WATCH: Dallas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson records LGBT Pride Month message

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, pledged her continued support for equality in an LGBT Pride Month video.

The video was posted on the congresswoman’s YouTube page Friday.

A longtime supporter of LGBT rights, Johnson voted in favor of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 but now is now a sponsor of the bill to repeal DOMA.

In the video, she mentions that this year is the 43rd  anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, reflecting on the “enormous advancements in gay rights” since then that include the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

“These laws strengthen our commitment to value every American’s life equally, both publicly and privately,” she said. “The law of the land must protest every American’s civil rights.”

Johnson pledges in the video to continue to support gay rights as a member of LGBT Equality Caucus and to help pass legislation that “ensures a more united fight against discrimination and intolerance.”

“While great progress has been made, more work needs to be done,” she said.

Watch the video below.

—  Anna Waugh

Eddie Bernice Johnson’s chief of staff back at work after suspension for email about gay staffer

Eddie Bernice Johnson

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’ chief of staff, who was placed on administrative leave last month over an email he wrote criticizing a gay staff member, is back on the job, The Dallas Morning News reports today.

Rep. Johnson, D-Dallas, placed her chief of staff, Murat Gokcigdem, on leave after the Washington Blade, an LGBT newspaper in the capital, obtained a copy of an email Gokcigdem wrote about Christopher Crowe in 2010. Crowe died last year from a staph infection, but at the time he was one of four finalists to become special assistant to the undersecretary of budget and tax in the Treasury Department.

Crowe, who worked in Johnson’s office and headed the LGBT Congressional Staff Association, sought a letter of recommendation from Gokcigdem for the Treasury Department post. In response to Crowe’s request, Gokcigdem drafted an email to Johnson that he mistakenly sent to Crowe, according to the Blade. Gokcigdem’s email said Crowe was underqualified for the Treasury Department and suggested he was only being considered by the White House post because he was gay.

“It is my personal belief that he has contacts there,” Gokcigdem wrote. “And they, as a group watching and supporting each other if you know what I mean.”

The Morning News reports that Johnson’s office won’t say for how long Gokcigdem was suspended, whether he was paid during that time, or what the findings of the investigation were. The newspaper suggests that the leak of Gokcigdem’s email to the Blade was designed to stir opposition to Johnson prior to the Democratic Primary, and Gokcigdem’s suspension was her effort to tamp down the issue until after the election. Johnson won a landslide victory over two challengers, Taj Clayton and Barbara Mallory Caraway.

The story quotes the deputy executive director of Log Cabin Republicans of Dallas, who suggests that Johnson’s office is sweeping the matter under the rug.

“Investigations tend to provide cover for a lot of facts that one doesn’t want to talk to,” Christian Berle told The Morning News. “It is unfortunately emblematic of a situation many staffers on the Hill are dealing with. … They’re not able to show up at work as themselves.”

Gokcigdem’s suspension led indirectly to the revelation that Rep. Johnson was running misleading advertisements in Dallas Voice, saying she had a perfect record on LGBT issues for 20 years when in fact she voted in favor of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.

Johnson’s office declined repeated requests for an interview with the Voice, the only LGBT newspaper in her district, to discuss the ads and explain why she voted for DOMA but is now a sponsor of the bill to repeal it.

—  John Wright

BREAKING: Eddie Bernice Johnson places chief of staff on leave over email about gay staffer

Eddie Bernice Johnson

The Washington Blade is reporting that Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, a staunch LGBT ally, has placed her chief of staff on administrative leave in response to an email he wrote about a gay staff member two years ago.

Murat Gokcigdem was placed on indefinite leave effective Monday, the Blade reports, after the LGBT newspaper obtained a copy of an email Gokcigdem wrote about staff member Christopher Crowe in 2010. Crowe died last year from a staph infection, but at the time he was one of four finalists to become special assistant to the undersecretary of budget and tax in the Treasury Department.

Crowe, who worked in Johnson’s office and headed the LGBT Congressional Staff Association, sought a letter of recommendation from Gokcigdem for the Treasury Department post. In response to Crowe’s request, Gokcigdem drafted an email to Johnson that he mistakenly sent to Crowe, according to the Blade.

Gokcigdem’s email said Crowe was underqualified for the Treasury Department and suggested he was only being considered by the White House post because he was gay.

“It is my personal belief that he has contacts there,” Gokcigdem wrote. “And they, as a group watching and supporting each other if you know what I mean.”

A spokeswoman for Johnson’s office didn’t immediately respond Monday evening to a request for comment from Dallas Voice.

You can read Gokcigdem’s full email about Crowe here.

Our initial reaction to this news is that we suspect there must be more to this story. It’s hard to believe that Rep. Johnson would suspend her chief of staff based on this email alone.

It’s also worth noting that today is the first day of early voting in the primary, and Johnson has two Democratic challengers. So the timing of this email being leaked to the Blade strongly suggests that it’s politically motivated.

Stay tuned to Instant Tea for updates.

—  John Wright

Nowlin throws hat in ring to replace Hunt in District 14

James Nowlin

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

If Angela Hunt decides to run for mayor, the gayest council district in Dallas will be open, and at least one gay man has already announced he is throwing his hat into the District 14 ring.

James Nowlin, 30, has lived in Dallas since 2006. He is a graduate of University of Virginia and Duke University School of Law.

In 2007, he and a business partner he started Excel Global Partners, a corporate financial consulting and professional services staffing company. He said he maintains his law license.

If elected, Nowlin would become the youngest person ever elected to Dallas City Council. Hunt now holds that title; she was first elected at age 33.

Hunt appointed Nowlin to the Dallas Citizens Police Review Board, from which he recently resigned after deciding to run for office.

He has also serves on the board of AIDS Services Dallas and attends of Cathedral of Hope and Unity Church of Christianity.

Nowlin has already put up a campaign website and named Bill Prather as his treasurer.

While this is the first time he’s running for office, it is not Nowlin’s first campaign. In 2010, he served on the steering committee for Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson’s campaign.

“I’ve been talking to Angela for more than a year about succeeding her,” Nowlin said Thursday, Jan. 13.

If she decides to run for re-election rather than for mayor, he said, “We’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.”

Among the issues Nowlin said his campaign would address are the budget, public safety, economic development, infrastructure and other issues of importance to the LGBT community and the community at large.

District 14 includes parts of East Dallas and Oak Lawn. If elected, Nowlin would be the first gay representative from the district since Craig McDaniel was elected to that seat in 1993 as the city’s first openly gay council member.

For more information, visit JamesNowlin.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 14, 2011.

—  John Wright

Rep. Johnson expects tough time for LGBT rights

Democrat wins 10th term, but says with Republicans in control, many LGBT-positive bills won’t get heard

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer taffet@dallasvoice.com

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, right, and Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert
HONORING VETERANS | Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, right, and Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert were among those participating in Dallas’ Veterans Day parade on Thursday. Johnson said repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is possible during the lame duck session, but questionable. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson has been considered a friend to the LGBT community since she served in the Texas House of Representatives.

“I grew up black in Waco, Texas. It’s just hard for me to fight against anybody’s rights,” said the woman who just won re-election to Congress.
But Johnson dates her firm commitment to LGBT equality to a much more recent event.

She said that throughout her life she fought for civil rights, but “When they [the LGBT community] really got my attention was when they [anti-gay conservatives] were talking about putting something in the Constitution,” she said. “You know, I have never seen them amend the Constitution to take rights away from people. So that’s just the beginning and the end of my philosophy.”

Johnson told a story about the subtle discrimination that she encountered in her first job as the first black nurse at the Dallas VA Hospital.
She worked a shift until midnight. When she got off on time, she’d catch the last bus to her home downtown.

But her supervisors purposely liked to delay her so that she’d miss the bus and have to walk up Lancaster Road and across the Corinth StreetBridge to get downtown.

“It brings tears to my eyes even now,” she said.

But Johnson said she had on her comfortable white nursing shoes, all those nights, and she made it home. And she made it to Congress, where she hopes she’s helped make other people’s lives easier.

On Monday, Nov. 15, the lame duck session of Congress opens. But Johnson said she doesn’t “anticipate a lot” of movement on the several bills of interest to the LGBT community that have been languishing this session.

She said that the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” has already passed the House, where she serves, and that the Senate has the votes. But still, she isn’t hopeful it will go through.

She said she believes that if DADT had to come back to the House because of amendments, it would pass there again. But, “It depends on what the Senate does,” she said.

Since Johnson expects that a number of House members who were defeated will not return for the lame duck session, she isn’t hopeful that other legislation of interest to the LGBT community will even be brought to the floor.

She said the House had the votes to pass Employment Nondiscrimination. But if the legislation does come up during the lame duck session, whether it passes will depend on who has shown up for work.

Two immigration bills that might be considered could help the LGBT community: the Dream Act and the Uniting American Families Act. The Dream Act would give people who were brought to this country as children a way to become citizens. UAFA would give an American citizen the right to sponsor a partner for a visa and eventual citizenship, the same way a married spouse currently can.

Johnson noted that Republican Sen. John McCain had been a sponsor of the Dream Act but has since dropped his sponsorship. The bill would have an easier path to passage with his name on it, she said.

Johnson would like to see the omnibus immigration reform bill — which includes the Dream Act and UAFA and has been debated this session — pass while the Democrats are still in control.

“I wish we could because it would be much more acceptable,” she said. “People have to have a path to becoming citizens.”

Whether the two bills that would benefit the LGBT community would be considered in the next session, she couldn’t say.

“They determine what comes to the floor,” she said, referring to the majority party, which will be the Republicans.

Under Republican control, Johnson expects a piecemeal approach to immigration reform.

“If they mean to be productive, that’s one thing,” she said.

But she doesn’t expect that in the new session.

And what would she like in the new Congress?

“To get along,” Johnson said, with a sidelong glance that indicated that she didn’t expect it to happen.

“There’s going to be two parties up there, but it’s going to be the Tea Party and the Republican Party,” she said.

As we spoke in the conference room of her Dallas congressional office earlier this week, she revealed one of her darkest secrets: Some of her best friends in Congress are Republicans.

She also divulged one of her little tricks: Pralines from Neiman Marcus.

“This will make you a little sweeter,” she’ll tell a committee colleague when debating proposed legislation or funding for a project.

When Congress reconvenes in January, Johnson will once again be in the minority. She noted that she has spent fewer terms in office in the majority, so this won’t be anything new for her.

She said Republicans have indicated that 60 percent of each committee will be named from their own party.

“And the rumor is they’re going to cut them in half,” she said regarding committee size.

That will leave Democrats scrambling for committee assignments. She believes her own positions on the Science and Technology Committee and the Transportation Committee are safe because of her seniority, but worries that Democrats will lose the opportunity to develop younger talent.

She recalled the last time Republicans took control of the House in the 1994 sweep. They were in control for the first time in decades and she called their initial leadership “mean-spirited.”

First they fired all House staff, assuming them to be Democrats. Then they closed down a number of offices to outsource the work, including the printing and furniture building offices.

“Most of the furniture we use is made in house,” she said. “They got rid of all that staff and then they found out that to make a desk was $150 — maybe — and to buy one was a thousand.”

Johnson said printing is also done cheaper in-house.

She said doesn’t expect the in-coming Republican leadership to make the same mistakes, and that she hopes her committees continue to act in a bipartisan fashion.

“There’s no Democratic highway and there’s no Republican sewer system,” she said. “We tend to get along.”

While delighted by her own huge landslide in the recent election and thankful to people who voted for her, Johnson said she is saddened by how many of her friends won’t be returning to Congress with her in January.

Although the election coverage was all about the Tea Party candidates, only about a third were actually elected. Though many of the others lost by a small margin, Johnson defeated Stephen Broden, her Tea Party opponent, by more than 50 points. Her landslide was possibly the largest against a Tea Party candidate in the country.

Johnson laughs at coverage of her election that minimized the enormity of her win. She said that by looking at her opponent’s campaign filings, she knew rank-and-file and local Republicans weren’t supporting him. That indicated last-minute money might flow into his coffers from around the country.

But Johnson said she was prepared and ran her usual campaign, taking nothing for granted.

“People in my district know me,” she said.

And in large numbers voted for her for a 10th term in office.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 12, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Looking for the gays at the Veterans Day Parade

Adm. Patrick Walsh

Parades are always a good place to take a great front-page photo. But since we are the Dallas Voice we’re looking for great LGBT subjects to be front and center in those photos. I made some calls this morning, but found no one going to the Veterans Day Parade.

I got downtown just in time for the 11 a.m. festivities.

Adm. Patrick Walsh was the keynote speaker. Walsh, who is from Dallas, is commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet. Also speaking were Gov. Rick Perry and Mayor Tom Leppert. City councilmembers and U.S. Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson and Jeb Hensarling were also on the podium in front of City Hall.

Nice reception by the crowd for Leppert. Wild reception for Perry. Didn’t he lose here in Dallas? Guess it was just the crowd.

So in my quest to find gay vets, I did what I always do. I asked.

The Marines had a tent. I asked.

“Hi. I’m from Dallas Voice,” I said with my press pass dangling and my largest telephoto lens attached to my camera to make myself seem more pressy. “I’m looking for any gay or lesbian vets. Any with your group?”

Gov. Rick Perry

I might as well have been speaking to them in Russian.

Oh well. Army tent nearby. “Hey. Dallas Voice here. You guys know if any of the gay vets groups are marching?”

A slow shake of the head indicated, at least to me, that I actually was speaking in English.

One last chance. The Navy. My father was in the Navy during World War II and today’s parade was in honor of World War II vets. Actually, my father did everything he could to stay out of the Navy. He and his brother, Milt, volunteered to work through most of the war in Washington. They were engineers and worked on a project that created the first radar system.That did a good job of keeping him out, until 1944 when he was drafted.

So I approached the Navy with more confidence, being from a Navy family.

“Hi. Dallas Voice. I’m looking for some gay or lesbian vets. You see any you know here?” I asked.

They laughed. I laughed. They were thinking and trying to be helpful.

“It’s OK. I got some great pics. We’ll find something colorful to use,” I said.

And we did.

Happy Veterans Day to all the LGBT as well as straight vets.

Classic Corvette Club honored WW II veterans

—  David Taffet

Election 2010 • Republican gains could cause Dems redistricting woes

Dallas County stays blue despite a wave of Republican red sweeping across the rest of the state, nation

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer taffet@dallasvoice.com

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
ANOTHER TERM | U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson makes an appearance at the county Democratic Election Night party. Johnson, the only Dallas-area Democrat in Congress, easily defeated Tea Party favorite Steve Broden on Tuesday. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

Although statewide results favored Republicans, Democrats swept all countywide races in Dallas County. The larger majority of Republicans in the legislature, however, will affect redistricting and could embolden some to file anti-gay legislation.

“Dallas County will still be a Democratic County,” said State Rep. Royce West at the election watch party at the American Airlines Arena on Nov. 2.

While pleased with the results throughout the county, Dallas County Democratic Party chair Darlene Ewing said her worry was redistricting.

New census figures will be reported in December. Then the newly elected legislature will redistrict state and federal legislative seats based on the new figures. She expects the state Democratic Party to file a challenge to the new boundaries should they be drawn to heavily favor Republicans.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Texas should gain a seat. Eddie Bernice Johnson’s district is packed with a large number of the county’s Democrats, contributing to her 50-point margin of victory. Should the new district be carved partially from that area, the next congress might include a second Democrat from North Texas.

Should her district remain untouched, the area will likely elect another Republican.

Texas state House and Senate districts will also be reapportioned. Current district lines kept six districts safely in Democratic hands. Those races were unchallenged by the Republicans but made the rest of the area’s races remained uncompetitive for Democrats.

Ewing said that in 2000, the Justice Department appointees who reviewed redistricting plans were Republican. But no longer.

“This time they’re on our side,” Ewing said.

“We have more recourse with a Democrat in the White House,” said Stonewall Democrats of Dallas President Erin Moore.

Moore believes the Justice Department will look at the new map more critically than they had in the past. Redistricting should reflect neighborhoods, and that gerrymandering is done to get one party or the other elected, she said.

“With Republicans winning, we know they’ll draw some really squiggly lines to get what they need to win again,” said Moore.

Moore also worried about anti-LGBT bills that would become more likely to pass with a larger Republican majority. She said anti-adoption bills could be filed and anti-bullying laws would be less likely to pass.

“Numbers bring strength and confidence,” she said. “And they’ve been emboldened.

Within the Democratic Party, the number of delegates each state sends to the national convention is determined, in part, by the number of votes cast for the Democrat in the most recent gubernatorial race. She said more ballots were cast for Bill White this year than for Chris Bell in 2006.

In this election, White and other Democrats did much better in Dallas than across most of the rest of the state.

Of the straight party ballots cast, 53 percent went to the Democratic Party. By contrast, almost twice as many Republican straight party ballots were cast in Tarrant County than Democratic ballots.

In statewide races, White received 55 percent of the vote in the governor’s race in Dallas County. Across the state, Rick Perry won the election with 55 percent. The vote in Tarrant County reflected the statewide vote.

Dr. Elba Garcia and a supporter.
Dr. Elba Garcia and a supporter.

Other statewide races were all won by Republicans but were fairly evenly split in Dallas County. Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst held a 2,000-vote edge over Democrat Linda Chavez-Thompson in Dallas. In other races, the Democratic challengers held a slight edge over the Republican incumbents across the county.

All contested Dallas County judgeships were won by Democrats. Winners took nothing for granted in their races, however.

“Somebody once told me there are two ways to run for office,” said Judge Carl Ginsberg. “Unopposed or scared.”

He said he got his message out and won with more than 52 percent of the vote, higher than most of the other winners. A number of Republican voters told him that they crossed over to vote for him.

Democrats also retained district attorney, county clerk, district clerk, and county judge and picked up a county commissioner’s seat.

However, in state House of Representatives races, Democrats lost all contested races in Dallas County. Two out of three Democratic incumbents also lost in Tarrant County. None of those races is a countywide contest.

Those losing their elections in Dallas included Carol Kent, Robert Miklos, Kirk England and Allen Vaught. In Tarrant County, Paula Pierson and Chris Turner lost their seats while LGBT community ally Lon Burnham retained his. Burnham has co-authored anti-bullying legislation.

“I think it was the national sentiment that hurt,” said Pete Schulte who challenged Republican incumbent Dan Branch for the House seat that includes parts of Oak Lawn and East Dallas.

“We lost a lot of good reps tonight,” Schulte said. “We fought a good campaign, but when federal politics takes center stage, it’s an uphill battle to combat that locally.”

Moore credits the Democratic win in Dallas County on the coordinated campaign of the county party, the get out the vote effort and a massive calling operation. But she called the results, “too close for comfort.”

Weather affected the outcome, Moore said. Traditionally, Republicans make up a majority of the early vote and Democrats are more likely to cast their ballots on Election Day. Rain affects turnout and more than three inches fell on Tuesday.

Elba Garcia was more upbeat in her assessment of the outcome. She beat 16-year incumbent Ken Mayfield by 5 percent.

She said voters spoke loudly about the change they want.

“We need this county to move forward,” she said. “Voters are tired of the finger pointing.”

Garcia said her experience in city government will benefit the county as she helps find ways for different entities together. Once elected, it doesn’t matter what party she ran on, she said, reflecting her experience as a city council member. The city council is elected in non-partisan elections.

Everyone on the Commissioners Court needs to work together on healthcare, public safety, education and economic development, Garcia said.
“Government is not exactly a business,” she said. “But it needs to be run professionally.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 5, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Election Day watch party locations

AT&T Plaza at Victory Park on south side of AA Arena

Election Day watch parties will be held Tuesday night at various locations in Dallas. Each county party will hold a rally and many candidates are hosting gatherings of their own.

The Dallas County Democratic Party will rally at AT&T Plaza in Victory Park by the south entrance of American Airlines Center. Stonewall Democrats of Dallas will be at Victory Park. The location in case of rain is the Jack Daniels Grill inside the arena.

The Dallas County Republican Party will be at Hotel Palomar on Central Expressway at Mockingbird Lane. Log Cabin Republicans will be at a private house in North Dallas. Contact the group for more information.

Openly gay District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons hosts a party at the Magnolia Lounge in Fair Park from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Elba Garcia, the Democrat running for the District 4 seat on the Dallas County Commissioners Court, will be at the Kessler Theater on Davis Street in Oak Cliff.

County judge candidate Clay Jenkins and State Rep. Eric Johnson will be at Studio Bar & Grill, 1135 South Lamar near Gilleys and Southside on Lamar.

A number of candidates will be at Victory Park, including Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and State Rep. Carol Kent. Openly gay judicial candidate Tonya Parker will be nearby at the W Hotel.

Bill White’s Dallas campaign will be at Victory Park as well. White will be in Houston.

—  David Taffet

Bill White at Reverchon Park: ‘We need a governor who will treat everybody with respect’

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White addresses the media in the gym inside the Reverchon Park Recreation Center in Dallas on Tuesday.

During an Election Day campaign stop at one of Dallas’ most heavily gay precincts, Democrat Bill White made a final plea Tuesday for voters in North Texas to get out to the polls.

Flanked by Dallas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and a dozen volunteers who lined the bleachers behind him, White addressed a handful of TV news crews in the gymnasium at the Reverchon Park Recreation Center.

“We need a governor who will treat everybody with respect and who will cultivate a culture of respect,” White said in response to a question from Dallas Voice about his message to LGBT voters. “The fact is, Rick Perry helps his friends, his friends help Rick Perry. He appeals to a portion of Texans, and there are places within this community, there are places within this state, where Rick Perry has never visited. Yet there are people who are working hard every day, paying taxes, and they’re entitled to be at the table where decisions are made as well. That’s why we’re going to win this election and make some history tonight.”

Earlier, Congresswoman Johnson addressed frustration in the community over a perceived lack of progress on LGBT issues in Washington.

“Staying home doesn’t help at all,” said Johnson, a staunch LGBT ally. “I think instead of staying home, we need to vote harder.”

Asked whether she’s confident about the outcome of her race against Republican Stephen Broden, Johnson said: “If I get a majority, I’ll be so grateful. If I don’t, I’ll retire.”

Neil Emmons, an openly gay former Dallas city plan commissioner who helped organized White’s appearance, said the precinct was a “natural choice” for the event, in part due to its high concentrations of Hispanic and LGBT voters.

“This precinct represents the future of Texas,” Emmons said.

—  John Wright

Eddie Bernice Johnson at Stonewall Democrats, and The DMN’s big Stephen Broden cover-up

We’ve had some difficulty posting the above clip of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson speaking at Stonewall Democrats of Dallas on Tuesday, Oct. 19. Then again, if we had posted it last week as originally intended, we wouldn’t have been able to talk about Republican challenger Stephen Broden’s comments two days later saying that a violent overthrow of the government is “on the table” if this year’s elections don’t produce a change in leadership in Washington. Broden, a member of the Tea Party, told WFAA-TV reporter Brad Watson that a violent overthrow is “not the first option,” but is “on the table.”

“We have a constitutional remedy,” Broden told Watson. “And the Framers say if that don’t work, revolution.”

Doesn’t Broden, who’s African-American, realize that if the Tea Party were to take over, racial minorities would be in serious danger? The sad thing is, many in the Tea Party likely agree with Broden. What’s also sad is that The Dallas Morning News had endorsed Broden.

Well, a day later Broden backed away from his comments, and The DMN retracted its endorsement. “In 2010, the only way to bring about change is through the ballot box,” Broden insisted.

The DMN went on to say that its editorial board had decided to withdraw its recommendation of Broden in the race against Johnson, and instead was making no endorsement. Do you mean to tell us that they just now discovered that Broden is a total nutjob? Check out this passage from The DMN’s story:

As Broden’s interview drew more attention, other details of his background emerged Friday.

He confirmed having been arrested in May 2009 outside the White House. According to the Christian Broadcasting Network, he was praying in a restricted area and was cited for failing to obey a lawful order.

Broden said he was doing so on the National Day of Prayer to protest President Barack Obama’s decision not to mark the day with a public ceremony.

After a series of warnings, Broden and another pastor were arrested. They were released after paying a small fine – “less than $100,” he said.

Wait a second, do you mean to say that The DMN hadn’t been aware that a candidate for MAJOR office has an arrest record? The newspaper conducts backgrounds checks on all candidates, from Congress to school board, but they hadn’t discovered this? Give me a break. They’ve known about it for a long time, but they chose to withhold it from their readers because they supported Broden.

All you have to do is Google Broden’s name and you’ll come up with several stories about his arrest for praying outside the White House during the National Day of Prayer in 2009, in protest of President Barack Obama’s decision not to participate in the event. According to the stories we found about Broden’s arrest, he told the media that one of the reasons for the protest was his opposition to gay marriage:

“We prayed that God would either stay the hand of judgment or quicken the hearts of men and women of faith for them to recognize that they need to come to the streets, they need to come to the public square and make it clear that we are not in favor of same-sex marriage, we are not in favor of this scourge … [of abortion], we are not in favor of the kind of trickery and gamesmanships that are being played in the house of Congress and the house of the Senate. We are fed up, and we are tired of what this nation is doing and what our leaders are doing relative to their role and responsibility for protecting our freedoms.”

—  John Wright