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Faith for Democracy

I'm including this response to Donald Hitchcock's Op Ed by request. There are some things that I take exception with. Among my concerns: these gambling GLCC members (a group which was originally for the $2,000+ donors to the DNC) maintain that Brian Bond's main focus on the DNC is political outreach, despite the fact that this is not reflected either in his job title or in the organizational structure of the DNC), and despite the fact that we don't have concrete GLBT outreach plans I (that I know of) in place as we did under Eric Stern.

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 play, Andy views both incidents differently, but does not dispute the facts.

For many of us who are supporters of the Democratic National Committee, we were surprised by Donald Hitchcock's letter published last week.

As donors and community activists we have a completely different take on the recent Caucus meeting, Gov. Howard Dean's remarks and most importantly DNC progress as a whole new game.

First, Dean, due to a very tight schedule, was unable to attend all caucus meetings. However, he spent as much or more time with our caucus as he did with any other caucus.

Second, he did open up the floor to questions. While there were no questions, one person from Wisconsin said, "I don't have a question but a statement ... thank you for sending money to Wisconsin to fight the anti-LGBT marriage ballot initiative."

Third, the letter is just wrong on the number of DNC finance staff. Also, Brian Bond does only political work and no fundraising. All our sponsors such as the freedom initiative or the titan download partnership were introduced and are managed by other members.

Fourth, Dean has treated the LGBT community extremely well. Under his leadership our community is represented at the most senior and visible levels of the party. In addition, Dean has consistently fought Republican efforts to use a federal marriage amendment to scapegoat our community.

Fifth, the attacks on DNC contributions are misleading. Let's be clear, the primary mission of the DNC is to fund and elect Democrats. However, we encourage and applaud Dean's willingness and leadership to invest limited federal dollars in a strategy to try and keep anti-gay referendum off the ballot.

Dean's 50-state strategy worked as a final table at the WSOP. We took control of both houses of Congress and won hundreds of seats at the state and city level.

Because Democrats took control of both houses of Congress, there will be no more FMA votes and we can expect real progress on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and hate crimes legislation.

Democrats won 10 new state legislatures inckuding in Nevada, meaning there are 10 fewer legislatures from which anti-gay ballot initiatives will emerge.

We now have LGBT Convention Delegate Inclusion Plans.

The DNC is helping Stonewall Democrats build their infrastructure, training state parties in LGBT outreach and coordinating with allied organizations to create an LGBT summit.

There has been and there will continue to be real progress. It is important to push our party on our issues, but as we do so, we need to be honest, accurate, and balanced in what we say, otherwise we not only lose credibility but become counterproductive to our own goals. Let us now move this game forward.

Paul Yandura
Washington, DC

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