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How To Contact The 544 Unelected Superdelegates Pledged To Clinton (tags)

7 more weeks remain to prevent a woman more hawkish than Obama from becoming the Democratic nominee

Queer Democrats Celebrate Election Victories at Freedom Awards (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality celebrated recent election victories in San Diego County at their annual Freedom Awards November 17 at 1202 Club in HIllcrest. They also honored retiring State Senator Christine Kehoe, the first open Queer ever elected to office in San Diego County, for her19 years in elective office.

Queer Democrats Make Defeating Prop. 32 a Priority (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality voted August 23 to make defeating Proposition 32 a priority race in the November 6 election. Proposition 32 is an effort to destroy the ability of organized labor to raise money for political campaigns, and it's being sold deceptively as a campaign finance reform measure even though its principal sponsors are multi-million dollar donors to Republican candidates and super-PAC's. On the eve of Women's Equality Day, the club also heard from professors Dr. Sue Gonda and Carla Kirkwood on the history of women's struggles for equality and their links to the Queer rights movement.

What's in a Name? "San Diego Democrats for Equality" (tags)

The mountain labored at the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club September 22 and produced the club's new name: "San Diego Democrats for Equality." The push to change the club's name was sparked by several members who thought the original name, approved when the club started in 1974, was a relic of a more closeted age and the club needed a new name that more openly and proudly proclaimed its identity as a Queer-rights organization. Though the club voted overwhelmingly to change its name, there was considerable debate over what to change it to: out of the three proposed alternatives, the least openly Queer name, "San Diego Democrats for Equality," won a majority on the first ballot against "San Diego Stonewall Democrats" (after the event commonly, but inaccurately, thought to have started the U.S. Queer rights movement) and "San Diego LGBT Democrats."

Queer Democrats Host Incumbent City Councilmembers (tags)

Thanks to a member who asked that all so-called "friendly incumbent" endorsements be pulled for further discussion, the three incumbent San Diego City Councilmembers who attended the September 22 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality (formerly the San Diego Democratic Club) ? Todd Gloria, Marti Emerald and Sherri Lightner ? found themselves on the spot. Instead of just showing up to receive their endorsements and thank the club, they spoke to the group on such controversial issues like the city's budget and pension problems, historical preservation and the influence of wealthy people like Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs on plans for Balboa Park.

Assemblymember Atkins Warns Queer Democrats on State Budget Cuts (tags)

California State Assemblymember Toni Atkins spoke to the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club February 24 and warned of two approaching deadlines coming up in the state legislature's budget deliberations: March 6, the ending of the special budget session called by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; and March 10, the last day the legislature can vote to call a special election to extend the current state sales tax rates and vehicle licensing fees so that current Governor Jerry Brown's budget, which calls for $12.5 billion in spending cuts, can be enacted. Without that — and so far the Republican minority in the legislature has held firm to block any vote on the tax issue, which requires support from 2/3 of both houses of the legislature even to make it to the ballot — Brown and the Democratic majority will have to make $12.5 billion more in spending cuts, which will virtually end California state spending on health and welfare and eviscerate the state's already underfunded education system.

Redistricting, Open Primaries and the Challenges for Democrats (tags)

At the January 27 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club, Jess Durfee, chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party and former president of the club, explained the challenges the party faces as the citizens’ redistricting commission begins work on redrawing legislative lines for the 2012 election and beyond. He also talked about California’s new open primary law, which also goes into effect in 2012 and allows members of any political party, or of no party at all, to vote in primary races, with the two top finishers from the primary running against each other in the general election even if they’re from the same political party. California’s Democratic leadership opposed both these changes, but Durfee’s presentation focused on making them work and protecting the party’s interests in this new electoral environment.

Openly Gay Fort Worth City Councilmember Headlines Queer Democrats' Freedom Awards (tags)

As a boy, openly Gay Fort Worth City Councilmember Joel Burns was bullied by schoolmates and driven to thoughts of suicide. One of his friends, a boy from Oklahoma, actually did kill himself. As an elected official, Burns spoke October 12 in the Fort Worth City Council chambers and talked about his past in a speech that was heard 'round the world through YouTube and the power of the Internet. On November 13 Burns came to San Diego as the keynote speaker for the 35th Annual Freedom Awards of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club and talked about teen suicide and the need for renewed commitment on the part of Queer Democrats and progressives to elect officials whose actions will make Queer teens safer.

Aguirre, Frye Debate San Diego's Prop. D at Queer Democratic Club (tags)

The campaign over Proposition D — an attempt to raise the sales tax in San Diego one-half cent to avoid draconian cuts in police, fire and other city services — has made strange bedfellows. Former city attorney Mike Aguirre, an otherwise progressive Democrat, has made common cause with Right-wing talk radio hosts and anti-tax zealots in opposing the measure. He and progressive City Councilmember Donna Frye debated Prop. D at the September 23 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club — which overwhelmingly voted to endorse the measure.

Openly Gay Democrat Runs for San Diego County Supervisor, Bucks GOP Trend (tags)

Openly Gay Democrat Stephen Whitburn is challenging 16-year incumbent Republican Ron Roberts for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. In what's expected to be a “Republican year,” Whitburn is hoping voter disgust with ALL incumbents will boost his campaign. He's already won the endorsement of the San Diego Firefighters' Union — who backed Roberts in all his previous campaigns — largely because the all-Republican Board, out of partisan distaste for the Obama administration, turned down federal stimulus money that could have upgraded the county's ability to deal with San Diego's endemic wildfires.

San Diego’s Queer Democrats Discuss Election Aftermath (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club heard from three local experts — San Diego County Democratic Party chair Jess Durfee, San Diego CityBeat editor David Rolland and political consultant Jennifer Tierney — on the aftermath of the June 8 primary election at their regular meeting June 24. The discussion centered mainly on how Democratic candidates like state gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown and local City Council candidate Howard Wayne can overcome the vast advantage of Republican money — and, in Brown's case, the multi-billion dollar personal fortune of his opponent, Meg Whitman. The club also took a position against SB 1070, the controversial anti-immigrant law recently passed by the Arizona state legislature.

Queer Democrats’ Surprising Lieutenant Governor Endorsement (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club made a surprising choice in the June 8 Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom became a nationwide hero to the Queer community in February 2004 when he unilaterally ordered city officials to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but the club rejected him in favor of Los Angeles City Councilmember Janice Hahn. Members’ concerns about Newsom included his less than progressive stands on economic issues, his notoriously messy personal life, his potentially rocky relationship with presumed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown, and the risks of going into a statewide election with two white men at the top of the ticket against likely Republican nominees Meg Whitman for governor and Abel Maldonado for lieutenant governor.

Queer Democrats Split on Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, School Board (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club strongly supported Hector de la Torre for insurance commissioner, Tom Torklason for state superintendent of education and Mona Rios for National City city council — but they were unable to reach consensus on lieutenant governor and attorney general. Faced with two weak Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor — a Los Angeles city councilmember and a state legislator with a long voting record against marriage equality — the club held off in hopes San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will run.

Queer Democrats Split on 79th Assembly District Race (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club revealed itself dramatically split in the Democratic primary race for the 79th Assembly District. City Council president Ben Hueso is running a classic “insider” campaign, relying on major endorsements and fundraising clout. His principal challenger, Sweetwater Union High School District board member Pearl Quiñones, is seeking the office in a progressive grass-roots campaign in the tradition of Assemblymember Lori Saldaña (who endorses her) and City Councilmember Donna Frye. The club was unable to reach the 60 percent threshold needed for an endorsement, and ultimately voted to rate both candidates “acceptable.”

Town-Hall Meeting Bitterly Critical of Pride Board (tags)

San Diego's annual Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Pride celebrations have been jeopardized by a community controversy over a $5,000 payment authorized by the board to its chair, Dr. Philip Princetta. The board fired Pride's executive director, Ron deHarte, on January 5, one day after he wrote a letter calling the payment "self-dealing" and questioning its legality. Two other Pride staff members resigned in support, and on Sunday, January 10 members of San Diego's Queer and Queer-allied communities had a chance to weigh in on the controversy. With none of the current board members there to hear the community speakers or express their own version of the events, the meeting turned into a series of condemnations of the board members and a vote to ask that deHarte be reinstated — but many people there were frustrated that the structure of the board doesn't give the community any recourse that doesn't also hurt the Pride events themselves.

Queer Democrats Endorse Saldaña, Take No Position on County Term Limits (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club endorsed Assemblymember Lori Saldaña for County Supervisor but failed to take a position on whether to impose term limits on the Board of Supervisors. Supporters of the term-limit initiative, being sponsored by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), said the five Republican incumbents on the board are so entrenched only limiting their future terms will get them out. Opponents said that Democrats have historically opposed term limits and if they supported them for the Republican-dominated Board of Supervisors, they'd be perceived as hypocrites the next time they try to ease-them for the Democratic-controlled state legislature.

Queer Democrats Endorse Alvarez, Wayne for City Council (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club took two different tacks in its endorsements in City Council races at its regular meeting October 22. In District 6 they endorsed veteran politician Howard Wayne over Steve Hadley, chief of staff to incumbent Councilmember Donna Frye. In District 8 they endorsed the grass-roots Latino candidate, David Alvarez, over two better connected candidates from established local Latino political families: Felipe Hueso, older brother of incumbent Councilmember Ben Hueso; and Nick Inzunza, uncle of former Councilmember Ralph Inzunza.

Former Obama Adviser Attacks Him at Freedom Awards (tags)

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.

Queer Democrats Endorse Busby for Congress — Barely (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club narrowly endorsed Francine Busby in her fourth attempt to unseat an incumbent Republican Congressmember in San Diego North County's 50th Congressional District. Her supporters promoted her as the most electable candidate because she's built up a large following of volunteers and contributors in the district; her opponents said she'd fudged the question of same-sex marriage equality on the club's questionnaire while her primary opponent, Tracy Emblem, had answered it forthrightly.

Queer Democrats Debate Proposition 8 Response (tags)

The wounds were still raw from the California Supreme Court decision upholding Proposition 8, the state’s voter-approved ban on marriage for same-sex couples, when the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club met May 28 and debated how the club should respond. The members heard from attorney Charlie Pratt, who had been at the sit-in at the County Administrative Center's marriage license bureau the day before and had been singled out for special harassment by police, and also discussed whether and when the Queer community should mount its own ballot initiative campaign to repeal Proposition 8.

Over 500 Turn Out for Marriage Equality Demonstration (tags)

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and his Lesbian daughter Lisa (pictured) led off the San Diego installment of "March Forth on March Fourth," a series of rallies and demonstrations held statewide on the eve of the California Supreme Court's oral hearings on the legal challenges to Proposition 8. Mayor Sanders endorsed same-sex marriage equality last year after deciding he couldn't tell his daughter that her relationship was less important than his.

San Diego Queer Democrats Endorse Beach Booze Ban (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club voted September 25 to endorse Proposition 4 on the November 4 ballot in the city of San Diego, which would make the temporary ban on alcohol consumption at city beaches permanent. Opponents have argued that the ban is an attack on individual freedom, but the club rejected that argument and instead supported beach-area residents who say the ban has improved their quality of life.

Queer Democrats Endorse Aguirre for San Diego City Attorney (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club, which had endorsed moderate Democrat Scott Peters over progressive incumbent Mike Aguirre for city attorney in the primary campaign, reversed itself and voted to endorse Aguirre over Republican Jan Goldsmith at its June 26 meeting — but not before an intense debate in which the club president threatened to eject two members to keep the meeting orderly.

San Diego Queer Democrats Endorse Morrow for Mayor (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club endorsed former City Councilmember Floyd Morrow for Mayor at thier April 24 meeting — but Morrow was upstaged by City Councilmember and former mayoral candidate Donna Frye, who brought a volunteer in a fox costume to dramatize her contention that Proposition "C," a ballot proposal to allow the mayor to appoint the city's auditor, is "putting the fox in charge of the henhouse."

Queer Democrats Hold Love-Fest for School Board Candidates (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club overwhelmingly endorsed three candidates in local school board races in a love-fest meeting February 28 that contrasted dramatically with their previous one on January, a knock-down, drag-out debate between incumbent city attorney Mike Aguirre and two of his challengers (one of whom has since left the race). They also rated openly Gay Republican Carl DeMaio "unacceptable" as a candidate for the San Diego City Council.

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