An update on the effort to replace Bayh on the ballot in Indiana. The Indiana Dem Party State Central Committee must meet to pick to pick a nominee. There are 32 voting members. According to a friend who is close to the process in the state, the vote technically doesn't have to happen until June, but they are expected to pick by next week- and if it's a House member, someone would have to start campaigning for that person's House seat. All that incentivizes a quick process, as the Dem Party Chairman commented to the Indy Star:
"The sooner the better," Indiana
Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker said.
Here's the problem. Multiple sources, including the Star and TPM, are reporting that Rep. Brad Ellsworth is under consideration.
Ellsworth, as many of you know, is a Blue Dog who voted against the stimulus package, voted for Stupak, voted against federal funding for stem cell research three years ago, voted for the GOP motion to recommit on health care reform. Yes on FISA, Yes on the bailouts, Yes on the war supplemental, No on Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009. As Taniel pointed out in Quick Hits this morning, he is as far to the right as you can get for a potential Senate Democrat. He's a virtual Parker Griffith, the right-wing Democrat who just switched parties.
Yet that's not all. Over at HuffPo, Bil Browning, a Hoosier based in Indianapolis who publishes The Bilerico Project, and whose partner, Jerame, is on the leadership of the Indiana Stonewall Democrats, has a piece this morning documenting how much Ellsworth has thrown LGBT people under the bus. He was one of just 15 Democrats to vote against the Matthew Shepard Act on hate crimes last year, and when asked by Bil about it later, he actually said he didn't want to stand up for equality because of how it would look to his district. Despite voting for ENDA on the floor several years ago, he voted for the Republican motion to recommit immediately prior that would have killed the bill. He's not a co-sponsor of the current version and has not announced his support. He has not announced a position on Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal. He's not only against marriage equality, he voiced support for the Federal Marriage Amendment, which was voted upon before he was elected. He's not publicly in favor of any other pro-LGBT legislation. In other words, not only are there Republicans in the House who are better than him, but according to HRC's scorecard, Republican Sen. Lugar doubles Ellsworth's 30% record with 60%- and Evan Bayh triples it at 90%. The "Indiana's too conservative" argument doesn't fly.
Now, Parker, the Chairman, says he wants a consensus nominee:
Still, he said he wanted the party to
coalesce around one candidate before he
calls a meeting of the central committee.
"Whoever this nominee is," he said, "they
need to have the entire party behind
Great. If that's the case, then Ellsworth cannot be the candidate. In fact, several of the rumored candidates are anti-equality, and we need a pro-equality candidate. Indiana Stonewall Democrats have a seat on the State Central Committee. No anti-equality nominee could ever have the entire party behind him. Stonewall Democrats has a petition to Parker on this. Please sign and share with your friends. Remember you can use our new shareable links to do so on Facebook, Twitter and other sites, as well, with just a click.
Side note: One question raised is "wouldn't all Dems within the realm of possibility be virtual Republicans?" Not quite. Baron Hill scores better on LGBT issues, and is somewhat better on a wider range of issues as well, as Taniel demonstrates. I'm also told former Sec of State Joe Hogsett, who is also rumored to be in the mix, would be better on LGBT issues at least. Bottom line is that Ellsworth is the worst.