Above: Assembly Member Evan Low (left) and Supervisor Scott Wiener
Two separate measures introduced by a California Assembly member and a San Francisco supervisor restricting the use of government dollars to pay for discrimination advanced Tuesday.
AB 1887 prohibits the use of state money to pay for travel to states that don’t allow local governments to protect LGBT people from discrimination. Introduced by openly gay Assembly Member Evan Low, a Victory Fund candidate, the bill was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday.
AB 1887 doesn’t target any specific state, but lays out in detail whether a state will be impacted. Travel is forbidden to any state that has passed a law that explicitly discriminates against LGBT people, or that has passed a law voiding or repealing state or local protections for LGBT people. It requires the Attorney General to maintain a list of the states that would qualify.
Currently, the law would impact at least three states. The most obvious is North Carolina, because HB2 both voids local LGBT protections and mandates discrimination against transgender people when it comes to what facilities they can use. Also guaranteed to be on the list, however, would be Tennessee and Arkansas, two other states that have “preemption” laws prohibiting municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections beyond what’s available at the state level, thus voiding any city or county ordinances protecting sexual orientation and gender identity.
In San Francisco Tuesday, openly gay Supervisor – and state senate candidate – Scott Wiener’s legislation to bar the city from doing business with states that don’t allow LGBT protections passed the Board of Supervisors unanimously.
Board of Supervisors just passed my legislation making SF 1st city in country to ban contracting with states that pass anti-#LGBT hate laws.
— Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) September 27, 2016
“I’m proud that our city is stepping out and being a leader in this fight,” said Wiener in a statement. “I hope other jurisdictions follow suit and send a clear message that these laws have no place in our country.”
Both measures are the first of their kind, though many governors and mayors have issued executive orders to the same effect.
Despite California’s liberal reputation, progress for the LGBT community has been hard-fought and relatively recent. The documentary Political Animals recounts the difficulties faced by the first four LGBT legislators in the state – all Victory candidates – when fighting for LGBT equality.
The League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund (LCV) will spend $1 million to defeat two congressmen with terrible records on environmental issues. The effort will target, Jason “Mini-Trump” Lewis, the opponent of Victory-endorsed candidate Angie Craig. Jason Lewis has a long record of ignoring facts, science and evidence and peddling outlandishly false claims on climate change. The race remains close less than two months before the election.
While Angie vows to address climate change and create renewable energy jobs, Lewis claims one “nasty winter” is evidence climate change is not real, and is critical of plans to move toward renewable energy. But his ignorance extends well-beyond climate change. Lewis has called young women “non-thinking” because of their support for abortion and marriage equality, said trans students using bathrooms is an “abomination,” and implied slavery should be legal and that he would be fine with it.
"Lewis is the spitting image of a 'mini-Trump', and makes the same sorts of outlandish claims,” said LCV’s Clay Schroers. “We're ready to bring the fight against climate science denial and Big Polluters allies to the House, and are committed to defeating these two candidates.”
View a list frightening statements by Jason “Mini-Trump” Lewis.
A new poll shows Victory-endorsed U.S. Senate candidate Jim gray gaining significant ground in his race against Senator Rand Paul –further indication this is the sleeper race of the 2016 election cycle. A Babbage Cofounder Pulse Poll found Jim just seven points behind Paul, a tremendous 12 point gain since an early August poll showed Jim 19 points behind. Significantly, 42 percent of Kentucky voters remain undecided despite Paul’s strong name recognition, and these voters are gravitating toward Jim’s problem-solving Kentucky-focused message.
Meanwhile, Paul continues to hide from Kentucky voters. Jim has called on Paul to “come out of the closet” and participate in a debate on the issues important to Kentuckians – which he has so far refused to do. Paul knows Jim is better on the issues voters care about, and that his substantive policy solutions resonate. Paul’s weak support in the poll demonstrates that voters have soured on Paul’s failed Senate term. They’ll remember Paul didn’t do his job while he spent months campaigning across the country on a spectacularly failed bid for the presidency. It’s time for new leadership. Gray’s appeal has been pitch perfect for Kentucky voters and we look forward to calling him the next U.S. Senator from Kentucky.
Above: John Bradford (left) and Victory-endorsed candidate Jane Campbell.
Despite sponsoring and voting for the disastrous HB2 that damaged North Carolina’s reputation and economy, state Representative John Bradford is now blaming others for the bill’s passage. On Saturday, Bradford shared a Facebook post claiming Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts was “hell-bent” on passing a non-discrimination law, and that her effort to protect LGBT people forced him and his state legislative colleagues to strip those protections by passing HB2. His finger pointing revealed his delusion over the reasons for the national backlash, and his leadership role in the debacle.
On Friday, Bradford continued to play politics with LGBT lives by saying he would support HB2’s repeal, but only if Charlotte first repeals its protections for LGBT people. His statement came after the NCAA and ACC announced it would move its championship games outside the state. But a repeal of both laws would keep discrimination against LGBT people legal, and Equality North Carolina denounced any moves to repeal Charlotte’s law, noting it’s HB2 that is prompting sports teams and companies to leave the state.
While Bradford points fingers and denies culpability, his Victory-endorsed challenger Jane Campbell is discussing issues that matter to North Carolinians – increasing education funding and ending unfair highway tolls. Bradford’s support for HB2 is her inspiration for running – and she would work tirelessly to repeal HB2 as the only openly LGBT person in the state legislature. A 25-year Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan, she is ready to take the fight to Bradford and remind voters of his critical role in harming the state’s economy.
On Tuesday, Jane released the following statement:
“John Bradford drafted, sponsored and voted for HB2. His recent statement in support of repeal, on the condition that Charlotte legalizes discrimination against LGBT residents, is a dishonest tactic to avoid blame for his legislative incompetence and poor judgment. Bradford needs no action from Charlotte to repeal HB2. It has been a catastrophe for the economy, has cost us hundreds of millions of dollars, tens of thousands of jobs, and tarnished the reputation of our great state.
But HB2 is just one of several disasters Bradford has championed. He was also a cheerleader for the I-77 toll contract before it was signed, and subsequently decided it was a bad idea without admitting his mistake. District 98 deserves a new and honest leader who will put North Carolina’s economy and families first. I will be that leader.”
Similarly, Victory Fund and Equality North Carolina jointly released a statement criticizing Bradford.
Above: Cathy Woolard (center) on the BeltLine.
An “outpouring of affection” among Atlantans for its internationally-recognized BeltLine project will boost Victory-endorsed mayoral candidate Cathy Woolard, who had the vision and courage to be its first champion while President of the Atlanta City Council. Cathy proved herself a leader in urban renewal as she spent years organizing support and securing funding for the project – holding more than 90 community meetings across Atlanta to get resident feedback and suggestions.
Cathy’s commitment pushed the ambitious project forward, and now residents and even once skeptical politicians support the revitalization effort, which converts old railroad lines circling Atlanta into mixed-use trails lined by pocket parks, public art and other places for civic engagement. Cathy became the BeltLine’s chief advocate knowing it would lead to new jobs, more affordable housing, healthier residents and a more prosperous city, and residents are already seeing those benefits.
But there are still challenges facing the project before its completion in 2030, and some missteps have been made. If elected mayor in 2017, Cathy has vowed to ensure the transformational BeltLine meets the high expectations of Atlantans.
“It’s the most important rail-transit project that’s been proposed in the country, possibly in the world,” said Christopher B. Leinberger of the George Washington University School of Business to The New York Times. And without Cathy’s efforts, it may never have become a reality.
Above: A Facebook post by GOP Communications Chair Vickie Froehlich attacking Angie Craig's family.
On Friday, a local GOP Communications Chair raising funds on behalf of Minnesota Congressional candidate Jason Lewis used a family photo to attack the wife and kids of Victory-endorsed candidate Angie Craig.
In a Facebook post promoting an upcoming Lewis fundraiser, Vickie Froehlich showed a photo of Angie, her wife and four teenage sons playing Scrabble around their dining table, and said:
“In case you're wondering - the family photo page is the families of our candidates and then of Jason Lewis' opponent - Angie Craig. She's liberal and this is her family. She and her female marriage partner and their 4 teenage sons. Support Jason, give to Jason and work for Jason!!!”
Jason Lewis has not denounced this attack, and an apology is unlikely. Like Donald Trump, there’s no group of Americans “Mini-Trump” Jason Lewis has not insulted. He has called young women “non-thinking,” saying they only care about abortion and gay marriage, suggested immigrants are destroying white culture, and implied that slavery might not only be legal, but would be just fine with him.
Jason Lewis is nicknamed “Mini-Trump” for a reason, and his attacks will affect all LGBT Americans if he reaches the U.S. Congress. We need to elect Angie in November.
Read a list (with GIFs) of 10 terrible Jason Lewis quotes.
Washington voters’ personal data – including cell numbers and email addresses – was easily accessible via the state’s voter registration until Victory-endorsed candidate Tina Podlodowski identified the issue and informed officials Wednesday. Access to the data was quickly shutoff after Tina explained the problem in a letter to her opponent Secretary of State Kim Wyman, yet the data had been vulnerable since 2012, raising serious questions about Wyman’s competence.
"The breach was real and hopefully fixed," Tina said. "However, (Wyman) should submit to a full cyber audit done by the cyber security officer (which is outside the secretary of state's office) and not just rely on her own people.”
— Natalie Brand (@NatalieBrandK5) September 9, 2016
Tina has criticized Wyman for declining voter turnout, and her failure to identify an issue that may have led to a significant data breach could further erode turnout among Washingtonians concerned about their personal information being compromised when registering to vote. Tina has made increasing voter turnout and streamlining access to the ballot box the central issues of her campaign, while her opponent has failed to support efforts to make the voter registration process easier.
In a letter thanking Tina, the state’s chief information security officer said: “Thank you again for following the industry standard for responsible disclosure of a potential cyber security issue and helping keep the citizens data safe.”
Above: A scene from North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory's ad.
In his latest attack on the transgender community, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory released a television ad titled “Common Sense.” In it he says allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms of their gender identity is dangerous, and claims LGBT advocates believe political correctness supersedes the safety of children. After the video’s release, Governor McCrory doubled-down by tweeting: “Retweet if you agree political correctness shouldn’t outweigh our children’s privacy and safety.”
While McCrory’s bigoted remarks are a desperate bid for attention as his gubernatorial opponent Roy Cooper leads in the polls, it remains critical that an LGBT voice is added to the state’s legislature next year. Victory-endorsed candidate Jane Campbell announced her candidacy for the North Carolina State House when her now opponent in the race sponsored and voted for the discriminatory HB2 bill McCrory signed. Since then her promise to overturn HB2, increase education funding and end unfair highway tolls has resonated with voters.
Meanwhile a Raleigh News & Observer editorial emphasizes his bigoted ad does not resonate: “the governor’s latest pathetic attempt to deceive the public on the merits of the catastrophic HB2 law won’t fool anybody. … The governor’s rhetoric is misguided on many levels. … So maybe the question here isn’t the one McCrory asks, ‘Are we really talking about this?’ but rather ‘Why is the governor really talking about this?’”
Jane is talking about issues that truly matter, and it is crucial she succeeds in November so true “common sense” prevails.
Victory-endorsed candidates in Massachusetts did extremely well last night, with four of our five candidates winning their primaries and now heading to the general election. Results are below:
- Eileen Duff won her primary for Massachusetts Governor's Council, Dist. 5, Gloucester, with 100% of the vote;
- Julian Cyr won his primary for Massachusetts State Senate, Cape & Islands District, Truro, with 54% (9,262 votes) of the vote;
- Stan Rosenberg won his primary for Massachusetts State Senate, Hampshire/Franklin/Worcester District, Amherst, with 100% of the vote; and
- Jack Lewis won his primary for Massachusetts State House, Dist. 7, Framingham, MA with 37% (824) of the vote!
Martha McSally – who is running against Victory-endorsed candidate Matt Heinz – refuses to denounce Donald Trump despite his latest comments blaming military women for sexual assault. Matt has consistently condemned Trump’s divisive and hateful rhetoric, and has called on McSally to do the same.
Last night in a national security forum, Trump defended this 2013 tweet that blames women in the military for the incredibly high rates of sexual assault:
“26,000 unreported sexual assults [sic] in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”
Despite McSally’s silence on Trump’s latest attack on women, Matt’s campaign was quick to respond:
“This type of blame the victim mentality is just the latest in a long line of despicable comments from the Republican presidential nominee” said Matt’s campaign manager Nichole Johnson. “Voters deserve to know if McSally will stick to her principles and denounce Donald Trump and his campaign."