Howard Dean Is At It Again: Bitch Slaps Partie's Gay Outreach Advisor

Discussion in 'Politics' started by GotZoom, May 4, 2006.

  1. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    Not retaliation..right. I see a wrongful termination lawsuit coming.

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    Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean on May 2 fired the party's gay outreach advisor Donald Hitchcock less than a week after Hitchcock's domestic partner, Paul Yandura, a longtime party activist, accused Dean of failing to take stronger action to defend gays.

    Howard Dean sacked the party's gay outreach advisor just days after his domestic partner publicly criticized the party chair for failing to stand up for gay families.


    Dean immediately hired gay former Democratic Party operative Brian Bond to replace Hitchcock, according to DNC spokesperson Karen Finney, who called Bond a "proven leader."

    Bond served from 1996 to 2003 as executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a bipartisan national group that raises money and provides training to help elect openly gay candidates to public office.

    "It was not retaliation," Finney said of Hitchcock's dismissal. "It was decided we needed a change. We decided to hire a proven leader."

    Hitchcock declined comment Tuesday night except to confirm that Dean informed him May 2 through a surrogate that he had been terminated. He said he was considering consulting an attorney to decide whether to contest the firing.

    "This is retaliation, plain and simple," said Yandura. "This shows what they think about domestic partners."

    Yandura said Tuesday night that Dean was using Hitchcock as a "scapegoat" for problems of Dean's own making.

    "All I did was ask questions about what the party and Dean are doing about its GLBT constituency, Yandura said. "I have yet to see any answers."

    Hitchcock's dismissal came after Yaundura created a stir among party activists, both gay and straight, by sending an open letter on April 20 to gay Democrats criticizing Dean and the party for not getting involved in state ballot measures seeking to ban gay marriage.

    Yandura charged that the DNC failed to counter efforts by Republicans to promote the anti-gay ballot measures as a wedge issue to win elections. He suggested that gays withhold donations to the Democrats until the party formally addresses issues he raised.

    Finney said Dean and party leaders were developing plans to address efforts by Republicans to push for constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. She said Dean and DNC high-level staffers met last week with officials from national gay rights groups to discuss strategy for opposing the ballot measures.

    Yandura and Hitchcock have been a well-known couple in Democratic Party circles for many years. Both were involved in the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Yandura served in the Clinton White House and held posts with the DNC. He currently operates a political consulting firm in partnership with former Clinton White House advisor Marsha Scott.

    Hitchcock has worked at the Human Rights Campaign and, most recently before his DNC post, was executive director of the National Coalition of LGBT Health.

    Bond worked on Bill Clinton's 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns and headed the Democratic National Committee's gay outreach office before becoming executive director of the Victory Fund. He has been living in New York City since 2003.

    Dean's decision to hire Bond startled some board members of the National Stonewall Democrats, which represents gay Democrats and gay Democratic clubs throughout the country.

    According to two sources familiar with NSD, the group's board had offered Bond the position of NSD executive director, and Bond was expected to accept the offer. The sources spoke on condition that their names be withheld because they want to remain on friendly terms with Dean and the DNC.

    "In effect, he snatched Bond away from the NSD," said one of the sources.

    The other source called Dean's decision to fire Hitchcock an overreaction.

    "They are using Donald as a scapegoat," said the source. "What Dean should have done is bring in someone to help Donald."

    Both sources said Dean scrambled over the weekend to offer the DNC outreach post to Bond and then called prominent gay Democrats on Tuesday, May 2, to inform them of his decision to replace Hitchcock with Bond. The round of phone calls would be the second time this year that Dean reached out to reassure gay Democrats of the party's commitment to their issues.

    Last year, Dean upset some gay Democratic activists by eliminating the DNC constituency desk system, including the GLBT outreach desk. He said he replaced the desk system with a new system of integrating constituency outreach work throughout all DNC offices and programs.

    Dean said the new system would be an improvement over the previous system, and that the party would expand its gay outreach efforts.

    This latest DNC controversy comes just six weeks after gay rights leaders met with eight prominent Democratic senators to air their complaints about the party's "tortuous" positions on marriage and other issues.

    Dean's trouble with gay Democrats comes after the latter played a crucial early role in the former Vermont governor's 2004 presidential run, raising large sums and generating word-of-mouth support based on Dean's role signing into law his state's landmark civil unions law in 2000.

    http://www.sovo.com/thelatest/thelatest.cfm?blog_id=6536
     
  2. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    Nausiating the party NEEDS a 'gay-outreach' position. This country really IS fucked up.


    (sigh).
     
  3. theHawk
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    theHawk Registered Conservative

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    :puke3:
     
  4. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The fact that they need to have any sourt of outreach to specific groups is alittle nausiating.

    How about instead working for all americans instead of just groups of us?
     

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