Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Partisanship isn't bad, but lying about it is.

After many months of being extremely patient, I wrote the following letter to MassEquality.

I've read both your "red envelope" fundraising appeal as well as this latest email.

And I just wanted to let you know why I have not donated to MassEquality in the past year and will not do so now. It's because MassEquality has proved itself unwilling to support ANY third-party candidate over a Democrat, even when the Democrat is significantly worse on marriage equality. I can understand picking a pro-equality Democrat like Sandlin over a pro-equality Green like Broadhurst. All else being equal, you have to go with the better funded, major-party candidate. But why defend an anti-equality Democrat against pro-equality candidates?

The most glaring example is anti-equality incumbent Democrat Sean Curran, who is opposed by pro-equality Libertarian Bob Underwood. This line from your PAC's "campaign locator" says it all [Blog note: use the address at the top right of this page in the "campaign locator"]:

"Representative Curran's position on marriage equality is unknown. In 2005, Representative Curran voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage."

Seriously? Unknown? I can send you some press statements from Curran in the past few months if it will help clarify things for you.

But you shouldn't even need that. Does the second sentence in your "campaign locator" entry for Curran not directly contradict the first?

more . . .

When we spoke in the Spring, you admitted it was unlikely Curran would start to support us on marriage equality, but that you were concentrating on primaries and would not deal with the general election until the primaries were done. And yet, still, a month after the primaries, you refuse to speak out against Sean Curran despite his continuing record of opposing marriage equality. Would you give a Republican this much slack? I doubt it.

One would have hoped that Bill Clinton signing DOMA was a wake-up call for gay and lesbian Americans, and that John Kerry endorsing a same-sex marriage ban in Massachusetts was the final confirmation that the Democrats are NOT our unquestionable allies in the struggle for equality. But MassEquality still doesn't "get it," so I'm withholding my support. I will instead be using my time and resources to support a truly pro-equality candidate, Libertarian Bob Underwood. Shame on you and your organization for not doing the same.

Can you give me any reason why Outright Libertarians should remain part of the MassEquality coalition? Given the way that MassEquality has run its endorsement process, supporting only Democrats, we feel like we're merely nonpartisan window dressing for your clearly partisan Democratic activities. And we're not at all happy with that.

I know other Libertarians (and Greens and Republicans) who have decided to stop donating to MassEquality, though they had given in the past, because they're tired of MassEquality giving anti-equality Democrats a free pass when there are alternative party competitors who deserve MassEquality's support. If you're truly facing the dire funding issues you described in your letter and email, you should consider how much your supposedly nonpartisan nonprofit organization's blatant Democratic partisanship has contributed to that problem.