Steve's Soapbox

Monday, November 07, 2005

My Top 2 On Prop. 2

Here are my Top 2 reasons for voting NO on Proposition 2 .......

1) The KKK is rallying in support of Prop. 2 !

KKK group claims local ties
San Angelo man leads chapter to protest in Austin

By PAUL A. ANTHONY, panthony@sastandardtimes or 659-8237
November 6, 2005

A Ku Klux Klan group claiming to be based in San Angelo demonstrated against gay marriage Saturday at Austin City Hall and was countered by a much larger group of Klan opponents.
Fourteen members of the American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan appeared at Austin City Hall for the group's ''pro-family values'' rally in favor of Proposition 2, a proposed constitutional amendment on Tuesday's election ballot stating marriage in Texas is only between a man and a woman.
None wore the traditional hoods or robes of the white supremacist group. Some displayed Confederate flag symbols.
''We're asking Texans to support Proposition 2 because God supports it, not because the KKK supports it,'' Steven Edwards, the grand dragon of the Klan group, said during the rally.
San Angelo is one of 10 Texas cities named as hosting a Klan chapter, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit advocacy group that deals with racial issues.
Items posted under Edwards' name on KKK Internet message boards list San Angelo as his location. He also told the Austin American-Statesman on Saturday that the nine men and four women who attended the protest with him were from San Angelo.
Edwards did not return an e-mail for comment Saturday evening, and his phone number is unlisted.
The revelation a Klan group is based in San Angelo was met with surprise by local minority groups.
''I hadn't heard a thing,'' said Elma Jaques, president of the local chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens. ''This is news to me.''
Likewise, the Rev. Floyd Crider, a past president of the local NAACP chapter, said rumors have existed about such a group and its potential members for years but that no one had ever confirmed those rumors.
''I know there was a small group,'' he said, ''but they never did anything public in the city.''
If the group does exist in San Angelo, it would be the second in the past three years to attract the attention of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is based in Alabama.
The SPLC's Intelligence Project, which tracks hate groups and hate crimes, listed the city in 2002. The League of the South, a southern heritage group that the Intelligence Project classified as being white supremacist, formed a San Angelo chapter in 2001, according to Standard-Times archives.
It is unclear whether that chapter still exists.
The American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan's Web site features a full-screen picture of a burning cross on its introductory page. In a posting on an American White Knights message board, an announcement for the Austin rally under Edwards' name Saturday was titled, ''Texas Rally Against Legal Fag Marriages!''
The American White Knights group has another chapter in Georgia, according to the SPLC report.
A Web site registration search revealed the domain name was created in Georgia; however, the phone number provided by the group started with the prefix ''555,'' an extension commonly used on television and in movies.
Searches for Edwards did not reveal a voting record in San Angelo or that he holds a driver's license with a local address. Likewise, he has no criminal record in Tom Green County and does not own a house in his name, according to searches of county records.
In another post on the message board, Edwards gave a potential applicant a San Angelo post-office box address as a source of contact.
The KKK rally Saturday was dwarfed by a counter-rally put on by the group's opponents.
''Let's meet their hate with love and understanding,'' Glen Maxey, an openly gay former legislator and a leader of the counter demonstration, told hundreds of supporters as they marched toward the Klan event.
Proposition 2 would also prohibit homosexual couples from entering into any legal arrangement ''similar to marriage.''
Maxey, director of No Nonsense in November, an anti-Proposition 2 campaign organization, said Tuesday's vote is important, but changing Texans' minds about discrimination is more important.
An estimated 3,000 protesters showed up during the Klan event, said Austin Police Department spokeswoman Toni Chovanetz. Two people were arrested. One was carrying a club and causing a disturbance, and another was arrested on outstanding warrants, Chovanetz said.
The city blocked several streets to keep members of the public at least a block away from the Klan in all directions. A contingent of 200 police officers - some wearing riot gear and at least one toting a rifle - stood along police barricades and patrolled the area.
Many anti-Klan demonstrators carried yellow daisies, sang peace songs and chanted anti-Klan slogans. Some held banners or signs that said, ''Vote Against Bigotry,'' ''Vote Against the Klan'' and ''Killers, Kowards, Kooks Go Away.''
Austin Mayor Will Wynn and other city leaders had declared Saturday a ''day of tolerance'' and urged citizens stay away from the Klan and do community work instead.
But many came to speak their minds and get a glimpse of a faction of the white supremacist group that got its start in Texas in the 1860s.

Kelley Shannon of the Associated Press contributed to this report from Austin.

I guess she was right....................
  • go here...

  • 2) I agree with Jim Keffer's ( Brownwood's Republican State. Representative ) son, Rob Keffer, and his testimony in Austin against Prop. 2.

    April 05, 2005

    State Rep. Jim Keffer's Gay Son Testifies Against HJR 6

    By Byron LaMasters

    [This post has been edited from the original post to correct an inaccuracy that was brought to my attention.]
    It is interesting how some of the most conservative legislators and elected officials have gay children. Dick Cheney and Alan Keyes are examples of conservative politicians with vocal and out gay children.
    Another incident of a conservative Republican's son or daughter speaking out can was seen here in Texas yesterday. At hr:min 8:13 of the state affairs committee meeting (available in ram format here), the son of State Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland), Rob Keffer stated that he was the gay son of state rep. Jim Keffer and the gay nephew of State Rep. Bill Keffer (R-Dallas) in the hearing on HJR 6.
    State Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland) voted against to table the 2001 James Byrd Hate Crimes Act (PDF format) before ultimately voting for the bill. Keffer has certainly been more moderate on GLBT interests than other politicians and ought to be commended for that. However, I wonder if he will decide to vote for or against the human and civil rights of marriage equality for his son that he has himself?

    Posted by Byron LaMasters at April 5, 2005 12:05 PM | TrackBack

    listen to the testimony here:
  • go here...

  • ---------------

    Note: KXYL Newstalk 96.9 had Republicans Jim Keffer and Tina Benkiser ( Texas Republican Party Chairperson ) as call-in guests on the morning show discussing Prop 2. Tina did an excellent job of using the Fear Based GOP talking points in here presentation ! Wish we could have heard Jeff Gannon/Guckert interview her on this topic instead of KXYL's Jesse & JC ! Now that would make for entertaining radio ! Can anyone say "uncomfortable" ?

    Jeff Gannon
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    James Guckert, a.k.a. Jeff Gannon, a.k.a. Bulldog.
    James Dale Guckert (c. 1958) worked under the pseudonym Jeff Gannon as a White House reporter between 2003 and 2005, representing Talon News. After Guckert came under public scrutiny, in particular for his journalistic background and involvement with various homosexual escort service websites using the professional name Bulldog, he resigned from Talon News on February 8, 2005. He has since created his own official homepage and become a columnist for the Washgington Blade newspaper, where he has come out as bisexual.
    Gannon had previously advertised his services on the internet as a male prostitute "top" at $1200 per weekend.
    Jeff Gannon stayed over on numerous occasions at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. White House overnight trysts were not uncommon, according to Secret Service logs of Jeff Gannon's White House entries and exits, requested by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) using the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). White House logs furnished by the Secret Service show that the fake reporter Jeff Gannon (a.k.a James Guckert) stayed overnight at the White House on many occasions — even when press conferences or briefings were not scheduled.
    Guckert has stated that he obtained frequent daily passes to White House briefings. He attended four Bush press conferences and appeared regularly at White House press briefings. Americablog, a Weblog focusing on gay rights issues discovered Gannon's pseudonym and made public his past history, as Guckert, 'Gannon', and 'Bulldog'. Questions have arisen as to Guckert's relationship with the White House and with the Republican Party. Although he did not qualify for a Congressional press pass, Guckert was given daily passes to White House press briefings "after supplying his real name, date of birth and Social Security number." [1]
    Guckert first gained national attention during a presidential press conference on January 26, 2005, in which he asked United States President George W. Bush a question that contained a factual error, and that some in the press corps considered "so friendly it might have been planted."
    James Guckert is under investigation in the Valerie Plame affair. Democratic Representative Louise Slaughter of New York called for an investigation of these allegations and possibly related incidents where the Bush administration paid pundits to advocate their policies.
    1 Background
    2 Career as a journalist
    2.1 White House press credentials
    2.2 Talon News
    2.3 Controversy
    2.4 Connection to Plame investigation
    2.5 Washington Blade
    3 House Judiciary Committee
    4 White House Logs
    5 See also
    6 External links and references
    6.1 News/comment
    6.2 Talon News

    James Guckert was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity when he attended West Chester University of Pennsylvania in West Chester, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1980.
    Prior to becoming a journalist working for Talon News, Guckert was involved with homosexual pornography and prostitution. Guckert had registered several domain names of a sexual nature, including and Guckert later said that he had registered the domain names for a client who ended up not using them. Many sexually explicit photos of Guckert existed online, with accompanying ads appearing to offer himself as a gay prostitute for clients seeking a military type. To rule out any question as to the nature of his business, Guckert advertised himself as a "top" who is "8 inches, cut." When these ads became public, Gannon commented that these activities were in his "past," however some noted that many of his online gay profiles were still active after he had resigned from Talon News [2].
    These findings had some critics questioning Guckert's sexual orientation. Supporters denounced this speculation as irrelevant, but others said that it revealed hypocrisy on the part of Guckert, his employers, the White House and/or the Republican Party. Opponents noted, for instance, that Guckert made statements in articles that could be perceived as anti-gay or homophobic. During the 2004 election, he wrote that John Kerry "might someday be known as ‘the first gay president,’" and that Kerry had supported "the pro-gay agenda." [3]
    Career as a journalist

    White House press credentials
    Guckert first attended a White House press conference on February 28, 2003, and there asked a question of then White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. At this time Guckert had never had an article published, was not associated with any kind of news organization (Talon News had not been created yet), and was still actively advertising his services as a gay prostitute on several Web sites.
    White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan later claimed that there was no breakdown in security and no one intervened on Guckert's behalf to ensure his access, despite the fact that Gannon/Guckert had been able to get a press pass for the White House using an assumed name. Guckert's response was that the alias Jeff Gannon was a professional name used for convenience, claiming that his "real last name is hard to spell and pronounce," and that the Secret Service was aware of his identity.
    Journalists have pointed out that it can take months to get the kind of clearance Guckert received. Indeed, the Augusta Free Press reported that its acquisition of a single one-day pass was a two-week process. [4] Furthermore, it was said that, highly unusually, Gannon was issued one-day press passes for nearly two years, avoiding the extensive background checks required for permanent passes, and sidestepping Guckert's inability to gain the necessary Congressional press pass. Guckert applied for a Congressional press pass in April 2004 but was denied one by The Standing Committee of Correspondents, a group of congressional reporters who oversee press credential distribution on Capitol Hill, on the grounds that Talon did not qualify as a legitimate and independent news service.[5] On his resume Guckert claimed to be a "graduate of the Leadership Institute Broadcast School of Journalism." However, upon examination this was found to be a two day seminar for "conservatives who want a career in journalism".
    Talon News
    Talon News is a virtual organization (with no physical office or newsroom) owned by the Web site GOPUSA. "Talon News apparently consists of little more than (Robert) Eberle, (Jeff) Gannon, and a few volunteers, and is virtually indistinguishable from," says the Media Matters for America web site [6]. Robert Eberle is the president and CEO of both GOPUSA and Talon News. This has led to charges that Talon News was created specifically to give Gannon a news organization that he could ostensibly represent, to justify his continuing to work at the White House. As of mid-February, 2005, the Talon News website had shut down for an indefinite amount of time, according to the message on that site.
    Many of the articles that were published by Talon News were plagiarized from conservative press releases and the mainstream press. For one story, Guckert copied an entire paragraph word-for-word from an Associated Press article [7].
    The controversy over Gannon's background started after President George W. Bush's January 26, 2005 press conference, at which Gannon asked the president the following question:
    Senate Democratic leaders have painted a very bleak picture of the U.S. economy. (Senate Minority Leader) Harry Reid was talking about soup lines. And (Senator) Hillary Clinton was talking about the economy being on the verge of collapse. Yet in the same breath they say that Social Security is rock solid and there's no crisis there. How are you going to work – you've said you are going to reach out to these people – how are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?
    Guckert's question was ridiculed on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (which dubbed him "Chip Rightwingenstein of the Bush Agenda Gazette") and by a number of liberal bloggers, who considered it an excessively deferential question for a reporter to ask at a presidential press conference. Some also noted that Guckert's reference to Sen. Harry Reid "talking about soup lines" was false, a canard that had apparently originated from a characterization Rush Limbaugh had made on his syndicated radio program.
    After the January 26, 2005 press conference, scrutiny into his background by news organizations and blogs began. On February 8, 2005, Guckert resigned from Talon News and shut down his website Guckert said he was being stalked and his family was being harassed. He has revived his website since that time. claims to have shown Guckert's blog articles to be cut/paste jobs or small edits of existing news stories and press releases.

    read more here: