Local Democratic activists in Albany are expressing dismay at newly elected Democratic County Executive Dan McCoy, proposed nominee for county attorney. The nominee Tom Marcelle serves as senior counsel to the Alliance Defense Fund.
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the organization as such on their website:
[A] coalition of 35 Christian Right groups founded the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). Key founders included D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries, Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association, and James Dobson of Focus on the Family.Here is what Right Wing Watch says about AFD:
Founded by a group of high-profile Religious Right leaders such as D. James Kennedy and James Dobson, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) sees itself as a counter to the ACLU. As a legal group, it assists and augments the efforts of other right-wing groups to "keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel." The ADF has been active on issues including pushing "marriage protection," exposing the "homosexual agenda" and fighting the supposed "war on Christmas."Alliance Defense Fund's legal theories respect no separation of church, no right to choice, and certainly are vehemently opposed to any recognition of LGBT people being treated equally under the law.
As the county attorney is called upon to advise the county on legal issues, including constitutional questions, Marcelle is in no way qualified to represent the interests of LGBT constituents. Should issues of choice or funding of family planning arise, reproductive choice advocates really shouldn't expect the Albany county attorney to have fair and impartial arbitrator of the law either.
If Marcelle is appointed it will also present a great stepping stone for him, and his legal school of thought, to rise higher into the New York judicial system.
Marcelle is the kind of right wing extremist one would expect Republicans to nominate, but what explains McCoy choosing him? Daily Kos writer and longtime New York political scene veteran Andrew C. White says Marcelle's nomination is "apparently as payback for the the Republicans and Conservatives not challenging McCoy at the ballot box as he had a free pass into replacing former County Executive Mike Breslin who retired."
Fortunately, some Democrats are stepping up to hold their county executive's feet to the fire on the controversial nomination. The Robert F. Kennedy Democrats are calling for action tonight. From an their email list:
That would be tonight. There may still be time to head off Marcelle's appointment.
Speak out against Anti-Choice. Anti-Woman. Anti-GLBT Appointee: Tom Marcelle
Were you at the RFK Democratic Club, Inc. January Meeting last night? Have you heard about Dan McCoy attempting to appoint a right-wing anti-choice, anti-equality and anti-labor County Attorney?
Sadly, you're probably familiar with him. He undermines the Albany County Democrats at just about every turn. He's a Republican-turned-Conservative who thinks we need to litigate discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation.
You might be thinking to yourself, "Isn't the Albany County Legislature dominated by Democrats? Isn't Dan McCoy a Democrat?"
That, my friends, is a matter of opinion. Their registration may say "DEM" but I think we'll be able to separate the DEM from the rest of them based on how your County Legislator votes.
You can remind them that you're paying attention by joining us tomorrow (Wednesday) night at the Personnel Committee meeting of the Albany County Legislature. They will be meeting at 7:00pm in the Cahill Room at 112 State Street.
Come and let them know you're listening, and then call your own representative and let them know you won't tolerate them voting in support of intolerance.