An open letter to Monica Wehby, Ben West and Paul Rummell:

Laura Calvo

Dear Monica Wehby,

It's not very hard to read the writing on the wall (polls) when it comes to marriage equality in Oregon, especially after it's a done deal.

But coming out in support of marriage equality after years of the rest of us fighting for a right that should have never been an issue, is better (I guess??) than digging in your heels. I'm sure there were some folks who believed the earth was flat that changed their minds after it was proven wrong.

The proof in the sincerity is to ask, "why now?" Just because you're just now running for U.S. Senator, even though the only record you have is NOT voting in every election. That's really kind of low-brow pandering.

Dear Ben and Paul,

You have every right to voice your endorsement of a candidate of their choosing. I have no qualm nor disrespect for you to endorse a candidate. You said in your TV ad that you thought your candidate was the one who would fight for you and that is what Oregon needed.

But where was your candidate when Jeff Merkley stood up with a very straight spine on the floor of the Oregon House fighting so hard for your rights? When that same Jeff Merkley was threatened with being arrested by the Republican then-Speaker of the House who was openly and blatantly denying you your rights?

Where was your candidate during all that time we were spending every resource fighting for our rights?

It's really hard to judge your candidate on the issues as she has no record on legislative issues that she can stand behind.

The only record she has that we know of for sure is she hasn't voted regularly in elections and she's managed to have somewhat of a police record.

We also know for certain that she is in cahoots with the billionaire Koch brothers and we all know just how much they will fight against LGBT rights, middle class families, health care, and the environment. That's because they spent a lifetime exploiting every opportunity to squeeze every penny they can to put in their own pocket.

You said you spent time with your husband wrestling the issue and then decided to reach out to your candidate.

The result of that was happy hour at the Mint that turned into three hours of enlightenment. Judging from the beautiful production of the ad you appear in, it would seem your family is doing OK. Using your notoriety is your privilege.

Let me contrast your wonderful story.

I'm the trans* daughter of immigrant parents. I didn't get a degree and barely made it out high school. I've pretty much struggled all my life to make ends meet and be a good person. I got into politics because, like you, my rights were non-existent. In the height of a successful career, I got involuntarily outed and lost my job, family, and pretty much everything else.

In 2007, Jeff Merkley reached out to me. Not because of my notoriety, my wealth, or because he was pandering for someone to portray him as some sort of good guy.

Nope, what Jeff Merkley wanted was to hear what I had to say. He wanted to know what more he could to do to help. We didn't meet for happy hour at a swanky bar. He listened and he's worked hard for me every step of the way every single day.

Now there's a guy who stands up every day to do the right thing for Oregon!

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