to explain the President's position on marriage equality, Think Progress reports.

Said the volunteer to Choi, and another member of the panel: "I can’t say I’m for marriage equality, but as a bisexual man, I would take a bullet for both of you."

Choi became angry, tore up the flyer, and threw it at the man, saying,  "Did you not understand? Here! I believe that I’m an equal citizen."

Replied the volunteer: "I understand that, but Obama hasn’t gone officially on record for it…"

 Said Choi: "Then, don’t tell me that I’m a bad person, go tell him that he should believe in my full equality and then report back."

Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade also wrote about the incident:

Asked afterward by the Washington Blade whether he felt he was too harsh with the campaign volunteer, Choi replied, “Sometimes love comes in harsh forms. I love my detractors enough to let them know when they are misguided and I only regret that we are both suffering under a second-class citizenship imposed by politicians who smile pleasantly while denying our fight for justice. The harshest treatment would be our acquiescence to the view that we do not deserve equality.”

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Dan Choi Rips Up 'Obama for America' Pamphlet, Throws it at Volunteer at Netroots Nation Panel: VIDEO" »


Towleroad at Netroots Nation 2011: 'LGBT Netroots Connect' Brings Together Bloggers, Activists, and Organizations

JASON HAAS

Guestblogger Jason Haas is a digital media consultant and LGBT equal rights advocate. He's held positions with Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and Obama for America. The Advocate named Jason a "young gay hero" for his leadership in the LGBT equal rights movement. Jason will be providing updates and stories throughout the Netroots Nation 2011 conference. You can follow him on Twitter at @JasonLHaas.

Netroots Netroots Nation LGBT Netroots Connect, directed by Michael Rogers (who speaks in the video below), convened over 100 participants on the eve of the sixth Annual Netroots Nation conference, to discuss the most pressing issues facing the LGBT movement.

Bloggers from more than 35 national and local organizations joined online activists and organizers at the Minneapolis Hilton for a full day of training and discussion led by: Michael Crawford, Director of Online Programs at Freedom to Marry; Heather Cronk, Managing Director at GetEQUAL; and Barbara McCullough-Jones, Executive Director at the Q Center, Portland's LGBT Community Center.

In the video below, Rogers introduces the session and Cronk initiates an introduction of some of the bloggers and organizations in the room:

The stage was set for the workshop with the question: "What on-the-ground issues are going on in your world? How are they being covered – or not? What support is needed?"

The responses ran the gamut, including concerns for trans youth, generational divides, health care, and states that some fear are considered "throw-aways" because their residents or political systems lack pro-LGBT plurality. Photo Courtesy of Carlos A. Quiroz

Session I was a small-group exercise that tasked folks with identifying key gaps in the movement as well as effective ways to engage and communicate with groups across cultural or identity lines (e.g., age, race/ethnicity, faith/non-faith). Each group recorded its findings on gigantic 'Post-Its' that were later affixed to the meeting room walls so people could revisit them throughout the day.  

At lunch, we networked and caught up with friends and colleagues. Afterwards, we split into two large groups, one of which examined the relationships between bloggers and organizations that share objectives.

A GLAAD staffer said the criticism his organization receives for not doing enough on certain legislation is unwarranted given limitations set by the organization's 501(c)3 tax-filing status. The other group's discussion sought to elicit ideas for sustaining blogger initiatives through foundation funding. There, someone opined that big budget organizations perhaps do so much that they monopolize opportunities smaller (albeit effective) advocacy groups need to thrive.

Photo Courtesy of Carlos A. Quiroz In Session III, a panel of queer immigrant activists offered poignant personal recounts of the struggle they or other undocumented immigrants face in the United States. Panelists included Tania A. Unzueta (Immigrant Youth Justice League and Association of Latino Men for Action), Reyna Wences (Immigrant Youth Justice League), Juan Rodriguez (Students Working for Equal Rights), and Felipe Matos (Presente.org and Students Working for Equal Rights). Check out Carlos in DC for more about what transpired in this session as well as a collection of photos and video from Netroots Nation LGBT Netroots Connect.

A lively exchange of opinions a marked the last session of the day;  entitled, "Is Fighting for Marriage Equality Strategic?"

A few highlights from the discussion are viewable in participants' tweets AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Towleroad at Netroots Nation 2011: 'LGBT Netroots Connect' Brings Together Bloggers, Activists, and Organizations" »


Towleroad at Netroots Nation 2011 Conference

JASON HAAS

Guestblogger Haas Jason Haas is a digital media consultant and LGBT equal rights advocate. In 1996, his landmark case — represented by the Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) — won critical resources for LGBTQ students in the Boston Public School System. Jason has held positions with Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and Obama for America, as well as volunteer leadership with Rock the Vote, the New York LGBT Community Center, and the 2009 National Equality March in Washington, D.C. The Advocate named Jason a "young gay hero" for his leadership in the LGBT equal rights movement.

I'm super jazzed to be covering this year's Netroots Nation conference for Towleroad after being rewarded a full-expense-paid scholarship through Michael Rogers and supporters of the LGBT National Blogger and Citizen Journalist Initiative.

Netroots-Nation-2011Netroots is in its sixth year:

Netroots (formerly known as the YearlyKos Convention) will be held June 16-19 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, MN. Netroots Nation 2011 will include panels led by national and international experts; identity, issue and regional caucuses; prominent political, issue and policy-oriented speakers; a progressive film screening series; and the most concentrated gathering of progressive bloggers to date."

Last year, President Obama addressed conference-goers and the repeal of DADT via telecast.

Netroots 2011 headliners will be Sen. Al Franken, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Van Jones, Former Governor Howard Dean, AFT president Randi Weingarten, and more. 

Check the website for a full list of this year's presenters and events. There's even a Netroots mobile app.

You can follow Netroots and LGBT goings-on in real-time on Twitter using hashtag #NN11 and #NN11LGBT.

More to come!


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