Thursday, July 29, 2010

HRC, FightBackNY
Endorse Anti-Abortion Candidate

Movement veteran fighter and organizer Andy Humm sent me his thoughts about some crappy Gay Inc jockeying back East, all in the name of gay marriage. As a California resident with enough gay and AIDS issues on my plate, I must disclose deep ignorance about New York politics, and I totally appreciate Andy giving me the low down on these developments.

Andy writes:

By focusing solely on the marriage equality issue, HRC and FightBackNY, [a project of gay mogul Tim Gill and others], are supporting some candidates who are conservative in every other way.

In Buffalo (see article below from City Hall news), Sen. Stachowski, a rightwing Democrat who had Conservative Party backing, is being challenged by Tim Kennedy, a rightwing Democrat who has the support of the Conservative Party (because he is against a woman's right to choose) and the Independence Party, which is now owned by the landlord/real estate lobby to end tenant protections in New York State.

In other words, HRC and FightBackNY seem to have no coherent politics. Whether consciously or not, they could be contributing to a much less progressive and possibly Republican legislature, which would certainly please Mayor Bloomberg who is backed by people like Brian Ellner who is leading the HRC effort in New York.

HRC for some reason announced an endorsement of Sen. Duane who certainly deserves LGBT support but doesn't have a serious race. Why not announce support for ALL the Democrats who vote favorably on LGBT issues?

The two groups are also backing Ruben Diaz's opponent. He certainly deserves a harassment primary, but no one seriously believes he can be beaten. FightBackNY also just sent out an e-mail about STARTING an oppo research campaign on Diaz now.

All this raises serious questions about what the strategy is, whose money is behind it, what their ulterior motives are, and why they invite absolutely no community input while asking for our money.

And as Gay City News has written, these same groups are not endorsing Shirley Huntley's pro-gay opponent, Lynn Nunes, in Queens for fear of antagonizing Senate Democratic leader John Sampson.

There are no consistent standards here--and a lot of untold stories.

Given the fact that HRC executive director Joe Solmonese was a longtime fundraising strategist for the very pro-abortion EMILY's List, and other top HRC staff and key board members have worked for EMILY's List or NARAL, it's difficult to understand how HRC could endorse New York State candidates based solely on gay marriage, and not face blowback from abortion rights orgs.

Even if those orgs remain silent about their liberal coalition buddy endorsing the anti-choice candidate, activists should publicly debate HRC and FightBackNY's endorsements.

From City Hall News:

Tim Kennedy, a Democratic Erie County legislator, is betting that the support from gay marriage groups angry at Bill Stachowski for his “no” vote on marriage equality will put him over the top in his primary race against the incumbent senator.

He has the backing of the Human Rights Campaign New York PAC, and is rumored to be in line to receive the endorsement of the Empire State Pride Agenda, the gold standard for marriage equality supporters. Fight Back New York, a political action committee created to oust anti-gay marriage senators, also has Stachowski in their crosshairs, but does not plan on supporting any particular candidates running against him. [...]

Ralph Lorigo, chair of the Erie Conservative Party who is running a primary challenge against Rick Lazio for the conservative line in this year’s governor’s race, says his group endorsed Kennedy based on the legislator’s stance on abortion (he is pro-life) and the state budget (he is fiscally conservative).

As for gay marriage, well, Lorigo said to wait and see. [...]

Lorigo said that if Kennedy wins, he expects him to argue for cutting state spending and against funding for abortion services. But when it comes to gay marriage, Lorigo said he hopes Kennedy will be open to changing his position. [...]

Have HRC and FightBackNY made a mistake with their Kennedy endorsements? Let's hear more voices from New York and elsewhere raised about what these Gay Inc orgs are doing in the Empire State, and demand full accountability from them as to how and why they made their endorsements.


Unknown said...

email from allen roskoff in NYC:

this is an outrage! They are destroying what used to be a progessive movement.
How dare they sell out coummuities which have been our allies, friends and part
of the civil rights coalition. They should be ashamed of themselves.=

Rick Rosendall said...

Michael, I am sure you didn't mean to refer to the "very pro-abortion EMILY's List."

Anonymous said...

Marriage Equality is our number one priority!!! Having Kennedy as a member of the Senate Democrats vote in favor of this, contrary to the alternative would be a major win for the progressive agenda! Current Senator Bill Stachowski, as well as Kennedy's Republican opponent Jack Quinn III, who led the floor fight against marriage equality for the Assembly Republicans, should be ashamed of themselves. Finally we have someone who is willing to stand up for LGBT issues in the 58th District and denounce bigotry across New York State by voting in favor of the LGBT community!