Jeremy Bishop

President Clinton Sleeps With The Wrong People (Again)

Filed By Jeremy Bishop | February 14, 2009 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Bill Clinton, Cleve Jones, Harvey Milk, labor union, Manchester Hyatt, President Bill Clinton, UNITE-HERE

LGBT-Rights Pioneer, Cleve Jones recently posted to The Huffington Post an article entitled, billclinton_2.jpg"What Would Harvey Milk Say About President Clinton's Speech at the Manchester Hyatt?"

In it, Jones states,

"This Sunday, President Clinton is scheduled to give a paid speech at the Manchester Hyatt in San Diego to the annual convention of a major political action committee, the International Franchise Association.

To give this speech, President Clinton will have to violate a union boycott and labor dispute - the workers at the hotel lack job security and the housekeepers face onerous workloads. He will also offend gay and lesbian Americans, including myself - the owner of the hotel, Doug Manchester, contributed $125,000 in early seed money to the Proposition 8 campaign. President Clinton should move this speech."

Time is short- President Clinton's speech is this Sunday. You can make a difference and take action. Take a moment and visit the Clinton Foundation and ask President Clinton to move his speech to another hotel, preferably one that doesn't have a record of virulent anti-gay and anti-union organizing. Please email the foundation today and let them know you expect more out of President Clinton.

Other highlights from Cleve's piece on The Huffington Post:

"The Manchester Hyatt Boycott has been on since early July, when a coalition of the gay community and labor movement in San Diego announced its call. Since then, the boycott has been remarkably successful in mobilizing hotel guests and large conventions to support marriage equality and economic justice through their choices as consumers. In a local business paper, Hyatt officials admitted that the boycott has cost the hotel $2.4 million. The real cost is likely much higher. Certainly, the Boycott's implications are deeper."

"The Manchester Hyatt Boycott is following in Harvey Milk's footsteps by building the bridges necessary to win real equality for gays and lesbians in the state of California and at the Federal level, where we are still denied many fundamental rights such as full Social Security and Veterans' benefits. To win those rights, we are going to need to build alliances with labor and its constituencies: low income workers, immigrants and Latinos. As November's election results clearly showed, we cannot do it alone."

You can make a difference, and it only takes a minute. Take a moment and visit the Clinton Foundation and ask President Clinton to move his speech to another hotel, preferably one that doesn't have a record of virulent anti-gay and anti-union organizing. President Clinton's speech is this Sunday!

And thank you Cleve, for raising your voice for justice!


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It's all about you, Jeremy. But expecting Bill Clinton to clear his speaking dates with your office is a tad over the top. You might not have noticed, but the world doesn't take orders from the gay community.
Asking for marraige in a hick State like California without a massive pr campaign to back us up was a huge strategic mistake. The community never stops shooting itself in the foot. That much is obvious to the world outside, and liberal intellectuals like Clinton know it's a waste of time trying to nursemade us through our blunders. The queer community is stuffed to the gills with internalized homophobia and has an unlimited supply of self destructive plans in reserve.

I don't think Jeremy was saying the former President needed to run anything past his office, Wilber. I don't read that anywhere in the post.

And Jeremy isn't the only one upset over this. Many orgs in California are protesting his decision, unions are picketing the hotel, boycotts are currently active, and many other bloggers are up in arms (see Bo's post from earlier in the day). So, for whatever reason you've decided to aim and fire at Jeremy, it seems rather silly and petulant.

As for "hick state" of California, I'd remind you about the rest of America - especially those of us here in Flyover Country. If you think California is "hick," I'd welcome you to come spend a week in my shoes. Maybe you're just a little too accustomed to living in a bubble, because calling CA a hick state seems a little out there...

Plz see my apology on feb 15. Thx.

I am glad Cleve Jones recognizes that San Diego is the lightning rod TODAY for gay civil rights. Not only for this boycott but also for protesting Prop 8 and April 15th Tax day. The Castro began the struggle, drew back in defeat with the AIDS quilt and now Cleve Jones is at it again speaking out about the boycott at the Hyatt in San Diego. Bravo. Zakiya Khabir of San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality is one of the activists moving our civil rights forward in San Diego folks. WeHo has lost it's momentum somewhat, but San Diego has balls.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | February 14, 2009 10:22 PM

Presidential speaking engagements are scheduled six months in advance. It involves security. The inkeeper has broken no law and it is impossible to predict either political contributions or union actions (whether we support those or not) six months in advance. We do not use public accommodations with consciousness of the political views of the owners and we really should not go backward in time to when they were.

Jim Crow Laws.

Even those we disagree with deserve freedom.

It is one day away and the rooms have been paid for and the flights have been booked. Where would the former president speak? This seems to me to be outrage in search of a target that is not there.

Are you really saying that not supporting a business because of the discriminatory views of the owner is the same as Jim Crow? That's insane.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | February 18, 2009 9:56 AM

Sanity aside Mr. Blaze, you cannot feel entitled, as you REALLY do, to create controversy where none actually exists.

If you had viewed the president's interview with Larry King this day you would know that this story is so far off the radar as to be insignificant on it's face. Not all logical arguments are in parallel Mr. Blaze. Now, eat your stinky cheese in freezing Paris and do not comment upon anyone's sanity if you fail to understand their logic.

Will Clinton back down? With his record who really cares? He’s an open enemy of unions and the GLBT communities. Clinton’s a typical Democrat and the model Obama was cloned from.

That’s why we'd better be on lookout for that damn bus. It’s back on the road.

Clinton championed DOMA and boasted about supporting it on redneck radio stations. DADT, which codified military bigotry, is his baby. He says that same sex marriage is the 'kiss of death' for Democrats and most of them, including Obama, agree 100%.

That's why Obama destroyed our chances to win in California when he told an audience of southern baptists at Warren’s bigotfest that his sky pixie friend “god's (,) in the mix”. Then the Warren southern baptists, mormons and catholics went all out repeating "god’s in the mix’ in ads and robocalls. Emboldened, the largely EuroAmerican bigots clobbered us November 4th.

Backstabbing against unions and the GLBT communities isn’t just a presidential prerogative, all Republicans and all but a few Democrats get in on the act. They passed DADT and DOMA on Clintons urging, cut welfare and taxes for the rich and deregulated the finance industry. They passed NAFTA, raped ENDA, dropped the hate crime bill to pander to bigots and refuse to repeal DADT and DOMA. They gave $700 billion in gifts to the looters who wrecked our economy and demanded wage and benefit give backs from the UAW.

That backstabbing mentality permeates every fiber of the Democratic (sic) and Republican parties. The get away with it because they aren’t accountable and they’ve effectively prevented electoral challenges with undemocratic laws.

It would have taken a member of President Clinton's staff all of 3 minutes to find the hotel workers union website, browse to the union hotel guide and see which hotels in San Diego employ union workers. Its not like Foundation staffers don't understand the tools. They send me enough email.

This isn't just a gay issue. Next time you pass a UNITE Here picket at a hotel or resort property stop for a moment and talk to one of the hotel workers.

President Clinton should know better.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | February 15, 2009 11:48 AM

This is an example of there is no "there" there. For all the reasons I mentioned above.

I don't get this. The outrage and boycotts should be targeted at the International Franchise Association who chose the venue and is hosting the conference and not at Pres. Clinton. As a former booking agent I know that those who are scheduled to speak are scheduled many, many months in advance and have no input into the venue other than to determine security arrangements.

Place pressure on members and sponsors of the event, which seems more fitting than falling into the right-wing meme of blame Clinton for everything. Let's pressure those who gave money to this event through sponsorship (PDF) Or target those paying to exhibit (PDF).

Getting these businesses to back away from the event would have real impact. To me the thought and impulse is right, but the target is really off the mark.

more fitting than falling into the right-wing meme of blame Clinton for everything

Wrong. It's the left wing, as opposed to right centrist liberals and conservatives who criticize Clinton. The rare exception was his affairlet with Monica (Lewinsky) which elevated him into a National Buffoon.

Aside from that the left opposes him for NAFTA, rightwing cuts in welfare and unemployment, and above all for pushing deregulation through Congress. He created the recession wannbe depression.

In terms of GLBT rights his record is equally bad. He caved on the question of military bigotry, which became enshrined in law as DADT. Only Bush and Obama have worse records on same sex marriage.

Finally on the question of peace he stands indicted for the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children.

Clinton, like Obama and virtually Congressional Democrats are liberals and we can expect more of the same. I’m not against giving him and Obama hell for being liberal right centrists or giving Bush’s and Reagan the same treatment for being conservative right centrists.

I just hope that no one expects any better of them.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | February 15, 2009 9:57 PM

They call him "The Wanderer" he roams around, around, around, around.

How many international conferences have you organized?

Aside from a wandering eye for youthful skirt it was his wandering politics that hurt us.

First he'd wander to the left. Vote for me, I'm your straight friend in high places. And I'm hip and law abiding. I don’t inhale." Then he'd wander to the right. 'Vote for me, I'm your redneck christian friend in high places and I didn’t just sign DOMA I used all my influence to get it enacted."

And so on. "Friend of Labor" followed by cuts in welfare, NAFTA and deregulation. "Friend of Peace" followed by the mass murder of children.

How many international conferences have you organized?

None for owners and managers of franchises like McD and BK. Scumbags like them used Clinton and Bush's deregulation to loot our economy and underpay workers. Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, the Senator from Wal-Mart fit right in because they’ve made a career of being hand puppets of the rich at our expense.

But I have helped organize them to end genocidal wars and to advance the interests of working people. And will continue to help out wherever I can.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | February 16, 2009 2:37 AM

Correct answer, none.

I apologize, Jeremy and Bill. I was running out to dinner and shouldn't have gotten personal in that comment. I begest forgiveneth.
I'm sure Clinton is trying to suck up to this fat cat in order to milk him for contributions to his foundations. The weasel.
But I still don't agree with the many orgs and bloggers about this. I grew up in California and spent adult years working all over the Bay Area. Outside of SF and Berkeley (also known as Moscow West), it's Stickville. I'm sure Tulsa is worse, but that's irrelevant. It was easy for me to predict the outcome of the marraige campaign. If I could, our leaders might have. Isn't that supposed to be their job?
The smart plan would be to ask for marraige in educated States and domestic partnership in backwater hell holes. Clinton and other liberals know this. Trying to wet nurse this community through our non existant strategy would be terrible pr for them.
A final note. For the last 20 years, I've lived all over the Seattle area. And though it's not Tulsa, it ain't no bubble neither.

Watching Democrats defending Clinton is as instructive and amusing as watching the wretched Log Cabin crew trying to paint McCain as a GLBT advocate. They get laughed at a lot too.

Cleve Jones, who may be familiar to those who saw Milk has had a long career in the movement, and now works as an organizer for the union of Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (HERE). The GLBT and trade union boycotts against Hyatt have been in force since at least mid-November and Clinton had all that time to back out. To decline to be a scab.

But he didn’t. The Clintons’ have always been scabs. NAFTA, welfare cut, deregulation, Wal-Mart board member; you name it, they’ve done it. And they’ve always been bigots: DOMA, DADT, pandering to christers, faith based bribes. They’ve been there and done that too.

So it comes as no surprise that Bill Clinton scabbed again so he could collect a fee from the owners of McD and BK, Taco Bell and KFC. Money is why he got in this game anyway.

And Obama’s his clone.

For those of you interested in what happened, here is a news update:

http://www.towleroad.com/2009/02/bill-clinton-cr.html