President Obama officially endorses Hillary Clinton for president

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In a video released today by the Clinton campaign, President Barack Obama endorses Hillary Clinton for president.

President Barack Obama today (Thursday, June 9) issued a ringing endorsement, via video released by the Clinton campaign, of former Secretary of State (former Senator, former First Lady) Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency. He also added praise for her primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and called on voters to take a stand for “the values that make America great” and “win a brighter future for this country that we love.”

“Look, I know how hard this job can be. That’s why I know Hillary will be so good at it,” Obama said in the video. “In fact, I don’t think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office. She’s got the courage, the compassion and the heart to get the job done.

“I’m with her,” the president continued, echoing Clinton supporters’ “I’m With Hillary” slogan. “I’m fired up, and I cannot wait to get out there and campaign for Hillary.”

Obama praised Sanders for waging a hard-fought campaign, for bringing to light important issues like economic justice and for bringing thousands of young people into the democratic process. Both Clinton and Sanders, he said “are patriots who love this country.”

Watch the complete video below.

—  Tammye Nash

Trump celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Here he is ladies and gentlemen, the presumptive GOP nominee for president of the United States, Donald Trump. Aren’t we all just so proud?!

(But seriously, after the party nominated Sarah Palin for VP, are we surprised that it’s come to this?)

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—  Tammye Nash

TrusTed? Google ‘trus’

Screen shot 2016-02-05 at 10.17.34 AMSo Ted Cruz wants everybody to trust him. He is building his presidential campaign around that idea — the idea he is totally trustworthy, the idea that we can all “Trust Ted.” His oh-so-clever advertising folks even came up with an oh-so-clever campaign slogan: TrusTed, with the first four letters in white, and the last three in red

But maybe his advertising folks and whomever in his campaign staff approved that slogan/logo should do a little research before launching such slogans/logos. Why? Just Google “trus”:

transrectal ultrasound

Abbreviation: TRUS

Imaging of the prostate gland and periprostatic tissues with an ultrasound transducer inserted into the anus and directed toward the anterior rectum. It is used to identify malignant tumors, guide biopsies, and provide assessments of tumor staging.

Synonym: endorectal ultrasound (2)

Ummm, yeah. One more reason not to vote for Ted Cruz. And here’s a campaign video that will help reinforce reasons not to vote for him.

—  Tammye Nash

Clinton campaign appoints new LGBT liaison

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Dominic Lowell

Democratic presidential candidate — and former First Lady, former U.S. senator and former Secretary of State — Hillary Clinton has appointed Dominic Lowell as director of LGBT outreach for her campaign, the Washington Blade reported earlier today.

Lowell, 29, will officially join the campaign on Thursday, Oct. 1, coming from Rock the Vote, where he worked as director of strategic partnerships, coordinating outreach to progressive movements. Before working for Rock the Vote, he was vice president of investment services at Democracy Alliance.

Lowell is one of several out LGBT people on Clinton’s campaign staff. Others include campaign manager Robby Mook, deputy political director Brynne Craig and national finance director Dennis Cheng.

News of Lowell’s appointment comes just days before Clinton is set to speak to the board of directors and supporters of Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C. Clinton’s speech to the group happens the same day as HRC’s national dinner, where Vice President Joe Biden will be delivering the keynote address.

—  Tammye Nash

Rick Perry’s broke. Whoops

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Former Gov. Rick Perry

Former Gov. Rick Perry stopped paying his staff at his national campaign headquarters in Austin and in early primary and caucus states Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, The Washington Post is reporting.

According to the Post, Perry told his staff on Friday, the day after the first Republican debate, that the money has dried up.

But does the lack of money mean Perry will be the first of the — currently 18 — Republican candidates to drop out of the race? His super-PAC has plenty of money, but since a super-PAC can’t coordinate with a campaign, it had no idea about the cash flow problem at the campaign.

The super-PAC is gearing up to expand its operation, but it’s not clear if that means hiring all those campaign workers.

Either way, Perry said he’s committed to participating in the early caucuses and primaries.

In a poll by NBC/SurveyMonkey, Rick Perry remained at 2 percent support after the debate. The poll showed no one thought he did best in the debate and 2 percent thought he did worst.

—  David Taffet

Local LGBT group organizes for Bernie

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Sen. Bernie Sanders

About 25 people gathered at Resource Center on July 29 for a Bernie Sanders for President event. The local event was organized by members of the LGBT community, but attracted a mixed crowd.

At the same time, about 100,000 people participated in 3,500 similar events that took place in every state around the country.

Sanders broadcast a short speech live from a house meeting in Washington, D.C. He called this the largest online political organizing effort in history. So far, Sanders has received 325,000 contributions, more contributions from individuals than any other candidate.

He’s been attracting large crowds at events in different cities. His Dallas appearance several weeks ago attracted 7,000 people.

In his speech, he laid out his platform that includes making college tuition-free at public universities, creating a path toward citizenship for undocumented residents, raising the minimum wage and guaranteeing paid sick and vacation time to all workers. He spoke against mass incarceration and police brutality.

The event was to add volunteers to the campaign. More information is available on his website.

—  David Taffet

Clinton campaign video: ‘All love is equal’

Screen shot 2015-06-24 at 4.22.23 PMHillary Clinton, former First Lady, former U.S. senator, former U.S. Secretary of State and current Democratic candidate for president, today (Wednesday, June 24) unveiled a 2 1/2-minute video, called “Equality,” in which Clinton calls for legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

Release of the video comes just hours before the next rulings — possibly including a ruling on marriage equality — are scheduled to be released by the U.S. Supreme Court. With seven decisions expected to be released before the end of this session, the court has scheduled rulings to be announced Thursday, June 25, Friday, June 26 and Monday, June 28.

The video includes audio from Clinton’s speech earlier this month in New York, playing alongside images and audio of happy same-sex couples proposing or exchanging bows. In the speech, Clinton declares:

“Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct. But in fact they are one and the same. Being LGBT doesn’t make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”

—  Tammye Nash

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Donald Trump joining 392 other candidates running for president

Head & Shoulders formal portrait of Gov. Jeb Bush

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican, faces 89 other GOP presidential contenders.

Yesterday (Monday, June 15) it was former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush who announced his Republican presidential campaign yesterday. Today, it’s Donald Trump – God’s candidate, evidently. They join a crowded field of candidates.

No, really. It’s packed, according to the Federal Elections Committee. 392 other candidates have filed a Form 2 statement of candidacy for 2016. One Bush already beat him, and it’s not his son, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. (He finally endorsed him  at his dad’s kick-off speech yesterday in Miami.) Willita D. Bush of St. Louis, Mo., filed her form in late January. She’s mulling a Green Party run, which will for sure set her part from her far more conservative brother from another mother, Jeb. (The Green Party, for example, has long supported LGBT equality.)

Bush will be competing for the GOP nomination not only against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry but 87 other nominees from across the country.

Among them is former stripper and social conservative activist Pogo Mochello Allen-Reese of San Antonio. His 2016 campaign motto? “God, guns, gold.” (No word if he plans to campaign against marriage equality with his fellow culture warriors former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Dr. Ben Carson of Maryland, all of whom have rosy opinions on a variety of LGBT issues.)

Allen-Reese is probably the most colorful of the bunch, however. The “Patriot Prancer” recently ran for San Antonio mayor, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Should he fail to clinch the Republican presidential nominee, however, there’s a certain there’s another governing body waiting for him. It’s called the Texas Legislature. Hell, he’d give Rep. Molly White some company.

—  James Russell

Sen. Bernie Sanders announces 2016 presidential campaign

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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I–Vermont.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I–Vermont, announced his campaign f0r the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination today, promising to run on a progressive economic platform.

The self-described democratic socialist is the second major Democrat to announce his candidacy following former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A two-term senator, he is currently the longest serving independent in Congress and caucuses with the Democrats.

Sanders may be the answer for progressive Democrats who have long been skeptical of Clinton, the former senator, first lady and a 2008 presidential candidate and presumed frontrunner.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Sanders said he’ll campaign on progress economic and taxation policy, campaign finance reform, against a hawkish U.S. foreign policy. He also cited his opposition to free-trade agreements and vote against the Keystone XL oil pipeline to distinguish himself as independent alternative who could appeal to Democrats, Republicans and other independents.

“So to me, the question is whose views come closer to representing the vast majority of working people in this country,” Sanders said. “And you know what? I think my views do.”

While Sanders is looking to nudge Clinton the the left on these issues, LGBT issues, like same-sex marriage, employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, were not mentioned in the interview. But Sanders has long been an advocate for the LGBT community throughout his fourteen years in Congress, first as a House member and now as a senator.

—  James Russell

Clinton includes gay couples in announcement video

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Image from “Getting Started,” Clinton’s announcement video

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially launched her presidential campaign over the weekend with a video that included a gay couple. The video, “Getting Started,” was seen more than 2 million times in the first 24 hours after she announced her candidacy on Sunday, April 12.

The first minute of the video features a diverse cross-section of people including the gay couple.

“I’m getting married this summer to someone I really care about,” the voice-over says over a video of two people holding hands. The next shot shows the male couple walking hand-in-hand in a city neighborhood.

Toward the end of the video, as Clinton is asking for people to “join me on this journey,” a lesbian couple smiles and touches foreheads.

Republican Marco Rubio announced his candidacy this morning (Monday, April 13). Neither he nor the other two Republicans that have announced candidacies — Rand Paul and Ted Cruz — are as inclusive in their videos on their campaign websites.

Here’s the video:

—  David Taffet