Friday, October 31, 2008

POLL: Obama's National Lead Widens Again

The latest average of nationa tracking polls not only show no "tightening" nationally for the presidential race, but and show Obama's chances increasing.

Prop 8 Field Poll Shows Dead Heat (49% No 44% Yes)

The latest Field Poll(pdf) on Proposition 8 was released today on Halloween and the results are scary. The previous Field poll published September 19 had the discriminatory amendment losing 55% No to 38% Yes with 7% Undecided but today's poll has the race much closer, at 49% No 44% Yes 7% Undecided with a margin of error +/- 3.3 percentage points.
The details of the poll internals are below (see the bold sections) but the take-away story is that GETTING OUT THE VOTE is the most important thing we can do between now and Tuesday. Of people who have already voted, we are losing by 6 points but for people planning to vote we are winning by 9 points! To sign up to work the polls on Election Day (as MadProfessah) will be doing, you can go to and sign up.
The relatively close 49% No vs. 44% Yes division of preferences on Prop. 8 masks many sharp splits across various demographic subgroups of the state’s likely voter population.

Democrats are strongly opposing the initiative by a margin of 65% to 28%. Voters supporting Barack Obama for President are even more likely to be opposing Prop. 8 (73% No vs. 21% Yes). By contrast, Republicans are extremely supportive of the initiative, with 75% now on the Yes side and 20% voting No. Supporters of John McCain for President are even more heavily on the Yes side – 84% Yes and 13% No. Voters registered as non-partisans or who are affiliated with other parties are opposing Prop. 8 by a roughly two to one ratio – 60% No and 31% Yes.

There is a huge ideological divide on this issue. Strong conservatives are nearly eight to one in favor of the initiative (87% to 10%), while voters who are strongly liberal in politics take a completely opposite view, with 86% opposing Prop. 8 and just 10% in favor. Voters who say they take a middle-of-the-road position in politics are voting No by eleven points (51% to 40%).

Californians intending to vote early or by mail will likely comprise almost half (47%) of all voters in next week’s election. These voters are narrowly favoring the initiative 48% to 45%. In addition, among the 22% of voters who had already voted at the time the survey was completed, the Yes side was leading by six points (50% to 44%). This differs from the voting preferences of those intending to vote at their local precincts next Tuesday. These voters oppose Prop. 8 by a 52% to 41% margin.

There is a clear geographic divide in voting preferences on Prop. 8. Voters living in the state’s coastal counties, which constitutes 71% of all likely voters, are heavily on the No side, with 54% opposed and 39% in favor. This contrasts with voters living in the state’s inland counties who are backing the initiative, 57% to 37%.

The poll finds women opposing the same sex marriage ban by nine points (51% to 42%), while men are about evenly divided – 47% No and 46% Yes.

All age subgroups under age 65 are opposing Prop. 8 by doubled-digit margins. However, voters 65 and over are strongly in favor of the initiative, backing Prop. 8 by a nearly two to one margin (62% Yes vs. 32% No).

White non-Hispanic voters, who comprise about two-thirds of all likely voters, are currently opposing Prop. 8 by six points – 50% to 44%. Latinos, who comprise about 19% of likely voters, are about evenly divided (48% No vs. 46% Yes). African-Americans and Asians/others hold mixed views about the initiative, with the former narrowly backing Prop. 8 and the latter narrowly opposed. [But the sample sizes are two small to ensure accuracy in the numbers for both Asian-Americans and African-Americans (MadProfessah).]

There are big differences in preferences according to a voter’s education level. Voters with no more than a high school education are favoring Prop. 8 by two and one-half to one (62% to 27%). By contrast, voters who have a post-graduate education are taking an opposite view and are voting No nearly two to one (61% to 33%).

A voter’s religious affiliation also relates to preferences on Prop. 8. Protestants are very much in favor of Prop. 8, with 60% on the Yes side and 33% voting No. Catholics are about evenly divided (48% No vs. 44% Yes). By contrast, voters affiliated with other non-Christian religions or who have no religious preference are heavily opposed to the proposed ban on same-sex marriages.

A very large majority of this state’s voters (78%) say they personally know or work with people who are gay or lesbian. These voters are inclined to be voting No on Prop. 8 (51% No vs. 43% Yes). The much smaller proportion of voters who are not personally familiar with gays or lesbians, on the other hand, are lining up on the Yes side 50% to 42%.

Eye Candy: Nick Youngquest

Australian rugby star Nick Youngquest doesn't seem shy to pose for pictures for the amusement of those who appreciate the male form. The guys at Queerty (and MadProfessah) approve.

New NO ON PROP 8 Ad Features Voice of Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson narrates the new No on Proposition 8 ad, which puts this constitutional amendment in the context of previous shameful discriminatory actions throughout history. The text of the new No on Proposition 8 ad is below
"It wasn't that long ago that discrimination was legal in California.

"Japanese Americans were confined in internment camps.

"Armenians couldn't buy a house in the Central Valley.

"Latinos and African Americans were told who they could and could not marry.

"It was a sorry time in our history.

"Today the sponsors of Prop 8 want to eliminate fundamental rights.

"We have an obligation to pass along to our children a more tolerant, more decent society.

"Vote No on Prop 8 it's unfair and it's wrong."

The text is good and the visuals are strong but the music is very weak! Bring back the fast "Tubular Bells" soundtrack from the Jack O'Connell and Dianne Feinstein ads. It communicates a sense of urgency that strengthens all of the NO ON PROP 8 ads.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

VIDEO: Obama's 30-Minute Commercial

Barack Obama paid $4 million to air a 30-minute "hopeformercial" on seven television networks simultaneously on Wednesday night. If you missed it, the video is available above. NOTE: John McCain's name is not mentioned once. Do you think if McCain had the money (which he doesn't) to air 30-minutes of uninterrupted television advertising that he would not mention Obama?

MadProfessah on KCRW's "Which Way, LA" 89.9FM Tonight!

MadProfessah completes his trifecta of media appearances (the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times) with an appearance on NPR affiliate KCRW at 7pm tonight on Warren Olney's "Which Way, L.A.?" show at 7pm today Thursday October 30.

I'll be talking about Blak people and homophobia and the possible impact of increased Black turnout in California willhave on Proposition 8 passing or failing.

Tune in!

NO ON PROP 8 Needs $3m in 3 Days--Or Else!

Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California and member of the NO ON PROP 8 Executive Committee sent out an urgent email Wednesday reporting that on Tuesday the heterosexual supremacists reported a surge in fundraising. His response is to appeal for $3 million in 3 days (by Friday Midnight).

Yesterday, the other side reported donations of $2.2 million, dwarfing the $255,650 we reported, and called on their donors to contribute another $3 million. With this enormous sum of money they are buying every available ad space on TV in California to blast even more of their hateful lies and prevent our messages from being seen.

Unless we raise $3 million in the next three days we will likely lose.

An EQCA member recently told me that their gift was five times more than they had ever given and suggested that everyone do the same. So today, I am increasing my donation to NO on 8 to $50,000. I’m doing this because I know I must if we hope to win.And I’m asking you to increase your gift too – at whatever amount you can, so that we can match the other side on the air. Please increase your gift today.

Last night the brilliant movie “Milk” premiered at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. The film is a poignant reminder of the ultimate sacrifice Harvey Milk made to advance our rights and how much Harvey, and so many others, gave to stop the Anita Bryant-led anti-gay movement that was sweeping the country and the Briggs Initiative – exactly 30 years ago. It’s now up to us to shape the next 30 years.

Thanks to each of you who have sacrificed in this critical fight for our equality. Please join me in making another gift and asking everyone you know to do the same.

It is that important.

With respect, admiration and appreciation,

Geoff Kors
Executive Director
Equality California

UPDATE: As of 11:30pm on Wednesday October 29th the NO ON PROP 8 and SAY NO ON AMENDMENT 2 websites fighting the California and Florida constitutional amendments to eliminate marriage rights (and domestic partnerships in Florida) for same-sex couples have been under an internet "Denial Of Service" attack which has crippled the sites and clearly limited their ability to raise money online.

However, you can still give money to defeat Proposition 8 via the ACTBLUE website that has been using. We are currently at two-thirds of our goals with only 40 hours remaining until November 1! Please click on the thermometer in the top right and consider giving some amount ($5, $10, $25 or more!) online to preserve equality, particularly to spite the people who deliberately are attempting to sabotage our efforts to raise money online.

REMEMBER: all donations made before November 1 will be matched by MadProfessah!

Protect Children: VOTE NO ON PROP 8!

Marriage Equality To Begin Nov 10 in Connecticut

Joe.My.God has the details of the date which the Connecticut marriage case Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health will go into effect: Monday November 10.

The Hartford Courant report from Tuesday October 28
Figuring out the wording on marriage licenses is just one of many details state and local officials, attorneys, justices of the peace, clergy and others are sorting through as same-sex couples across the state prepare for their weddings — which could come as soon as early next month.


The parties in the case now have 10 days to file motions asking the justices to reconsider their decision. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who defended the state in the Kerrigan case, said Monday that he does not expect any of the parties to ask for reconsideration.

It will then be up to the Superior Court to issue the orders to town clerks and public health departments that give them the go-ahead to distribute marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

[Bennet] Klein [an attorney with Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders or GLAD] said once the new marriage licenses are in place, same-sex couples could start marrying by Nov. 10.

Congratulations to Connecticut! Now, I hope everyone who agrees with that decision will do more than hope that marriage will be available to same-sex couples in California by donating or v0lunteering to defeat Proposition 8!

MTV Networks Joins Fight To Defeat Prop. 8!

Acccording to HRC's Backstory blog, MTV Networks, a subsidiary of VIACOM (the largest media company in the world) and parent of the gay and lesbian cable network LOGO, has come out against California's discriminatory Proposition 8, joining Apple and Google and other good corporate citizens in the Equality For All Business Council.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

VIDEO: Black People Talking About NO ON PROP 8

Courage Campaign Delivers Nearly 17K Petitions To Mormons

Reverend Eric Lee of Southern Christian Leadership Conference joined Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign yesterday in Los Angeles to deliver nearly 17,000 signed petitions urging the Mormon Church to cease and desist its activities to eliminate marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Intrepid openly lesbian reporter Karen Ocamb was there and filed this report:
"We need to stop the Mormon Church from pushing their marriage views
on Californians through the ballot box," Jacobs said. "The Mormon
Church is not welcome to impose its theology on the people of
California. We are galled that the Mormon Church would stoop to lying
in advertisements and condoning blackmail." He called such
intimidation conduct “reprehensible.”

"Anytime one group of people are denied the rights afforded to
another group, it is a violation of civil rights," said Lee. "In this
nation, we enjoy religious freedom. That means no one has the right
to impose a narrow theological view on relationships upon every body
in every situation. Our nation is poised to achieve the dream Dr.
King spoke about. Yet here in California, interests that present
themselves as Christian rally for hatred and division. I oppose
Proposition 8 because it seeks to create a permanent second class of
citizens, something this country cannot afford."
No representative from the Mormon Church was available at their Los Angeles temple to accept the petitions so the Courage Campaign intends to deliver them directly to Mormon Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Another way to keep abreast with information on the Campaign to Defeat Proposition 8 is to follow @NoOnProp8 on Twitter -- and/or if you're not on Twitter, for heaven's sake, join Twitter!

Heterosexual Supremacists Ask For Debate On Prop 8

Frank Schubert, the campaign head of the ProtectMarriage campaign yesterday sent a letter to Steve Smith, the head of the No on Prop 8 campaign proposing a live, 30-minute debate on November 1st or 2nd. This was was Smith's response:

Frank Schubert
Campaign Manager, – Yes on 8
1415 L Street, Suite C-259
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Frank:
Thank you for your letter. It would be a disservice to the people of California to debate an issue
that is completely unrelated to Proposition 8.
As you know:

Jack O’Connell, the state’s top educator and the nonpartisan-elected Superintendent of Public Instruction says Prop. 8 has nothing to do with schools and that your campaign’s use of children to make this false claim is “shameful.”

Delaine Eastin, his predecessor, says Prop. 8 has nothing to do with schools.

Dr. Ted Mitchell, the President of the State Board of Education, says Prop. 8 has nothing to do with schools.

His predecessor, Reed Hastings, says Prop. 8 has nothing to do with schools.

The California Teachers Association says Prop. 8 has nothing to do with schools.

And leading newspapers have concluded Prop. 8 has nothing to do with schools.

The only debate worth having in California is why you have pursued such a deceptive campaign strategy.

That debate is one you can conduct alone – with your conscience.

Steve Smith
Campaign Manager
NO on Prop 8

Today is October 29th, "Write To Marry" Day in the blogosphere. Perhaps, you would like to write a letter to Frank Schubert expressing your views on his campaign to eliminate fundamental rights for gay and lesbian couples?

Newsom Tapes Video Urging Activism To Defeat Prop. 8

Obama Leads In Most Polls of 3 Largest Battleground States

TPM Election Central has an update highlighting the latest polls in the largest states (with the most electoral votes) still at play in the presidential election with 6 days left: Florida (27 votes), Pennsylvania (21) and Ohio (20).


Oct 29 Quinnipiac: Obama (D) 47%, McCain (R) 45%

Oct 28 LAT/Bloomberg: Obama (D) 50%, McCain (R) 43%

Oct 27 Datamar: Obama (D) 49%, McCain (R) 44%

Oct 27 Rasmussen: Obama (D) 51%, McCain (R) 47%

Oct 27 Suffolk: Obama (D) 49%, McCain (R) 44%

Oct 27 Zogby: Obama (D) 47%, McCain (R) 47%

Oct 24 Str. Vision (R): McCain (R) 48%, Obama (D) 46%


Oct 29 Quinnipiac: Obama (D) 51%, McCain (R) 42%

Oct 28 LAT/Bloomberg: Obama (D) 49%, McCain (R) 40%

Oct 28 SurveyUSA: Obama (D) 49%, McCain (R) 45%

Oct 27 Rasmussen: Obama (D) 49%, McCain (R) 45%

Oct 27 Zogby: Obama (D) 50%, McCain (R) 45%

Oct 26 Univ. of Akron: Obama (D) 45%, McCain (R) 41%

Oct 25 Univ. of Cincinnati: Obama (D) 49%, McCain (R) 46%

Oct 24 PPP (D): Obama (D) 51%, McCain (R) 44%

Oct 24 Str. Vision (R): McCain (R) 48%, Obama (D) 45%


Oct 29 Quinnipiac: Obama (D) 53%, McCain (R) 41%

Oct 28 Rasmussen: Obama (D) 53%, McCain (R) 46%

Oct 28 Muhlenberg Tracker: Obama (D) 53%, McCain (R) 41%

Oct 27 Temple Univ.: Obama (D) 50%, McCain (R) 41%

Oct 27 Muhlenberg Tracker: Obama (D) 53%, McCain (R) 40%

Oct 26 Muhlenberg Tracker: Obama (D) 53%, McCain (R) 40%

Oct 25 Muhlenberg Tracker: Obama (D) 52%, McCain (R) 41%

Oct 24 Muhlenberg Tracker: Obama (D) 52%, McCain (R) 40%

Oct 24 Str. Vision (R): Obama (D) 50%, McCain (R) 43%

It should be noted that four years ago John Kerry was blown out in Florida (by nearly 400,000 votes out of 8 million), won Pennsylvania (by 145,000 votes out of nearly 6 million) and barely lost Ohio (by 120,000 votes out of 5.5 million).

Obama only needs to win every state John Kerry won plus 18 more electoral votes in order to win the Presidential election. This could happen by winning either OH or FL or any combination of Iowa (7), New Mexico (5), Virginia (13), North Carolina (15), Colorado (9) in which he currently leads.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Feinstein Cuts Ad To Defeat Proposition 8

Often called "the most popular person in California politics," U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has participated in a tough advertisement as part of the campaign to defeat Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that would eliminate the right to marry for same-sex couples in California if passed by the voters on November 4.

The text of the ad, which is available at is

"In my lifetime, I've seen discrimination. And I see it again in Proposition 8. Proposition 8 would be a terrible mistake for California. It changes our Constitution. Eliminates fundamental rights. And treats people differently under the law.

"Proposition 8 is not about schools or our kids. It's about discrimination and we must always say NO to that.

"No matter how you feel about marriage, vote against discrimination.

"And vote NO on 8."

It's quite an effective piece. Please donate money to the EQUALITY FOR ALL Match by clicking on the thermometer on the right of this page to assure that we can have it run on television as much as possible in the last few days of the campaign.

We are still not at 50% yet of our goal of raising $1000 directly to the NO ON PROP 8 campaign. Can't YOU help with $5 or $10 or $25 today to support equality for all and defeat Proposition 8?

VIDEO: 3 Generations of Black Women Opposing Proposition 8

MadProfessah Endorsements For Nov 4 Election

Finally, the moment you have been waiting for! Here are MadProfessah's endorsements for the November 4, 2008 election. Below are my positions on California's state ballot measures but I also have specific endorsements on City, County and Local Judges available on the web.
Proposition Number (Topic)                            MadProfessah
1A (High Speed Train Bond) YES
2 (Humane Farming) YES
3 (Children's Hospital Bond) NO
4 (Teen Safety Initiative) NO
5 (Non-Violent Drug Offenses) YES
6 (Prison Expansion) NO
7 (Renewable Energy Expansion) YES
8 (Eliminates Marriage Rights) HELL NO
9 (Victim Rights Amendment) NO
10 (Billionaire Renewable Energy Scam) NO
11 (Republican-Favored Re-districting) NO
12 (Veterans' Housing Bond) YES

Have you voted yet? I have!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Anand Has +3 Lead In World Chess Championship Match

Viswanathan Anand, the current World Chess Champion is currently playing a World Championship match in Bonn, Germany against Vladimir Kramnik. The match consists of 12 matches, of which 8 have been played and Anand leads 6.0-3.0. The Gambit blog of The New York Times has excellent coverage of the matches. Anand just needs to draw one of the last three matches to retain his title.

Anand has won Games 3, 5 and 6, primarily through superior opening preparation and typical tactical brilliance. It's pretty surprising for more matches to be won with the Black pieces (which plays second) than the White pieces at the grandmaster (or supergrandmaster) level. The diagram above shows the winning move in Game 5, where Black sacrifices his Knight to get a pawn which cannot be prevented from becoming a Queen. The next few moves would be forced: 35. fe3 fe3 36. (anything!) e2 37. (anything!) e1Q.

Ugly Betty Cast Opposes Proposition 8 (En Espanol)

Combating Homophobia in the Black Community Through Media and Organizing

Attendees at a recent press conference featuring
Black leaders opposed to California's Proposition 8

People for the American Way's eductaional foundation has a long-term project to eliminate homophobia in the Black church and African American communities. In light of this, and the current media interest in Black people and homophobia, it is interesting that PFAW has started a public education campaign that includes airing radio ads on Black stations that directly address marriage equality in the Black community. Below are the scripts for the ads and you can click on the links to hear them:

"Economics 101"
A lot of us are struggling to make ends meet. Soaring gas prices, foreclosures, outsourcing of our jobs. Politicians make bad decisions that we all pay for. But some people are trying to tell us the real threat to our families comes from gay couples trying to get married. Who are they kidding? Not me. It's wrong to support discrimination of any kind.
Click to listen to the ad

I'm excited about the chance for positive change this year. But while we break down the walls that divide, let's not leave any of our brothers and sisters behind. We know that gay people are part of our families and churches, so why would we tolerate them being discriminated against? Who are we to judge? Discrimination is wrong no matter what form it takes.
Click to listen to the ad

"Supportive Dad"
My wife and I have been married for 35 years, and I'm grateful for every day. This year we're celebrating that my baby girl and the woman she loves were able to get the legal protections that only marriage can provide. I think it's wrong for the government to discriminate against loving and committed couples. It's wrong for our community to support discrimination. It's just wrong.
Click to listen to the ad

I think these are excellent and commend PFAW for its work in this area. I wish more liberal institutions were interested in the issues of addressing homophobia in the Black community as well as racism in the LGBT community. I feel that both issues need to be urgently addressed by organizations, and that is one of the main missions of the Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition.

On Saturday November 1 the JRC is hosting a Community Leadership training from 10am-4pm at eth Lucy Florence Cultural Center in Los Angeles for people who are interested in developing skills and obtaining information for how to increase the political power of Black LGBT people in Los Angeles. The cost is a mere $10 to cover food and materials.

MadProfessah will be in attendance! I hope to see you there as well. To RSVP, email VIRSIL'at'

Apple Donates $100k to NO ON PROP 8

Apple, Inc. announced that they are donating $100, 000 to defeat Proposition 8.

Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8.
It feels nice to have both Google and Apple supporting Equality for All, not only in words but in deeds. I'll definitely continue to use my IPhone and gmail!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Obama Speaks To Crowd of 100, 000 in Denver, Colorado

Barack Obama is back on the campaign trail, after visiting his ailing grandmother in Hawaii for 36 hours Thursday and Friday. He spoke to an estimated crowd of 100,000 people in Denver, Colorado on Sunday afternoon. A diary up at DailyKos has the above picture and a few dozen others.

Federer Beats Nalbandian For 3rd Swiss Open Title

World #2 Roger Federer defeated Argentinian David Nalbandian 6-3 6-4 to win his 3rd consecutive title in Basel, Switzerland, the 13-time Grand Slam champion's home town. Federer improved to 10 wins, 8 losses against his arch nemesis from juniors and won his 57th ATO Tour title overall.
After the match, Federer did not say whether he would be playing the Paris Masters, which starts on Monday and his agent announced that Federer would not be playing any exhibitions in 2009 as he concentrates on reaching (and breaking) Pete Sampras' all-time record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles.

YES ON 8 Attempting To Coerce Donations From NO ON 8 Donors

The heterosexual supremacists (primarily members of the Mormon Church) who are proponents of Proposition 8 are beginning to panic now that they are behind in the polls and behind in the amount of money raised with just over a week until election day.

But even MadProfessah was pretty surprised to read these blogosphere reports about the people trying to eliminate gay couples right to marry would stoop to blackmail. Click on the video below to see a local San Diego television station's story about the threatening letters prominent donors to the NO ON PROP 8 campaign have been receiving, demanding donations of equal amounts to their misbegotten cause to write discrimination into the California Constitution. These letters were signed by Mark Jansson, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Chief Legal Counsel for the YES ON 8 campaign.

Online Petition Gains Steam To Reduce Mormon Participation in Prop 8 Fight

The Courage Campaign is promoting this open letter to the head of the Mormon Church, Thomas Monson, to urge him to end his church's involvement with Proposition 8, despite the estimated $20 million Mormons have donated to eliminate the right of gay couples to marry in California, imposing their own religious views of marriage on all Californians. That is simply unfair and wrong.

Dear President-Prophet Thomas Monson,

One of the most cherished freedoms granted to Americans in our Constitution is the freedom to choose our own religious beliefs. It is a freedom we firmly support. But that freedom also brings an obligation on the part of churches to not impose their religious beliefs on other churches, on the rest of society, or to dictate public policy. Under your leadership your church is now actively doing all of the above by supporting the campaign to pass Proposition 8 here in California.

We are particularly troubled that your church is funding television and radio ads that are lying to Californians about the effects of a "No" vote against Proposition 8. We are disappointed that you have chosen to break the Ninth Commandment - "thou shalt not bear false witness." The ads that you have funded bear false witness by not telling Californians that parents actually have absolute rights to remove their children from sex education classes, unlike in Massachusetts.

We ask you to recognize that every education authority in the state has rejected the lies and distortions of the Prop 8 campaign, including the California Teachers Association and the California School Boards Association. We also ask you to listen to a member of your church, Brigham Young University adjunct law professor Morris Thurston, who has called on the Mormon Church to "instruct its members that reliance on misleading and false 'consequences' is not worthy of our basic values of honesty and fair dealing."

We are especially saddened to see your church, which has suffered discrimination and the loss of basic legal rights based on lifestyle and belief in the past, now attempting to do the same thing and take away Californians' rights. We had hoped your church had moved beyond its discriminatory past when you rescinded the ban on African Americans entering the priesthood in 1978. We fully respect your religious freedoms - but your freedoms do not include the ability to take away rights from anyone.

We, the undersigned, call upon you to direct your church to cease funding the "Yes on 8" campaign and to cease all forms of advocacy for Proposition 8. We ask you to stay out of our state's governance. We ask you to respect the religious freedoms of those churches that choose to conduct same sex weddings, just as we respect your church's right to refuse to do so. We ask you to uphold both the spirit and the letter of the California and United States Constitutions and not attempt to eliminate the fundamental rights of Californians.


I urge readers to sign the STOP THE LIES petition.

Obama Raised $36m Oct 1-15, McCain has $24m COH

Late Thursday night the presidential campaigns released their financial statements on activity for the first two weeks of October.

After raising a ridiculously large $153 million in September, Barack Obama fundraising rate slowed down by half as he only raised about a quarter of that amount in half the time ($36 million in 2 weeks), ending with $64 million of cash on hand for the final 3 weeks of the campaign.

John McCain had $24 million of his federal election financing check of $84 million left on October 15, but the Republican National Committee had $60 million dollars in cash on hand for a combined total of $84 million, to spend on electing McCain and other Republicans around the country.

The Democratic National Committee had $31 million of cash on hand for a total of $95 million dollars for the Democrats to spend.

This is the first time in over a decade that Democrats have had more cash on hand to spend at the end of a Presidential election.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


The Los Angeles Times has a front page article in today's California section by reporters Jessica Garrison and Dan Morain which shows that, for the first time, opponents of Proposition 8 have now reported raising more money than the proposition's heterosexual supremacist proponents. According to public records at the Secretary of State's office, The NO ON PROP 8 campaign has reported $31,232,729 while the proponents have reported $27,564,351. This is a remarkable turn-around. Just a few weeks ago, on October 7th the No on Prop 8 campaign was more than $5 million dollars behind ($15 million to over $20 million).

The analysis by The Los Angeles Times shows that NO ON PROP 8 has actually raised less money from inside California ($20.63 million to $22.19 million) than our opponents. In addition, the NO ON PROP 8 side has 36 donors who have given $100,000 or more (including George Lucas, Ellen Degeneres, T.R. Knight, Brad Pitt, Stephen Spielberg, David Geffen etc) compared to just 17 for our opponents. There's a searchable database available on the newspaper's website which allows one to check for what donations have been made to both sides of Propsotion 8.

Some of that money has been contributed by readers like you! We are currently at 41% of our goal of $1000 by November 1. I'm hoping that MY READERS can take us to 50% by donating $90 by Monday. Please remember no donation is too small, $10, $25, $50 are very typical. All donations on willbe matched on November 1, up to $1000. So, please give TODAY.

VIDEO: Obama Tells Voters What He Will Do For YOU If Elected

Murray Wins Madrid Masters Title; Nadal Clinches 2008 #1

Andy Murray followed up his 3-set revenge win over Roger Federer in the semifinals to defeat Gilles Simon 6-4 7-6(6) in the final to win his second ATP Masters Series shield of the year, this time in Madrid. Simon had defeated Rafael Nadal in a 3 1/2 hour, 3-set 3-6 7-5 7-6(6) thriller in the semifinal, who clinched the year-end World #1 ranking.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This Is Why I Am Confident Obama Will Win

This great graphic from DailyKos highlights the change in polling in favor of Barack Obama from September 19th through October 23rd in the eight Big Ten battleground states of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. Obama is now leading stronly (over 50%) in every single one of the battleground states, and several of them have early voting! By election day, an estimated one-third of all Americans will have voted already.
Do you really think McCain can make up the difference in all of these states in a dozen days? I don't.

MadProfessah (Mis)Quoted in Los Angeles Times

Wednesday's Los Angeles Times covered the Tuesday October 21 press conference moderated by Mad Professah at Lucy Florence Coffeehouse in Leimert Park.
A few miles away at Lucy Florence Cultural Center in Leimert Park, a much
smaller group of ministers -- three, as it turned out -- spoke against the
measure. Among their arguments: that African Americans, given their history of
discrimination, should not be taking away rights.

"Same-gender marriage is a civil rights issue," the Rev. Eric Lee, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Council of Los Angeles, said at a recent event.


African American voters could play a crucial role in the fight over same-sex marriage. Though they make up only about 6% of the electorate in California, they are expected to vote in record numbers this election because of Barack Obama's presence on the ballot.

The Yes on 8 campaign is counting on them, arguing that some polls suggest African Americans are generally less open to same-sex unions than other groups.

"They are our strongest supporters," said Frank Schubert, who is managing the Yes on 8 campaign.

But opponents of the proposition say they think that black voters may be more tolerant than many political professionals predict.

"People have this impression that black people in general are more homophobic than the population as a whole," said Ron Buckmire, who heads the Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition, a black gay rights group in Los Angeles.

Both sides, meanwhile, are contending that Obama would approve of their view. That's because the first black presidential candidate of a major party has said that he is against Proposition 8 but has also expressed opposition to gay marriage.
Oy vey! The quote should read: "People have this impression that black people in general are more homophobic than the population as a whole but they have very limited data to support this view."

Oh well, in the last month I have been quoted in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times talking about black people and homophobia. I suppose to complete the trifecta I need to get into the Washington Post.

Prop 8 Polling Analysis Estimates 55% Failure Chance

Polling whiz Nate Silver of analyzes the latest data on Proposition 8 and finds the race very very close, with a 55% probability of Proposition 8 failing. Polling data on propositions is apparently notoriously less reliable, but as shown in the graphic, the trend lines for the NO ON PROP 8 position (the red curve) are not encouraging.

55%-45% is barely better than flipping a coin. Do you want to flip a coin on whether a fundamental right for a minority group of people will be (for the first time ever in California!) eliminated by a majority vote?

However, there is encouraging news that the opposition has closed the gap on fundraising with the proponents. Although 70% of the heterosexual supremacists' money raised since July 1 comes from Mormons, their total has now reached $26.7 million dollars, with the opponents having raised $26.1 million. This is now the most expensive gay ballot measure in history, with more money being spent and raised than all 33 previous state anti-gay ballot measures from 1998 through 2006 combined.

I would remind you that you can donate to defeat Proposition 8 through the match. We are currently at 31% of our goal of raising $1000 before November 1, which will be matched by me. Please click on the thermometer on the right side of the page and donate now. Any amount, $10, $25 or $100 will help to put ads on the air and Get Out The Vote, in the largest field operation the LGBT community has ever put together. Thanks!

Poll Shows 57% Of California Asians Oppose Prop 8

Joe.My.God has highlighted this interesting poll showing that 57% of Asian Americans in California oppose Proposition 8.
The poll found that 57 percent of Asian-Americans likely to vote in the Nov. 4 election oppose Proposition 8, which would reverse May's California Supreme Court ruling that gave gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. Only 32 percent planned to vote yes. Eleven percent were undecided.

Nearly 1,900 Asian-Americans in the state were interviewed by telephone in eight languages from Aug. 18 to Sept. 26. The survey was the largest scientific poll of Asian-American voters ever done — both nationally and in California.


Experts in Asian-American voting trends attribute the unfavorable opinion of Proposition 8 to the ability of gay-marriage proponents to frame it as a major civil rights issue.

Many Asian-Americans have faced discrimination and even, in the case of Japanese-Americans during World War II, been thrown into internment camps. And in the first half of the 20th century many Asian-Americans were subjected to laws that banned them from marrying whites, noted Janelle Wong, a member of the survey's research team who teaches at the University of Southern California.

As a result, many Asian-Americans tend to be more sensitive than other Americans to laws that exclude certain groups, said Karthick Ramakrishnan of UC-Riverside, also a member of the research team.
Today in downtown Los Angeles there will be a press conference promoting Asian American community leaders who oppose Proposition 8.

Prop 8 Ad Hits Back On Lies About Kids and Schools

Finally! The NO ON PROP 8 campaign has issued a new television ad refuting the misleading and blatantly false statements by the heterosexual supremacist proponents of the constitutional amendment to strip the right to marry for same-sex couples in California. They have been running television and radio ads saying that unless Proposition 8 passes, children as young as kindergartners will be taught about gay marriage in schools and parents will be powerless to do anything about it. Sounds scary? To some, yes, but it is simply not true.

The ad features California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, who is also an expected candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2010. Additionally, my former boss (as President of Occidental College), Ted Mitchell, who is now the Chairman of the State Board of Education has signed on to a statement pointing out the California law has no provisions which would require schools to teach about gay marriage or any kind of marriage!

"The Yes on 8 ads are alarming and irresponsible," O'Connell said. "Our public schools are not required to teach about marriage. And, in fact, curriculum involving health issues is chosen by local school governing boards.
No matter how you feel about marriage, we can all agree discrimination is wrong. That's why I'm voting no on 8."

"That ad is wrong. Not one person with any credibility has said otherwise," [former (Republican) State Superintendent of Public Education Delaine] Eastin said. "Prop. 8 is about one thing, pure and simple, and that's taking away civil rights. Prop. 8 isn't about reading school books or teaching, it's about treating people differently - that is the one and only thing on the ballot."

"Prop 8 has nothing to do with education, and the proponents know it," Eastin continued. "Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to attend any health-related class. California law prohibits it."
President of the California State School Board, Ted Mitchell, said: "Let me be clear, there is nothing in California state law that would require the teaching of marriage and that will not change. These ads are ridiculous and they are an insult to California's voters."
Karen Getman, of Remcho, Johansen and Purcell, lawyer for the NO on Prop. 8 campaign and author of the legal brief that resulted in a Sacramento Superior Court Judge ruling that the Yes on 8 campaign's claims are "misleading and false," said: "Nothing in California law requires children to be taught about marriage in public schools. The current ad has the same 'false and misleading' statement about education that the judge rejected this summer."

"There's one thing educators agree on: nothing in Prop 8 has anything to do with schools or children," said Reed Hastings, former president of the California State Board of Education. "Prop 8 is about eliminating rights for our friends, families and colleagues, and that's why I urge all Californians to vote no on Prop 8."

The California Teachers Association and the California School Boards Association both maintain that Prop 8 has nothing to do with teaching in public schools. In addition, education leaders across the state have endorsed the NO on Prop. 8 campaign, including Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education President Monica Garcia, Davis Joint Unified School Board President Sheila Allen and San Francisco Board of Education Vice-President Kim-Shree Maufas.
As an educator myself I find it distressing that education is what the proponents of Proposition 8 have decided to lie about, instead of talking about why they want to enact this constitutional amendment they are simply making stuff up about what will happen if it fails.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Colin Powell Bounce In Polls For Obama?

Former Bush Secretary of State (Five Star General and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) Colin Powell ended months of speculation and vigorously endorsed Barack Obama for the presidency of the United States on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday October 19th.

Since then, the average of the national polls has shown a small movement towards Obama.

African Americans Speak Out Against Prop 8

MadProfessah speaks!

From left to right, Noah's Arc actor Doug Spearman, Reverend Eric Lee (President of the Southern Christian leadership Conference), Reverend Vanessa Mackenzie (Minister, Church of the Advent), Reverend Art Cribbs (Pastor, San Marino United Church of Christ) and Willie Pelote (Vice President, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees).

Mad Professah (in my capacity as Board President of the Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition) was the lead speaker and emcee for the event. Reporter Karen Ocamb and sent around this summary of what the speakers had to say:

Rev. Eric Lee:

“The Southern Christian Leadership Council is the only organization
founded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The entire core of SCLC is
about fighting for justice for all people and against discrimination…
As a result of that – this issue about marriage equality requires
that we speak out against this proposition because anytime any group
of people are denied the right afforded to another group of people,
it is an issue of the violation of civil rights. And we need to be
clear about that.

The difficulty is that you have many who are considered to be clergy,
considered to be Christian, that are not understanding the rights of
people for free choice. And to have the same benefit that any other
people are afforded. The disappointment is that there is an attempt
for people to impose a narrow theological view on relationships upon
every body in every situation. And no one has the right to do that.

So because of that, I, along with the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference – I also spoke with Rev. Lawson who is one of the foremost
theorists and teachers of non-violent opposition to injustice – who
adamantly said this is the right thing for us to do. So we stand on
your side, we will stand with you until justice is rendered until you
are ensured that your rights will never be denied by any group of
people for any discriminatory reason. So God bless you and I’m with

Rev. Art Cribbs:

“….. If I simply based my decision on television commercials, I would
be for Proposition 8. But those commercials lie. The information
that’s being presented on television, even from a law professor at
Pepperdine University, are all based on lies, not facts.

First of all, this is not about children and protecting children. The
language in Proposition 8 that is put on the ballot has to do with
marriage between a man and a woman. I’m opposed to Proposition 8
because to put discriminatory language in the California
constitution….(garbled on my tape, sorry)…Although we have
discriminated against persons because they’re Chinese, Japanese,
Latinos, we have not put discriminatory language in the state
constitution. And in the 21st century, it is not a move forward to
begin putting discriminatory language in the state constitution.
So I oppose Proposition 8 on that.

I personally oppose Proposition 8 because I know what it feels like
to have someone else tell me who I should be married to. I know the
pain of that. I know the suffering that comes with that. I do not
believe it is right for a third party detached and not involved
dictating who should love whom and how that relationship should be
formed. I oppose Proposition 8 on its face.

And then, finally – theologically. My faith tells me to treat people
the way I want to be treated. To do no harm to anyone. I have heard
people say, ‘I am hurt by the language of discrimination that is
being proposed for the California state constitution.’ If don’t want
to feel the pain, then I am obligated not to impose pain on someone
else. And so I oppose Proposition 8.

The United Church of Christ opposes Proposition 8 ….there is no
reason for any one to support Proposition 8 if they have a concern
for others and if they do not want someone to dictate their
relationship – that it is inappropriate to legislative the dictation
on someone else.”

Rev. Vanessa Mackenzie (who’s from South Africa):

“I moved to this country eight years ago and I am horrified that now
they want to put into the constitution that it is right to
discriminate….We are all human, created in the image of God and all
of us, in our own unique ways, reflect that image. And if we say yes
to Proposition 8, we are distorting and destroying the image of God
in our gay brothers and sisters.”

Willie Pelote:

“….Let’s be clear. What Prop 8 is designed to do is to take away the
rights that gays and lesbian have worked for over the years and
should be guaranteed under the constitution, not denied…

[It’s important to] get word out on how people should vote on Prop 8
– it s no on Prop 8 . it’s discriminatory. Its un-American, it’s
unpatriotic. It’s against the will of the people in the great state
of California. And let’s think of the Mormon Church – and if God was
given the right to protect everyone of his children and if you’re
against that, you’re against god and we’re against you….

Prop 8 is bad for California…Prop 8 is about outsourcing people’s
rights and discriminating against them in everyday life. The American
Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees – the largest
public union in this country – and 175,000 strong in the state of
California – will stand with you until justice prevails. We will
never, ever give up and allow someone to put in the constitution
discriminatory langue against anyone in our society.”

Doug Spearman:

“….We can now get married in the state of California. But we have to
be vigilant and protect that right. And be constantly awake and aware
and fight for something the state constitution is built to protect.
They want to dismantle that in order to take away something from us.

When the Supreme Court authored its opinion, it effectively wiped
away not just discrimination against gays and lesbians. They wiped
away discrimination in the state of California in a way that it had
ever been addressed before. They did a brave and beautiful thing,
making our lives safe making our lives accountable, our lives worthy,
making our lives important in this state. We held up a light in
California that shines on the entire nation. We held up a light that
is a beacon for truth and honor and dignity and respect so that every
other state has a responsibility to turn towards or turn away from….
This isn’t just the right to marry….this is a civil right. It is the
beginning. So if they’re going to take away this right, what right
other rights are they going to take away?"

Asked about the concern that African Americans who show up to vote
for Barack Obama, especially young people who haven’t voted before,
will vote Yes on Prop 8 – the participants all said that the youth
must be told that “Barack Obama would vote No on Proposition 8 – so
you should, too
The event happened at the Lucy Florence Coffeehouse in Leimert Park near Crenshaw and 43rd Street in South (Central) Los Angeles.

Prominent Bloggers Call On Obama To Promote His NO ON PROP 8 Position

Andrew Sullivan looks at the cross-tabs of the latest SurveyUSA poll on Proposition 8 showing a deadlocked 45% No-48 Yes (margin of error +/- 3 points) and notices that African Americans support the discriminatory amendment to strip the right to marry from gay couples by a 20 point margin. The blogger (and Obama supporter) calls on the Democratic presidential candidate to start making his opposition to Proposition 8 more widely known:

As expected, one reason Proposition 8, stripping gay couples of marriage equality, is still viable in California is because of strong African-American support. Black Californians back the anti-gay measure by a margin of 20 points, 58 - 38, in the SUSA poll. No other ethnic group comes close to the level of opposition and black turnout is likely to be very high next month.

All this makes it vital, in my opinion, that Barack Obama strongly and unequivocally oppose Proposition 8 in California, rather than keeping mainly quiet as he has done so far. We need him to make an ad opposing it. This is a core test of whether gay Americans should back Obama as enthusiastically as they have in the last month. If he does not stand up for gay couples now, why should we believe he will when he is in office? And if black Americans are the critical bloc that helps kill civil rights for gays, that will not help deepen Obama's governing coalition. It could tear it apart.

Memo to Obama: make an ad. Speak loudly. Defend equality. Defend it when it might actually lose you some votes. Show us you are not another Clinton..

"As expected"? Sullivan continues to promote the unfortunate meme that the Black community is more homophobic than the rest of the population. This is a very contestable point.

While it is true that Black people are currently 10 points higher in support of Proposition 8 than the entire population in this poll, they are only 6% of the poll sample and thus have an inverse square-root proportionately higher margin of error. In other words if the margin of error is +/- of 3 points for the entire poll of 1000 adults (879 registered to vote). For African Americans this is a sample size of 52 people! That corresponds to a margin of error of about 18-19 points. It is meaningless to look at the cross-tabs of a poll unless those smaller samples have been oversampled to reduce the margin of error to a similar size of the full sample.

Other bloggers like Political Animal Kevin Drum who now blogs at Mother Jones agrees with Sullivan that Obama should promote his opposition to Proposition 8. His commenters (and MadProfessah) disagree.

To me, if there's any chance that promoting his position on Proposition 8 would damage his chances of winning the presidency, then he should defer doing so. That being said there are things his campaign could do to help defeat Proposition 8.

For example by donating $1 million dollars (of his close to $150 million in cash Obama for America has on hand right now) to the California Democratic Party who could donate it to the NO ON Prop 8 campaign.

In addition, Obama will be on Ellen Degeneres' talk show again today, and he should re-iterate his previously announced position of being against Proposition 8, against marriages for same-sex couples and against a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage while he is FOR a repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

He could also cut an ad for the NO ON PROP 8 campaign, which they could release on the final weekend of the election if he is 8-10 points ahead in enough states to guarantee him 270 electoral votes, however it is doubtful (but not completely out of the question) that Obama will be that far ahead on November 1.

Poll Shows Statistical Dead Heat On Prop 8

Joe.My.God has this post up highlighting the Wall Street Journal's coverage of the increased support in the polls for Proposition 8, the ballot measure sponsored by heterosexual supremacists that would amend the California constitution to strip the right to marry from same-sex couples.

The latest SurveyUSA poll from October 17 shows the Yes vote at 48% and the No vote at 45% with the margin of error +/- 3 percentage points.

In addition, the Knights of Columbus, the Ohio-based Catholic charity who earlier donated one million dollars to promote Proposition 8, released a new poll yesterday showing the Yes vote at 52% and the No vote at 43%.

Please donate to the match to defeat Proposition 8! As you can see from the thermometer, we are at 20% of our goal, which is to raise $1000 for the NO ON PROP 8 campaign by November 1.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Future President of the United States?

Democrats have large cash advantage over Republicans

Taegan Goddard's Political Wire is reporting that John Mcain's campaign spent $37 million in September, and thus had $47 million to spend starting Oct 1 for the final 5 weeks of the presidential campaign.

Barack Obama had $133.6 million on hand as of October 1. The DNC had $27.4 million for a Democratic total of $161 million. The RNC had $77.6 million for a Republican total of $124.6 million.

That's a cash advantage of $36.4 million for the Democrats.

Democrats have never had a cash advantage over Republicans going into a national election before.

Seems to me that the Democrats could make a significant contribution to help defeat conservative ballot measures in the states, like Proposition 8.

Monday, October 20, 2008

VIDEO: New YES ON 8 Ad Continues Lying About Prop 8

Venus Wins Zurich Title; Rises To World #8

Venus Williams defeated Flavia Pennetta 7-6(1) 6-2 to win the Zurich Open on Sunday. She will rise to #8 in the WTA Tour Rankings, and will likely qualify for the Tour Championships which start in Doha in two weeks.

Obama Polling Lead Relatively Constant

The average in the daily national tracking polls now shows a 6.3 point lead for Obama over McCain.

Obama Raises Record $150 Million in 30 Days

The word is now out. Barack Obama reportedly raised $150 million dollars in September, more than doubling the record amount of $66 million his campaign had raised the month before.

The average donation was under $100 and more than 632,000 new donors were added to the Obama for America donor list, bringing that total to over 3 million individual donors. Obama has raised over $600 million dollars since his campaign begain in February 2007, which is more than all the money raised by both major party candidates in 2004.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

VIDEO: Obama Tells Awesome Jokes!

Joe.My.God has this video up at his site. Both Barack Obama and John McCain were in New York City for a gala dinner at the Waldorf Astoria. Obama roasts McCain (and every New York politician) in this 10-minute riff. Watch the whole thing!


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