Monday, April 01, 2013

Not Every Homophobe In Congress Is Republican-- And The DCCC Wants To Spend Your Money On Anti-Gay "Democrats" Running For Reelection


Jim Matheson (D-UT), a face of the Mormon bigotry against the LGBT community. Last year the DCCC funneled $1.3 million into reelecting him

When you contribute to the DCCC, most of the money that gets earmarked for candidates goes to Frontliners, vulnerable incumbents viewed as having the worst chances to be reelected. There's a list. Most of them, though not all, wind up on the list because they vote like Republicans and local Democrats hate them and don't contribute to them or even vote for them. Like Mike McIntyre... who came within 650 votes of losing in November, will face a primary from Jonathan Barfield next year and, if he survives that (and doesn't retire or try a career Hail Mary pass with a pointless run against Kay Hagan), will be challenged by Republican David Rouzer again. Democrats in North Carolina may abhor Rouzer, but McIntyre usually votes exactly the same way he promises to vote-- last month against minimum wage, for example. Only 6 Democrats joined the Republicans to defeat a proposal to raise the minimum wage-- John Barrow (Blue Dog/New Dem-GA), Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT), Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog/New Dem-NC), Bill Owens (New Dem-NY), Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN) and Kurt Shrader (Blue Dog/New Dem-OR)-- and, like with any reactionary initiative, Boehner and Cantor know they can count on McIntyre. So if you responded to one of Steve Israel's desperate and unending pleas for contributions last week, you just helped finance the several million dollars the DCCC will waste trying to defend McIntyre's seat next year. And if you're gay or pro-LGBT rights it's doubly ironic because McIntyre is one of Congress' most virulent and hateful bigots.

The last time the Republicans made an anti-gay push-- with a homophobic amendment to the Violence Against Women Act on February 28-- 164 Republicans + Mike McIntyre (NC) and nominal Democrat Dan Lipinski (IL) voted for it. It wasn't enough to carry the day. 60 Republicans (not to mention the 197 other Democrats) seem to have decided homophobia is on the way out and the GOP leadership amendment was defeated despite McIntyre's treachery.

Democrats have evolved mightily on LGBT equality-- at least most Democrats have. In July 1996 when DOMA first passed 118 Democrats joined with 224 Republicans to pass it. Only 65 Democrats (+ Independent Bernie Sanders and one gay Republican, Steve Gunderson, voted against it). Last year crazed GOP homophobe and hatemonger Steve King (R-IA) attached an amendment to the 2013 defense appropriations bill to prevent same sex couples from marrying on bases. It passed 247-166. There were 17 Democrats who also voted with the hate-mongers. Here's the list. The ones bolded were singled out by the DCCC, not for retribution but for special financial support in their reelection bids. They were on the DCCC's Frontline list for 2012 and their faltering reelection campaigns were top priorities for DCCC spending last cycle. Because millions of dollars were spent on them, there was no money to go after vulnerable Republican policy makers like Paul Ryan, Buck McKeon, Fred Upton, Eric Cantor, etc:
John Barrow (Blue Dog/New Dem-GA)
Sanford Bishop (Blue Dog-GA)
Ben Chandler (Blue Dog-KY)- defeated
Jerry Costello (IL)- retired
Mark Critz (PA)- defeated
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)
Joe Donnelley (Blue Dog-IN)
Gene Green (TX)
Tim Holden (Blue Dog-PA)- defeated in primary
Larry Kissell (Blue Dog-NC)- defeated
Dan Lipinksi (IL)
Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT)
Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog/New Dem-NC)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
Nick Rahall (WV)
Mike Ross (Blue Dog-AR)- forced to retire
Heath Shuler (Blue Dog-NC)- forced to retire
Over the weekend The Hill counted 11 Democrats left in Congress who are unevolved gay hating bigots. Obviously McIntyre is one of them. Their list includes the 9 Democrats who voted in 2011 to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal benefits to gay couples who have neither left Congress nor publicly changed their positions: Barrow, Bishop, Cuellar, Green, Lipinski, Matheson, McIntyre, Peterson and Rahall plus two freshmen Democrats who voiced opposition to same-sex marriage during their 2012 campaigns: Bill Enyart (IL) and Pete Gallego (Blue Dog-TX). Of the 11, Israel has vowed to pump immense sums of DCCC money into the campaigns of Barrow, Enyart, Gallego, Matheson, and, once again, McIntyre.

The Hill also counts 9 Democrats who haven't taken a position on marriage equality yet: New Dem chairman Ron Kind (WI), Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA), Cedric Richmond (New Dem-LA), Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog/New Dem-OR), David Scott (Blue Dog/New Dem-GA), Terry Sewell (New Dem-AL), Bennie Thompson (MS), Pete Visclosky (IN) and freshman Filemon Vela (New Dem-TX).
The Hill contacted all 20 offices this week as the Supreme Court considered two gay marriage cases and several Democratic senators made headlines by announcing their support for gay marriage.

Matheson, Rahall, and Gallego’s offices said they continue to oppose legalizing gay marriage.

Green said the choice should be left to the individual states but didn’t address DOMA, which he’d voted to uphold, or say whether he personally supported gay marriage.

Richmond told The Hill in a statement that he is “a firm proponent of equal rights” and thinks DOMA is unconstitutional, but didn’t expressly endorse legalizing gay marriage. His office said they had nothing more to offer on the matter when asked if that meant he backed gay marriage or just civil unions.

The rest of the offices did not respond to requests for comment.

Sewell said in 2010 that she supported gay rights but expressed a preference for civil unions over gay marriage.

Thompson and Scott voted for an amendment to the Constitution that would have banned gay marriage in 2006. They also are among the 29 Democrats who didn’t sign a 2012 "friend of the court" brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down DOMA, though both voted against DOMA when it came up for a vote in 2011.

Nine of those 29 Democrats now say they support gay marriage: Reps. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Mel Watt (D-N.C.), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas).

“Like many Americans, my views have evolved over time and I believe that committed adults-- be them gay or straight-- deserve to marry the person they love,” Butterfield told The Hill in a statement this week that represented his first public support for gay marriage.

Hinojosa was in Congress in 2006 but didn’t vote on the amendment, and voted against DOMA in 2011. His office this week said he supported gay marriage, the first time he appears to have publicly done so.
Important: if you contribute to the DCCC, you are contributing to reelecting Blue Dog hatemongers like Matheson, McIntyre, Gallego and Barrow who vow to vote with the Republicans to make sure there will never be equality for the LGBT community. Is that where you want your money to go? May I suggest an alternative? Every candidate on the Blue America list is publicly committed to LGBT equality.

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