Certainly, a question that should be asked so I will!
The LBGQT cause has most certainly come a long way since 1969 when I first became involved with the LBGQT Community and was asked by a friend to work security as a Police Officer for the yearly Imperial Ball (Gay Ball) held at the Grotto Hall. My job was primarily to keep any “Straights” from causing trouble, but that primary responsibility soon evolved into many other responsibilities one of which included being the Judge of each and every Drag Queen Show and picking the top Drag Queen performance based upon criterion set up by the Lilac Court. That particular responsibility wasn’t without its drawbacks because no matter who I chose someone was unhappy especially if I choose one of the many out of town DQs. Soon I became the SPD go to person for all issues involving the LBGQT Community and was often contacted by its leaders Jack Allen and Sharon Wilson who became good friends of mine. When the Grotto Hall Venue became too small for the yearly Imperial Balls Jack, Sharon, and I had several meetings with bigwigs at the Sheridan Hotel and were able to convince them to hold the yearly program there.
This old SR story by Chris Peck will give you some idea of what it was like back in the day, something that is really easy to tell just from the SR Headline. The Headline speaks for itself and boy did I get calls.
Back during those times, the leaders of the LBGQT cause were well respected members of the Spokane Community some gay but not “out” and others who were quietly “out”. But today it is a completely different story and taking a look at some of the current supposed and self-proclaimed leaders would have to make most people wonder what their agenda is.
One of the self-proclaimed leaders we all know, and love is Thomas Haugen AKA Tom Robinson who along with one of the other “leaders” Nicolette Ocheltree, started two activist groups known as “500 Drag Queen Strong” and “Stronger Together Spokane”.
Tom Haugen is rather infamous for not only for his false claim of being a retired Law Enforcement Officer, but also his finger waving propensity and as some have reported his efforts to provoke people into confrontations.
Another rather infamous “leader” is none other than former failed write in Mayoral Candidate Nicolette Ocheltree who attempted to parlay the library Drag Queen Shows for kids into a winning Mayoral bid which didn’t even come close to working. During her campaign Ocheltree portrayed herself as a victim, including being the victim of domestic violence and only recently admitted to being the perpetrator of DV and acknowledging her domestic violence arrest.
Then of course we have the always armed, pretend tough guy, and self-promoter Tanner Rowe who consistently backs members of the LBGQT community and purports to have no problem with the LBGQT cause or issues.
Having said all that recent evidence has come to light that in fact these leaders do have a serious problem with at least some homosexual interaction which can be clearly observed in their recent public social media comments.
The public statements by these leaders of the local LBGQT cause belie all of their many past statements and represent a hypocrisy second to none.
I must admit, even though I am not gay, I have several times in the past held another man’s “dick” in my hands. Each and every time was when I didn’t have a rookie around so I had to put the gloves on swab the “dick” and pull pubic hair during the investigative process, so the accusations I have held a man’s “dick” in my hand for sexual gratification are not in the least bit true and as far as Matt Shea is concerned I have never met or been close to the guy to even talk to him face to face.
In my opinion the local Spokane LBGQT Community should take a close look at who they have adopted as their leadership and start questioning whether or not the Politicians and Power Structure here actually pay any attention to them, or even should pay any attention to them.
Certainly, anyone can give a money within the legal limits for political contributions as can groups for the most part as a result of the US Supreme Court case in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. There is some accountability attached to actual political contributions from the standpoint of documenting and reporting however there is no accountability attached to “Fundraisers” which benefit Politicians from a personal financial perspective and the question in my mind is “Should there be?”. Money of course has always bought influence in our political system and when one thinks about money and politics some people conjure up images of FBI surveillance video showing some politician taking a cash bribe. I’m certainly not saying that non-political fundraisers represent some type of bribe and they don’t necessarily buy influence but in my opinion they sure don’t look good because there is no way of telling where and how the contributions were actually spent, something that appears to be a philanthropic endeavor may be just that and the contributions may well have been spent the way they were intended but there is really no way of telling without the politician benefactor being transparent as to exactly how the money was spent.
Generally, you don’t run across many non-political Fundraisers for politicians, but I did run across this one which is a “Fundraiser for Dez’s Medical Expenses”.
As you can see from the fundraiser page “Dez” is the dog of Spokane Valley Council Member and Deputy Mayor Brandi Peetz and her husband Chad Peetz. The individual who initiated the fundraiser is a gal by the name of Carla Blazek whom I’ve heard nothing but good things about. Carla like myself is a dog lover and has done fundraisers for various dog related causes including local law enforcement K9 Units so there is nothing unusual about this particular fundraiser for “Dez” and I’m very happy to see “Dez” is doing well.
The big question as I see it regarding fundraisers like this one is could they end up being a not so good thing should the contributions go to someone that isn’t particularly ethical who ends up spending the money on a new boat, car, or remodeling project, etcetera and do they buy influence for the contributors. At a minimum I just don’t think it looks good, and appearances count in the political game.