State Senate (Dist. 34): Re: Jay Barth

18 May

About a half hour ago, State Senate candidate Jay Barth just updated his Facebook status with this:

Only 4 and 1/2 hours left to vote. It has been a much lower turnout than we were hoping for. If you haven’t voted yet make sure to cast your support for Jay today.

We can’t help but wonder whether what Barth’s campaign volunteers are reporting is the exception or the rule.  We haven’t heard much reporting about today’s turnout yet from local media (aside from a Twitter comment that 7 of 10 votes were Democratic so far today), but I can say that colleagues of mine reported short lines at their respective polling sites. Perhaps all the reports of high early voting turnout numbers mean we should have tempered our expectations for today.  Hopefully that’s not the case.

While on the subject of BHR endorsee Barth, Max Brantley alerted us to this offensive gay- and race-baiting radio ad from the Hendrix professor’s primary opponent, Linda Poindexter-Chesterfield.  In case you missed it, here’s the audio link from the Arkansas Times.  Yes, she brings up his sexual orienation, then accuses of him of trying to conceal it.  The ad goes on to suggest that Mr. Barth is a racist for citing Mrs. Chesterfield’s missed votes in office, saying he’s “playing to the stereotype of blacks being lazy.”  Interestingly, the ad stops short of denying that she had, in fact, missed the votes Barth mentioned.

The ad is ugly, embarrassing, and completely untrue.  This is not a sport for the faint of heart, y’all.


7 Responses to “State Senate (Dist. 34): Re: Jay Barth”

  1. Fire Blanche May 19, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Blue Hog:

    Nice review of the last night’s elections.

    However, your comment on the state senate 34th district race was a little disturbing. Disturbing because your comment wants to make discussions about certain subjects “off-limits” during political campaigns. Let me explain.

    Jay Barth obviously lives a gay lifestyle. And while most people don’t really care what a consenting adult does in the privacy of their own bedroom with another consenting adult, Barth’s private “bedroom” issues must always be “in-play” in the course of a political campaign when it is quite likely he will make them a part of his legislative agenda to promote, endorse, embrace, celebrate and even legislate in favor of such immoral behavior. There can be little doubt, based on his past public work and service projects, that Mr. Barth would have dragged such private “bedroom” behavior into the public square if elected as a state senator simply by virtue of his personal bias in living a gay lifestyle. It would be no different with a candidate who lives a married, traditional family-centered heterosexual lifestyle. Such a candidate could be reasonably expected to promote, embrace, endorse, celebrate and legislate such a lifestyle in their goverance as a state senator. Voters always have a right to know how a candidate might be inclined to legislate on such vitally important issues. If Mr. Barth is being coy, or not necessarily being completely forthcoming and open and honest about such a lifestyle and the potential legislative agenda that might be advocated from that worldview, then it becomes the right of Mr. Barth’s opponent to point this out. Hopefully, Mr. Barth’s opponent will do this in a Christian and compassionate way and explain in a reasoned fashion why it is important for voters to know this information about a candidate and how such a worldview and legislative agenda could ultimately harm society and the community should someone like Mr. Barth get elected. Fortunately, a vast majority of those Arkansans who live in the 34th senate district in which this race took place are properly informed by their Faith and their good common sense that it would be wrong to elect someone like Mr. Barth as their representative.

    Was Mr. Barth being coy or not completely forthcoming and open and honest about where he might be coming from on this particular issue? Most certainly he was being coy and less than honest about this topic. It is quite interesting when reading Mr. Barth’s bio on his campaign website that he acknowledges deep in the bowels of his bio that he is living with his “partner” but yet he doesn’t put any photos of he and his “partner” on his website — just photos of Mr. Barth kissing his dog or a photo of just himself. Wonder why that is? What is he embarrassed about or what does he not want people to really grasp or know about him and how it might ultimately affect what he does as a state senator? This type of stealth strategy conspicuously employed by Mr. Barth is the same type of stealth strategy employed by corporations that are supportive of homosexual organizations and causes with little fanfare, publicity or notoriety because they don’t want the public at large to become offended at such support. This explains why those same corporations, while surreptitiously supportive of such homosexual organizations and causes, refuse to show mainstream TV commercials about two lesbians or two gay men selling Viagra or Cialis or Chevy trucks or State Farm Insurance or Cheerios, simply because such corporations fully understand and know that a vast majority of Americans would be completely turned off by the promotion, endorsement and celebration of such immoral behavior and therefore it is best to simply keep it out of the mainstream spotlight while still pushing this immoral agenda in other less noticed ways. Again, the fact remains that most Americans, while more than willing to tolerate a person’s freedom and liberty to engage in whatever private and consenting relationships they want to, agree these types of relationship and behaviors should not be celebrated, embraced, promoted or endorsed and especially not codified in law, just as we don’t celebrate, embrace, promote or endorse or codify in law such harmful and destructive behaviors like adultery, fornication, polygamy or bestiality.


  2. Matt May 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    First of all, thanks for commenting.

    Secondly, however, I take issue with your premise, that we are suggesting that certain topics are “off limits.” The reason the ad was so offensive was primarily because she implied that Mr. Barth was a racist, and that he only accused her of missing votes to “play to the old stereotype about black people being lazy.”

    You ignore this during your rant, of course, and instead choose to turn the commercial’s reference of Mr. Barth as being gay (which, obviously, was done simply to draw attention to the fact that he is gay in case voters didn’t know) as a launching point for a ridiculous screed about the evils of homosexuality. Rather than address your comment point by point, I will simply say that according to recent nationwide polls, 42% of Americans are in favor of allowing full marriage rights for homosexual couples, and 25% are in favor of allowing civil unions. Therefore, 67% actually DO support codifying “these types of relationships” into law.

    I welcome further discussion on this, but save the “bestiality” and “polygamy” references, which have nothing to do with anything being discussed, for somewhere else.


  3. Fire Blanche May 19, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    I have looked at a number of the local liberal blogs today and they all mention both topics. I only chose to discuss the one involving Mr. Barth’s homosexuality.

    Disappointed that you would refer to my comments as a “rant” or a “ridiculous screed” when my comments were rational and reasonably articulated. You certainly can disagree with them, but labeling my comments as a “rant” or a “screed” simply shows a very typical lack of tolerance from liberals about opposing worldviews no matter how well reasoned and articulated they are.

    In response to your polling data, all I can respond with is the very simple but staggering fact that every time — let me repeat myself so I am clear — every time this issue has been submitted to the people of any state for a referendum, it has been rejected. In fact, in one of the most radically liberal states in the country, California, the issue of equating same-sex marriage with normal, traditional, Biblically-inspired marriage has been defeated no once but twice! In Arkansas, in 2004, 75% of Arkansans agreed that the definition of marriage should remain as between one man and one woman. It’s extremely rare to get 75% agreement on virtually anything in this day and age but on this issue, it actually happened because the people were informed by their common sense and their Faith.

    You also dismissively point out that I need not discuss polygamy or bestiality as those are not relevant in any such discussion on homosexuality. They are quite relevant along with homosexuality, fornication and adultery as being considered sexual sins according to the Bible. In fact, virtually every culture in the world rejects all of those immoral behaviors as something not worthy of celebrating, endorsing and especially codifying into law. And if you believe a perverted form of sexual behavior like polygamy is too radical and too far out of the mainstream to be discussed in the same mention of homosexuality, then you only need to be reminded that one of Obama’s “czars”, Chai Feldblum, who heads the EEOC, signed off on a manifesto as recently as 2006 called “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage” that sees no problem with polygamy. Even the head of the ACLU, Nadine Strossen, supports the rights of individuals to engage in polygamy. Opening the door to homosexual rights only gives further credence to “rights” for polygamy and bestiality and other perverted sexual behavior. How can one be so sure? Well, it was only 40 years ago that the prevailing thought was that homosexuality, bisexuality, transexuality and other sexual behaviors were considered to be perverted and immoral and now look where we are on those topics. What’s to keep the acceptance of polygamy and bestiality and other perverted acts from becoming “acceptable” over the next 40 years?

    You see, my worldview is informed by the Bible. And the Bible is very clear about what is sexual sin. And either the Bible is the inspired inerrant Word of God or it’s not. Now, if you believe the Bible is not the inspired inerrant Word of God then that’s certainly your right and you have every right to harden your heart against the Word of God. But if you believe that the Bible is indeed the inspired inerrant Word of God then you must believe that what it says about sexual sin is correct. And when the Bible says that homosexuality, adultery, fornication, polygamy and bestiality are wrong and are sexual sins, then they ALL must be wrong and sexual sins. Either homosexual behavior is sexual immorality or there simply is no such thing as sexual immorality. Period.

    Lastly, you refer to the “evils of homosexuality”. First, those are your words, not mine. I prefer to use the words “danger” and “risky”. Let’s be clear: homosexual behavior is a very dangerous and risky lifestyle, especially that which involves male homosexuality. According to the American College of Pediatricians, the statistics are quite clear on this point, including the fact that as a group, homosexuals experience significantly higher levels of mental and physical health problems compared to heterosexuals and are at higher risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases, alcoholism, drug abuse, anxiety and depression. You can look at articles in the Omega Journal of Death and Dying, the Archives of General Psychiatry and CDC studies on the subject to discover the true and signifcant physical and psychological damage homosexuality causes. In fact, the CDC published a recent study that the rate of new HIV cases involving men who have sex with other men (aka “homosexual sex”) is over 44 times the rate of other men (men who DON’T have sex with other men). Now to put that last fact in proper perspective and in a purely scientific light, imagine for a moment that we substitute “smoking” and “cancer” for “homosexual sex” and “HIV”. If the CDC released data that showed a direct correlation between “smoking” and “cancer”, people would take notice. The media would write about it and there would be media campaigns all over the place to discourage people from smoking and specifically, school children would be taught the dangers of smoking. Of course, we know the smoking scenario is real because today smoking has been greatly abated and we are jarred by just having to smell someone smoke outside the entrance to a building. In other words, this type of campaign has worked and worked well. However, when it comes to the dangers of homosexuality and reducing the incidences of homosexual-related problems like HIV, syphillis and ghonorrea, it is the chilling effect of political correctness and the fear of being labeled a “homophobe” serves to make anti-homosexual behavior campaigns — like anti-smoking campaigns — a non-starter.

    One more example: what if someone you care about picks up a loaded revolver to play a game of Russian Roulette. What is the loving response to that situation? Is it to pat them on the back and say, “Well, this wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but go for it . . . it’s who you are!”? Or would the proper response be to rip the gun out of their hand and tell them how dangerous, irresponsible, and deadly their behavior is? If you’re struggling with the answer to these questions, then I trust you will seek counseling immediately. So why wouldn’t we have the same response to someone who is engaging in the very dangerous and risking behavior of homosexual sex? Sadly, teens and young adults today are encouraged to explore their sexuality, and told precisely how; with the blessings of these “experts”, kids are allowed to “go out and play in traffic” and then we wonder why, after 25 years, HIV is still going strong.

    People like yourself and many other liberals don’t want to hear this message or this side of the homosexual issue. No one wants to say it. But the cold, hard truth is that homosexual sex is risky at best and life-threatening at worst.

    But I guess, as you say, homosexuality is not evil or bad. Believe that at your own peril.


    • Matt May 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

      “You see, my worldview is informed by the Bible. And the Bible is very clear about what is sexual sin.”

      Because “the Lord detests lying lips” (Proverbs 12:22), one must assume that you follow your own statement about the “inspired inerrant Word of God” and take every part of Leviticus just as literally by not cutting your hair or shaving (19:27), never wearing clothes made of multiple fabrics (19:19), believing that the blind and disabled cannot go to Heaven (21:18), and thinking that Miss Cleo should be stoned to death (20:27). Because, if not, you are being a hypocrite and hypocrisy is a definite no-no (Matthew 7:5).

      Perhaps, rather than pushing your brand of dogmatic close-mindedness, you should reflect on Luke 6:37: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”

      As long as we’re taking things literally, that seems like a good place to start.

      As for the rest of your comment, you continue with the hyperbole. “Russian Roulette?” Really? You think that furthers the discussion? Also, AIDS is not a gay-only disease, so your “we wonder why…HIV is still going strong” statement is a straw man.

      I could continue, but there is no need. You are wrapping your bigotry in the comfortable language of your fairly tales, selectively taking the Bible as infallible, ignoring the huge number of contradictions within the Bible (while proclaiming it “inerrant”), and engaging in sophistry rather than having a rational discussion.


  4. AR-Dem May 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    “Fire Blanche,” I can’t help but feel the need to jump in here.

    Jay Barth was as forthcoming as any homosexual politician living in Arkansas should be on his private life. Jay must have known that too many Arkansans, like yourself, wouldn’t bother to listen to any of the policy proposals he had, simply because he was gay. Yet, in the spirit of being forthright and honest with the electorate, Jay did speak openly and clearly with voters about his sexuality. He also spoke openly with voters, when asked, about how his sexuality would affect his politics: the issue wasn’t going to come up when he served as state senator, and he wasn’t going to force it. I can’t help but balk at your implication that his sexuality necessitated an open attempt to push the same beliefs onto Arkansas. Jay’s smarter than that, and much more of a pragmatist. If your statistics are right, he’d clearly see no way in which to pursue such an end. To make his choices for him in such a manner as you have is truly naive (at best)

    What I take the most issue with, to be frank, is the assumption that Linda Chesterfield would be a better State Senator simply because she isn’t gay. I’m (perhaps naively) assuming that this would be the most important criterion off of which one would cast their vote in an election: Who would do a better job.

    Reporting her absenteeism on issues that matter, backed by legitimate sources we entrust to document these things, isn’t “playing into the stereotype that black people are lazy,” as her ad said. It’s just true. She voted either as “present” or didn’t even vote 1280 times or more as State Representative, a fact which she did not -and could not- refute in the ad. On the bullying bill, she said simply that she was a Co-Sponsor of the Bill, not that she voted on it. The implication must only be this: She co-sponsored a bill she saw no point in voting for. If this isn’t the measure of a bad representative, I don’t know what is. 80% of those polled, by the way, agree with me. This was a failure of turnout, not of support, for Jay on Tuesday.

    Further, the whisper campaign in churches, paired with the ad she put out, played into the worst side of politics and people. It was divisive, dirty, and frankly not the kind of voice Arkansas needs among its elected officials. Jay stated simply that he would be the first gay man elected, not that he was running only to be. I applaud those who hold our politicians and elected officials to those values we hold most dear in this state and nation- both of God and of country. They have their work cut out for them with Linda.

    Which brings me to a final point: “of God”. I, too, am a Christian. I, too, believe in the Bible. And yet, there must be some extent at which we rank those things which are said within the Good Book. Christ himself told us that to love our Lord and one another were the most important commandments. The way in which you have treated Jay, a hard working man who has made great progress and done great things and who has been committed to his partner for over a decade now, is anything but loving. Equal treatment under the law and equal love and concern for and from our neighbors is all that any of us can ask for. Your comments seek to deny him, and other members of his community, both.

    What comfort I can take from this must invariably come from the fact that your opinion is well within the minority. I invite you to engage openly with those with whom you disagree. However, I also warn you not to let those disagreements hinder you from choosing an effective candidate over an absent one. Doing so only harms you and the neighbors you have been commanded to love.



  1. Thoughts From Last Night | Blue Hog Report: Arkansas's Source for Progressive Politics - May 19, 2010

    […] disappointing result of the night, at least from a karmic perspective, has to be Linda Poindexter-Chesterfield beating Jay Barth. […]


  2. Thoughts From Last Night | Blue Hog Report: Arkansas's Source for Progressive Politics - May 19, 2010

    […] disappointing result of the night, at least from a karmic perspective, has to be Linda Poindexter-Chesterfield beating Jay Barth. […]


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