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Mayoral Forum Wednesday excludes Libertarians

1 Oct

Apparently DC Votes opposes same day voter registration!

You may have seen this flyer for a mayoral forum tomorrow around town listing me as a participant. I am actually excluded from the forum.

Someone showed it to me Monday night — yesterday —  and I started searching my email for an invitation to a forum for Wednesday October 1 and couldn’t find one.

It turns out the invite was buried in an email with a candidate questionnaire.  I’ve been answering candidate questionnaires all month — from the League of Women Voters, from the DC Youth Alliance, etc. — and I’d glanced at this one and put it off because it was longer and more involved than the others.  The subject line of the September 12 email is “Strengthening Our Local Democracy Candidate Questionnaire” — no mention of an event.  You have to open the email and see the mention of an event in the prologue text, not in the attached questionnaire (which is what I immediately went to).

I sent DC Votes my answers on the morning of September 30th, along with a statement that I regretted the misunderstanding.  I pointed out to them that they were unique in combining a questionnaire and an event invitation in the same email — and not mentioning the event invite in the subject line. They maintain it would be “unfair” to allow anyone in who didn’t reply by September 26th.  After closely questioning a slightly evasive Kimberly Perry on the phone, who first insisted everyone else understood it was an event invitation (and that I was uniquely oblivious), it looks like Muriel Bowser may have replied and is at any rate skipping their event, and Green Party candidate Faith Crannich never replied, so she too may not have realized there was an event.

The two essential questions for this forum are:

1) Does DC Vote oppose same week voter registration?

2) Will the coffee be strong enough if only Schwartz and Catania are there, and don’t contrast their approaches to statehood but devolve into a personal squabble?

I am not sure I am going to find out.  I suppose they won’t actually have tons of security, as American University does, to keep out the uninvited candidates.  But I don’t know if it is worth it to go sit in a room with the same two dozen activists/local political junkies, who show up at every event.

Below are my answers.  Ms. Perry opined that it would be unfair to provide my answers to the public since I would have had a chance to read Schwartz’s or Catania’s answers posted sometime this week on the DC Vote website (I actually went on their website last night to find out about the date and time of the mystery event my supporters were telling me about, and didn’t see any such answers from other candidates.  It’s amusing that she thinks a Libertarian answer would resemble theirs.) She thinks it is more democratic to exclude a candidate and their answers to her questions from her website and her forum because she didn’t get them 5 days ahead of her event than it is to include a candidate when she gets the answers a day ahead of time.

If you are donating to this group perhaps you should find an alternative.  This approach may be why we don’t have Statehood.  Maybe Congress people aren’t opening their emails because they don’t mention the real subject in the subject line.

If only I had corporate PAC money so I could have staff to schedule events and read my sea of email, including those with uninformative subject lines.  My apologies if you attend the event expecting to see me.

Hey Muriel — wanna have coffee tomorrow morning at Corner Bakery?  My treat!  I guess we will be forgoing the 30 DC activists who go to almost every campaign event.

******************************************************************************

  1. How might you coordinate with DC’s Delegate to Congress and together maximize the city’s productive relationships with the Washington regional congressional delegation to advance the agenda for greater autonomy and representation?

I think in general you need to bypass politicians and appeal directly to their voters and their interests.  In the case of Washington area representatives we would need to present a case that greater DC autonomy would allow DC to be a greater contributor of economic growth for the entire region, making the pie grow as opposed to competing for a slice of a pie not growing.  Somewhere in that project I’d like to commission a study of how allowing DC to get rid of the height limit on buildings would bring more jobs to the area, by allowing more units, both residential and commercial, to be built in the District.

  1. What strategies would you employ to stop riders from being placed on DC appropriation bills?

I think riders are placed on all bills in Congress so it is a much more general problem.  If DC had Senators and Representatives its political class would simply be participating in riders, earmarks etc. that affect it and other states.  Until DC is a state it has little power.  There are strategies it does not seem to have used much, including boycotting purchases from Congressional Districts whose representatives have attached such riders or in other ways been inimical to DC.

  1. If elected mayor and invited to the White House, what would be the top three issues you would raise? Related to this, what plans do you have to reach out to the White House after taking office?

This would depend in part on who is in the White House.  The three issues I would focus on with all federal officials are: (1) how DC needs Statehood, and before that more autonomy, to deal with its own criminal justice issues, so that it could wind down the war on drugs, something I think most DC residents favor; (2) allowing DC residents in federal prisons to be relocated to prisons closer to DC so that their family members could visit them, including potentially having a federal prison in DC; and (3) allowing DC more control of its own economic life, with an end to the height limit, and the transfer of unused federal property to the private economy.

  1. How might you amend DC’s Home Rule charter, within the legal guidelines outlined by Congress, to gain any greater autonomy for our local government?

In general I favor weening DC from the federal payment and instead allowing it to borrow money as freely as any other state.  DC has an influx of highly paid residents who ultimately derive their incomes from federal government employment and related activities like lobbying.  It can instead tax them if it needs money, and they can vote out DC politicians if they think the taxes and spending are unwise.

  1. What types of executive actions could the DC government take to assert greater autonomy without changing the law or asking for approval from Congress?  

DC’s political class is not highly regarded by DC residents and even less so by residents of neighboring states and other states whose Congressional representatives vote about DC matters. Rather than have our political class perpetually bleat about Statehood, which may be widely viewed as a self-interested cause, where they would like new monies and powers in their new roles as Governors or Senators of a new state, I favor a perpetual referendum (or initiative) in every election where the actual opinion of DC voters is measured about whether they would like Statehood, the status quo, or some other arrangement (including exemption from federal taxation as in Puerto Rico).

  1. While organizations like ours are fostering local, national and international partnerships all the time to advance democracy, from your perspective, who are our most strategic allies in the fight for autonomy and representation that we haven’t reached out to yet?

I think rather than doing the same things over and over one should identify new and maverick political factions and find a way of engaging them on the issues.  For example, Senators Rand Paul and Cory Booker have started cooperating on interesting criminal justice reforms (that would incidentally be great for District residents impacted by the criminal justice system).  We should formulate agendas they could be enticed to support.
  1. What specific things would residents of DC see coming out of your mayor’s office that would make it clear that advancing democracy for DC is a high priority?

First do no harm.  The DC government seems to have happily overturned term limits initiatives passed by the voters, and kept campaign finance reform initiatives with thousands of signatures off the ballot, in year past.  This makes it look like Statehood would not be about democracy for DC voters, but making a state for the DC political class where “home rule” would not be greater autonomy, but the political class ruling your home.

  1. The District government ended up divided over the local Budget Autonomy Act. This law was unanimously supported by the council, signed by the Mayor and overwhelmingly approved by voters.  As Mayor, what would you do to make sure DC presents a unified front on initiatives designed to give greater autonomy to the people of the District?

I don’t know that DC voters are or need to be unified on issues or that a mayor should spin to make it look like they are.  All states of course are heavily regulated by the federal government, which witholds federal funds unless they go along with federal policies.  DC simply has this worse than anyone else.


DC could forgoe the federal payment, since he who pays the piper calls the tune.  If that is not feasible DC could seek out state governments suing the federal government on a variety of issues to preserve state and local autonomy, and join them as a plaintiff; and then ask for cooperation on our autonomy in return.  Perhaps this could be part of the mission of the new Attorney General’s office.

  1. In 2001, Congress mandated through the Appropriations Act that the District establish two reserves that could be described as “rainy day” funds.  Although these reserves are funded with local dollars, Congress set very strict rules on when funds could be used and how they would have to be repaid.  What would you do, if anything, to seek greater or full local autonomy over these reserves?

In general I don’t think politicians can be trusted with money, and any such fund will be tapped to buy votes and reward donors.  I would suggest that we alter the city charter to take away control of such funds from Congress, by instead substituting that they can only be spent on projects identified by voters by initiative (and not including by the city council through referendums).

  1. Recently, a federal district judge from New York held that the city’s ban on the carrying of firearms outside the home is unconstitutional. How do you think the city should respond to this ruling?

I think the DC political class should resist its temptation to spend DC taxpayers money in court fighting to see how far they can go in minimizing the Bill of Rights.  Giving the DC political class “autonomy” from the Constitution and Bill of Rights does nothing for the autonomy of DC residents.  Every neighborhood list serve I read talks about intruders in yards, cars, back porches.  Some categories of crime, including rape, have risen in recent years, even if homicide rates have dropped.  Law abiding citizens should be allowed to have a gun at home in DC just as they are in many states.  Even the White House seems to be having a problem with intruders this year, and the police are not always there in time to prevent it.

  1. DC’s charter school board recently sued the city challenging the authority of the Council to alter the student funding formula established by Congress. What would you do as mayor to contest Congressional interference in matters like schools that that are clearly state and local functions?

I favor autonomy for DC residents, not the DC political class.  So I favor equal funding for charter schools,  In part this might allow enough charter schools to be started that the 22,000 students waiting for a space in one could enroll.  It would also save DC taxpayers money being wasted in court by the DC government defunding its unequal and discriminatory funding of students based on where they choose to learn.  Since cahrter schools and traditional public schools have different racial demographics — charter schools are more African American, with Ward 3 having no charter schools – this inequity has a racial inflection.


Congress and the federal Department of Education interfere in local schools in all states and I do in general oppose that.

Campaign Gatekeeping 101 in the DC mayoral race – Update

11 Sep
I did a little more investigation of the people behind one of the two larger debates I am being excluded from (I am invited to almost all of the smaller and medium sized ones).

Yesterday I had an odd exchange with one Debra Linick, the outgoing PR person for the debate sponsor, the Jewish Community Relations Council of the DC metro area.  Ms. Linick told me they only invited candidates who had raised at least 10% of the amount raised by the frontrunner, Muriel Bowser.  Boswer, like most Democrats in DC, has raised hundreds of thousands in corporate and union PAC donations.  (For example, DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who sits on Congressional Committees that sell and lease federally owned buildings and parcels in DC, routinely collects $400,000 every election cycle from real estate developers and building trades unions as well as government employee unions, even though she is often running unopposed.  No DC journalists ever investigate this, just as they never noticed any DC corruption until independent citizens like Tim Day brought it to light.)

The problem for Ms. Linick, who tells me she is going to “relook” her math, is that they are inviting (my friend) Carol Schwartz (an independent candidate who is a former Republican city council member).  Ms. Schwartz has raised around $70,000, around 3% of the $2.1 million Bowser has raised.  In looking into who Ms. Linick and various other people running the JCRC were yesterday. I see that she and I were both students at Georgetown University’s MBA program, overlapping, in the early 90s.  GU’s program is very light on math – and very heavy on ethics! – but even the students there know that $65,000 is not 10% of $2.1 million.  I will be curious to see if Ms. Linick is as good as her word, despite her computational deficiencies.

Then I began looking at the board of the JCRC.  Of the few I have looked at so far are seasoned citizens (see below) and often don’t seem to be still gainfully employed or to have much of an internet footprint.  They also seem to be fairly partisan, mainly Democrats (though one has some John Boehner connection).  They seem like a group that would be naturally inclined to protect the Democrat’s one party rule in DC, and certainly a group that would protect the two party monopoly.  (A Jewish libertarian friend, who alerted me to their forum in the first place, says that when he moved here he went to some of their events, and also came away with the impression that they were mainly Democratic party partisans, with few independents or others, and mainly older than people in similar organizations.)  It’s sad that there are virtually no independent organizations in DC (as well as none that represent tax payers, people victimized by the drug war, students unserved by DC’s failed schools, etc.)

Joseph Sandler, of Sandler and Reiff, getting his partisanship on

One of the people I looked at was the chair of the JCRC, Joseph Sandler.  Who is he?  A long term lawyer for the Democratic National Committee. (From his Wiki:  “Joseph Sandler is a Washington, D.C. attorney who served as in-house general counsel for the Democratic National Committee from 1993 to 1998 and continued in this role at his firm Sandler, Reiff & Young through 2009. He now serves as an adviser to prominent Democrats, state parties, and progressive organizations, such as Moveon.org.”)

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Linick, Debra
Date: Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Subject: Mayoral forum
To: Bruce Majors

Bruce, thanks for your response. I will need to relook my math on the below. As regards the literature, it can be brought to Sixth & I the day of the event. If someone wishes to drop it off earlier, please let me know so I can provide a heads up to my colleague there, Lisa Yochelson, who would be able to hold onto it until we can display it.

From: Bruce Majors [mailto:majors.bruce@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 3:11 PM
To: Linick, Debra
Subject: Re: Mayoral forum

I do have two questions though:

1) Where should I bring the literature and when?

2) According to the August 12 campaign reports I see online with the Office of Campaign Finance, my friend Carol Schwartz has raised a total of $65,000 which is over 1% but much less than 10% of the over $2 million dollars raised by front runner Muriel Bowser. (Ten percent of $2.1 million would be $210,000.)

So to be able to formulate a rationale by which you exclude me and continue to invite Ms. Schwartz, you will need to tell everyone that your rule is that all candidates must have raised 1% or 2% of the amount raised by the front runner. Is that what you meant to write?

On Wednesday, September 10, 2014, Linick, Debra wrote:

Mr. Majors, thank you for getting in touch with the JCRC about our upcoming forum. The JCRC invites all candidates who have secured at least 10% of the funding of the front runner candidate in a given race in financial reports current at the time of our invitations. Although this does exclude some individuals from speaking roles, we do welcome all candidates to provide written material that we encourage audience members to review and take before or after the program. We allow two separate items per campaign to be displayed. We do not allow soliciting on the premises at Sixth and I, however campaigns have often had a presence on the public sidewalks outside of Sixth and I were our line of attendees forms. I hope that these opportunities might be of interest to you and thank you once again for reaching out to JCRC.

Debra Gold Linick
Director for DC & Northern Virginia
703-893-4007 / 202-552-5355
dlinick@jcouncil.org

About the Jewish Community Relations Council
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC) is the public affairs and community relations arm of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington representing over 100 Jewish organizations and synagogues throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The JCRC focuses on government relations, Israel advocacy, inter-group relations, and social justice.

6101 Montrose Road, Suite 205│Rockville, MD 20852│Tel. 301-770-0881│Fax. 301-770-7553│www.jcouncil.org
Virginia Office: c/o JCCNV, 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA22031-3123│Tel. 703-893-4007│ Fax 703-323-1993
DC Office: 1720 Eye Street, NW Suite 800, Washington, DC 20006│Tel. 202-552-5355

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From: Bruce Majors [mailto:majors.bruce@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2014 9:58 AM
To: Linick, Debra
Subject: Mayoral forum

I am available should you decide to be ńonpartisan in your debate format.

I spoke last night at the Capitol Hill Arts Center mayoral forum, as I had earlier before the National Capitol Area ACLU and other forums, and I think it was viewed as a positive addition.

Bruce Majors

202 704 6401


JCRC:

header_leadership

 Executive Committee

President
Joseph Sandler
Vice PresidentCookie Hymer Blitz
Vice PresidentMichael Friedman
 Vice President
Erwin Groner
TreasurerBarbara Zakheim
Financial SecretarySam Kaplan
Recording Secretary
Miriam Galston
Executive Director
Ronald Halber


Board of Directors

Ira Bartfield
Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein
Bob Budoff
Jerome Chapman
Andrew Cooper
Behnam Dayanim
Alyssa Dortort
Jack Edlow
Anita Epstein
Robert Epstein
Debra Feuer
Judith Flippen-Anderson
Mennachem Gottlieb
Ralph Grunewald
Peter Haas
Sheldon Klein
Edward Kopf
Julie Krachman
Rebecca Krasnegor
Alyza Lewin
Lucky Malamut
Gerson Panitch
Orlee Panitch
Ronald Paul, M.D.
Rabbi Mindy Portnoy
Thorn Pozen
Daniel Prywes
Edward Rehfeld
Joan Sacarob
Rabbi Arnold Saltzman
Frederick Shapiro
Irving Shapiro
Michael Eric Siegel
Gerald Sommer
Steven David Stone
Stuart Tauber
Susan Turnbull
Irving Varkonyi
Eugene Youngentob 


Past Presidents

Douglas Bloomfield
Stephen N. Gell
Ronald Glancz
Norman Goldstein
Sophie R. Hoffman
Helen Karpa
Hon. Peter B. Krauser
Nathan Lewin
Rabbi Jack Luxemburg
Harvey Reiter
Elaine Senter
Jack A. Serber
Bert A. Silver
Andy Stern
Marcia Weinberg
Susan Weinberg



Libertarians included in many debates in DC, but censored from the two largest

10 Sep

One local area libertarian pointed out to me 6th and I synagogue is having this forum and did not invite me.  


I am being invited to all the smaller forums (Capitol Hill Arts Center, DC Statehood group, National Capital Area ACLU, DC Youth Alliance) but not this one and the only big one, the WAMU/NPR forum.  I am asking you to help me by writing a letter to Debra Linick at dlinick@jcouncil.org and ask that I be included.  I have contacted her and so has the fellow who first pointed this out to me.

I will also work on finding a contact for the WAMU on air debate, moderated by Kojo Namdi.

Thank you.

Whether I am included or not I and any other libertarians who can will be at the event to flyer the audience.


Libertarian mayoral candidate Bruce Majors at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop forum.
(Independent candidate Carol Schwartz and Green Party candidate faith seated.)












———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Subject: You missed a candidate in your mayoral forum invites
To: Bruce Majors <majors.bruce@gmail.com>

Hi Bruce,
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington is the organization coordinating the candidate forum. Sixth & I is hosting the event, but we are not determining who is actually participating. I would reach out to Debra Linick (dlinick@jcouncil.org) to inquire about being included.
Thanks,
Hannah

Hannah O—–, Communications Manager
Sixth & I – 600 I Street, NW – Washington, DC 20001
Direct: 202.266.4864 | Fax: 202.408.5124 | Web: www.sixthandi.org 
Follow us on Twitter @sixthandi
Join our community Facebook.com/sixthandi
WebbyHonoreeLOGOSignature

Update:

To send a protest letter to the NPR/WAMU debate email Kojo Namdi at
kojo@wamu.org

Libertarians included in neighborhood and smaller debates, but censored from two largest

10 Sep

One local area libertarian pointed out to me 6th and I synagogue is having this forum and did not invite me.  


I am being invited to all the smaller forums (Capitol Hill Arts Center, DC Statehood group, National Capital Area ACLU, DC Youth Alliance) but not this one and the only big one, the WAMU/NPR forum.  I am asking you to help me by writing a letter to Debra Linick at dlinick@jcouncil.org and ask that I be included.  I have contacted her and so has the fellow who first pointed this out to me.

I will also work on finding a contact for the WAMU on air debate, moderated by Kojo Namdi.

Thank you.

Whether I am included or not I and any other libertarians who can will be at the event to flyer the audience.


Libertarian mayoral candidate Bruce Majors at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop forum.
(Independent candidate Carol Schwartz and Green Party candidate faith seated.)












———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Subject: You missed a candidate in your mayoral forum invites
To: Bruce Majors <majors.bruce@gmail.com>

Hi Bruce,
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington is the organization coordinating the candidate forum. Sixth & I is hosting the event, but we are not determining who is actually participating. I would reach out to Debra Linick (dlinick@jcouncil.org) to inquire about being included.
Thanks,
Hannah

Hannah O—–, Communications Manager
Sixth & I – 600 I Street, NW – Washington, DC 20001
Direct: 202.266.4864 | Fax: 202.408.5124 | Web: www.sixthandi.org 
Follow us on Twitter @sixthandi
Join our community Facebook.com/sixthandi
WebbyHonoreeLOGOSignature

Update:

To send a protest letter to the NPR/WAMU debate email Kojo Namdi at

kojo@wamu.org

D.C. Democratic Party contradictions – what I learned at the Mayoral forums

28 Feb
I’ve attended three mayoral forums so far, the DC for Democracy and the Board of Trade Democrats only forums as an audience member, and the ACLU forum as a candidate.

One funny thing about the forums is that if the group has money most candidates show up, and if it doesn’t only half the candidates do.  Mayor Gray skipped the ACLU, Andy Shallal skipped the ACLU and the Board of Trade (someone told me he had a family emergency),  Muriel Bowser skipped the ACLU and DC for Democracy, Jack Evans skipped DC for Democracy, Carlos Allen skipped the Board of Trade, where there was a seat and name card waiting for him, but I think he may not have known he was invited.

Upcoming forums that include me are the March 10 DC Statehood Committee forum at Martin Luther King library and the neighborhood forum for Takoma Park, DC and surrounding neighborhoods.

Here are the five contradictions I’ve noticed repeated by most of the Democrats:

DC Democratic Party contradiction 1 – Virginia and Maryland suburbanites come to DC and take our good jobs, and we can’t tax their incomes – so we are going to use DC taxpayer dollars to subsidize their metro fares so they can get here easier.

DC Democratic Party contradiction 2 (Tommy Wells edition) – we want urban planning where DC is a walkable city and everyone can walk within 5 minutes to school or work, AND we want more tax dollars spent on metro so employers can all relocate to Georgetown while workers are segregated in Anacostia, with the taxpayer footing the transportation bill.

DC Democratic Party contradiction 3 – We want to make DC tax rates on commercial property, business income, etc etc competitive with Virginia to keep jobs here, AND we can’t name a single program or agency we would cut or eliminate.

DC Democratic Party contradiction 4 (everybody but Tommy Wells edition) – we want to decriminalize pot, in part to end the huge racial disparity in arrests (8 times as likely for black pot users – weirdly twice the national average disparity of 3.7 times as likely!), but we want to keep it a crime or have a high fine for smoking on the street or in public, as black youth are more likely to do than whites.

DC Democratic Party contradiction 5 – the number of homeless living on the streets in DC is rising rapidly, with hypothermia for the homeless, nuisance and crime for everyone else, and hygiene issues for both, AND our Democratic solution to this is to build more and nicer taxpayer funded housing for homeless people who come to DC, without collaboration with Maryland or Virginia, so we can import all the homeless from Richmond to Baltimore and beyond.

Republican Party caucus attacks D.C. Libertarian mayoral candidate Majors for … wanting to cut defense budget….?

18 Feb
I actually pledge, if elected Mayor of D.C., NOT to remove any of the D.C. government military bases from Japan or Germany. So the Republican Security Council has nothing to fear! – Libertarian mayoral candidate Bruce Majors


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Post by Republican Security Council.

Bruce Majors is the Libertarian Party candidate for Mayor of Washington, DC. He describes himself as part of the “Ron Paul Revolution,” and is an anti-war activist. He is well to the left of Obama and Pelosi on defense, foreign policy and war on terror issues. 

Majors has many conservative friends but is often detrimental to the cause. His focus last year was on the Libertarian gubernatorial nominee in Virginia, and once again, the third party vote snatched victory from a Republican. 

Bruce’s hero, Ron Paul, endorsed GOP nominee Ken Cuccinelli, but that made no difference to him. Libertarian candidates have also cost the GOP five U.S. Senate seats (MN, OR, MT, IN and WA). Of the 10 candidates running for Mayor, Majors is the only avowed homosexual.


He completely supports gay marriage and has worked against candidates who back the Defense of Marriage Act. It would be difficult to challenge his leadership on gay issues. 


The surprise is that he has received the lowest rating possible from the Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance (GLAA). It has nothing to do with gay issues, but GLAA does not like him because Majors opposes increased government spending and taxation. 


The organization said Majors and “his party’s ideological distrust of government is at odds with policies and reforms favored by GLAA. Consequently, many of his responses were interpreted as non-responsive or negative.” 


This is not a unique response. It has happened to other gay Republicans, and to conservative black and Hispanic candidates. The liberal agenda comes first with many of these national organizations.

Here’s something potentially annoying for Libertarians….

6 Feb
Answering candidate questionnaires and surveys from conventional groups with state-centric blinders and assumptions, whether it be the Chamber of Commerce, Tenants’ rights groups, or gay organizations.  Here is my answer set for one such group.  (Email me your suggested changes to: majors.bruce@gmail.com)

———————————————————————————————————–

The DC Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance scores some local candidates in some local races using the questionnaire below.

——————————————————–


Bruce Majors, Libertarian for Mayor
PUBLIC HEALTH 
1. Will you act to ensure that the District provides transgender-inclusive health insurance to all 
D.C. Government employees, to include coverage for sex affirmation surgery (also known as sex 
reassignment surgery)? 
As Mayor I will seek to increase all options for how District government employees can choose to use their own healthcare dollars, including increasing insurance options and reducing barriers to entry for insurance companies.  I would oppose attempts by any level of government to tell D.C. government employees (or anyone else) what treatments or procedures they can pursue.  I would not allow the government to define which reconstructive or cosmetic options are approved and which not, but would instead respect consumer sovereignty.  I would oppose a precedent of having the D.C. government design a one size fits all health care plan or insurance policy for all D.C. employees.
2. Will you submit budgets that target funds to address health disparities in the LGBT 
population, including in mental health and substance abuse treatment? 

I would ensure that funds budgeted for any area do not exclude or discriminate against any population.  I would seek to allow each individual more choice in how they use the funds budgeted.  Ideally where possible people eligible for these programs would have something like an EBT card or voucher and be able to choose their own care provider.  I think it’s also important for gay activist to recognize that traditionally a major source of discrimination is the state sector, whether it is bullying at the school a child is assigned to with no choice, or in the past teachers being fired for being gay when exposure to homosexuality was thought to be inappropriate for children.  Likewise today I think those incarcerated by the state, whether in government schools or in jail or prison, are among those most likely to be denied safe sex information, condoms, and freedom from bullying and sexual aggression.  I favor liberating the incarcerated who have not committed a crime or have committed a “victimless crime,” but while incarcerated in a government institution they should not be denied mental health or substance abuse treatment or information about STDs and safe sex.
3. Describe steps you will take to improve performance at the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and 
TB Administration (HAHSTA), including in HIV prevention, HIV/AIDS surveillance, and 
mental health services. 
I would seek to end the “War on Drugs” and incarceration of those using drugs, so that more people could come out into the open and seek treatment for addiction as needed, in part to reduce HIV transmission from needle sharing and in part to reduce HIV transmission from risky behavior undertaken while using drugs.  I think it’s also important for gay activists to recognize that traditionally a major source of discrimination is the state sector, whether it is bullying at the school a child is assigned to with no choice, or in the past teachers being fired for being gay when exposure to homosexuality was thought to be inappropriate for children.  Likewise today I think those incarcerated by the state, whether in government schools or in jail or prison, are among those most likely to be denied safe sex information, condoms, and freedom from bullying and sexual aggression.  I favor liberating the incarcerated who have not committed a crime or have committed a “victimless crime,” but while incarcerated in a government institution they should not be denied mental health or substance abuse treatment or information about STDs and safe sex.
I also believe the Mayor and his or her surrogates and staff should regularly address affected populations, including students, about HIV and other STD transmission and prevention.
JUDICIARY AND PUBLIC SAFETY 
4. Will you require the Metropolitan Police Department’s gathering and analysis of crime 
statistics to ensure greater comprehensiveness and objectivity, including on LGBT-related hate 
crimes and intimate partner violence? 

I do believe these statistics should be collected, and additionally statistics on bullying and types of bullying should be collected, by school and type of school (public, charter, parochial, private).
I also favor ending exclusive dependence on the MPD for protection — I favor removing barriers to legal gun ownership for LGBT people who do not have criminal records or other issues, especially those who have reasonable concerns about gay bashing in areas where they live or work.  I think an LGBT group in D.C. should teach them responsible firearms storage, ownership, and use and how to obtain a license and choose a firearm.  Barriers to non-governmental groups establishing shooting ranges and clubs inside D.C. for training should be removed.
5. What will you do to provide alternatives to incarceration for marginalized and at-risk 
populations like homeless youth and transgender people who resort to sex work for survival? 
I would legalize all drug use, decriminalize all drug production and exchange, free all those incarcerated for selling or using drugs, and expunge all criminal records related to these activities.  I would similarly decriminalize all “sex work,” free those incarcerated for being “sex workers,” and expunge criminal records related to these activities.
I would not create or fund special government programs targeted at these people, whose activities I would make no concern of the State.  I would also ensure that they were treated like everyone else when accessing any government program available to others.
6. Will you budget funds to hire qualified trainers to provide LGBT-inclusive cultural 
competency training to all police officers, including in the handling of intimate partner violence? 

I would ensure that the Metropolitan Police Department adequately trained its officers in all aspects of DC’s diverse populations and advertised job openings to and hired from all DC population groups.  This would include training as needed on LGTB issues.
Beyond that I favor removing barriers to legal gun ownership for LGBT people who do not have criminal records or other issues, especially those who have reasonable concerns about gay bashing in areas where they live or work.  I think an LGBT group in D.C. should teach them responsible firearms storage, ownership and use and how to obtain a license and choose a firearm.  Barriers to non-governmental groups establishing shooting ranges and clubs inside D.C. for training should be removed.
HUMAN RIGHTS 
7. Will you require that anyone you appoint as Director of the Office of Human Rights have 
professional training and experience in civil rights law enforcement? 

I would ensure that both the Director and the staff of any DC agency dealing with human rights have a commitment to human rights, individual freedom and civil liberties and a background and expertise to perform the job effectively.  Ideally I’d prefer someone with a background of working with the ACLU, NORML, MPP, or other groups critical of law enforcement abuses, over criminalization, the militarization of police departments, the expansion of the surveillance state, and not merely someone who has worked within a law enforcement bureaucracy where they handled EOE complaints.
8. Will you renew, enforce and update as necessary the Mayoral Order mandating explicit 
inclusion of every class protected under the D.C. Human Rights Act in all D.C. government 
agency nondiscrimination statements?
I would ensure that the DC government obey its own laws and treat all people equally without discrimination.  In some sense the expanding list of “protected classes” under DC law, which under DC fair housing law is now over 20 classes, including such things as “matriculation” and “political affiliation,” may tend to dilute and make light of serious violence and discrimination against women, LGTB people, racial minorities and other groups.  But the DC government should be required to obey its own laws, and Mayoral Orders mandating this should be issued.  If the DC government finds a law it has issued to difficult to obey, then it should consider its impact on citizens in general.
9. Given the limited results from trans-inclusive Project Empowerment training, will you 
establish a project at the Department of Employment Services to increase government hiring 
from under-represented populations, and will you hire trans persons in your own office?

I would conduct a study of D.C. government agencies, including the Metro system and the public school system, to see if there are patterns of extreme over- or under-representation in hiring, and if so if there are problems with nepotism or discrimination in any particular agencies.  As a Libertarian I am not surprised that a government program to help or promote trans persons did not work as intended.  When I ran for office in 2012 I was contacted by people using D.C. government employment training programs who would complain of their complete worthlessness and ask me to help or advise them in some way.  I would be happy to hire a trans person or persons who would be effective at a job, including a high profile job, and highlight the irrelevance of their sexual identity to their work.
YOUTH AND SENIORS 
10. Will you act to ensure improved services and treatment for LGBT homeless youth and 
seniors, including expanding transitional housing and emergency shelter space?  
I would  transfer title to unused D.C. properties (e.g. closed schools) to non-profits, including those working in this area, and allow them to sell off some of the assets to refurbish as needed or help run the programs.  I would prefer that both youth and seniors had choices among a variety of non-profit and for profit care providers, and not become wards or incarcerated in a state monopoly poor house.  One suspects among other issues, and given DC’s failure to police its own at the highest levels in the past few years, that DC regulatory agencies might be lax with a government shelter or government housing, and more pro-active in investigating a non-governmental one, for health and safety issues.
CONSUMERS AND BUSINESSES 
11. Will you support strengthening Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) reforms by eliminating 
license protests filed by citizens associations and ad hoc groups, requiring stakeholders to 
participate in the community process provided by the Advisory Neighborhood Commission?

I would eliminate the ABC and liquor licensing.  If McDonald’s wants to serve wine as it does abroad, it should be free to sell it and D.C. residents should be free to buy it, just as if they were in Quebec or Paris.  Until the ABC is eliminated I would take any step to end harassment of local businesses by competitors and people who want to interfere with private consensual activity of their neighbors.
12. Do you pledge to find a suitably located space for The DC Center when the Reeves Center 
closes? 

We have all seen recently the downside of the politicized misuse of government infrastructure in the case of Governor Chris Christie’s office’s snarling traffic on a bridge under its control.  This highly publicized case happens daily around the country but simply gets less coverage, in part because no one suggests alternative ways of arranging things.  I would transfer title to closed or unused D.C. government properties to non-profit groups like the DC Center and allow them to function independently.  I do not favor a government controlled or managed gay community center, where the government or an incumbent administration will attempt to define the gay community.  Many other cities have managed to create and sustain gay community centers in the voluntary sector, and many of them have lower average incomes than D.C. and a smaller gay population than D.C.  Among other problems, as with all government property, a state-approved gay community center will encourage and politicize conflicts over who gets to use spaces, resources, or programs.  I think religious gay groups and anti-religious gay groups, radical feminist lesbians and transgender groups, and other parts of the gay community who have contradictory ideas about social issues should not be pitted against each other as protesters are on public sidewalks or parents are in public schools, but instead should be allowed to each freely associate and disassociate as they choose.
Your record is part of your rating. Please list any actions that you have taken that may 
help illustrate your record on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. 

I have been openly gay in DC since 1980.  In the early 80s my activism consisted mainly of working on libertarian causes and anti-draft registration causes, and very publicly kissing my then lover at airport terminals, when, in pre-TSA days, you could accompany a loved one right up to the door of the plane.  We also had a joint checking account and used a hyphenated last name on it, because again, in those pre-Patriot Act days, you could just do that, free of government restrictions.
In the late 80s, when I was both a staff and a graduate student at Georgetown University, and it was fighting over whether to legitimize its undergraduate gay student group, I conceived and started, with two other graduate students I recruited, a Gay and Lesbian Lunch Group for Staff, Faculty and Graduate Students.  It was a time when there were many news stories about self-segregated lunch tables in American high schools.  We produced clever flyers, usually depicting some famous person the average person did not realize was gay (Greta Garbo, Jodie Foster, etc.) announcing that there would be a gay lunch table in the Leavey Center and put them up all over campus.  Then we’d all pick a table and have lunch together bi-weekly.
In the early and mid 90s I attended a variety of DC gay group meetings, including GLAA, GLOV, Asians and Friends, the Lesbian Power Breakfast, the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, and the Potomac Executive Network.  I also did some gay community outreach for the initial campaign of Jack Evans for city council, recruited by his old staffer John Ralls, and I did gay community outreach for Nancy Lord, JD, MD, a (heterosexual) woman who ran for Mayor as a Libertarian candidate in the early 1990s.  I also supported both Carol Schwartz, and then Patrick Mara, in earlier elections, first for supporting civil unions (Schwartz) and then for supporting gay marriage (Mara) instead of civil unions.
In the mid and late 90s I became a regular attendee and eventually for a number of years a fairly major sponsor of Reel Affirmations, D.C.’s Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. (if you check any program from the years 1999-2007 you can see my listing as a sponsor, for anyone not old enough to remember.)
In the late 1990s and early 2000s I became a member of the Human Rights Campaign Fund’s Federal Club and donated to HRC at a silent auction, winning a spot as an extra on “Will and Grace.”  I also donated lesser amounts to other groups like the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.  From 2000 to 2002 I donated mainly through the Gay and Lesbian Interests group and gay and lesbian bundlers, to the Democratic Party, including the campaigns of Howard Dean, Al Gore, and John Kerry.  I also gave smaller amounts to Jim Kolbe and the Log Cabin Republicans.  (You can find most of my donations at OpenSecrets.Org by doing a search at http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.php?name=majors&state=DC&zip)
Last year I published an essay in support of gay marriage in the online magazine Doublethink, published by America’s Future Foundation, a group that networks young free market oriented interns and professionals in DC and other cities (http://americasfuture.org/doublethink/2013/06/a-guide-to-the-marriage-debate/)