Single-issue candidate Michele Strobel is challenging incumbent state Representative Norm Johnson (R-Yakima) in this November’s election because, she said, in 2009 Johnson voted for a comprehensive domestic partnership bill (SB 5688).  Announcing her candidacy, Strobel said:

“[Johnson's domestic partnerships vote] was a slap in the face to Christians,” Strobel said. “It was a slap in the face to traditional values.”

It actually was a very pro-family, traditional values vote; Johnson’s son is gay.  There’s nothing more fundamental than a father seeing to the well-being and fair treatment of his own flesh and blood.

Johnson is a respected fiscal conservative who has done well by his district, and his courage in taking a principled vote for domestic partnerships won him the respect of even anti-gay republican colleagues from his district.  So Strobel knows she cannot be a single-issue candidate if she wants to best Johnson.  So what does she do?  

Strobel defines herself as a single-issue, anti-gay candidate by hitching her wagon to Larry Stickney.  Not only has Stickney defined himself in recent years as a dedicated homophobe through his constant efforts to undermine gay and lesbian families, but Stickney has a track record of shepherding in electoral losses.

I don’t know about you, but if I were launching a campaign, I wouldn’t join a proven loser at the hip.  But then again I’m not a one-trick anti-gay pony fueling my campaign with anti-gay animus.The Strobel-Stickney alliance was made public earlier this week at the One Nation Under God Tea Party Forum in Yakima.  Strobel presented Stickney with a gift and words of appreciation for his hard work as sponsor and campaign manager for the Referendum 71 campaign.  Referendum 71 was a 2009 ballot measure asking Washington voters to approve or reject the very same domestic partnership law that Rep. Norm Johnson had voted for in the legislature.  Voters solidly approved the law.  Stickney has the honor of having led the first defeated anti-domestic partnership ballot campaign in American history!

The wagon-hitching appreciation ceremony had obviously been pre-arranged with Stickney as a mutually-beneficial event.  Stickney declared on the spot that his organization, Washington Values Alliance, was endorsing Strobel, and urged people to sign the endorsement forms he had earlier placed on all the tables.

So Strobel is getting “help” from the anti-gay harbinger of campaign death Larry Stickney, thereby solidly defining herself as a single-issue candidate.  And Stickney has a fresh reason to ask for cash.  But there is one question still lingering: when will Stickney update his resume with a Referendum 71 reference?

Here is the video transcript, starting about 50 seconds in.

Unidentified man: Before we get started and introduce you to the candidates, I want to introduce Michele Strobel who is going to make a special presentation to a special guest.  Some of you may know Michele as a pastor’s wife or as a small businesswoman, but you also may know her as a candidate for the Washington state senate.  So Michele, come on down and I’ll turn this over to you.

Strobel:  Ok, you know what?  We have something to present to a person tonight, and so I will just ask Larry Stickney and your beautiful wife Polly and your girls – I’d love all of you guys to come up here.  And you remember Referendum 71.  Referendum 71.  Larry is the one that fought the good fight.  And he put himself on the line with his family.  He stood like a watcheman on the wall for us.  And you know what?  We, we thank you Larry.  We, we, yes, [inaudible].  And it goes to show you, it goes to show you we just have to stand.  We can stand.  We can stand shoulder to shoulder, and we will have an army that comes and fights like we have never fought before.  And so Larry we thank you.  We thank you for your family, for fighting that good fight.  For standing firm through it all for us.

And I want you to remember that 66% of the constituents here, we were with you on that one.  So we can applaud ourselves in that too.

Stickney, holding a Strobel endorsement form:  God bless Yakima Valley, God bless you. All of central Washington.  Thank you for this honor.  I’m moved and I’ll tell you it was a long, arduous campaign.  And very taxing physically and emotionally.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I’d do it again.  But I don’t want to scare my wife by saying that.  She was our rock in this.  Polly.  Thank you.

We’re all the way to the Supreme Court now trying to protect the signatures from going to some of the militant organizations that opposed us who want to have a conversation with those of your who signed.

I know of at least 3 senate candidates here that were actually helping us.  That’s the kind of caliber of the people we’ve got here, and I think all of them actually supported R-71 to some degree.

And I just wanted to – I do want to introduce a terrific friend who was there in the trenches with us.  He’s the guy who helped me set up our organization the Washington Values Alliance.  And I asked him if I got into any trouble this summer whether or not he would help me and he said, oh sure, give me a call.  I think he’s put his practice on hold and spent most of the summer in court with me and he was working for lates and cheeseburgers.  So Steve could you just stand up?  Steve Pidgeon.  Constitutional [inaudible] Steve Pidgeon.  And he’s [inaudible] with us all the way to the United States Supreme Court where we will appear in April.

At any rate.  I want to say one other thing.  On behalf of the Washington Values Alliance and our board who are unhesitatingly getting behind Michele Strobel’s candidacy for state House of Representatives here in Washington.  And we’re here to ask all of you to do that for us.  She is with us on – and our organizations is unabashedly pro-life, pro-family, and here, limited government.  Limited government.  Michele represents those issues so well we’re giving unanimously our board and without hesitation we are endorsing her tonight.

We’re asking everyone here to pick up this paper on your table.  It’s here.  You need to sign it as well, you have to have a written signature to legally I think put the endorsements on your website and things like that but we’re urging you to get behind her.  A great candidate and I understand she was somewhat inspired to jump into this thing because R-71 and God bless you Michele.  Best of luck this year.

Strobel: Thank you.  One more note.  When I get to Olympia, you know what I stand for.  Traditional family values.  I am so pro-life.  Limited government.  Less taxes.  I could go on and on but you know it.

Here is a gift to you, though, Larry for you and your family.  Thank you so very much.  Bless you.


* Yakima County republicans support the reelection of pro-equality legislator>