Sunday, November 13, 2011

VicTorie Osborn Royally Pissed at EQCA;
Burbank Blogger Slams Her Ego

 (Osborn, in a screen grab from the vid she made in 2009 for Rick Jacobs' political group, the Courage Campaign.)

Longtime lesbian nonprofit executive and consultant who also fancies herself a grassrooter, Torie Osborn, is running for an Assembly seat in a newly carved-out district. She didn't get the endorsement of Equality California recently and she and her supporters have been kvetching over the gay group backing a straight politician.

Allow me to digress, to point out that EQCA is one sorely messed up organization and the last thing they ought to be doing is pissing off any quarter of the Los Angeles gay crowd, if they have any reasonable expectation of somehow bouncing back to previous levels of funding and A-Gay support.

From Saturday's SF Chronicle:

It's a three-way fight for the newly formed district that stretches from Malibu to West Hollywood and the contenders include current Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, who represents the 53rd Assembly District and has moved to the newly drawn district; Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom; and Torie Osborn, a lesbian and longtime leader in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

This week, the state's largest LGBT political organization, Equality California, endorsed Butler, who is heterosexual. Osborn was, to put it lightly, displeased. Butler is "a straight carpetbagger who has never lived in the district," said Osborn ...

"She's not the incumbent in this district. There is no incumbent in this district," Osborn said, adding that, "this is precisely why people are frustrated with this insider, incumbency-protection racket in Sacramento."

It's no big deal if one less Democratic lesbian is not elected to office. We have plenty of them already and Osborn is no great shakes. A competent enough bureaucrat. Let her stay in the nonprofit world. She's not spoken up or done a damn thing about the EQCA racket until now, when she wanted their meager and basically inconsequential support. Maybe she didn't get the memo about EQCA's meltdown.

Osborn in the three years since EQCA led the disastrous No on 8 campaign, as the group has steadfastly refused to implement basic democratic engagement principles, has not piped up about the myriad problems at EQCA.

The Burbank Blogger, who doesn't identify herself or himself, is another critic of Osborn and really zings it to her in this post from Friday:

Case study number 2 [of special interest races] comes a little south of Burbank, where a candidate named Torie Osborn is challenging Betsy Butler for Assembly.

We polled our fellow Democratic activists: On ALL the major issues: LGBT, labor, immigrants, choice, the environment, etc, there is not one iota of difference between Torie Osborn and Betsy Butler. NOT ONE DIFFERENCE. Thus, excuse us for concluding that this stupid internecine challenge is all about Torie's monumental ego and her personal ambition.

Excuse me, but those are NOT good reasons to get in politics.

(As of press time, Torie's camp would not confirm that her campaign slogan will be, "Torie: It's About Me." We did confirm however that she really does punctuate emails with a call to VicTorie. No kidding...)

Nice to see effective use of snark, but I wasn't sure the Burbank Blogger was speaking the truth about the "VicTorie" branding of Osborn and her campaign, so I checked out her site. Lo, and behold, she indeed is using VicTorie throughout her site and messaging, for which I salute her. Creative reworking of her name and victory, and it's so upbeat too, that even this critic gives her props.

BTW, Osborn's campaign is not just about her moving up the gay political ladder and becoming another LGBT elected official. It's peddling a better life to backers, according to the promo for her Camp VicTorie last month:

Gimme a break on this touchy-feely stuff. Electing Osborn to any office would in no significant way advance LGBT liberation.


Michael said...

this note came my way yesterday from sheila kuehl, who is backing osborn's campaign:

thanx for the equally snarky and mostly misguided blog.
having served as the first gay or lesbian person in the calif. legislature
and actually knowing what it takes to be a good public servant as
opposed to a hack, i'm glad torie's running.
also as to whether she did anything to advance the lgbt movement?
revisionist history anyone? she was there all thru the early days of the AIDS crisis, and
the early building of our movement in southern calif.....all the way back to no on 6.
let's face it....eqca is still smarting from screwing up the no on 8 campaign and can't
stand it that folks were critical. as to difference between butler and torie? miles in
terms of leadership vs. a good vote.
and finally, VicTorie is, I believe, the name of the training you pointed out (thanx for
that). 100 folks are there right now. that IS organizing.
but thans for the props you did (somewhat grudgingly) give.....sheila

Anonymous said...

I don't get it -- you're defending Betsy Butler? Someone who is moving in to the 50th for an "easy fight," instead of going to the 66th, where she could have helped secure the 2/3 majority for Dems? How is this woman defensible? She hasn't even bought a house yet in the 50th, whereas Torie has lived and worked there for 25 years.

The difference between the two is that Torie is a leader who has engaged the grassroots from Day 1, with her Young Leaders efforts. She is training grassroots activists, and bringing people into the race that have never been involved in state level politics.

Michael said...

hello anonymous,

please read my post again. you'll hopefully see that i have NOT endorsed butler. just because i have no respect for torie and am not supporting her campaign does not equal an endorsement of her opponent.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear what exactly would give you reason to support Torie. From the sound of it, unless a person's only campaign is LGBT issues, you think they're not a worthwhile candidate. You realize that politicians actually represent more than just the segment of people they most closely identify with, right?

Michael said...

nothing in the world would cause me to support torie's campaign in any way. not only am i WAAAAAAAAY over gay politicians, i quite over ALL politicians. i no longer see elections and politicians as THE answer to addressing our fundamental democratic dysfunction. you realize the same old ways of political campaigns and elections ain't delivering change, right?