Alex Blaze

Being a Democratic Party Chair in the South isn't always as glamorous as it appears on TV

Filed By Alex Blaze | May 30, 2007 4:36 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Alabama, Democrats, Joe Turnham, Patricia Todd

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Alabama Democratic Party Chair Joe Turnham, while responding to Alabama Republicans welcoming Rudy G. and Mitt to their state, said in a press release:

After Alabama Repubs have filibustered 27 straight legislative days away and after the Repub Party has welcomed 'pro-abortion, pro-gay, anti-gun' Rudy and Mitt to Alabama...what do they do but pull that same 'old play card' on us today...never mind the deficits (trade and budget), Iraq, Drought, Gas Prices...
Sigh. First, to be clear, he isn't saying that he's against any of those positions that he assigns to Mitt and Rudy. In fact, this bears a closer resemblance to some Democrats who are politically supportive of a liberal position, but don't really care or understand it, and then joke around about conservatives' inconstency/silliness on the issue to advance their political agenda as an identity. I suppose this is better than the conservative tactic of labeling any Democrat who doesn't toe the party line a "hypocrite" somehow, but I guess that's partisan politics for you.

So one really has to wonder if he is in favor of gay rights, choice, and responsible gun control, but that someone can be someone other than me right now. That state's only openly lesbian Representative Patricia Todd responded, and her letter is after the jump.

Joe:

I am writing to express my concern about your comments regarding gay marriage during Gov. Dean's visit to Alabama. As you can image, I have received numerous emails about the comment and many LBGT and our supporters are angered by implying that our civil right to marry is NOT supported by the Democratic Party.

These sort of "off the cuff" remarks are harmful to our ability to recruit progressive thinkers to our party base and also hurts Stonewall's ability to raise money for the party and our candidates.

You and I have had numerous conversations regarding my frustration with the party trying to out maneuver the Republicans on social issues. I understand the need for a "moderate" approach in Alabama, but is it really worth bashing a group of supporters to look more conservative? Why even respond to Rep. Hubbard's remarks at all? The Republican Chair's remarks were so reactionary that they needed no response. The Republicans are obviously threatened by Gov. Dean's visit.

I am a firm supporter of the Democratic Party and the issues we support nationally. I am willing to discuss this further at your convenience and stand ready to develop fair solutions to build a stronger party.

Sincerely,

Patricia Todd


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