The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) REFUSES to support Jim Neal, an openly gay candidate in North Carolina running for US Senate. Something fishy seems to be going on. Is the DSCC interfering in a Democratic Primary election?
Jim Neal, a progressive Democrat in North Carolina, is running to take on Senator Elizabeth Dole. He was the only Democrat running for the nomination until the National Democratic Party found out he was gay. The DSCC freaked, and recruited a Republican-lite candidate named Kay Hagan to run for the nomination (she originally refused to run). Basically, everyone in Washington DC is freaked that there is a openly gay candidate who actually has a shot of winning the Dem nomination on May 6th.
Jim Neal is supported by many here in North Carolina. He's a businessman/investment banker, so he has financial sense. He also is progressive on many issues. He's an amazing speaker in person, and would really put Elizabeth Dole on her toes. Here's what the North Carolina Triangle Independent Newspaper says about Jim Neal...
Jim Neal for US Senate
On the issues, there's a clear progressive choice in the Democratic
primary: Chapel Hill businessman Jim Neal is our pick to take on
Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole come November. And let's put it right
out there: Neal is openly gay, which should no more influence whether
he gets your vote than the fact that he's also openly white. What
should influence it is his platform: Neal opposed the U.S. invasion of
Iraq and supports getting our troops out now; he supports universal
health care; is against capital punishment; wants to scrap No Child
Left Behind, Bush's counterproductive education program; proposes
making the federal tax system more progressive; and advocates an
Apollo-style program to wean the country from imported oil and develop
alternative-energy sources, including conservation.
On gay rights, Neal supports full equality, including marriage, as a
matter of law. But he also recognizes that the First Amendment
guarantees religious freedom when it comes to whether same-sex unions
should be sanctioned by various faiths.
Given his background as a Wall Street investment banker and venture
capitalist, Neal is at his best when dissecting the causes of the
nation's widening gap between rich and poor and the erosion of middle-
class jobs. He calls it "unconscionable" that corporate CEOs make 400
times as much money as the average worker. His prescription for fixing
what ails us includes sweeping investments in education and our
economic infrastructure, not war, and for junking free-trade policies
in favor of fair-trade ones. He thinks the federal government should
prepare to buy mortgages and refinance them to prevent foreclosures.
Neal is hardly a perfect candidate. He's never run for office, can be
long-winded and abstract about policy, and while he grew up in North
Carolina, he's lived elsewhere most of his adult life. He acknowledges
that his business life has had its ups and, recently, some downs. He's
not rich, and has had trouble raising money despite having been a top
fundraiser for the '04 Democratic ticket of Kerry-Edwards.
That said, Neal didn't get into this race until every potential
"establishment" candidate from Gov. Mike Easley on down had walked
away from it. That includes state Sen. Kay Hagan, D-Guilford, who
announced that she wouldn't run, but changed her mind a few weeks later
—after Neal declared. Party leaders in Washington and Raleigh quickly
endorsed her; the inescapable conclusion was that they feared having a
gay candidate on the ticket.
Anyway, turns out the Human Rights Campaign refuses to endorse Jim Neal for the primary. They endorsed in many Senate races, but not in North Carolina. JIM NEAL IS AN OPENLY GAY CANDIDATE RUNNING FOR ONE OF THE HIGHEST OFFICES IN THE LAND. Also, Jim Neal is all about LGBT equal rights, while his opponent refuses to answer questions about her LGBT views. Why didn't the HRC endorse Jim Neal then? SOMETHING FISHY IS GOING ON. I wonder if the National Dems/DSCC had something to do with it. They have been trying to sink Jim Neal's candidacy from the very start.
Here is an article from the Washington Blade about this strange situation...
HRC endorses 14 for U.S. Senate
Gay N.C. candidate not among those winning support
By JOSHUA LYNSEN, Washington Blade | Apr 28, 3:07 PM
The Human Rights Campaign is endorsing 14 contenders for U.S. Senate, but an openly gay candidate from North Carolina is not among them.
Jim Neal, who’s seeking the Democratic nod to run against Republican incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Dole, was not among the endorsements HRC announced Monday. The organization backed no candidates in that race.
Joe Solmonese, HRC president, said the organization would wait until after North Carolina holds its primary May 6 before endorsing Neal or his main primary opponent, veteran state Sen. Kay Hagan.
"She has a good record," he said. "It’s a tough race to call in terms of the primary, and so I think, you know, our community down there — sometimes sitting here in Washington, Jim Neal is certainly someone who a lot of people have really been following here in Washington as an openly gay candidate, but our community down in North Carolina is really rather split between him and Kay Hagan. So we’ve got another ... couple of weeks, and we’re going to wait and see who the nominee is before we make a decision there."
Neal said he would have liked to have won HRC’s endorsement, but was unsurprised by his omission from the list.
"HRC hasn’t really been supportive of the campaign for their own reasons, and they’re entitled to do so," he said. "But elections are won not by endorsements, but by votes. That’s just how it works. I’m not trying to rack up endorsements. I’m trying to rack up votes."
Neal, who was statistically tied with Hagan in this month’s SurveyUSA poll of 725 North Carolina adults who are likely to vote in the primary, also has not won the endorsement of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
"I’ve always said that voting for me because I’m gay is not good enough reason," he said. "Maybe I’m not gay enough. I don’t know."
Lesbian blogger Pam Spaulding, a North Carolina resident, criticized the decision not to back Neal.
"I think it's unfortunate based on the clear differences between the candidates in their approaches to LGBT issues in this campaign," she wrote.
And here is an article from the Huffington Post about this unbelievable oversight...
HRC Has Some Bad Political Advice For Gay People
Posted April 28, 2008 | 05:06 PM (EST)
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is an inside the Beltway advocacy group for gay people. I was very proud in 1997 when they gave me a leadership equality award for my work at fostering equality in the workplace at Warner Brothers. I even wrote them into my will.
But what opened my eyes to what HRC has become -- an insider establishment bunch of kiss-asses -- was their endorsement of Holy Joe Lieberman over Ned Lamont in 2006. After I learned more about them, I smashed my award and removed them from my will. HRC is one of those inside the Beltway organizations that has long ago lost sight of its original idealistic mandate. Instead of fighting for gay equality, they fight to win DC status games and to enhance the future career prospects of the top staffers. When it comes to electoral politics, you can almost always expect the worst from them....
Today HRC announced its endorsements for Senate races around the country...But it was a Senate race they chose to ignore that is the most shocking and disappointing element of their announcement today. North Carolina has two extreme right wing senators, Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr, each of whom can always be counted on to do whatever they can to make the lives of gay men and women less palatable and less safe. One, Elizabeth Dole, is up for re-election in November. There are two Democrats in a neck and neck primary battle to take her on, Republican-lite establishment-backed Kay Hagan and grassroots progressive Jim Neal. Frankly, I don't know where Hagan stands on gay issues (although North Carolina blogger Pam Spaudling sure does). I do know where Neal stands-- 100% with the gay community, of which he is an upfront member. Yes, one of the first times that an uncloseted gay man is running for the U.S. Senate -- in a race he can win -- and HRC is... abstaining. When we reached Jim this morning, he seemed disappointed. "There's no question their endorsement would have helped in fundraising and I certainly would have liked to have had it. People look to the HRC to encourage participation and promote change in the political system. Is it doing that? That's a valid question, and after this election is over, I think we need to look at groups like HRC and their endorsement process." Amen!
Joe Solomnese, I want my HRC membership dues back. How the hell can HRC not endorse an amazing pragmatic, passionate, progressive, grassroots candidate who is openly gay?
What does everyone else think? I think there is some fishy politics going on here.