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    January 24, 2008

    Race gets thrown into messy DNC mix

    Posted by: Chris

    20070419_leah1low More and more dirt is emerging from the suit by Donald Hitchcock challenging his ouster doing LGBT outreach for the Democratic National Committee, and with it more light is being shed on the way Howard Dean's unlikely obsession with evangelical voters has come at the expense of gay interests within the party.

    The particulars of the latest revelation are in a report posted today by the Washington Blade and involve more nasty skirmishes among party insiders over how issues of race vs. sexual orientation were handled, both in the selection of party convention delegates and in a controversial Alabama state legislative race.

    In the thick of things in both battles was Dean's chief of staff, Leah Daughtry (pictured), a Pentecostal pastor who grew up speaking in tongues -- and now employs her own forked tongues while wedging black Democrats against gay Democrats at every available opportunity. Daughtry's machinations apparently reached such a point that an unnamed Stonewall Democrat said angrily in an email to Hitchcock's successor, Brian Bond:

    Imagine what Dean could do if people like Leah were confronted for their bigotry and fired. … I think Samuel L. Jackson said it best when he said "I'm sick of these mother fuckin' snakes on this mother fuckin' plane." It may be time to drive the snakes from the DNC.

    It's no wonder, then, that Howard Dean went on "The 700 Club" and erroneously asserted that the Democratic Party platform opposes gay marriage. Daughtry no doubt planted the pipe dream in Dean's head that he could be the evangelical pied piper for the party and pretending official opposition to gay marriage was just a convenient, if inaccurate, way of finding common ground.

    More DNC revelations are sure to follow…



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    1. Jeremy Bernard on Jan 25, 2008 12:35:55 AM:

      I was very sorry to see the this article about race and the DNC. I have been a DNC member since 2001. The DNC written about in this article is not the DNC I am a member of and, more importantly, the Leah Daughtry I know and all of us at the DNC have worked with is not the individual written about in this piece. I am not aware of the details regarding Donald Hitchock's lawsuit. But one cannot help but to see this as a vendetta or anger that has nothing to do with reality.

      Again, I don't know much about the suit, but I do know that there is more gay staff than in the past and that the record number of appointments to the standing committees is thanks to Leah and Governor Howard Dean.

      The allegations made against Leah are very serious and without merit. It is time to get focused and kick Republican butt.

    1. Jeffrey Slavin on Jan 25, 2008 11:57:27 AM:

      Dear All,

      I just read an article posted today on the Washington Blade online about the DNC lawsuit mess created by two people that only care about themselves. I am OUTRAGED that the Blade has been so duped to "buy into" into this personal vendetta and soap opera when we as a community have much bigger issues at stake this year.

      Until this Blade article I wasn't paying that much attention to all this, but.... now I have to speak out.

      Please all of you, read the Blade and then consider my comments.

      * While I don't know Leah Daughtry personally, I know lots of people who do--black , white, gay straight etc that would be appalled at this mischaracterization of her performance at the DNC. I know lots of gay staffers at the DNC that consider her a huge advocate for equality and the best I can tell she has made the DNC the most diverse it has ever been for women, people of color and yes gays!

      * The idea that Leah is a homophobe or that the Democratic party is pitting African Americans against the LGBT community is simply outragious, a slippery slope and divisive. It is time to end the pettiness and smear campaign of a personal crusade and move on. Let the court decide if Hitchcock was wronged or realize that it clearly wasn't a good fit and move on. Too much is at stake right now.

      * I must say equally appalling is the racist tone of the "Stonewall staff person." Are we as a party and community about building bridges or what? Stonewall should be embarrassed by this display of arrogance. Looks to me like Stonewall is either politically not savvy or is being duped . This type of race bating whether in a public or "released" email is inappropriate and counter productive.

      * It seems to me that what is going on is clearly a witch hunt and personal vendetta-- by a few --that is distracting us all from the bigger picture of focusing on winning the General election for our great (albeit imperfect) party. It is time to move on.

      *Again, everything I have heard about Leah and her leadership at the DNC over the years is that she is respectful of all. And lets be honest with all the different constituencies-- she has a very difficult job to do.

      Our journalists should focus on the real enemies and not be duped into a reporting on an internal, petty squabble that appears to have nothing to do with being gay or racist -- and is clearly a personal crusade of two warped people.

      Thanks for listening

      Jeffrey Slavin
      Town of Somerset, MD

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Jan 25, 2008 12:27:21 PM:

      I have no idea if anything that was reported in the Blade article is true. So, at this time, I pass no judgment on Ms. Daughtry or the DNC. Nevertheless, I wish to comment on something that I have personally observed and experienced.

      This post shines a bright light on a very unfortunate division within the Democratic Party base. There is an ugly sentiment among many racial minority groups that their struggle for equality is legitimate while the gay struggle is not. Clearly this is absurd, but the sentiment exists nevertheless.

      It is totally unacceptable, then, that the DNC would play on the anti-gay prejudices of black evangelical voters to win their support, especially while, at the same time, it courts the LGBT vote. If it's not true, that's great. However, if Leah Daughtry is engaging in these types of electioneering tactics, then she must be removed. The Democratic Party should be totally inclusive.

      One final item...I do not believe Howard Dean made an erroneous statement on Pat Robertson's 700 Club show. As far as I know, the Democratic Party does not support gay marriage; only "equality" and civil unions. It's a cop out, but that's its position. So, I don't think Dean misspoke.

    1. Kevin on Jan 25, 2008 8:07:52 PM:

      Whether or not this woman is completely guilty or not, I think it's very interesting that every one of her defenders around the country always add in the little rejoinder that we must ignore all talk of divisions in the Democratic Party or else there will be some horrible consequence for the nation. That in and of itself is the classic sign of fishiness. SS is right about shining a light -- and that's what the gay press should be doing. Shine the light, let the public look squarely at the full picture, and decide.

      And SS is also right in that it's hard to ignore the deep, increasingly bitter and vicious divide growing within the Democratic Party that is as plain at the bulbous nose on Bill Clinton's face.

    1. John on Jan 25, 2008 11:56:20 PM:

      Sorry, but there is an anti-religous tone to this post that I don't appreciate. There are in fact more than a few lgbt people who are religious and who identify as Pentecostals. You should see the healing services at the conferences of the Metropolitan Community Church. They are always the most packed. Chris seems to be falling into the trap that says if you're religious, you must be homophobic, and if your gay you can't be religious.

      I would guess Chris does not know about the history of the Pentecostal movement, which was the first to have opportunities for women to become preachers and to have people of color and whites worship in the same setting, even having black pastors in interracial settings. It was quite revolutionary at the time. It's true that over the last hundred years, that progressive spirit has been largely driven out of organized Pentecostalism, but thankfully there are those who refuse to be silenced, among them Rev. Yvette Flunder of City of Refuge UCC in San Francisco and others who challenge Pentecostalism to return to its progressive roots.

      I don't know the particulars of this lawsuit. But I recognize anti-religious intolerance when I see it.

    1. Monster Beats Sale on Nov 30, 2011 2:33:58 AM:

      I don't know the particulars of this lawsuit. But I recognize anti-religious intolerance when I see it.

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