Tom Ridge Hub

Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge: GOP Needs to Stop Discriminating Against Gay People

Now a businessman, consultant and philanthropist, former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge tells the WSJ that the Republican party needs to stop discriminating against gays:

Ridge“I think, as a party, we sometimes come across as very judgmental and very self-righteous, and that doesn’t play well to a lot of people,” he said. “Not just on political grounds, but in terms of the culture. We accept diversity in many different ways, and we need to be more clear about that and careful to express that.”

In particular, Ridge urged a more expansive approach to what he termed “the gay community,” noting that increased familiarity with gay people tends to lead to less judgmental politics. “I think that’s the right way to be,” he said. “Younger Americans on both sides of the aisle are saying, ‘Live and let live.’ ”

Asked about same-sex marriage, Ridge said he had no particular point of view. “It’s one of those situations where I’d leave it up to the state.”

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #531

CARRIE PREJEAN: The former Miss California sues pageant officials over religious discrimination. Olbermann and Musto discuss.

CLEVE JONES: Bil Browning interviews activist Jones about the National Equality March.

EQUALITY MAINE: The organization marks 25 years.

RACHEL MADDOW: Destroys Tom Ridge on DHS threat levels and justifications for going to war in Iraq.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Tom Ridge Was Pressured to Raise Terror Alert to Help Bush in '04 Election

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge is publishing a "tell-all" on September 1. Among the details of the book being promoted is something many folks had suspected for a long time — that national security alert levels were at least sometimes politically motivated and not based on actual threats (other than the GOP and Bush losing elections!).

Tomridge From Thomas Dunne publishers tease of The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege...and How We Can Be Safe Again:

A “law and order” Republican who was on the shortlist to be John McCain’s running mate in 2008, Ridge writes with refreshing candor on both the successes and missteps of the DHS. He details the obstacles faced in his new post—often within the administration itself—as well as the failures of Congress to provide for critical homeland security needs, and the irresponsible use of terrorism by both parties to curry favors with voters. Ridge also reveals:

• How the DHS was pressured to connect homeland security to the international “war on terror”
• How Ridge effectively thwarted a plan to raise the national security alert just before the 2004 Election
• How Ridge had pushed for a plan (defeated because of turf wars) to integrate DHS and FEMA disaster management in New Orleans and other areas before Hurricane Katrina.

Paul Bedard of U.S. News and World Report: "Ridge was never invited to sit in on National Security Council meetings; was 'blindsided' by the FBI in morning Oval Office meetings because the agency withheld critical information from him; found his urgings to block Michael Brown from being named head of the emergency agency blamed for the Hurricane Katrina disaster ignored; and was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush's re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over."

Ridge denied in 2004 that the security alert changes were politically motivated.


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