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It is unfortunate that a some members of our community and Vallejo’s Vice Mayor introduced the political shorthand “kill the gays in Uganda” in to the civic conversation surrounding the Vallejo City council election.  This pejorative phrase is being used unthinkingly against anyone supporting the endorsed Democratic candidates running for Vallejo City Council including me.
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Tony Summers, Jonathan Gordon, Vallejo Councilmember Hermie R. Sunga
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A few days after I endorsed Anthony Summers I bumped into Vallejo’s Vice Mayor at our Saturday Farmers market. I was standing in front of the Better Vallejo booth that was advocating for the candidates that are running against our endorsed Democratic candidates.

For more information on the Vallejo race see:

Vallejo City Council Race 2013 - Introduction
Vallejo City Council Race 2013 - Meme Warfare (This Diary)
Vallejo City Council Race 2013 - Category Collapse Disorder
Vallejo City Council Race 2013 - Jump Start Vallejo
Vallejo City Council Race 2013 - Cartoons & Correspondence
Vallejo City Council Race 2013 - Election Results

Update 1: Removed speculative association per FogCityJohn's comment.
Update 2: Changed title to remove meme from title
Update 3: Removed speculative reference to local community group per postretro's suggestion

I remarked to the Vice Mayor on a email she sent to me a day before where she implied that the Democratic Party supported the meme and that tacitly that I did the same.  I told her, with out mentioning the meme, that her language was a bit harsh and could be off putting to someone that was going to bring business before the council after the election. And we had what looked like on the surface a pleasant conversation.  By this time a large group of listeners had gathered around us from the traffic in the market place and those at the tables.

Paraphrasing the conversation she said: Jonathan, you are new to politics when I started I did not understand political shorthand. Killing the gays in Uganda is just political shorthand. Come before the council and it will be business as usual. I was appalled that a pejorative phrase about fellow community members could be spoken of so casually in Vallejo’s public square, the Farmers Market in front of such a large audience.  

Those words hit each observer differently but I’m sure that they do damage to the civic body by dividing us. The group from the tables all nodded as if approving the banality of this civic evil. A few of my friends standing by just gritted their teeth.  And a number of strangers, who stopped to listen, shrugged it off as if disgusted by politics and moved on quickly. I began to wonder how many times has this meme been used in Vallejo over the last 4 years.

My "on the road to Damascus moment" was outside the Chamber of Commerce candidate’s night at the Empress Theatre. I was hanging out greeting everyone as they arrived for the event.

Three children between the ages of 12 and 15 were handing out flyers supporting Anthony Summers.  As I stood next to them as a passerby taunted them using that meme. Seeing the hurt, confusion, and fear in their eyes it was left to me to tell them,  "Anthony is running for office, and politics makes some people say mean and crazy things."  I wish I could had said something better.

By spreading this meme Better Vallejo thinks they are better than Vallejo, in that they have the right to frame the debate chose the political shorthand, meme, to communicate their values to children and persons of faith that support Anthony. And, by extension anyone associated with Labor and Jump Start Vallejo. And do not forget the Democratic Party is being accused with this meme too.

Describing it in theoretical political terms I would say:  Better Vallejo, the source of the meme, is being used as the active agent of Inverted Totalitarianism to accomplish a Neoliberal Agenda by spreading this destructive meme in the community on the grass roots level. Its principal target being Labor.

This may or may not be planned, I'm not big on conspiracy theories, but it just might be a product of the times. Democrats divided and both sides polarizing along the lines described in Lakoff's The Political Mind.

The same meme two years ago was used by the same coalition for the same purpose two years ago in the City Council election to attack Mayor Davis but with the addition of a specific meme for Mayor Davis that revolved around “Osby ain’t right.” This meme I’m told did not catch on but was released as a bumper sticker. And again its principal target was Labor.

I’m ashamed that two years ago I did not question the use of the meme in public to further Better Vallejo's message and political agenda like I’m doing now.  I did not use it myself, preferring to express my views in a more complex way than using political shorthand or memes. And I learned tact, restraint, and respect for Religious traditions  from my being a member of Street Prophets and my being an admirer of Fredric Carlson's work on Talk to Action and Street Prophets.

Two years ago I was relying on the authority of Better Vallejo and Talk to Action, and as such, I did not question its ultimate use. I was lazy. Talk to Action presents a clear case that C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, and Ed Silvoso have a well funded Right-Wing political agenda. And with the formation of the Vallejo Faith Organization in 2007 it reached its peak influence around 2008 with Prop 8 and Barack Obama on the ballot. To me it seemed like all the Vallejo churches and individuals of Faith became swept up in it. However, after its peak local participation in it declined.

At that time I remember the Prop 8 signs up on the entrance way to one of our largest Catholic churches in Vallejo along with hundreds of signs being displayed at each of the smaller black churches.  Vallejo has over 100 small independent small churches within its city limits.

I like to think my re-publishing and using information from Talk to Action helped push back a number of wedge issue memes during this time. It was using this non-pejorative authoritative source of information accurately that addressed the facts but did not attack individual pastors and congregation members that made its use so effective. That is what gave Talk to Action its power.

Please keep this in mind while reading this diary. Vallejo was recently named as the most ethnically diverse city in the nation. And as such roughly divides up as 24.5% Pacific Rim and First Nations, 23.7% Hispanic, 21% Black, and 24.1% White.

Now, consider the fact that there are three black Democratic candidates running for the City Council seat, and I was asked at a club meeting by the Past President of the club to disallow Anthony Summers membership in the Democratic Club and to further to deny him physical access to our meetings. This was at a public meeting.

By some of the statements made by the other two Black candidates running in this race I suspect that they are persons of faith. I guess I should deny them a seat at the political table and make up my mind about their suitability for office based on that meme being painted on them. I reject this eliminate the eliminator trap of insufficient options framed by the meme.

My friends it took me empathizing with three black children accused of killing gays in Uganda by a white male adult to drive home the potential racist and segregationist use in the expression of the meme.  

The passerby was victimized by the banality of its casual delivery. He was just repeating the political short hand he was given by authorities he trusted. He simply repeated what the local media saying. I have no idea the impact on the children I will leave that for Daily Kos conjectures in the comments. As for me my outlook on everything changed in that moment.

I ask my fellow Daily Kos members how deep into a persons religious beliefs to I have to go to satisfy suitability for political office or eligibility to freely participate in the civic public square. Do I ask the everyone who is from the Black Faith community, the Overseas Filipino Catholic community, and the Catholic Spanish Surname community if they attended Ed Silvoso's first visit to Vallejo or his second one? Do I ask if they displayed a Prop 8 sign in 2008? Or do I ask them if they bought a copy of the Transform Vallejo DVD?

I think it is a misuse of Talk to Action to be used as a body of convincing evidence to prove to the secular and LBGT community members in Vallejo that other members of our diverse community condone killing gays in Uganda.  This is an exact application of direct causality thinking mentioned in my previous diary direct from the Right-Wing playbook. The meme on the local level becomes a stand in for for tens of thousands of human beings and potentiality hurtful to them.

Clearly Talk to Action's is not at fault here. Talk to Action has no control how the publications on their website are used. Especially in this specific case where it is being used to justify a the truth of a meme.

The ground situation here in Vallejo is complex and the reason I had not been blogging much about it prior to this diary, was to allow the local community space to sort its affairs out without outside interference.

Scrutiny from the global can be good when authority can be used to ground a discussion in facts. But, it also can lock in pejorative phrases that evoke frames that are destructive or overstated. These wedge issue memes from the global are destined to impede civic progress and disrupt good local governance to force privatization of community assets.

Our Jumpstart Vallejo candidates are committed to the process of improving our score and when elected in November are faced with the difficult task of finding the funds to get the job done. We need everyone behind them because they literally have to weigh each of the Municipal Equality Index points, such as partner benefits, against hiring new police officers and other pressing costs of running our city. And, this is a job of governance that I’m confident that when our candidates, Pippin Dew, Jess Malgapo, Rozzana Verder-Aliga, and Anthony Summers, are elected they will do admirably.

Lastly, I want to say that the social group, the Vice Mayor, and the other candidates that are allegedly using this meme can correct this by giving up its use and publicly renouncing it. And In addition they need to take the time and effort to explain its negative effects on the civic environment to their followers.

Regards,

Jonathan Gordon (linkage)
Vallejo Street Prophet

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of United Democrats of Southern Solano County, The Solano County Democratic Central Committee, California State Democratic Party, or the National Democratic Party.


Partial List of Endorsements for
Pippin Dew, Jess Malgapo, Rozzana Verder-Aliga, and Anthony Summers

Vallejo Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee
Solano County Democratic Central Committee
California Real Estate Political Action Committee (CREPAC)
Vallejo Police Officers
Vallejo Firefighters
Vallejo Education Association
Napa-Solano County Building and Construction Trades Council
Napa and Solano Counties Central Labor Council
Communications Workers of America Local 9404
Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3
Glaziers Local 169
Cement Masons Local 400
Painters Union Local 376
Iron Workers Local 378
Iron Workers Local 118
Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 343
Sheet Metal Workers Local 104
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 180
Operating Engineers Local 3
Heat & Frost Insulators & Allied Workers Local 16
United Food & Commercial Workers Local 5
Carpenters Local 180
Teamsters Local 315
Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla
Mayor Osby Davis
Solano County Sheriff, Thomas A. Ferrara
Supervisor Erin Hannigan
Supervisor Jim Spering
Supervisor Skip Thomson
Supervisor John Vasquez
Solano County Superintendent of Schools, Jay Speck
Solano County District Attorney, Donald A. du Bain
Vallejo City Councilmember, Hermie Sunga
Vallejo Unified School Boardmember, Hazel Wilson
Vallejo Unified School Boardmember, Raymond Mommsen
Vallejo Unified School Boardmember, Rev. Dr. Tony Ubalde
Solano County Assessor-Recorder, Marc Tonnesen
Solano County Board of Education Boardmember, Larry Asera
Former Vallejo City Councilmember, Michael Wilson
Former Vallejo City Councilmember, Tom Bartee
Former Vallejo City Councilmember, Cris Villanueva
United Democrats of Southern Solano County President, Jonathan Gordon

From http://www.jumpstartvallejo.com/

Originally posted to linkage on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 07:20 AM PDT.

Also republished by Milk Men And Women, Angry Gays, SFKossacks, and California politics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Cookie Jar .... (8+ / 0-)

    I will get to the Democratic Club candidates night videos in an upcoming diary. I felt that I need to get the above diary out as soon as I could.  As it explains much of my thoughts behind my actions.

    And, I will do the best I can to reply to comments, but I work a day job and I have election commitments every night that pull me away from blogging.

    Also, it takes time to prepare a diary like this.

    JON

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 11:46:00 PM PDT

  •  So what exactly is Tony Summers' position (16+ / 0-)

    on gay rights again?

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 07:35:29 AM PDT

  •  Umm... A D in office is worth that much? (11+ / 0-)

    I admire your commitment to your candidate, but you have to realize that I cannot support this candidate.

    We don't wanna beat them by becoming them.

    •  re: your last line: (5+ / 0-)

      But that's been our strategy for decades now!

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 08:08:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have not been asked ... (0+ / 0-)

        to compromise an inch on my principals. Further, we are using the Municipal Equality Index as grounding of our discussion on LBGT rights.

        In an upcoming diary you will see a video at our Democratic Club candidates night that shows Anthony and all the Jump Start candidates support improving our index.

        I did not attend all the nights. To my knowledge none of the other public candidates nights asked the candidates to go on video record supporting LBGT rights. Someone local from Vallejo correct me if I'm wrong on this one.

        JON

        "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

        by linkage on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 11:07:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  All of the candidates (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      for office in Vallejo for City Council are Democrat but one.

  •  Here's my problem (13+ / 0-)

    Is this guy a homophobic bigot? If he is why are you against calling him out for being a homophobic bigot? You can't gloss over that and pretend it doesn't exist.

    Why yes there is a war on women and minorities.

    by karma5230 on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 08:12:15 AM PDT

  •  Lots of taking things on faith here (12+ / 0-)

    Everyone (yes, everyone) who has endorsed that slate believes that all of the members of it will stand by what they said to get on it once it's elected. I HOPE you're correct, and I hope the other three members are the type of Democrats we support here at the Great Orange Satan.

    But have we no evidence that shows that evangelical fundamentalist candidates lie to get themselves elected? I don't know that going after Talk2Action for pointing that out is really a good strategy either.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 08:16:32 AM PDT

    •  Dave, I was careful in the diary ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave in Northridge

      to explain that I support Talk to Action's research  on the global issues surrounding dominion.

      Two years ago I was relying on the authority of Better Vallejo and Talk to Action, and as such, I did not question its ultimate use. I was lazy. Talk to Action presents a clear case that C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, and Ed Silvoso have a well funded Right-Wing political agenda.
      Clearly Talk to Action's is not at fault here. Talk to Action has no control how the publications on their website are used. Especially in this specific case where it is being used to justify a the truth of a meme.
      What I'm concerned about is when all of the hundreds of pages of Talk to Action's work is being reduced to one sound byte and used to hurt individuals.

      Talk to Actions work has been key to my understanding of the issues tempting our Vallejo community of Faith.

      Silvoso is offering them the promise of finical prosperity.

      Due to the failure of local, county, state, and federal policy the desperation of the poor reflected in the church membership and this opens them up to outside influence.

      The Vallejo community of Faith is trying to work its way out the mess created when Silvoso came to town.  Are we to kick them down for ever because they invited him to town.  Or, are we to talk to them and engage them.

      Yesterday, I went to a service Sunday at Anthony Summers' Church and I'm doing a diary about it. I think you will be surprised at my findings. Further, I'm going to visit all the churches involved over the next year.

      Are you going to believe what you read on the internet or are you going to step away from your computer and go out a take a look for your self.  Talk to Action doesn't cover issues from the grassroots upward very well.

      I'm hoping this whole conversation will help our democratic movement work to over come the wedge issues that are dividing our Democratic party.

      I'm at work and only could reply on my break.

      JON

      "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

      by linkage on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 10:37:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (6+ / 0-)
        The Vallejo community of Faith is trying to work its way out the mess created when Silvoso came to town.  Are we to kick them down for ever because they invited him to town.
        Sounds good to me!  Some behaviors are simply beyond the pale.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 11:13:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  asdf, part deux (7+ / 0-)
        The Vallejo community of Faith is trying to work its way out the mess created when Silvoso came to town.  Are we to kick them down for ever because they invited him to town.
        To me that's on the order of inviting a major Klansman or American Nazi Party member to town.  Which I'm sure you'd brush off for the sake of some perverted notion of Party unity?

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 11:20:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So many lies so little time. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        EdSF
        The Vallejo community of Faith is trying to work its way out the mess created when Silvoso came to town.  Are we to kick them down for ever because they invited him to town.
        And so Anthony Summers' answer to this is to produce a video with Ed Silvoso, and begin selling it as a campaign finance mechanism, which YOU YOURSELF advocated for at a democratic club meeting?

        The BS is so intense it is burning the insides of my nostrils and I fear will start filling my waders.

        Until Summers renounces Ed Silvoso, renounces his transformation strategy and apologize to Vallejo, he's not a worthy candidate for public office.

  •  Where does one begin? (14+ / 0-)

    This diary contains a number of unsupported assertions, as well as some of the same tired old lines of attack on the LGBT community that we've seen for years.

    The diarist claims:

    Better Vallejo, the source of the meme, is being used as the active agent of Inverted Totalitarianism to accomplish a Neoliberal Agenda by spreading this destructive meme in the community on the grass roots level. Its principal target being Labor.
    There's absolutely no evidence provided for this claim.  It's just a conclusory assertion with no facts to back it up.

    Then there are the attempts to paint opposition to Summers as some kind of generalized opposition to the Democratic Party in general:

    And do not forget the Democratic Party is being accused with this meme too.
    And what diary about a topic like this would be complete without a few tried and true antigay themes?  According to the diarist, teh gayz are threatening children:
    Three children between the ages of 12 and 15 were handing out flyers supporting Anthony Summers.  As I stood next to them as a passerby taunted them using that meme. Seeing the hurt, confusion, and fear in their eyes it was left to me to tell them,  "Anthony is running for office, and politics makes some people say mean and crazy things."
    Following up on this theme, there's also this bit of complete fabrication:
    My friends it took me empathizing with three black children accused of killing gays in Uganda by a white LBGT male adult to drive home the potential racist and segregationist use in the expression of the meme.
    From what I've read, there was no accusation that these three children had killed gays in Uganda.  Although the diary is remarkably short on the details, what appears to have happened is that some young people passing out leaflets for Summers were told of his affiliation with a "religious" leader who, the diarist admits, is involved in pushing antigay legislation in Uganda.  Going from that to "accusing three black children of killing gays" is a bit of a stretch, even by the standards of politics.

    Oh, and of course the foregoing quote attempts to use the typical right wing "divide and conquer" strategy of suggesting that "a white male LGBT adult" is using a "racist and segregationist" meme.  I'm baffled by how it's either racist or segregationist to oppose efforts to make homosexuality punishable by death in Uganda, or how it's racist to call out people who are supportive of those efforts.  The people who will suffer under that law are not "white male LGBTs."  They are black Ugandans like the late David Kato.  What seems far more racist to me is indifference to the plight of LGBTs in Uganda.

    Sorry, but I'm not buying this story.

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 10:24:16 AM PDT

    •  thanks writing a critical assessment of this diary (8+ / 0-)

      It seems I wasn't devoting the mental resources necessary to figure out what the hell this diarist was trying to say.

    •  Blame the victim much? (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karma5230, corvo, EdSF, Chrislove, Ian S, Hannibal

      The group endorsing this slate of candidates won't freely admit to you that they've spent over $15,342 in total (so far) AGAINST other candidates in negative campaigning with exactly this kind of associative finger pointing.

      I was in a Democratic Central Committee and after showing how this kind of candidate does nothing to further the democratic goals of the party, I was told by the leader of this cabal "You and your 1 issue". It is an important issue to me, because it impacts my life, and my being and my entire "soul" if you will. It isn't my ONLY issue with Anthony Summers. I find him to be disingenuous as well as anti-choice and very limited in his knowledge of political issues.

      BUT, they would like you to believe that the gays are the divisive ones in Vallejo. They like to point to the gays as the reason why things are bad in Vallejo. It has nothing to do with their "hit pieces" on the candidates who do support LGBT equality.

      We're used to this kind of homophobic treatment in the past. We've seen it since the days of Harvey Milk. It's the pot calling the kettle black and using the divisiveness of race baiting, and declaring religious intolerance when in fact they have done more to divide the community than any other organization in the city.

      As shown in this diary, the author slanders organizations very easily without regard for consequence in an attempt to prove his fair mindedness. It only proves the opposite.

    •  Thank you, FCJ (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chrislove, corvo

      This was my reading of this worthless, homophobic, POS diary. Its author is obviously more concerned with the feelings of his political cronies than with the actual lives of Ugandan LGBT people. The hypocrisy of his privileged straight white ass trying to pit one oppressed minority against another has a familiar ring here at DKOS. We've heard it all before.

      There is a critical difference between feeling discriminated against because you're disagreed with and being discriminated against because of who you are.

      by EdSF on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 02:34:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, reading further (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        I learned the diarist is not straight. Therefore, I edit as follows: "The hypocrisy of his white ass..."

        There is a critical difference between feeling discriminated against because you're disagreed with and being discriminated against because of who you are.

        by EdSF on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 02:41:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You got it exactly right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          EdSF

          The group pushing this slate wanted to find some gay person who would inoculate them from the objections coming LGBT people and allies.

          Just because he is claiming to be some newly minted homosexual, doesn't mean he's not a self-repressed homophobe.

  •  I appreciate the follow-up diary (12+ / 0-)

    However, in your last diary expressing your support for Anthony Summers, I noted with concern that Mr. Summers embraced the Dominionist movement, particularly the City Transformation Ministries.

    Secondly, as it relates to my association with Dr. Ed Silvoso, let me be clear: my relationship with Ed is remote. I do not believe nor does Ed Silvoso believe in the killing of gay people – period! I’ve been in pastoral ministry and caring compassionately for people for 25 years. If that had been Ed’s position I would have disassociated myself from him a long time ago.

    Where I agree with Ed Silvoso pertains only to his principles of “City Transformation” through Prayer Evangelism and to eradicate “Systemic Poverty.” And furthermore, those principles are rooted in “Blessing, speaking well of, and speaking peace over and about our city.” I have taken that principle to heart; something I did before ever running for office. I am a person of faith and I believe in the Bible, which says, “Do not judge.”  In fact, my personal and spiritual position is to bless and get to know people before I discuss them. And I would hope people would do the same for me.  I ask people to get to know me and talk to me first before they talk about me.

    Here is an excerpt of my response
    It is clear that even though Summers says his relationship to Ed Silvoso is remote, he embraces the Dominionist movement that Silvoso represents. It was very big of Summers to say that he doesn't want to kill gay people and neither does Silvoso. I'm sure he does love his gay niece as well. However, one needn't look too hard to uncover Silvoso's feelings about LGBT rights and who he works with.
    Silvoso is an apostle and prophet in the New Apostolic Reformation, the charismatic movement in which the Transformation entities belong. Other NAR apostles include Cindy Jacobs, Jay Swallow, Lou Engle, and C. Peter Wagner.
    So, while I believe Summers doesn't wish to see me put to death for being gay, if he is embracing a "City Transformation through Prayer Evangelism," and proudly touting his support for the Dominionist movement, I personally don't wish to see him anywhere near our City Hall. A public servant harboring such a narrow fundamentalist agenda is, in my opinion, the very antithesis of separation of church and state.
    This diary delves into more detail why you are standing by this candidate. However I remain very troubled by Anthony Summers and his involvement with the Dominionist movement and your diary did nothing to alleviate my concerns. It is one thing for a candidate to have deeply held religious beliefs. That does not bother me, nor should it be a litmus test. However, when a candidate gives unconditional support to a movement that expressly states that their goal is to bring an Evangelical agenda that supports governance that abides by a narrow religious philosophy, that candidate is simply not suitable as an unbiased leader.

    After reading your diary, I remain as unconvinced as ever that Summers' intentions for running for City Council are devoid of a Dominionist objective.

    •  We need to be clear on this (11+ / 0-)

      People are indeed entitled to whatever religious views they have or wish to have. That's a given. However, this is not about whether Summers (and/or Silvoso) want to KILL gay people; it's about the sort of government they ultimately seek. What they seek is not a democracy; it is a theocracy in which only Christians (as THEY define the term) are citizens. This is part and parcel of the movement with which Summers is affiliated, the movement whose representative "anointed" Sarah Palin.

      I have no doubt that there are American citizens who are monarchists and who personally favor replacing our current form of government with a monarchy. They're entitled to their opinion. Heck they're even entitled to run for public office. What they aren't entitled to do is to run for public office, publicly denying their actual views, with the intent of imposing those views on everyone else if the opportunity should arise.

      I find it unseemly that anyone who holds public office would cast their campaign in terms that align them with a specifically religious message.

      I will say this again: I am gay and Jewish. If I lived in Vallejo and a person with Summers' affiliation were serving in the city council, I would frankly not feel safe and I would certainly not feel represented. It's a reasonable expectation that a city council member (or a member of a state legislature or a member of Congress or a President) understands that they represent ALL of the citizens within the electorate, not merely a chosen few.

  •  Why the constant lying? (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karma5230, corvo, sfbob, EdSF, Chrislove, Ian S

    Jonathan Gordon doesn't seem capable of discerning the truth from his own self loathing fiction. The truth is that he lied about taking the concerns from his own club members to the Democratic Central Committee that Tony Summers has a homophobic past and is not worthy of a democratic party endorsement. He told his own membership that he would present the case against Summers to the Democratic Committee, but he instead hid it. This inability to tell the truth is quite stunning.

    Gordon wants to try to slander the only civil rights organization in Vallejo dedicated to the rampant homophobia which exists in Vallejo and blame it for his own political ineptitude. The truth is that Better Vallejo has never endorsed or worked to oppose candidates in any political race, EVER. Better Vallejo is a proud lifetime organizational member of the NAACP Vallejo, the second oldest NAACP chapter in California.

    This continuing use of lies to try to justify the actions of a supposed leader of democrats in Solano County is offensive. I call on Jonathan Gordon to show anywhere that his claims about Better Vallejo are true. The facts speak for themselves. Just because a self-loathing gay person doesn't have the courage to speak up for the LGBT community in Vallejo doesn't mean that the others who do should not have a voice and deserve to be marginalized as he seems intent on doing here.

    Gordon would like to drown out the LGBT voice and say to those who have fought for equality in this town that their voices don't count and they shouldn't have a right to oppose candidates for office who have worked against them for years. I would say that the democratic process and the Democratic Party Platform say that they do.

    To fight for all people to live with dignity and equality, California Democrats will:
    •Speak out in a unified voice against hatred, racism and violence directed against any minority group;
    •Encourage, support and defend voluntary and mandatory affirmative action measures to enhance access and equity in employment, education and business opportunities;
    •Affirm that the decision to accept or reject any religious belief, to bind oneself to any religious creed, or to hold no religious belief at all is a private matter and should always remain a matter of individual conscience, and we oppose giving any government funding to organizations that discriminate;
    •Protect the constitutional rights of Native Americans and the sovereign rights of Indian nations as well as the tribal sovereignty and well-established rights and jurisdictions of California Native/Indian nations;
    •Support nondiscrimination and equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people in all aspects of their lives; and
    •We support the LGBT community in its quest for the right to legal marriage as well as the respective clergies' complete religious freedom to solemnize marriages in accordance with their beliefs.
    The ridiculous assertion that this candidate is going to do something to improve the Municipal Equality Index shows that the author is completely illiterate and has an immature perspective on the subject. Anthony Summers' past actions, such as organizing protests against anti-gay bullying in our schools, bringing anti-gay rallies to preach against gays, working to promote Silvoso's Harvest Evangelism, are some of the REASONS that our Municipal Equality Index score is the 2nd worst in the state of California.

    Gordon wouldn't even KNOW about the municipal equality index if Better Vallejo hadn't provided him with the information and now he wants to slander the group that has actually done the work to make things better. It's a travesty that people like him have been given any responsibility for being a representative of democracy or Democrats. But this is likely to change soon.

    •  AND furthermore (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, sfbob, Chrislove, EdSF, Troutfishing

      When Jonathan Gordon was asked pointedly in one of his meetings that he holds in the back room of the local fish market in Vallejo, "What about the Democratic Platform? Doesn't it specifically support gay rights?" Gordon was at a loss, and said "I don't know," even though he had a copy of it in his hand and had passed it out to the membership as proof that he was dedicated to democratic principles. Someone in the group had to actually READ IT ALOUD.

      The truth is that Gordon and his cohorts pushing this unvetted and unqualified candidate have NEVER cared about whether he was on one side or the other, whether he cared about this or that, whether he was anti-gay, anti-choice or anything.

      The people in the endorsement committee say they were given very limited access and when two persons tried to ask questions of the Pastor, that he evaded their questions and never gave them a satisfactory answer.

      All of this now is because they have been forced to account for themselves and they now face a very uneasy electorate. There was NEVER an attempt to actually find a proven candidate who exhibited these characteristics. Instead they went looking for a candidate who measured up to a litmus test of whether he was malleable and would give them the power to control him once elected. This is the exact antithesis of democracy.

      Now that people have brought this up, Summers is even changing the verbiage on his website to include statements which contradict his earlier statements such as his questionnaire for endorsement.

      As a black man in America, Tony understands what discrimination feels like, personally. Many groups have taken the brunt of a general, unwarranted judgement (sic). As a Pastor, his faith prescribes that he form no judgement (sic), lest he be judged. Tony absolutely and unequivocally condemns discrimination of any person, in any form, for any reason.

      Likewise, Tony believes the question of choice is exactly that – an individual choice. It is personal, private, and not a matter for the government to determine. It is not something the office of the Vallejo City Council deals with, and our Council’s local challenges are certainly a full plate. And while abortion is not a path he would personally endorse, the personal right to choice is something Tony absolutely supports.

      •  All very interesting. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        EdSF, postretro

        I'm now tempted to HR the tip jar.  This kind of disingenuousness should'nt be left without an appropriate rating.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 12:38:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let me ask you... (11+ / 0-)

    If you were an atheist, or a Muslim, or Jewish or a Buddhist or a Hindu and you lived in Vallejo, would you feel comfortable voting for a candidate who says:

    Where I agree with Ed Silvoso pertains only to his principles of “City Transformation” through Prayer Evangelism...
    There's politics. And there's evangelism. Combining the two is not only inappropriate, it's anti-democratic. I don't think I'd vote for a candidate who bases his platform on "Prayer Evangelism" no matter what else he believed in.
  •  Lordy (6+ / 0-)

    Another babbling, rambling entry that revels in jargon but lacks clarity and any substance. I've grade better writing in High School.

    Dude, stop writing. You're just making a fool of yourself.

  •  I'm Totally Confused About This Diary. (0+ / 0-)

    Anyone figured out the plot?

    "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

    by kerplunk on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 02:58:47 PM PDT

  •  Yep, Summers belongs to homophobic organizations (4+ / 0-)

    Summers' church, Impact Bible Ministry" is a member of Redwood Empire Baptist Association which believes,
    "Marriage is the unity of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. …The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. …Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord." and that,
    "Every Christian is under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in his own life and in human society."

  •  Yikes, don't you realize these religionists... (4+ / 0-)

    Will lie  through their teeth if they believe it to be helpful in their battle against the forces of evil?!! Make no mistake,  dominionists believe we gays ARE evil even though they resist admitting such in public especially if running for office.  Here in Phoenix we have a homophobic pastor in a runoff for a council seat and he's been trying very hard to run away from his anti-gay history. You have to judge them by their history of action not their campaign pronouncements.

    Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

    by Ian S on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 07:27:46 PM PDT

  •  I have done a great deal of the primary research (4+ / 0-)

    ...on Ed Silvoso's movement, and I would not in any way support the claim that it, and the New Apostolic Reformation, peaked in 2008. Evidence radically contradicts that claim.

    You write, "Talk to Action presents a clear case that C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, and Ed Silvoso have a well funded Right-Wing political agenda. And with the formation of the Vallejo Faith Organization in 2007 it reached its peak influence around 2008 with Prop 8 and Barack Obama on the ballot."

    That is incorrect. NAR influence continues to grow. And, Silvoso's Transformation Vallejo initiative has continued to grow as well.  

    Indeed, the candidacy of Anthony Summers is clear evidence that it is still on the march.

    Further, your presentation of children-as-victims in this diary is one I find disingenuous. The African-American children you mention, castigated for holding up signs in support of Anthony Summers, were most likely injected into the controversy by their parents. If true, was it fair for the parents to use their children as political partisans in such as charged climate ? Some might consider that to be a form of parental abuse in its own right.

    On the issue of child-abuse, I find it curious that you don't seem to have addressed pastor Summers' alleged involvement in attempting to block a Vallejo public schools anti-bullying initiative.

    On another note, I would add that Ed Silvoso's movement is virulently opposed to unions.

  •  My name is Stephanie Gomes: Fact vs. Fiction (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    postretro, 4chinadoll

    I was made aware of Jonathan Gordon’s DailyKos diary today by a friend of mine. I agree with one of the commenters: I had to read it several times because I couldn’t see much past the “meme, meme, meme, meme” references. Perhaps Mr. Gordon had just learned a new word that he thought would make him sound intelligent. It didn’t work. His diary is a jumbled, rambling mess of distorted truths and outright lies with a huge dose of defensiveness for himself interwoven throughout.

    But that's enough about style.

    It is my personal choice (not my business as an elected official) to not support candidates or organizations that are homophobic and/or who don’t believe that I have a right to do what I want with my body. Perhaps Mr. Gordon felt it made him sound more credible to say he was having a conversation with the VICE MAYOR. He was being disingenuous. He knew he was having a conversation with me as a private citizen. I had made it very clear that I had joined his club as such and my opinions are my own, as are my reasons for resigning from Mr. Gordon's club. I did not publish or share my private email resignation or the reasons behind it. Mr. Gordon chose to invoke his self-created "meme" by writing about our dialogue and these issues in his very public diary. His Jump Start leader emailed a link to this diary to hundreds of people in Vallejo. I will not allow Mr. Gordon to frame my resignation and our subsequent discussion on these issues as a civic one, because that's simply untrue.

    In Mr. Gordon’s diary, it’s obvious he is trying to defend his actions in supporting an anti-choice, homophobic candidate for City Council. Saying “homophobic” makes it almost sound nice. Anthony Summers is not just homophobic. Last year he starred in a video called “Transforming Vallejo”, produced by Ed Silvoso, a Dominionist who is working with people in Uganda to make homosexuality a crime punishable by death. Mr. Gordon was even hawking Summers’ and Silvoso’s video at his club meeting in August. I was disgusted by Mr. Gordon as he kept waving the video around in front of us, repeating that it was for sale; I can only imagine the self-loathing he had to be feeling, made even worse by his hiding it. His defensiveness is understandable in light of his inability to admit that he’s being used as a tool – and he’s betraying the LGBT community, all people who believe in and stand up for equal rights for all, as well as everyone who believes women have a choice in what we do with our own bodies.

    Now let me correct a few of the lies surrounding the conversation that Mr. Gordon wrote about in this diary:

    (1) Better Vallejo did not have a booth at the Farmer’s Market that morning. And he and I were were standing on the shaded side of the street where there were no booths for people to “listen in” to our "fascinating" conversation.

    (2) Coming down to the Farmer’s Market on that Saturday morning, I was dressed like most people, in jeans, a t-shirt and sandals. I didn’t have a large flashing sign with an arrow pointing above my head saying “VICE MAYOR”. I wore no name tag. I am not necessarily remarkable or unique looking, and when I’m out and about like that, people mostly don’t recognize me as an elected official. I wasn’t giving an interview to a news outlet, I wasn’t at a City Council meeting and I wasn’t giving a speech. I was just like any other Vallejo resident at the Farmer’s Market with my spouse buying some strawberries. So a “large group of listeners” did not gather around to hear the VICE MAYOR speaking in the "public square". There were FOUR people listening to the conversation Mr. Gordon and I were having: my two friends, my husband, and a colleague of Mr. Gordon's. That’s it. The only person who walked away from the conversation was my husband, who was annoyed with Mr. Gordon and just wanted to buy his strawberries.

    (3) Mr. Gordon said in his diary, “The group from the tables all nodded…” Who was he talking about? There were no tables near us and there was no group of people. He completely fabricated this imaginary crowd, or at the very least embellished the retelling of this encounter to suit his purposes.

    Ok, let's move on from the lies.

    That morning we were talking about the email I’d written to Mr. Gordon resigning from his club. I briefly told him in my email that Anthony Summers is anti-choice and advocates killing gay and lesbian people in Uganda, and I couldn’t be part of an organization endorsing or supporting him. I should have been more precise in my language. I don’t know if Mr. Summers has himself advocated for killing gay and lesbian people. I should have said that he is an active part of an organization that is raising money and working with people who are advocating the criminalization and execution of gay and lesbian people in Uganda. I want to acknowledge this distinction in fairness to Mr. Summers. But my sentiment remains the same: A lie of omission is no less of a lie.

    Anthony Summers is part of Ed Silvoso’s Reformationist movement. Silvoso said:

    "Lord, how can I have favor with the people – very simple, do favors to the people. In California this  year we are launching a canopy of prayer. It’s going to be anchored in every political precinct, that’s 35,000 political precincts…We will obtain favor with the people! We are going to get there and bring the Kingdom of God, and take over. It’s not enough to give fish to people; it’s not enough to teach them to fish. We need to own the pond. We need to show them how to buy the pond.” (My emphasis added)
    This should make every person in and out of Vallejo who believes in equal rights, democracy and separation of church and state take notice, stand up, get involved, and take action. Anthony Summers is trying to get elected to one of Silvoso’s coveted 35,000 precincts. If he gets his way, he will be starting the Reformationist takeover movement to own cities across California.

    I told Mr. Gordon in my email that he had lost his way by supporting a homophobic, anti-choice candidate and in following the aging Pied Piper and his Jump Start crowd that is trying to buy Vallejo’s City Council. I suggested that he look inside himself and ask some serious questions. Based on this diary, obviously he’s incapable of doing so. Defensiveness is easier. Maybe he feels “important” by telling everyone he had a conversation with the VICE MAYOR of Vallejo. But this diary has done the opposite of what he intended. It makes it transparently clear that he has indeed lost his way and is nothing but a self-important, obsequious liar.

    ~Stephanie Gomes, Citizen of Vallejo

  •  Crazy! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    postretro

    Damn, you are nuts and too dumb to know it.

    If you weren't in some sort of political office of a lame-o club you'd be just pitiful but instead you're dangerous and pathetic at the same time. You'll get yours when the Emperor abandons you high and dry and your community tells you to go F*** yourself.

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