Archive for June 11th, 2008

The Washington Post‘s Jonathan Capeheart warns of the potential trouble with an Obama-Nunn ticket, seen as a significant problem with gay fundraisers over Nunn’s involvement in the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell controversy in 1993.

When Bill Clinton sought to keep his 1992 campaign promise to end the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, he met strong resistance in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill. Nunn, one of the most adamant opponents, led a series of hearings that were stacked against ending the prohibition. Critics noted that Nunn held more hearings about and spent more time on gays in the military than he had on the defense budget or even the Navy’s Tailhook sexual harassment scandal.

Already, the prospect of an Obama-Nunn ticket does not sit well with some prominent gay Democratic fundraisers. “It would without question irrevocably diminish my enthusiasm for the democratic ticket,” a longtime Clinton supporter told me in an e-mail. “Sam Nunn not only opposed [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s] rights to serve in the military, he viciously campaigned against it.”

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TowleRoad: Norway’s parliament has granted same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children, and granted lesbians the right to be artificially inseminated:

“After a heated debate, the members of parliament adopted the text by a vote of 84 to 41. The three centre-left coalition parties in power and two opposition parties, the Conservatives and the Liberals, voted largely in favour of the law, while the Christian Democrats and the far-right Progress Party voted against it. ‘This decision is of an importance comparable to universal suffrage and our law on parity,’ Labour Party rapporteur Gunn Karin Gjul said during the debate. The most controversial part of the law is that which gives lesbians the right to be artificially inseminated. The sperm donor must be identified so that the child can seek out his or her biological father at the age of 18.”

Tuscaloosa News: Gov. Bob Riley said today that he warned Don Siegelman against politicizing the corruption case that eventually ended with the former governor in prison.

“I actually went to Gov. Siegelman, I told him — I looked him straight in the eye — and I said ‘You can go out here and demagogue this, you can say what ever you want to say, but I want to tell you, I have never had a conversation with anybody about your case, and I never will do it,’” Riley said of a meeting before Siegelman went on trial for corruption in 2006.

Siegelman was convicted and served nine months in prison before being released earlier this year while he appeals the rest of his more than seven year sentence. Riley, speaking on camera for a segment of the Tuscaloosa News’ Town Hall Web cast, said the confrontation came in the old Alabama Capitol during a ceremony they both attended.

“It was before [Siegelman’s trial] because he was saying ‘This was a Republican conspiracy,’” Riley said. “And I told him, I said, ‘Look, you might [win] the case, I don’t know. But I’m going to tell you, just so you know, and you know that I know that you know, that there is nothing that I have ever done personally, there is nothing that my family has ever done to you or said about you,’” the governor said.

“‘Now you can keep going out and saying Riley’s doing this, but no one will ever find a time, any time that we’ve ever done it and we’re not going to start now.’”

In response, Siegelman said this morning that he remembers the function at the Capitol, remembers talking to Riley, but does not remember what they talked about.

“I certainly don’t remember it like that,” he said.

Siegelman, who was defeated by Riley in 2004 in his bid for a second term as governor and was convicted in June 2006 on seven counts of bribery, mail fraud, and obstruction of justice. He has alleged that he was the target of a federal witch hunt orchestrated by Karl Rove, at the time President George W. Bush’s top aide, and coordinated with federal prosecutors in Alabama.

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Bloomberg: Former Fannie Mae Chairman James Johnson said he has quit Senator Barack Obama‘s vice presidential search committee after the Wall Street Journal reported he may have received preferential mortgage terms from Countrywide Financial Corp.

Johnson said that while he has done nothing wrong, he left to avoid being a hindrance to Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Bloomberg: Former Fannie Mae Chairman James Johnson said he has quit Senator Barack Obama‘s vice presidential search committee after the Wall Street Journal reported he may have received preferential mortgage terms from Countrywide Financial Corp.

Johnson said that while he has done nothing wrong, he left to avoid being a hindrance to Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Bloomberg: Former Fannie Mae Chairman James Johnson said he has quit Senator Barack Obama‘s vice presidential search committee after the Wall Street Journal reported he may have received preferential mortgage terms from Countrywide Financial Corp.

Johnson said that while he has done nothing wrong, he left to avoid being a hindrance to Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

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