The hits just keep coming for Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean. And when we say “hits,” we mean video of his testimony in the ongoing discrimination lawsuit filed by former gay outreach director Donald Hitchcock.
In case you’re just joining us, Hitchcock claims key DNC leaders conspired to sack him as retaliation for his boyfriend Paul Yandura’s public criticism of the party. Dean denies the allegations, claiming Hitchcock failed to seduce the gays.
This particular video – part of which has been blacked out for its confidentiality – has less to do with Hitchcock’s firing and more to do with the Democratic Party’s alleged inclusion, specifically with regard to the national convention’s contentious gay goals.
Those goals were a compromise, you’ll recall, between gay and black leaders and sprang from DNC donor Garry Shay’s proposed amendment, which would include gays in the party’s affirmative action policy. There have long been rumors that black leaders rallied against the move, and Dean confirms those suspicions in this video. He doesn’t name many names, but does specifically mention Donna Brazile, who many of you may know from her frequent stints on CNN.
Dean convincingly exonerates himself in this video, explaining his role as a mediator, rather than a decision-maker. The former Vermont Governor explains that he took a middle-road position and hoped to bring both sides – blacks and gays – to a reasonable compromise, which ended up being the aforementioned gay goals.
Internal emails obtained by Queerty, however, specifically mention DNC Chief of Staff Leah Daughtry. One gay Democratic activist wrote to current gay outreach guru Brian Bond:
[The Party] needs to shun the divisive politics of people like [Alabama Democratic Party Chair Dr. Joe Reed] and yes Leah Daughtry, whose only loyalty are to themselves an not the Democratic Party or the American Family. They are a cancerous sore who have ailed our operations for too long.
Bond did not respond to those specific charges.
The same activist also suggested that Dean, whom many underestimate, has simply been misled by his trusty insiders:
If you wonder why the vast public perception that Dean is a fuck-up among Congressional Democrats, the LGBT community, the media and most of America, it is because of people who give him bad advice, shield him from reality and act as an albatross around his neck. Imagine what Dean could do if people like Leah [Daughtry] were confronted for their bigotry and fired.
Homophobic charges have long haunted Daughtry, a Pentecostal minister who defines marriage as a man and a woman.
Though the numbers haven’t been totally tallied, an early look indicates that while not all states met their goals – goals Dean describes above as “mandatory” – the party and the Chairman’s efforts have paid off. The national gay delegate goal was 323, but there are already over 350 known LGBT representatives headed to the convention this Denver.
Louisiana, where gay inclusion met some resistance, hasn’t met its mark, but Missouri and Arizona, John McCain’s home base, are surprisingly gay inclusive. With respective goals of three and five, Missouri had a gay goal of three and has nine known homos on its roster, while Arizona whizzed past its goal of five and currently has eleven queer delegates, according to an unofficial count.