Friday, February 17, 2017

Planned Parenthood And Equality California Both Ignore "Identity Politics"-- Each Endorses Jimmy Gomez Based On His Record Of Achievement


Debra Spector presents Jimmy Gomez with Planned Parenthood's Champion of Choice award

Planned Parenthood was never an unhinged group of self-serving profiteers the way EMILY's List is, but many women candidates expect to be endorsed by an organization with Planned Parenthood's stated objectives, which are, after all, focused primarily towards making the lives of women better. And Planned Parenthood does endorse women candidates-- lots and lots of them. Why do they endorse women candidates? Easy: because the women candidates they endorse are better than their opponents. How revolutionary is that? Yesterday Planned Parenthood announced their endorsement of Jimmy Gomez for the open Los Angeles congressional seat that Xavier Becerra resigned from when he was appointed Attorney General. There isn't really anything remarkable about this endorsement, except for the fact that among the two dozen candidates in the race, several are pro-Choice women.

Jimmy's not a woman but in 2015 he was named Planned Parenthood’s "Champion of Choice" and last year he wrote and passed AB-1671, a law that protects Planned Parenthood clinics from illegal recordings by the right-wing extremists and the terrorists who consistently harass them, threatening their staff and patients. One of the women candidates running for the seat, Wendy Carillo, a journalist and former Bernie volunteer, is also a decent candidate and if I had to bet, I'd bet that given the chance she'll be good on Planned Parenthood's issues too? With Gomez, though, there's no guess work.

Celinda Vasquez, Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles explained why her organization gave their nod to Gomez. "Jimmy Gomez is a true champion for Planned Parenthood health centers and the women they serve. For three consecutive years we have turned to Jimmy Gomez to author and pass legislation to protect the safety of Planned Parenthood patients and staff, and to advance access to critical services like birth control and cancer screenings. We are confident that Jimmy will continue to advocate for women and families in Congress, and be a strong ally in the fight for access to Planned Parenthood health centers across the Country. Planned Parenthood Action Fund proudly endorses Jimmy’s campaign for Congress."

The best potential candidate for president in my opinion, Elizabeth Warren, happens to be a woman. I'm glad she is and I'll be glad to see a woman president. But if I thought Joe Biden or Cory Booker or that O'Malley character was a better candidate, I'd be rooting for one of them. I just looked at the Blue America list of the fiercest and most awesome congressional voices of the Resistance. The list includes Pramila Jayapal and, obviously Elizabeth Warren. They're not on the list because they're women; they're on the list because they are the best of the best, the cream of the crop; the smartest, the most effective, the most powerful.

I don't know the folks at Planned Parenthood but from watching them over the years, I've come to trust their instincts on candidates more than most DC-centric organizations. They gravitate towards candidates who are the best fighters for their cause-- man or a woman. Unlike the other candidates in the CA-34 race, Gomez has an incredibly strong record of accomplishment and leadership on their specific issues and on other issues important to progressives. Gender doesn't come into it. Nor should it. No one thinks we need more Betsy DeVoses, Marsha Blackburns, Joni Ernsts and Kyrsten Sinemas in government, right?

Same goes for the gay community. Two of the absolute worst Democrats in Congress both happen to be gay-- Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY) and Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ). ProgressivPunch rates their lifetime vote scores, very low "F." Sinema is probably worse but just marginally and both are corrupt on a Republican-level of corruption. They don't deserve support from the LGBT community.

This week Equality California, the biggest LGBT organization in the state, joined Planned Parenthood in urging voters to back Gomez. Among the two dozen candidates running, several are gay-- but Gomez isn't. So why did they endorse him? Do you really have to ask? Once again,it's all about the record of accomplishment, not the fine-sounding words. The Assemblyman who represents Silverlake, he worked with LGBT organizations to get his bill, AB 663 exactly right for the community. And then he got it passed. The bill integrates LGBT-specific cultural competency into training for administrators at long term care facilities, helping to ensure that LGBT seniors are treated with dignity and respect. In 2014, he authored AB 1951, which established the right of same-sex parents to be reflected on their children’s birth certificates. Equality California rates every member of the California state legislature. Gomez's rating: 100%.

Rick Zbur is the executive director of Equality California and he was very clear about why his organziation is working to elect Gomez. "As the climate in Washington grows colder and more hostile to LGBT people, immigrants and many others, who we send to Congress matters more than ever. Assemblymen Gomez stood out from a large field of LGBT allies because of his solid record of accomplishment on behalf of LGBT people. Time and again, he has proven himself one of our community’s most committed and dedicated allies in the state legislature, authoring and carrying priority bills for Equality California and helping to secure passage of others that address the needs of LGBT people. We are confident that he will head to Capitol Hill ready to fight for LGBT people, our state and the values important to all of us as Californians."

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