Hitting the ground running in Minnesota

Terry and I arrived in Minneapolis on Monday evening and in the ensuing 36 hours have settled into our roles with the Democratic Farmer Labor Party (DFL) campaign here in Minnesota.  We’re working with Spencer Cronk from the DFL to mobilize the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to vote for fair-minded candidates up and down the ballot.  In a year when our friends are likely to have difficult challenges, it’s important for us to turn out the LGBT community to put them over the top.

Starting off, Terry and I will be hosting weekly phone banks at Service Employees International Union in St. Paul.  If you would like to help assure marriage equality succeeds in 2011, we need you to volunteer to elect those candidates who will make it happen!  Join HRC staff and our local leaders at weekly Equality Night phone banks to support Mark Dayton and other fair-minded candidates. We’ll be calling HRC supporters and talking to them about how important this election is to moving forward with a pro-equality agenda in St. Paul in 2011.

HRC “Equality Night” Phone Banks
Every Tuesday, beginning September 28 | 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
SEIU Headquarters

2233 University Ave., W | Suite 422 | St. Paul, MN

To sign up to volunteer for Mark Dayton or other fair-minded candidates in your area, please email Terry.McGuire@hrc.org for more information.

Prepared and paid for by Human Rights Campaign Minnesota PAC, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington D.C., in support of the Minnesota DFL Party.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

9/11 Widower Ted Olson Supports ‘Ground Zero Mosque’

Mosque_olson

After an extended discussion of the Prop 8 ruling, Andrea Mitchell asks attorneyTed Olson, whose wife Barbara was killed in 9/11, how he feels about the Park51 controversy.

Olson agrees with Obama that it should not be blocked:

"We don't want to turn an act of hate against us by extremists into an act of intolerance for people of religious faith."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP… 

In related news, Howard Dean is saying just the opposite, calling it an "affront to people who lost their lives."


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Keith Olbermann: There is no ‘Ground Zero Mosque; Eleveld on Obama’s other mixed messaging problem

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

And from Politicususa.com, a good summary of Keith’s remarks (no transcript yet). A snippet:

Olbermann described the Right’s campaign as, “Yet in a country dedicated to freedom, forces have gathered to blow out of all proportion the construction of a minor community center to transform it into a training ground for terrorists, and an insult to the victims of 9/11, and a tribute to the Medieval Muslim subjugation of the West. There is in fact no Ground Zero Mosque. It isn’t a mosque. A mosque technically is a Muslim holy place where only worship can be conducted. What is planned for 45 Park Place New York City is a community center. It’s supposed to include a basketball court and a culinary school. It is to be thirteen stories tall, and the top two stories will be a Muslim prayer space. What a cauldron to terrorism that will be, terrorist chefs and terrorist point guards.”

Olbermann pointed out that since 9/11 Muslims have been at greater risk of being victims of US terrorism than non-Muslims. After he debunked Newt Gingrich’s fear mongering over the name Cordoba House, which he called a figment of Gingrich’s imagination, and the MSNBC host pointed out that the community center will be open to all New Yorkers.

He also knocked down the falsehood that the community center is located on Ground Zero, “This place Park 51 is not even at Ground Zero, not even right across the street. Even the description of it being two blocks away is generous. It is two blocks away from the northeast corner of the World Trade Center site, from the planned location of the 9/11 Memorial, it is more like four or five blocks even.” Olbermann showed that there is no view of the World Trade Center visible from the community center.

***

On a related note, Kerry Eleveld’s latest column in The Advocate points out that “Obama’s mixed messaging on the mosque proposed near Ground Zero leads one to wonder why the White House is so unwilling to touch other hot-button issues.”

Like “The Homosexual Agenda“?

Well, he sure likes taking our money, huh? Just doesn’t like to step on that third rail (other than to send David Axelrod out to bleat out incoherent messaging about equality and marriage).

Obama’s position – that he defends the right to build without supporting the project – mirrors national polling numbers. While one poll found that about 64% of voters believe proponents should be able to build, another poll found that 68% oppose the plan itself.

The situation brings several questions to the fore.

First, what exactly is the administration’s communications team doing? They either miscalculated the national mood or they misjudged how the president’s words would be received on Friday. But they unquestionably should have seen flashes of the firestorm to come from Sarah Palin and her cronies eons before they sent the president out to carry the torch for democracy.

Or is it possible that the president and his advisers understood exactly where this was headed but just couldn’t take the heat once they stepped into the pit? No matter what the answer, the White House squandered the president’s most precious commodity: his word – his compact of trust with the American people.

And here’s another stumper. The same CNN poll showing that more than 2/3 of Americans opposed the project was also the very first poll in history to find that a majority of Americans (52% to 46%) believe gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.

Now marriage polls do see-saw even as they continue to trend toward equality and a Public Policy Poll late last week found that 57% of voters still think same-sex marriage should be illegal. But the fact remains that both of those polls show less opposition to marriage equality than to the Mosque project, and I can’t help but puzzle at the White House’s willingness to broach one subject while they continue to run away from the other as if it’s too hot touch.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

NY GOP Candidate For Gov: Vote For Me And I’ll Stop The Ground Zero Mosque


RELATED: The New York Times reports today that the GOP has launched anti-mosque campaigns around the country in an attempt to capitalize on the fervor about the Ground Zero mosque.

In Murfreesboro, Tenn., Republican candidates have denounced plans for a large Muslim center proposed near a subdivision, and hundreds of protesters have turned out for a march and a county meeting. In late June, in Temecula, Calif., members of a local Tea Party group took dogs and picket signs to Friday prayers at a mosque that is seeking to build a new worship center on a vacant lot nearby. In Sheboygan, Wis., a few Christian ministers led a noisy fight against a Muslim group that sought permission to open a mosque in a former health food store bought by a Muslim doctor. At one time, neighbors who did not want mosques in their backyards said their concerns were over traffic, parking and noise — the same reasons they might object to a church or a synagogue. But now the gloves are off. In all of the recent conflicts, opponents have said their problem is Islam itself.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright