Organization Endorsements Do Not Translate into Real Action

For example, the Stonewall Democrats, an organization concerned with protecting the rights of the LGBT community, have endorsed Kathy Jennings for Attorney General and Kathy McGuinesss for Auditor.  Neither Kathy has spoken out against the revised Delaware Department of Education State Regulation 225, which will require parental consent for transgender accommodations at school and will remove model policies that would have given transgender students equal athletic opportunities.  This regulation will harm and discriminate against Transgender students, and Stonewall’s endorsed candidates have been silent.

Stonewall is not alone.   Other organizations that are more institutionalized into the party or governmental structure often endorse leading, establishment, or front-runner candidates.  For example, the Delaware State Education Association endorsed Kathy Jennings for Attorney General, even though she doesn’t speak about education issues. The reasoning is simple: the organizations do not want to be left jilted at the aisle backing the wrong horse to win the race.  They go with who they think will win because they want a seat at the table after the election.   I don’t begrudge them that motivation.

Still, these organizations should be pressing these candidates for action when action is needed.   Today, action is needed to oppose DDOE State Regulation 225, and hopefully Stonewall will call on its endorsed candidates to join Chris Johnson in urging their supporters to call on the DDOE to withdraw the revised regulation

To make your voice heard, you must submit a public comment to the DDOE by Friday, July 6.   To be considered as part of the public record, comments must either be submitted via email to or via mail to the attention of Tina Shockley, Department of Education, 401 Federal St., Suite 2, Dover, Delaware 19901. Out-of-state comments will be accepted! Comments submitted to other email addresses will not be accepted. You can find a sample comment here.



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20 comments on “Organization Endorsements Do Not Translate into Real Action

  1. True Blue

    This is so true. I found it ironic that the Stonewall D’s did not endorse Kerri Evelyn Harris for US Senate. I mean literally isn’t that what they are about moving the agenda forward. Notice Chris Johnson discussed his opposition to the new 225.

  2. They aren’t the Stonewall Democrats any more, probably best evidenced by the fact that they chose to endorse Republican Mike Ramone this year – the guy who led hours of floor debate against Paid Leave in the House and got his Republican caucus to vote against almost $1 billion in capital spending until he was given an exception in the minimum wage allowing him to pay his pool employees less. He also has a Democratic opponent – which one of the two do you think will vote better on LGBTQ issues?

  3. Mitch Crane

    On the first point, “speaking out” against Regulation 225 is meaningless. Submitting comment is what is required. I know that both Ms Jennings and Ms McGuiness oppose the proposed regulation, but do not know if they have submitted comment. Delaware Stonewall PAC has submitted comment in opposition.

    On the second point, I have had numerous conversations with Kerri Harris and they were frank and cordial. She knew that Stonewall was going to endorse Senator Carper based on his record of support for LGBT issues. Kerri has a bright future and we look forward to the opportunity to work with her and for her in that future.

    On the third point, I doubt Representative Ramone’s opponent “will be better on LGBTQ issues”. He has a 100% voting record on those issues and it is those issues that Stonewall focuses on. Stonewall believes that you cannot continue to seek votes across party lines in advancing legislation and never support those across those lines who stand with you in the face of much adversity. Mike Ramone is the ONLY incumbent Republican with a 100% LGBT voting record and we thank him through endorsement.

    There are Democratic incumbents with 0% (one case) and 75% (in two). If their Republican opponents convinced us that they would be significantly better, endorsement of them would be considered.

    As to the effectiveness of endorsements, there are those who are influenced by endorsements of candidates by organizations or people they relate to on specific issues. More important is that some of those organizations, such as Delaware Stonewall PAC, contribute funds in targeted races.

    • Joshua W

      “On the third point, I doubt Representative Ramone’s opponent “will be better on LGBTQ issues””

      She will, however, be a Democrat. What’s the point of being a Democratic organization if you’re going to endorse candidates who are hostile to most positions of the DelDems party platform with one exception?

      • Mitch Crane

        Delaware Stonewall PAC is a non-partisan organization, While most all endorsements are likely to be of Democrats, Party registration is not a qualifier. This is no different than the AFL-CIO or DSEA endorsing the occasional supportive Republican.

        • Joshua W

          If the Stonewall PAC is non-partisan, it’s done an incredibly poor job of demonstrating that fact. Both the DelDems website and the national Stonewall Democrats website still list the Stonewall PAC as a branch of those organizations, and both websites link directly to the Stonewall PAC website. If indeed the PAC is a non-partisan organization, then it’s incumbent on it’s board members to wholly divorce themselves from the Democratic Party, and demand that these links to party be severed.

    • Paid leave is an LGBTQ issue, especially when it applies to both partners and adoption. Fair wages is an LGBTQ issue, when queer people often struggle to survive. Voting rights is an LGBTQ issue, because it enfranchises populations that have historically been oppressed. Gun control is an LGBTQ issue, because gun violence is more often than not directed at LGBTQ populations.

    • By the way, if you’re going to be “nonpartisan” at least change your name. Using the name Stonewall, an anti-police riot led by radical left activists, to endorse Republicans is like naming your organization The Battle of Blair Mountain to endorse union-busters. Or the Grover Norquist Raising Taxes Society.

      • Mitch Crane

        Were you there? Did you somehow research the party registration of the participants? I can tell you that many were not registered voters and most of them did not label themselves. They were just fed up.

    • Why not wait for endorsements until after the filing deadline? I’m not picking on Stonewall, but all organizations that endorse.

  4. Laura Sturgeon came out against this a long time ago too

  5. Franny Black

    Kathy Jennings on Facebook:

    “I submitted the following statement at to voice my opposition of the proposed Regulation 225. The deadline for public comment is tomorrow. I urge everyone to make their voices heard.

    “The revisions to Regulation 225 require parental consent for transgender accommodations at school and remove policies that would have given transgender students equal athletic opportunities. We must be fully supportive, accommodating and accepting of our transgender students. Therefore, I oppose the current version of Regulation 225 because I believe that it may force some LGBTQ students to be outed to their parents or lose protection and safety at school. Unfortunately, transgender students can face bullying, violence, and rejection at school and at home. While I appreciate the rights of parents, the sad continuing history of discrimination against the LGBTQ community means we should do more to protect these students.”

    Equality Delaware Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats ACLU of Delaware”

    • better late than never

      after she saw this article, I imagine

  6. Peter Schott

    Joshua W.— National Stonewall Democrats has been non-existent for years and Delaware Stonewall Democrats is non-existing as well

    • Peter Schott

      National Stonewall closed up shop in 2013—we cannot answer as to why their website is still up.

      • Joshua W

        Understood. However, the Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats is still listed on the DelDems website. I think that should at least be rectified, so people won’t be confused.

  7. John Young

    Rewarding an officeholder for past votes on one subject seems counterproductive when the challenger is obviously prepared to match or beat that record AND advance other progressive issues. Some organizations just seem wedded to blasting off their toes and refusing to grow.

  8. Mitch Crane

    On the other hand you need to consider the weight of a voting record vs promises of how one will vote. There are numerous candidates who espouse progressive issues but once elected state the need to consider their “conservative district”.

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