Texas ‘bathroom bill’ may shape 2018 GOP primary campaigns

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Though “bathroom bills” targeting transgender people fizzled in deep-red states across the U.S., the issue is still white hot in Texas, where the Legislature is heading into special session prepared to revive it and conservative groups are vowing revenge on Republican lawmakers who don’t approve it.

Whether Texas eventually enacts a law requiring transgender people to use public restrooms according to their birth-certificate gender, the issue is looming large over Republican primaries set for March. Powerful business entities, from Apple to the NFL, oppose such a bill as discriminatory, but insurgent candidates have promised to brand lawmakers who dare reject it, or try to remain neutral in the face of so much outcry, as soft on social issues dear to conservatives.

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Uprisings: Diminishing returns

By : Billy Manes
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Though anyone who is taking the time to read this missive understands that this writer’s cynicism weighs more than two heavy bricks in two large pockets, the fact that the Aug. 30 primary only drew a 20 percent crowd in Orange County – and a similar number in Pinellas County – is a bit of a kick in the teeth. In some ways, I’ll take the blame. I was asked by numerous voters who to vote for, but I didn’t have the time to just throw numbers and precincts in their faces. I also didn’t, perhaps, do my due diligence in making that clear.

In a primary, in a gay paper, we don’t generally parse details. You’re with us, or you’re against us. We aren’t going to vote Republican, generally, so there’s that (sorry about your logs). The pols that have been with us were very clear in their messaging, and we likely profiled them in the past. The ones who are against us? Well, there aren’t enough ticks in a clock for us to deal with them at any reasonable length. So, on one hand, I’m issuing an apology. If any news source should be standing and screaming into the district-depths of individual primaries, it should be us, mine, the one that I edit. On the other hand, these are small towns and there are a lot of voices, many of which are familiar with my contact information, so I didn’t want to sink into the quicksand of political gamesmanship. In fact, because of social media, I did make some personal comments on personal pages, and I may have overstepped and come off as a dick.

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Openly gay Republican wins Arizona GOP primary

By : Staff Report
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Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu defeated four other Republicans in his bid to be the GOP nominee for the First Congressional District in Arizona Aug. 30. He’ll face Democrat Tom O’Halleran in the general election.

Babeu secured more than 31 percent of the votes, compared to his closest challenger— Gary Kiehne with 23 percent.

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Watermark endorses Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primary

By : Billy Manes
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The bluster was all there in Orlando on Feb. 17, as it typically is at Democratic political events held in union offices. There was a violinist, there were stilt-walkers and there were numerous names and faces often associated with the local liberal machine. There was also a cheering squad of three shouting things like, “When I say madam, you say president!” It was all in the name of advancing Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in Florida, of course. Clinton has been opening offices throughout the state in the past weeks, eliciting hyperbolic statements of support. When statements like, “She’s a hard-nosed candidate who can get things done,” are thrown around by union leaders, it’s hard not to notice.

The battle is on.

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Eyeing History

By : Steve Blanchard
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St. Petersburg – On Tuesday, Aug. 27, voters in St. Petersburg could take the first steps toward adding two openly gay women to the City Council’s roster. Both Darden Rice and Amy Foster are seeking the District 4 and District 8 seats, respectively. If they survive the primary, both would go on to the general election in November.

If they win there, they could join Steve Kornell on the council. Kornell became Pinellas County’s first openly gay elected official when he won his first term in 2009.

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