Latest Dean Deposition Addresses DNC’s Internal Gay Delegate Feud

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.

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  • Trenton

    Yeesh. That was a tough deposition but I think Dean actually handled it with aplomb. Still, it all boils down to the fact that even when the DNC has a chair that wats to be gay inclusive (and I think he does) he’s still impotent in the face of certain bigots within the ranks.

    And the resident bigots on this board are certain to have a field day with that prospect… :\

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    Just don’t put up a pic of Leah Daughtry as my retinas can’t take it. If Obama loses, her face will be plastered on the National Enquirer as the hatemongers who lost a winnable election. If Leah thinks that she will get a plum job in an Obama White House, she needs to have her head read (for more than her homophobia and the fact that her head does look like a crystal ball) Maybe, she and the Rev can go on a speaking tour but that would help McGroan too much. Just throw her out the DNC with the rest of the garbage.

  • M Shane

    There should have been distinct efforts in the first place to eliminate any questionably tolerant blacks. The dem party is inclusive. You can bet that no gay person spouting niger this and that wouldn’t get far in the organization. There should have bee bno tolerance.

  • Stormny

    Scarey. How can full civil rights for gays ever be “offensive to the civil rights movement”?

    Offensive to the civil rights movement !!!! Offensive to blacks?

    How is this happening?

  • I think that Dean was lying....

    Sorry, but Dean’s insistance that he “mediated” between the two sides to come to an acceptable compromise is completely inconsistent with his declared lack of knowledge of penalties if goals aren’t met — and acts as if he doesn’t know that there are no penalties if no goals are set.

    And I’d really like to know if Dean would “mediate” if Shays had offered a plan that removed African-Americans from Rule 6; Dean’s whole thing is that he found a middle ground between two “extreme” positions between inclusion of LGBTs under rule 6 and ‘no change’…would he have felt equally compelled to find a middle ground between exclusion of African Americans from Rule 6, and ‘no change?’

  • Kim Hunter

    I’m proud to see Arizona doing so well with the glbtq delegate count! I’m happy to be a part of that tradition. As the first openly queer member of the delegation from Arizona to attend a National Democratic Convention (SF in 1984), I’m glad to see Arizona among the leaders in state counts. My new home state of Hawaii isn’t doing so well, but I read the Democrats in Hawaii are sending their first glbtq delegate this year. Oh, Well! It’s a start! Keep up the good work, AZ!

  • glennmcgahee

    For the record, its been all over for awhile, but I want to add the demon’s name to this story. That name is Donna Brazille, known for her lying stints on CNN as an undeclared delegate and bigot. It was she who wanted to make sure that gays were not included in any Civil Rights platform because it would be offensive to the evangelical Afro-American, Donnie McClirkin loving types.

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