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Jeanette Rishell In The Washington Blade

By Greg L | 29 September 2006 | Jeanette Rishell | 1 Comment

The Washington Blade, a DC newspaper that serves the GLBT community published a nice article today on the race in the 50th District and interviewed Democratic nominee Jeanette Rishell. Her Republican opponent Jackson Miller was apparently unable to schedule an opportunity to sit for an interview. Go figure.

The article generally focuses on each candidate’s position regarding the Marriage Amendment, which is unsurprising given the Washington Blade’s previous coverage of the gay rights rally held in Manassas in which Jeanette Rishell was a featured speaker. In the article, though, it seems Ms. Rishell is concerned about how her previous statements on gay marriage have hurt her in the district and refuses to state her position on it. As has become her habit, she talked about her farfetched technical concerns regarding the Marriage Amendment and completely avoided divulging her long-standing support of the notion that Virginia should legally recognize same-sex unions.

The article makes the utterly bizarre claim that the Virginia Partisans Gay & Lesbian Democratic Club supported Harry Parrish over his previous democratic challengers in an attempt to make their significant support of Jeanette Rishell more palatable to district voters. This is a complete fiction. In 2005 the Virginia Partisans endorsed Donald Shuemaker, not Harry Parrish and donated $100 to Shuemaker’s campaign. This cycle they have donated $1000 to Jeanette Rishell, and according to the Virginia Public Access Project, they have never donated money to a Republican candidate.

Although Jeanette Rishell has sported a bumper sticker on her car which supported gay “marriage”, has lobbied in Richmond in support of gay “marriage”, had her first fundraiser hosted by the Virginia Partisans Gay & Lesbian Democratic Club, and has made several statements in the BRUU newsletter in support of gay “marriage”, the Washington Blade absolutely gave her a pass and allowed her to hide her policy on “gay rights”.

When asked to discuss her stance on issues affecting gays and lesbians, including domestic partner benefits and the inclusion of gays and lesbians in workplace discrimination policies, Rishell declined to comment. When asked for a copy of the Partisans’ survey results on Rishell’s stance on gay issues, Conrad responded by saying it was against the organization’s policy to release the results.

The Virginia Partisans are unwilling to share survey results with a gay publication? Does anyone buy this utter hogwash? I’m sure the Virginia Partisans are very concerned that the Washington Blade would somehow use the survey results to damage the political aspirations of a well known “gay rights” activist. Their very deferential acceptance of Jeanette Rishell’s reticence to discuss her positions on issues of concern within the GLBT community seems like a clear acknowledgement of how out of tune these issues are with voters in the 50th district. One might confuse the motivation for this behavior with a sense of shame.

I understand that Ms. Rishell is in a tough position here. If she talks openly about her convictions, her campaign will implode. If she doesn’t, her base will feel like she’s selling them out. What’s happening is a mixture of both, as her history on these issues is pretty transparent and other “gay rights” activists are seeing that Ms. Rishell is eager to accept their money, but reluctant to openly fight for many of their concerns. At least for now, the homosexual activists seem to be extraordinarily understanding of Jeanette Rishell’s conundrum and are remaining pretty loyal. Perhaps they know something we don’t.

The organization’s president, Charley Conrad, said Rishell filled out a gay issues questionnaire sent to her by the group and received a 100 percent rating.

I’m hoping to get a copy of the survey that the Virginia Partisans asked Jeanette Rishell to respond to. I imagine if I see it, I can figure out how she answered in order to get a rating like this. It may explain why the Virginia Partisans are keeping her responses confidential and why the “gay rights” folks are so tolerant of her weak public support of their issues.

So how about it, Ms. Rishell? How about publicly releasing your answers to this survey so voters can know where you stand on these imporant issues? You’re not trying to back down on your faith or your values now, are you?

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1 Comment

  1. James Young said on 29 Sep 2006 at 7:32 pm:
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    Jeanette must be taking a page from the Clinton playbook: “How do we fool ‘em today?”

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