Saturday, September 30, 2006

Response of Equality Maryland to Crablaw's Critique of Endorsements in MD-Sen 20 and 21

Cross-posted at Crablaw Maryland Weekly.

I received an email response from Dan Furmansky, the Executive Director of Equality Maryland, to my critiques of Equality Maryland's endorsements posted at Crablaw Maryland Weekly and at Free State Politics. The following is Mr. Furmansky's email verbatim.
Jamie Raskin is a strong friend of Equality Maryland and we’re going to have a great relationship with him. After all, he came to Annanpolis to testify against the constitutional amendment at our request. He’ll be an exceptional senator. But Ida Ruben, who was a senator for a long time, as you know, was always a friend to our community. She, too, is pro-marriage, and she has even sponsored bills at our request, most recently in 2005. Regardless of where Jamie and Ida may have stood on other issues or their personal approaches, all things considered, Equality Maryland PAC stands by our endorsement of Ida Ruben based upon our guidelines for endorsement.

Sen. Giannetti received an award from Equality Maryland for his exceptional work on the hate crimes bill in 2005, which he sponsored. He played an important role in assuring that transgender individuals are included in our statute. He has also spoken out against a constitutional amendment. Jim Rosapep[sic] will be a strong ally when elected, but be aware that he fared no better on his questionnaire than Sen. Giannetti, and Rosapep[sic] was not – on his questionnaire -- pro-marriage, nor was John decisively anti-marriage.

That said, we are very concerned about the LGBT community being used as a political wedge in this race, regardless of whether or not the statements have come from Sen. Giannetti or anyone on his campaign. We expect him to disavow the statements, and barring that, will consider rescinding the endorsement.

Stay tuned.

Dan Furmansky
Executive Director
Equality Maryland


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...Equality Maryland PAC stands by our endorsement of Ida Ruben based upon our guidelines for endorsement."

begs the question of what exactly are Equality Maryland's guidelines for endorsement? Seriously, I mean, we hear about some of these groups that are just adjuncts of one party or the other, or about those whose decisions are made based on the connections of their directors, so maybe the voters should be able to know what these groups who try to influence our votes base their endorsements on.

9/30/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Terry in Silver Spring said...

What weight do you all think that endorsements from groups such as Equality Maryland have? Large organizations with many members can certainly swing elections on a local or sometimes even state level, but is an endorsement from a small-ish, single topic PAC enough to sway a critical number of voters?

10/02/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Bruce Godfrey said...

The small size of the district could make a small endorsement seem big, in my view. On the other hand, I don't claim to know.

10/02/2006 05:14:00 PM  

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