The Meeting That Led to LCR’s Endorsement

Jim Burroway

October 24th, 2012

It’s beginning to sound more like a spy thriller. Picture this: a furtive fifteen-minute meeting last week at a park in Loudoun County, Virginia between a presidential candidate and a member of the Republican National Committee’s finance committee to talk about how to make the presidential candidate more likable among gay voters. One way to do that, of course, is if a certain gay Republican group, which that finance committee member just happens to helm, were to endorse that presidential candidate, even though that candidate’s positions are the same positions which prevented a previous sitting president from earning that same endorsement. This meeting went like this:

During the meeting, Cooper said Romney was “very interested” in talking about different state laws on workplace discrimination for LGBT people. A total of 21 states have laws barring job discrimination against gay, lesbian and bisexual people; 16 states and D.C. protect all LGBT people from job bias.

“He is aware that there is a kind of patchwork or quilt of states that don’t, and that inequity was something of discussion,” Cooper said. “Some states have it, and some states don’t and this is where it gets confusing and problematic from an administrative standpoint as well.”

Cooper said he impressed upon Romney that ENDA would be consistent with his goals for economic stimulus and job growth because many major businesses have non-discrimination policies in place and discrimination may be preventing LGBT Americans from entering the workforce.

Asked if there was any portion of the current version of the legislation to which Romney objected, Cooper said Romney didn’t express concern about any particular language and did not object to protecting people from discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

Former Rep. Jim Kolbe, who was also present, talked about Romney’s “personal view of opposing workplace discrimination.” And when Kolbe  talked about his inability to sponsor his foreign national partner for residency, Romney nodded  “but offered no further response.” So on substance, all we have are a lot of descriptions of what Romney did not say, which is pretty remarkable from a man who is known to say a lot of things which have the effect of changing his positions more often than I change my socks. (I can usually go a full day in the same pair.) And get this: Cooper then told The Blade, “That was the most substantive meeting that we had with them.”

So what have we learned? We learned that a fifteen-minute nonsubstantive meeting between an RNC finance committee member and his presidential candidate, complete with head-nods and knowing glances, is the basis for LCR’s endorsement. That pretty much sums up the whole sorry episode. All that’s missing are secret handshakes.

Lindoro Almaviva

October 24th, 2012

And this reinforces what we already know, Romney will say anythingsolongas it benefits him. The issue here is not what Romney did,as this is his modus operandi, the issue is that LCR were so desperate for relevancy that they believed him against the mountain of evidence against his credibility.

Steve

October 24th, 2012

When Romney’s lips move you know he is lying

Timothy Kincaid

October 24th, 2012

talk about how to make the presidential candidate more likable among gay voters

Sure… of course… that had to be what Cooper was there for. It isn’t at all possible that he was there for what he said he was there for, is it? It couldn’t be an actual honest attempt to get concessions from the governor that were the result of a year-long effort, could it?

sigh

I hate the culture war

Sami

October 24th, 2012

What’s untrue about his description Timothy? Is their job not to make Republican candidates more appealing to LBGT people and their straight allies? Am I wrong in remembering the LCR writing articles supporting Republicans like Scott Brown and Paul Ryan that gloss over their anti-LBGT hyistories and try to paint them as friends of our community? If I remember right the one for Paul Ryan had the nerve to hold up his vote for ENDA as proof he loves us while conveniently leaving out that it was immediately after he’d voted to kill it.

Asked if there was any portion of the current version of the legislation to which Romney objected, Cooper said Romney didn’t express concern about any particular language and did not object to protecting people from discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

I hope someone, maybe Bryan Fischer will oblige me, asks Romney to ‘clarify’ his non-opposition to ENDA with gender identity included. I suspect the answer would be both depressing and hilarious, like a dead clown.

Jim Burroway

October 24th, 2012

Concessions? Where are the concessions? A head nod and a few tisks over inconsistent state protections against job discrimination are not concessions.

I hate the culture war too, but this isn’t a culture war “god hates fags” moment. This is rank politics.

One simply cannot ignore Cooper’s position on the RNC’s Finance Committee and pretend that he is just there only as a gay advocate. Well, I guess one can, but that takes a lot of wishful thinking to do so.

If there’s one thing that I cannot stand, it’s someone who heads an organizaiton that purports to represent LGBT people while using the resources of that organization to give a pass for those who either fight against, or refuse to support the very people that the organization pretends to represent.

I hate it when they do that for Republicans, and I hate it when they do it for Democrats.

But I guess not everyone shares my refusal to give people passes when they don’t deserve them.

Timothy Kincaid

October 24th, 2012

Jim,

Perhaps in another space you might find it to be a strategic advantage to our community that Cooper is on the RNC’s Finance Committee, just as it has been to our great advantage for Andrew Tobias to be the DNC Treasurer since 99. I’m sure that by now you know that access isn’t given be standing outside and screaming.

Jim Burroway

October 24th, 2012

I do agree that it is advantageous for Andrew Tobias to be DNC treasurer. But he’s not doing that with the dual role of speaking for LGBT Dems as head of Stonelwall Dems.

And you can safely bet your last dollar that if Tobias were endorsing a candidate with largely anti-LGBT views, I would be screaming from the rooftops — what I’ve written about Cooper would be positively flattering by comparison.

I also do agree that it can be advantageous to have Cooper on the RNC’s Finance Committee. But his presence there is incompatable with his position at LRC as as advocate for LGBT people — even LGBT Republicans.

Just as Solmonese’s shilling for Dems was incompatable with his advocacy for LGBT people while heading HRC. And I believe I was very clear about that. These are precisely the kind of people whose actions deserve special scrutiny along with an extra heaping dose of skepticism.

Nathan F

October 24th, 2012

Timothy said:
“It isn’t at all possible that he was there for what he said he was there for, is it? It couldn’t be an actual honest attempt to get concessions from the governor that were the result of a year-long effort, could it?”

If it truly were about getting concessions, then wouldn’t you expect upon not receiving *any* that LCR would withhold its endorsement? The only evidence of concessions here is on behalf of the LCR to Romney.

Jay

October 25th, 2012

The most ironic thing about this clandestine meeting comes here: “And when Kolbe talked about his inability to sponsor his foreign national partner for residency, Romney nodded ‘but offered no further response.'”

Please do not forget that the reason Kolbe was outed by activists in 1996 was because he voted for the Defense of Marriage Act. How richly ironic it is that that very act will probably lead to his partner being deported, especially if Romney wins the election and his Justice Department defends DOMA in the Supreme Court.

Sorry, Kolbe gets no sympathy for me. The bastard doesn’t seem to even learn anything from his own experience.

Robert

October 25th, 2012

Timothy, if you hate the culture war, why do you keep it going? One can hardly claim innocence in the “war” if they are firing off their own shots. Don’t cry about the things you participate in, especially when trying to shame someone else for participating in it. You surely seem to blame Jim for “the culture wars” or his participation in it, while doing so yourself.

Just saying, Man Up Buddy. If you take shots yourself, don’t bitch about it when others do it, as if you are somehow immune from the participation.

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