St. Louis Oracle

St. Louis-based political forecasting plus commentary on politics and events from a grassroots veteran with a mature, progressive anti-establishment perspective.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Who was--and wasn't--at Gay Pride parade

St. Louis area politicians flocked to take part in what organizers called the biggest Gay Pride parade ever in St. Louis on Sunday.

In the spirited contest for the 4th District senate seat, all but one campaign had some representation in the parade, including two or three of the candidates. Frontrunners Jeff Smith and Amber Boykins appeared in the parade, and it was difficult to tell whether or not Yaphett El-Amin was in the car bearing her signs (a closed sedan containing two people waiving). While the campaign of Derio Gambaro (on record opposing gay rights) did not have an entry in the parade, a car carrying an alderman displayed his signs (more later). No presence was noted for the fifth candidate, former alderman Kenny Jones.

Mayor Francis Slay, Comptroller Darlene Green and Aldermanic President Jim Shrewsbury (wearing a Stonewall Democrats t-shirt) were all in the parade, as were License Collector and aspiring Collector of Revenue Gregg Daly and his aspiring replacement, Alderman Mike Millan. Other notables included State Sen. Maida Coleman, Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, and several aldermen and state reps.

No candidate for statewide office either appeared or was represented in the parade. While neither U.S. Senator Jim Talent nor his likely Democratic opponent, Democrat Claire McCaskill, made an appearance, a possible opponent of both was busy on the sidelines. Lydia Lewis, who is seeking the Progressive Party nomination for that office, was spotted on the east side of Grand collecting signatures to get her party on the ballot. No candidates for state auditor made a parade appearance.

The Smith campaign entourage had a little surprise for the audience. The passenger in a convertible with signage for Smith waived enthusiastically at the crowd, but the guy wasn’t Smith. The candidate himself trailed the car by about 30 feet, coming to the sidelines to shake hands with a visibly supportive crowd. It was a Jimmy Carter moment.

On the downside for Smith, the car bearing signage for Gambaro was courtesy of 23rd Ward Alderwoman Kathleen Hanrahan, whose ward organization headed by Francis Slay has endorsed Smith. One wonders whether and how serious a split may have developed in that ward’s organization, at least in this contest.


Blogger Andy said...

Smith was also all over the festival too. I saw him both days walking around, shaking hands, handing out stickers.

June 27, 2006 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Travis Reems said...

Not only was Jeff Smith "among the people" as I kept telling people who mistakenly thought I was he, being in the front passenger seat of the car bearing his signs, but as mentioned above, he was talking to people in the park after the parade. His campaign shared a booth with PROMO, which has endorsed his campaign. And, although the Stonewall Democrats have yet to endorse any candidates in this race, the woman I spoke with from the organization was very impressed with Jeff Smith and said she "likes him very much."

Also interesting to note was that in addition to his signs being on Ald. Hanrahan's car, Derio Gambaro, on record opposing gay rights (yet another in his Republican-style positions), was in the crowd before the parade.

And, a funny thing happened on the way to the parade, or more correctly, as the parade started. Rep. Boykins tried to break-in on the parade succession. Jeff Smith's car, which was part of the Lambda Car Club, a gay classic car club, was to follow the car the Mayor was in, but Rep. Boykins in her own Mercedes (unsure if rented or owned) tried to cut in line behind the Mayor. Had she requested, the Lambda Car Club would have driven her, as they do all the other dignitaries.

Finally, it doesn't surprise me that Rep. El-Amin wouldn't be there, since she is in-line with the Republican thinking of Derio Gambaro on the issue of gay rights.

June 27, 2006 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Nia said...

Hmmmmmm...Trouble in the 23rd Ward's paradise, I see (side note--I have always been a STAR WARS fan.)

Of course Nia was on the scene.

"LET THE GAY (oh, I mean the GOOD) TIMES ROLL..."

Why didn't someone tell Jeff Smith not to bogart and bomb rush all of the elected officials to get behind Mayor Slay in the parade?

I don't think that Comptroller Darlene Green, Senator Maida Coleman, Rep. Robin Wright-Jones, Rep. Rachael Storch, Greg "I really see great things in your future" Daly, Alderman Steve Conway, and Alderman Mike McMillan were too pleased with the political aspirant, Smith.

By the way, was that an "eye roll" I saw from Alderman McMillan?

Jeff unleashed his entourage' of college credit seeking students into the crowd as on-lookers chanted "Hey! Way to go Holly! We love you Holly! Keep up the good work!"

Jeff demonstrated a lack of political courtesy as 4th Senatorial District Candidate, Derio Gambaro looked on as Jeff Smith jumped him in the parade line-up.
Keep your head up Derio; it'll all be over in a few weeks.

Uggghh, how rude, how rude, how rude!! But Jeff demonstrated no lack of remorse as he sashayed up and down the parade route.

Candidate Kenny Jones was MIA. When Diversity really Matters, where are u?


More To Come.

After all…Niaknows

June 27, 2006 at 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Danny said...

All I see that Nia knows is how to smugly try to pass herself off as an insider

June 27, 2006 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Travis Reems said...

Nia is obviously NOT in the know on this one. Jeff Smith was in the parade as a recognized dignitary and invited guest, as were all those that were driven by the Lambda Car Club (the Mayor, Aldermen, etc.). Those that drove themselves, such as Rep. Boykins in her Mercedes, were not a part of the official Lambda precession and were to follow after the Lambda group, although Rep. Boykins tried to squeeze her way into the Lambda group behind the Mayor, which was in very poor taste and ill-mannered.

As for lookers-on cheering, I was not near Rep. Boykins' car during the parade, but being in Jeff Smith's car, I can tell you that there were a great many cheers for Jeff, often misdirected to me, as he was busy among the people introducing them to their next State Senator rather than riding like a princess in a shiny black carriage.

June 27, 2006 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger St. Louis Oracle said...

I was in the crowd on the sidelines on the west side of Grand. I did not witness any of the alleged praises of Amber "Holly" Boykins to which Nia alludes; they didn't happen within earshot of me.

Also, Nia, as I pointed out to you once before on another blog (I think it was pubdef), even though "Gregory" F.X. Daly is spelled with one g, Daly spells "Gregg" stylistically with two gs. (Daly is, after all, Mr. Style in St. Lous.) It's the same stylish Gregg Daly who filed a frivilous lawsuit to try to remove the Green Party candidate (his only general election opponent) from the ballot in 2002, a bonehead move that caused the Post-Dispatch to compare his campaign to the politburo.

June 27, 2006 at 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha, Nia is a joke. She clearly wasn't at the same Pride Fest that the rest of us were.

I heard no cheers for Amber, who showed how little respect she has for the gay community as she chatted on her cell phone during the parade. But I did hear a number of hisses for Derio, whose record on gay rights is stuck in the 12th century.

And as noted by Oracle, Jeff Smith didn't bumrush or bogart a single thing.

Nia, is the Boykins campaign so desperate that they need a minion like you to go around spreading pathetic lies?

June 28, 2006 at 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One other thing-

If you saw that eyeroll from Alderman McMillan, it was probably toward Amber, since he is not so silently supporting Rep. El-Amin.

June 28, 2006 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Nia said...


Don't hate the player; hate the game.

I have no reason to lie. Just ask Darren who was the announcer in the viewing booth. By the way, he did Rep. Boykins' make-up for her photo shoots (check out her billboards up North, in the derrttyy South, and the Central Corridor).

The cheers were loud and clear.

The nerve of you all to 'pick' on ladies such as Rep. Boykins and myself. You all support your candidate--Jeff "Who Left" Smith; while divisively attempting to 'pit' Rep. El-Amin and Rep. Boykins against each other.

FOR SHAME, FOR SHAME, FOR THE Sake of Peaceful Race Relations SHAME!!!

June 28, 2006 at 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one's picking on your women or trying to pit them against eachother, just stating the facts. However, as anyone who reads your comments knows, stating the facts is clearly not one of your strong points.

I do like, however, how you try to pit Derio and Jeff against eachother(while supporting Amber) but then cry foul if anyone ever mentions Amber and Yaphett in the same sentence.

"Do as I say, not as I do" - Nia

June 28, 2006 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Nia said...

I do not want the hard work of the organizers or participants of the Pridefest to in any way be minimized. I personally salute each and everyone who helped to make the parade a success. I have not been to a Pridefest in about 5 or 6 years. However, this is the largest one that I've seen or heard of in the STL.

Much Love to my Children of the Rainbow.

June 28, 2006 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger Nia said...

A minion--how could Rep. Boykins' campaign be desperate if it was something I said. No need for the name calling--especially until you figure out your own name.

I state the facts. "Do as you choose to do" represents my splendid character more appropriately.

June 28, 2006 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger Nia said...

Smug...All u need is a hug.

*If you're as cute as Doug Duckworth; I can assist with that small gesture of kindness.

travis reems:
As for your reference to the shiny black carriage and princess comments; I'm sure Rep. Boykins would appreciate the compliments. Why not call her up and tell her how you feel?

According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language-Fourth Edition; a dignitary is defined as a person who commands special treatment. Sounds familiar t.r.? Seems like Jeff wanted special treatment in the Pride fest when he was jumping in front of those who have been voted into office by the electorate. Maybe he should seek office in Ladue? I guess that's the only thing that member(s) of Team El-Amin and I agree upon.

As it relates to Boykins riding in a Mercedes you go girl!! Hook a sistah up! Anyway, with Rep. Boykins' on the record support of women, minority, and small businesses she will represent the district just fine. Her victory in this race will increase the probability of the constituents of the 4th Senatorial District owning the same.

Jeff Smith and presumably you were far ahead of where I was watching the parade; so unless you have bionic ears; you would not have been able to hear any of the cheers for Rep. Boykins anymore than I could have heard cheers for Jeff Smith. If you noticed, I never stated whether or not Jeff received any cheers because I was not near him along the parade route.

A minion--how could Rep. Boykins' campaign be desperate if it was something I said. No need for the name calling--especially until you figure out your own name.
AHA!? Grow up.

After all…Niaknows what's hot and what's not.

June 28, 2006 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Nia said...


Point of clarification, I repeated the message to ensure you got it. Let it marinate. Then get back with me.

June 28, 2006 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Travis Reems said...

Nia's comment about jumping in line is completely backward. Jeff Smith was an invited guest of the Lambda Car Club to ride in their precession along with other dignitaries, such as several Aldermen and the Mayor. Those not hosted by the club were to follow the Lambda cars as individual entrants to the parade, although the princess in her black Mercedes tried to jump in line. Had she requested to be in the Lambda precession she would have been welcomed and a classic American car would have been provided. But she doesn't extend that level of courtousy to any group it seems. The Representative was the one seeking special treatment, not the other way around.


But on to more important things than princesses in Mercedes.

The local Republican Party has come out in support of Derio Gambaro, through 10th Ward Republican Committeewoman Judy Zakibe and others. So, it bears out what I've been saying all along that Derio Gambaro is a Republican in the Democratic primary. I think it is great that the Republican Party has a candidate in the race, I just wish their candidates would run in their primaries.

June 28, 2006 at 9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis, have you ever heard of "crossover" votes? That frequently occurs when a voter takes another party's ballot in a primary because there is no candidate running in his/her party's primary.

Some Republicans may choose to do that, not because Derio is one of their own, but because Jeff Smith's positions on the issues are so unpalatable to them that they feel they need to choose a lesser evil.

Do you realize that Derio was a Democratic state representative? Either he fooled an awful lot of Democrat voters or there is more room for diversity in your party than you think.

Jeff Smith, nice guy that he is, is a very, very liberal Democrat. What looks to you like a Republican is just a moderate Democrat, and there are more of those in the city than you realize.

So keep calling Derio a Republican. You don't have to worry about the handful of Republican votes he might get, but watch out for all those middle of the road Dems who are pretty sick of hearing that they're not welcome in the party unless they move a whole lot farther to the left.

June 28, 2006 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger Brian Harris said...

YOu know the funny thing is in all the blog sites I go to NO-ONE seems to believe "Ms. niaknows" is NOT working for boykins, she comes up with some of the wildest things about the other canidates and pounds on jeff smith, NIA WE KNOW YOU WORK FOR BOYKINS! your comments are taken with a grain of dust! you are not a reliable source for canpaign information as is witnessed by the many counter post on this blog about your day with boykins in the parade! I would be shocked if boykins won, Most people in the north side I know dont feel she even cares for them and I cant really speak for how she will do in the south. But nia since you know everything why dont you tell me?

June 29, 2006 at 12:08 AM  
Blogger MP said...

Interesting reading. I was involved in the city republican party for a while, which was like swimming upstream. I still consider myself republican but realize in St Louis city all you have to do is vote for the conservative democrate. I consider Derio one as well as Mayor Slay. Bauer wasn't...didn't vote for him. I don't think I'm the only one either.

June 29, 2006 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Travis Reems said...

Anon #4:

I would actually classify myself as a moderate or centrist. The great strength of the Democratic Party is its embrace of diversity. Diversity is one thing, and time-and-again supporting the Republican agenda and positions, as Derio Gambaro does, is something totally else. I realize that Mr. Gambaro served in office as an elected Democrat, but is it his positions, not his party affiliation to which I write. It is, in fact, Derio Gambaro's anti-diversity that is distasteful, and has no place in the State Senate. Even though Rep. El-Amin shares Mr. Gambaro's uninclusive views, she otherwise supports Democratic principles. So, note that I've not asserted that she is a Republican-in-Democrat's-clothes, like Derio Gambaro is. The recent news that the Republican Party is endorsing Derio Gambaro merely proves the point I've raised over the last few weeks.

June 29, 2006 at 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis, I saw Jo Mannies' column that indicated one or two city Republican committewomen are independently supporting Derio. Is that what you are calling an endorsement by the Republican Party? There may not be many Republicans in the city, but a statement by a couple of them that one Democrat candidate is more acceptable to them than another does not constitute a party endorsement.

Because the city has been controlled for so long by the Democrats, party loyalties sometime shift. Many voters who support Republican candidates on the national level vote for Democrats on the local level. Clarence Harmon and Francis Slay, for example, benefited from moderate Democrat and Republican crossover votes. Ignore them at your peril.

June 29, 2006 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Nia said...

brian harris:

Why don't you drop Rep. Boykins a line and tell her to pay me. The extra cash wouldn't hurt.

I must be getting more attention than I thought because it strikes a hostile nerve in you every time even to the point of using obscenities towards me.

If you further believe that Rep. Boykins' doesn't have a chance of winning ask any one of the other four candidates would they have preferred that she not have entered the race or that her candidacy doesn't make a difference. By the way, Rep. Boykins was the first candidate to officially declare for the 4th District Senatorial Seat.

Everyone, including you has a right to her/his opinion no matter how ridiculous it sounds. Are you also telling me that the Oracle, travis reems, andy, and doug duckworth are all "working" for Jeff Smith.

Are you further telling me that at least one of the ANON's, Big Daddy Fat..., and Mr. Fat.... are all "working" for El-Amin?

Seems like you may possibly know something that I don't--I wouldn't bet on it, though.

Niaknows fact from fiction.

June 29, 2006 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Travis Reems said...


You are exactly right. The national Democratic Party ignored the masses of cross-over voters that went for Reagan. Again, I am a moderate or centrist, and support an inclusive Democratic Party. It is merely an observation that Derio Gambaro should be running as a Republican, as he is more in-line with Republican ideology.

June 29, 2006 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Nia said...

travis reems:

Okay, this is getting scary. I must agree with you once more. You have shined the political light on Derio for the past few weeks.

I know Derio and he is a pretty nice guy. Socially he is open and honest. However, if it talks like a Republican, hangs around Republicans, writes like a Republican, gets endorsements from Republicans, and votes like a Republican, THAN IT'S A REPUBLICAN.

The pool of candidates to choose from is too wide for someone to solicit or solidify support from Republicans. We already have too many of those in Jeff City now!

Niaknows good policy.

June 29, 2006 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Travis Reems said...


I think where some of the confusion arises is that while Oracle, brian, and I post on various blogsites about various issues outside of the 4th district campaign, the only posts you make regard the 4th district campaign. So, it looks like you are on the blogs with a single agenda--to get Rep. Boykins the Senate seat. Now, you either may be new to blogging, as am I, or you may solely be concerned with this single issue, but it does appear that you are a hired gun for the campaign.

I personally don't care whether or not you are on the campaign's payroll. More voices to the discussion are always welcome in my point of view. So, this is not an attack on you, but merely a possible explanation as to why you do receive so much feedback on your posts. Another reason might be because of the "facts" you post.

Good health, and happy blogging!

June 29, 2006 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger St. Louis Oracle said...

Let me beat Nia to the punch in her defense (sorta). I have also seen a Nia post supporting a candidate in a state rep contest (I forget which one).

Travis is as devoted to the Smith campaign as Nia is to the Boykins campaign. He discloses in Comment #2 above that he was in fact the person seated in the Jeff Smith car that many mistook for Smith himself. Riding in the campaign car is pretty close to the campaign.

But thanks to both of you for sharing your thoughts on this blog.

June 29, 2006 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger Travis Reems said...


After I posted that comment, I saw your post about bagels over at ACC. So, I was wrong that you are a single issue poster. You and I obviously share a love for bagels, as well.


Here is the scoop about why I was in the "Smith" car this year.

For the last few years, I have been in the parade as a rider in a Lambda Car Club car. A good number of my friends are members of the club, as well as my accountant and photographer. Two years ago, I rode in the same car as Ald. Gregali, but had no clue who he was at the time. This year, I did not know, in fact, that the car in which I was to ride was the "Smith" car. I ride with a friend of mine each year, and having heard me speak about Jeff Smith, he sought to drive that car without forewarning me. Now, I am certainly glad I was in the "Smith" car, as I obviously support his candidacy, but I had nothing to do with arranging the car for his campaign, and I am not actually associated with his campaign.

June 29, 2006 at 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nia, now you join the chorus against Gambaro but only a couple weeks ago on Pub Def you had this to say:

"All gloves off in this battle...Derio is a much superior candidate in all areas except fundraising than Smith."

Did you forget the Boykins' campaign talking points? To be honest, your recent "change of heart" is preferable to the laughable statement above.

Out of all the candidates, Gambaro is clearly the most deficient in speaking and connecting with people. He gesticulates wildly and never offers anything more concrete than "NO MORE BUSINESS AS USUAL!" A few of my friends have said that he has accosted them after ward meetings with unwanted hugs and kisses. A casting director could not have cast a more politicianny-politician.

Even though I do not support Amber, I actually think she comes across quite well in person. She's more articulate that Gambaro and more likeable than El-Amin and I think that will help her down the line.

June 29, 2006 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Brian Harris said...

Derio to me seems like a salesman, Nothing wrong with sales people but I just dont trust them all.... NIA, whats up, i hope all is going well over their at the boykins camp, tell everyone I said hello. In all honesty, I do believe boykins has a very good shot at office! "I bet nia didnt know that I believed that!" But, I also feel Jeff smith would make a better leader in office. I dont trust clicked up people like boykins, just because someone has friends in high places doesnt mean 1. they are qualified for the job 2. that they arent rubbing each others backs and playing tricks in office. 3. and lastly, just because people have friends in high places means many people may support them outwardly but doesnt mean they will vote for them when they get in that booth! So what do you think about that ms. newton?

June 30, 2006 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Travis Reems said...


You got it! Derio Gambaro is as slick as a coat of light sweet crude on a baby harp seal.

June 30, 2006 at 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Just a prospective voter looking for some information . . . does Boykins have a website? If so, where is it? I like the idea of a woman representing me, but when my husband can produce tons of info about Jeff Smith's positions with the click of a button and I'm searching political blogs (not my normal evening activity) to find any info about Boykins, I do waver. I haven't received any mailings, calls, or knocks on the door from Boykins campaign--if I don't get something I'll probably vote for Jeff Smith. Nia--where's your candidate?

July 3, 2006 at 10:27 PM  
Blogger Da Rat Bastid said...

First off, the Boykins political dynasty is DONE. It ided when Billie Boykins was removed from her cushy City Hall job in the 90's. The only reaon she got the 12th and 15th ward endorsements is because of their connections to the inner ring of the old guard, fiefdom establishment. She has no credibility beyond that.
So Nia, just be quiet. You're barely literate to begin with, and you do nothing but embarrass yourself with your obnoxiousness.
Derio is this campaign's LIE-bermen. The only reaon he's registered as a Dem is because he know he'd never win as a republican in St. Louis.
And that's just plain sleazy.
Yaphett is not a sleazy, but she's damn sure trying to be in this campaign. Gay-hating, race-baiting, acting a a stalkinghorse for the Wal-Mart financed pro parochial school voucher organization All Children Matter.And SEIU hould be ashamed of themselves for endorsing her.
Kenny Jones just has no mo'. Thoughful man, but he's not gonna make it.
Jeff's the man. Nuff said.

July 16, 2006 at 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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retaliatory attacks because of a bloody Gaza incident
as much as threats of violence by anti-gay opponents.

February 27, 2008 at 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Both supporters and critics of the decision were quick to suggest
it could lead to other legal advances for gays and lesbians -- including
the right to gay marriage -- and organizers said a feeling of hope would
carry over to the marches and celebrations this weekend.

One participant in the St. Louis PrideFest said this year's parade seemed
more vibrant, more celebratory than previous years. She attributed the
large crowd in part to the Supreme Court ruling, but that wasn't all.

"We're becoming more comfortable in our own skin," said Robin Hanson,
41, a doctoral candidate at Saint Louis University. "I've been 'out' for
20 years and there have been a lot of changes in acceptance since then."

St. Louis police had no crowd estimates, but organizers predicted as many
as 15,000 to 50,000 twink guyswould attend the weekend of activities.

Speaking through a megaphone at the New York parade, Sen. Charles Schumer,
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"Let's hear it for gay pride," Schumer shouted. "Let's even hear it for
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March 26, 2008 at 12:08 PM  

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