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Attendance issues

Monday, Oct 28, 2013

* Attendance at Saturday’s protest outside Rep. Greg Harris’ office was sparse

About 16 Members of Gay Liberation Network on Oct. 26 staged a protest in front of state Rep. Greg Harris’ district office, 1967 W. Montrose Ave.

GLN members have contended that Harris, the chief sponsor of SB10, is acting more out of loyalty to political colleagues than to the LGBT community by not yet calling for a vote on the legislation.

“Harris needs to represent the interests of LGBTQ people and not Mike Madigan and other Democrats across this state,” said GLN member Bob Schwartz.

GLN members are calling for a party line vote by the Democratic Caucus.

“They have a supermajority,” said GLN co-founder Andy Thayer. “They have the power to do a party line vote. They do it for any number of slimy, power-broking deals that are wildly unpopular.”

* And their demands were often silly

The activists say that if Madigan won’t call the bill or it goes on to defeat, Harris should resign his seat in protest.

Yeah, that’ll help the cause. For sure.

Photos are here.

* Meanwhile, the Illinois Review
uses a second-hand account to challenge the official attendance figures at last week’s anti gay marriage rally

Rev. Robert Vanden Bosch told Illinois Review that a fellow pastor who was in Springfield on Wednesday wrote him about his experience on the steps of the Capitol the day of the pro-traditional marriage rally. He explained to Rev. Vanden Bosch:

    “When we went outside for the march around the capitol, there was a group of several capitol police officers standing on the front steps (about 6-7). A man dressed in a suit came out right after us,” …and “said to the officers: ‘So, the number we determined for yesterday was 3,000, right? [the officers nodded], well, then we are going to go with 2,500 today!’”

“I am not good at guessing attendance figures,” said Vanden Bosch. “But there had to be a lot more than 2,500 there. …With the official count of ‘3,000′ people at the Capitol on Tuesday [gay marriage rally], there was plenty of room for everyone. But strangely with the official count of ‘2,500′ at the Capitol on Wednesday [pro-traditional marriage rally], people were stopped at the door because the Capitol was ‘over capacity.’ It’s a good thing that there is no bias on the part of the Secretary of State’s office on this.”

The problem with Vanden Bosch’s theory is that most of the gay marriage supporters were at the outdoors rally.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:32 am:

    Two points …

    ===* Ormsby provides some context…

    It is unclear whether Thayer’s group plans to protest at the offices of bill opponents.===

    How about understanding how Lobbying works, tyhat is a real good start.


    When you “grand total” (16), is fewer than Commander Galloway’s entire caucus (19), and her Slytherin voting bloc opposed to SSM (18), you really are in no position to demand … anything … let alone a resignation, a Primary challenge to your biggest booster/Bill sponsor, or the threatening of the Speaker, who is looking out for your cause, and avoiding the Heather “Vote Countula” Steans embarrassment… of not getting to 60 on the first try.

    Understand the procsss, be engaged in the process, target “undecided” Mushrooms and don’t scare them away, and stop looking like the tact of appearing unreasonable is the way you want to move your agenda.


  2. - reformer - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    I recall Andy Thayer opposing the civil unions bill as a craven compromise in 2010, even though that was the maximum that was politically feasible at the time.

  3. - Spliff - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    If number of attendees translates into support for an issue AFSCME should have gotten their back pay already, conceal carry would have passed years ago and SEIU employees would be making $85 an hour. But it doesn’t. And to this issue 2-3,000 people on either side of the issue is pretty small as far as state house rallys go.

  4. - Just Wondering - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    Does Thayer have a job or is he full-time protester? Staging this event and drawing a crowd of fewer than twenty people makes Thayer look foolish.

  5. - c - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:49 am:

    it seems like the supporters really want the bill to fail when they havent secured the needed votes to pass it.

  6. - Undercover - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:01 pm:

    Shooting their noses off to spite their faces.

    I feel about this the same way I feel about LGBT protesters targeting the Catholic Church in Springfield this past week. Misguided, disrespectful and a waste of time.

    This is not winning hearts and minds. The strongest and most meaningful pressure will come from the broader public at large. Work on winning support from constituents of the opposition in the GA and you’ve got yourself a fight.

    Activists who don’t know how to properly organize or simply refuse to put in the work to do it right annoy the hell out of me. They should stay home and shake their fists. Let the rest of us handle the heavy lifting.

  7. - JAFTC - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:02 pm:

    Andy Thayer is well funded, but now his actions seem those of someone with anger issues more than anything. Anger and demands as levers with Madigan? Good luck.

  8. - RNUG - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:25 pm:

    Had a conversation with some friends / LGBT activists the other day and they kept saying they wanted a vote, win or lose. I asked them why they would want to call the bill if they didn’t think they had the votes or were at least very close. The answer was they wanted to get people on record as to where they stood. At least one of them has been around politics for many years and should know better, but I think their frustration is overriding their political judgement. Some of their public moves seem to be pretty clumsy from a political standpoint.

  9. - Eugene - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:34 pm:

    Re the anti-marriage rally turnout: seemed like mostly nice and sincere folks, but very … insular. Actually it looked like a giant casting call for “Book of Mormon” or “Big Love”. The pro-marriage rally seemed to have more energy and relied less on children to boost numbers.

  10. - a happy constituent - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:37 pm:

    These people do not seem to understand how legislation gets passed.Schoolhouse Rock’s, “I’m Just a Bill” would be good watching as a reminder.

    Greg Harris is so committed to this issue. He is also a dedicated public servant. He is informed. He keeps his constituents informed. He acts as a voice in the capitol to the voiceless in terms of the poor, developmentally disabled, elderly, LGBT.

  11. - walkinfool - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    Best part was Thayer shouting thru a bullhorn at an empty sidewalk.

    Ego much?

    If Madigan had as much power as Thayer claims, with his “supermajority”, we would have had substantial pension reform three or four years ago.

  12. - Commonsense in Illinois - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:19 pm:

    Note to GLN: Calm down. Your bill is going to pass. Just be patient so you can garner a super majority and the issue is put to rest once and for all time.

  13. - Eugene - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:49 pm:

    Walkinfool: In fact, Madigan did get pension “reform” in his own chamber, and he twisted a lot of arms to get it. He hasn’t twisted any arms for marriage equality, but maybe that is about to change.

  14. - Frank - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 4:06 pm:

    Andy Thayer and Rev Vanden Bosch have much more in common than either would like to admit. Bombthrowers who often hurt their cause more than they help.

  15. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 5:41 pm:

    Demonstrations aside, I suppose that in the end, the only attendance numbers related to this matter that will really count is how many Reps. are in the Chamber to vote for or against it whenEVer the big day arrives for the vote…

  16. - FoxValleyPride1 - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 12:15 am:

    GLN plans to be back at Harris’ office this coming Saturday too. I dunno man…

    I guess my biggest beef isn’t that they have issues with Harris or Madigan, or whomever. They may have legitimate points to raise WITHIN activist circles. But when you stage a public demonstration, then the intended audience is the public-at-large. Your message must be tailored to that audience. The message that should be sent to the public is one of unity, not one of division. You simply don’t win people over to your cause by picketing your allies (unless your picket signs say “Thank you, Rep. Harris.)

  17. - Andy Thayer - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    I know the “insiders” say the way to get things passed is to keep kissing Madigan’s a–. Look at what a wonderfully functional state gov’t that’s produced.

    If people really want to find out why GLN takes the approach it does, rather than reply with anonymous one-liners (read about “sock puppetry” in Capitol Fax guidelines), check our op ed in today’s Advocate:

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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