"Courage to Match Convictions"

(Tallahassee Democrat)

 

Jim D. Maynard

Democratic Socialist

Write-In Candidate for

U.S. Senate

2006

(Primary Election: August 3, 2006)


 

 

 

Why I Decided to Run for Office (Again)

 

On Sept. 30, 2004, Rep. Harold Ford Jr. reversed prior position statements and voted for the anti-gay "Federal Marriage Amendment" (H.J. Resolution 56), which would amend the U.S. Constitution to prohibit states from allowing gay and lesbian couples to enjoy the legal rights of marriage.  Because Rep. Ford  has voted against gay and lesbian civil rights, because he has voted with opponents of gay and lesbian equality, and because he voted against the position of the Democratic Party and its Presidential Candidate John Kerry, I decided to oppose him as a write-in candidate in the Nov. 2, 2004 election.  ( I received 166 votes.)

While Rep. Ford has consistently opposed gay marriage, he has also taken the position of John Kerry and the Democratic Party that it is wrong and unnecessary to amend the U.S. Constitution to block the right of states to allow gays and lesbians to marry--until Sept. 30, 2004 when he caved in to a campaign of intolerance waged by anti-gay churches and clergy in Memphis.  I and many other gay and lesbian supporters of Harold Ford Jr. were very disappointed with his betrayal.

This is not the first time he has endorsed conservative positions.  He has supported President Bush's "Faith-based Initiatives" which violate the First Amendment's anti-establishment clause and the constitutional separation of church and state.  He supported the Iraq War and wasteful military spending.  I have decided that I can no longer support him or vote for him and believe that voters deserve a better choice, someone who stands up for his beliefs and principles, defends civil rights, equality and social justice for all, and supports the separation of church and state.

It is now clear that Harold Ford Jr. crossed party lines and voted for the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment in anticipation of running for the U.S. Sentate 2006.  His campaign for the Senate has emphasized his vote for the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment and his opposition to gay marriage, as well as his votes to restrict the right of women to abortion, and he has indicated that he supports some version of the Republican plan to "privatize" Social Security, as he has supported much of the Bush Admnistration's conservative policies. 

Progressive Democrats must challenge Harold Ford Jr. and the "centrist" Democratic Party establishment that supported him over his main Democratic opponent, Rosalind Kurita, who has withdrawn from the race for lack of money and party support.  It is very disturbing to me that candidates who cannot compete against other candidates with large corporate and other political establishment donors are forced to drop out of the political process.  People with money and family name recognition should not be automatically entitled to political office.

I still believe that PROGRESSIVE Democrats deserve a real choice in this election and so I offer my name as a write-in candidate for the August 3 primary for Democrats who share my unwavering belief in theprogressive Democratic principles of peace, social justice, equality and the separation of church and state.  

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Harold Ford Jr.s Conservative Record:

  • Supported Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq
  • Supported Bush' tax cuts for the wealthy
  • Supported corporate anti-consumer bankruptcy law
  • Supported some privitization of Social Security
  • Supports GOP plan to cut estate taxes on wealthy families
  • Supports conservative "faith-based" federal tax give a ways to churches
  • Does not defend the separation of Church and State, supports theocratic government .
  • Voted for GOP and anti-gay Christian Right's "Federal Marriage Amendment" to write discrimination against gays and lesbians into the U.S. Constitution TWICE!
  • Harold Ford Jr.: Black Point Man for the Right
  • Harold Ford Jr's Voting Record

 

ABOUT ME

 

I was born Nov. 1963 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.  I was raised by a single mother who worked as a waitress to support my brother and me.  We were a poor family, but very close and loving.  I spent most of my life in north Arkansas (a small town called Gassville). I skipped my senior year of high school to attend Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.  I was very religious and wanted to be a preacher. I started as a Bible major.  During my sophomore year in college I began to question my religious beliefs and struggle with my sexual identity.  I realized I was gay and could not stay in my church or be a preacher.  I changed my major to sociology and earned a B.A. at Harding.  I moved to Memphis in 1984 as a graduate assistant at Memphis State University, where I earned a M.A.  I moved on to Florida State University as a graduate assistant to work on my doctorate in sociology.  I was an ABD doctoral candidate, but was unable to finish my doctoral dissertation after over five years.  (I have a lot of student loan debt, which I also think is a national crisis that needs to be addressed).     I became active in gay and progressive political organizations in college and have been fighting right-wing conservatives and bigots all my life.   After teaching part-time at several colleges, I moved back to Memphis around 1993 and have been a political activist for many causes: peace and justice, religious freedom and separation of church and state, and gay and lesbian civil rights.  I founded the Memphis Lesbian & Gay Coalition for Justice and the Memphis Freethought Alliance.  I served as Vice-Chair of Equality Tennessee, a statewide glbt civil rights organization I helped form.  Our country is in a crisis.  Our political leaders and parties are controlled by corporate interests and are failing to work for the common good of the American people.  Religious extremists are tearing down the "wall of separation" between church and state.   I want to challenge the status quo and challenge the Democratic Party to defend the values and principles of equality, social justice, and freedom.

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

 

 

EXPERIENCE/ACTIVITIES

 

Title Abstractor,

Chicago Title Insurance Company

1997-2006

Founder, Memphis Lesbian & Gay Coalition for Justice (1997)

Vice-Chair, Equality Tennessee (1999-2002)

Secretary, Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (2003)

Founder, Memphis Freethought Alliance

President, Memphis Stonewall Demcrats (2006)

 

 

EDUCATION

 

B.A. Sociology, Harding University (1982)

M.A. Sociology, Memphis State University l (1984)

ABD, Sociology, F lorida State University (1996)\

 

PLATFORM/ISSUES

  • Equal Rights for Gays and Lesbians
  • Separation of Church and State & Religious Freedom
  • Universal Health Insurance  (a single-payer system like Canada's)
  • Fair/Progressive Taxation (no regressive tax increases for the working class and poor)
  • End Corporate Welfare!
  • Cut wasteful military spending and invest more in health and education
  • More equitable educational funding and more support for public education
  • Eliminate interest on student loans, forgive all student loan debt for persons making less than $40,000
  • REAL Campaign Finance Reform , we must end the corporate take-over of our government!
  • Raise the minimum wage to $8 an hour and index it to inflation, like Social Security.
  • Get out of NAFTA to protect American workers and jobs !
  • Protect women's reproductive rights (keep abortion legal!), and pay equity--equal pay for equal work!
  • Impeachment of George W. Bush!  For more info visit: Impeach Bush.org
  • Withdraw from Iraq and turn the situation over to Iraqi and International organizations.
  • Protect Social Security, don't privatize it!  Small changes will keep it the SS Trust Fund solvent (small increases in retirement ages, indexing SS taxes to income, etc.)

 

What you Can Do

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LINKS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARTICLES

We must save the Democratic Party and our country by getting involved as citizens.  You can voice your opposition to Rep. Harold Ford Jr.'s compromising positions by writing my name in when you vote. 

Be sure to ask for a write-in ballot when you vote.

 

I don't want your money, just your vote!

Contact me if you want to volunteer!   Email Me

VISIT MY HOME PAGE FOR MORE INFO

Visit my WEBLOG to keep up on my views and opinions weekly

 

Download Bumpersticker to Print (Word .doc File)

 

Buy Campaign Merchanise (Stickers, Buttons, etc.)

   

 

I URGE YOU TO ALSO VOTE FOR STEVE COHEN FOR U.S. HOUSE (Dist.9), Harold Ford Jr.'s current seat:

 

VOTE NO! TO AMENDMENT THE TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION TO BAN GAY MARRIAGE!

 

Visit These Websites to Stay Informed and Get Politically Active:

 

 

Queer Notes (My Blog)

Impeach Bush.org

Democratic Party (DNC) GLBT Outreach

Stonewall Democrats United

Memphis Stonewall Democrats

Democratic Socialists of America

Socialist Party USA

Mid-South Peace and Justice Center

Freedom To Marry

Progressive Majority

American Progress

Common Dreams

Move On

Democrats.com (Progressive Democrats)

TomPaine.com

Working For Change

BuzzFlash - Daily Headlines and Breaking News

AirAmerica Radio

 

Irregular Times Interview with Jim Maynard

A Civil Wrong

A Narrow Line by Jim Maynard

Christians and Gays by Jim Maynard