Buttigieg claims $7 million in fundraising for 2020 campaign

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Pete Buttigieg claimed a $7 million haul in first quarter fundraising for the exploratory committee for his 2020 presidential bid — an impressive score for an openly gay candidate who was virtually unknown months ago.

Buttigieg announced the figure Monday on Twitter, saying his campaign was “out-performing expectations at every turn.” The fundraising total doesn’t list the number of donors, but a quarterly campaign finance report with more details is due April 15.

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Iowa pollster: Pete Buttigieg strikes chord, could be ‘dark horse’

By : Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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In the aftermath of an Iowa poll this week placing Pete Buttigieg in a surprising third place among other candidates, the political expert behind the data said the gay 2020 hopeful could achieve a “dark horse” victory next year.

Spencer Kimball, a professor in political and sports communication at Emerson College, said the poll marks a distinct change for Buttigieg, who was polling at zero in Iowa just two months ago.

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Members of Congress hang transgender pride flags outside their offices

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) showed their support for the transgender community by hanging transgender pride flags outside their Capitol Hill offices in advance of International Transgender Day of Visibility this Sunday, March 31.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) and Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass) also participated and showed their support on social media.

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Carper wins Democratic primary in Del. U.S. Senate race

By : Blake Chambers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Incumbent Sen. Tom Carper defeated Kerri Evelyn Harris in the Delaware U.S. Senate Democratic primary on Sept. 6, receiving roughly 65 percent of the vote to Harris’ 35 percent. Carper has served as a U.S. senator representing the state of Delaware since 2001. He will be entering his fourth term if he wins the General Election on Nov. 6.

Both candidates received endorsements the week prior to the primary. Harris received an endorsement from the Working Hero PAC on Sept. 3, with the organization contending Harris’ “boldly progressive economic agenda” having the ability to create more jobs and make lives better for all Delawareans. Harris pushed for a minimum wage of $15 and earned sick leave for all workers. In addition to her endorsement from Working Hero PAC, Harris received seven other national endorsements over the course of her campaign from Justice Democrats, Center for Popular Democracy, Our Revolution, Working Families Party, The People for Bernie Sanders, Democracy for America, Demand Universal Healthcare and Progressive Democrats for Delaware.

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Bernie Sanders endorses several progressives ahead of primaries

By : Jeremy Williams
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Sen. Bernie Sanders has achieved rockstar status ever since running in the 2016 presidential election. While he didn’t win, he has maintained that status, so when he rolled into town to speak at a rally for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is running to be the Democratic nominee in the Florida gubernatorial race, it was no surprise that several hundred young, progressive voters turned up at UCF’s CFE Arena for a chance to hear him speak.

Governor-hopeful Gillum, who earned an endorsement from Bernie, spoke about the same values that Bernie campaigned on: affordable healthcare, increasing the minimum wage and equality for all. Before Bernie and Andrew came to the stage, the crowd was greeted by our own proud progressive, feminist, queer, Latinx, Democrat, state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.

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Pelosi, HRC on opposite sides over re-election of anti-LGBT Democrat

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A coalition is seeking to unseat anti-LGBT Democrat Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), but he has support from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Washington Blade photo of Pelosi by Michael Key; photo of Lipinski public domain.

The nation’s largest LGBT advocacy group is spearheading a $1.3 million effort to unseat from Congress a nearly extinct animal — an anti-LGBT Democrat — in an upcoming primary, but that effort runs contrary to the position of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

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A toast and a stumble through 2016, the year we will never forget

By : Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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We could go on and on about our gripes with the letter “P” this year, generally circulating around two terms: “Pulse” and “Politics.” So, indeed, that’s what we’ll do. Though we may have seen some wonderful developments in the year that God forgot, for the most part, many of us are grabbing at straws, trying to make sense of how it is that we descended so deeply, that we became the eye of the target of absolute terror.

Some may say that 2016 was the backlash for all of the gifts we were given by 2015, most notably marriage equality in both state and nation. Others might opine that there is something else going on here with the media, with conspiracies, with a new Cold War. We can’t be certain, but we certainly have each other’s backs, as has been proven by the many acts of kindness that rose up to meet the beast of an election year gone awry and a local community cut to its core. We are not a weak people; we have seen trouble before. But this year owns a special place in our hearts, one we hope that heals over without forgetting those who suffered and those who commandeered offenses that none of us could have been prepared for.

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Uprisings: American Psycho

By : Billy Manes
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It might be a nicer world if we could simply direct our horror in the direction of a singular orange blob of money who barks at babies and has people punched in the gut and carried out of his rallies. Also, words like “nigger,” “faggot,” and their likes – presented here because they were reported in video form by the New York Times from a Trump rally, not because they make for comfortable parlance for anybody with a sane mind – have no business dragging their lexicon carcasses back into the mob rule of a Republican party run afoul.

It would certainly be a nicer election in 2016 if the standard bearers were actually on an even playing field. Sure, down-ticket on Aug. 30, we’ll have our a la carte picks at whom we think best represents our interests in our own local districts and municipal governments. And we should. But when people from the Republican Party are veritably leaping from its caustic platform (“corrective therapy,” anyone?), we have problems enough without having to worry about that ingrown hair that keeps coming back.

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Bernie Sanders supporters protest the Democratic National Convention

By : Michael K. Lavers
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PHILADELPHIA — Bernie Sanders supporters protested July 25 outside the Wells Fargo Center in which the Democratic National Convention is taking place.

Thousands of protesters started marching from Philadelphia City Hall to the DNC.

Check out the videos from our NGMA partners at The Washington Blade.

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Uprisings: Conventional Wisdom

By : Billy Manes
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The time for political walk-and-talks around cubicle boxes and D.C. streets is nearing its preliminary end, Aaron Sorkin, and that momentary pause couldn’t come any sooner. Despite all of the cage-rattling that has been portrayed in the Men-Seeking-Men – er, “mainstream media” – print presses and b-rolls, Democrats have managed to hold it together as best as they can, it would seem. Pragmatism isn’t sexy, but nor is losing.

On July 12, Sanders finally crossed the breach into the wild world of endorsing the Democratic Party’s most electable candidate, Clinton. It didn’t come easy. Our electronic transoms and our friendships have been littered with email/Benghazi/genocide nuances originating from websites that didn’t exist until there was a bone to pick. And for those of us who initially supported Clinton in the 2008 stakes, it’s not an unfamiliar feeling. Things, however, are not as ugly as they may appear in your rearview mirror, though. In fact, level heads have mostly prevailed, give or take a few stand-up-back-turned protests as the Orlando Platform Committee gathered last week to rub sticks together (to make fire, of course) and get the balance right. Politics, especially interparty politics, is not a game of absolutes, after all, and even though there were shouts about Clinton’s vague support of global trade via the Trans-Pacific Partnership, there are too many things that progressives agree on to let negotiable planks end up shattered.

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Issue 23.04: 2016 Primaries

By : Jake Stevens
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#wearewithher: Watermark’s presidential primary endorsement along with some other candidates and races to watch in the coming months, local news, celebrity interviews, and much, much more!

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The tender activist: Why Bernie

By : Scottie Campbell
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scottie campbellWe’ve often heard the phrase “survival of the fittest” bandied about to the point that it is a concept we readily accept. But in his epiphany-fueled book Life’s Operating Manual, comedy film director Tom Shadyac points out Charles Darwin only used this phrase “twice in The Descent of Man but used the word love 95 times.” Darwin actually emphasizes mankind’s ability to cooperate and sympathize as keys to our survival – physically we’re inferior to many beings on the planet, so it stands to reason.

My guess is our most easily accessed emotions, fear and anger, have distanced us from Darwin’s reality. Industrialization and technology have left most of us ill-equipped to survive in actual nature. Through conditioning and training, we have arrived in 2016, collectively, as a reluctantly-huddled mass of selfish fucks.

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