|Save page Remove page||Previous||1 of 12||Next|
small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
large ( > 500x500)
Loading content ...
VOLUME 1 NO. 13 APRIL, 1980 The newspaper from the Twin Cities Gay and Lesbian Community Berglii into Clark-Freeman Race: cr^'W Am/ Y\ITTCOI\TCC ^^#^. i& jfiiTiif^<Hf^WHP»*f^T^.o Analysis by Robert Halfhill & Tim Campbell One month ago, lesbian activist Karen Clark was vying with black attorney Lew Freeman to unseat Senator Steve Keefe in south Minneapolis' heavily lesbian and gay 59th District. Since that time, the course of events have taken two curious turns. First, Steve Keefe announced that he was retiring from the Senate and did not intend to seek re-election. For a couple of days, it looked like a shoot-out between two minorities for the position. Many analysts thought Clark had the edge because of her likelihood of drawing both feminist and gay support, while they thought Freeman might be dependent on black support alone. This state of affairs allegedly was causing some anxiety among "old line" DFL people who feared that a lesbian could not win the general election in November against a Republican, even with DFL endorsement. Then, within days, Representative Linda Berglin announced that she would seek the DFL nomination for the contested seat, hoping to move upward from the House of Representatives to the more elite Senate. This three-sided race has produced some interesting repercussions in the drive for gay rights legislation. Clark and Freeman launched their campaigns with promises to make history by the vigor of their work for gay rights laws. Both pledged that if they were elected they would introduce the requisite bulls every session until success was attained. These promises apparently lit the fire under both Berglin and Senator Allan Spear who have not re-introduced gay rights legislation since 1975. Berglin re-introduced the gay rights bill March third. Spear pulled out the bill to repeal the sodomy laws at about the same time. This legislation was overshadowed by news reports of the usual end-of-the-session logjam. Even legislation introduced much earlier had little chance of getting out of committee. Berglin & Spear's bills have virtually no chance of doing so. There have generally been two schools of thought on introducing gay rights legislation in the past. Berglin and Spear and other politicos repeatedly said there was no sense introducing the bills because they had no chance of passing. Gay activists generally said the bills should be introduced regularly to give the public the occasion to become used to gay rights as a political issue and as a topic that could be discussed in the open forum, and to give politicians practice articulating better and better arguments for gay rights. The current wave of lobbying for gay rights legislation has been pushed primarily by Target City members Bob Halfhill, Tom Burke, and Mike Williston and by other concerned individuals including David Brookbank and Philip Will- kie. The action that probably shook the piece of legislation loose however, was Chuck O'Connor's decsion to support both Lew Freeman and Karen Clark for the vacant Senate seat in District 59 prior to supporting the favorite of party regulars, Linda Berglin. O'Connor is secretary in the 59th District and has worked heavily within the party. Berglin defended her lack of action on the bill by saying that no one from MCGR had been over at the state legislature lobbying for the bill since Steve Endean left town. The last lobbying effort launched over there was organized in 1976 by a coalition of gay activists that did not include Endean and Spear. The District Convention Naturally, lesbians and gays and their supporters showed up in large numbers for the 59th District Convention at which the DFL Party candidate was to be chosen, Saturday, March 29. On the first of ten ballots, Karen Clark registered 180 votes. Berglin trailed her with 138, and Freeman copped a sparse 75 votes. An anti-choice contingency claimed credit for 36 Gays Protest Not Guilty Verdict Craig Ketchum, a University of Minnesota student who recently reactivated FREE, a campus focus for gay rights activisim, arranged meetings on March 10 between members of the gay community and members of the Hennepin County Attorney's office who were responsible for the prosecution of David Houle for the September 6 murder of Robert Allan Taylor, a 30 year old gay man from Maple- wood, a Twin Cities suburb. Houle was found not guilty by a local jury Friday, February 29 inspite of the fact that he had signed a confession admitting the killing. Tom Heffelfinger, the attorney who prosecuted the case for the County told the concerned gays that no one had informed him of prior meetings between gay activists and the County wherein requests for photos of the admitted killer were requested so that community members could be asked if they recognized Houle as a hustler. Heffelfinger said that police investigators had done some asking around with pictures at the Gay 90's and at the Saloon and that they had given a picture to Rick Croschell who lives and works in St. Paul. Croschell was Taylor's lover. Investigators had not gone to the 19 Bar with photos although that was the closest gay bar to the scene of the "Non-Murder" and the bar most frequented by hill hustlers. When Heffelfinger alleged that the department had "dug as deep as possible" in efforts to prove their case against Houle, members of the gay group raised their voices in disbelief. "Well, that's not good enough!," shouted activist Tim Campbell, adding "When are you people going to acknowledge the incompetence of your own bungling efforts and get some gay expertise in these matters?" County Attorney Tom Johnson refused to appoint a consultant through his office to work on similar cases, arguing that prosecuting the case was not compatible with investigating it. He did say he would meet with gays and Chief Bouza of the Police Photo by Gary E. Johnson CRAIG KETCHUM Department to see if an investigator could be appointed there. Johnson had no answer for the question, "Isn't it the prsecutor's job to see to it that the investigation was complete so that the victim was fairly represented?" asked by Phil Willkie and others. "We don't represent the victim," Johnson argued, "our job is to see to it that the defendant gets a fair trial" Ketchum is scheduling meetings for April 10 with the Judges of Hennepin County to talk about the injustice in this trial and the injustice against gays in general under the Hennepin County system. votes cast for "no endorsement." Clark's votes climbed steadily through ten hours of balloting, and by the eighth ballot she had drawn 204 votes to Berglin's 132. Freeman escaped elimination from the race by a fraction of a percentage, and on the ninth and tenth ballots, both Berglin supporters and anti-choicers were voting for Freeman just to keep Clark from getting the endorsement. She needed a sixty percent majority of the convention to wrap it up. Open gays on the sidelines pulled their hair as they watched closeted gay Berglinites casting their votes and applauding Freeman just to stop Clark. Clark supporters negotiated and pleaded with Freeman to pull out because the anti-choicers and Berglinites were both going to put up their own candidates against him in the primary at any rate and his support was not genuine. But the gays and the blacks couldn't build the coalition they needed to walk out with the endorsement. Part of the irony was that Clark's strength was due to coalition building of sorts: she had the gay and lesbian vote, the Farmer- Labor vote, the feminist vote, and the West Bank anti-dome, rent control, tenant's rights vote—all of whom seemed to comprise the young straight vote. But she lacked the ability to win over enough of the black vote to convince Freeman he could bow out gracefully. Sex, sexuality, race and age drew the lines Representative Ken Nelson nominated Linda Berglin and summarized why the party regulars wanted her in the race in three words: "experience, electibility, and effectiveness." The word "electible" rankled both Clark and Freeman supporters who charged that it was a subtle way of saying, "We don't mind black or lesbian candidates, it's just that you're not electible." Berglin supporters did not drop that rhetoric even after Clark had shown that she could bring more votes to the convention than Berglin, with all Berglin's eight years in office. They continued to say she was not electible. Freeman supporters picked up the same rhetoric. Gene Robinson, a white looking gentleman who nominated Freeman, tried to talk away Clark's strength, declaring to the delegates, "this convention is not representative of this district." One anti-choicer even saw the convention as so gay and lesbian that she asked Freeman if they should bother to hang around. "South Minneapolis is not all that gay and homo, according to Freeman," the lady said in sub- caucus. Most of the floor work and strategizing for Berglin was done by former alderman Keith Ford and a bevy of middle-aged straight white men. A battery of grandmas and middle aged couples, and a few southside "bachelors" rounded out the numbers. When the Berglin caucus gathered, there were about 80 persons in all, eager to get instructions from Pam Endean. Most of Freeman's floor work came from Sandy Green, a straight white woman from out of the district and from Gene Lashley a really sophisticated black organizer who pretended to be naive. The black caucus sat quietly on the front right side of the convention floor, rarely budging. The caucus (See Front-runner page 10) Assault Victim Still In Critical Condition Michael Bratholdt, a forty year old south Minneapolis man, assumed to be gay, is in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center following an assault on March 16 at 2701 East Lake of the Isles Blvd. Police Chief Tony Bouza said the police believed the assault was an anti-gay attack from the very first moment because of the needless viciousness at the attack and because of other activity on Bratholdt's part that evening. "They did a terrible job on his face, I mean terrible," Bouza said. Bratholdt was seen by witnesses in his yellow Volkswagen circling Loring Park and the Lakes area prior to the shooting and robbery. Police believe the victim was beaten and then shot multiple times in the face with a pellet gun. There was also some random gun firing near Loring Park the same night but no victims in that area. Bratholdt may have been followed from the park to Lake of the Isles. Bill Kirchner, who lives at the same address as Bratholdt, denied that the police knew anything about his friend or that the assault was gay related. He would not provide any information on Brathold't accomplishments in life. Minneapolis police officers arrested two suspects in the incident with the cooperation of persons in the vicinity on March 26. The suspects are Phillip Cole, 20, 2710 Harriet Avenue South, and Bradley Kvale, 23, 4625 Tyler Street N.E. A house full of gay men who live in the same block with Cole reported an incident to the police several months ago in which three bullets were fired into their home with no apparent reason. It is not known yet if the two incidents were connected.
VOLUME 1 NO. 13
The newspaper from the Twin Cities Gay and Lesbian Community
into Clark-Freeman Race:
cr^'W Am/ Y\ITTCOI\TCC ^^#^. i& jfiiTiif^|