Morning Fizz

Pelz Removes Name from List of Chairs Backing National Gay Marriage Platform Fight

By Morning Fizz May 4, 2012

Caffeinated News & Gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz.



1. Washington State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz was surprised when his name showed up on a press release yesterday—and in headline stories at sites such as Politico— endorsing a campaign to make gay marriage part of the national Democratic Party platform. A group called Freedom to Marry announced yesterday that 11 state chairs, including Pelz, had endorsed their campaign "Democrats Say 'I Do.'"[pullquote]"I was unhappy to see them throw up some press release out there making it like this insurrection within the party."—Dwight Pelz[/pullquote]

Pelz pulled his name from the list, telling Fizz that while the Washington state party supports gay marriage and supports the current referendum to approve gay marriage, R-74, along with personally supporting gay marriage, he felt "sandbagged" by the group. He thought he was being emailed as "one of 500 Democratic National Committee members," not as a state party chair.

"I was unhappy to see them throw up some press release out there making it like this insurrection within the party," Pelz says. "I wasn't happy with them using my name," he says, explaining that he didn't like their tactics. "I didn't realize it was part of a strategy to start a fight within the party and embarrass the President."

"Frankly, I felt sandbagged."

2. The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, a powerhouse local lefty union with 38,000 members in  grocery stores, retail, and health care, endorsed both Progressive Majority leader Noel Frame and Mike O'Brien aide Sahar Fathi in the crowded race for the open seat in the 36th District to replace retiring state Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36, Ballard) yesterday.[pullquote]The news is a little surprising—in a bad way for Frame and green jobs candidate Brett Phillips. And in a good way for Fathi.[/pullquote]

The news is a little surprising—in a bad way for Frame and green jobs candidate Brett Phillips. And in a good way for Fathi. Frame has worked closely with UFCW's Political Director Sarah Cherin on Referendum 71 to uphold domestic partnership rights and has embraced R-74, the pro gay marriage campaign—Cherin is on the steering committee. Frame's deep connections seemed like an advantage. Sharing the group's endorsement has to be a letdown.

Meanwhile, Phillips has been working labor hard. Failing to get a share of the UFCW endorsement diminishes his swagger heading into this weekend's Washington State Labor Council endorsement meeting; he had won the sole recommendation of the King County Labor Council.

Fathi's coup is likely related to team O'Brien's work to help pass the paid sick leave ordinance at the city council.

3. Laura Ruderman picked up another Legislative District endorsement inside the First Congressional District, where she's running in a crowded field of Democrats including high profile women Darcy Burner and Suzan DelBene. (Ruderman got the sole in the 45th, also key 1st Congressional District turf, earlier this week.)

The 1st Legislative District—northeast King County and south Snohomish County, including parts of Bothell, Woodinville, and Mountlake Terrace—gave Ruderman its sole endorsement last night with the required two-thirds vote.
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