imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Former Obama Adviser Attacks Him at Freedom Awards

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Thursday, Sep. 03, 2009 at 5:37 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Steve Hildebrand has been described as Barack Obama's closest Gay friend and the person he listens to on Gay issues, but at the August 22 Freedom Awards, the main fundraiser for the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club, he bluntly said, “The problem is Obama isn’t listening enough.” At the event, Hildebrand delivered a slashing attack on Obama and the Democrats in Congress -- both the so-called “Blue Dogs” in the House and the “moderates” in the Senate, as well as leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid who are letting them get away with hijacking Obama’s agenda and pushing him to the Right. Hildebrand predicted that the Democrats will lose their Congressional majority if they continue to tack Rightward and fail to do the things they were elected to do.

Former Obama Adviser...
hildebrand.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x797

President’s Former Advisor Attacks Him at Freedom Awards

Steve Hildebrand Criticizes Obama, Pelosi, Reid and “Blue Dog” Moderates

by MARK GABRISH CONLAN

Copyright © 2009 by Mark Gabrish Conlan for Zenger’s Newsmagazine • All rights reserved

Introducing Steve Hildebrand, deputy campaign manager for Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign, at the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club’s Freedom Awards August 22 at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park, San Diego Democratic Party chair Jess Durfee said he’d been described as “the Gay person Obama listens to and the Gay person closest to the President.” When Hildebrand actually took the podium, he snapped, “The problem is Obama isn’t listening enough” — setting the tone for a slashing attack on Obama and the Democratic officeholders in Congress for failing to advance progressive causes and letting Republicans and so-called “Blue Dog” Democrats set the agenda for the country.

“This is my President, this is our President,” Hildebrand said of Obama, the man he helped put in the White House. “I love him, I love Michelle, I want him to succeed, but all of us need to put pressure on him and Congress to do the right things. The American people put confidence in the Democrats because they though we could get things done, and if we fail, they’re not going to give it back.” He made it clear that he fears the Republicans will be able to return to power in 2010 and 2012 unless the Democrats put through a progressive agenda now — not only on Queer issues but on health care, the economy, global warming and the other issues Obama promised “change” on in 2008.

Hildebrand went after Obama, the “Blue Dogs” in the House and “moderate” Democrats in the Senate, and the party’s leaders in Congress — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Harry Reid — in equal measure. “There are a lot of Blue Dogs in the House and moderate Democrats in the Senate who are standing in the way of getting things done,” Hildebrand said. “I gave up a lot to elect Democrats, and I expect them to give it up for me. I’m going to speak loudly. The Republicans don’t have power unless the moderates and the Blue Dogs give it to them — which is what they’re doing now.”

One thing Hildebrand said he plans to do personally is to move away from helping to elect specific candidates — which has been the focus of his political work for 22 years — and instead focus on building campaigns to put pressure on politicians from outside the electoral system. “We have to help elect good people to office, but we also have to push them from the outside,” he said. “I don’t want to have to listen to one more candidate talk about ‘reforming health care’ and not get it done. I’m tired of it.”

What irks Hildebrand most about the “Blue Dogs” and their “moderate” counterparts in the Senate is that by demanding compromises and moving the Democrats’ programs closer to what the Republicans want, they’re cutting their own electoral throats as well as helping the Republicans regain majority status in Congress. That’s because the “Blue Dogs” generally represent moderate-to-conservative districts that are the likely ones the Republicans will target next year — and, Hildebrand explained, “they’re going to lose their elections and make us the minority again unless they get things done.”

Hildebrand warned that 2009 is shaping up to be “1993 all over again” — the year the Republicans fueled voter anger over a Democratic plan to reform health insurance and built a movement that ended the 42-year Democratic majority in the House and took the Senate as well — unless the Democrats get their act together and enact a progressive program that will give people a reason to vote for them. He criticized not only the “Blue Dogs” and Senate moderates but also Pelosi and Reid for not keeping them in line and getting them to support and vote for progressive bills.

“We all lose as a party if we allow the moderates and the Blue Dogs to continue” setting the agenda for the party, Hildebrand explained. “The Republicans are loving it, and they should. When are we going to start standing up to these people? Tell [Pelosi and Reid] to start leading and holding the 52 Blue Dogs accountable. You’re either a Democrat or not. I view [the ‘Blue Dog’ movement] as cowardly, calculating and standing in the way of equality. We have to hold these people — and the President — accountable. We need leadership in the party. I’m not helping these people anymore.”

Hildebrand had his own personal horror story to tell about a “Blue Dog.” A native of South Dakota who still lives there (he said he’d like to move to San Diego but his partner has so far vetoed it), he’s represented in Congress by Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, who “wears the Blue Dog label proudly. When she ran in 2004, I gave her 0 and we opened up our home for her and allowed her to film media ads in our home. Then, without talking to the Gay people who had helped her, she announced her support for the Federal Marriage Amendment to ban same-sex marriage nationwide. I demanded my contribution back — and got it. The next time she runs I will support her opponent, even if it’s a Republican.”

Defending his decision to abandon support for specific candidates and concentrate on campaigns outside electoral politics, Hildebrand said that outside the system “we can be as effective, if not more. We have an opportunity at this early stage to hold the Democrats accountable. I’m not asking them to commit political heresy, just to do good things that will help them get re-elected: pass health care, pass climate change, stop worrying about your little districts and get something done for the country.” Speaking for the Queer community, Hildebrand said that in the 22 years he’s been helping Democratic candidates win office “we haven’t come very far” in the struggle for equality. “The government still doesn’t treat Gay people equally. Should I continue doing what I’m doing, or should I be a strong voice from the outside?”

Hildebrand also defended his involvement in a highly controversial debate within California’s Queer community: the public split between the two leading organizations for marriage equality, the Courage Campaign and Equality California, over whether to put an initiative on the ballot to repeal Proposition 8 in 2010 or 2012. He startled his audience somewhat by saying that the next major battleground over marriage equality isn’t in California at all; it’s in Maine, where in a little over two months opponents will have a chance at the ballot box to overturn Maine’s law allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Though he stopped short of saying that the chances for marriage equality in California would be killed by a defeat in Maine, he urged his audience to support the Maine campaign not only with immediate donations but volunteer time as well. “Take a week off work if you can and go to Maine,” he said. “If we lose in Maine, it’s going to be a strike against us in California. They’re running a good fight, but they need resources. Then we can take it up in California.”

Hildebrand said he got involved in the California controversy when he was asked for advice by both Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign; and Marc Solomon, marriage organizer for Equality California. Along with several other Queer activists with electoral campaign experience — including both “yes” and “no” initiative campaigns — Hildebrand said he studied the issue to create “a road map [as to] what we need to do to build a campaign: what kind of leadership structure, what kind of message, how do we foster the grass roods and grow it, and how do we plan for a ballot fight without a specific date attached.”

What his team concluded, Hildebrand said, was that the debate over when the voter pool might be most favorable to an attempt to repeal Proposition 8 was irrelevant because “the conclusion our team reached was that it’s winnable in 2010, 2012 or 2014 if you put together the right message, have a strong campaign and do it right.” He said his group’s research contradicted the widely held assumption that the larger voter turnout likely in a Presidential election would make repeal easier in 2012 than 2010 — and as long as there’s no difference in terms of the chance for success, he feels the earlier the better because the denial of marriage equality is a basic attack on our rights that needs to be reversed as soon as possible.

The main business of the Freedom Awards was to acknowledge community members, elected officials and club volunteers for their service to the club and to the cause of Queer rights generally. Congressmember Bob Filner received the A. Brad Truax Human Rights Award. His citation in the program mentioned that Filner’s activist career started when he took a Freedom Ride to the South in 1961 — the year Barack Obama was born — to protest racial segregation, and was arrested and spent time in a Mississippi jail.

Filner remembered attending the first Freedom Awards — then called the Freedom Banquet — in 1979, also in Balboa Park, and recalled that as a recently elected member of the San Diego Unified School District board, “I think I was the only public official there. There were people outside with hate-filled signs, and we had to run the gantlet to get in. Today, we’ve had a Gay deputy mayor and we have a Gay district attorney in San Diego. We’ve come a long way, and the San Diego Democratic Club deserves a lot of the credit for that.” Filner mentioned that he and San Diego Queer activist Nicole Murray-Ramirez were recently arrested in Old Town for protesting the firing of 130 union workers from a restaurant when a new concessionaire wanted to go non-union.

He also mentioned the murder of Seaman August Provost on the Camp Pendleton Marine Base, which the Navy is insisting was not a hate crime even though Provost was Gay and was being harassed over it, and the subsequent suicide of the man accused of the crime. “What does this incident tell us about ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’?,” Filner said. “Provost couldn’t report being harassed for being Gay, because then he would have been fired. His partner was notified of his death by a newspaper report. That says what a tragic and inhumane policy ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is. We’re committed to changing it, and we will change it. It’s against national security, the national interest and humanity.”

Jess Durfee, former San Diego Democratic Club president and now chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party, won the President’s Award, the only one decided solely by the club’s president and not announced in advance. The Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) won the Eleanor Roosevelt Community Service Award — the only one that can go to an organization as well as an individual. Former club president Andrea Villa won the J. Douglas Scott Political Action Award, retiring San Diego Human Relations Director Ashley Walker won the Gloria Steinem Communications Award (Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez accepted it for her because she was unable to attend), and Zenger’s editor/publisher Mark Gabrish Conlan won the R. Steven Pope Volunteerism Award for his reports on the club’s meetings for its newsletter.

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy