This post has been updated and content added since it was first published earlier today.

Thanks to Frances Monahan, who writes on for linking to my blog and using the videos I have from the Steel City Stonewall Democrats endorsement meeting! The whole post is a good read, so check it out, but one bit of it caught my interest: (bold text for emphasis is mine)

But back to those videos taken at the Steel City Stonewall Democrats endorsement meeting. Both Joe Hoeffel and Onorato won the gubernatorial endorsement. That was unexpected, at least by my account and some others — but here’s what I was told happened: enough Onorato-voting members joined at the endorsement meeting March 28 that Onorato was able to pull off a tie. I asked a member if they had a rule about at least attending one meeting before being given voting privileges, and there’s no such rule, so it’s perfectly acceptable for first-timers to vote. Maybe so, but it doesn’t sound like a good way to do business to me.

It got me wondering a few things. First, by whose analysis is this what happened, and how did they go about making it? I was at the meeting. I don’t remember there being any identifying feature on the ballot, so how was it determined that the votes for Onorato came from people who joined at the meeting?

[Update: it was confirmed for me, the ballots were anonymous. There would be no way to know who voted for whom. Additionally, it was confirmed to me that the vast majority of individuals who paid their dues at the meeting were not new members, but folks who renewed their memberships. The insinuation that a group of people came in and took over the vote is ludicrous.]

God, I hate saying anything negative about the Steel City Stonewall Democrats in general. I know the president of the organization very well, and she is one of the most thoughtful, passionate, involved, motivated, experienced, intelligent and sincere advocates for LGBTQ rights in Western Pennsylvania. The way Ms Mon’s post is phrased, it sounds as if it is someone in authority who made these claims.

My take on it is utterly different. There are many within the LGBTQ community who see Dan Onorato as the best candidate for governor, and wanted to make that clear. Because the rules of the organization allowed people to pay their membership at the meeting, it was simply easier to do that, than to pay them at some other point ahead of the meeting. Was it stupid to allow people to “pay at the door?” I have to admit if I were in charge of the rules, I would have written them differently, but the rules were what the rules were, and the officers at SCSD had some reason for making them be what they were. Ms Mon suggests that  the voting rule be something along the lines of having to have attended at least 1 meeting, but how many meetings do they have a year? I thought the rule about voting was written as it was, to make it easy for people to join and participate which is exactly what happened, isn’t it?

What would be funny if it weren’t so pitiful, is the assumption by some within the SCSD that Joe Hoeffel is the only viable candidate for the LGBT vote, that he would have won the endorsement if all these people hadn’t joined at the meeting. What does this say about the SCSD? That is is a closed, clique of an organization where only one type of Democrat is really welcome? Do they keep their group small enough so that they feel they can assure how the endorsement vote will go? What is really arrogant, is the notion that Onorato did something here. The reality is that voters like myself who believe Onorato is the best candidate for governor, turned out to make our voices heard. We are real people who make thoughtful decisions, and voted for the candidate that we felt is the best candidate and who we hoped to see endorsed.

In other cities, the Stonewall Democrats are a force within the Democratic party, as it should be here. For that to happen, it will need to be a group that welcomes and values the views of many, not just the views of those who see things exactly like some of their more vocal officers and members.

The Other, Other Two Dan Onoratos? – Ms. Mon’s Salon –

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