Friday, June 13, 2014

Mitch Perry Report 6.13.14 - The LGBT establishment goes all in with Charlie Crist

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 8:41 AM

click to enlarge charliecristtampa.jpg
Yesterday Equality Florida and the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign formally endorsed Charlie Crist for governor. In a statement announcing their endorsement, Stratton Politzer, chair of Equality Florida Action PAC, lauded the relatively freshly minted Democrat, saying that throughout Crist's career he has been a champion of fighting for equality and fairness.

"A former Republican Governor turned Democratic contender, Crist broke from his party over its increasing hostility toward gay people, women, the poor and the party’s voter suppression tactics," read the press release written by Equality Florida announcing their endorsement. " He has apologized for votes that aligned him with his former party’s platform, which went against his own conscience, and has made good on promises to be an unyielding voice for full equality under the law for the LGBT community."

In accepting the endorsements yesterday in South Florida, Crist says if elected he'll use the power of the governor's office to tell Attorney General Pam Bondi to knock it off regarding her defense of the state's 2008 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"We need to allow people to love who they love," the Miami Herald quotes Crist. "Who are we to tell anyone who to love? Or for that matter, who to marry?"

Crist's Democratic opponent for governor, Nan Rich, was none too happy with Equality Florida's endorsement. In a statement she said, "I believe the best indicator of what someone will do is what they have done. Regardless of who endorsed him today, when he was the Republican Governor of Florida Charlie Crist did not support issues important to the LGBT community. Crist opposed adoptions by same sex couples, and he signed the petition to put marriage discrimination on the ballot and was proud to say he voted for it. "

In a fairer world Rich maybe deserved that endorsement, but the air of inevitability for Crist has sucked up all of the wind out of Rich's Quixotic campaign for a long time now.  And while Dave Brat's upset victory over Eric Cantor gave underdogs like Rich a dash of unexpected hope this week, it must be tough for her to see friendly like Equality Florida ignore her for the guy in the party. But Democrats haven't held the governors mansion since 1998, and Crist is who the party has put their chips behind, despite what party elders like Bill Nelson, Jim Davis and others actually think of their soon to be new standard bearer.

Yesterday the Crist campaign team was officially announced and includes a couple of local players.

I was in New York City last weekend, and saw an exciting (and incredibly well acted) play called The City of Conversation that deals with Washington D.C. and the Liberal Establishment - or at least the way it was.....and please check out our feature in this week's Food issue. It's about the anti-GMO movement, and where it goes from here.

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