Disclosure: I've spent lots of time at the Locke campaign, although I am not on staff. I want Gene to win, so I've been doing what I can despite losing money I don't have and getting myself in debt by hanging out over there instead of looking for a job.
A couple of the kids at the Locke campaign get twisted, sometimes, about the Twitter and FB chatter that continously slams Gene Locke. I really don't pay attention to the shit-talkers who support Annise Parker because it's basically one big circle-jerk, or as my dad would say, they're just smelling each others' farts. I've been personally attacked and accused of all kinds of crazy things because I have the nerve not to support Parker. And no, I do not support Annise Parker, and no, I will not vote for her, and no, I will not be bullied or pressured into backing off of my support for Gene Locke.
Some people have been floating a petition around to HCDP clubs and organizations asking that we pledge to support only Democrats in the December 12th Runoff Election. Before I sign anything like that, I'd like to get assurances from these Democrats that they will stop trashing other Democrats who don't support their candidate. Gene Locke is a good and decent man, like I've said before, and if I were on the Locke campaign, I would do things much differently in responding to these attacks by the Parker campaign. Alas, it's not my campaign, and I can only speak for myself.
It's actually a brilliant strategy by the Parker camp. Call Gene Locke a gay-baiter by painting a picture of him as Steven Hotze's BFF and then dispatch your shit-talkers to tell everyone that the Locke campaign is "desperate" and spreading "hate" while you play the victim. It's funny to me how everyone gets his panties in a bunch over the idea that Annise Parker is under attack by homophobes, but no one really said much about her showing up at a failed anti-immigrant hearing at City Hall a few weeks ago. I guess it's okay to shit all over Latinos, because that type of intolerance is okay if you are a white progressive.
Steven Hotze is irrelevant and so are his politics, which Gene denounced Saturday. Attempts to align Hotze with the Locke campaign serves Annise Parker well in painting her opponent as anything but the respectful and kind person that Gene Locke really is. Instead of getting to know Gene, his accusers generalize and speculate, hoping something will stick. I think it's worth mentioning again that Gene Locke is the only candidate for Mayor who supports benefits for same-sex partners while Annise Parker has backed off of that promise.
I received an e-mail today from Robert Jones at Annie's List in Austin. Here it is:
This is a personal message to you (who I first met in 2004 at the March for Women’s Lives) as an acquaintance that is also committed to progressive values. Sandra do you really want to be associated with this? He wants to win so bad that he is willing to associate with people and tactics that must be the polar opposite of your core beliefs. It won’t be an easy thing to do but you should consider publicly disconnecting yourself now. The writing is on the wall…he wont be the next Mayor…but we (Democrats) will all be the losers if this path of enabling and encouraging hate is pursued.I have never been associated with Steven Hotze or Dan Patrick. To tell it like it is, Robert lives in Austin, and personally, I think he should mind his own damn business. As the Annie's List guy, I know why he is involved, but if Annise Parker wins or loses, it is of little consequence to Robert. Like the other outsiders who have involved themselves in the Houston Mayor's race, he doesn't live here. A win gives him room to brag, but a loss means that he sank a bunch of money that could have been used on Legislative candidates in a few months.
I'm not sure how difficult he could make my life if I told Robert to go fly a kite. Truth be told, he hasn't always been pleasant with me since I've known him. It's not like I've had much involvement with Annie's List, anyway, because it's my observation that they do not promote women of color as much as they do their white candidates. Besides that, I'm too fucking old to be an intern, and my people are already in office.
The hardball politics has already been introduced in to the fray but it was not from the Locke campaign. Annise Parker threatened Houston Police and Fire Fighters for not supporting her, but we were supposed to dismiss those threats as "jokes."
It is my belief that Latinos and our concerns will take a back seat at the Mayor's office if Parker wins and that is something that cannot happen. I say this because of the hostility some of us in the Hispanic community have experienced from the Parker camp when things didn't go their way over the course of the campaign. The feeling is that ties were cut, and it's sad and unfortunate, but it also gives me no choice but to double down with our candidate. We've worked too hard for our seats at the table and I'll be damned if we give up any ground in the name of "progress" that works for some but not all.
It's not progress if your focus on equality is for just your friends and for those who identify with you. It's not progress if all are not lifted with you. It is not progress if some constituencies are left behind for refusing to fall in line at their own expense.