Big Sky, Dark Money

The Frontline special “Big Sky, Big Money” was pretty amazing. The dark money issue isn’t going away- and the cloudier the issue becomes, the longer it will be with us- and it is getting cloudier. But first, I wanted to share a few things about one of the key figures of last night’s broadcast.

Jim Brown, the lawyer for Western Traditions Partnership intrigued me.

From The Atlantic: 

When asked about the documents found in Colorado, Jim Brown, a lawyer for the group, said he was unfamiliar with them.

After being shown some of the documents by Frontline, Brown, in a follow up email, said his review indicated that they appeared to belong to a company called Direct Mail. Direct Mail and Communications is a print shop in Livingston, Montana, run by a one-time key player in WTP and his wife.

Brown urged Frontline to turn over the documents. “If the documents are purported to be what you say they are, then you may knowingly be in possession of stolen property,” Brown wrote.

The records are in the hands of the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, which considers them public and reviewable upon request.

Who is this Jim Brown- the Republican Party’s legal counsel- AND the legal counsel to Western Tradition Partnership? The Commissioner of Political Practices website allows you to track who registered lobbyists are working for. The list of his clientele is VERY interesting…

Go ahead. Draw your own conclusions.
It also looks like Christian LeFer is now saying the documents were stolen- the documents they once denied were theirs. From ProPublica:

On Monday, LeFer also confirmed the documents found in a meth house were stolen from his wife’s car and belonged to him and his wife, Allison. The documents included material from outside groups and candidates, and communications between LeFer and candidates. There were surveys of candidates by outside groups and drafts and final copies of mailers marked as being paid for by the campaigns.

LeFer, described as WTP’s director of strategic programming in memos in 2009, said in an email that the boxes of documents were stolen in Colorado in June 2010.

“These stolen documents appear to be a mix of those from my consulting and volunteer work and from my wife’s independently owned and operated mail and printing shop,” wrote LeFer, whose wife runs a company called Direct Mail and Communications in Livingston, Mont. “Both my wife and I have scrupulously endeavored to avoid any possibility of illegal coordination.

“The stolen documents, which were in the process of being transferred to storage when the theft occurred, have been mingled to infer that the work of two separate people is in fact the work of one person and therefore improper. This is false.” (Here is LeFer’s full response.)

Like I said: cloudier.

Big Sky, Big Money

Tonight at 8:30 pm on Montana PBS:

In a special investigation in collaboration with Marketplace, FRONTLINE travels to the remote epicenter of the campaign finance debate for a tale of money, politics, and intrigue. How has the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision changed campaigns in America? Ask Montana, which has tried to challenge the ruling in court, is investigating alleged campaign abuses, and is playing host to a bitter race that could decide control of the U.S. Senate.

FRONTLINE correspondent and Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal reports.

Hopefully, some light will be shed on the mysterious meth house documents

Trailer is here.

Watch Big Sky, Big Money, an investigation with Marketplace on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Tonight: “Love Free Or Die”

Tonight on many PBS stations airs “Love Free Or Die”, the story of ‘the first openly gay bishop in Christendom’, Gene Robinson:

 

 

Tonight on Independent Lens. Montana PBS airs it at 9pm.

Bozeman Rally For Jon Tester Today

 

Join Jon Tester & Max Baucus in Bozeman on Monday!

Cheer On Jon!
Sign Up To Volunteer!
Get A Yard Sign!

Jon Tester & Max Baucus
The Emerson
111 S. Grand
Monday 10/29
5:00 p.m.

Join Montana farmer Jon Tester for a rally in Bozeman! Montanans go to the polls on Nov. 6. Help give Jon the momentum needed to win on Election Day!

Questions? — Email: sam@mtfield.org

For Men Only- Your Sexual Health

From the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) comes a new pamphlet aimed at helping men who have sex with men (MSM) take charge of their sexual heath:

“Whether you are gay, bisexual or any man who has sex with other men (MSM), there are certain health services that are important for you to talk about with your doctor to protect your sexual health. This brief pamphlet is designed to help you get the best sexual health care during your visit to the doctor.”

An amazing array of helpful information about special health concerns and working with your healthcare provider.

View “For Men Only- Your Sexual Health” here.

Inlaws & Outlaws On Public TV!

Delightful news from our friends at The True Stories Project:

WE MADE IT! We set a fundraising goal of raising $50,000 to bring Inlaws & Outlaws to public television – and thanks to over 120 of our supporters, we raised over $50, 246 – enough to launch us onto public television!

As of today, Inlaws & Outlaws is not ony available to 350+ PBS and public television affiliates around the US – but 15 stations have already scheduled the film in the next few weeks!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to make this happen!

We especially want to express our gratitude for the major support we received from our Executive Producer Bob Lemon, the Faygele ben Miriam Fund and four of our favorite outlaws – Jane Abbott Lighty & Pete-e Petersen and Frank Chaffee & John Gliessman. You put us over the top – and on TV.

Changing Hearts + Minds…

Referendum 74We’re still presenting screenings of Inlaws & Outlaws as part of ourHearts + Minds Campaign, including here in Washington where we’re using the film to support Referendum 74, but we’re about to reach a whole heckuva lot more people when the film is presentedFriday during primetime on KCTS 9 (Seattle) and KYVE (Yakima ).

Together, these stations reach over 75% of Washington residents – one of the reasons we were so determined to reach our goal of bringing Inlaws & Outlaws to public TV before Nov. 6th…

Wondering where else the film is being shown on public TV? Colorado, Ohio, Oregon, Illinois, West Virginia, New York… And we’re only just beginning.

Our new video: Just Marriage, from Outlaws to Inlaws…

Just MarriagePremiering Friday night following the film is our new 14-minute video short featuring director Drew Emery updating audiences on many of the stories in Inlaws & Outlaws.

It’s Just Marriage: from Outlaws to Inlaws, a snapshot of how far we’ve come. Check out the Sneak Peek of the video here.

Exciting times, yes? We think so. This is a critical time for marriage equality in the US – and the election will only raise the stakes even more. So we’re determined to bring our stories that much further to reach more hearts and minds, whether it’s with one of our community screenings in a school, church, temple or community center, or whether it’s on public tv. We’d love to have you on board!*

And to all the folks who made this big leap possible, we have nothing but love & gratitude.

*If you want to support our our Hearts + Minds Campaign, we welcome your tax-deductible donations. You can either donate safely online or send us a check. Your support makes all the difference in the world!

A (No Longer) Quiet Revolution: Intersex Awareness Day

By Jim Bruce, Communications & Youth Coordinator for Advocates for Informed Choice

October 26 is International Intersex Awareness Day.

This day marks our calendars because one of the first intersex advocacy groups, The Intersex Society of North America (operating as “Hermaphrodites with Attitude”), picketed the American Association of Pediatrics annual conference in Boston on October 26th, 1996. The picketers were angry that doctors attending the conference continued to recommend normalizing cosmetic surgeries on the genitals of intersex kids. Many of those protesting had been subjected to those kinds of damaging and irreversible surgeries when they were infants. As brave as these individuals were, their appeals for reason and restraint went largely unheard by the medical community that day. Many medical policymakers thought then- and many still believe today- that these protesters experienced “old surgical methods” and that “surgical procedures are better now” and “overall patient treatment is vastly improved.”

That was then, this is now.

And things have changed.

Today, Advocates for Informed Choice (AIC)  proudly announces the landmark publication of “What We Wish Our Doctors Knew”, a brochure written and produced by the first youth leadership development program of its kind: Inter/Act . Inter/Act is a space for young people with intersex conditions or DSDs (differences of sex development)  to come together from all over the world to express themselves, uniting their individual stories to develop a voice for a new generation. Inter/Act was created to help mold tomorrow’s intersex advocates with the goal of creating greater understanding among peers, parents, doctors, scholars, and supporters about the varied experiences and perspectives of young people with different bodies.

Now, for the first time, young people born with intersex conditions have a platform. This program helps them to speak directly to their doctors about how they experience treatment. Inter/Act allows young people a safe place to voice the complicated emotions of that come with an intersex condition. They can express their concerns, encouragement, fear, hope and anger- something those protesters in Boston were unable to do. For these reasons alone “What We Wish Our Doctors Knew” is revolutionary. AIC and Inter/Act believe this document will serve to advance the dialogue between young people, parents, medical providers and activists, and we’re sharing it with you. Please pass it on!

Finally, AIC simply can’t sit still, so we’re thrilled to unveil our newest program, The Interface Project (TIP)! TIP’s mission is to gather and share personal stories of people living with an intersex condition or DSD to spread the message, “No Body Is Shameful.” We have done some work to get the first videos (http://www.youtube.com/theinterfaceproject) produced but there is more to be done! With your help  we will continue to bring you powerful stories of people with intersex conditions in their own words.

Now you know some of the significance of October 26. Please help AIC and other organizations worldwide increase the visibility of a community that has been unseen for far too long.

Jim Bruce is the Communications & Youth Coordinator for Advocates for Informed Choice. A Louisiana native, Jim now lives in Missoula, Montana. 

For more information on Advocates for Informed Choice, Inter/Act , The Interface Project, or, if you would like a copy of “What We Wish Our Doctors Knew” (http://aiclegal.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/interact_ms-updated.pdf) email Jim Bruce at jim@aiclegal.org.