Friday, November 08, 2013

Can't let it go

My friend Jeff Kolb wrote a brilliant piece this week on the media still trying to use gay marriage to feed a certain narrative (i.e. bigoted conservative voters). When same-sex marriage was passed in the Legislature this past spring, five Republicans (four House members and one Senator) voted to pass the measure.

Recently one of those House members, Rep. Andrea Kieffer of Woodbury, announced she would not seek reelection. As Jeff wrote in his blog post, many journalists reporting on the story alluded to Kieffer's support for legalizing gay marriage, thus inferring that may be why she is choosing not to run again. You see, the idea here is to plant a seed that Kieffer is reluctant to face the backlash from voters after her voting "yes" on gay marriage. The impression left is that there are still some narrow minded Republicans who look to seek retribution anyway possible (in this case, at the ballot box). 

One minor flaw in this latest narrative: Kieffer won her 2012 race by about 9 points while the Marriage Amendment (looking to definite marriage solely between one man and one woman) in her legislative district failed by a healthy 57%-43% margin. Based on that, one could make a valid argument that Kieffer was representing the interest of her constituents by voting "yes" to legalize gay marriage. What a concept!

But when she finally went on the record to reveal why she's not seeking reelection, Kieffer emphasized her "yes" vote was not a factor. 

"I would say that would have been the most compelling reason for me to run again," said Kieffer, a two-term representative from Woodbury. She was one of five legislative Republicans to support legalization earlier this year.

Kieffer said that no Republican had filed against her because of the vote and the reaction to her vote in May has been positive. Last year, her suburban district voted against the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, making her one of 33 Republicans who won last year in a district that rejected the amendment.

Instead, Kieffer said her decision not to run again was driven by personal reasons and her frustration with partisanship at the Capitol.
Hear that? That's the sound of a media narrative going through the proverbial shredder.


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