Mr. Cook, who describes himself as “a progressive Texan in a bad mood,” is of course referring to the fact that the House is expected to vote today on a bill that would require doctors to perform a sonogram before providing an abortion.
Log Cabin Republicans President Rob Schlein, from left, his mother Shirley Schlein, Laura Leppert, Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and LCR Treasurer David Keeton are shown during the group’s Christmas Party at Schlein’s home in 2009.
An anti-gay message sent last week from the Twitter account of former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert wasn’t written by Leppert himself but by “an overzealous campaign worker,” according to Rob Schlein, president of the Dallas chapter of Log Cabin Republicans.
Speaking at Log Cabin’s regularly monthly meeting on Monday night, Schlein said Leppert called him just before the meeting to apologize for “the tone of the tweet.” According to Schlein, Leppert said he wasn’t the author of the tweet and agreed to meet privately with Schlein later this week to discuss the issue further.
The tweet, sent on the same day that Leppert announced his resignation as mayor to run for U.S. Senate, criticized President Barack Obama for his decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. The tweet said, “We need leaders in Washington to stand for the principle of marriage between one man and one woman.”
Many in the LGBT community have said they feel betrayed by Lepppert because he was supportive of the LGBT community as mayor, including hiring an openly gay chief of staff and appearing in two gay Pride parades.
Leppert’s Senate campaign spokesman has failed to return multiple phone calls from Instant Tea seeking comment.
Schlein spent several minutes at the start of Monday’s meeting reading a sternly worded, heartfelt letter he wrote to Leppert about the tweet. However, the guest speaker at the meeting, Leppert political consultant Carol Reed, declined to comment on the issue. Reed said she’s advising Leppert on his Senate campaign but is neither his chief consultant nor his spokesperson.
“I’ll let him speak for himself,” Reed told Log Cabin members. “I have nothing to add.”
In his letter, Schlein slammed Leppert for being the only candidate in the race for Kay Bailey Hutchison’s Senate seat who’s tried to use gay rights as a wedge issue. He also said Leppert is the only candidate who’s posted social issues on his campaign website. In the Issues section of his website, Leppert states that he opposes both same-sex marriage and “government-sanctioned” civil unions.
Schlein said he’s supported Leppert on many key issues — including the convention center hotel and the Trinity River toll road. And he said Leppert attended numerous Log Cabin events as mayor, including the group’s annual dinner and holiday parties at the home of Schlein and his partner.
“With all due respect, nobody likes a flip-flopper or a political panderer,” Schlein said as he read his letter to Leppert aloud. “You’ve left many friends in your wake. This is truly a sad day.”
Below are screen grabs from the Issues section of Tom Leppert’s Senate campaign website:
Rob Schlein, president of the Dallas chapter of Log Cabin Republcians, sends along word that political consultant Carol Reed, who’s currently working on Tom Leppert’s Senate campaign, will speak at the group’s regular monthly meeting tonight.
“Many of us have questions about Mayor Leppert’s tactic to lurch rightward in his efforts to run for Senate,” Schlein wrote atop an invite sent out over the weekend. “This has upset many Log Cabin’ers as well as others in the general LGBT community. Carol will answer your questions about his decision, and many others. This should be an interesting meeting!”
Undoubtedly Schlein is referring to the anti-gay message sent from Leppert’s twitter account last week, in which he threw the LGBT community under his Senate campaign bus. Leppert’s campaign hasn’t responded to our messages seeking comment about the tweet, so perhaps Reed will try to make it all better tonight.
The Log Cabin meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at Mattito’s, 3011 Routh St.
In this week’s episode, Rich Lopez and I talked about former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert’s anti-gay tweet, the Oscars, Perez Hilton at SXSW, Equality Texas Lobby Day, the GSA controversy in Corpus Christi, and more.
Heinbaugh, who is no longer handling media calls for Leppert, advised Instant Tea to contact the mayor’s Senate campaign office about the tweet. We left a message with campaign spokeman Shawn McCoy but haven’t heard back.
Heinbaugh did tell us that he plans to remain in the mayor’s office to help Caraway, who will serve out the remainder of Leppert’s term — until a new mayor is elected in May and sworn in in June. In other words, Heinbaugh will not be going to work on Leppert’s campaign.
“I’m gonna be here for a while,” Heinbaugh said from City Hall. “I’m just going to continue on in the office and do whatever I can to help Mr. Caraway. If I can make it a good, stable, smooth transition, then great.”
Heinbaugh said he won’t serve as Caraway’s chief of staff, and it’s still unclear what exactly his role will be. However, he said both Caraway and City Manager Mary Suhm have expressed a desire for him to stay on.
“We’ve got a lot of things going, and they don’t just stop if the mayor walks our the door,” Heinbaugh said.
We asked Heinbaugh about the challenge of working for Caraway, whose recent missteps have prompted concerns from other council members about him serving as mayor — even temporarily.
“Mr. Caraway is a good guy,” Heinbaugh responded. “I’ve known him for a long, long time. Ever since I moved to Dallas, I’ve known him. His heart is in the right place, and he will work very hard for the next four months.
“Over and over again he’s said, ‘I’m not going to start some new initiative — dig up Main Street and stick a river down it,'” Heinbaugh said. “We’re just going to continue the things that are already moving forward. I’m here to help him do that as long as he wants me here.”
Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert just announced his resignation today (effective Friday), and he hasn’t even formally announced that he’s running for U.S. Senate in 2012. But Leppert has already started pandering to social conservatives as he prepares to seek the Republcian nomination for Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat.
As you can see above, Leppert sent out an anti-gay tweet today in response to the Obama administration’s announcement that it will no longer defend a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court.
“Another mistake from Obama on DOMA,” Leppert tweeted. “We need leaders in Washington to stand for the principle of marriage between one man and one woman.”
Clearly, Leppert is anxious to distance himself from his record in Dallas, where he hired an openly gay chief of staff, Chris Heinbaugh, and appeared in two gay Pride parades. Being a big old fag-lover could seriously hurt Leppert in a statewide Republican primary, so he’ll have to work hard to prove how much of a bigot he is.
Leppert’s tweet is utterly disgusting, but it isn’t at all surprising.
1. Signs like the one above — an apparent reference to Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay ties — have cropped up on telephone poles around the West Virginia University campus, which is home to one of the chain’s franchises. We happen to think the signs are brilliant, but apparently they might be a little too heady for West Virginia, where police say they could represent a hate crime.
2. Our new anthem — Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” — will be released two days early, on Friday, according to a tweet from Gaga on Monday. Smart move. No matter how good the song really is, it will undoubtedly seem utterly amazing compared to Friday’s other notable pop release — Justin Bieber’s 3D biopic Never Say Never.
3. An Indiana House panel voted 8-4 Monday to advance a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. Perhaps the lawmakers were swayed by the following testimony from Micah Clark of the American Family Association, who compared marriage to the Super Bowl: “If any two teams could place it would lose the significance. It wouldn’t be so super.” Does anyone else sense that these folks are getting really desperate?
Flash Mob soundchecks before opening the January edition of Twist Dallas.
When I walked into the Lakewood Bar & Grill last night, Twist organizer SuZanne Kimbrell quickly told me that I.L.E. had backed out due to “unforeseen circumstances” and that Junye lost her longtime guitarist just that night. Kimbrell was a little twisted herself, but optimistic about her last minute filler Hannah Lenart. Unforeseen circumstances could mean a lot of things, but seriously, I.L.E., you’re gonna back out the DAY of the show? Especially when you write on your site “we are still waiting for our community to get behind us 100%.” Kinda think that goes both ways.
Alt-punk Denton band Flash Mob opened the show with some decent raucous rock. The two guys (straight), two girls (not) band is still finding its sound, but pulled off similarities to old school Green Day. Despite heading into pop punk territory of Blink 182 and +44, they were on. Loved the guys talking up gay Pride and “don’t ask, don’t tell” even though the singer himself doesn’t want to join the military. Ironic.
TWEET NOTES: Flash Mob opens #TwistDallas w Green Day like energy. #lgbtmusic. Hmmm Liking Flash Mob but kinda delving into +44 territory at #TwistDallas. #lgbtmusic