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173 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - BREAKING: Justice Kenn... · 0 replies · +2 points

Rick, the community sincerely appreciates the heartfelt condolences. But remember that we had El Salvador's Johnny Wright working in our Fairfax Fire Department during his firefighter training, and I think a live Johnny far more than makes up for a dead Antonin. As to knowing the exact location where Tony is interred, let's just say we've seen "Night of the Living Dead," and we're keeping an eye on him just in case.

173 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - BREAKING: Justice Kenn... · 0 replies · +6 points

If only that were so. Unfortunately, Tony's bloated corpse has been polluting the soil of my community since 2016. If you would like to visit him and water his grave, you'll find him at the Fairfax Memorial Park in Fairfax, Virginia ... in the Garden of the Crucifix section, Lot 870, Site A.

176 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - BREAKING: Supreme Cour... · 0 replies · +4 points

New Mexico Primary: Democratic Voters Finally Dump Debbie Rodella

In Tuesday's New Mexico primary election, Democratic voters in the 41st State House District finally ended the 26-year legislative nightmare that is Debbie Rodella. First elected in 1992, Rodella (D-Espanola) had enjoyed a 12-year free ride, not having faced any primary or general election opponent since 2006 in her northern New Mexico district.

Rodella first came to national attention in 2013, when she killed a Marriage Equality constitutional amendment sponsored by Rep. Brian Egolf.. As a member of the state House's Elections Committee, she voted against the proposal, along with her sidekick, Rep. Mary Helen Garcia (D-Las Cruces). Even though the Democrats had a 6-5 majority on the committee, the treachery of Rodella and Garcia caused the amendment to fail by a 4-7 vote. Fortunately, Mary Helen Garcia was promptly defeated in the 2014 primary by Bill Gomez, but no one came forward to challenge Debbie Rodella until this year.

Susan Herrera proved to be just the challenger we needed, well-qualified and experienced. She exposed Debbie's horrible record on education, the environment, voting rights, gun control, payday lending, and a host of other issues. And she won with 3,108 votes (56.3%) to Rodella's 2,415 votes (43.7%), carrying all three of the district's counties.

178 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - Open thread UPDATE 5/2... · 0 replies · +6 points

Arkansas Primary: Republican Primary Voters Flush Bathroom Bill Sponsor

Arkansas State Senator Linda Collins-Smith went down to defeat in Tuesday's Arkansas primary election. Republicans in the 19th Senate District chose challenger State Representative James Sturch (5,299 votes) over incumbent Collins-Smith (4,726 votes).

Collins-Smith was notorious for her sponsorship last year of "The Arkansas Physical Privacy and Safety Act," which would have required all citizens to use only public facilities which correspond with the gender on their birth certificates. The legislation, opposed by GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson, was ultimately sent to a Senate Committee to be studied indefinitely.

Senator Collins-Smith had crossed swords with the Governor on his Arkansas Works program to insure healthcare for all working Arkansans. She was a staunch advocate of "school choice" legislation which would drain funds from public schools, as well as extremist gun legislation which would permit the carrying of concealed weapons almost anywhere.

Linda can now return to running her Days Inn in Pocahontas full-time. She'll be too busy cleaning bathrooms to worry about who's using them.

178 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - Open thread UPDATE 5/2... · 1 reply · +6 points

Kentucky Primary: Elwood Caudill Wins Democratic Nomination for Rowan County Clerk

It's bad news for County Clerk Kim Davis! Rowan County Democrats wisely nominated their strongest candidate to defeat Davis in November.

The final tally shows Elwood Caudill with 1,923 votes (55.1%), David Ermold with 873 (25.0%), Jamey Jessee with 616 (17.7%). and Nashia Fife with 77 (2.2%).

David Ermold had appealed to some voters because he had been victimized by Davis, when she denied him and his husband a marriage license. But after he accepted contributions from celebrities like Susan Sarandon and Amy Schumer, which became highly publicized, it was obvious that his nomination would enable Davis to label his campaign as an effort by out-of-state radicals to influence Rowan County's local election.

Elwood Caudill, on the other hand, is a lifelong Rowan County resident with decades of experience in the county government. He lost to Kim Davis in the 2014 Democratic primary by only 23 votes. (Davis has since switched to the badly outnumbered Republican Party, which trails by a 2-1 margin in Rowan County voter registration.)

179 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - Open thread 5/14 · 0 replies · +3 points

"Incredibly handsome" indeed. Johnny could be anyone's "Mr. Wright." A review of his Google Images is truly swoonworthy, especially (scroll down)

His name and flawless English suggest his U. S. connections, and he says he has proven one can love two countries. He has studied at George Washington University and trained as a professional firefighter right in my local fire department. (I would have set the neighborhood ablaze had I known that Johnny would come running to save us.)

Some would note the difficulty of forming a new political alliance and competing with long-established political parties. Tell that to Emmanuel Macron!

189 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - Open thread UPDATE 3/7 · 0 replies · +8 points

Yes, let's put him in the Gabbardine Party. He's tried everything else. He started as an independent on the non-partisan Honolulu City Council in 2002. Then he ran for Congress as a Republican in 2004, easily winning the GOP primary, but getting only 36% in the general election. Undeterred, he then was elected to the State Senate in 2006 as a Republican. After serving only a few months of his four-year term, he decided being in the party outnumbered 23-2 wasn't much fun, so he announced that he was switching to the Democratic Party, where he has been ever since. He has been re-elected in 2010, 2012, and 2016 quite easily. Amazingly, even with his extreme bigotry, he has been unopposed in the Democratic primary in 2012 and 2016.

At age 70, Mike's dreams of attaining higher office are fading, so the family's hopes now rest with his daughter Tulsi, who is currently serving her third term as one of Hawaii's two members in the U. S. House of Representatives. When Tulsi served in the Hawaii House in 2003-04, she echoed her father's anti-LGBT sentiments, but has since adopted more enlightened views (or pretends to, though many are skeptical).

The Gabbards are an interesting family. Mike and Tulsi were both born in American Samoa. Mike is a devout Roman Catholic, while Tulsi and her mother Carol identify as Hindus. Tulsi is said to harbor Presidential aspirations, but it is unclear whether she would be eligible because of her Samoan birthplace.

194 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - News round-up and open... · 1 reply · +5 points

Four Candidates Seek Nomination To Oppose Kim Davis In November (Part 2 of 2)

ELWOOD CAUDILL has worked for 21 years in the County assessor's office, right across the hall from Kimmers (which says is her nickname). He says, "I have 21 years working with the Clerk's office and know that I would do a great job as Clerk. I am not running for any other reason... I will say this: I do not discriminate against anyone. We are all equal." Caudill was a candidate for Clerk in the 2014 Democratic primary along with Davis, then the Chief Deputy to the previous clerk Jean Bailey, who happened to be her mother. Caudill actually defeated Davis in the Election Day vote 1,711 to 1,663.. But Davis won the absentee vote, 154 to 83, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. (It's always handy for a candidate to have her mother running the election.)

JAMES "JAMEY" JESSEE is Administrator of Northfork Senior Living. He is a graduate of Rowan County High School, where he was a star baseball player, and Morehead State University in Morehead, the county seat where 30% of the county's residents live. He is active in coaching youth sports. His wife, Stormi, works in the county's pre-school education program. He says, "I care about equality ... We need a County Clerk who will uphold the law."

NASHIA FIFE organized the Rowan County Rights Coalition during the marriage controversy and actively protested Kim Davis's defiance of the law. She cites her community service of knitting hats for premature babies and fostering orphaned kittens.

DAVID ERMOLD gained fame when he and his partner were denied a marriage license by Davis, an event recorded by camera crews and seen by millions. Ermold's filing as a candidate against Davis has been heavily publicized nationally, and many feel it would be sweet revenge for one of those wronged by her to do her in. Ermold works as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pikeville, which is 92 miles from his home in Morehead.

This will be an interesting race to follow in the 15 weeks remaining before the primary. Based on his strong showing in 2014, Caudill would appear to be the strongest opponent for Davis. Perhaps some insight can be afforded by the number of "Likes" on their Facebook pages: 229 for Nashia Fife, 299 for Jamey Jessee, 822 for Elwood Caudill, and 6,074 for David Ermold. It is believed that some of those Ermold "Likes" actually came from Rowan County. Kim Davis was foolish enough to let Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver announce her re-election bid. The last thing Rowan County voters want or need is interference from outsiders.

194 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - News round-up and open... · 0 replies · +6 points

Four Candidates Seek Nomination To Oppose Kim Davis In November (Part 1 of 2)

And they're off! Filing closed this week for the May 22 Democratic Primary in Kentucky, and front and center will be the four Democrats seeking their party's nomination to oppose the notorious Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis. Davis, elected to her first term in 2014 as a Democrat, has since switched to the Republican Party and is unopposed in the GOP Primary.

The four candidates are Elwood Caudill, Jr., David Ermold, Nashia Fife, and James "Jamey" Jessee. Any of them would be vastly superior to Davis, so primary voters would be wise to select the candidate with the best chance of defeating her.

Rowan County has a very strong Democratic tradition, especially at the local level. Party registration stands at 62% Democratic, 31% Republican, and 7% Independent and minor parties. Kentucky's Republican Governor and two U. S. Senators all lost the county in their most recent elections. In 2016, Rowan County voters opted for out-gay Democrat Jim Gray over incumbent Senator Rand Paul.

In 2014 Democratic nominees swept every county office, with the sole exception of the County Jailer. This year 28 Democrats have filed for the 16 offices to be elected, while Republicans were only able to scare up 8 candidates. Davis's conversion to the GOP seems not to have inspired any other county politicians to follow suit. More than a few local observers have even predicted that Davis's new Republican affiliation will be more detrimental to her chances than violating citizens' Constitutional rights, serving time in jail, and costing Kentucky taxpayers $224,000 in attorneys' fees and court costs.

Elwood Caudill and Jamey Jessee are running "friends-and-neighbors" campaigns. They clearly do not want to reopen the marriage debate which roiled Rowan County residents and focused worldwide attention on their small county. David Ermold and Nashia Fife, on the other hand, were actively engaged in the marriage controversy when it occurred, so they will have difficulty avoiding the issue.

206 weeks ago @ Equality on Trial - Open thread · 0 replies · +4 points

Update: As of close of business Wednesday, one of the 16 seats gained by the Democrats has slipped away, as Delegate Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax) has regained the lead in his race. So the likely outcome at this point will be a 51-49 GOP House, a truly shocking change from the previous 66-34 Republican majority.

Along with the election of Danica Roem, we also elected our legislature's first out-lesbian, Dawn Adams, a nurse who unseated a GOP incumbent in the Richmond suburbs. And, of course, we re-elected our two incumbent gay Delegates, Mark Sickles and Mark Levine.

On a somewhat bittersweet note, among the Republicans who lost were our two staunch pro-LGBT allies, Joe Yost of Giles County and Ron Villanueva of Virginia Beach, who have consistently supported us and were endorsed by Equality Virginia.