On Wednesday Rod 2.0 reported that anti-gay, anti-choice former Tennessee congressman Harold Ford Jr—who voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, for the Federal Marriage Amendment and did not support extending hate crime protections to gays—is considering a primary challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. New York LGBT activists are not welcoming the news.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is encouraging the anti-gay, anti-choice former congressman's candidacy. Sen. Charles Schumer and Majority Leader Harry Reid called Bloomberg to ask him not to back Ford, reports the New York Times, on the same day the mayor's close advisors met with Ford to plot strategy.
Mr. Bloomberg, speaking on his cellphone on a drive to an event, reassured Mr. Reid that he was not personally involved in the effort to promote a Ford candidacy, according to a senior Democratic official and an aide to the mayor. But Mr. Bloomberg also told Senator Reid that Ms. Gillibrand, with whom he has at times clashed, was vulnerable and would undoubtedly face a challenger, whether it was Mr. Ford or someone else. But around the same time that Mr. Bloomberg was distancing himself from the Ford effort, two of his top campaign strategists met with Mr. Ford, 39, for lunch at the Harvard Club in Manhattan. Bradley Tusk, who managed Mr. Bloomberg successful mayoral re-election campaign, and Doug Schoen, the mayor’s pollster, provided a detailed portrait of the city’s political landscape to Mr. Ford, a former Tennessee representative, and described to him what a challenge to Ms. Gillibrand would involve. The senator, appointed by Gov. David A. Paterson last year, has never run statewide, but is considered a prodigious fund-raiser.
This would be the same Mayor Michael Bloomberg who claimed Gov. David Paterson would renege on his promise to push for marriage equality to "appease" black voters, and, who donated millions to NY Senate Republicans and claimed several would support same-sex marriage. We saw how that worked out.
Meanwhile: The Rev. Al Sharpton is also not dissuading Ford from challenging Gillbrand. And perhaps not-coincidentally, Ford will deliver the keynote address at the state Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators' annual conference.