But then PN reversed itself on a previously inexplicable decision, which led to another post. And now, people have sent in yet more stories about PN that merit reporting:
(1) School Board Member Judy Docca (District 1) did not win endorsement from PN at least in part because of her “health issues” as the email from PN’s co-chairs to Docca explained. Docca was sick and now uses a wheelchair.
Maryland law prohibits discrimination on the basis of “physical disability” but Progressive Neighbors has, of course, an absolute First Amendment right to decide whether or not to take physical disabilities into account in its endorsement process.
I would hope people would pause before deciding to shove me out the door because I faced new health challenges. Betty Ann Krahnke served ably on the County Council even as she fought Lou Gehrig’s disease.
PN does not mention physical disabilities as part of their commitment to fairness and equality:
Fairness and equality for all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, income, sexual orientation or immigrant status.
Still, PN’s general commitment to civil rights would make me think that most of its members would strongly oppose such discrimination despite the Steering Committee’s decision to take Docca’s “health issues” into account in its reconsideration its earlier decision not to endorse her for reelection.
(2) PN has withdrawn its endorsement of Republican Laurie Halverson in her race against Pat O’Neill in District 3. This is the second reversal of an endorsement decision by PN. In the past, Halverson has forcefully opposed to the individual mandate to buy health insurance that is a critical part of the Affordable Care Act.
More related to the job, she testified in favor of allowing the Boy Scouts to distribute flyers in student backpacks even when they still discriminated against gay scouts. The organization still prohibits gay scoutmasters. As noted above, PN opposes discrimination the basis of sexual orientation.
In this case, it is more surprising that PN endorsed Halverson in the first place due to the seeming clash of values.