Chris Douglas

Rudolph Giuliani Coming to Town Wednesday: And You Are Invited

Filed By Chris Douglas | March 06, 2007 10:40 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: First Republicans, Rudolph Giuliani

Leading Republican contender Rudolph Giuliani is coming to town tomorrow. First Republicans invites you to join us and other Giuliani supporters at a fundraiser and reception in his honor on Wednesday, from 6 to 7:30 pm, at Obsidian Enterprises, 111 Monument Circle, Ste 4800. Come, bring a friend, and together contribute at least $1000 towards his presidential campaign. (Actually, the organizers are requesting $2300 per person, but on this occasion are welcoming anyone that First Republicans can bring to the table at at least $1000 per couple or $500 per person.)

We are pleased to observe that Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has decided to head up the Giuliani campaign for President here in Indiana. In our opinion, a strong Giuliani Campaign in Indiana would be an important catalyst to the return of strength of the moderate wing of the Republican Party and to accelerated social progress in this state.

In his explicit support for civil unions and nondiscrimination, and in his refusal to backtrack on these topics in addressing conservative forums, Giuliani has demonstrated himself to be more progressive, outspoken, and stalwart on our behalf than all but a very few Republicans or Democrats in the State of Indiana.

Attending this meeting and writing a check will do three things for us all. First, it will advance the campaign in Indiana of a presidential candidate who is socially progressive. That advance is important in its own right. Second, it will contribute to the growing strength of an important faction in the Republican Party in Indiana that is both influential and socially progressive, as that faction unifies around this Giuliani candidacy. Third, especially for those interested in advancing glbt civil rights, it will establish in the thought processes of that moderate Republican movement firmly that the glbt community in Indiana can and should be integral to the thinking behind any plans for ascendancy in 2008 in Indiana and beyond. Only by supporting such Republicans and helping them into office can we expect to find Republicans who are willing to stand up for us and speak openly on behalf of our interests.

With these thoughts in mind, please e-mail me immediately if you can attend Wednesday, meet me and other moderate Republicans, and how much you can contribute to this important effort. (Feel free also to call me if you would like to discuss this candidacy or this reception further. My office: 317.843.8300.)

(From our Principles: FIRST REPUBLICANS BELIEVE in equal rights, equal protection, equal justice, equal opportunity and equal responsibilities for all people, regardless of race, religion, creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or national origin.)

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I never cease to be amazed at Chris's eternal optimism regarding his party.

Rudy is barely a Republican. If he get stheir nomination, I'll look at him.

But not until. (He won't.)

My gag reflex is extremely limited when it comes to such socially progressive Repubs. Their number is so few. And their party influence is so slight.

One can hope...

Wilson46201 | March 6, 2007 11:29 AM

Having recently been at a fundraiser at Obsidian up on the 48th floor of the Banc One skyscraper, I can attest that your $500/person donation will get you deluxe surroundings for a soiree.

Rudy will speak well but can you imagine the GOP actually nominating a "transvestite baby-killer"? How will they keep Eric Miller down on the farm once he's seen George Bush?

Chris Douglas | March 6, 2007 11:38 AM

It seems that Guiliani is leading in the Republican field by a long shot, almost 2 to 1 over McCain, and the other more conservative contenders are coming up distant single digits. (The worst of them, Brownback,is getting support of 1%.)

It is a remarkable statement that Guiliani has become the one to beat for the Republican nomination, and even the revelation of his pro-gay rights and pro-choice positions have not undermined his position within the party.

One thing is certain... it won't happen if people who prefer him to the other Republican options don't stand up and support him.

Marla R. Stevens | March 6, 2007 12:49 PM

I'll care when he un-flips (un-flops?) on his recent civil marriage pandering to the Repug majority. He used to be better than Sen. Clinton on civil marriage. She got better (slightly -- my marriage might now be okay for state recognition with her, sorta) and he got worse, saying outright that he does not support my right to marry, making him worse than the vast field of Dems who are better than he is on lots of related issues but who fall short on civil marriage equality.

He was your party's only hope. Now he's just another 'straight talking', flip-flopping hawk like McCain.

The real races are the Congressional and Statehouse ones. Besides, the way y'all are going in Indiana, you are well on your way to being too busy fighting an amendment with the electorate to worry much about who gets elected to any office.

Spend less time throwing big fundraisers for mini-bigots and more time cleaning up I.E.'s house. A good start would be to get control of the money, beginning with back-construction of as accurate a set of books as you can muster and putting a bonded treasurer in charge of incoming and outgoing funds.

Chris Douglas | March 6, 2007 1:02 PM

I just knew this post was going to get the attention of Marla, for whom I have nothing but the greatest of affection. We each have our roles to play....

In this case, I think its important to highlight Guiliani's support for civil union as a leading Republican and likely nominee. This is important a message to both political parties in Indiana that we are behind the times. When the leading Republican contender is more forward than any leadership in the state of either party, their silence with regard to the damage of SJR-7 can become uncomfortable, and their claim to be current and their claim on our votes and our funds to be awkward, until they have righted themselves.

I'll not acquiesce to the claim of mini-bigot to Guiliani until the he represents a less progressive, rather than more progressive, position relative to the Democratic Party of the State of Indiana. THEN it would be difficult to deny. I look forward to that day!

Until that day, I observe that somehow, while the attacks on gays come from the conservative wing of the Republican Party in Indiana, so from the moderate wing of the Republican Party in Indiana have tended to come the precedents for progress. From the Democratic Party, meanwhile, we have lonely, sidelined champions (like David Orentlicher) or collaborators (like Peggy Welch) but mainly fearful or cunning politicians (like Mayor Peterson and Patrick Bauer) waiting to see which way the wind is blowing, who don't tend to support us until it get very awkward for them to do otherwise.

Comeon Now,... | March 6, 2007 1:36 PM

Comeon now Chris.

Mayor Peterson has always been a champion for the community...

He's signed execuitive orders banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, he's signed ordinances of inclusion from the council.

You can say all you want about the number of "moderate republicans." But for actual effect (as opposed to election-time pandering), give me the Democrats...

Marla R. Stevens | March 6, 2007 1:47 PM

Comeone Now --
Chris is correct about the Mayor. Scratch him on marriage and he's just another DLC bigot. Makes me sad to say it. I like the man and I know he'd like not to be one but politics controls him and he will sell us out for what he perceives to be the greater good of Dem control -- especially his own Dem control -- in a heartbeat, albeit with appropriate (Bill) Clintonian regret.

Chris --
I don't disagree that the Dems are bigots, too, but that doesn't make Giuliani any less of one.

Nor do I disagree with the non-Giuliani rest of your analysis, either -- nothing new about that, as well you know. I will never forget the lesson hard felt sitting on a bench in front of the House with you post-Dem sucker punch on DOMA. It was personal then and it's personal now.

Let us both cling to the hope that today's lessons will teach the rest of us that none of us ought to be so party-loyal that we can't lay claim to the old saw that we weren't born Republican, Democrat, or yesterday!

With all due, respect, Comeon Now, I don't dislike Mayor Peterson, but you're re-writing history.

Peterson's first chance was in his original run for Mayor. In that campaign, Republican Sue Anne Gilroy said she would change the city's written nondiscrimination policy to incorporate sexual orientation, she campaigned in the city's glbt establishments, and she said she would appoint open gays and lesbians to the city's boards and commissions. In that campaign, Peterson did none of those things.

Governor O'Bannon agreed to update his policy during his campaign in 2000 to include sexual orientation, which he did upon re-election in 2001. (I was part of the Rainbow Alliance meeting with Tom New that produced that agreement.)

Gilroy went on to make include sexual orientation in the her own office (Secretary of State)in 2001,a policy Republican Secretary of State Todd Rokita updated when he campaigned and was elected in her place in 2002, adding gender identity. Comprehensive positions on nondiscrimination were taken by Scott Keller and Isaac Randolph (who later betrayed us).

Mayor Peterson made no change in his office policy until AFTER his re-election in 2003, adding sexual orientation in 2004 (but not gender identity.)

Then candidate for Governor Mitch Daniels in 2004 issued his own nondiscrimination policy including sexual orientation and gender identity, which then Governor Kernan matched by adding gender identity as Governor. Daniels was elected and continued that comprehensive policy. Mayor Peterson did not add gender identity until 2005 when the city county council was engaged in its fight over the HRO. (For a time, the HRO included gender identity, but the Mayor's office did not, which became awkward and troublesome for HRO supporters.)

To my knowledge, Mayor Peterson never endorsed the HRO publicly (though he may have made phone calls privately). And he certainly hasn't said anything against SJR-7, although it would prevent him ever from offering domestic partnerships to his employees. (The same, at the moment, goes for the Governor, by the way. I'm conveying our arguments on that point to his office.)

So while I don't think Mayor Peterson is in anyway anti-gay, he has never exercised leadership on this topic, with others, often Republicans, always taking the first step.

How about this: The next logical opportunity for leadership from the Mayor's office is a call for domestic partnership for employees of the City of Indianapolis. Afterall, he is their boss. When can we expect to hear this from him?

Wilson46201 | March 6, 2007 4:38 PM

If Peterson would call now for DP benefits, the GOP would instantly attack him fiercely for supporting gays over police. "He wants to promote homosexuality instead of fighting crime". Sadly, many times Democrats are almost too defensive against the expected organized homophobic attacks from the powerful GOP rightwing...

Marla R. Stevens | March 6, 2007 6:43 PM

There have been politicians who have done the right thing, including standing up to the sort of expected pressure I, too, have no doubt would ensue. They are people who have the courage not to wait to act until so long after something's time that it is beyond easy. They're called leaders. They overcome such nonsense by combinations of applied personal reputation for reasonableness and general personal magnetism, knowledge of the issue at hand enough to give them the fluency and personal comfort necessary to maintain the public trust, and political skill. My great-great-grandfather, Savannah Mayor and U.S. Representative Rufus E. Lester was just such a leader. Chris's Indiana legislator grandfather was another. I encourage today's elected officials to study our history for examples to fuel their present-day resolve.

Wilson, you've summed it up. Why we've never seen progress originate from the Democratic Party.

Which is why the principal generator of progress in Indiana has been the moderate wing of the Republican Party.

You've proven my point. Including why we've never seen Peterson lead on the topic. You would seem to be in disagreement with Comeon Now.

"Comprehensive positions on nondiscrimination were taken by Scott Keller and Isaac Randolph (who later betrayed us)."
This is the only statement of Chris's that I would take exception to - and only with a small part. His statement is, technically, true.

However, Randolph simply answered a survey and told a few people that he'd vote in favor of an Indy human rights ordinance if it came up. He didn't. Twice. And refused to meet with anyone from our community. Or answer e-mails. Or talk on the phone. Or in person.

So, did he reallytake a comprehensive position on non-discrimination? NO. Scott Keller did that. Even putting Keller and Randolph in the same sentence is an insult to Keller. There is - simply - no comparison.

As for Guilliani - I'd love to see him as the nominee. I'd much rather get to choose between two gay-friendly candidates than hoping the gay-friendly candidate wins and we don't end up getting screwed again for years. It would be nice to be able to judge their qualifications on other issues rather than LGBT ones.

I would not contest your characterization, Bil. We'll let your amendment stand.

Unfortunately, I do have to contest Marla's statement with regard to my great grandfather, Maurice Douglas, an Indiana Senator. His political skill was not sufficient to survive, prevail, and prosper given the stand he took. (Himself descended from abolitionists, a farmer, and a founder of Indiana Farmer's Mutual, he took a position of public opposition to the Klan as it gained control of the State of Indiana.) According to his daughter, (his personal secretary and my great aunt), who today is in her 90's, a delegation approached him to run for Governor with the condition that he drop his opposition to the Klan. He would not. He did run for Congress, but his anti-Klan position there too defeated him, according to her.

His name, obscured by his personal defeats, survives in only one regard. His classmate and friend, with whom he read law, gave his son the Douglas name. That son enjoyed greater political success, Governor Roger Douglas Brannigan.

Scott Keller's own (great?) grandfather Flanner, by the way, also was an Indiana Senator and also such a man. His position against the Klan led to an assassination attempt on the steps of the Statehouse, whereupon Flanner pulled his own gun, as Scott says, took aim at his assailant and "Shot. Him. Dead."

David Wene | March 7, 2007 8:08 AM

If Guilliani were the nominee:
1. It would be fun to know that Eric Miller and Micah Clark would be voting for a pro-gay candidate.
2. It would also be interesting at debates when his pro-gay record is brought up, would the democratic nominee use that opportunity to present their pro-gay credentials or would they use it as an opportunity to be "less-gay" trying to get more moderate/conservative votes

Comeon Now,... | March 7, 2007 10:39 AM

Here's my thoughts on the matter.

Mayor Peterson has been a leader for Indianapolis. He has consistently supported many communities within the city, including the GLBT community.

Don't forget, the TWO bills he worked for almost a year to revive were Police Consolidation and HRO.

Not to go too far into it, but I spoke with the Mayor after the first time HRO went down, and he was truthfully sorry.

I'm not in disagreement with Wilson. The Mayor's a pragmatist, he supports actions as he should: whipping votes in his caucus, proding the council, et cetera. A public statement on some of these matters would play into the far-right-wing Republican hands. He does what he should.

As for DP benefits, I'm sure that proposal would be heard. I'm not sure if its ever been truly considered.

Chris Douglas | March 7, 2007 11:17 AM

I think the Mayor worked hard on police consolidation.

Wilson46201 | March 7, 2007 8:33 PM

Oh~ I forgot~ Is the Marion County GOP slated Mayoral candidate calling for and supporting Domestic Partner Benefits?

Just askin' ...

Chris Douglas | March 8, 2007 5:43 AM

Wilson, I'm disappointed. That question should have been in your original post. Your reflexes are slipping.

One might observe that given the Peterson is all but unopposed by anyone with a serious prospect, he can not claim to be in a weak political position in which such a effort is not politically possible.