During the 2012 election cycle, more than seventy political candidates, from presidential candidates to city councilman, advertised on SaintPetersBlog. For this, I am very grateful. Advertising revenue is part of how I put a roof over my family’s head, just as it provides the resources for this blog to continue to do what it does.
I rarely, if ever, turn away a prospective advertiser. As a matter of fact, I usually harangue them to the point where a few of them have cut a check just so I would stop calling them. Oh well. At the end of the day, I am not a blogger or a consultant or a writer, I am an ad salesman. And as the line in Glengarry Glen Ross goes, always be closing.
But during a twenty-four hour period away from the blog to attend my sister’s wedding, I had a few moments to think about the events which transpired last week in Hillsborough County, where, by a 4-3 vote, the County Commission, rejected a domestic partner registry for unmarried couples.
One of those voting against the registry was Commissioner Al Higginbotham, a here-to-now decent local pol. Recently, Hibbinbotham filed to run for the countywide Commission seat currently held by Mark Sharpe. Higginbotham needs to switch from his East Hillsborough District 4 seat because of term limits. By changing seats, he can extend his political career on the Commission another two terms.
During the last election cycle, Commissioner Higginbotham was an advertiser on this blog.
However, in 2014, Al Higginbotham will not (unless he has a major change of heart) be an advertiser on this blog.
Beginning today, I am implementing one golden rule concerning advertising on my website. It is inspired, ironically enough, by Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew. That’s the part of the Good Book which teaches/warns: “What you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.”
Specifically, my golden rule is this: If you, as an elected official, voted to deny my brothers and sisters in my community the same domestic partner protections I enjoy as a married man, and the proposal to extend the protections fails, than you are prohibited from advertising on SaintPetersBlog.
In other words, Victor Crist, Ken Hagan, Al Higginbotham, and Sandy Murman will not be allowed to advertise on SaintPetersBlog.com.
It’s doubtful Commissioners Crist, Hagan, Higginbotham or Murman will lose much sleep about not being able to advertise on a blog, but I won’t either. And yes, I could/should implement the same policy about a lot of issues and positions, and maybe one day I will draw additional lines in the sand. But for today, on this issue — the true civil rights issue of our day — there is no room for ambiguity. We’re not even talking about gay marriage, which I can understand (although I do not agree with) the logic of opposing.
My family and I will certainly miss the advertising money which would have come from Mr. Higginbotham and other candidates who will run in 2014 and 2016, but voted against domestic partnership registries. But I do not want my daughter to grow up in a world where basic fairness, decency and humanity are not extended to everyone.