Donald Trump ALMOST out-does Dan Patrick on Twitter

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About 7 a.m. this morning (Sunday, June 12), just hours after people were killed and more than 50 others injured in a mass shooting inside an Orlando gay bar, Texas’ right-wing asshole lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, tweeted a Bible verse about “reaping what you sow.” He has since deleted it, I believe, but not before the whole world saw it.

And now, the man who would be king … uh, president, I mean … has almost outdone Patrick in the realm of tasteless, vulgar, hateful tweeting. Almost.

About noon CST, Trump tweeted: “Appreciate the congrats on being right about radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!”

As PoliticusUSA.com says: “There is something morally repulsive about anyone receiving congratulations on a day when over 100 innocent Americans were killed and wounded in an act of terror. Instead of thinking about the victims of this horrific attack, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is patting himself on the back.”

I still say that Dan Patrick’s tweet suggesting that the shooting was God’s vengeance on gays trumps Trump. But then there’s Pat Robertson to consider. He just came right out and declared that the shooting is God’s punishment on the country for the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling a year ago on marriage equality.

—  Tammye Nash

As LGBT community mourns, Dan Patrick sends judgmental tweet

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A screen shot from Dan Patrick’s Twitter page this morning, Sunday, June 12, shortly before 7 am. The tweet about FWISD, just below the quote from Galatians, was tweeted Friday, June 10

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Dan Patrick

As the details of a mass shooting inside a Florida gay bar continued to unfold Sunday morning, and the LGBT community — indeed, the country — mourned the more than 60 people killed or wounded in what officials are calling an act of terrorism, Texas’ right-wing lieutenant governor continued to prove what as an ass he is by posting a judgmental tweet that seems obviously tied to news of the attack.

“‘Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.’ Galations 6:7.”

The tweet was sent shortly before 7 a.m.

Thanks, Dan Patrick. As the rest of the country responds with shock, grief and sympathy, you have once again embarrased Texas with your hatefulness.

—  Tammye Nash

A matter of public safety: Dan Patrick continues the bathroom battle

Patrick for web

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, above, encouraged public schools to tell President Obama that they “reject his 30 pieces of silver,” and to ignore suggested federal guidelines for protecting transgender students. (Tammye Nash/ Dallas Voice)

 

Tammye Nash  |  Managing Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

 

“This is a matter of public safety.”

That’s what Texas Values policy analyst Nicole Hudgens said this morning on Dallas’ Fox 4 News about the battle over bathrooms raging across the country, and right here in North Texas in the Fort Worth Independent School District.

And you know what, Nicole Hudgens is right. Only, not in the way she claims.

On Tuesday (May 10), Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick showed up in Fort Worth for a press conference condemning the comprehensive guidelines Superintendent Kent Scribner issued in late April explaining the process for implementing FWISD’s 2011 anti-bullying policy related to transgender students.

Early this morning (Friday, may 13), the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice sent out a “Dear Colleague” letter offering guidance for schools nationwide on how, specifically, to prevent discrimination against transgender students. And Patrick, in Dallas for the Texas GOP Convention, hopped right up to hold another press conference in which he declared that the question of what bathroom or locker room transgender children are allowed to use at school is “the biggest issue facing families and schools since prayer was taken out of the schools.

(Point of fact, Lt. Governor: Prayer organized by faculty/staff in which all students are required to participate is not allowed in public schools, because it discriminates against those who have different religious beliefs from the majority. But no one has taken prayer out of schools. Student-led events with voluntary participation, like the See You at the Pole events, are certainly allowed. And go to any class on any test day, and I can guarantee someone there is praying!)

Patrick when on to declare that the letter — letter containing suggestions, not policy; but then, Dan Patrick doesn’t know the difference between a policy and a guideline, either — is “the most damaging domestic policy [President Obama] has put forth, and that’s saying something with this president” who enacted “Obamacare.”

Patrick ramped up the fear-mongering rhetoric even higher then, saying that the president is stealing food from the mouths of poor children since the federal dollars that could be withheld from schools that don’t protect transgender children is used primarily for free meal programs. The president is “attacking parents,” Patrick claimed, and forcing 14-year-old girls to shower with 14-year-old boys.

Patrick also noted that he’s telling all the school superintendents in Texas that the letter is not law, just “a recommendation with a threat,” and that they should ignore the letter from the U.S. Department of Education and not implement any of the suggestions. Don’t compromise, he told them, and don’t worry, those evils feds “are not coming and taking our children” on his watch.

The lieutenant governor urged Texas schools not to take “Obama’s 30 pieces of silver,” and not to let the president “blackmail” them. Just hold on until Donald Trump’s in the White House, because President Donald will know what to do!

Oh, and one more thing: The U.S. Department of Education sending a letter to schools with suggestions on how to protect transgender children is a government overreach and the federal government trying to meddle with local control. But Patrick descending on Fort Worth to insist that the local school district superintendent resign and the board repeal its anti-bullying policy is justified because these bathroom battles are “a state and a national issue.” And anyone who questioned the validity of him interjecting himself into FWISD business is a hypocrite.

He said more in his Friday morning press conference, but that’s the main gist of it: Federal over-reach … blahblahblah … coming for our children … blahblahblah … blackmail … blahblahblah … hypocrites … blahblahblah … and on and on.

But here’s the fact of it all: He is full of crap. So is Nicole Hudgens. Because as much as they and their ilk want to insist that this “isn’t about transgender people,” it is.

It’s totally about how a bunch of bigots don’t like transgender people because they don’t understand transgender people, and they don’t like the gays and lesbians anyway, and they are pissed off the homos can get married now but there’s nothing they can do about that because of the Supreme Court, so they are going after the trans people now because they are the easiest target.

They are trying to turn trans people into the big, scary, snarly monster in the closet — or in this case, in the bathroom — that’s just waiting for you to turn out the lights so they can come rushing out to rape their wives and eat their children. Why? Because when there is a monster, you have to have a monster-slayer, and people like Dan Patrick and Nicole Hudgens want people to think they are the heroes who will kill the monsters and keep them safe.

Except, in truth, they are the monsters.

But Nicole Hudgens, as I said at the outset, is right about one thing: This is a public safety issue. It’s about the safety of transgender people — men, women and children — who have, indeed, been and remain easy targets for discrimination, hatred and violence.

Take this stat, for instance, which Resource Center reminded me off this morning in a press release praising the letter from the Obama administration: According to the 2013 Texas School Climate Survey conducted by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), 60 percent of students surveyed have experienced verbal harassment over their gender identity art school. And 23 percent of that harassment came from school staff members.

About one in eight — one in eight, people! — transgender students report having been physically assaulted at school, although most of the incidents went unreported because the students didn’t think anyone would take them seriously or do anything to protect them. And a national study conducted in 2007 indicated that more than half of all trans youth have attempted suicide at least once by the time they turn 20.

(Of course, Dan Patrick noted Tuesday that only about 1 percent of the FWISD students are transgender, implying that that’s not enough to warrant taking action to protect them.)

Nell Gaither over at Trans Pride Initiative today sent a statement praising the letter as well. And in her statement, she cited the 2011 study, “Injustice at Every Turn,” which found that nationwide, 78 percent of students expressing a trans identity or gender nonconformity in school face discrimination. Of those, 35 percent reported being assaulted, including 12 percent being sexually assaulted.

The rates in Texas, according to the study, are similar or higher: 85 percent experiencing harassment, 46 percent being physically assaulted and 9 percent experiencing sexual assault.

The study went on to note that trans and gender non-conforming adults have an overall lifetime attempted suicide rate of 41 percent, but that increases to 51 percent among those who have been harassed, 64 percent for those who were physically assaulted, and 68 percent for those who were sexually assaulted.

Last year, at least 21 transgender people were reported murdered in the United States. The actual number was likely much higher, because many such murders go unreported and/or the victims are misgendered in police and media reports.

From 2013 to the end of 2015, 53 transgender people were murdered, and not a single one was prosecuted or reported as a hate crime, according to a report by Human Rights Campaign.

Attempted suicide rates as high as 68 percent; 53 people murdered in two years. Yes, Nicole Hudgens, protections for transgender students are definitely a public safety issue. But it’s the safety of the transgender people that’s at risk, not yours.

It’s time you and Dan Patrick and all the self-involved and bigoted haters out there figure that out.

—  Tammye Nash

BREAKING: Equality Texas board chair speaks outside FWISD

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Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick

Speaking in a press conference outside the Fort Worth ISD building shortly after 4 p.m., Equality Texas board chair Steve Rudner took Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick to task for his attacks on Transgender issues.

Noting that the policy itself was approved in 2011, Rudner said, “The only news here is that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has chosen to pick on a group of already bullied kids. It’s shameful and despicable.”

Patrick is set to hold a press conference at FWISD offices at 5 p.m. just before the FWISD board meeting.

Dallas Voice will be at the meeting. Look for additional coverage.

—  David Taffet

Dan Patrick coming to Fort Worth to protest ISD’s trans guidelines

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Dan Patrick is coming to save FWISD from the transgenders

Fairness Fort Worth was already asking for LGBT people and their allies turn for the Fort Worth ISD board meeting tonight (Tuesday, May 10) to show support for guidelines on how the district’s personnel and students are expected to interact with transgender students, faculty and staff, including guidelines on public bathroom use.

Now Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — who issued a statement yesterday calling for FWISD Superintendent Kent Scribner to resign for putting his personal political agenda ahead of the well-being of the district’s students — has announced he is coming to Fort Worth tonight to hold a press conference outside the school district’s administration building to, well, to say why his personal political agenda should be put ahead of the well-being of FWISD students. You know, this school district that Patrick has no children in, in a city where Patrick does not live.

There have been rumors that Glenn Beck, the right-wing radio host who also does not live in Fort Worth and does not have children in the district, will attend tonight’s meeting as well.

The guidelines, which have been under construction for about a year, are not new policy, but simply a more detailed explanation of existing policy. As such, they needed only Superintendent Kent Scribner’s signature to go into effect, rather than approval by the FWISD’s board.

Despite the uproar and Patrick’s call for Scribner to resign, FWISD School Board President Jacinto “Cinto” Ramos Jr. issued a statement Monday declaring the board’s support for Scribner:

“Mi querida gente. Rest assured, the safety of ALL children is our highest priority on the Board. We are completely capable of handling this in Fort Worth. We are applying the existing policy to make sure ALL children feel safe at school. We are here to look out for ALL children; not some, not most, but ALL children. ‪#‎AsiDerechito‬ con puro amor…no odio. ‪#‎WeGotThis‬.”

(Not sure about the translation, but I believe it says, basically, “We’re gonna do this right, with pure love, no hate.” The #WeGotThis is pretty obvious.)

Fairness Fort Worth President David Mack Henderson today re-issued the call for supporters to flood the board meeting tonight, and to wear red. But he also stressed the importance of supporters of Scribner and of the guidelines, behaving respectfully:

“If you are coming to the FWISD board meeting today we (LGBTQA community leaders) are asking people to please wear red, and we urge people to avoid letting agitators press our buttons. Some would like nothing more than to distract us. No thanks. Our kids come first. That includes those present tonight for athletic honors and also their teachers of the year who we rely upon. We want our message to be positive, clear and unequivocally grateful to Supt. Scribner and our trustees for true leadership. Our focus is to make sure ALL our students have equal and safe access to education with dignity. Please, help us keep our message clear and constructive and concise. Thank you all for making Cowtown proud!”

 

 

—  Tammye Nash

UPDATE:Vote now! Show support for FWISD’s trans guidelines

 

 

Screen shot 2016-05-10 at 11.43.05 AMUPDATE: New link to the story and the poll here. At 2:10, results stand at 64 percent in favor of allowing individuals to use facilities according to gender identity.

 

CBSDFW Channel 11 has a news story online right now about Dan Patrick’s plan to attend the Fort Worth Independent School District board meeting tonight to try and bully the district into rescinding the most comprehensive and fair set of guidelines on handling transgender issues in the schools that we’ve seen so far.

Included, down toward the bottom of the page, is a poll intending to gauge support for the guidelines vs. opposition. Right now, the support side is lagging by about 1 percent. So get on over there and let them know how you feel.

 

—  Tammye Nash

Texas Lege ends, now the fun begins; “bought and sold” series returns

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The Texas Capitol, site of a future “American Horror Story” season.

After staving off the threats of ISIS at the border, struggling with the godlessness of pre-kindergarten education and failing to save the evil Speaker Who Doesn’t Believe in the Messiah, the 84th legislature’s snake charmers finally went back home yesterday.

On the bright side: Per the state’s Constitution, they passed a budget. And their mighty efforts to slash taxes resulted in successfully saving the average homeowner…$200-something in property taxes.

Just as important, they’ve stopped screwing with your lives! Any legislation harmful to the LGBT community was thwarted!

The bad part: They’re now back home. They’re among us.

In the 84th tussle to burn the biggest effigy, LGBT advocates can happily claim a number of wins. The Romeo and Juliet bill made it to the floor for a vote after receiving bipartisan support in committee; religious discrimination language targeting LGBT children and families was defeated; and county clerks will not be barred from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

But your valiant warriors worked to assure us they did indeed accomplish something. Enough, in fact, that those accomplishments won’t fit on a post card: the Senate passed a last-ditch resolution re-asserting their support for “traditional marriage” (as in, between a man and a woman, at least in the daylight); they found more ways to regulate uteri; and of course they gutted serious ethics reform legislation.

With such great accomplishments, now it’s time to watch the little substance of this past session turn into campaign fodder — or for many Republican incumbents who’ve earned the tea Party’s ire, liabilities.

I can’t wait to write about upcoming election cycle. I’ll continue to follow the money, reviving my “Bought and sold” series on dark money, campaign finances and right-wing boogeymen.

Bring it, 2016.

Or, if strictly speaking in presidential elections, 1992.

—  James Russell

Bought and sold: Lt. Gov-elect Patrick packs advisory boards with donors

Dan-Patrick

Republican Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick announced yesterday (Thursday, Jan. 15) he has appointed 56 state business leaders to six new citizen advisory panels who will advise him on a variety of policy areas, including water, taxes, economic development and forecasting, transportation and energy.

Texans for Public Justice, a liberal ethics watchdog group, noted 77 percent of the advisory members financially backed his campaign for lieutenant governor. Other members have backed Patrick since his first campaign for state senate in 2006, a position he held until his election as lieutenant governor this past November.

Nearly half of the advisory members live in the Dallas/Fort Worth region. Many are also among the Patrick campaign’s donors.

Dallas’ Roy Bailey will chair the advisory board’s committees.

Advisory group meetings would not be open to the public but Patrick said he will acknowledge legislation brought by the groups, according to the Austin American-Statesman. He also anticipates advisory board members to testify before committees.

“Endowing a handful of corporate titans with the power to write laws behind closed doors is the ultimate form of government privatization,” said Craig McDonald, the group’s director. “If you thought cronyism and corruption were out of hand under the [outgoing Gov.] Perry regime, just hang on!  The worst is yet to come.”

Major Patrick contributors and advisory board members:

Asterisk indicates Dallas/Fort Worth area resident 

*Roy Bailey, Chairman of Advisory Committees

Economic & Workforce Development:

Gene Powell, Chairman

*Barry Andrews

*Monty Bennett

Alonzo Cantu

*Dick Collins

*Doug Deason

Windi Grimes

*Mike Gruber

Bill Holmes

Michael Plank

Kyle Stallings

Massey Villareal

Economic Forecast:

Hon. Kent Hance

Tilman Fertitta

*Gerald Ford

Woody Hunt

Jodie L. Jiles

*Bob Rowling

Paul Sarvadi

*Shelly Stein

*Ardon Moore

Energy/Oil and Gas:

*T. Boone Pickens, Chairman

S. Javaid Anwar

John Connally

Tim Dunn

Kirk Edwards

Wil VanLoh, Jr.

John Walker

*Kelcy Warren

Tax Policy:

*Brint Ryan

Nelda Blair

Alan Hassenflu

*Marcus Hiles

Victor Leal

Steve Mach

*Bob McNutt

Mike Reitmeier

Ben Streusand

Sherry Sylvester

Transportation:

Ned Holmes, Chairman

*Bob Albritton

Steve Alvis

Arch “Beaver”  Aplin

*Pamela Bailey-Campbell

*Carter Pate

*Brenda Pejovich

*Jere Thompson, Jr.

John Weisman

Water:

Jack Wood, Chairman

*Joe Colonnetta

*Ralph Ellis, Jr.

Joseph Fitzsimons

*Kenn George

Gaylord Hughey

Kevin Sparks

—  James Russell

Vote for competence and integrity, not just party

Natinsky, Hawk, Lee, DeWitt deserve your vote.

 

Rob SchleinFor too many elections, Dallas Voice readers voted based on the question “Are they ‘with me’ or ‘against me’ as it pertains to gay rights. The main criteria have always been the questions of same-sex marriage and non-discrimination in employment. And therefore, readers aligned with the Democrat Party.

Now that the courts are nearly unanimous in deciding the marriage question, and since major cities and corporations have addressed non-discrimination policies protecting gay people, perhaps it is time to move beyond this traditional paradigm.

I believe it’s time to ask: “How qualified, competent and honest is the candidate?”

The answer to this question does not fall neatly within political party lines.

There are a number of candidates on the Republican side that clearly excel, and I will ask you to avoid your tendency to pull the “D” lever at the polls and to vote for them.

They are Ron Natinsky for Dallas County judge, Susan Hawk for Dallas County district attorney, Mike Lee for judge and Lisa DeWitt for judge.

Ron Natinsky won the endorsement of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance when he ran for mayor, and he has a proven record of public and private accomplishments.

I have had far too many Democrats contact me to ask about Ron because they are unimpressed with Clay Jenkins’ Ebola preparedness, the quality of his communication skills during broadcast interviews and his desire to bring thousands of illegal immigrant children to Dallas.

But aside from Ebola, Clay just isn’t working well for Dallas County. The New Parkland Hospital is already a budget mess, and the hiring of a $1 million-a-year salaried director is questionable. If you are concerned with income inequality, that should “rankle your feathers.”

More importantly, Dallas area growth hasn’t come to Dallas County because Clay Jenkins doesn’t know how to attract businesses to our county, and how to avoid the northern county migration.

Susan Hawk has an impeccable reputation and the experience of a prosecuting attorney.  She can restore morale and proficiency in the office of the district attorney.

Craig Watkins, on the other hand, has lost all integrity. Are you really okay with the idea that he uses forfeiture funds for personal purposes?

Forget whether he is “pro-gay” or not,, he has a reputation for being a bully. He fired one well-regarded attorney in his office just for attending a GOP political function. This is the kind of bullying gays should abhor.

Mike Lee is running against Sally Montgomery. It’s one thing to have different views on politics. But it’s quite another to make rulings from the bench that have no basis in law.

The Dallas Observer rated Sally “The Worst Judge in Texas,” and wrote that the 5th Court of Appeals is very busy undoing her decisions. The Dallas Morning News editorial board, once referred to her as “arrogant and capricious.”

And, let’s not forget Lisa DeWitt, who is on the leadership team of the local Log Cabin Republicans chapter.

Are there Democrats worthy of Republican consideration?

Yes. I’m likely voting Democrat in these races:

• Mike Collier for comptroller. As a former employee of a Big 8 accounting firm from my early professional years, I appreciate the competence of a CPA in that position. The Republican candidate has no such background. It takes more skills than espousing one’s religious faith to run a comptroller’s office effectively.

• Leticia Van de Putte for lieutenant governor. I’m not convinced that Republican Dan Patrick is a good choice for lieutenant governor. GOP friends in the Senate have had less than kind words for him during his primary campaign. Dan is not well liked or trusted among his Austin peers, and I worry that he would become the Republican Harry Reid of our state Senate, creating the gridlock most of us hate in Washington.

• Sam Houston for attorney general. Republican Ken Paxton has some legal troubles ahead as was pointed out by his GOP Primary opponent, Dan Branch, that are very serious. Enough said.

So, I ask all the readers this election season: Don’t just vote for a Party. Vote for competence. Vote for integrity. I am,

Rob Schlein is president of Metroplex Republicans, an LGBT Republican organization.

—  Tammye Nash

Election 2014: Lt. Gov. debate tonight

Patrick_LVdP_copy_jpg_800x1000_q100Tonight Texans will have their one and only chance tonight to watch lieutenant governor candidates Leticia Van de Putte and Dan Patrick debate. Sponsored by Austin’s KLRU-TV and the Texas Tribune, the televised duel begins at 7 p.m. and will last one hour.

The Dallas County Democrats are hosting a phone bank and watch party at their headquarters, 4209 Parry Avenue, from 6-8 p.m. More information can be found here. Check out the Van de Putte campaign website for additional information.

The Dan Patrick campaign is hosting a phone bank and watch party at the Dallas County Republican Party Victory Center, 9669 N. Central Expressway Ste. 100. Also check out the Patrick campaign website for additional information.

The debate will also be livestreamed. You may watch it here.

—  James Russell