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

Julia Carson and Fall Creek Place

I can’t believe that I forgot, in my endorsement of Julia Carson, to mention her involvement with developing Fall Creek Place neighborhood — the now thriving neighborhood just north of mine, that is the threshold of an urban renaissance for downtown Indianapolis. Julia was instrumental not only in getting the federal funding to revitalized the neighborhood of Fall Creek Place, but in ensuring that the subsidies went to people of a variety of incomes — that the neighborhood would be affordable to the people who already lived there, and not just to the wealthy people who wanted to move into historic neighborhoods downtown.

Drive down Pennsylvania Street today, and you’ll see row after row of beautifully designed houses in keeping with the character of the original neighborhood. And you see the people living in those houses and walking their dogs and children on the streets, are from a diverse set of cultures and backgrounds. For those of us who live in nearby neighborhoods downtown, the change to our own areas as a result has been breathtaking as well.

You have both Julia Carson and Bart Peterson to thank for that.

Continue ReadingJulia Carson and Fall Creek Place

Indianapolis Progressive Candidates You Might Consider

Below are candidates that have been supportive of GLBT issues and strong on progressive issues in the past. Please consider voting for them tomorrow when you go to the polls for the primaries.

Marion County Superior Court Judge
Karen Celestino Horseman
“Every so often an elected official will go to extraordinary lengths to improve the lives of those around them. In 2002, (then City-County Councilor) Karen Celestino-Horseman did just that when she introduced Proposal 278, which would have provided domestic partner benefits to Indianapolis city employees. It was a well strategized attempt, the community rallied around it, but it did fail on party lines.” — Linda Perdue

The GLBT community needs a judge in this position that understands and supports GLBT issues, especially considering the difficult issues surrounding adoption.

U.S. Congress, District 7
Julia Carson
Obviously, you should consider Julia — read here for more info on her opponent.

State Legislature
David Orentlicher, HD 86
Susan Fuldauer, HD 88
Greg Porter, HD 96
William Crawford, HD 98
Vanessa Summers, HD 99

Indianapolis Public Schools
Kelly Bentley
In IPS District Three, Kelly Bentley, a friend of our community, is running for a third term on the Board. Kelly has been a strong advocate for safe schools for everyone, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. It was thanks to her efforts that IPS policies against discrimination now include protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for both teachers and students). She has supported efforts of students at Broad Ripple High School to form a gay-straight alliance.

Continue ReadingIndianapolis Progressive Candidates You Might Consider

The controversial post about 7th district candidate Kris Kiser

If you’ve been following local politics at all, you may have noticed this little dust-up. Democratic candidate for congress Kris Kiser threatened legal action against a local political blog for a post one of their contributors made about him, alleging some shadiness about his personal life and business dealings when he lived (recently) in Washington D.C. The local blog pulled the post because they’re a small operation, and they were worried that any legal action would be a strain on them.

Let me back up a step futher and explain who Kris Kiser is. He’s a gay carpetbagger democrat who just moved to Indianapolis from Washington D.C. and decided to set up shop here in Indianapolis to run against, of all of the ever-loving things — popular Democratic incumbent Julia Carson. Which strikes me as something akin to beating one’s head against the wall whilst investing in the 12th level of a pyramid scheme, but hey, far be it from me to stand in the way of other people’s masochism.

One of the first things he did after unpacking his carpet bag was get an endorsement from the sleazebag gay “newspaper” “The Word” published by Ted Fleischaker. That’s a pretty good sign he’s not from in town right there, because that paper is taken about as seriously in the LGBT indianapolis community as the plastic baggy I use to pick up my dog’s poop.

Another fine idea he had was to imply that popular gay political office holders Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank were endorsing him. Of course, that whopper was immediately debunked by local blog Advance Indiana, who then suffered an onslaught of abuse from Ted Fleischaker and a hacked website to remove posts. But the controversy didn’t die down, and Barney Frank came all the way to Indiana to fundraise for Julia Carson to drive home the point that Kiser wasn’t associated with him in any way.

Which brings us back around to this weeks controversy — the blog post and threatened legal action.

The post was made by Marla Stevens. I certainly haven’t been on her side of things all the time, as you may well know. And I definitely don’t know whether the allegations she made are true. It seems to me that someone with connections to people in D.C. could verify or debunk some of the claims. But just for the sake of you knowing what the controversy is about, I was able to pull the original post out of my rss feed reader, and with all due “allegedly”s and cautions about the veracity of the post, here it is:

Kiser revisited or Here’s a real “Word” for the wise…

In case anyone cares, my legal residence is in Iowa. I own property in Indiana and continue to rent property in the 7th district. I’m not in Iowa right now and wasn’t for the time change. Iowa does observe daylight savings time.

None of these things have anything to do with the sorry state of candidate Kiser’s character that makes him not fit for public office, including the sham “marriage” he tried to pass off on gullible Hoosier queers as proof that he cares about them and their needs.

Nor does it have anything to do with the fact that he’s hired not one but two notorious polling organizations and is readying last minute push poll attacks on his opponent, Rep. Julia Carson — if he hasn’t started them already.

Nor does it have anything to do with the gaping hole in common sense Kiser’s self-purported recent history poses.

Really…here’s a gay man known for being a very hearty partier in D.C. circles — with a great job as a business association top lobbyist of the sort that pays solidly enough in the six figure range to enable that partying — partying that reportedly includes enough significant drug use and sex for hire, (including one hunk from Baltimore who sported a sex-for-hire website, no less [until reportedly being hired to play husband in Indiana], and was known in such circles up and down the eastern megalopolis and Miami and who is player enough that, when imported to Indianapolis to play husband*, couldn’t resist “entertaining” an out-of-town buddy in the notorious upstairs of the 501) that only an MSM as timid and incurious as Indianapolis’ wouldn’t dig it up in due course. (Same ones it took decades to expose the open secret of Rep. Dan Burton’s “family values” hypocrisy in his personal life despite that such hypocrisy is perfectly legitimate political fodder. I can only guess that, with only a few months of campaigning to worry about, Kiser wasn’t worried about our hapless press stumbling over his dirty laundry.)

The top lobbyist puts out two different stories about why he’s no longer working as a top lobbyist but instead came back to his family’s home he’s barely set foot in for decades to run against an incumbent he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of beating:

Story #1: He quit his to-die-for job on his own to engage in the house restoration work he loves. That one fails to pass muster for even the least skeptical.

Out comes Story #2: Top lobbyist supposedly was politically forced out of his job because he’s not a Repug even though he’s done a many years long expert hatchet job on such dear-to-Dems’ hearts’ issues as the right of workers to organize, get health insurance and other worker benefits, and other issues the support of which one would expect from the likes of John Roberts instead of a loyal-enough-to-be-fireably-irksome Democrat — even of the DLC kind.

And he just can’t seem to find a new job despite that D.C. is a veritable boom town for lobbyists of late — for a year??? — which he spends predominantly in D.C., trying to find a new job, not Indiana as he later claims.

Doesn’t compute. Doesn’t even come close.

A reasonably curious person would ask questions…and the answers that are floating around K Street aren’t pretty.

The scuttlebutt is that he was forced out all right but not because of his party or even his partying — at least not for the consensual sort — and it just goes downhill from there.

It’s not atypical for people with Kiser’s expertise and experience as a corporate gun who were fired even for cause (even for something as damning as sexual harassment — even same-sex sexual harassment) — to get another chance in the sort of hot labor market that is D.C. lobbying right now. Ruthlessness and relentlessness in winning is the name of the game and Kiser was good enough at that to be rehirable under all but the most limited of circumstances — perhaps conditionally but rehirable nonetheless.
People who know me know that I don’t get riled up by people’s personal peccadilloes — that I’m usually the last person who’d care except for two things, one of which — using a false cloak of heterosexuality to hurt fellow queers — is impossible for a gay man as out as Kiser has been to be guilty of, leaving just one thing…

I cannot begin to tell you how much you do not want Kris Kiser as your neighbor, much less your congressperson.

* When this didn’t fool anyone but the most willing to be fooled, the campaign got as degayed as when a Mom-not-in-the-know is coming for a visit. Don’t take my word for it. Check the candidate’s website for yourself.

I don’t know what to think about this post. I will say this, though — I know Julia Carson. She lives in the neighborhood north of me. Several times I’ve walked my dog past her house and waved to her in her yard, and once I stopped to talk to her about a political issue. She’s lived in Indianapolis for decades, and she’s be a true friend to the GLBT community in dozens of ways. She pushed city-county councilors to support the Human Rights Ordinance. I’ve seen her speak at numerous gay pride events and AIDS Walks. I stood next to her at a candle-light vigil on the circle for Planned Parenthood when the local clinics were being threatened with anthrax letters by domestic terrorists.

I’ve studied her voting record.

I don’t know Kris Kiser from Adam. But if Ted Fleischaker is endorsing him, I’m voting for anybody but him. And I’m inclined to vote against anyone who held a position as a professional lobbyist in Washington, too.

UPDATE: Regarding Marla’s quote, “People who know me know that I don’t get riled up by people’s personal peccadilloes — that I’m usually the last person who’d care except for two things…” the second thing that she doesn’t name but leaves hanging in the air is pedophilia, if I’m guessing correctly.

I was in a GLBT political organization with Marla in the early 90’s when she discovered that a local gay “leader” we were working with had coerced young people he had access to into sexual relationships with him. (One of them having been a college friend of mine.) Marla went to Child Protective Services and had a full-blown investigation of him started when he suddenly dropped dead of complications due to AIDS. Marla actually took the time to sit down with the young people to give them good counseling about how to get AIDS tests at the same time the guy was being revered in the GLBT community as a visionary.

Of course that may not have any bearing on Kris Kiser at all, and it’s all personal speculation on my part about what Marla might have been trying to say there. Allegations of pedophilia seem to be the go-to smear tactic of choice in the GLBT community in Indianapolis, too. I’ve heard whisper campaigns against other gay figures in the community where no foundation ever appeared to support the rumors. So I’d consider that on its merits.

Either way, without Marla’s post as a factor, I was still voting for Julia Carson over Kris Kiser.

Continue ReadingThe controversial post about 7th district candidate Kris Kiser

Advance Indiana, Carson’s Challenger, and Ted Fleischaker

Julia Carson is facing a democratic challenger to her office — a gay man, Kris Kiser, with very little political experience. Much of the GLBT community supports Carson, who has been a friend of ours politically and gone to bat on gay issues with no hesitancy whatsoever. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) both support Carson over a challenger with little experience.

However, local sleazeball gay “newpaper” publisher Ted Fleischaker endorsed Kiser over Carson in an editorial in his “newspaper” (the only part of that term that is accurate is that the trash he publishes gets printed on paper), generating some controversy in the gay community and a great deal of discussion over the issue on the Advance Indiana website, which has done a decent reporting on the details.

I can’t say much about Kiser or whether he’d be a good candidate, although I think he can’t have very good judgement, since he’s trying to create a schism in the community by running against one of the best elected officials Democrats have, rather than running against a Republican incumbent. And if I were him, I wouldn’t count an endorsement from Fleischaker as a positive thing. I’d be running as far away from that as I possible could.

After a heated discussion of the issues on the Advance Indiana site, along with commentary on the validity of Ted’s paper, someone hacked the Advance Indiana site and deleted the related posts. Gee, that’s an awful striking coincidence. I remember back in the day when I was libeled on the gayindy mailing list by an “anonymous” source for expressing opinions Mr. Fleischaker disagreed with.

Continue ReadingAdvance Indiana, Carson’s Challenger, and Ted Fleischaker

Primary Elections, 2002

Voted in the primary this morning for Julia Carson. Also, I voted for my neighbor Linda Perdue for precinct something or other.

And I bought the Globe tabloid because there’s an expos� in it about Winona Ryder having a hot lesbian sex romp with Brittany Murphy. They’re kissin’ in the street and everything. Woo hoo! I now have a brand-new fantasy.

There’s also a article about Drew Barrymore dirty dancing with a couple of girls in a club after the premiere of E.T. Sweet.

Continue ReadingPrimary Elections, 2002