The LGRL has a roundup of anti-Prop 2 editorials, while BOR has some more they missed - see here and here for the editorials, and here for an impressive array of Travis County officeholders who spoke out against it. I'll echo what Karl-T said in the first link - as far as I know, no paper has advised a vote for Prop 2. I'm not deluded enough to think that these endorsements will make a big difference in the final vote, but it's always good to see people do the right thing.
As gay-rights activists launch an all-out attack on a constitutional measure banning same-sex marriage in Texas, they face an uncomfortable fact: A few lawmakers who received their support in the past helped push the proposed amendment through the Legislature.
Some amendment foes view the vote as a betrayal, but with few good alternatives, they appear uncertain about whether to dish out punishment in next year's election.
Legislators such as Reps. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs, and Richard Raymond, D-Laredo, who had received support from gays or endorsements from gay-rights organizations, were among 18 Democrats who cast votes in April that moved the amendment out of the House with barely the two-thirds margin it required.
"Richard Raymond and Patrick, in my mind, sent it over to the Senate," said Mary Ross Taylor, who is gay and is an active volunteer for the Democrats in Hays County, which Rose represents. "The word we heard a lot of was 'disappointment.' "
Rose and Raymond had also joined nine other Democratic representatives a week earlier in voting to ban gays or bisexuals from serving as foster parents. The proposal eventually died in a conference committee.
But the prospect for Democrats of withdrawing votes or money from someone like Rose is tricky; his opponents in the past two elections in his tightly contested district south and west of Austin have been Republicans who oppose gay rights.
"Who else will those disillusioned Dems vote for?" Taylor asked. "That is the problem for progressive voters in Patrick's district. The alternative is likely to be worse."
Glen Maxey, a former Democratic House member from Travis County who runs No Nonsense in November, a campaign to defeat the marriage amendment, agreed.
"There's not a single Republican on this planet who's preferable to Patrick Rose," said Maxey, who is gay. "I think Patrick cast a political vote, and we hope to show in the November election that Patrick's vote was incorrect."
Raymond, who hails from a bluer district, said he simply "voted his district" as he prepares to run for a U.S. congressional seat. The district stretches north from the border to Hays County.
"Laredo is not New York," Raymond said.
"I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman," he said. "I think the constituents I represent support the position I took on those two votes.
"Anybody that looks at my record through my career can see that I'm a true Democrat who has stood and fought for everybody and stands by the ideals that define our party."
"This is a dilemma that always crops up with interest groups that too narrowly define themselves on one issue or another," Kelly Fero, a Democratic strategist, said. "Do they hold politicians to a standard of purity that ends up hurting them, the interest group? Do you let perfect be the enemy of the good? That is the dilemma they face."
That said, there are opportunities to extract a little payback without necessarily giving a seat away. Richard Raymond is running in a contested primary against Henry Cuellar in CD28. Ciro Rodriguez, who had a pretty darned progressive record while he was in the House, is also in that race. I'm sensitive to arguments that Raymond is in the stronger position to take out Cuellar, based on financial and geographic considerations. I may well wind up burying the hatchet and supporting Raymond myself. But I'll certainly understand anyone who chooses to support Ciro Rodriguez instead, even if that reduces the chances of removing Cuellar. If you can't stand on principle in a primary, there's pretty much no other place to do it.Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 18, 2005 to Election 2005 | TrackBack