Tonight, Ledcat and I rolled up Route 28 to a bonfire sponsored by the Steel City Stonewall Democrats. There were hot dogs (and veggie dogs). There was a real dog for petting purposes. There were smores (two pronged marshmellow roasters!). There was plenty of beverage. And, I am pleased to report, there was more than a smattering of young people in attendance.
I have to be quick because I need to go pour more fake blood on the disfigured cafeteria lady in front of the house.
First, let me thank all of the candidates and elected officials who turned out for this event. It does matter that you come and even as I critique your speech and/or your actions, please know that you are heads and shoulders above our allies who never put us on their schedule.
I met Bruce Kraus tonight. First time. He's very smart and we had a nice little exchange, even if I disagreed with some of his points. He still invited me to sit down with him and chat. And he was very on point and attentive to the issue of electing Barack Obama. I think some of the other officials who aren't actually on the ballot in 23 days muffled that message a little bit. I suspect Bruce personally asked almost each person in attendance to volunteer for Obama. That's commitment.
Jason Altmire was there. He and I met back in 1999 and he recognized me. That always gets me. He was very on point, made excellent arguments about electing Democrats and just really impressive (except on ENDA). I was dismayed that someone cut him off to introduce someone running for office in May. If a U.S. Congressman takes the time to attend a gay event, he should at least get a gracious exit.
The thing I noticed was the lack of women candidates and elected officials in attendance. That's a stumper because there were a lot of lesbians and queer women in attendance.
The other thing I noticed was that there is no conventional wisdom in the LGBT community. I heard at least three different perspectives on the current status of HB 1400. If you are going to put it on the table, you really need to get Dan Frankel out to tell us why electing Barack Obama and other Democrats is going to get that damn bill passed. Or get cosponsor Chelsa Wagner to attend. She's up for reelection.
The final thing I noticed is that more openly gay men are running for elected office. That's great and a sure sign of forward momentum. Now we just need to run, baby, run to keep things moving a little more in synch with the community.
Overall, it was a nicely done event. The crowd seemed appreciative, the hostesses were very gracious and the setting was super-duper. I'm so happy that Steel City is getting out of the bars a bit.
OK, I gotta go spill some blood.
Oh, I almost forgot Rob McCord. He was there early, greeted everyone and made a nice speech. He went to Harvard, I believe. I was swayed. He did not receive the PG endorsement b/c of his ties to Wall Street and his lack of ideas on campaign reform. I did not get a chance to ask him about those accusations. If anyone can fill me in, that would be great …