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Paul Yandura Weighs in on DNC Controversy

Below is a response to a post by Andy Tobias who responded 'unoficially' to concerns stated by Donald Hitchcock after his departure from the DNC
Dear Editor:

DNC National Treasurer and chief fundraiser Andy Tobias in his personal, not-to-be-confused-with-an-official-DNC, response to my partner Donald Hichcock's letter confirms and agrees with two of Donald's three substantive points. (Donald's letter and Andy's response follow this letter and I urge you to read both and decide for yourself.) To be fair, Andy views both incidents differently, but does not dispute the facts.

1.) He agrees that the Democratic Party, despite claming to have a strategy, gave very little money to fight the ballot intiatives, and

2) He agrees the community lost two outreach positions inside the Party.

More interesting than the personal attacks and attempts to focus on trivial points, are the substantive points the DNC chooses to ignore:

* They ignore the fact that the two GLBT outreach positions that were abolished were effectively merged into the finance department, for a total of FOUR GLBT positions currently.

* They ignore the fact that over the last year the DNC has valiantly tried to convince the community that the GLBT outreach positions had been merged into the American Majority Partnership (the new DNC constituency operation) like all of the other constituency groups that lost outreach positions. I guess the community has not been convinced so they have stopped using that talking point.

* They also ignore Donald's substantive point concerning Dean's statement that there was no exit-polling numbers for GLBT voters available for the 2006 elections. We are almost three months past the mid-term elections and the exit-polling is not only available but widely reported upon. I guarantee Dean knows the exit-polling for evangelicals which the DNC was proud to court over the last election.

I know that this may sound strange, but as a loyal Democrat for over 20 years I believe that the Party belongs to all of us and it is our obligation to make it better and more inclusive for all. The DNC Treasurer is being disingenuous, however unintentionally, by trying to paint my partner Donald and I as insiders with an agenda. Not because that's not true, but because he has his own agenda: to raise as much money for Democratic Party priorities as possible. Donald and I's agenda is to see the Party treat our community with dignity and respect and to help advance GLBT equality priorities. Sometimes those two agendas will not be in synch and, sometimes, our agenda will be counterproductive to his. But, even so, both Donald and I have refused to make this personal no matter how much easier it may be than discussing the substance.

Before contributing another gay dime you have to ask yourself two questions:

"If my ultimate goal is GLBT equality, will paying for Democratic Party priorities or GLBT equality priorities help me achieve it?"

"Is it ok for our friends to just not act like our enemies, or should we demand that they act like our friends?"

I think that this discussion is of utmost importance for the GLBT community to be having.

Paul Yandura
Washington, DC

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