12:45PM UPDATE: Former Republican State Representative, BJ Nikkel, who flipped her vote to support civil unions last year, comes out strongly against the Hagel nomination in today’s Denver Post. You can read the whole piece here.
Last year, I created something of a national firestorm when I cast a gridlock-breaking vote on civil union legislation over the objection of leaders in my party. If Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet are serious about equality, and if they are serious about protecting America’s national security interests, on this one nomination they will stand up to the president and vote against Hagel’s confirmation.
If, on the other hand, the Democrat-controlled Senate votes to confirm Hagel, it will send a very different message: Bigotry and discrimination are just fine, as long as you’re one of the president’s men.
With former US Senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination hearing for Secretary of Defense coming up on Thursday, it’s notable that neither US Senator from Colorado has offered their public support for the president’s pick. Last week Senators Udall and Bennet told The Denver Post‘s Allison Sherry they were undecided.
As neither politician has apparently made up their mind, we want to know: who will they stand by? Tim Gill or Barack Obama?
Tim Gill, the infamous funder of all things Colorado Democrat and liberal, originally got involved in heavily financing Colorado politics after a bill in the Colorado House attempted to ban teachers from discussing homosexuality in school, outside of STDs, according to the must-read Blueprint by former Rep Rob Witwer and journalist Adam Schrager.
It’s notable then that Chuck Hagel, as a US Senator, opposed an ambassador for not only being “aggressively gay” but for helping fund a documentary on how to teach children about homosexuality.
Uncovers BuzzFeed‘s Andrew Kaczynski:
But there was actually more to Hagel’s comment than was previously reported. In a 1998 Omaha World Herald article recently published online, Hagel detailed his objection to Hormel’s nomination, saying he was concerned that Hormel had aligned himself with a group he considered “anti-Catholic,” and asserted that being gay was “beyond common sense.”
In the interview, Hagel referred to a documentary, filmed with money that Hormel donated, that was meant to show teachers how to teach children about homosexuality. Hagel said he had seen another video clip that showed Hormel at an event which Hagel said was “anti-Catholic” in San Francisco, featuring a group of male drag queens called “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.”
“It is very clear on this tape that he’s laughing and enjoying the antics of an anti – Catholic gay group in this gay parade,” Hagel said. “I think it’s wise for the president not to go forward with this nomination.”
If what Tim Gill got involved in politics for, only a few years before the Colorado House bill that spurred his involvement, is something that Senator Hagel did, then it seems reasonable to assume he must oppose Hagel’s nomination.
When Chuck Hagel’s nomination comes up for a vote, how will Senators Udall and Bennet vote? In support of their major benefactor and financier of their home state’s political party, Tim Gill, or will they push a partisan agenda and follow in lock-step behind President Obama’s pick?