Tuesday, February 05, 2008

What's a girl to do?

The Minnesota Caucus starts in just about 3 hours and I'm still vacillating between Obama and Clinton (That's Rocco Bama to you, CoryQ). I'm frantically listening to debates and reading interviews and researching online looking for the perspective that is going to be the tipping point one way or another for me. Regardless, one of them will be getting my vote for President come November.

UPDATE (02/05/08 9:20 pm): I settled on a candidate and attended my caucus. I stayed for the elections of the Senate delagates and resolution proposals to the MN DFL party issues. It was inspiring to go to the caucus tonight. It was packed! Standing room only in the elementary school cafeteria. It was great to look around at my neighbors and see the great turnout. I've never participated in a caucus before, coming from a state (MI) that has primaries. Of course, Michigan democrats didn't really get a primary this year, but that's a whole other issue.

I called my parents to tell them about it. They knew I'd been wavering on who to cast my vote for. At one point, my dad said, "You don't have to tell us who you voted for if you don't want to, it's private." When I was little, my mom always took me with her when she voted and let me come into the booth with her. This was in the days where the booths had curtains and levers, which I loved. I know some places still use the old booths with the cloth drapery and manual levers, but I've never used one. I've always had the cardboard booth and the scantron ballot. I remember once accompanying my grandfather when he went to vote. When I tried to follow him into the cloaked booth, he scolded me harshly, telling me that his vote was private. He died when I was in second grade, and it is one of my strongest memories of him.

The caucus process can turn that whole idea of the private vote on it's head. It feels like democracy at its purest. The straw pull for the presidental race was private, like a primary. Had we had more nominees for senate delagates than we had allotted slots, we would've gone through the more traditional process of declaring what candidate you support and defending and debating that position to determine the number of delegates. We still had several debates and open votes on resolutions and precinct chair nominations. There were also several motions for changing the process itself to suit the needs of the precinct members in attendance. The whole idea had made me a little nervous going in, but it was also exciting. But I'm still not telling you who I voted for! At least not right now on the blog.

I live in Minneapolis Ward 6, Precinct 2. I am recounting these numbers from memory, so they may be a bit off. What I can tell you for certain is that just over 900 people voted, Obama's votes were in the 700s, Clintons in the 100s. The numbers for Kucinich, Edwards and Uncommitted are exact.

Obama 702
Clinton 186
Kucinich 6
Edwards 1
Uncommitted 7


Aust said...

I hope you had read this open letter to the GLBT community from Hillary. She loves the queers.

Schmiddy said...

What did you decide?

coryq said...

Rocco and me, we hang out!

I'm glad you were part of the process!

I'm not going to ask you whom you voted for. That is your business and I respect that. Our discussion the other day made clear my preference.

chinesetwine said...

Hillary speaks out against "Don't Ask Don't Tell" but it was her husband that facilitated that measure. Granted, at the time it was a compromise but since I'm backing Obama, selfishly I am mentioning it. Also, Obama isn't anti-queer in any way. After the Donnie McClurkin incident, Obama released this statement:
A Call for Full Equality

Over the last several weeks, the question of GLBT equality was placed on center stage by the appearance of Donnie McClurkin at one of my campaign events. McClurkin is a talented performer and a beloved figure among many African Americans and Christians around the country. At the same time, he espouses beliefs about homosexuality that I completely reject.

The events of the last several weeks are not the occasion that I would have chosen to discuss America’s divisions on gay rights and my own deep commitment to GLBT equality. Now that the issue is before us, however, I do not intend to run away from it. These events have provided an important opportunity for us to confront a difficult fact: There are good, decent, moral people in this country who do not yet embrace their gay brothers and sisters as full members of our shared community.

We will not secure full equality for all GLBT Americans until we learn how to address that deep disagreement and move beyond it. To achieve that goal, we must state our beliefs boldly, bring the message of equality to audiences that have not yet accepted it, and listen to what those audiences have to say in return.

For my entire career in public life, I have brought the message of GLBT equality to skeptical audiences as well as friendly ones. No other leading candidate in the race for the Presidency has demonstrated the same commitment to the principle of full equality. I support the full and unqualified repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. While some say we should repeal only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether. Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples. I will also fight to repeal the U.S. military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, a law that should never have been passed, and my Defense Department will work with top military leaders to implement that repeal.

As President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples – whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage. I will also place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. I have supported fully inclusive protections since my days in the Illinois legislature, when I sponsored a bill to outlaw workplace discrimination that expressly included both sexual orientation and gender identity.

That is where I stand on the major issues of the day. But having the right positions on the issues is only half the battle. The other half is to win broad support for those positions. And winning broad support will require stepping outside our comfort zone. If we want to repeal DOMA, repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and implement fully inclusive laws outlawing hate crimes and discrimination in the workplace, we need to bring the message of GLBT equality to people who are not yet convinced.

That’s why I brought this message of inclusiveness to all of America in my keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention. I reiterated that message in the speech announcing my candidacy for President. Since beginning my campaign, I have been talking about GLBT equality on the stump, from rural farmers to Southern preachers. Just as important, I have been listening to what all Americans have to say in return. I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all GLBT Americans. But neither will I close my ears to the voices of those who still need to be convinced. That is the work that we need to do if we are going to move forward together. It is difficult. It is challenging. And it is necessary.

The American people have been poorly served by two terms of an administration that seeks to manipulate us through fear: fear over national security, fear over immigrants and fear over gay and lesbian couples in loving relationships. Americans are yearning for leadership that will put an end to the fear mongering and instead begin empowering us once again to reach for the America we know is possible. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of GLBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that appeals to the best parts of the human spirit, rather than the worst. Together, we will achieve real equality for all Americans, gay and straight alike.

Schmiddy said...

Me again...totally respect your wishes to keep your vote private. I am very glad you enjoyed the caucus process - it's certainly unique and sometimes exhilarating. As for GLBTers, Hillary Clinton isn't Bill Clinton. Besides, none of the candidates are all that swell on GLBT rights period. Some are better than others, but none of them are exactly leading the charge for equity. :)

chinesetwine said...

I agree with that totally. It's really too bad.

Smitty said...

Well, its nice to see that I'm not the only one torn between two great candidates, unwilling to share her vote online and still questioning whether she made the right decision. I love Margaret Cho.