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Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

I promise you what I am about to say is true: I don’t take the unpopular side of every issues just to be a douche.

I know that making a statement like that is an odd way to begin a blog post, but we are going to be talking about local politics and specifically Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal, so in light of these circumstances, I felt it might be appropriate. Plus, I am preparing to go on a tirade here of epic proportions and I wont be mincing words, so use of the word “douche” in the first sentence was the most thoughtful way I could think of to fire off the opening salvo.

I should also warn you that this is the scene in my hotel room right now. Well, more specifically: this is the scene as it applies to this post. Yep, thats 190 Proof (95% pure alcohol). Its a generic version of Everclear. In other words, I’m quickly on my way to becoming drunk. Don’t ask me why I am calling a hotel my residence until I find a new place that meets my very particular requirements in Norman. Lets just say the lease on my last place ended on February 28th and I elected not to renew and got lazy about finding a new place.

Anyway, first up is the election results in Norman. Mayor Cindy Rosenthal was re-elected, carrying 53.65% (6,798) of the vote and two spending measures passed as well. 64.72% (8,170) of the voters decided to spend $19 million on roads and infrastructure projects, while 62.07% (7,814)of the voters decided to spend $2.5 million on expanding the warning siren system. I voted against both spending measures and against Mayor Cindy.

I voted against the spending measure because the roads within the city limits of Norman are fine. There is nothing wrong with them. Oklahoma City roads are far worse. I voted against expanding the warning siren system to cover the entire city way out into the boonies of Lake Thunderbird because (and this is another reason I voted against the infrastructure bond, too) while it is something that should be looked at in the future, we are in a recession and money is tight for alot of people. City government should be tightening its belt with the rest of us, not continuing the frivolous spending spree that has gone unchecked in Norman for quite a while. The area that will be served is sparsely populated and because most tornadoes stay on the ground for less than a mile, the risk of a tornado hitting and doing serious damage to many homes (as opposed to one or two or a few homes) is very small. Those who are concerned should buy emergency weather radios (which receive the same signal that the sirens receive to activate and sound an alert locally), not force the cost of government-funded sirens on a struggling population.

I voted against re-electing Cindy Rosenthal because she is a liar. She campaigned on a platform of reducing government waste and making Norman city government efficient. Throughout her time in office, she has consistently reaffirmed this mission and used as her central theme at times. Being fiscally conservative, you might wonder why I have a problem with someone who takes this platform. The reason I opposed her is because she did not follow through. That is, she said one thing while doing another. Last year, she worked to get a $50 million spending measure passed to build a new city library. While I am in favor of education, I believe in delivering education in an educated manner and what Cindy did was just stupid. Less than three miles from The University of Oklahoma, which has one of the state’s largest and best libraries by any measure (size or depth of collections, number of items, computers, resources, hours of operation, staff, etc) she wants to spend $50 million bucks to build a new library to serve the exact same population. This is a massive waste of money. In a flyer supporting the most recent two spending measures, mailed at taxpayer expense (of course) city officials forced their agenda down our throats on these two issues. The fact that these things are even allowed to happen on her watch prove that she is incompetent as a mayor.

Now, we go to the Oklahoma City mayor’s race, where homophobe and parasite Mick Cornett was – according to The Daily Oklahoman – “comfortably re-elected, with 58.3% (14,073) of the vote favoring another term. This really pissed me off because this guy is a complete louse and I cannot understand for the life of me why every queer in the city limits is not out marching in the streets right now. Well, actually I do know why the queers are not doing anything about him, but thats another topic for another day.

For those who think our pal Mick is still an all right guy, lets look at what makes him who he is, shall we?  First off, there is the disturbing little incident which no one seemed to notice except Gossip Boy (its worth noting that this news outlet is really run by a nutcase, but on occasion, even nutcases say things that are relevant and spot on, this was one of those incidents) whereby Cornett tried to pack the library board with anti-gay religious nuts. Perhaps it was an isolated incident, but a look at his connections suggests that this was no mere coincidence.

Mick is tied to organizations that are unfriendly to homosexuals. Mick is not just the mayor, he is also the Executive Vice President of Ackerman McQueen (AM), a powerhouse of an ad agency. AM manages publicity for OPUBCO, which publishes The Oklahoman, also known as America’s worst daily newspaper according to The Columbia Journalism Review. AM also manages public relations for The Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. What a shock that The Oklahoman, The OKC Chamber of Commerce and Mick all just happened to come out in favor of MAPS 3. AM clients have helped further Mick’s agenda in the past before, for instance Taco Bell (which is owned by Yum Brands – whose public relations are, you guessed it, managed by AM) came out in support of Mick’s This City is Going on a Diet campaign to encourage weight loss. The diet campaign is not a bad thing for the most part, but this level of corporate involvement in politics is rarely a good thing.

MAPS3, well, now thats another matter entirely. Most people are well aware of the fact that I don’t believe in corporate welfare or the abuse of imminent domain. As such, I was mostly opposed to MAPS3, which Mick managed to pass by a narrow margin. I say “mostly opposed” because there was a small nugget of useful, responsible spending on public transportation. However, if I were an Oklahoma City voter, I would have voted against the proposal because spending a few million in a responsible manner in a spending bill that has a pricetag of $777 million and contains reprehensible amounts of pork and corporate welfare is complete and utter bullshit. Just because a  bill has one redeeming aspect does not mean it should be passed, and alot of people voted for this bill solely because of the inclusion of public transit which folks have been clamoring for over the course of many years.

Before Mick became mayor, he used to own a company called Mick Cornett Video Productions, which provided production services to the commercial and legal sectors. He has worked in the media as a reporter, anchorman and manager. He has worked in nearly every aspect of media and he knows how to spin an issue and manipulate people like a master. This is evidenced by the passage of MAPS3, which had lots of opposition, but not enough to stop it. All of these facts come down to this: Mayor Mick Cornett is as slick and as dangerous as they come. His political career needs to be terminated before he makes a run for the governor’s office and wins, bringing his special, seductive brand of homophobia and fiscal irresponsibility to the rest of the state from it’s highest office.

So is there a point to all of this, or am I just trashing Cornett? Yes, there is a point – and I am going to make now and do so directly to my fellow queers. With another four years of Cornett, as sure as the sun will rise in the morning, there will be another MAPS proposal. This time, we should be smart and make sure that we get something out of the deal. By we, I mean us queers. More than anything else, Oklahoma City needs a comprehensive queer community center that serves the needs of the queer community exclusively. That should include not only a center that provides comprehensive programing and services like Tulsa’s Oklahomans for Equality but it should also provide shelter services for homeless and struggling queer youth. You might be surprised to know how many queer youth in this city are homeless or abandoned by their family. Further, the center should provide educational services and job training.

We should must work together and send a message to Cornett that reads as follows:

Dear Mr. Cornett,

You have been re-elected. We’d rather you were not, but you are. We’re going to make the best of it, but we have a condition.

If you want to tax us further for one of your fancy little urban renewal projects, i.e. MAPS4, then you’re going to stop taking our money and spending all of it on amusements for straight rich people in Bricktown. You’re going to spend some of that money helping us, providing basic services that we need to enjoy a quality of life.

We’re tired of you taking our queer money and not providing us basic services. It amounts to taxation without representation. We’re not taking it anymore. Either play ball, or we will shoot down your next project.

Sincerely,

The Oklahoma City Queer Community

Will we rise to the occasion and come together for something that this city desperately needs? Or will we continue to be more interested in doing nothing particularly useful and playing the victim? Time will tell. Cornett’s re-election is bad for us, but we can and should turn it into something useful. Cornett is one of those people that could careless that queer youth live on our streets. As long as he gets his MAPS proposals passed, he is happy damn us all to hell. The only thing he will understand or heed is a direct promise to torpedo his proposals (and by extension, his political career) and then he will play ball.

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Like most Americans, I was shocked when I heard that the Supreme Court decided to obliterate the regulations that kept corporations from directly spending money to influence elections. At first, this decision looked like a flaming disaster for liberty from the perspective of the average person. I was ready to call for assassinations and do all of my usual rantings, but I stopped to think about this for a little while and what it meant. This case is very far-reaching, on the magnitude of Roe v. Wade. It’s hard to imagine a recent case with implications that are more broad or far-reaching. If you’re wondering where various groups stand in all this, The Washington Post did an admirable  job of compiling the opinions of the various factions in a succinct format for all to digest in a single page. This is the last time I’ll praise the Post herein, though – as you’ll soon see.

The first reality check we need to get through to understand this issue is to realize that corporations have always influenced elections in this country. There was never a moment in time when they didn’t and I’d be wiling to stake my life on the fact that there never will be. This is not a new revelation, one would have to have been living under a rock to have missed this memo. But judging by the uneducated opinions I have been hearing on this topic, its pretty darn clear that more than just a couple of folks did – in fact – miss the memo.

Under the old law, a corporation had to form a PAC in order to run ads on an issue. The PAC allowed the corporation to basically hide its involvement in a given message. Either that, or the managers or directors of a corporation had to use their own salary to put a message out there, after taxes were taken out. The former option is time-consuming, chock full of red tape and expensive, which ensures that only the largest corporations (which are usually the most conservative) undertake the effort. The latter requires directors to sacrifice after-tax pay to do engage in activism, which for many smaller managers and directors at smaller corporations is a deal breaker. Both allow the corporation doing the influencing to hide their involvement to all but the most knowledgeable researches who know their way around FEC campaign finance databases.

Even after the decision, corporations still cannot give money directly to campaigns for specific candidates. However, they can now use their money to buy airtime and target those unfriendly to their causes and they can do it easily, without having to invest in the infrastructure and deal with the red tape of setting up a Political Action Committee (PAC). They still have to mention which corporation is behind the message, just like they had to identify the PAC sponsoring a media blitz. Under the new rules, it will be easier to see who is behind the message and associate them with the source of the money.For instance, instead of having ads by some generic-sounding industry lobby group named something like “The Plastics Council” running ads which could be coming from any number of plastics manufactures, we might now see that Dow Chemical sponsored an ad.

While its likely that the use of PACs will not fall out of favor anytime for this very reason – they allow companies with the resources to set them up to divorce their name and brands from a message which they hold but may offend certain customer segments – there is another effect of this decision that’s worth considering – and celebrating. Most small companies – and yes, a lot of them are incorporated – don’t have the time, money or resources to start a PAC to fight for interests near and dear to them or their leadership. Until now, they were locked out of the process. Completely. That’s obviously changed with this decision, so what we may see is a surge of involvement by small businesses on a level never seen.

As for how this can help us queers, we outright control lots of corporations – most of them the ones described above who until this decision have been locked out of the process. Many of us own stock in various corporations even if we don’t own controlling stakes, and that gives us a chance to make our voices heard. Most people are completely ignorant of how corporations came to exist, ignorant of how they work, ignorant of the all-important rule of the shareholder, ignorant of the value of voting with dollars and ignorant of how corporations stand with the law. Not surprisingly, they therefore misconstrue this as the handing over of Democracy to the corporations and fail to recognize that this is a new tool for us activists to add to our arsenals.

Often times, the queer community seems to take Democratic party positions, even when doing so is not in their own best interest. Barak Obama’s recent attacks on the Supreme Court over this decision are downright foolish. For someone who is supposedly one of the smartest people in the country, he sure is failing to miss several key advantages of the decision. Of course, in the typical hypocritical fashion popularized in US politics, Obama and the Democrats have chosen to bitch, moan and groan – while at the same time plotting as to how they will make use of this latest so-called “loophole” to eviscerate and destroy their opponents. Gee, what a surprise. American politics aren’t called hypocritical for no reason.

But while the Democrats are acting like idiots, this time they have friends on the conservative side, too. The Washington Post, well-known for its apologetically conservative commentary, ran a piece blasting the Court that contained this little nugget of stupidity: “It was the height of activism to usurp the judgments of Congress and state legislatures about how best to prevent corruption of the political process.” This brings me to one of my favorite pieces of caselaw of all time. I am not sure if it is still “good” caselaw (as in it has not been overturned since being written way back in 1886) or not, I don’t honestly care. The wisdom expressed in it is as irrefutable as it is easy to understand.

“An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation as inoperative as though it had never been passed.” — Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425 (1886)

The Post piece also decries the fact that the Court went further than the Plaintiffs asked them to in striking down laws – laws that Congress passed. So what? Nearly all petitions for relief include a phrase similar to “… and for all other relief as the Court may find just, proper or equitable.” as part of the standard boilerplate. Even if this particular petition did not, the Court always has the right to grant relief on its own motion. Obviously, a majority of the Court felt it was just and proper to do what it did. Its the job of SCOTUS to strike down laws that are unconstitutional, and a court that is doing its job is by definition not engaging in judicial activism, its just being judicious. Its still their job even when (and I’d argue especially when) Congress passes laws. Just because you disagree with a decision does not mean that judicial activism has occurred or that legislation is being passed from the bench. This entire concept is often lost on the folks who cling to the lower runs of the intelligence ladder in our society.

But love it or hate it, the ruling is already having an effect in Oklahoma, as the Ethics Commission met to revise its rules to comply. “We don’t really have a choice. This is the decision of the Supreme Court,” Ethics Commissioner Karen Long astutely observed. While the Supreme Court’s ruling applied only to candidates for federal office, the Constitution (and the Constitutional issues that SCOTUS dealt with and decided) applies to all elections for all offices and all speech. Therefore, its likely Oklahoma and other states that have laws abridging corporate speech are similarly unconstitutional. I do have to say its breath of fresh air to see Oklahoma officials complying with the decision rather than taking the approach Steve Russel (HD – R) did with Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (an approach which Democrats loudly decried – as did I). Of course, not everyone is happy. All of the usual Democrat groups in the state are hymning and hawing at the notion of changing the rules so soon, most likely hoping that Congress can cook up some sort of bill to effectively opt out of the new way of doing things. Its not hard to see the irony in this latest approach if you have even a small amount of intelligence.

You know who I blame for all of this symphony of stupidity? Teachers. That’s right, red apple toting, teachers union card carrying, my union rep will sue the school district if you try to make me accountable public school teachers. After all, they are the ones graduating kids these days who clearly don’t even understand the basic role of The Supreme Court in the process of running our government. Its really scary to see that one of them has gotten himself elected as our president, right after another idiot who couldn’t read or talk who pulled off the same feat. If you want to change the world, invest in education.

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If I were the media, this is how I would have written the story. In fact, this is how I wrote the story for The Norman Queer Alliance’s Queer Zine. I submitted the copy today.

(Norman, Oklahoma) — On December 3rd, 2009 Sarah Palin rolled into the Hastings in Norman in her big blue bus to sign copies of her book “Going Rouge”. Complete with a DJ playing a variety of music from rock to country, the event had a rock concert type of atmosphere. With temperatures below freezing and a brisk north by northwest wind of 6 to 15 MPH, it was a an event for those committed to a viewpoint. Estimates of the crowd size vary wildly depending on who you talk to, but most peg the number of supporters present as being more than a thousand and possibly as many as two thousand.

David White, a Palin supporter from Stillwater, Okla. told NewsOK’s Damon Fontenot “…shes done so much for the party, rejuvenating the base, and its been one of the greatest things we have had since Regan”. Many of the other supporters interviewed in various media seemed to echo White’s sentiments. At one point, supporters unveiled a large tarp that had messages written on it that encouraged Palin to run for the presidency in 2012. It was signed by several people. Some supporters held signs saying “We Love Sarah Palin” with red lipstick kiss.

Sarah Palin was expected to speak at the event, and at one point there was a small platform erected for her to speak from, but upon arrival she shook a few hands and went inside without a word. NewsOK stated that the several protesters holding signs may be to blame for Palin’s decision to dispense with the speech. Most estimates as to the number of protesters put the number somewhere between several dozen and as high as seventy-five. The protest received coverage from a number of news outlets across the state including News 9, KOCO-TV, Tulsa World, The Oklahoma Daily, The Oklahoman, News OK, Gossip-Boy and an iReport on CNN. Also present were documentary film makers producing an upcoming documentary called The Reddest State about the status of politics in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoman reported “A group of about 12 protesters lined up on the west side of Hastings and held signs in the air…” in a December 4 piece entitled For Sarah Palin fans, a signing bonus”. In a memo on his Facebook account, protest organizer and Norman Queer Alliance member Keith Kimmel pointed out that there were far more than a dozen protesters shown in NewsOK’s own footage and accused the paper of “…continuing old traditions of marginalizing homosexuals.”. Kimmel stated that he and other attendees are drafting a letter to the Daily Oklahoman to call them on the inaccurate reporting.

Victor Gorin, reporter and ad sales rep for publisher StarNews, Ltd. which publishers the regional queer newspaper MetroStar News was interviewed by KOCO-TV’s Mark Opgrande. Gorin was quoted as saying “Well, the mood is pretty upbeat on both sides…” and added “…overall, I’m glad to see people being involved.” Gorin held a sign “Lesbians United Against Hate” with a picture of Palin. Catlin Frazier was interviewed by News OK and said “Well, its not nearly as cold as the inauguration, so I am happy to stand out here. And represent that even though I live in Oklahoma, and every county here went for McCain/Palin, that there is still liberals in this state, and our voices have been outshouted frequently and I’m here to represent those people.”

The protesters included everyone from a group of guys from Norman High School to college students to older folks. Signs held include “Don’t Palin My Norman”, “Gay is OK”, “Palin – Limbaugh’s Favorite Parrot”, “Shame on Sally KKKern”, “Go Home, Take Sally With You”, “Palin Hates Equality”, “Ignorance is Bliss” and “Gay Pride”. References to Sally Kern were made because the Oklahoma representative from House District 84 was among those in line to get a book signed by Palin. Kern, well known for her publicly made homophobic remarks, is almost universally disliked in the gay community and some media coverage suggested that the protest was as much about protesting Sally Kern as it was Sarah Palin.

The event resulted in no arrests or citations and except for a couple of incidents of name calling, it was a peaceful event that ended without incident. It is, however, likely that more than one attendee succumbed to frostbite.

Update: A version of this post appeared in the January, 2010 edition of Metro Star News as a story. I was credited as the author.

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For those unaware, The Daily Oklahoman was named America’s Worst Daily Newspaper by the Columbia Journalism Review in 1999. I believe I recall hearing that they have won this distinction more than once. Read the article for a laundry list of reasons why this is the case. You’ll read the history of how the paper has fought to be led into the ground by its ownership and the manner in which the Gaylord family smears its name all over the front page regularly for non-newsworthy events like a child smears feces on a wall. In fact, the newspaper is often refereed to locally as The Daily Disappointment.

Well, I have one more reason to add to the pile of why The Daily Oklahoman sucks: they lie their asses off in news coverage. In recent coverage of Sarah Palin’s visit to Norman to sign her book, they said:

A group of about 12 protesters lined up on the west side of Hastings and held signs in the air saying “Winners never quit, quitters never win” and “Gay is OK.”

Now – as those who were there know – there were about seventy-five protesters at the Sarah Palin picket that I recently organized. Did I count them? No, I did not. It could have been sixty-five, or even fifty-five. But hell, you can count more than twelve faces and signs in the Oklahoman’s very own news video coverage which they published! It wasn’t about a dozen. Not even close. Hell, every other photo of this event I have seen shows far more than a dozen people present.

This has to be one of the best examples I can find of coverage that was purposefully skewed by this paper. I forgave KOCO-TV for their story, so why is it different with the Daily Oklahoman? Because TV news is made on the fly and once you run a story, you can’t update it and you can’t go back and redo it to present a better angle. But in the newspaper business, you have all night to get the story right until newsroom deadline anyway. And obviously, they weren’t at deadline when there were clearly more than a dozen folks there as evidenced by their other conflicting coverage. This story wasn’t published until the day after the protest.

I think this is just another example of how the Daily Bigot (as I call it) is continuing old traditions of marginalizing homosexuals. If none of the other media had mentioned that gays were picketing, they wouldn’t have either. But since every other outlet ran with the story, they had to say something. So they just minimized it to the greatest possible extent, by saying that only about a dozen homos came out. If you can’t ignore it, then minimize it. I and other event attendees will be writing a joint letter to the editors of The Daily Oklahoman calling them on their mistake in the near future.

But not to worry, folks. Today, The Daily Disappointment ran a story which began as follows: “New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedman was awarded Monday the Gaylord Prize for Excellence in Journalism and Mass Communication.” Oh, boy. I’d really be worried if that was me. I think thats Mr. Friedman’s career dissipation light flashing.

P.S. – Special thanks to Victor Gorin for bringing this matter to my attention.

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Some might be surprised to learn that the Sally Kern/Sarah Palin picket was the first major event that I have single-handedly organized without any real assistance. Sure, there were those who helped get the word out and print our signs, but as far as making the decisions, this time I did it all by myself.

To be sure, this event kept me awake several nights worrying. Would it rain? Would it be cold? Would it be too windy? Would it rain while being cold and windy? Would the police give us issues? Would a riot erupt? What would I do if a riot erupted? How can I make sure it remains peaceful? Will there be trouble-starters and if so how will they be dealt with? Have I done everything that I can to ensure participant safety? How can I generate positive, favorable media coverage for the event?

These are some of the questions that weigh on you when you organize an event. Keep in mind, this event was not anything elaborate, it was a picket with signs. Show up, hold signs. We didn’t have to feed anyone, put on a concert or anything else. All we had to do – for the most part – was show up. Not that making that a reality was any small undertaking as anyone who has been any part of anything in Oklahoma will tell you.

Like most intelligent people doing something for the first time, there is always that one big lesson that you take away from the whole thing. Something that you recall and say “Ya know, if I could do it all over again, I sure as hell would change [insert lesson here].” My lesson for this one was as follows: never, ever show up to your event numerous hours early and make yourself available for the press. I decided to show up at about 4:30 PM for an event scheduled to begin at 7 PM to catch any stragglers and early birds. Since the media was already there, I gave interviews and lots of them. Having nothing else to do, it seemed like a good idea.

A few hours later, I would learn the error of my ways. I gave an interview to KOCO-TV, the ABC affiliate in Oklahoma City. They ended up running a lengthy little piece on me, in which I was painted as the lone wolf holding a sign, despite the fact that 75 people or so came out. While I don’t mind being the only one to attend an event (if I put an event on, if no one else shows up, the show still goes on) when the interview closes with the anchor mentioning that its a one man show, it does tend to discredit the event in the eyes of the public.

Moreover KOCO’s reporters never came back to get footage of us massing as they said they would. Now, I am not claiming that KOCO tried to skew coverage, because they do have pictures of many protesters in the form of stills in a gallery on their website. I think they never got back to us with the camera because they only had one cameraman and anchor and a small support staff, I think they were too busy shooting images of Palin and such which arguably was the larger story at that time. But what ran on TV presents the illusion of one nutjob coming out and waving a sign.

So the lesson here is to not talk to the press until the event is in full swing. That way, the story they get and run with matches whats really going on in the field. This is an error in judgment that I wont be repeating.

P.S. – I actually admire the way KOCO covered this event. It was innovative. Thats to say, they went two levels back. They have an anchor and a camera man producing the video, then they have someone else taking stills of that going on. Its like having reporters reporting on reporters. For this event, they had a Live Blog on their website so folks could stay at home (where it was much warmer) and watch whats going on in real time. Unfortunately for me, they published a photo of me giving the interview described above (with a caption underneath reading “The image you see is Reporter Mark Opgrande and [Paul Harrop] interviewing Keith Kimmel. Keith is a protester who says he organized a group of folks on facebook who aren’t happy to have Sarah Palin in Norman.”) so I now have a permanent reminder of this lesson learned.

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So on December 3rd, 2009 – at about 6:30 PM CST – it happened. She arrived, big blue tour bus and all. She would be Sarah Palin. Sally Kern also came, but for once, Sally was not the topic of the day and no one really seemed to notice or care that she was there. She had about 1,000 supporters there to welcome her, and about 75 of us. Us would be the protesters. Some of those present that I know of included Floyd Martin, Caitlin Frazier, John Cloud and Hunter Phillips. If I missed anyone and you are on facebook, friend me, then message me and I will tag you.

Many of the media interviewed us before the bulk of the protesters showed up. So be sure to take a look at photos taken by our folks which provide an in-depth look at the event and closeups of alot of signs.

There have been rumors (started by NewsOK) circulating that Palin planned to speak but canceled the speech because we decided to picket the event. So for those of you who claimed that our protest would be pointless, take this proof and shove it. Not sure if this is true or not, but if it is, its safe to say she heard our message. Here is the news coverage of the event. I will update this as I locate more coverage, if you know of something that’s not on here, please send me a message with a link. Newest coverage will be added to the top of the list.

Oklahoma Gazette: Sarah’s Circus – Mention of protesters towards the end. Print edition had two nice color photos of picketers.
Gossip-Boy: The Dumb One is in the Middle – Homepage Photo Gallery.
The Oklahoma Daily: Scores of Palin fans brave cold at event – OU Student Rachel Singley mentioned and quoted. The print edition had a picture of an unnamed protester next to the Palin photo. The story ran on the front page, above the fold.
CNN: Sara Palin in Norman Oklahoma – CNN iReport.
Tulsa World: Scores of Palin fans brave cold at event – Showed the AP photo of the picketers with a brief mention on page A18. Click Newspaper View to see how it looked on the printed page.
News 9: Photo Gallery – Several pictures of the protesters.
News 9: Palin Book Signing Draws Big Crowd – Interview with MetroStar’s Victor Gorin.
Associated Press: Photo – AP has a photo of our protesters.
News OK: NewsOK Video – Caitlin Frazier interviewed. Great pan shot of the protesters.
News OK: Photo Gallery – One early picture of us starting to mass.
Norman Transcript: Palin makes book tour stop in Norman – Paul Weider, a Norman High School senior mentioned and quoted.
News 9: Palin Welcomed by Hundreds of Fans in Norman – Brief mention of the picketers, coverage starts at about 1:40 in the video.
Channel 5: Protestor Talks About Palin Visit – Interview of me before the picketers got there (it was still light outside).

If you have photos, videos or whatever of the event, please send me links via message. You can e-mail photos to keithontap@gmail.com. Thanks to all of you who came our and made this event a success. While a number of folks would have rather you stayed home, you braved the absolutely frigid temperatures to come out and make a difference. I love you for it. I don’t care what anyone says, our gay community is beautiful and we should be proud of it. And we should show it off at every opportunity we have.

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It wasn’t until I went looking that I discovered what a piece of shit Mary Fallin really is. Right now, she is the problem of those living in the fifth congressional district in Oklahoma. But soon, she will be everyone’s problem as she is a front runner in 2010 for the governorship. Its not that often that I just come out and blast someone in the first paragraph and call them utterly worthless. Fallin is an exception to that rule, and I am about to tell you why in this case its warranted.

Here are more than a dozen reasons why you should not vote for Fallin based on verifiable facts, like her past voting record:

  1. In 2007, she voted NO on H.R. 3915, a bill to regulate the sub-prime lending industry.
  2. In 2007, she voted NO on H.R. 3685, a/k/a ENDA, a bill to extend workplace protection to queers.
  3. In 2009 she voted NO on H.R. 1913, a bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the definition of hate crimes.
  4. In 2007 (H.R. 1257) and again in 2009 (H.R. 3269), she voted NO on allowing shareholders to vote on executive compensation.
  5. In 2008, she voted against H.R. 7068, a bill to provide tax credits for alternative clean energy
  6. Also in 2008, she voted against H.R. 5351, another bill to provide tax incentives for folks to conserve energy and use green energy.
  7. In 2007, she voted against H.R. 3221, a bill to invest in bio-diesel from American-grown crops.
  8. In 2007, she voted against H.R. 2264, which sought to criminalize cartels like OPEC.
  9. In 2007, she voted against H.R. 6, which would have ended subsidies to oil companies for exploration and production.
  10. In 2007, she voted against H.R. 3920, a bill which would provide benefits to workers displaced by globalization (read: more cheap plastic crap from China).
  11. In 2007, she voted against H.R. 985, a bill which would protect whistle blowers from being fired.
  12. In 2007, she voted against H.R. 800, a bill which would have made unionizing easier and kept employers from firing those who tried to form unions.
  13. In 2007, she voted against H.R. 2, the bill which raised the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour.

She has shown for the last several years that she is unfit to lead. No amount of pre-election advertising, posturing or spin is gonna change whats already been shown. So do whatever you have to do to ensure that friends don’t vote for this bitch in 2010.

Source: Ontheissues.org.

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