Politico: Gay donors fuel Obama's 2012 campaign

In an interesting piece by Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman at The Politico, there is speculation that the gay community is going to be a full-on stalwart ATM supporting the President’s re-election in 2012. Apparently the legislative repeal of DADT and myriad Cinderella Crumbs were supposed to be such a satisfying win that, unlike some angry progressives, our wallets are for the taking.

Pleased by an all-out White House push to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” gay donors have surprised campaign officials with the extent of their support. And the campaign’s new fundraising apparatus appears designed to capitalize on their enthusiasm: Obama’s finance committee included one gay man in 2008; there are 15 this year, a source said.

…The spur for the gay community becoming an anchor for Obama’s re-election fundraising is a series of policy shifts in 2010. After a year of rocky relations and suspicion from Obama’s gay supporters that he wasn’t really committed to their issues, the last year saw a surge in activity. Along with the high-profile repeal of the military ban, Obama’s Justice Department recently refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. And the administration has taken smaller steps, like gay partner hospital visits and hate crimes legislation, concrete and important gestures that simply weren’t made during the Bush administration.

“It’s ironic – a year ago there was no constituency more unhappy. There was a sea change,” said David Mixner, a veteran New York gay activist, who said that White House actions during the past year had swayed restive gay donors. “You not only will see a united community that will contribute to Obama, but they will work their asses off.”

The important thing to note – and the article is clear about it – that Team Obama feels it has already corralled the $upport of the big gay donor$ (and the bundler$ who bring in the buxxx). I doubt they are concerned about the little lgbt ATMs out there like you and me.

My friend David Mixner may be right, but IMHO, any assumption of support based on a comparison to what Bush did for the community during his administration is way too a low bar. There is much more that this administration could have done — without Congress — to move equality forward.

Take the list of items on The ‘New Beginnings’ initiative developed by a coalition of LGBT groups that was diluted (see Blend coverage here) to make the early achievements of the administration (er, one – hate crimes bill) look acceptable. The full list, as it originally appeared on the NGLTF web site, is at Act On Principles.

A snippet is below the fold.

The following policies are listed in order of federal agency, although the White House is listed first. The following list of policy changes are by no means exhaustive and, over time, additional policy changes will be added to this list as they are identified. Also, given that changes may occur in how the Obama Administration and federal agencies allocate oversight or implementation of specific policies, this webpage will be updated to reflect those changes. These policies will be tracked and “checked off” as we succeed in securing advances for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and our families.

White House

Executive Order Prohibiting Discrimination in Federal Employment

Issue an executive order amending Executive Order 11478 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression in the federal civilian workforce.

Lead Organizations for Drafting Policy Change: National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Federal Agency: White House

Judicial Nominations

Nominate Judges who will rule fairly and impartially in cases involving LGBT and LGBT and HIV-positive litigants.

Lead Organization for Drafting Policy Change: Lambda Legal

Federal Agency: White House

Executive Order and Regulations on Nondiscrimination in the Use of Faith-Based Initiative Federal Funds

Issue an executive order clearly stating that federal funds, including those issued to religiously operated social services, may not be used to discriminate against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Lead Organization for Drafting Policy Change: Lambda Legal

Federal Agency: White House

Executive Order Prohibiting Discrimination for Federal Contractors

Issue an executive order amending Executive Order 11246 to require federal contractors to not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lead Organization for Drafting Policy Change: Williams Institute

Federal Agency: White House

Recognizing LGBT Homeless Youth

Issue an Executive Order requiring the Department of Housing and Urban Development to recognize unaccompanied, homeless youth as a distinct, special needs population for data gathering, including LGBT homeless youth; and create a long-term youth housing strategy inclusive of LGBT homeless youth

Lead Organizations for Drafting Policy Change: National Youth Advocacy Coalition, Parent, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National, and the National Alliance to End Homelessness

Appointment of Fair-Minded Special Counsel

Appoint a Special Counsel who understands non-discrimination law thoroughly, who enforces non-discrimination protection for federal employees, and who is committed to correcting the interpretation of existing federal non-discrimination law to include LGBT people who experience illegal discrimination.

Federal Agency: White House

Executive Order on Procurement from LGBT Owners of Small Businesses

Issue an Executive Order ordering the development of a plan to increase the amount of federal procurement contracts going to small businesses owned by LGBT people, which will require coordination of the Small Business Administration and the various federal agencies that procure goods and services for the federal government.

Lead Organization for Drafting Policy Change: National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

Federal Agency: White House

Adopt All Recommendations for the First 100 Days Developed by the AIDS in America Coalition

Although the First 100 Days of the administration are over, the recommendations developed by the AIDS in America coalition are still much needed. They include, develop a National AIDS Strategy designed to lower HIV incidence and increase access to HIV care for all Americans, including immigrant detainees and individuals housed in federal prisons. Carry out this strategy through budgeting, policy and protocol changes, appropriate sex education, and improved and less restricted research.

Lead Organization for Drafting Policy Change: AIDS in America (a coalition of multiple organizations)

Federal Agency: White House

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