It’s a big day for Howard Dean and the Democratic National Committee! Chief of Staff Leah Daughtry takes the stand today in the ongoing discrimination discovery hearings. Daughtry allegedly asked former staffer Donald Hitchcock to resign after Hitchcock’s boyfriend, Paul Yandura wrote an open letter criticizing the DNC.
Confused? Yeah, we are, too. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of all the witnesses testifying during the case’s discovery period. Get to know the DNC players, because you may be hearing a whole lot more from them.
Brian Bond: Donald Hitchcock’s successor at the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council, Brian Bond works to build queer support for the party, particularly with regard to fundraising. This isn’t Bond’s first time working within the Democratic National Committee – he previously worked for the since disosolve gay and lesbian outreach, during which time he organized “financial contributions to targeted LGBT clubs.” That outreach, says the DNC, has been “absorbed” into the AMP. Bond, it seems, serves as both GLLC honch and the AMP’s gay representative. Lucky duck!
Bond’s appointment seemed like a perfect fit. The politico worked as the Victory Fund’s executive director from 1997 to 2003, during which time the number of openly gay politicians rocketed from 127 to 228. He and his staff raised over $300,000 for 60 candidates during the 2002 campaign. Bond also worked on Bill Clinton’s 1992 and 1996 presidential elections. No doubt Howard Dean hoped Bond would set the GLLC straight: Brian’s proven and effective leadership will be crucial to our effort to confront the issues facing the Party and the LGBT community. The Democratic Party has a long history of standing against discrimination and standing up for equal rights for every American… Brian will help lead our fight to end the Republican politics of fear and division. Brian wasn’t so sure – he reportedly reached out to Hitchcock and Yandura for guidance on how to keep the DNC’s gay politics from going sour.
Claire Lucas: A central character in the unfolding drama, Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council board Chair Claire Lucas has been grabbing more than her fair of headlines around here. The self-described “investor” raised eyebrows for refusing to testify in the discovery. She also came under fire for murky tax and property records. The Pomona graduate and former National Stonewall Director also sent a series of emails to communications director Karen Finney in which she derides Hitchcock as a “loser” and strategizes on how to best handle the scandal: direct response and “pro-DNC editorials”.
Rumor has it Lucas has a reputation for being difficult. In fact, people have been known to say, “Oh, you’ve been Claired”. We’re not exactly sure what that means, but it sounds painful. Apparently Lucas can afford to be curt: her grandfather invented the overhead projector, or something crazy like that.