Van de Putte holds rally in Oak Cliff

More than 150 supporters welcomed Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Leticia Van de Putte to Oak Cliff on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, state Sen. Royce West and DISD school board President Miguel Solis were on stage to encourage the group to vote early and bring friends to the polls. West said part of the strategy to win is getting 300,000 votes for Van de Putte in Dallas County.

“I’m going to be home this week and I want to see all of you ringing doorbells,” Johnson said. “We got it if we get em out.”

Van de Putte was endorsed by every major newspaper in the state except for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. For the Wichita Falls Times Record News, this was its first endorsement of a Democrat in almost three decades.

“My momma always said, ‘If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all,’” Van de Putte began, as she addressed the crowd. “Well, my momma’s not here.”

She then lit into Patrick’s record of voting against equal pay for women, against funding education and against supporting veterans.

After the speech, she took time to take pictures with everyone there and extra time to talk to each child who had come to see her.

—  David Taffet

DCDP hosts Leticia Van de Putte on Tuesday, Oct. 28 in Oak Cliff

Leticia Van de PutteThe Dallas County Democratic Party has moved its Tuesday, Oct. 28 get out the vote rally with Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for Lieutenant Governor,  to Oak Cliff Tower, 400 S. Zang Blvd. at 5:30 p.m. Attendees will be encouraged to vote following the rally.

Early voting continues throughout the week until Friday, Oct. 31. Early voting in Dallas County runs 7 a.m.–7 p.m. every day this week. The Oak Cliff Sub-Courthouse is an early voting location and is next door to Oak Cliff Tower.

Click here for early voting locations across Dallas County.

—  James Russell

Leticia Van de Putte visits Dallas tomorrow for rally

Leticia Van de PutteState Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democrat running for lieutenant governor, will visit Dallas tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 21, at CWA Union Hall Local 6215, 1408 N. Washington from 6–9 p.m..

Van de Putte will be joined by Democratic candidates Carol Donovan and  Leigh Bailey, who are running competitive campaigns for two Dallas County Texas House seats, and by Dallas County Democratic Party Chair Darlene Ewing. The event is sponsored by the Dallas County Democratic Party and Dallas AFL-CIO.

Van de Putte, a staunch LGBT ally, was recently endorsed by every major newspaper editorial board in the state. She is running against Republican state Sen. Dan Patrick.

—  James Russell

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

“Head Figure Head” more about journalism than about Gov. Rick Perry’s sex life

Head Figure Head, the new e-book from Glen Maxey, details the author’s arduous and frustrating six-month effort to investigate rumors of Gov. Rick Perry’s gay sex life. Maxey served as executive director of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas (now Equality Texas) during Perry’s tenure as a state representative, later serving for 12 years as a state representative, spanning Perry’s time as agricultural commissioner, lieutenant governor and governor. Of all the people who’ve attempted to look into the rumors of Perry’s trysts with men, Maxey is perhaps best positioned to get to the truth, and takes great pains to ensure we are aware of that fact.

The book is the narrative of Maxey’s research, assisted by a journalist from a national media outlet. Like almost every character in the book other than Maxey and Perry himself, “the Journalist” is referred to only as a pseudonym. Maxey and the Journalist begin their search for proof in June 2011 as rumors of Perry’s impending presidential bid are widely circulating. Immediately the pair find that almost every gay man in Austin has a friend who has a friend who claims to have slept with Perry. For the next three months they track those leads and come excruciatingly close to breaking the story.

—  admin

History isn’t on Leppert’s side

Mayor Henry Ervay is buried in Oakland Cemetery near Fair Park.

The following Dallas mayors have run for governor or senator and won:

• ______________

That’s right. None.

Mayor Ron Kirk (1995-2002) is actually the only Dallas mayor ever to receive his party’s nomination for Senate, but he lost the general election. None has ever run for governor. However, a few Dallas mayors have gone on to serve in other offices.

John McClannahan Crockett, Dallas’ second mayor who served from 1857-58, became lieutenant governor from 1861-63 after Texas joined the Confederacy. After the Civil War, he served as mayor again in 1866-67.

But that’s the highest office a former Dallas mayor has ever held — lieutenant governor of a seceded state, something Mayor Tom Leppert could still achieve if Gov. Rick Perry gets his way.

Mayor John William Lane (1866) became a state representative and then a state senator.

Mayor Henry Schley Ervay (1870-72) went on to serve as a city alderman (councilman) from 1873-82. By the way, the reason one of the city’s main streets is named after him isn’t his 12 years of service. He became a Dallas hero because after becoming mayor, Ervay was considered not loyal enough to the Union (even though the guy was from New York) and thrown in jail in 1870 by the military governor. The state supreme court ordered Ervay released and he was allowed to serve.

Mayor Earle Cabell (1961-64) was later elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The only other mayor to run for the House was Mayor Wes Wise (1971-76) but he lost that race. Mayor Steve Bartlett was already a congressman when he became mayor (1991-95).

Houston’s mayors have fared even worse. Mayor Joseph Chappell Hutcheson Jr. (1917-18) became a federal judge. Mayor John Browne (1892-96) later was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Bill White (2004-10) was the first to run for governor and, like Kirk who ran for Senate, he lost. In fact, none of Texas’ governors or senators has ever been a mayor of any Texas city.

So if Mayor Tom Leppert resigned to run for Senate, good luck. History’s not on his side.

—  David Taffet

Gavin Newsom’s win keeps political future afloat

JUDY LIN | Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — He’s best-known for opening San Francisco’s City Hall to same-sex weddings and was once thought to be too liberal even for the bulk of California. But Gavin Newsom’s decisive Nov. 2 win as the state’s next second-in-command has rekindled prospects that he may one day be a viable candidate for governor or U.S. Senate.

The 43-year-old San Francisco mayor won handily over Republican Abel Maldonado in the race for lieutenant governor. While his new role is viewed largely as ceremonial, it marks a comeback of sorts for the well-coiffed politician.

Two years ago, Newsom was a focal point of the Proposition 8 campaign to ban gay marriage. One ad aired by the initiative’s supporters showed a videotaped clip of Newsom’s impassioned exclamation in 2004 that the door was open to gay marriage, “whether you like it or not.”

Voter approval of Proposition 8 that November raised questions about whether Newsom was electable statewide or would be too closely associated with gay marriage.

In an interview with The Associated Press following the election, Newsom said his win was a testament that Californians can disagree with their candidates on some issues but still vote for them.

“It was an interesting intellectual question that now I believe to some degree has been answered. And I’m very proud of that,” he said. “It’s nice to know that you can survive that in a political sense. Even if people disagree with you —and I know so many people did and do — people still will vote for you because on other issues, they perhaps have more confidence that I’m doing what I think is right.”

Newsom will transition into a job that functions as the state’s chief executive when the governor is away and serves on economic development and environmental commissions as well as two public university governing boards.

But the post will also help keep his political prospects afloat with a possible bid to succeed Gov.-elect Jerry Brown or perhaps give him a shot at the U.S. Senate.

“I think we’re back on the ‘Gavin Newsom has a bright future’ sort of swing,” said Corey Cook, an assistant professor of political science at the University of San Francisco. “He’s been up and down several times in the last seven years, and it seems like this is a pretty convincing victory. I think a lot of the folks who had criticized him and written his political obituary are sort of maybe rethinking that position right now.”

Newsom, of course, will have to be patient.

For starters, it’s uncertain whether Brown, 72, would seek a second term. In response to suggestions that he has told some Democrats privately he would only serve one term, Brown said “I’ve never made that commitment” and noted that his grandmother lived to 96.

And even if Brown decides not to seek re-election, Newsom will likely find himself jostling with other Democratic hopefuls for the state’s top job.

Newsom might also look to the Senate if Dianne Feinstein decides to leave, but it’s a move her political consultant dismissed, saying the senator has started fundraising.

“That’s not happening. She’s running,” said Bill Carrick, a Los Angeles-based Democratic consultant with decades of experience in state and national politics.

Carrick said Newsom will have to get creative as lieutenant governor and use the office to get the public to see him in a multidimensional way, beyond merely being a strong proponent of gay rights.

Newsom demurs on his political future, saying he’s just focused on repairing the state: “I’m not thinking beyond it,” he said.

Newsom said he plans to avail himself to the next governor as Democrats pledge to work on returning power to the local level. He says he’s in a unique position, having served as mayor of a county for seven years, to help the governor negotiate the budget with lawmakers and contracts with labor unions. He says he can also serve as a conduit between the state and local governments.

“I really think we have an opportunity to redefine the relationship between the two offices, and that’s not me getting ahead of myself and that’s not me playing above my job description. It’s not that. It’s just in a supportive role, as needed and filling in blanks and just wanting to be of help in a substantive way,” Newsom said. “I have no interest in spending time with ceremonial parts of the job.”

Newsom, however, has been accused of grabbing headlines as mayor while failing to focus on the details of running government. San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who has challenged Newsom over police foot patrols in high-crime neighborhoods, said the mayor has sometimes been too insular.

“At times I thought it closed him to debate and the spirit of us working together,” Mirkarimi said. “I think he’s a big-picture kind of guy and I like that. But it means he also needs the right team to implement the brass tacks, which sometimes I’ve been critical of not happening.”

Despite his concerns, Mirkarimi said he believes Newsom will be able to use the lieutenant governor’s seat as a springboard to higher office.

“Newsom will figure out when it’s time to shine and when it’s time to be a silent partner,” he said.

—  John Wright

Wisconsin’s got bigger nuts than Texas

Rebecca Kleefisch

Wisconsin is generally considered a liberal state. Milwaukee is the only city in the country that ever elected a socialist city government. Their senior senator, Russ Feingold, is one of the most liberal members of the Senate.

But like in New York, this election year has brought out Wisconsin’s right-wing crazies.

Here’s some current news on Wisconsin Republican candidates, proving — yet again — that Texas Republicans are downright mainstream and boring.

Rebecca Kleefisch didn’t mean to sound insensitive when she compared same-sex marriage to marrying a table.

The former local TV news anchor (surprisingly for ABC, not Fox) is running on the Republican ticket for lieutenant governor of Wisconsin.

She said was talking about the state’s domestic partnership law that offers same-sex couples hospital visitation rights and estate planning rights.

She said the state can’t afford to just hand out money to anyone.

She didn’t explain how visiting someone in the hospital and helping to care for that person costs the state money. Or how probating a will that is not contested in court costs more than a legal fight between a partner and a family that won’t recognize the relationship. Seems like it’s her way that costs the state big bucks.

Well, she’s sorry. She’s still against marriage equality, not that Wisconsin offers marriage equality. Please vote for her.

Jennifer London is running for Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District. Her solution to the Social Security problem is to back all of the trust fund’s savings with gold.

The Great Lakes are her environmental concern. To save them, she would close the St. Lawrence Seaway. No word on how she’d do that beyond her proposed legislation since the St. Lawrence is in Canada. War?

Then there’s Apostle David King, founder of the Milwaukee God Squad and Republican candidate for Wisconsin Secretary of State.

Charlette Harris filed a civil lawsuit today against King.

Harris, a lesbian, is accusing King of getting her drunk and getting her pregnant. She says they had lunch on Aug. 26. After he got her drunk, he took her to his home where she was too drunk to consent to sex, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The paper reports King first suggested Harris get an abortion and then suggested his wife go with her for her ultrasound. I may not know much about heterosexual relationships, but even if this wasn’t rape, isn’t it odd for the adulterer to get his wife involved?

For the record, no apostles are on the ballot in Texas. No proposals to shut down the Rio Grande to deal with immigration or the environment. No real nutjobs to really make us proud. With all the crazies out there, I’m a little jealous that we don’t have our share.

—  David Taffet

Utah GOP taps gay man for state Senate race

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Republican Party has chosen the head of the Utah Log Cabin Republicans, a gay and lesbian political organization, to run in a state Senate race.

The Deseret News reported Thursday, Sept. 2 that Melvin Nimer will replace Republican Nancie Lee Davis for the District 2 seat in heavily Democratic Salt Lake City. Davis was disqualified for failing to file a campaign finance disclosure statement with the lieutenant governor’s office.

Choosing Nimer could help Republicans’ chances against Democratic State Sen. Ben McAdams. The person who previously held McAdams’ seat was the only openly gay member of the Senate, although Scott McCoy was also a Democrat.

A 60-year-old accountant, Nimer, said he offers voters “a voice at the Republican table” in a GOP-dominated Legislature. He did not, however, take issue with the way the district has been represented.

“As good as Sen. McCoy was and Sen. McAdams is, being Democrats, they don’t have as much influence as a Republican would have,” Nimer said.

Nimer has been openly gay for 15 years, but said it’s not clear whether that will give him an edge with voters.

“Definitely, I’ll have that card to play, if you will,” Nimer said. “Luckily, it’s a fairly liberal district.”

McAdams said Nimer’s entry into the race doesn’t change his campaign plans. Recent campaign finance reports shows McAdams has raised $47,000.

McAdams said his track record on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues speaks for itself. He has already secured endorsements from McCoy, Equality Utah and others in the LGBT community.

—  John Wright

Obama to visit Dallas on Monday for fundraiser

President Barack Obama

On Monday, President Barack Obama will be in Dallas to raise money for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The Dallas County Democratic Party provided few details on the dinner other to say it will be a $15,000-per-plate affair at the home of attorney Russell Budd.

Budd is a partner in the law firm Baron & Budd. His late law partner Fred Baron was national campaign treasurer for John Edwards in 2008.

Few of this year’s candidates for Congress or statewide office said they plan to attend. Only lieutenant governor nominee Linda Chavez-Thompson expressed interest.

Katy Bacon, spokesperson for the Bill White campaign, said he doesn’t plan to attend.

“He will be in Midland, Abilene and Johnson County that day,” she said.

But she said he’s not avoiding the president.

“He has talked to him by phone from time to time,” she said.

She said that with just 90 days left until the election, White needs to get out and meet as many Texans as possible. She said the campaign is on track and that White out-raised Gov. Rick Perry three reporting periods in a row and currently has $3 million more cash on hand than the incumbent.

“When I heard President Obama would be visiting Dallas the week of August 9th, I immediately thought that he intended to come to my fundraiser on Wednesday, Aug. 11,” joked openly gay Dallas County District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons. “Regrettably that has turned out not to be the case.”

Fitzsimmons said Texas Democrats have historically been very generous donors to congressional campaigns around the country and that the president is doing everything he can to ensure Democratic candidates are competitive in the fall.

“It is a shame, however, that the president will not be having a public event in North Texas this time around,” he said. “President Obama is enormously popular here in Dallas County.”

Congressional candidates were not invited to the events. Lainey Melnick, a Democrat running against Republican incumbent Lamar Smith in Austin, said she wanted to attend but was told she would have to pay $30,000 a couple.

Erin Moore, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, said she expected Republicans to have something to say about Obama’s visit. But she said that Dallas is still “blue” and supports him.

“He’s not coming to stump,” she said. “They’re down here raising money and we’re a big ATM. Fifteen thousand dollars a plate is worth a stop in Dallas.”

Moore said White and other top Democrats know Dallas’ big donors already and that attending a fundraising event for the national Senate candidates wouldn’t be a good use of campaign time.

—  David Taffet