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NOM strategy documents: ‘Drive a wedge’ between black and LGBT voters

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Documents have come to light in a Maine court filing that detail a plot by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to slow the legalization of same-sex marriage by dividing black and LGBT people, according to the Human Rights Commission.

The documents, marked “Confidential,” emerged as part of an investigation by the State of Maine into the conservative organization’s campaign finance activities in the state. In a board report called the “Not a Civil Right Project” for 2008 to 2009, the group discusses its heavy involvement in Proposition 8 in California, it’s goal of blocking attempts by New England states to legalize same-sex marriage, and, most controversially, a plan by NOM to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks.”

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The organization hoped to “(f)ind, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots,” thereby “fanning the hostility” between two groups it sees as “key Democratic constituencies.”

NOM also hoped to target Latinos and prevent the “process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture” from leading Hispanics to “abandon traditional family values.”

The Human Rights Campaign has been watching the campaign finance case closely, with representatives on site in Maine obtaining documents as they are made available at the courthouse. HRC’s Campaign Media Director Kevin Nix told Raw Story, however, that when he read the confidential strategy documents, “My jaw literally dropped.”

Both Nix and BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith have expressed incredulity that NOM would put such nakedly cynical tactics into writing. Another document outlines what it calls “a ‘$20 million strategy for victory‘” in the 2010 elections by painting President Obama as a “social radical” and disseminating anti-LGBT materials to the media.

As unsavory as these tactics are, it is currently unclear whether NOM has done anything specifically that undermines its status as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.  When asked what’s next, the HRC’s Nix said that more findings are expected later today, and that “shining a light” on NOM and “how dirty they play” will be “the best disinfectant.”

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Attempts by Raw Story to reach representatives of NOM were unsuccessful.

(photo by Fritz Liess via Flickr Commons)


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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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