District 7 candidate Woody Myers threatens to sue blog

I’ve mentioned before that I’m voting for David Orentlicher in the primary as the Democratic candidate for Julia Carson’s former seat in the U.S. Congress. The slated Democratic candidate and current office holder is André Carson (elected in March in a special election) but I’m just not convince that Carson has enough experience. David has been a State Representative for many years. I’ve met him several times and heard him speak on a variety of issues.

The other two candidates running are Dr. Woody Myers and Carolene Mays. Mays is pretty openly homophobic and is universally opposed by the gay community in Indianapolis. Dr. Myers seemed like a decent guy, until we discovered that he opposed the Patient Bill of Rights, which I had supported back in 1998.

This morning, we found out his lawyers sent threatening letters to The Bilerico Project blog for posting the information about Myers opposition to the Patient Bill of Rights, and demanded the identifying information for the blogger who posted the information.

There’s pretty clearly no legal grounds for the threat, but I sure did get a good laugh out of it. And another reason not to vote for Woody Myers.

In other political news, Barack Obama visited my friend Rich’s family farm in north western Indiana and played basketball with Rich’s nephew, and talked for awhile with his family. Rich got lots of photos and I guess Senator Obama was pretty cool.

He also brought Rich’s family apple pies, one of which Rich brought to work. So this morning, I had a piece of delicious Barack Obama Apple Pie, which I heard isn’t store bought at all, but he baked all by himself on the tour bus, from apple he gathered from trees growing right there on the bus roof. Also, I heard he’s ten feet tall, breathes fire and is able to fly. I wonder how he keeps the press from finding all that out. He must be magic.

I still plan to vote for Hillary for a variety of reasons, but I have to admit, Barack’s magic pie is delicious, and if he ends up with the nomination, I’ll be excited to vote for him in the fall.

Continue ReadingDistrict 7 candidate Woody Myers threatens to sue blog

The Ripple Effect: How my post on Jon Elrod has spread

I presumed yesterday’s post on the special election would cause some consternation, but it’s always interesting to see how these things play out. Bil Browning of The Bilerico Project asked me to cross post my entry there, which I though would be fun.

From there, Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, radio personality and erstwhile former blogger at IndyUndercover got all up about it on his “I’ll admit this blog is mine” blog Indiana Barrister, and apparently has asked Jon Elrod if he’s gay on his radio show.

I’m presuming the answer he gave is no — I don’t listen to the show and haven’t heard one way or another what he actually said.

It’s really cute that in his blog post Abdul says “As one of the premiere bloggers in this state…” Aw. I’ll bet your mom calls you every morning to tell you how handsome you are, too, Abdul. That doesn’t mean it’s true, except in the “state of confusion in Abdul’s head.” Good grief.

Then Gary Welsh at Advance Indiana got all on the case about Abdul even mentioning it either place, referring to my blog post as “a baseless rumor the campaign of Andre Carson has been spreading about Republican Jon Elrod for the past two months.”

Dunno where that description comes from, as I haven’t heard a word about Elrod’s sexual orientation from the Carson campaign. I’m certainly not from the Carson campaign — I’m voting for him against my preferred wishes, and I only posted the entry yesterday morning. But it’s convenient for Gary to reassign the issue to Carson, since he can then claim it’s based in homophobia, as Welsh’s commenters immediately do on his post.

It’s a lot harder for Gary claim my motivation as homophobia – especially when he has a moratorium on talking about me on his blog. I believe I’m one of the people he refused to mention.

Whether any of this changes what I think about voting Elrod — I’ll have to get audio of Elrod’s answer and see what I think about it, and whether I believe his answer. I’m glad that he’s at least been asked publicly a question that half a dozen people emailed me to mention they wondered themselves. If the question is in that many people’s minds, it should be addressed.

Continue ReadingThe Ripple Effect: How my post on Jon Elrod has spread

March 11 District 7 Special Election

I’ve been saying I’m going to write about the March 11th special election, and I haven’t forgotten that. I actually have had a REALLY long post written about it since Friday, but I’ve revised it 10 times and can’t quite get out what I really want to say… so I’m starting over.

Hopefully you’ve all figured out by now that Julia Carson’s District 7 seat as a U.S. Representative is being filled by a special election on March 11th. Whomever wins will still need to campaign again to be chosen in this May’s primary race and to be re-elected in November if they are the candidate.

The two contenders for the seat are Democrat André Carson and Republican Jon Elrod. Elrod is currently my rep in the statehouse, having upset Ed Mahern for 97th District in 2006.

So, where do I stand? As I mentioned in a comment on a previous post, I’ll be voting for André Carson, although he’s not my favorite candidate, and I’ll be supporting another democratic candidate in the May primary.

I really don’t believe Carson has enough political experience to be a U.S. Representative yet. His only other elected office has been a few short months on Indianapolis’ City-County Council. He has no experience in higher Indiana offices, no experience at the Indiana Statehouse, all of which should be prerequisites for an office at the federal level.

There are several people much more qualified for this office than Carson, some of whom actively sought it, like David Orentlicher, who is our representative for the 86th District in the Indiana Congress.

Why Carson over Elrod?

I’ll get to that, but let me start off with some of Elrod’s good points:

Elrod does talk a good game on gay issues. Many gay people in Indianapolis are campaigning for Elrod because he stands out as a lone Republican voting against SJR-7 and against other homophobic legislation in the Indiana Statehouse, and I can see that’s a great thing. There are several gay households in our neighborhood that have Elrod signs in their yards.

However, these same folks are studiously ignoring that Elrod hired a notoriously anti-gay company to build his website – a company that has actively lobbied for SJR-7 and for other legislation destructive to the gay community. I don’t think that’s a deal-killer as far as voting in my eyes, but it does suggest that Elrod doesn’t have a complete awareness of gay issues, or who he might accidentally be in bed with politically in the Republican party.

Elrod also really gets himself out there. I held a long conversation with him in my front yard when he was running in 2006 for District 97, and numerous other people in our district also reported talking to him. He’s definitely a “get out and meet the people” guy. I’ve talked to him twice since that initial meeting, too.

So what’s wrong with Elrod?

I’m not voting for Elrod because I strongly believe that he’s gay.

Yep, you heard that right.

I really, really think that Jon Elrod is gay, and I’m voting against him for that specific reason. I have no real, verifiable concrete evidence that Jon Elrod is gay. None whatsoever. I have no smoking gun, no secret lover, no rumor or innnuendo from within the gay community. I have nothing but instinct.

That man sets off my gaydar at 5 miles away. I’m not kidding.

I’ve been out and active in the gay community for over 20 years. My gaydar is a finely tuned, high performance machine at this point. When it occasionally misfires – and I admit it does – it always because people fly under the gaydar; never because I’ve had a false positive. I never suspect someone is gay when they aren’t; I always suspect they’re straight when they’re gay. I suppose it’s possible that Jon Elrod is straight and I’m mistaken. But I really don’t think so. Not at all.

There’s also not much evidence to contradict my belief; he’s good-looking, single, definitely metro-sexual, and I’ve never seen a girlfriend/beard, although there might be one.

So… IF Elrod is gay, shouldn’t I be voting for rather than against him?

In theory, yes.

Vote for a gay man? In a heartbeat – I’d be thrilled to.

Vote for a gay Republican? – that’s conceivable. If I thought he was the right guy, I just might. I don’t cross the aisle often in my voting, but it’s definitely not off the table, depending on the person.

But vote for a closeted gay Republican? Absolutely fucking not. I’d rather cut off my own arm and beat myself in the head with it.

In the year 2008, there’s absolutely no reason why anyone running for public office should be in the closet, even in Indiana. Especially in Indiana. There’s so much at stake for gay people in Indiana that it would be an utter betrayal of trust to be a closeted elected official, and I really, really believe Elrod is.

What I don’t get is why I’ve never heard this elephant it the room (if you’ll pardon the pun) discussed in the gay community.

I CANNOT be the only person who thinks Elrod is gay. So if all these other gay people are supporting him, are they doing so also suspecting that he’s gay, and wanting to have him in office because of that, despite the closeted status?

I sure hope the hell not, because the very idea makes me sick to my stomach, it’s so disgusting. The self-loathing involved in doing something like that would be overwhelming to me, and one of the most pitiful things for a gay person to do that I can imagine.

I really don’t believe that Jon Elrod is a true friend to the gay community of Indianapolis, and I don’t believe he’s the best person for the job of U.S. Representative for District 7.

Continue ReadingMarch 11 District 7 Special Election

links for 2008-01-27

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District 7 Special Election will be Tuesday, March 11th

From the [link deprecated: http://www2.indystar.com/articles/7/254061-5937-127.html – Indy Star] via Taking Down Words:

Republican and Democratic state party officials have agreed on Tuesday, March 11 as the date for a special election to select Rep. Julia Carson’s successor.

State Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker said Friday he and GOP Chairman Murray Clark had recommended the date to the governor’s office. Gov. Mitch Daniels must set the date for the special election to replace Carson, who died Dec. 15.

Other Key election dates:
* January 23: Primary filing period begins
* February 16: Marion County Democratic Party slating convention
* February 22: Primary filing period ends
* March 11: Seventh District special election
* May 6: Primary election
* November 4: General election

Continue ReadingDistrict 7 Special Election will be Tuesday, March 11th

Julia Carson’s replacement should be LGBT Friendly

This is really disturbing – one of the names being discussed as a possibility for Julia Carson’s office by the Democrats is Indiana State Representative Carolene Mays, who voted in favor of SJR-7, the amendment to ban equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. More from Jerame Davis on Bilerico:

The passing of Congresswoman Julia Carson has left a gaping hole in Indiana political life. Julia Carson was a great leader and a strong progressive voice. As we consider her replacement, we should not forget the legacy Julia left and who can best live up to the service she provided and the strong support she gave to the LGBT community.

The winner of the special election to fill her remaining term will likely win the seat in the November general election and go on to serve a full term in Congress. This is not a decision to take lightly. Of the names coming forward as likely replacements, one in particular should infuriate LGBT voters in the 7th District.

Carolene Mays is no Julia Carson. She doesn’t even deserve the honor of being named among the possibilities to replace her and it is a disgrace to think she could live up to the job.

On paper, Carolene Mays looks like the perfect replacement for Julia. Mays is the president and publisher of the Indianapolis Recorder, the paper of record for the African-American community in Indianapolis. She is a 3 term Indiana State Representative. She serves (or has served) on numerous non-profit and foundation boards. She’s won numerous awards for service and she’s even a member of the same church Julia attended.

The area she falls most short of Julia is her support of LGBT Hoosiers. As a State Representative, Carolene Mays voted in favor of SJR-7, the Indiana Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Mays has never disavowed her support of the marriage amendment – an amendment Julia spoke against often – and she has shown no indication she would change her vote if it came before her again.

Carolene Mays is no Julia Carson. Either she’s a shameful political opportunist, who worried more about her political skin than the rights of LGBT citizens or she is a true believer in discrimination against LGBT Hoosiers. Either way, she pales in comparison to the Julia I knew.

We could count on Julia to stand up for us; there was no question. She was a regular presence at our Pride festivals. She’s been lionized by the Stonewall Democrats. She was instrumental in helping Indianapolis move forward with an inclusive human rights law. She voted against DOMA. She supported ENDA.

We cannot count on Carolene Mays for any of these things.

Julia was usually right and stood up for her beliefs. She voted against the war and spoke against both the war and George W. Bush long before it was popular to do so. Her funeral was a panoply of leaders and dignitaries who spoke of the fire and determination Julia had for her issues and her constituents.

If Carolene Mays will kowtow to the religious right over something as non-critical as gay marriage, how can we count on her to make the right decisions when it comes to war and peace or life and death?

Continue ReadingJulia Carson’s replacement should be LGBT Friendly