Progressive Democrat Issue 191

The Progressive Democrat, as well as Culture Kitchen and Daily Gotham, the other blogs I write for, were featured in the left-wing Finnish magazine Kulttuurivihkot. For any Finnish readers out there, hyvä päivä.

This week I discuss the Georgia Senate race, alternative energy (particularly biodiesel), Mormon desecration of the victims of the Holocaust, marriage equality, and my usual state-by-state coverage (which is pared down to about 16 states rather than the 20 states I used to cover...I'd pare it down more but I know I have readers in those 16 states!) More below.

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California Not Always So Liberal

There are good reasons you might have the impression that my home state of California is a very liberal place. For example, you might not know anyone who was alive before cultural conservatives started trashing Hollywood, aka, Babylon The Great, for destroying the country's morals. For another, it can be observed that San Francisco, the Northern Auxilliary Babylon, if you will, is well within state borders. Also, it's been going Democratic in the presidential election for ages now, the Democratic Speaker of the House is from there, and there are two Democratic Senators.

Important additional things to remember about it though, are that it's also ... the original home of the John Birch Society (which I perversely enjoy reminding people about), gave the nation two quite famous Republican presidents in the latter third of the 20th century, has a little over 1/10th the entire country's population and GDP, and is the country's top agricultural center.

By which I mean to say that it's a large and diverse state with its share of deep conservative roots.

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JUST RELEASED: Our New Prop. 8 Web Ad

Donate your Facebook status and tweet it far and wide: No on 8! - Todd

Folks, I'm so proud of this.  Today we're releasing the final product of a totally volunteer, self-financed, zero-budget mostly netroots effort just finished today.  My brother hekebolos and I wrote the script based on his original concept this week.  It was produced by myself, my girlfriend theKK, and Reality Bites Back, with them doing the majority of the legwork to the tune of countless hours on the phone and tapping away at emails.  I can't say enough of the efforts of Reality Bites Back, who directed the piece and walked it through pre- and post-production.  Professional actors, crew and editors volunteered their time and talent for free, coming through in spades to support this production and very important cause.  The Courage Campaign provided organizational backing, location and help with promotion.

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Prop 8: Tell The Mormon Church To Stop Funding Lies About Gay Marriage

Last month I wrote about the surge in Mormon donations and activism in support of Proposition 8, the initiative on the California ballot that would eliminate the right of same sex couples to marry, as thousands have happily done since June. In the last month, thanks in large part to the Mormon support they've received, supporters of Prop 8 have outraised No on 8 and Prop 8 has risen dramatically in the polls. The latest Survey USA poll has Yes on 8 winning by 3 and the latest PPIC poll has Yes behind but having cut No on 8's lead almost in half.

This surge in support for Prop 8 is in no small part due to a new horribly cynical and blatantly dishonest ad campaign that is spreading the false claim that if Prop 8 fails and gay couples continue to marry, then public schools will be forced to teach gay marriage and parents won't be able to pull kids from sex ed classes that address it. Neither of these things is true, of course, as California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell confirms in a new No on 8 ad out today.

From the script:

(VO): "Have you seen the TV ads for Prop 8?"
(VO): "They're absolutely not true says California superintendent of public schools"
(JO): "Prop 8 has nothing to do with schools or kids"
(JO): "Our schools aren't required to teach anything about marriage"
(JO): "And using kids to lie about that is shameful"

And yet the Mormon Church is complicit in funding and spreading these lies.

The Courage Campaign is calling the Mormon Church out:

It's time for Californians to fight back against the dishonest attacks of the "Yes on 8" campaign funded by the Mormon Church. On Tuesday, we will deliver a letter to President-Prophet Thomas Monson at the Los Angeles Mormon Temple, demanding that his church stop funding the blatant lies of the "Yes on 8" campaign.

The letter reads, in part:

We are particularly troubled that your church is funding television and radio ads that are lying to Californians about the effects of a "No" vote against Proposition 8. We are disappointed that you have chosen to break the Ninth Commandment - "thou shalt not bear false witness." The ads that you have funded bear false witness by not telling Californians that parents actually have absolute rights to remove their children from sex education classes, unlike in Massachusetts.

And concludes:

We, the undersigned, call upon you to direct your church to cease funding the "Yes on 8" campaign and to cease all forms of advocacy for Proposition 8. We ask you to stay out of our state's governance. We ask you to respect the religious freedoms of those churches that choose to conduct same sex weddings, just as we respect your church's right to refuse to do so. We ask you to uphold both the spirit and the letter of the California and United States Constitutions and not attempt to eliminate the fundamental rights of Californians.

Sign the letter HERE.

The AP has picked up Courage Campaign's action and in a separate article has broken the news that the Yes on 8 campaign has been threatening corporations that have donated money to No on 8 (via Robert at calitics):

Leaders of the campaign to outlaw same-sex marriage in California are warning businesses that have given money to the state's largest gay rights group they will be publicly identified as opponents of traditional unions unless they contribute to the gay marriage ban, too., the umbrella group behind a ballot initiative that would overturn the California Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage, sent a certified letter this week asking companies to withdraw their support of Equality California, a nonprofit organization that is helping lead the campaign against Proposition 8.

"Make a donation of a like amount to which will help us correct this error," reads the letter. "Were you to elect not to donate comparably, it would be a clear indication that you are in opposition to traditional marriage. ... The names of any companies and organizations that choose not to donate in like manner to but have given to Equality California will be published."

Tell the Mormon Church to stop funding lies and blackmail today.

(disclaimer: I am proud to work for the Courage Campaign)

Update [2008-10-23 23:13:20 by Todd Beeton]:You can see the letter Yes on 8 has been sending to corporations HERE.

Update [2008-10-23 23:23:22 by Todd Beeton]:You can donate to the No on 8 campaign HERE.

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