Not Good Enough, Lorrie
On Saturday I posted this about Lorrie McKay’s decision to leave Washington Won’t Discriminate, the group that is supposed to be fighting Tim Eyman’s effort to repeal Washington’s gay rights law. McKay was recently hired to run the group’s campaign. She left after just four weeks.
The parting is being described as amicable—and, hey, aren’t they all? McKay told the Seattle Gay News that she was stepping down because “we had a difference in style—the [Executive Committee of Washington Won’t Discriminate] and I…. I really had to ask myself if it was really more helpful for me stay [sic] or get out of the way.ā€¯ Campaign co-chair Anne Levinson described McKay’s departure as “pretty normal for campaigns,ā€¯ adding, “we will keep moving on.ā€¯
From the outside it looks like something’s rotten at WWD—and ERW, for that matter—and unless someone with direct knowledge of what exactly is going wrong at WWD is willing to step forward and make some non-amicable public comment, WWD will continue to limp along. Which wouldn’t be a problem if Tim Eyman weren’t sprinting past us. There’s a terrible fear of rocking the boat in Seattle’s gay political circles. If something is seriously wrong at WWD, Lorrie, say something now, not after Eyman kicks our asses this November.
In the comments thread, Lorrie wrote this:
Eyman will only kick our ass if we remain distracted and if we remain confused about Referendum 65. Currently, we are both.
Referendum 65 asks voters whether our state’s law (2661) that protects people from discrimination based on sexual orientation should be “approvedā€¯ or “rejected.ā€¯
We want the law that the legislature passed in January (2661) to be ‘approved.’
Don’t be confused. If they gather enough signatures for Referendum 65 to qualify for the ballot, we will need R-65 to pass in November. We will need to campaign to Approve R-65 in order to retain the law (2661).
Avoid being distracted. Move forward, focus and support the next campaign manager who steps up to lead Washington Won’t Discriminate and this campaign on our behalf.
Sorry, Lorrie, but vague platitudes aren’t good enough. Folks want to know—including other folks in the comment thread—why you left the group after just four weeks. What the hell is going on at WWD?
Sandeep Kaushik, also in the comments, wrote this:
I have heard that it is not just Lorrie who has left the campaign (though that is bad enough, given her smarts and extensive campaign experience). My understanding is that a couple weeks ago Kelly Evans, who ran the brilliant and gloriously successful anti-I-912 campaign, and who had been signed on as a top operative for WWD’s anti-Eyman effort, also quit abruptly.
If WWD is fatally screwed up and you know it, Lorrie, you have a responsibility to speak up now. When you came on everyone said you walked on water and knew your shit. Same with Kelly Evans—if she helped defeat I-912, which everyone expected would pass, we need her working at WWD. But it looks like good, smart folks can’t work with the folks who are running WWD. And if that’s the case, well, people who are being asked to pour money and volunteer hours into what WWD are going to conclude that it’s a deeply dysfunctional organization and withhold their support. If it’s not deeply screwed up, Lorrie, you’re going to need to explain why exactly you had to leave. And why you’re going to have to explain why others should work with a group that you yourself couldn’t work with. Not knowing the reasons why you left makes it harder to do that.
And if the group is really screwed up, Lorriw, you should say so. Holding your tongue only allows the group to remain screwed up. And there’s too much at stake for that.