Category Archives: Politics

Christine Hallquist

Christine Hallquist is an American politician and former CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC). She is the first openly transgender major party nominee for governor in the United States, winning the Democratic nomination with over 40% of the vote on August 14, 2018. Hallquist worked at VEC from 1998 to 2018, the last 12 years as CEO, when she resigned to run for governor. Drawing national attention as a pioneering example of a CEO transitioning while in office, her transition was documented by her son in an award-winning documentary, Denial.

Hallquist grew up in Baldwinsville, New York. She attended Catholic school as a child. She moved to Vermont at age 20 and worked for IBM as an electrical engineer. Hallquist lives in Hyde Park, Vermont, and has three adult children and two grandchildren.

Hallquist’s professional life began at IBM, then she took a job at Digital Equipment Corporation. There she became part of a training program to become an electrical engineer at the University of Massachusetts and worked with Digital to create low-cost power supplies quickly using lean manufacturing. She took an early buyout from Digital and moved back to Vermont to become the CEO of a small electronics company in Barre, Vermont, then founded a consulting firm that worked with such companies as Xerox, Miller Beer, and Honda. She started at VEC as engineering and operations manager in 2000, shortly after its recovery from bankruptcy.

She announced her gubernatorial campaign in Morrisville, Vermont on April 8, and said, “I truly believe Vermont is ready to elect a transgender governor because I don’t think Vermonters are going to look at that.” Hallquist is running on a platform of increased broadband access, universal Medicare and aggressive action against climate change.

She has my vote in November.


Neil Rafferty for Statehouse

Well, here’s some slightly good political news during what is proving to be an otherwise very bleak week in American politics…

After a tough primary followed by an even tougher runoff, a former U.S. Marine and openly gay man running for a House seat in Alabama’s 54th district has just won his party’s nomination.

Neil Rafferty announced his bid for a seat in the Alabama House back in February of this year.

The seat is being vacated by Democrat Patricia Todd, the state’s first gay legislator, who announced in January that she would not be seeking reelection.

Yesterday, Rafferty won the Democratic runoff election, receiving 2,531 votes, or 67.12 percent, of the vote. His opponent Jacqueline Gray Miller, an environmentalist and marketer, trailed behind him at 32.88 percent.

So how did he celebrate his runoff victory, you wonder?

By going to a bar, of course!

After the results came in yesterday evening, Rafferty, who works as the director of research and development at Birmingham AIDS Outreach, took to Facebook to invite his friends and supporters to celebrate with him at Crestwood Tavern, a local dive bar.

But today it’s back to work for Rafferty. He needs to prepare for the general election in November, where he will face off against Independent Joseph Baker.


Goodbye, Mrs. Bush

Barbara Bush, the widely admired wife of one president and the fiercely loyal mother of another, died Tuesday evening. She was 92.

During her husband’s 1992 presidential campaign, Barbara Bush stated that abortion and homosexuality are personal matters and argued that the Republican Party platform should not take a stand on them, saying that “The personal things should be left out of, in my opinion, platforms and conventions.” Her personal views on abortion were not known, although her friends reported at that time that she “privately supported abortion rights.” She explained, “I hate abortions, but I just could not make that choice for someone else.”

Not everyone liked her because she was outspoken and loyal to her family, but I always thought of her as a true lady who spoke her mind.


The Good and The Good

The good news is that things seemed to go exceptionally well yesterday at the job interview. I think I did exceptionally well with those I interviewed with. It was about a four hour process. From what I could gather, it’s up to the CEO as to whether I get the job or not. Since he did more talking than I did in our interview, that interview is a toss-up. I’m hoping that I will hear their decision soon. Maybe today, but probably by the end of the week. Then again, who knows.

In other good news, Democrat Doug Jones won election to the U.S. Senate from Alabama in a sharp blow to President Trump that narrows the GOP’s majority in the Senate to two. He beat Roy Moore, a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court who had been accused of child molestation. I honestly never thought it would happen, but it did. A Democrat has won a Senate seat in Alabama.


No Moore

I’m embarrassed. I can’t believe that there are still people in this country who believe Roy Moore is innocent. There is too much evidence to the contrary. The man is guilty. He’s the lowest form of human. He’s a pedophile. If it hadn’t happened so long ago, he should be going to jail. Instead, he has a base of religious nut jobs and Republican idiots who will still vote for him. Instead of jail, he’ll go to the Senate. And do you know why? It’s because of two things. One, he’s pro-life, and his opponent Doug Jones is pro-choice. Two, the African-American population of Alabama is behind his opponent. We are talking about a part of the country where “Democrat” is code word for an African-American. The white people of Alabama would rather vote for a pedophile than to support someone who has an African-American base. It’s a truly sad state of affairs. Religious nut jobs, anti-Democrats, and racism will rule the day in Alabama. The people of Alabama have no illusion that Roy Moore is innocent, but they will still vote for him because he’s a Republican. I’m embarrassed that my former state is such an abomination. I hope I never have to live there again. It’s a cesspool of Republicans. Let them look like fools and drown in their own muck. If Roy Moore is elected, and I think he will be, I hope the Republican leadership in the Senate refuses to let him on major committees, refuses to give him time on the floor, and refuses him the time of day. They will only be embarrassed if they don’t refuse him. Roy Moore will do more to elect Democrats into Congress than the idiot in the White House.


Black or White

The Michael Jackson song says, “It don’t matter if you’re black or white.” Since Barack Obama became president, racism has surged in America. With the election of Donald Trump, racism has come to a head. He has empowered those who are most racist. It is his greatest crime as president. America is made up of immigrants and people of different races. It is probably the most diverse country in the world. It’s our blessing and our curse. There will always be those who believe that America should be dominated by the white race, they will always be wrong. America’s original motto was E pluribus unum, Latin for “out of many, one.” It remained the de facto motto until 1956 when an act of Congress changed the motto to “In God We Trust.” The fact is though that our Founding Fathers chose “out of many, one” as our motto because they believed it took many different people to make one great nation. They may not have believed that included African-Americans at the time, but I believe they would today. America made a great mistake when they allowed slavery to exist on this continent. America has not had a perfect history with minorities, far from it, but no country can claim to have perfectly treated minorities. We can be better though, and we need to rid ourselves of a president who lends credence to and empowers racists.


What Were They Thinking?


I stayed up last night watching results from the Alabama US Senate race primary. Y’all know I’m from Alabama. I have family and friends there and so I have a vested interest in this race, even if I’m no longer a voter in Alabama. I was glad to see that Doug Jones won the Democratic primary, or at least it looked that way when I went to bed. Jones is a US Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. He’s a good solid Democrat who is well respected. Can he win a general election? I doubt it.  What I don’t get though is the Republican primary. It looks like Roy Moore will be in a run off with incumbent Luther Stange or less likely Representive Mo Brooks. Moore though has the most votes, but thankfully not a majority. I don’t like to wish ill of people, but I wish Roy Moore would die already. He’s a fucking moron who is one of the leading opponents of LGBT rights in the country. After being removed from Cheif Justice of Alabama twice for judicial misconduct, he shouldn’t be able to run for dog catcher, let alone the US Senate. He’s a laughing stock, yet the people of Alabama want to vote him in, just like they did Trump. It’s absolutely abhorrent in my opinion.


The Trump Card


I have not talked much about America’s (hopefully) soon to be ex President. The reason is that if I talk about all the things I disliked about the man, this blog would become one long sad political diatribe. I don’t want that for my blog. My heart aches that this man is president. He’s an imbecile and a low down rotten crook who lies with every word out of his mouth. I am still in shock that he won. I still can’t believe America was so ignorant as to elect him. I understand that Hillary was not the ideal candidate, and I always thought Bernie could do better. I’m glad I got to hear Bernie speak in person recently. He’s quite a dynamic speaker. Could he have won? We’ll never know, but anything would be better than what we got. I hate that Pence is next in line because I think the man is a sniveling weasel who will do his best to unravel LGBT gains. The next in line Ryan is no better because he has no spine. Let’s face it, America’s leadership has gone to shit and our only hope is the 2018 midterm elections when we must make sure the  Democrats retake Congress.


Bernie


Tonight after work, I am going to see Bernie Sanders speak. It should be interesting.


The Alabama Senate Race Gets Crazy

In Alabama’s most outrageous Senate race, Roy Moore is in

Paul Beaudry | pbeaudry@al.com

Roy Moore is running for U.S. Senate.

Surprise!

Which means that no less than three candidates – Moore, the Christian Coalition guy and Rep. Ed Henry – will probably seek the “backed by God” mantle.

Sorta like The Bachelor in search of God’s rose.

It could get uncomfortable.

This race, the special election for the seat abandoned by now-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and assumed by now-tainted U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, is a downhill sprint that might just end in a heap outside a Sand Mountain Dollar General.

There is Moore, who has name recognition surpassing even the sitting senator. But it ain’t all good. The guy has been booted off the Alabama Supreme Court twice. He says it was for standing up for your rights. Rights groups say it’s because if you don’t fit into his definition of rights your rights are wrong.

Strange would have been the presumptive favorite if not for, well, current events. The downward spiral and subsequent earthly impact of ex-Gov. Robert Bentley didn’t just take out the governor, it left Strange’s reputation in a smoking pile. The former attorney general is now widely seen as the guy who was willing to look the other way on potential gubernatorial crimes if Bentley would appoint him to his dream job.

Henry – a guy who hounded Bentley for months – now claims the crown of corruption fighter in chief. “Trump’s going to need help draining the swamp,” he said when entering the race. But I’ll never stop seeing this “corruption fighter” clapping like a seal on speed at a pep rally supporting former House Speaker Mike Hubbard, the current poster child for Alabama corruption.

Randy Brinson, president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, has also announced his candidacy, bristling against corruption and the “venality of politicians.”

Hard to argue that, and this race is case in point.

The wild card – if he’s even in this race – is Alabama Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh, who has made a decision about whether to run but had not, as of this posting, decided to share that decision.

He’s a somewhat boring businessman, who along with Hubbard dominated the Alabama GOP for years, although he has managed to do it without becoming a household name. He’ll take heat for being a silk-stocking Republican, a part of the Goat Hill status quo. He won’t claim the anointing of God but will probably get a sprinkling from the BCA, which in Alabama politics is pretty close to the same thing.

His biggest asset – and this could be a big thing – is that he’s not, as far as I know, crazy as a bag of jackhammers.

As a matter of fact that should be his slogan, should he choose to run: “Del Marsh: The practically sane one.”

This thing is gonna get hairy fast. The primary election – and in blood-red Alabama the election that counts is the Republican primary – is in August, so name recognition and money will be big.

Strange has already been able to build a campaign war chest of almost $800,000, but he’s got as much baggage as he has money.

Moore hasn’t been as successful raising money in the past – and his last attempt at governor was a dismal failure – but he has a big name and a committed base. But he, too, has as much baggage as he has base. And Henry and Brinson could peel off some of his votes.

If I had to lay odds now – assuming Marsh makes it into the race — I’d say Strange finishes third to Moore and Marsh.

And while Moore seems a shoo-in to make the runoff, he could very well lose to Marsh.

But then, maybe I’m putting too much stock in “practically sane.”

No Democrats have thrown their hat in the ring yet.

The pretty picture above has nothing to do with the article but is a palate cleanser since politics can leave a bad taste in your mouth.


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