Vice presidential candidates duck topics of ‘religious liberty,’ gay rights

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine speaks during the vice presidential debate with Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence in Farmville, Va., on Tuesday. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine speaks during the vice presidential debate with Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence in Farmville, Va., on Tuesday. Mark Wilson/Getty Images


Much was said and sputtered during last night’s debatus interruptus between the Republican and Democratic candidates for vice president.

But even after 90 minutes, a host of topics remained untouched. Look for Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s partner, to catch some grief from the left for his failure to focus on rival Gov. Mike Pence’s convoluted 2015 handling of Indiana’s “religious liberty” law – the one aimed at sheltering conservative Christians from the aftershocks of a U.S. Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. From New York magazine:logo-all

 A whole host of glaring policy differences between Trump and Pence were left unexamined, including the Iraq war, criminal-justice reform, and trade (a topic that did not, astonishingly, even come up). Pence’s shaky record in Indiana — especially the poor handling of “religious liberty” legislation that made him look like a bad bet for reelection before Trump took him off the Hoosier GOP’s hands — was not mentioned, either.

 And the New York Times:

 Mr. Pence’s most controversial moment as a national figure — and the biggest stumble of his political career — came after he signed a law in Indiana that critics had warned would allow businesses to discriminate against gay men and lesbians. Facing an enormous backlash, Mr. Pence first defended the law and then walked it back. The episode seemed likely to tarnish him as a national figure in a lasting way.


But neither Mr. Kaine nor the debate moderator, Elaine Quijano of CBS News, raised the issue Tuesday night. The lone mention of gay rights came when Mr. Kaine noted that Mr. Putin “persecutes L.G.B.T. folks and journalists.” Mr. Pence now appears likely to escape the 2016 election without any extensive airing of this formative moment in his career.



William Weld, the Libertarian vice presidential candidate, will be in downtown Atlanta at 7:30 p.m. this evening (The Venetian Room, 50 Hurt Plaza Southeast) to greet supporters. You can bet that these paragraphs from the Boston Globe will be a topic of discussion:


The Libertarian vice presidential candidate, William F. Weld, said Tuesday that he plans to focus exclusively on blasting Donald Trump over the next five weeks, a strategic pivot aimed at denying Trump the White House and giving himself a key role in helping to rebuild the GOP.


Weld’s comments in a Globe interview mark a major shift in his mission since he pledged at the Libertarian convention in May that he would remain a Libertarian for life and would do all he could to help elect his running mate, Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico.


But things have changed. Johnson has committed several high-profile gaffes in recent weeks that revealed apparent weak spots in his foreign-policy knowledge. Meanwhile, Trump had seemed to be surging back into contention after he fell well behind in the polls in early August.


Secretary of State Brian Kemp has released four new video tutorials on voter registration and absentee balloting – in English, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish and Vietnamese. Feel free to test your language skills here:


Former state senator David Adelman, who recently finished a three-year stint as U.S. ambassador to Singapore, now has a bridge named after him in DeKalb County.

You can think of Adelman every time you cross the south fork of Peachtree Creek on Briarcliff Road, courtesy of a resolution shepherded earlier this year by state Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, who inherited Adelman’s seat – after Jason Carter was through with it. The dedication was last week.

Adelman has also agreed to donate his official papers, documenting his diplomatic and legislative service, to the University of Georgia Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies.

Adelman and his family now live in New York. His wife, Caroline Adelman, is director of media relations at Columbia University.


Roll Call took a hard look at spending by the U.S. House and found a hankering for a certain Atlanta-based fast food chain: Thousands of dollars in bills from Chick-fil-A.

From Roll Call:

The spending details, made available by the House’s chief administrative officer, show the Republican conference purchased food 18 times from the Atlanta-headquartered fast food chain since this Congress began in January 2014.

In total, the House GOP has spent $32,400 on the chicken (and possibly biscuits and waffle fries, too). At $79 for a large plate of “Chick-n-Strips,” that’s enough to feed at least 500 people per purchase (after taxes). Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s office has also dropped some cash at the restaurant — $2,500 during May and June of this year.

No matter how much Republicans on the Hill like breaded chicken, it’s hard to ignore the political connection between the party and the fast food chain. Chick-fil-A, which famously closes on Sundays, was in the national spotlight in 2012 when its president, Dan Cathy, spoke out against gay marriage.

Recall that Chick-fil-A also aroused the ire of Florida Democrats for a very different reason.

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