January 18, 2008
Gay Hillary backer caught in DNC mess
Posted by: Chris
The ongoing legal battle between the Democratic National Committee and ousted gay outreach liaison Donald Hitchcock just got a whole lot messier. Claire Lucas, a longtime DNC volunteer and a member of Hillary Clinton's national LGBT steering committee, stands accused of perjury in her attempt to avoid testifying in Hitchcock's DNC suit, which accuses the party of defamation as well as bias based on sexual orientation and gender.
When Hitchcock subpoenaed Lucas, she responded that she lived in California, not D.C., and appearing for a deposition would be a hardship for her. Now the Blade's Lou Chibbaro reports that legal filings by Hitchcock show Lucas is a registered D.C. voter, receives a "homestead" tax exemption from the District, and is listed by the Clinton campaign on its local Washington steering committee. Ironically, a Clinton campaign email sent by Lucas talked up her trip to New Hampshire for Hillary and how "lots of fun will be had." Apparently a side-trip to D.C. would be more hardship than "fun" for Lucas…
Internal email exchanges disgorged by the DNC as part of the lawsuit identify Lucas as among the small coterie of DNC staff and leading gay volunteers who trashed Hitchcock, first internally and then publicly, after his domestic partner, Democratic political consultant Paul Yandura, publicly criticized Howard Dean and the Democratic Party for standing by doing nothing while dozens of states enacted constitutional amendments banning gay marriage during the 2002 and 2004 election cycles. Eventually Hitchcock was ousted after he failed to fix the problem, i.e., shut Yandura up.
I bring up the Hillary connection not simply to "slime" her campaign with the Hitchcock accusations against Lucas and the DNC but because there is a very natural connection between the "establishment gays" central to Hillary's LGBT effort and those gay folk at the heart of the Hitchcock litigation who are Democrats first, and gay second.
Either their own political and career future trump even the civil rights of their own people, or they long ago drank the party Kool-Aid and buy into the simplistic notion that because Democrats are better on gay issues than Republicans, what is good/bad for Dems is good/bad for gays. Of course they are correct that Democrats are better on gay issues and anyone who suggests otherwise ought to have their head examined. But it does not follow that the gay rights movement should do the DNC's bidding, even at the expense of its own.
Real change comes from unrelenting pressure, even more on friends than on foes. For far too long now, the gay movement and its leading organizations have been co-opted by Dem-first gays who are unwilling or unable to apply that pressure and therefore progress proceeds achingly slow -- and only when it is in the political interest of Democrats to achieve it. That's why even the most basic civil rights legislation -- employment non-discrimination and hate crimes -- have not passed the Democratic-controlled Congress.
Imagine what would happen if they did pass -- and President Bush actually signed them! Then where would the DNC and Hillary be? If elected, she would face more difficult gay rights issues -- mainly undoing the damage from her husband's administration in the form of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act.
The Dem-first and Hillary-first crowd actively dreads that outcome because they know she will not expend anymore political capital than her husband did on gay issues, especially on the same gay issues he ran so scared from in the '90s. So instead they lollygag on ENDA and hate crimes, to the silence of the Human Rights Campaign and the trans-marginalized Task Force.
And anyone who dares to criticize or ask tough questions, be it the gay press or even longtime Democratic party activists, gets the Tagen treatment -- dismissed as having some sort of evil anti-Dem agenda.
Expect more revelations to come on these matters, including on this blog.
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