The falling House of Lieberman belches out hatred for the internet-enabled and their blogging buddies, while at the same time denying their effect. So when we see a real story with cause and effect from on line organizing, it's important to share it.
Last week, the California Republican Party hired a gentleman name Ben Lopez as a senior director of outreach. According to the LA Times, only one day before the California Republican Convention started last Friday, Mr. Lopez scheduled meetings in Sacramento with 200 or so evangelical church leaders to begin spreading the word of the Governor to the sermon books of prelates of the pulpits. On its surface, that's not so unusual.
We at the Courage Campaign looked harder and noticed that not only is Mr. Lopez a long time lobbyist for Lou Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition, but that Mr. Sheldon's despicable group refers to gay people as "sexual predators" and "pedophiles." Mr. Sheldon said this about gay rights activists (of which I consider myself one):
"Many of the strategies used by homosexuals to bring about cultural change in America are taken form Hitler's writings and propaganda warfare manuals."
The Courage Campaign, an independent political organization dedicated to uniting progressives in California, sent an email to our members on Monday night demanding that the Governor fire Mr. Lopez. Today, the San Francisco Chronicle announced that Mr. Lopez's work has been terminated. Apparently, no one told Mr. Lopez that, because he thought he was still riding high, until he read the paper.
The point here is that rapid communication with strong support - we had over 1,000 signatures on a petition to the Governor making our demand - has an effect. We do not view our work as having pushed anyone to the left or right. We see very simply that a bad actor is out of state politics so that maybe we can focus on real issues. While I'm still troubled by the inability of our governor to set a clear moral course, maybe at last he looked around him and noticed that he has an openly gay chief of staff who already had to endure her boss vetoing her own rights. And maybe he's starting to understand that he can't be everything to everyone.
So grind away, old school Joe. George "macaca" Allen knows. Now the Governor knows. There's no place for racism and divisive politics in our country. The internet forces the truth quickly to the surface (just look at these pages!). And it's just possible that truth will be the story of the 2006 elections.
(Thanks to readers for some corrections!)