Press Releases


Entries in Gay Marriage (206)


FredKarger - New Super PAC to Take on Mike Huckabee 

Super PAC Launched to Oppose Mike Huckabee
First to Target a GOP Presidential Candidate

SEATTLE, WA -- Jonathan Martin, columnist for the Seattle Times broke the news today that "Truth Squad 2016" was formed to let voters know about Mike Huckabee's horrific record as governor of Arkansas.  Read the story below for all the details. Here's the Link, too: CLICK HERE
Jonathan Martin

Lakewood widow is keeping Mike Huckabee accountable ahead of 2016 primaries

One of those prisoners released early was Maurice Clemmons who had been sentenced to 108 years in state prison, but Huckabee let him out after he had only served 11 years.  After Clemmons was released he moved to Seattle, Washington.

Originally published June 11, 2015 at 3:00 pm Updated June 11, 2015 at 6:08 pm
“The person who got this ball rolling was (Mike) Huckabee,” said Kim Renninger,
widow of slain Lakewood officer Sgt. Mark Renninger. (John Lok/The Seattle Times)

A widow of the Lakewood police shootings is turning her sights to Mike Huckabee, who granted mercy to her husband’s killer, writes Jonathan Martin.

On the fourth anniversary of her husband’s murder, Kim Renninger got a tattoo on the instep of her left foot reading, “Keep moving one step forward.”

It is a discreet, poignant reminder of her mission to make something out of the death of Sgt. Mark Renninger and three officers in the 2009 Lakewood police shootings — the worst act of violence ever committed against police in Washington. Her to-do list has included a change to the state Constitution, reform of interstate parole rules and keeping watch over the seven felony prosecutions stemming from the shooting.

Now comes the last big one: holding Mike Huckabee accountable for his role in the tragedy. The former Arkansas governor and contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination made a disastrous decision to grant clemency to Mark Renninger’s killer, Maurice Clemmons, which set him on the path to that Parkland coffee shop.

And despite hearing from the president, vice president and governors of at least three states, Kim Renninger has never received a call or a note from Huckabee.

“The person who got this ball rolling was Huckabee,” said Renninger. “I don’t have any other way to hold him accountable or make change. I can’t sue him. This is the way to do it.”

Spotlighting Huckabee’s Maurice Clemmons problem may take her to the Iowa presidential caucuses, which Huckabee won in 2008, or appearances on TV ads. She is getting advice from a GOP political consultant and former presidential candidate, Fred Karger. Renninger found Karger after reading his sharp critique of Huckabee. That led them to create a political action committee (PAC) called Truth Squad 2016. Karger is fundraising now, targeting an initial budget of $1 million.

Renninger could be a big problem for Huckabee because she has a legitimate grievance. I co-wrote a book, with Ken Armstrong, about Clemmons and the Lakewood police shootings called “The Other Side of Mercy.” I was struck by the apparent casualness of some of Huckabee’s choices.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.  (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. (AP Photo/Charlie... More

As governor, he used his power to pardon or commute sentences 1,033 times over 11 years — twice as often as his three predecessors (including Bill Clinton) did in 17 years. Clemency decisions gone wrong have been well-chronicled, particularly in Arkansas, including the release of a rapist named Wayne DuMond, who raped and murdered again when given a second chance by Huckabee.

The power of clemency — the unfettered right of an executive to free inmates or wipe a record clean — can be an important relief valve in the criminal-justice system. Governors tend to cringe at its inherent political risks and have underused it. But Huckabee is a bad vehicle for a broader reconsideration of redemption because he was a clemency radical.

Clemmons was a poor candidate for mercy. Yes, he had been sentenced to 108 years as a teenager for a series of crimes, including for assault and for stealing a state trooper’s gun from his home. But Clemmons was an abysmal prison inmate, accumulating 29 disciplinary infractions versus zero accomplishments. He spewed venom in letters from prison. His only record of rehabilitation were self-serving statements. Prosecutors repeatedly opposed parole.

Renninger acknowledges that Huckabee was just a link in a chain of poor decisions that led to the shootings on Nov. 29, 2009, in that coffee shop. But it galls her that this part of Huckabee’s record has been mostly skipped by the media so far in favor of his defense of reality-TV star Josh Duggar.

“The clemency issue should be the discussion. It’s a big decision with lasting effects,” said Renninger. “I think there’s a time and a place for clemency. But it has to be used wisely, not like Huckabee used it.”

Huckabee has accurately said that a prominent judge supported clemency and that, as governor, he followed the unanimous recommendation of his parole board to cut Clemmons’ sentence effectively in half. In a statement, Huckabee portrayed Kim Renninger as a tool of “Washington and Wall Street elites” who typically fund political attacks.

“It’s heartbreaking that these widows are being exploited for the political benefit of these secret-agenda-driven ‘super PAC’ donors. This is Washington, D.C.,-style gutter politics at its worst.”

When I met with Renninger Wednesday, it was clear she was no political puppet, but a woman with a mission. She has not remarried and her 8-year-old son, Nick, is among the nine children of the slain officers. He has no memory of his father, but constantly asks about him.

“I didn’t lose my husband. He was murdered. I know where he’s buried in Pennsylvania,” said Renninger. “What I did lose is I lost my family. I lost trust. I lost security. I lost comfort. Literally every aspect of my life has changed.”

For now, she’s the only grieving family member involved with the Truth Squad group. “I’m the first, but I won’t be the last.”



NHDP - MEMO: The Clown Car Chronicles, Jeb Edition 


To: Interested Parties

From: Chairman Ray Buckley


The clown car of GOP hopefuls in New Hampshire continues:

Next up, Jeb Bush


The clown car of GOP hopefuls descending upon every corner of New Hampshire continues this week. Jeb Bush is back in the state, peddling failed policies that prioritize corporations and the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. He’s also attempting to sell voters on ideas that are entirely out-of-step with Granite Staters.


Jeb’s been in the news quite a bit over the past couple of weeks, fumbling important policy issues and proving how backward and out-of-touch his agenda really is. Here’s a quick re-cap:



Over the course of a few days, Jeb Bush changed his answer on whether he would have gone into Iraq approximately six times. This is nothing new - he’s been on every side of this issue.

Jeb Bush’s fumbles and stumbles on this issue make it clear he’s not ready to be our Commander-in-Chief… or even to answer questions on the critically important issues to Granite Staters.



Last weekend, Jeb Bush spoke out in support of business owners who want to discriminate against potential customers based on their sexual orientation. This isn’t completely out of left field for Jeb, given the fact that he opposes marriage equality and has even claimed that the fight for gay rights was a “modern victim movement.”


Unfortunately for Jeb, New Hampshire not only supports marriage equality by a strong majority (two thirds of likely general election voters), but we even passed anti-discrimination legislation back in the 90s. Sorry Jeb, but your positions are just as out-of-touch and backward as the rest of the GOP pack. But thanks for playing.



Jeb Bush’s record falls right in line with the other GOP presidential hopefuls - prioritizing the wealthy and corporations over the middle class. Jeb’s support for the Ryan Budget does just that - gives tax break to the highest earners while shifting the tax burden onto everyday Americans. He also supported his brother’s plan to privatize Social Security and even endorses a budget that would gut Medicare. As Governor, he took aim at public education, attacking classroom size reductions and supporting a budget that would gut education funding - including Pell Grants that help Granite State families afford college.


Bush can say he’s different from the other candidates, but we know that’s not true. We know what to expect from a Bush presidency because we’ve already seen it - policies that wreck the economy, prioritize the wealthy and corporations rather than investing in and supporting the middle class.


P.S. In case you missed it, Jeb also likes to read Charles Murray, an author classified as a white nationalist by the Southern Poverty Law Center and known for his theories on racial differences in I.Q. Unreal.


NHDP - ICYMI: Bloomberg/Saint Anselm Poll: Two Thirds of NH Voters Support Same-Sex Marriage 

The latest from Bloomberg: “Opposition to gay marriage could present a liability for presidential candidates stumping for votes in New Hampshire. Two-thirds of likely general-election voters in the state that holds the nation's first presidential primary, including about half of Republican primary voters, say same-sex marriage should be legal in every state, according to a new Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm New Hampshire Poll.”
Unfortunately for New Hampshire, the GOP 2016 presidential field strongly disagrees.

In case you're keeping track: 

Jeb Bush“I believe in traditional marriage, so that’s worked pretty well for our country and for Western civilization for thousands of years.”
And yesterday, Jeb Bush said that Christian business owners should be able to refuse to serve gay weddings.
Marco Rubio“You have to have a ridiculous and absurd reading of the U.S. constitution to reach the conclusion that people have a right to marry someone of the same sex.”
Ted Cruz“Today’s Democratic Party has become so radicalized for legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states that there is no longer any room for religious liberty.”
Rand Paul Calling same-sex unions marriages “offends myself and a lot of people.”
Scott Walker“Our state passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman. I voted for it. I support it in the federal courts and continue to believe it’s a good idea.”
Chris Christie“I am not a fan of same-sex marriage.”
Bobby Jindal“I’m holding firm against gay marriage.”

Bloomberg: New Hampshire Poll: Voters Strongly Favor Expanding Gay-Marriage Rights


Opposition to gay marriage could present a liability for presidential candidates stumping for votes in New Hampshire. 

Two-thirds of likely general-election voters in the state that holds the nation's first presidential primary, including about half of Republican primary voters, say same-sex marriage should be legal in every state, according to a new Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm New Hampshire Poll.

Support was far greater among Democrats, with 85 percent of likely primary voters indicating that they favor expanding gay-marriage rights to every state, 8 percent opposing the idea, and 6 percent saying they were not sure. Among Republicans, 49 percent said they supported expansion. 


NHDP Stands With ALL NH Families While GOP Wants to Pull Us Backwards 

CONCORD, N.H.- The Supreme Court hears arguments on Obergefell v. Hodges today, the case that will determine whether marriage equality can be extended to all states. Although same-sex marriage has been legal in New Hampshire since 2009 and seventy-five percent of Granite Staters support it, the GOP just can’t catch up and continue to support discrimination against LGBT families. Just take a look at the GOP’s opinions on the subject:

  • Calling same-sex unions marriages “offends myself and a lot of people” – Rand Paul
  • “I believe in traditional marriage” – Jeb Bush
  • “I’m holding firm against gay marriage” – Bobby Jindal
  • “I believe marriage is between one man and one woman” – Marco Rubio
  • “I am not a fan of same-sex marriage” – Chris Christie
  • “Our state passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman. I voted for it.” – Scott Walker

“As the Supreme Court hears arguments for marriage equality today, the New Hampshire Democratic Party is proud to stand with ALL New Hampshire families because love is love,” said Ray Buckley, Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. “Granite Staters overwhelmingly support marriage equality, but the Republican candidates for President continue to stand on the side of discrimination. Their disgraceful attempts to pull us backwards won’t be successful in New Hampshire – it’s time they dropped their campaign against progress.”


NHDP - On Eve of Landmark Supreme Court Case, Granite Staters Reminded of Kelly Ayotte’s Staunch Opposition to Marriage Equality 

Concord, N.H. – As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in a landmark marriage equality case tomorrow, Granite Staters are reminded of Kelly Ayotte’s staunch opposition to New Hampshire’s own marriage equality law.
Ayotte has made her opposition to marriage equality clear: “I absolutely support and believe in marriage as between a man and a woman. I do think it’s unfortunate that our state has made a different decision on that. I know that many of you who are out there working at the state level, running for state office. I commend your efforts to repeal that law here in the state of New Hampshire. I think that’s very important.”
Ayotte’s opposition is completely out-of-step with the views of New Hampshire, with polling showing that 75% of Granite Staters support marriage equality (making New Hampshire the most supportive state in the nation).
“Kelly Ayotte’s backward position on marriage equality is just another reminder that she is focused on following her party’s leadership and advancing her national interests, not representing the people of New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “I’m proud that Granite Staters have made clear that we strongly support the right to marry for all of our citizens, and it’s time for Ayotte to get the message.”