Bexar County Democratic Party votes to remove anti-gay Chairman Dan Ramos from office

Dan Ramos

Nearly two months after he compared gay Democrats to “termites” and “the fuckin’ Nazi Party,” Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos was removed from office tonight. The party’s executive committee voted 104-5 to remove Ramos, in part for his anti-gay comments, and will select a new party chair later this month. The San Antonio News-Express reports:

Members leaped to their feet and cheered when they achieved a quorum sufficient to conduct the removal vote. None of the five members who cast nay votes spoke in Ramos’ defense. Some had concerns about the legality of the removal process.

A May 17 meeting was set to choose a new county chair.

On April 16, a trial committee heard evidence against Ramos and unanimously agreed Ramos was guilty of all 10 charges lodged against him, including allegations that he made bigoted comments about gays and failed to perform duties.


—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Committee votes to oust Dan Ramos; Texas Senate to vote on anti-trans bill

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. A special committee voted Saturday to recommend removing Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos from office, in part for his recent comments comparing gay Democrats to “termites” and “the fuckin’ Nazi Party.” The committee’s recommendation came after a three-hour trial, and a larger group will meet May 3 to vote on whether to accept the recommendation. Ramos didn’t attend the trial and says he plans to challenge the effort to remove him in court.

2. The Texas Senate is slated to vote today on a bill that’s apparently designed to bar transgender people from marrying people of the opposite sex. LGBT advocates are urging people to contact Senate Democrats and ask them to vote against SB 724. If all 12 Democrats in the Senate vote against consideration of the bill, it will die. For contact info for Senate Democrats, go here.

3. An LGBT tax demonstration is planned this evening outside the Dallas Main Post Office at Interstate 30 and Sylvan.The “Equal Taxes, Equal Rights” demonstration is one of many being organized around the country by GetEQUAL and Marriage Equality USA. From the Facebook page: “We will be hosting a peaceful demonstration to educate the public that while we pay the same taxes as our heterosexual counterparts, we do not have access to the same rights. Pro- Equality Activists will rally and hand out informational fliers from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. This event is designed to be a creative and fun way to engage the public on issues of equality!”

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Bexar County Democrats vote to put anti-gay Chairman Dan Ramos on trial

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

Dan Ramos

1. A group of Bexar County Democrats voted Tuesday night to put party Chairman Dan Ramos on trial for rules violations, according to the San Antonio Express-News. But Ramos, who recently compared gay Democrats to “termites” and “the fuckin’ Nazi Party,” remained defiant and says he’s seeking a restraining order against the group to prevent it from conducting business. The group voted 72-1 to proceed with a trial to remove Ramos under Roberts Rules of Order. Across town, where a much smaller group of Ramos’ supporters met, gay-rights protesters gathered outside. One Ramos supporter was so upset by the protesters that she was placed in handcuffs after the manager of the restaurant where they met called police.

2. Speaking of crazies, a while back whacko preacher Cindy Jacob of Red Oak, Texas, claimed that the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell” was causing bird deaths in Arkansas. On Tuesday, Jacob followed up by declaring that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, as well as the situation in the Middle East, can all be attributed to DADT repeal and our decision to disrupt the laws of God. “Everything that I said has happened,” Jacobs says in the video above.

3. During a committee hearing Tuesday on a bill that would remove Texas’ unconstitutional “homosexual conduct” law from the books, a Republican lawmaker objected to a provision that would amend a portion of the Health and Safety Code that says homosexual conduct is not an “acceptable lifestyle.” “I can understand removing the language that it’s a criminal offense, but is this not going a step too far?” asked Rep. Jose Aliveda of Beeville. We’ll have more on the committee hearing shortly.

—  John Wright

New path emerges for ousting anti-gay Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos

Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos’ now-infamous anti-gay remarks came, ironically, during an interview 10 days ago about legislation aimed at removing him from office. Of course, calls for Ramos to step down have probably grown ten-fold in the wake of his comments in the interview comparing gay Democrats to “termites” and the “fuckin’ Nazi Party.” Trouble is, there’s still no clear path for removing Ramos from office. Or is there? Daniel Graney, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, forwarded a press release from Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio this morning explaining that it’s possible Ramos could be removed using Robert’s Rules of Order. The full press release is after the jump, but here’s the key passage:

Following Quintanilla’s remarks, Co-Chair Eduardo Juarez introduced D’mitri Kosub, who serves on the Rules Committee of the Bexar County Democratic Party. Although state election law and state party rules do not provide a clear path for removing Ramos from office, Kosub explained that there are provisions in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised (10th edition) (RONR) for doing so. Under RONR, an officer can be removed for official misconduct and dereliction of duty under a process that includes formal notice to Ramos of the bases for his removal, and a formal hearing at which Ramos will be given the opportunity to counter the charges underlying his proposed removal.  Kosub announced that charges have already been preferred against Ramos and efforts are now being made to serve notice on him to appear for a formal hearing before a committee of the County Executive Committee (CEC) on April 16. This process must first be ratified by the CEC at its meeting on April 5.

—  John Wright

AUDIO: Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos on gay Democrats

Dan Ramos on Stonewall Democrats, homosexuality by gharman

Daniel Graney, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, has been doing a great job keeping us posted on the Dan Ramos situation. If you’ll remember, Ramos is the chairman of the Bexar County Democratic Party who recently compared gay Democrats to “termites” and the “fuckin’ Nazi Party.” Just today, the San Antonio Current posted some audio from the interview in which Ramos’ originally made his anti-gay comments — in response to Ramos’ allegations that the newspaper misrepresented what he said. Also, after the jump are several statements condemning Ramos forwarded by Graney over the last few days, including from state representatives, a Congressman, the San Antonio mayor and the Tarrant County Stonewall Democrats.

—  John Wright

Stonewall endorses Kunkle, Nowlin

David Kunkle

Stonewall Democrats of Dallas endorsed former police chief David Kunkle for mayor and openly gay candidate James Nowlin for the District 14 City Council seat on Saturday.

Kunkle and Nowlin were among 12 who received the LGBT group’s backing after 57 members interviewed 23 candidates in May 14 municipal elections, during a seven-hour session at Resource Center Dallas.

Stonewall’s endorsement of Kunkle came after Ron Natinsky pulled out of the candidate screening when he learned he would not be eligible for the group’s backing because he’s a Republican. Despite his party affiliation, Natinsky has received endorsements in the mayor’s race from some prominent gay Democrats, including openly gay former City Councilman Ed Oakley. Municipal elections are nonpartisan.

The other two candidates for mayor, Mike Rawlings and Edward Okpa, also sought Stonewall’s endorsement.

In heavily gay District 14, Nowlin beat out incumbent Angela Hunt for the group’s backing, despite the fact that Hunt has been an LGBT ally on the council.

Stonewall also endorsed Delia Jasso for District 1, Pauline Medrano for District 2, Scott Griggs for District 3, Monica Alonzo for District 6, Cassie Pierce for District 7, Cynthia Durbin for District 10 and William Tsao for District 12.

The group opted not to endorse Dallas Mayor Dwaine Caraway, who’s seeking re-election to his District 4 council seat. Caraway is currently finishing out the term of former Mayor Tom Leppert, who stepped down to run for U.S. Senate. Stonewall also opted not to endorse Sheffie Kadane in District 9. Both Caraway and Kadane sought the group’s endorsement and attended Saturday’s screening.

A full press release after the jump.

Kunkle, Nowlin receive Stonewall endorsements

After seven hours and 23 interviews, 57 Stonewall Democrats of Dallas members selected to endorse in 12 races for the May 14 municipal election.

Former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle won the endorsement for Dallas Mayor, which was ratified along with other races by the membership immediately after the endorsement screening ended at 4:45 p.m.

Also winning endorsements for Dallas City Council were Delia Jasso for District 1, Pauline Medrano for District 2, Scott Griggs for District 3, Monica Alonzo for District 6, Cassie Pierce for District 7, Cynthia Durbin for District 10, William Tsao for District 12 and James Nowlin for District 14.

The lone Dallas Independent School District candidate that sought the organization’s endorsement, Mike Morath, was endorsed for District 2.

Candidates for Dallas County School Board Trustees Anthony Pace for District 1 and James Hubener for District 4 were also endorsed.

Stonewall decided not to endorse interim mayor and District 4 City Councilmember Dwaine Caraway and City Councilman Sheffie Kadane for District 9. They were the only ones who screened in their respective races.

“We had a lively discussion and great participation,” said Jesse Garcia, SDD communications director. “Conversation and debate remained civil. We had great candidates seek our support and we’re proud that the process was fair and transparent.”

Stonewall Democrats of Dallas will work hard to promote endorsed candidates over the next eight weeks before Election Day Saturday, May 14.

The deadline to register to vote in time for the May 14 election is Thursday, April 14. Your registration card needs to be postmarked by April 14 or dropped off at the Dallas County Elections Department, located at 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway, Suite 820, in Dallas. Early voting takes place May 2-10.

Stonewall Democrats of Dallas will register voters Saturday, March 26, from 2 to 6 p.m., in front of Hunky’s, located at 3940 Cedar Springs Rd., in Dallas.

“The LGBT community needs to turn out to make sure our voice is heard,” said Garcia. “Only one in eight Dallas voters takes part in city elections. Heavy turnout in our neighborhoods will make a greater difference this time around.”

Candidates who were endorsed will be invited to speak at the next general meeting of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, at Ojeda’s Restaurant, located at 4617 Maple Ave. in Dallas. Meeting is open to the public. For more information, visit www.stonewalldemocratsofdallas.org.

—  John Wright

Ron Natinsky isn’t eligible for Stonewall’s endorsement, but he’s screening for it anyway

Ron Natinsky

Twenty-four candidates in local municipal elections are seeking the endorsement of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas. The LGBT group will screen candidates on Saturday at Resource Center Dallas before voting on which horse to endorse in each race.

Those scheduled to appear Saturday to seek Stonewall’s endorsement include all four candidates for Dallas mayor. However, according to Stonewall’s bylaws, Ron Natinsky isn’t eligible for the group’s endorsement because he’s a Republican. The group’s bylaws read: “No member of the Republican Party, candidates in the Republican Primary, nor Republican candidates in a General or Non-Partisan Election are eligible for endorsement by this Organization. Endorsements may be made in Dallas County non-partisan elections if the candidate has a Democratic Party primary election voting history and/or affirms allegiance to the Dallas Democratic Party.”

Natinsky has been endorsed by some prominent gay Democrats, including Ed Oakley and Chris Luna, but it looks like Stonewall will be choosing between David Kunkle and Mike Rawlings.

In District 14, Stonewall members will have to decide between openly gay challenger James Nowlin and incumbent Angela Hunt, who’s been a strong LGBT ally on the council. It’s great to see gay candidates like Nowlin running for office, but I’d be shocked if Stonewall’s endorsement doesn’t go to Hunt.

In District 2, both challenger Billy MacLeod and incumbent Pauline Medrano are seeking Stonewall’s endorsement, which will undoubtedly to Medrano, who’s also a strong LGBT ally.

In District 3, only challenger Scott Griggs is seeking Stonewall’s endorsement. Griggs is running against incumbent Dave Neumann, who’s been endorsed by the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance in the past but is not currently scheduled to appear on Saturday. We suspect Neumann is in the same boat as Natinsky when it comes to being eligible for the endorsement.

In District 4, Dallas Mayor Dwaine Caraway is seeking Stonewall’s endorsement for re-election to his council seat. Caraway, of course, is finishing out Tom Leppert’s term after Leppert stepped down to run for Senate. Caraway is a shoe-in for re-election, but it’s good to see that he’s scheduled to appear on Saturday.

In District 7, openly gay challenger Cassie Pierce is the only candidate scheduled to seek Stonewall’s endorsement on Saturday. Pierce is running against incumbent Carolyn Davis.

Stonewall will screen candidates from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Resource Center Dallas. Only those with their membership dues as of Feb. 17 may vote.

A full press release, including a list of all candidates who are scheduled to appear, is after the jump.

—  John Wright

Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos refuses to resign, hurls new epithets

Dan Ramos

Daniel Graney, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, reports that Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos refused to apologize or resign during a press conference earlier today.

Instead, Ramos hurled new epithets and against referred to gay Democrats as “termites,” said Graney, who lives in San Antonio.

Graney said Ramos is holding a fundraiser tonight for the Democratic Party in downtown San Antonio, and members of Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio plan to protest outside.

From the Bexar County Democrats website, directly above a photo of Ramos:

Who We Are

Before all other things, we are a family of many different kinds of people. We come from all walks of life. We are home-makers, business people, factory workers, public servants, educators, soldiers, preachers, you name it – we’ve got it. We come from all skin colors, religions, cultures, genders, sexual orientations and gender identities. We don’t exclude. That is who we are!

UPDATE: Sam Sanchez of QSanAntonio.com was at the press conference and reports that rather than resigning, Ramos said gays are like “white termites who have infiltrated the party much like termites infiltrate your house.”

Ramos called Choco Meza, the woman who opposed him in last year’s election, a lesbian, and he said gays have infiltrated the party. Sanchez reports that Ramos called Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie a racist bastard and an idiot who is advised by gay people.

CORRECTION: As indicated in the comment below, Ramos did not hold the fundraiser. The event was sponsored by Proud Democrats of San Antonio, a group that has not yet condemned Ramos’ statements. The top of their website indicates that they promote equality, diversity and tolerance. I guess that would include Nazi termites.

—  David Taffet