Tag Archives: Paul LePage

Victories for the LGBT Community and for Humanity

8 Nov

ENDA copyThe past week has seen a number of big events in LGBT news and the majority have been very positive. It’s nice to have a chance to celebrate!

A major milestone happened yesterday when the U.S. Senate finally passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Some version of the law — which prohibits workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity — has been in the works for nearly 40 years. The current ENDA has been floated in almost every Congress since 1994; the inclusion of gender identity has been a point of contention and has been in and out of the bill. The current version is the most comprehensive, requiring most employers with more than 15 employees to comply and with a very narrow religious exemption. ENDA was a lifetime goal of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D – MA). Just before he died, he passed the torch to Sen. Jeff Merkley (D – OR), who was instrumental in similar legislation in this state. I’m very proud of our Senator for pushing so hard to make this a reality.

I feel that such discrimination is wrong and our vision of equality in the Constitution, our vision of the pursuit of happiness in the Constitution and kind of a fundamental sense of fair play—all of those things mean that it is just wrong for people not to have a fair shake at getting or retaining a job.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid built on the post-shutdown debacle momentum and rounded up enough Republican support to break a filibuster. In fact, when opposition voices were invited to speak, no one stepped forward, not even rabid opponents like Ted Cruz. After a bit of amendment posturing, the bill got a full vote and passed by an impressive  64 – 32 vote. Now it’s up to House Speaker John Boehner to move it forward. He has expressed skepticism, saying that ENDA would lead to “frivolous lawsuits.” Points to Sen. Reid for this sharp rebuke:

Speaker Boehner opposes ENDA for fear of frivolous lawsuits? He led a frivolous lawsuit defending DOMA that cost taxpayers over $2 million!

Well said, Sen. Reid. Let’s hope the House can help move equality forward. President Obama has expressed his full support and encouraged Boehner to do the right thing.

On the marriage front, Illinois is on the verge of becoming the 15th state to have full equality for same-sex couples. The Illinois House finally passed a Senate bill from May. Gov. Quinn has indicated that he will sign the bill soon. When he does, another 13 million Americans will live in a place with marriage equality, moving the nation up to 37%. In Hawaii, a similar bill is moving forward and seems likely to pass by the end of the year. True equality is never piecemeal, but this is certainly movement in the right, inevitable direction.

Also in workplace protection news, Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe has said that his first act after being sworn in will be to reinstate an Executive Order banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity for state workers. How nice to see him living up to his promises already!

Also on the gubernatorial front, things heated up in Maine this week. Toxic Governor Paul “Tea, please” LePage tried to start a smear campaign against his chief competitor, Rep. Mike Michaud. Showing his rabid disregard for many of his constituents, he hinted that Michaud was gay and that this was sufficient grounds to vote against him. Merging the kindergarten playground with McCarthyism — how lovely! Michaud’s response was flawless:

Yes, I am. But why should it matter? […] I write this now merely to let my opponents and the outside interests who fund them know that I am not ashamed of who I am. And if seeing someone from my background, in my position, openly acknowledge the fact that he’s gay makes it a little bit easier for future generations to live their lives openly and without fear, all the better.

Well said, Rep. Michaud, and best of luck in next year’s election.  I guess current Gov. LePage is only interested in serving selected residents of his state.

The Many Voices in Paul LePage’s Head

21 Jan

Great idea! I will shut down the public schools!

While I have never thought Paul LePage was a good human being, I am now worried that he really has something organically wrong that further precludes him from being qualified to maintain the office of Governor.

Yesterday, LePage, in his typical partisan bullying voice, declared:

And I’ll go one step further, if they can modify it–and a lot of Democrats still think we’re fooling around and we’re making political hay here. Right now, in order to continue the way we are, I will close schools May 1 and use that money. Because that’s where we are.

Shall interject some facts here?  LePage has been all about protecting the 1% of the wealthiest Americans and now it looks like he is refusing to raise taxes to sustain education.  Of course, by keeping a population ignorant we can ensure they vote against their best interests.

Emily Cain, the House Democratic Leader, said:

LePage is presenting a choice that isn’t on the table. It’s not realistic to simply say you can just close schools. It’s hardly worth even discussing, because that’s really not what we’re deciding between. It’s a very dramatic–and I think a dangerous–fear-mongering approach.

Sadly, we just have further evidence that LePage has been drinking some rancid Tea at the party.  We can only hope Maine will go the way of Wisconsin right now.  One thing for sure is that we have to get rid of these misogynistic, racist, homophobic, bigoted elected officials.

Those Dickensian Republicans

25 Apr

Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

First, thank you to my friend Jarrett for inspiring this story.  You just know the Republicans must read Charles Dickens and get moist when Scrooge declares: “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?”  Of course, they probably hate our Scrooge for his turn of heart by the end of the story.  The latest move on behalf of the Republicans drinking the “kool aid” served up by the Tea Party is to get rid of Medicare (can’t stand some old folks) and to do undermine the efforts of the Food Stamp/ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP program (cant stand poor hungry folks).  The GOP is screaming that spending has gotten out of control–translation: we have to protect the rich at all cost!  Slash programs for the needy, just as long as I get my tax breaks.  Want more evidence of the GOP agenda?  Look at fools like Scott Walker, better known as the Koch Brothers’ Bitch, or Tea Party criminal Paul LePage and Justice Clarence Thomas trying to abolish child protection labor laws. Click here to see the full article.

Women’s History: April 10

10 Apr

Celebrating Dolores Huerta

Happy Birthday, Dolores Huerta.  Huerta is best known as a labor leader, social activist, and social reformer.  Huerta and Cesar Chavez together formed the Farm Workers Association, which eventually became United Farm Workers (UFW). I would specifically like to highlight the 1965 Grape Boycott, where Huerta took the plight of the farm workers to the consumers. The boycott resulted in the entire California table grape industry signing a three-year collective bargaining agreement with the United Farm Workers in 1970. Yes, that’s right the power of collective bargaining!  Stripping workers of any collective bargaining rights is simply unconscionable–Scott Walker, Paul LePage, and John Kasich.  Is it a coincidence that all three are white wealthy men living off the sweat of the workers?

Huerta has always been a political activist and became a strong Latina feminist voice in the late 1960 and early 70’s. While attending a peaceful protest against President Bush Sr. in 1988, she was severely injured when police clubbed the demonstrators. I celebrate Dolores Huerta today and hope we have a new generation of laborers and social activist that will drown out the voices of the pigs that are the Koch Brothers and their ilk.

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