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Over a decade ago in a somewhat jarring state legislative race in our area between a long time incumbent and a right wingnut challenger we observed the aftermath of large campaign sign vandalism. An acquaintance, he of a mathematics and computer science background, who also noticed the sign vandalism mentioned the spray painted message on the challenger’s sign by asking me, “What does big zero plus mean?” The typography of the spray painted tag wasn’t exactly evenly spaced. I replied that I thought the spray painting spelled out “bigot”. “Oh.”

We were both correct.

The Springfield, Missouri LGBT inclusive anti-discrimination ordinance was overturned by the voters in yesterday’s election by a very narrow margin:

SUMMARY REPORT                                    Greene County, Missouri

                                                 Municipal Election

                                                 April 7, 2015

RUN DATE:04/07/2015 08:40 PM

                                                                                             VOTES PERCENT

PRECINCTS COUNTED (OF 78) .  .  .  .  .        78  100.00              

REGISTERED VOTERS – TOTAL .  .  .  .  .   172,016                      

BALLOTS CAST – TOTAL.  .  .  .  .  .  .    40,681                      

VOTER TURNOUT – TOTAL  .  .  .  .  .  .             23.65

[….]

City of Springfield Question 1

YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .    15,347   51.43

NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .    14,493   48.57

[emphasis added]

A “yes” vote was for repeal of the city ordinance.

Turnout was just under 24%. That, and the margin, ain’t exactly an overwhelming mandate for denying civil rights. Times are changing. That tiny margin will soon disappear.

This morning, at the Missouri Ethics Commission:

A151124 04/08/2015 YES ON QUESTION 1 National Black Robe Regiment PO Box 397 Aledo TX 76008 3/31/2015 $14,978.64

A151124 04/08/2015 YES ON QUESTION 1 National Black Robe Regiment PO Box 397 Aledo TX 76008 4/7/2015 $19,700.00

[emphasis added]

Who?

A151124: Yes On Question 1

G10-A East Battlefield Pmb 109 Committee Type: Campaign

Spring Field Mo 65807

[….] Established Date: 04/06/2015

  Termination Date:

Treasurer

Mike Tull

610-A East Battlefield Pmb 109

Springfield Mo 65807

  [….]

Ballot Measure History

Ballot Measures Election Date Subject Support/Oppose

Question 1 04/07/2015 Shall The City Of Springfield Repeal General Ordinance No 6141 Adopted By City Council 10/13/14 That Amended Chapter 2 On Human Rights & Community Relations/City Of Springfield Support

[emphasis added]

What? The day before the election?

National Black Robe Regiment? That sounds like a group name from the past appropriated for other purposes by a modern day lunatic.

What we know about Beck’s Black Robe Regiment

August 30, 2010 5:29 PM EDT

FAE JENCKS

This weekend, Glenn Beck announced the re-creation of a revolutionary force called the Black Robe Regiment. At his Restoring Honor rally on Saturday, Beck claimed that “our churches have fallen asleep” and that the “thousands of clergy” in the Regiment who subscribe to his particular views on the role of religion in American life, will “start the heart of this nation again and put it where it belongs: our heart with God….”

Yep.

Big zero plus.