Texas GOP Welcomes Gay Group – Because They Aren’t ‘Advocating’ For Gay Rights
State Republican Party OKs Convention Exhibit From One LGBT Organization But Not Another
The rabidly anti-gay Republican Party of Texas is fine with “homosexuals” having a booth at its state convention this year â€” as long as they keep quiet about being denied their civil rights.Â
For the first time in its history, the Texas GOP voted to allow a booth sponsored by an LGBT group â€” Metroplex Republicans of Dallas â€” at the convention in May.Â But the party also denied a booth request from another LGBT group, Log Cabin Republicans, which has unsuccessfully sought to be formally included in the convention for 20 years. Â
A Texas GOP official who serves on the committee that considers booth applications said Metroplex Republicans was approved because the group doesn’t openly advocate for LGBT rights, despite the fact that it was founded by gay former Log Cabin members.Â
“I donâ€™t find that anywhere in their literature or their website,â€ State Republican Executive Committee member Jean McIver told me for a story inÂ The Texas Observer. â€œIâ€™ve gone to Metroplex meetings in the past a couple of times. I didnâ€™t find that they were advocating for anything contrary to the principles of the party.â€
Although Metroplex Republicans is widely known to be an LGBT group, its website contains very little information or advocacy related to equality issues. However, the site does include a rainbow aesthetic as well as a graphic that appears to depict same-sex couples holding hands.Â
Metroplex Republicans was launched by former Log Cabin members in 2011, after a local split that mirrored a national rift among gay conservatives.Â
Jimmy LaSalvia and Christopher Barron, two former staffers for National Log Cabin Republicans, left and launched a more conservative competing group, GOProud, in 2009, saying they felt their previous employer had become too centrist.Â
Rob Schlein, who was then president of Log Cabin Republicans of Dallas, invited LaSalvia and Barron to speak at the group’s annual dinner in 2011. Shortly thereafter, National Log Cabin Republicans de-chartered the Dallas chapter, then re-chartered a new one, saying Schlein had â€œengaged in a consistent pattern of behavior that detracts from the mission of our organization.â€
Schlein, who now leads Metroplex Republicans, confirmed Monday that the group’s booth application had been approved by the Texas GOP, but declined further comment. According to the Texas GOP’s online list of convention booths, Metroplex Republicans will “engage in party building activities” at the event.Â
Jeff Davis, president of Log Cabin Republicans of Texas, said he feels the party is splitting hairs and trying to have it both ways by allowing the Metroplex Republicans booth but denying his group’s application. Two years ago, both groups were denied.Â
â€œI think the party wants to be able to point to Metroplex and say, â€˜See, we let gays in,'” Davis said. “It seems like to get a booth, you can believe anything you want. You just canâ€™t say it.â€
The Texas GOP platform endorses harmful so-called “ex-gay” therapy and opposes same-sex marriage.Â
“Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that have been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nationâ€™s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans,” the platform states.
McIver, the State Republican Executive Committee member, said she was under the impression that Metroplex Republicans split off from Log Cabin because Log Cabin was openly advocating LGBT rights.Â
“I have several homosexual friends. I respect them as people, but I donâ€™t like the lifestyle, but theyâ€™re not advocating for that lifestyle, so Iâ€™m not sure what you’re wanting here,” McIver told me. “God loves them just like he loves me. Iâ€™m not saying Iâ€™m any more righteous. I know what prompted your call. Somebodyâ€™s out here on a witch hunt.”Â
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Debt Ceiling: McCarthy Faces ‘Lingering Anger’ and a Possible Revolt as Far-Right House Members Start Issuing Threats
As House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) continues to negotiate a deal to avoid a debt crisis, members of the far-right Freedom Caucus are growing furious with him over broken promises he made to them.
According to MSNBC political analyst Steve Benen, with a slim GOP majority in the House, McCarthy is walking a tightrope to get a budget deal passed and may need help from House Democrats if members of his caucus refuse to go along with him.
As Benen points out, in order to win the speakership McCarthy agreed to an easier path for a motion to “vacate the chair” which could end his tenure as Speaker. That could come into play if the Freedom Caucus stages a revolt.
“… as the negotiations approach an apparent finish line, the House Republicans’ most radical faction is learning that it isn’t likely to get everything its members demanded — and for the Freedom Caucus, that’s not going to work,” he wrote in his MSNBC column.
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Citing a Washington Times report that stated, “[Freedom Caucus members] want everything from the debt limit bill passed by the House last month plus several new concessions from the White House,” Benen suggested far-right House Republicans are now issuing veiled threats.
In an interview, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) stated, “I am going to have to go have some blunt conversations with my colleagues and the leadership team. I don’t like the direction they are headed.”
With Politico reporting, “The [House Freedom Caucus] was already unlikely to support a final bipartisan deal, but lingering anger with Kevin McCarthy could have lasting implications on his speakership,” Benen added, “If this is simply a matter of lingering ill-will from members who come to believe that GOP leaders ‘caved,’ the practical consequences might be limited. But let’s also not forget that McCarthy, while begging his own members for their support during his protracted fight for the speaker’s gavel, agreed to tweak the motion-to-vacate-the-chair rules, which at least in theory, would make it easier for angry House Republicans to try to oust McCarthy from his leadership position.”
Adding the caveat that he is not predicting an imminent McCarthy ouster he added, “But if the scope of the Freedom Caucus’ discontent reaches a fever pitch, a hypothetical deal clears thanks to significant Democratic support, don’t be surprised if we all start hearing the phrase ‘vacate the chair” a lot more frequently.”
Prosecutors Tell Trump They Have a Recording of Him and a Witness: Report
Prosecutors in Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial have notified the ex-president’s attorneys they have a recording of him and a witness. The notification comes in the form of an automatic discovery form, CBS News reports, which “describes the nature of the charges against a defendant and a broad overview of the evidence that prosecutors will present at Trump’s preliminary hearing or at trial.”
CBS reports prosecutors have handed the recording over to Trump’s legal team.
It’s not known who the witness is, nor are any details known publicly about what the conversation entails, or even if it is just audio or if it includes video.
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According to the article’s author, CBS News’ Graham Kates, via Twitter, prosecutors say they also have recordings between two witnesses, a recording between a witness and a third party, and various recordings saved on a witness’s cell phones.
Manhattan prosecutors disclosed to Trump a recording of him and a witness in his criminal case. pic.twitter.com/EIz3bvpEkj
— Graham Kates (@GrahamKates) May 26, 2023
Trump is facing 34 felony counts in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case related to his allegedly unlawful attempt to hide hush money payoffs to a well-known porn star by falsifying business records to protect his 2016 presidential campaign.
See the discovery form above or at this link.
Image via Shutterstock
‘Likely to Be Indicted Soon’: Trump Might Face Seven Different Felonies, Government Watchdog Says
It’s no secret the U.S. Dept. of Justice is investigating Donald Trump for his role in attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and for his likely unlawful removal, retention, and refusal to return hundreds of documents with classified and top secret markings.
Earlier this week Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal reported, “Special counsel Jack Smith has all but finished obtaining testimony and other evidence in his criminal investigation into whether former President Donald Trump mishandled classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort.”
And while it’s unknown if or when Trump will be indicted, a government watchdog says the ex-president who is once again staging a White House run is “likely to be indicted soon.” The organization is offering details on what it claims could be seven felony charges he might face.
“The next criminal charges former President Donald Trump may face could well come from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s possession of nearly 300 classified documents — including some marked as top secret — at his Mar-a-Lago residence and business in the year and a half after he left office,” Betsy Schick and Debra Perlin of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) state in a lengthy report published Friday.
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“While Fani Willis’ Fulton County, Georgia investigation into election interference continues, as does a federal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and Alvin Bragg has already indicted Trump in New York for his role in false statements connected to hush money payments to Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) during the 2016 presidential campaign, an indictment by Smith in the Mar-a-Lago investigation would yield the first federal charges against the former president,” CREW notes.
“Trump may face charges ranging from obstruction of justice and criminal contempt to conversion of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material.”
Here is a list of “possible crimes” Trump might be charged with, according to CREW:
Obstruction of justice (18 U.S.C. § 1519)
Criminal contempt (18 U.S.C. § 402)
False statements to federal authorities (18 U.S.C. § 1001)
Conversion of government property (18 U.S.C. § 641)
Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material (18 U.S.C. § 1924)
Removing and concealing government records (18 U.S.C. § 2071)
Gathering national defense information (18 U.S.C. § 793(e))
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CREW also offers that Trump’s attorneys may try to argue several different defenses, including:
No “knowing” removal
Deference to the intelligence community
Challenging the constitutionality of the Special Counsel regulations
Additionally, several reports this week also appear to suggest an indictment might be coming, and soon.
Citing a Washington Post report published Thursday, several top legal experts are predicting DOJ will charge Donald Trump, and those charges will include obstruction and violations of the Espionage Act.
Earlier this week NYU School of Law professor of law Ryan Goodman said Dept. of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith had struck “gold” after obtaining the contemporaneous notes of a Trump attorney who counseled the ex-president on his possibly unlawful handling of classified documents.
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