Posted: Monday, August 8, 2016 8:26 am

Doug Clark doug.clark@greensboro.com

The first newspaper I picked up after a week-long Canadian getaway was Saturday's Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. A front-page headline caught my eye:

"Lifelong Republican says he won't vote for Trump or Clinton."

The story reported that prominent local Republican Bob Davison, an attorney, had circulated an email to GOP contacts explaining why he was "done with Trump."

"I know enough to stay away from psychopaths — my grandfather taught me that long ago," he wrote.

"It's a sad day," he added. "All we Republicans had to do this year to regain the White House was to nominate someone who wasn't overtly mentally disturbed. Hillary would have done the rest."

I began to get the sense that Trump's campaign was faltering.

Indeed, while I was fishing on Kashwakamak Lake in southeastern Ontario, and completely tuning out the news, the Republican candidate was imploding.

As I learned over the weekend, he had bitterly feuded with a Gold Star family; said he wouldn't endorse Paul Ryan; accused the Democrats of manipulating the debate schedule and claimed the NFL wrote him a letter expressing its concerns; predicted the election will be rigged; and given assurances that Putin will stay out of Ukraine.

Oh, and not coincidentally, he'd been dropping in the polls like a fishing line overloaded with sinkers.

Wow!

Clinton had her own troubles, explaining to reporters that she "short-circuited" over her State Department emails. Which just reinforced Bob Davison's point that Hillary would "do the rest" ... if only her opponent was anyone other than Donald Trump.

Can it get better for Republicans? I suggest they send their candidate on a fishing trip to Canada until the election is over.

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Another front-page story in the Wilkes-Barre daily reported that a 22-year-old City Councilwoman, Beth Gilbert, planned to introduce an ordinance protecting LGBT people from discrimination.

"I believe that public opinion has changed tremendously on this subject and that we have come a long way in embracing members of the LGBT community," she was quoted as saying.

The article also noted: "Municipalities have been at the forefront of passing laws to prohibit the discriminatory firing, eviction and denial of service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people."

How ironic. In North Carolina, state law enacted earlier this year prohibits municipalities from passing such protections.

The same edition carried an AP story about the police video of an incident in Chicago in which an 18-year-old was killed. Nine body and dash cam videos were released under a policy that requires that police make such video public within 60 days.

Again, the irony. A new North Carolina law declares that police video is not a public record and all but guarantees that the public would never see it.

Just two more examples showing how our state is moving in the opposite direction of most of the rest of the country.

Contact editorial writer Doug Clark at (336) 373-7039 and dgclark@News-Record.com

August  11, 2016

-Councilwoman Gilbert was invited by Mr. Mark Rabo to Harrisburg to advocate for LGBT Discrimination. She had to regretfully miss this opportunity due to her work schedule. She works a full time job and also considers her council seat full time. 

THE LULAC POLITICAL LETTER

AUGUST 02, 2016

GILBERT PROPOSES ORDINANCE

 

Wilkes Barre City Council woman Beth Gilbert. (Times Leader.com)

City Council member from District C Beth Gilbert will propose and introduce an anti discrimination ordinance next week at Council in Wilkes-Barre for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The city along with Pittston as well as a few others will join this part of the 21st century. Hopefully. It’s a good idea but there most likely will be some blow back. Gilbert has been criticized for posting messages in Spanish by people complaining that their ancestors got no help to learn English when they were immigrants. 
Bullshit. They did. At the turn of the 20th century thee were classes for immigrants to learn at least a modicum of English. 
Gilbert hopes that the ordinance would provide afforded equal opportunity for employment, housing and the use of public accommodations, and to have equal access to post secondary schools.
On her Face book page Gilbert wrote: 
I have always felt that it is better to be proactive rather than reactive. I think it is better to try to prevent problems from ever occurring, rather than solving them after the fact. This piece of legislation that I am introducing is no different. While we may already have an Anti-Discrimination on the books, it does not cover discrimination in regards to ancestry, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, age, or the use of guide animals and/or mechanical aids. Wilkes-Barre currently has no policy in place to help protect LGBT rights. In other words, you can still be fired, evicted, or denied services with no legal recourse in the city of Wilkes-Barre. This ordinance will also put into place a Human Relations Commission that will hear any cases of discrimination in related to the aforementioned topics and topics that are already on the books.
While many people do not hear of discriminatory action taking place in Wilkes-Barre, I think it is naive to believe that it does not occur. This ordinance will not only help to deter acts of discrimination, but it will also give those who experience such discrimination a fair arena to discuss and have fair expediency in dealing with these matters. I am happy to be introducing this ordinance to my fellow council members and asking for their support in the hopes of providing everyone in our city with equal opportunity. It is something that I have been working on for quite awhile. Let us help move Wilkes-Barre forward to provide better lives for all of our residents.

 

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