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Gay sex remains a crime under military law

Lou Chibbaro Jr. | Jan 13, 2011

 

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of SLDN, said his group’s top priority this year is to secure the certification by President Obama and military leaders for completing repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Much of the nation was riveted over the drama surrounding the congressional vote last month to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law barring gays from serving openly in the military.

 

But in a little-noticed development, Capitol Hill observers say Congress is in no mood to take a follow-up action recommended by Pentagon officials — the repeal of a longstanding military law that classifies consensual sodomy among both gay and straight service members as a crime.

 

Gay rights attorneys and experts in military law say the sodomy law provision known as Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice has been rarely enforced in recent years in cases where sexual activity has been consensual and “fraternization” between officers and lower ranking members has not be a factor.

 

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Iowa: Proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage gets first OK in House

 

The Iowa House Judiciary Committee approved a proposal Monday to amend the Iowa Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriages. The vote was 13-8, with Rep. Kurt Swaim, a Bloomfield lawyer, the only Democrat to join Republicans in supporting it. The resolution is now eligible for debate by the full House. The amendment would not only prohibit same-sex marriages but also would deny state recognition to arrangements such as civil unions and domestic partnerships. That prospect raises deep constitutional questions and almost certainly ensures that the measure, if approved, would be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court, Drake University constitutional law scholar Mark Kende said Monday. Ohio, Georgia, Louisiana and other states have passed similar amendments, and some are already in the appeals process. A public hearing on House Joint Resolution 6 is planned next week.

 

The resolution is expected to pass the House, where Republicans control 60 of 100 seats. It faces slimmer chances in the Senate, where Majority Leader Michael Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, has vowed to block a vote on the proposal. The resolution reads, "Marriage between one man and one woman shall be the only legal union valid or recognized in this state." Kende, the Drake professor, said of the resolution: "The part that is most troubling is that it gets into something beyond marriage and into arrangements, family situations and unions that sometimes involve benefits. Once you start taking away benefits from one group and not others based on their status, then that is something the Supreme Court is skeptical about. I think it would raise a profound federal constitutional issue."

 

More than 200 people packed into a legislative meeting Monday on the resolution. Both supporters and opponents spoke. Some advocates of the amendment told the crowd that they are not anti-gay but simply believe Iowans should have the opportunity to vote on the issue.

 

"This is the direction of the people, by the people, for the people, and we should not lose sight of that," said Rep. Dwayne Alons, R-Hull, who led discussion on the resolution and noted that more than 30 states have adopted bans on same-sex marriage.

 

More below:

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110125/NEWS10/101250357/Proposed-amendment-to-ban-same-sex-marriage-gets-first-OK-in-House?ENT06


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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^Oh freakin' goodness (bowing and shaking my head). Why can't they just let it be. Why are people so concerned if two people of the same sex want to marry each other?

 

I have however, always wondered how same-sex became legal in Iowa. I know Iowa is supposedly one of the more 'liberal' states in the midwest, but still, it's kind of hard to fathom.

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^ The same way it became legal in every state where it currently is:  court ruling or legislation. 

 

I know that! :roll: It was more of a rhetorical question. Most of the New England states allow it, which is not surprising at all (maybe N.H. being the exception), and Washington D.C. also allows it. Then you have Iowa.

 

I guess it's a matter of perspective, but out of N.H., VT, MA, CT, IA, and D.C., Iowa is certainly the outlier of the bunch IMO.

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Springfield Republican Leads Efffort to Halt Gay Bias

 

COLUMBUS — Statehouse Republicans are busy these days setting the legislative table with plans to limit abortions, fix pension systems, strip power from unions and make Ohio more “business-friendly.”

 

Rep. Ross McGregor, a Republican from Springfield, has one other idea, but it’s too early to tell if he’ll be able to squeeze it on to that table.

 

Some time this year McGregor plans to renew a bipartisan effort to ban discrimination in employment and housing, based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

...more at the link.

 

 

 

 

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Wyoming Senate passes anti-gay marriage bill

By JEREMY PELZER Star-Tribune capital bureau

Posted: Friday, February 18, 2011 11:27 am

 

CHEYENNE-The Wyoming Senate narrowly voted Friday to stop recognition of same-sex marriages and civil unions from outside the state.

 

House Bill 74 passed 16-14 after tagging on a last-second amendment guaranteeing out-of-state couples in civil unions access to Wyoming courts.

 

Read More...

Because of the amendment, the bill will now head back to the House to approve the changes. The House passed the legislation late last month 32-27.

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Springfield Republican Leads Efffort to Halt Gay Bias

 

COLUMBUS — Statehouse Republicans are busy these days setting the legislative table with plans to limit abortions, fix pension systems, strip power from unions and make Ohio more “business-friendly.”

 

Rep. Ross McGregor, a Republican from Springfield, has one other idea, but it’s too early to tell if he’ll be able to squeeze it on to that table.

 

Some time this year McGregor plans to renew a bipartisan effort to ban discrimination in employment and housing, based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

...more at the link.

 

 

 

 

 

Wow, good for him. Too bad he thinks he has to couch in economic terms, rather than equal rights. Frankly, I'm sick of hearing everything framed in economic terms, and it wasn't the recession that brought this on. Isn't anything else important?

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Obama: DOMA Unconstitutional, DOJ Should Stop Defending In Court

 

President Obama has determined that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and that the Department of Justice should no longer defend the measure, which severely limits the potential of states to honor or carry out same-sex marriages, in court, the administration announced Wednesday.

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I like the decision, but I disagree with how it was made.  Holder seems to be placing this all on Obama and I am not sure how I feel about Obama, as President, coming to this conclusion unilaterally.  Something about the Separation of Powers seems to be offended here.  I don't like the DOJ acting as a puppet for the President.  It is a slippery slope for the Aministration to be passing judgment on the "constitutionality" of congressionally enacted legislation.

 

That said, I am VERY interested, to see how the alleged "State Rights" crowd reacts to this decision.  Will they applaud Obama?  (yes..... that is a rhetorical question and a comically hysterical one at that).

 

EDIT:  As long as it is pissing off the morons in the comment section to this article http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110223/ap_on_re_us/us_gay_marriage#mwpphu-container....... I guess I am OK with it  :-D

 

 

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^I don't think it's really that offensive to separation of powers.  The president and DOJ are still enforcing DOMA; it's not like they're picking and choosing which laws they think apply.  And Congress and outside groups are more than welcome to intervene to stage a vigorous legal defense of DOMA.

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How does congress intervene in a legal suit without the DOJ?  The DOJ is their legal representation.  Outside groups could have an issue with standing.  It is an interesting question, but it just doesn't sit right with me at first blush.

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^I merely parrot what I read :).  I can't pretend my civ pro is fresh enough to know whether congress can intervene as an actual party or merely file an amicus. 

 

From the comments sections to the PD article, there isa whole lot of confusion, with a lot of folks conflating enforcement of the law (which will continue until it's repealed or ruled unconstitutional by a court), with defending it in court.  Thought it was worth pointing out the distinction so people know what this isn't.

 

The times coverage has a nice description of the legal analysis that went into the decision: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/us/24marriage.html?ref=samesexmarriage

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I kind of just perused the article today.  Reading more about it (thanks for the link), this is a bold move.  No other way to put it.  The analysis they are urging will go beyond marital rights, for sure.  Essentially, the Administration is arguing that sexual orientation is a suspect classification, just like race, gender, religion, etc. for purposes of equal protection analysis.

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This is sort of interesting from a political POV, too.  I think Obama might be feeling time to solidify a part of his base (getting ready for 2012), and also he isn't afraid of alienating voters, so he's not fence-straddling on this like he was before. 

 

I suspect his political advisors don't see a downside in this decision.  Though it should be clarified its not Obama's decision on this law, it will be the courts.  Some of the reporting around this makes it seem like "Obama decided" as if it were by some sort of administrative fiat.  Right now "Obama decided" means its his opinion or his administrations position...

 

Still, the right move. 

 

But gay marriage is certainly under still under attack.  Some actions on this in Indiana are not looking good. 

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From the article:

 

In previous cases, the Justice Department defended the act by citing precedents that directed judges to uphold any law that treats gay people unequally unless a challenger can prove there is no conceivable rational basis for the act. But the two new cases were filed in districts covered by the federal appeals court in New York, one of the few circuits that lack such a precedent.

 

As a result, the administration, for the first time, confronted the difficult question of how much protection gay people, as a group, should receive against official discrimination.

 

Do y'all think that this was a concious decision for a test case?  Seems like it put the administration on the spot.

 

 

 

 

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It certainly could have been.  There was a reason the red states filed the challenge to HCR in the circuit covering the southeast.  Same reason the log cabin repubs filed the challenge to DADT in the 9th circuit.  forum/venue shopping is par for the course in cases with such wide reaching implications.

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This is just another example of a president ruling by diktat to placate/gin up a political base.

 

I think anti-gay marriage efforts have been passed in something like all 31 states where they've been on the ballot.

 

Regardless of one's opinion of DOMA, it is troubling that the Executive can pick and choose which laws passed by Congress and signed by a President he wants to uphold.  So much for the Executive enforcing the law...

 

And how does he explain 2 years of defending DOMA? What suddenly changed, really?

 

This is a bone to the militant anti-traditional marriage crowd. That crowd should remember that when you start chasing bones you start looking a lot like dogs.

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Regardless of one's opinion of DOMA, it is troubling that the Executive can pick and choose which laws passed by Congress and signed by a President he wants to uphold.  So much for the Executive enforcing the law...

 

Obama is following the precedent set by previous executives choosing whether to defend a law. Here are some examples from the last four administrations:

 

a) George W. Bush (2005): in ACLU et al., v. Norman Y. Mineta – “The U.S. Department of Justice has notified Congress that it will not defend a law prohibiting the display of marijuana policy reform ads in public transit systems.”

 

b) Bill Clinton (1999): in Dickerson v. United States – “Because the Miranda decision is of constitutional dimension, Congress may not legislate a contrary rule unless this Court were to overrule Miranda…. Section 3501 cannot constitutionally authorize the admission of a statement that would be excluded under this Court’s Miranda cases.”

 

c) George HW Bush (1990): in Metro Broadcasting v. Federal Communications Commission – “The Bush administration chose not to defend the law that allowed that minority applicants for broadcast licenses were given preference if all other relevant factors were roughly equal.”

 

d) Ronald Reagan (1983): in INS v./ Chadha - “Chadha then filed a petition for review of the deportation order in the Court of Appeals, and instead of defending the law, the INS joined Chadha in arguing that § 244©(2) is unconstitutional.”

 

(I ripped the above from a comment here: http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/02/23/senate-dem-introduce-repeal-defense-marriage-act#ixzz1ExOXJnEd)

 

He is not choosing not to enforce the law, as you say, but rather not defend the law. The judiciary or legislature must strike it down to affect the law in any way.

 

And how does he explain 2 years of defending DOMA? What suddenly changed, really?

 

If you actually read up on this, rather than knee-jerkedly run your mouth, you would know the answer. Hint: It has to do with different precedents in different judicial districts.

 

This is a bone to the militant anti-traditional marriage crowd. That crowd should remember that when you start chasing bones you start looking a lot like dogs.

 

If you want to be cynical about the whole thing, I think it's more likely about putting the issue in the hands of Boehner and the Republican House. Making them defend the indefensible, instead of having the DOJ do the dirty (and, oh, is it dirty) work. Is the Tea Party libertarian or anti-liberty? Let them show their colors.

 

You could also view this as a bone thrown to the states' rights crowd. ;-)

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Can someone please identify for me "the militant anti-traditional marriage crowd".  Can anyone name one.... single.... person who has advocated for restricting the rights of one man and one woman getting married?  Are there any legislative proposals out there which support such a restriction?  Anyone?  Hello?

 

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Now listen Hts, the anti traditional marriage group has a lot to answer for.  Thanks to those hippy mongers, I can no longer legally rape my wife, even though what a man does to his property--errr--wife is no one else's business.  Because of those liberal loonies, a white woman can now legally marry--get ready--a black man. Gasp, how horrible, how unnatural, how disgusting. And dare we forget those communist anti-traditionalists allow me, a jew, to marry a gentile, thereby shattering the glorious and god-prescribed prohibitons of the old testament.  After all, we shouldn't ignore the non-existent sentences of the bible banning gay marriage.

 

So we can see how the anti-traditional marriage crazies have destroyed America.  And now they want to permit consenting adults to be able to marry?  Looks like some heathens haven't been taking sporadic and inconsistent literal readings of several poorly interpeted sentences within some 2000 year old book

 

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Was I asleep at the wheel when all the SB 5 nonsense was being spouted about, and missed Section 3101.01?  I'd like to know what on earth this attachment to the bill has to do with state employees, the state budgetary problems, collective bargaining or anything other than to further define marriage as between a one man and one woman.  What gives? I had no idea that the Republicans and Kasich was so desperate that he had to include this in the bill to immediately alienate an even greater portion of the population in Ohio and pander to their base.

 

One can not have it both ways. That this is included in the bill is to me, the highest form of hypocrisy imaginable and a slap in the face to all citizens of Ohio, both heterosexual and homosexual. To begin with  it has absolutely nothing to do with the other provisions in the bill and it legislates discrimination.  Paragraph C (1) is the most offensive:

 

C)(1) Any marriage between persons of the same sex is against the strong public policy of this state. Any marriage between persons of the same sex shall have no legal force or effect in this state and, if attempted to be entered into in this state, is void ab initio and shall not be recognized by this state.

 

Thank you for making it so clear....that the state is strongly opposed!  To vilify the state employees, to cover the legislative mismanagement, poor budgetary and leadership skills by many administrations, and now add this just to sweeten the deal shows just how low the people in power will go. I shudder to think what is next on the agenda for gay Ohioans.

 

 

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I looked into this further.  The language you quoted was actually enacted in 2004 when Taft was in office and the Republicans controlled the Statehouse.  And with the Constitutional Amendment the mob passed a few years back denying the right of consenting, same-sex couples to marry it really doesn't have much meaning (how we let our hate as a people put a negative right in our constitution is another matter).

 

HOWEVER, the question that does not seem answered is what effect the language of Senate Bill 5 will have on domestic partnerships and the benefits granted.  If anyone has any insight on this, it would be appreciated.

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GOP plans to defend Defense of Marriage Act, Boehner says

Saturday, March 5, 2011  02:52 AM

By Lisa Mascaro and David Savage

M cCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS

 

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner announced plans to initiate a legal defense of the 1996 law that bars the federal government from giving legal rights or federal benefits to gay couples.

 

The Obama administration said last week that the Justice Department no longer would defend the law, concluding that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

 

If a Republican-dominated House panel agrees to appoint one or more lawyers, as is expected, the GOP would keep alive several pending cases brought on behalf of legally married gay Americans that would otherwise have come to a close.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/national_world/stories/2011/03/05/gop-plans-to-defend-defense-of-marriage-act-boehner-says.html?adsec=politics&sid=101

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Good to see the GOP's top priorities are not just making Obama a one term president but now proactively seeking to maintain that retarded law that benefits no one outside of homophobes

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I looked into this further.  The language you quoted was actually enacted in 2004 when Taft was in office and the Republicans controlled the Statehouse.  And with the Constitutional Amendment the mob passed a few years back denying the right of consenting, same-sex couples to marry it really doesn't have much meaning (how we let our hate as a people put a negative right in our constitution is another matter).

 

HOWEVER, the question that does not seem answered is what effect the language of Senate Bill 5 will have on domestic partnerships and the benefits granted.  If anyone has any insight on this, it would be appreciated.

 

I knew that this was enacted into Ohio law in 2004, but my point was that the inclusion in SB5 was unnecessary, and a direct affront to individuals in Ohio and elsewhere.  It was calculated by the GOP to endear themselves to their base, and further erode any possible gains that same sex partners may have made in the state in the interim.  I personally see it as a direct attack on a portion of the citizenry.  Not anything less, and not anything less egregious.  Everyone knows the law, but they felt the need to put in in the bill, just to shove it in the face, so to speak.  Petty, and unfortunately quite typical of today's politics.  Gay people have been, and continue to be, throw away people in Ohio as far as this regime is concerned.

 

 

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I looked into this further.  The language you quoted was actually enacted in 2004 when Taft was in office and the Republicans controlled the Statehouse.  And with the Constitutional Amendment the mob passed a few years back denying the right of consenting, same-sex couples to marry it really doesn't have much meaning (how we let our hate as a people put a negative right in our constitution is another matter).

 

HOWEVER, the question that does not seem answered is what effect the language of Senate Bill 5 will have on domestic partnerships and the benefits granted.  If anyone has any insight on this, it would be appreciated.

 

I knew that this was enacted into Ohio law in 2004, but my point was that the inclusion in SB5 was unnecessary, and a direct affront to individuals in Ohio and elsewhere.  It was calculated by the GOP to endear themselves to their base, and further erode any possible gains that same sex partners may have made in the state in the interim.  I personally see it as a direct attack on a portion of the citizenry.  Not anything less, and not anything less egregious.  Everyone knows the law, but they felt the need to put in in the bill, just to shove it in the face, so to speak.  Petty, and unfortunately quite typical of today's politics.  Gay people have been, and continue to be, throw away people in Ohio as far as this regime is concerned.

 

 

 

My understanding is that the 2004 amendment should have had the effect of banning any state employee from receiving domestic partner benefits. All but one state university now have them, so this has effectively been ignored. Whether SB5 would give anyone standing to challenge these benefits is unclear to me.

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From one of the (former) big players in the anti-marriage equality movement:

 

I now support full marriage equality

...

Even though I had been confronted by the counter-protesters throughout the marriage tour, the lesbian and gay people whom I made a profession out of opposing became real people for me almost instantly. For the first time I had empathy for them and remember asking myself what I was doing.

...

I was largely taken aback by the fact that the page I created had become such a hateful place. My comments and rhetoric paled in comparison to what that place had turned into. I began to understand why the gay community was out there claiming opposition to same-sex civil marriage was all about hate.

...

Once you understand the great difference between civil marriage and holy marriage, there is not one valid reason to forbid the former from same-sex couples, and all that is left to protect is the latter.

...

My name is Louis J. Marinelli, a conservative-Republican and I now support full civil marriage equality. The constitution calls for nothing less.

 

http://louisjmarinelli.com/politics/i-now-support-full-marriage-equality

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is a 1984 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, ... Portman will make an inspirational commencement speaker for this year's law grads on May 7.

 

But Portman's voting record on gay and lesbian rights is inspiring some students to protest. According to an article in the Michigan Daily, a University of Michigan student newspaper, hundreds of students have expressed outrage in letters and meetings, saying that Portman's "openly hostile" position on gay rights makes him an inappropriate choice.

...

And as noted in Between the Lines, a Michigan newspaper serving the gay and lesbian community, Portman in 1999 voted to bar same-sex couples in Washington, D.C. from adopting children. That amendment narrowly failed.

...

more:

 

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2011/04/rob_portmans_gay_rights_positi.html

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http://michiganmessenger.com/48939/protesters-walk-out-of-u-of-m-law-school-graduation

 

More than 100 graduates of the University of Michigan Law School walked out of their own Senior Day celebration to protest the choice of Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a man with a long track record of anti-gay politics, as the speaker for the event.

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Eh, this is kind of silly. It's like that episode of Seinfeld where Elaine, and subsequently some other female patrons, walked out of that Italian restaurant because the owner Papi opposed abortion. Funny scene but pretty goofy.

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Hey there-

 

Not sure if it's been mentioned on this thread already-  but in Cincinnati, Chris Seelbach is running for City Council and is the first openly gay endorsed democrat and would be the first openly gay member of city council in Cincinnati.

 

i believe his website his www.seelbachforcouncil.com

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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wants to drop defense of state gay couple law

 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Gov. Scott Walker believes a new law that gives gay couples hospital visitation rights violates the state constitution and has asked a judge to allow the state to stop defending it.

 

Democrats who controlled the Legislature in 2009 changed the law so that same-sex couples could sign up for domestic partnership registries with county clerks to secure some - but not all - of the rights afforded married couples.

 

Wisconsin Family Action sued last year in Dane County circuit court, arguing that the registries violated a 2006 amendment to the state constitution that bans gay marriage and any arrangement that is substantially similar.

 

... "Governor Walker, in deference to the legal opinion of the attorney general that the domestic partner registry ... is unconstitutional, does not believe the public interest requires a continued defense of this law," says the brief, filed by Walker's chief counsel, Brian Hagedorn.

 

...more...

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/121956273.html

 

The Wisconsin constitution provides for "removing" the governor after one year.  I expect there will be a recall election.

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A Republican candidate has to be an extremist to win a primary election.  That would be in the case of a *contested* primary, in other circumstances, a "party regular" gets the party endorsement, wins the primary, and runs as normal Republican. 

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