CommunityPam's House Blend

HRC/LOGO presidential forum to include Gravel

The people spoke and HRC listened. This just hit my inbox from Chris Johnson of HRC Backstory:

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and Logo, a division of Viacom Inc.?s (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) MTV Networks, today made additional announcements about the presidential candidate forum on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues to take place in Los Angeles on August 9.  After enthusiastic community response, former Senator Mike Gravel has been invited to participate.  Confirmed candidates now include, in alphabetical order, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), former Senator John Edwards (D-NC), Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL).  The format of the program will also be extended to 90 minutes to ensure in-depth conversations with each candidate.  Discussions are continuing with a variety of journalists and a moderator for the forum will be announced in the near future.

Great news. I’m still not pleased with the format of the event — none of the candidates will interact with each other, they will be questioned sequentially — but Gravel is in, the forum will be 90 minutes, and there will be journalists on the panel.

It’s too bad that there were such public missteps handling the coordination of this event, but I’m glad that on this count, voices were heard — and fairness prevailed. Many thanks, HRC.


Now if only I could get LOGO on my cable service. Time Warner Cable hasn’t done jack despite my phone call requests. I’m relegated to watching it online along with the rest of folks in my part of NC stuck with TWC.

UPDATE: PageOneQ has Gravel’s reaction. He cites the importance of blogs in making a difference:

This invitation is a direct result of our supporters’ actions and would not have happened without the online blogosphere community and my supporters,” Senator Gravel said in a statement made to PageOneQ. “I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who made this happen,” he added.

“This did not come from the campaign,” spokesman [Alex] Colvin told PageOneQ. “It came from the bloggers, from members of the Human Rights Campaign, and supporters of Senator Gravel’s campaign who took the initiative to voice their discontent with the decision to exclude Senator Gravel.”

Earlier in the week HRC confirmed that Gravel was not invited because he had not raised more than $100,000 for his campaign, a criterion set by the debate sponsors.  Some prominent LGBT bloggers publicly questioned the decision to exclude Gravel, who supports marriage equality and has been a vocal critic of the anti-gay policies of the current administration.  Those bloggers included both Lane Hudson and Sara Whitman at Huffington Post, Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend, and the writers at gay culture site Queerty, who first raised the issue of Gravel’s exclusion. “Clinton, Obama and all the front runners better fasten their seatbelts.  A new form of political commentary is leaving adolescence with all the swagger of a twenty year old, Whitman told PageOneQ. Whitman, a frequent poster at Huffington Post also blogs at Suburban Lesbian Mom. Additional bloggers who wrote about the exclusion were Michael Crawford at Bloggernista and Chris Crain at Citizen Crain.

* Not a debate, not a forum, not a real discussion?
* No HRC/LOGO debate for Mike Gravel: he’s $100K short

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