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Wed May 15, 2019, 06:08 AM

 

'He's white, male and gay': Buttigieg hits obstacles with black voters

Politico

Joe Darby, a prominent pastor in Charleston, S.C., was discussing the Democratic presidential field with fellow clergymen when Pete Buttigieg’s name came up. A fellow pastor quickly interjected.

“Isn’t that the dude who kissed his husband on TV?” the person asked skeptically, according to Darby.

The exchange highlights a major obstacle for Buttigieg, who’s vaulted into the top tier of Democratic candidates without gaining traction among African Americans, according to recent surveys of national and South Carolina Democrats. But as the mayor of South Bend, Ind., devotes more effort to campaigning for black votes in the South and elsewhere, he will have to break down some resistance over his sexual orientation, particularly among older voters, according to interviews with more than a dozen African American activists, political strategists and clergy, as well as a review of public polling.

Buttigieg and his campaign are well aware of the issue. As he skips from sold-out fundraisers to overflowing rallies around the country, Buttigieg set aside time last week for a smaller gathering of black LGBTQ faith leaders and activists in Houston. Gathered around a glass coffee table, Buttigieg opened up to the group of a dozen about his record with African Americans as mayor in South Bend, Ind. — an area that has generated some criticism — as well as his agenda for black voters and his experience as an openly gay candidate for president, including the challenges he may face.

“He’s white, male and gay, all three of those things are going to create obstacles for various communities — specifically, I think, the white and the gay, for the black community, are definitely going to be obstacles for him,” said Harrison Guy, a Houston-based choreographer and LGBTQ activist who led the discussion with the mayor. “He’s very aware of that.”
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Reply 'He's white, male and gay': Buttigieg hits obstacles with black voters (Original post)
brooklynite May 2019 OP
TexasTowelie May 2019 #1
leftofcool May 2019 #2
Demsrule86 May 2019 #7
leftofcool May 2019 #9
BlueWI May 2019 #39
Autumn May 2019 #13
MH1 May 2019 #17
Celerity May 2019 #3
Demsrule86 May 2019 #8
leftofcool May 2019 #10
marylandblue May 2019 #12
Celerity May 2019 #16
marylandblue May 2019 #18
Celerity May 2019 #20
brush May 2019 #30
Celerity May 2019 #33
brush May 2019 #34
Celerity May 2019 #36
Celerity May 2019 #14
leftofcool May 2019 #11
The Mouth May 2019 #24
brush May 2019 #27
The Mouth May 2019 #35
brush May 2019 #37
The Mouth May 2019 #38
brush May 2019 #29
LonePirate May 2019 #15
Celerity May 2019 #19
LonePirate May 2019 #22
Celerity May 2019 #26
CurtEastPoint May 2019 #4
JI7 May 2019 #5
Celerity May 2019 #6
SidDithers May 2019 #21
Maru Kitteh May 2019 #23
crazytown May 2019 #25
Celerity May 2019 #28
crazytown May 2019 #32
Autumn May 2019 #31
BlueWI May 2019 #40

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 06:21 AM

1. Buttigieg will have some difficulties to overcome.

 

I read that he polled at 0% among black voters in South Carolina.
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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 06:27 AM

2. But he is honest and won't be pandering to one group at the expense of another

 

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primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to leftofcool (Reply #2)

Wed May 15, 2019, 07:17 AM

7. And he is not the candidate if he can't make some inroads in this important constituency,

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #7)

Wed May 15, 2019, 07:47 AM

9. I believe it is called homophobia

 

And if he doesn't for that reason than it is a loss for the country. Pete will not change who he is and he will not be dishonest.
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Response to leftofcool (Reply #9)

Wed May 15, 2019, 07:09 PM

39. Agreed.

 

It's all of our job to challenge homophobia, no matter which candidate we support.
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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #7)

Wed May 15, 2019, 08:03 AM

13. What do you think he needs to do to make some inroads in this important constituency? nt

 

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Undecided

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Response to leftofcool (Reply #2)

Wed May 15, 2019, 08:23 AM

17. He could be the best, most phenomenal potential Pres. But if he can't win -

 

he's worse than useless as the Democratic nominee in 2020.

Life isn't fair. It sucks. There's thousands, millions of injustices in this world, and that a gay man can't win a U.S. presidential race in 2020, is shameful.

That said, I believe it is true. Support Pete in the primary because he deserves it, but be ready to get behind someone else as the nominee. (I am sure Pete will be a strong backer of the eventual nominee.)

I am happy that he is a candidate. I think he is paving the way for the future. I am proud of his poise and ability to speak to the issues.

But I'll be shocked if he wins the nomination, let alone the election.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 06:37 AM

3. Being white and male most definitely does not seem to be hurting Biden with PoC at all

 

I fear, that for Pete, there is a distinct possibility that this is a product of a deep-seeded homophobia that unfortunately is embedded amongst many of my fellow PoC (I am NOT ignoring this amongst whites as well, but that is not the topic here). Pete is polling 2nd or 3rd amongst white Democrats in multiple polls (MSNBC had a national poll up yesterday when they were talking about this very issue that showed Pete only trailing Biden 32% to 28% amongst white Democratic likely voters) but he is just getting hammered amongst African-Americans, polling 2%, 1%, even zero percent (South Carolina). Given that level of a racial gap (and also seeing some of the 'overall' less performing candidates polling above Pete with black voters) it is hard to ignore that his sexual orientation may very well be a 'no-go' for many.

I fully admit I overestimated the progress we have made. I am half West Indian (who can be amongst the most anti-LGBTQ of demographics unfortunately, even having laws on the books in some islands still that make homosexuality an offence punishable by prison time) and have seen it (homophobia) rear its ugly head from multiple PoC cohorts in my personal life, but I also have seen a far greater acceptance over the last ten or so years. I do grant that as I am only 23, I do not have a multi-decade personal well of observations to draw upon, other than talking to older LGBTQ persons and reading literature and data that addresses this. I must also admit I was wrong to a point when I had disagreements with people here who said this would be a real crippling issue for Pete. Very disappointed, but not completely shocked. Hopefully he can have a break-out at the debates.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Joe Biden

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Response to Celerity (Reply #3)

Wed May 15, 2019, 07:22 AM

8. It may also be the police chief thing...sealed records are always suspicious in a community

 

that has been victimized by police and public officials. There may be no there there...but unless it is released it may harm Mayor Pete
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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #8)

Wed May 15, 2019, 07:48 AM

10. Of which he has no control

 

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primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #8)

Wed May 15, 2019, 08:01 AM

12. Releasing the tapes won't help him.

 

Apparently the tapes are quite disgusting, and then the question will be why he protected such racist officers but fired the policed chief. Legally, he may have been right, but the optics would be terrible.
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Response to marylandblue (Reply #12)

Wed May 15, 2019, 08:19 AM

16. almost no one (Buttigieg included) outside of the FBI, the US attorney, and the other 2 parties

 

involved (Boykins and the fired Communications director, both of whom illegally listened to the tapes and continued to tape for over a year (before Pete was even the mayor) truly know what is on them.

Boykins was not summarily fired, he resigned under pressure (as Buttigieg had just found out he was under FBI investigation within weeks of becoming mayor for the first time) and then rescinded it the next morning.

Pete demoted him, and Boykins stayed on at the department until he retired with a full pension in 2017. If Buttigieg had released the tapes (and every court that has actually ruled on them, including a federal one, has said they were illegal wiretapping) he would have exposed the city to potentially millions of dollars in further lawsuits.
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Response to Celerity (Reply #16)

Wed May 15, 2019, 08:26 AM

18. Thanks for the clarification. My point is just that it looks bad for him.

 

But hopefully if he continues his outreach to AAs, he will be able to overcome it.
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Response to marylandblue (Reply #18)

Wed May 15, 2019, 08:37 AM

20. I think the tapes thing may be hurting him a wee bit, but I do not give it anywhere near primacy

 

in terms of what is hindering him with my fellow PoC. The local South Bend election results tend to bear this reasoning out. I also think that even if Pete had had a crystal ball, and knew in 2019 he would be running for POTUS and that the tapes would be an issue, he still would not have broken the law and released them. They would have immediately open up South Bend to massive civil iabilty, and possibly open up Buttigieg himself to being prosecuted. I also think, if he did have that crystal ball, he would not have come down so quickly on Boykins, but hindsight is 20/20, and I would think if I had the FBI and the US attorney come to me, weeks into my mayorship, and tell me my chief of police is under federal wiretapping investigation, I probably would have done the same thing. Of course, in 2012, I was 16 years old, and would not have been eligible to be a mayor (I think, not sure of local laws), lololol. No city in the world would want a 16yo me as mayor!
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Joe Biden

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Response to Celerity (Reply #16)

Wed May 15, 2019, 01:26 PM

30. You left out the part where the chief was forced out under pressure...

 

but later rescinded his resignation but was only taken back by the mayor in a lesser position. It was poorly handled, no getting around it.
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Response to brush (Reply #30)

Wed May 15, 2019, 02:01 PM

33. no I did not, see my post 14, well before you claim I 'left it out'

 

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1287&pid=119685

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Response to Celerity (Reply #33)

Wed May 15, 2019, 02:41 PM

34. Sorry, it was poorly handled though. The AA chief was punished but...

 

the white racists weren't. A fact not likely to sit well with black voters.
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Response to brush (Reply #34)

Wed May 15, 2019, 03:21 PM

36. Yes, it probably could have been handled better, but because the tapes were illegally made

 

there was no way to legally prove anything in regards to actions that could lead up to either termination or less disciplinary actions. The chief was the one in the wrong, regardless of what the other cops either did or did not do. I am NOT defending them at all, simply looking at things through a strictly legal framework. The other cops sued the city and won far more money than the chief did in his lawsuit, and as I stated before, the only people who know what is on those tapes are the FBI, the US attorney, and the 2 who made and listened to them (the chief and the actually terminated Communications director, who did that for over a year well before Pete was the mayor) and obviously the other cops themselves. The way Boykins went about the whole thing had caused massive chaos in the entire department, so something had to happen. If Buttigieg had summarily fired the other cops, based on zero legally-admissible evidence, the city would have ended up paying multiple millions in additional settlements. I think the best Pete could have done is simply to demote Boykins outright and not ask for his resignation, but hindsight is, as I stated before 20/20.

If the new judge rules the tapes released, then the mayors office will do it, but until then (and this has been Buttigieg's stance the whole time) he cannot legally do so. Again, he has not listened to the tapes himself, he is merely the custodian (well the mayors office itself is, not Pete personally). I so do not trust that RW judge (Steven Hostetler, a Pence appointment and a finalist for the Indiana Supreme Court) to do anything but try to cause mayhem and damage overall. If he does, there still was literally nothing Pete could have legally done to prevent that. He isn't Trump, he plays by the rule of law.

Here is a good, newer article with updates

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/23/politics/south-bend-tapes-ruling/index.html

snip

Few have heard the recordings, but that may change as the case moves forward.

According to a federal court decision laying out the facts of the case, the tapes case dates back to 2011, when, because of crashes in the South Bend Police Department's telephone recording system, Police Department Communications Director Karen DePaepe listened to some recordings to determine whether data loss had occurred.

While listening to some of the calls, DePaepe heard comments from Brian Young, the captain of the department's investigative division, that "she found to be inappropriate," according to the 2015 federal court decision. The court document also indicates that Young's line was recorded without his knowledge because the officer who previously had his phone number had asked for the line to be logged.

DePaepe then told Boykins about the recordings and, according to the court, the police chief "decided to continue the recording practice to gather more information before making a decision on what to do." Seven months later, according to court documents, Young found out his line was being recorded and asked for the recording to stop; nothing was done at that time. Two months later, Boykins asked DePaepe to "give him relevant recordings of Young's line to keep them as evidence," according to the court. The communications official then "made five audio cassette tapes for eight recordings that occurred between February 4, 2011, and July 15, 2011."

On Monday, Hostetler ruled that recordings made prior to DePaepe's discovery were not covered by the Indiana Wiretap Act and thus were not prohibited. That ruling means those tapes may be released to the city council. However, one outstanding issue -- the exact date DePaepe discovered the recordings -- could determine which tapes are released. The recordings made after DePaepe's discovery -- and the tapes made by her at Boykins' request -- "present a more complicated question," leading the judge to issue a partial judgment that notes that no person gave "express consent" -- written or verbal consent -- to be recorded.

Still in question is whether the officers had granted "implied consent" -- consent determined through actions or conduct -- to be recorded, Hostetler wrote. Another outstanding issue, Hostetler wrote, is whether the recordings violate the Federal Wiretap Act. The judge set a pre-trial conference for the matter on May 1. No trial date was set.

At a CNN town hall on Monday, Buttigieg said he has not heard the contents of the tapes, but he does want to know what is on them as long as listening to them does not violate federal and state wiretap laws.

"The reason I don't know (what is on the recordings) is these tape recordings were made in a way that violated the Federal Wiretap Act. That is a federal law that controls when you can and can't record people," Buttigieg said. "That's a law punishable by a term in prison and so I'm not going to violate it, even though I want to know what's on those tapes like everybody else does."


snip
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #8)

Wed May 15, 2019, 08:08 AM

14. As I have elaborated upon in countless posts, Pete did nothing inherently wrong in that

 

Electoral results post-events also bear this our, in terms of his being negatively impacted.

Boykins (the chief) was illegally wiretapping fellow officers' phones for over a year before Buttigieg was mayor. He then tried to threaten the other cops with them. He was under FBI investigation when Pete demoted him. Boykins had resigned under pressure, then the next day took it back and was demoted. Boykins stayed on and retired in 2017 with a full pension.

Every court had ruled that the tapes were not legally obtained, including a federal court. This was appealed by the city, and a federal appellate court kicked it back to the state level, where is now sits with a Pence-appointed judge who is now dragging it out (I suspect for politically-motivated reasons).

Buttigieg (and then the next mayor if the case is still going on) are simply custodians of the tapes. If he had turned them over and released them when they were still (and they most definitely were at the time) considered to be illegally obtained, he would have opened the city to potential millions in lawsuits. The chief only won $75,000 in a legal settlement, whilst the other cops got over half a million dollars.

Buttigieg won re-election with over 80% of the vote after all this was well known and reported on for years locally to an very extensive degree. South Bend is 45% non-white, so obviously he still had a tonne of support from the PoC communities who are most familiar with this entire ordeal. The one person, Regina Williams-Preston,(a city councilwoman who had previously lost a lawsuit with the city and thus had an axe to grind) who was most featured in almost every negative piece on Pete, be it about the tapes or especially the disingenuously reported 'gentrification' faux controvers, was recently soundly defeated in the Democratic primary for the next mayor, garnering only 7% of the vote.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Celerity (Reply #3)

Wed May 15, 2019, 07:52 AM

11. Homophobia is what it is

 

Pete knows this and was well prepared for it. You can not change hearts and mind of people who have closed hearts and minds no matter what color the skin. If the AA community doesn't like Pete for that reason, it is their loss. At some point you have to decide if you want honesty, warmth and intellect or bullshit promises that never get kept.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to leftofcool (Reply #11)

Wed May 15, 2019, 10:58 AM

24. Homophobes deserve Trump as THEIR president

 

It's just a shame they might take us with them down the hell hole.

If you vote for a person for any reason other than their POSITION ON THE ISSUES you are part of the problem, not part of the solution, and should have a MAGA hat glued to your head.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to The Mouth (Reply #24)

Wed May 15, 2019, 01:06 PM

27. We have a wealth of candidates, most with much more experience...

 

than the mayor, plus better relationships with the AA community.
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Response to brush (Reply #27)

Wed May 15, 2019, 02:45 PM

35. Regardless-

 

If you wouldn't vote for someone because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation, you are a POS as a human and hopefully will end up next to Trump in your cell in hell.

I'l vote for *ANY* Democrat, regardless of race, gender, or anything else.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to The Mouth (Reply #35)

Wed May 15, 2019, 06:08 PM

37. Not cool to assume AA voters won't vote for him because of sexual...

 

orientation when the poor handling of the AA police chief's "firing which was then rescinded then he was demoted" issue is out there. Black voters are aware of what happened there.

So get off the POS talk unless you want to apply that to the AA chief getting punished but the racist, white cops not getting punished. Actually some use another word to describe that and it starts with an "R".
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to brush (Reply #37)

Wed May 15, 2019, 06:54 PM

38. I didn't say they WOULD. I didn't say they WOULDN'T. Don't put words in my mouth.

 

I said that anyone who would not (support the nominee in the general) BECAUSE of race, gender or orientation IS part of the problem.

I will repeat that: If a voter wouldn't vote for the Democratic candidate because of the race of that candidate, their gender, or their sexual orientation, that voter is a POS.


OF COURSE any voter should support who they are most comfortable with in the primaries- that's what the primaries are FOR- but if they don't vote D in the general because any of those factors? they damned well deserve everything Trump does to 'em.

If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to leftofcool (Reply #11)

Wed May 15, 2019, 01:17 PM

29. Don't place blanket blame on the entire AA community being anti-gay...

 

when there are other issues involved. His poor handling of the AA police chief matter with the files sealed (what's being hid?). then the reviving of the term "identity crisis" (all white male candidates should avoid that like it's a third rail), and this most recent thing with communication by a staffer with a white supremacist.

So pls, do not label the entire AA community as being anti-gay when other issues account for his lack of support. Plus, there are several other candidates to choose from who don't come with all that baggage.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to Celerity (Reply #3)

Wed May 15, 2019, 08:13 AM

15. Biden has the benefit of Obama's seal of approval, which carries immense weight with all Dems.

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to LonePirate (Reply #15)

Wed May 15, 2019, 08:26 AM

19. that is what I believe as well, his association with Obama is a massive draw

 

I was more focusing on the extraordinarily low rate of support inside the A-A community for Pete (especially considering even in South Carolina near half of A-A's support other non-Biden candidates or are undecided) versus his great polling rates amongst white Democratic voters (he tops Bernie there in multiple polls and even is within 4 points of Biden in one national poll, 32% to 28%, as I referenced above, after seeing it on MSNBC yesterday).
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Response to Celerity (Reply #19)

Wed May 15, 2019, 10:29 AM

22. I think it has more to do with them not knowing who he is.

 

It’s also possible that AA voters are more reluctant to change their minds than white voters. He entered the race long after other candidates and he had far less visibility before running than the other top tier candidates. People prefer candidates they know over ones they don’t unless they don’t like the ones they do know. By and large, we have a very likable field of candidates.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to LonePirate (Reply #22)

Wed May 15, 2019, 01:03 PM

26. ''He entered the race long after other candidates''

 

No he did not. He entered via an exploratory committee on January 23rd (he was one of only seven (and only 4 of those were 'major' ones) who did an exploratory committee and started campaigning before his official full announcement. Castro, Gillibrand, Messam, Warren, Gravel (although his only lasted 2 and a half weeks), and Williamson were the others. He started to have a lot of media coverage in February, and really took off after his first CNN Townhall in early March.

Biden also disproves this (late entry) as valid reason, but (as Biden has massive name recognition so that helps a late entry) many others made their initial FCC filing after Buttigieg (14, plus 3 more who came in at almost the same time):

Bennet, Biden, Bullock, Booker, Hickenlooper, Inslee, Gravel, Klobuchar, Messam, Moulton, Ryan, Beto, Sanders (officially, but we all know he was running since the day after the 2016 election), and Swalwell all made their first initial FCC filings after Pete. Harris 2 days before him, and Gillibrand (8 days before Pete) and Gabbard (12 days before Pete) also came in and started campaigning around the same time.

Only Delaney (the very first Democratic candidate to file officially, July 28th, 2018, so almost 6 months before), Warren (24 days before Pete), Castro (41 days before Pete), Yang (77 days before Pete), and Williamson (68 days before Pete) were running officially filed campaigns and/or exploratory committees before Buttigieg.

I do grant that many people did not know him, but he has now had massive media coverage.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 06:40 AM

4. Being white and gay will be a problem for bigots in that community: Bible thumpers

 

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 06:45 AM

5. maybe in the south but in Chicago black people voted for a lesbian woman for Mayor

 

that ended up winning .
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to JI7 (Reply #5)

Wed May 15, 2019, 06:47 AM

6. this is true, and was a large reason for my hope for Pete

 

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 08:41 AM

21. More important than any of that, he doesn't have a long history of working with the black community.

 

He hasn't spent decades working with them, visiting their communities, their churches.

That trust and support is something that's earned over time.

Mayor Pete hasn't put in the time yet.

Sid
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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 10:57 AM

23. Obstacles of bigotry are meant to be broken. Bigotry SHOULD be broken. And kudos on Mayor Pete

 

for doing the work.



Needless to say, the white and male part is not what they are talking about here, they just needed to throw in some extra CYA words so they didn't leave "gay" hanging out there all by itself.


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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 11:01 AM

25. Biden is white and male

 

Last edited Wed May 15, 2019, 01:56 PM - Edit history (1)

The ‘problem’ is Pete is gay. There’s no point trying to camouflage it.
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Response to crazytown (Reply #25)

Wed May 15, 2019, 01:10 PM

28. When it comes down to A-A voters (especially in the South) I unfortunately have to agree

 

Very disappointing.
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Response to crazytown (Reply #25)

Wed May 15, 2019, 01:54 PM

32. I'll quote Pete himself

 

(from The Big Gay Interview with the Advocate)

Politics, at it's best, is being who you are in the cause of what you believe. Every time we try to do something else, we regret it. Every time we have psyched ourselves out by trying to focus on electability rather than what we thought was right for the country, we wound up getting neither.

Let's have a conversation about where America needs to go, not just in this election, but in the next era ... And let's put forward real human beings, and challenge voters and challenge our neighbors to judge us based on what we have to offer them - not based on some complex of prejudices that not only we, but also they, would be better off without.
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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 01:50 PM

31. Homophobia and antisemitism is not just a problem in the Republican party.

 

It's too bad because it harms us all.
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Response to Autumn (Reply #31)

Wed May 15, 2019, 07:13 PM

40. Agreed 100%.

 

Our party needs to stand behind our candidates of all genders. That's fundamental.
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