Ron Beaty: How did your delegate vote? Barnstable Assembly passes a resolution to condemn “hate speech”
Original post describing Beaty’s issues, and nationally publicized comments and actions you can take, and updates below updates.
NEW 3/6/2019: During their regular meeting Wednesday, March 6, 2019 the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates voted to pass “Resolution 19-01: Hate Speech Condemnation.”
The original resolution here, submitted by Dr. Brian O’Malley who represents Provincetown reads:
“It is the Policy of Barnstable County to promote equal opportunity for all persons of Barnstable County regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, age, ancestry, sexual or affectional preference, marital, family or military status, source of income, neighborhood or disability, where unlawful discrimination exists in housing, employment, education, public accommodations, town or county services, insurance, banking, credit and health care. Barnstable County will not tolerate retaliation or reprisal against persons exercising or supporting the exercise of equal opportunity rights.”
Whereas, the above statement of policy has long been the standard for Barnstable County, and;
Whereas, the current political climate and social media have encouraged the public use of language which singles out, demeans, disparages and threatens certain groups of minorities, and;
Whereas, such use of hateful and intolerant language is inconsistent with standing county policy;
THEREFORE, the Assembly of Delegates HEREBY RESOLVES to affirm its policy of non-discrimination, especially with regard to county services, and strongly condemns and censures any form of hate speech, especially from persons employed by Barnstable County.
The final version excluded the word, “censure” as the Assembly’s attorney warned that under the County Charter the Assembly does not have the authority to censure.
We submitted a letter for the record:
As an organization that advocates for issues impacting women, families and LGBTQ, we have been concerned and troubled by Ron Beaty’s repeated abuse of his position to make public, insulting statements directed at individuals and groups, from his Twitter account.
Beaty’s constant need for attention is satisfied when his comments are offensive enough to garner national attention as an elected official from Cape Cod. We all know he loves the attention, and thus he is not going to stop this behavior out of a sense of decency or respect for the people he represents. Further, he has stated publicly that he will not apologize to those he has offended.
We support any move to censure him by either county legislative body. We hope his behavior will spur an effort to add a recall provision to the county charter.
We also make note that a man who clings to First Amendment protection, claiming he has a right to make these public statements from his Twitter account that identifies him as a Barnstable County Commissioner, has used the tools of that account to block constituents who disagree with him. There are legal implications here, courts have decided that a public official who has a social media account is violating the rights of constituents by using blocking tools to prevent them from viewing his/her activity. We are looking into a legal remedy for all of those who read about his comments in local and national news but cannot see those comments for themselves.
Thank you for any efforts to remedy this embarrassment to Cape Cod. We are not the intolerance Beaty spouts. We are better than that.
And one of our leadership members attended the meeting and waited two hours for the chance to speak, this is what she said:
My name is Sheila Mulcahy and I’ve been a full-time Barnstable resident since 1979. There are a few things that I am passionate about, and one of them is my community. I have been a volunteer in one way or another sine 1980.
At present, I am Vice-Chair of the Barnstable Disability Commission and one of the leaders of Cape Cod Women for Change. One of the major strengths of our community is our tolerance for its diversity. I do not feel our best interests are being represented by the Barnstable County Commission in its present makeup.
When our community is disparaged by one of our own officials, the community in its entirety is harmed. Those of who have been assaulted in the past and identify with the #metoo platform are just as important as the people who identify with the LBGTQ community as well as high-schoolers who have survived mass domestic terrorism.
We do not need to complicate our challenging lives by an elected official who is bigoted and skewed in his attacks on any part of our community or country.
Therefore, I suggest that the County Commissioner who continues to disparage our community be censored and removed from any sub-committee he may be serving on, and voice my support for the Proposed Resolution 19-01 on Hate Speech Condemnation. Thank you.
You can watch a video of the meeting here. Public comment begins at 2:07:05 and the resolution is taken up and discussed after public comment.
The resolution passed with the support of 10 of the 13 members present.
Voting against the resolution:
- James J. Killion, Sandwich delegate
- Thomas F. O’Hara, Mashpee delegate
- Linda M. Zuern, Bourne delegate- notably called the resolution the result of a “Witch Hunt”
Voting in favor of the resolution:
- Mary Chaffee, Brewster delegate
- J. Terrance Gallagher, Eastham delegate
- Lilli-Ann Green, Welfleet delegate
- Elizabeth Harder, Harwich delegate
- Suzanne McAuliffe, Yarmouth delegate
- Susan L. Moran, the Falmouth delegate
- John Ohman, Dennis delegate
- Dr. Bryan O’Malley (author of the resolution) Provincetown delegate
- Randi Potash, Chatham delegate
- Patrick Princi, Barnstable delegate
(The delegates from Orleans and Truro were not present)
Please take a minute to contact your delegate. Thank those who voted in favor, and if you believe they should have represented you by supporting this resolution but voted against it, let them know.
It is important to note the comment from Linda Zuern, Bourne delegate, using the words “Witch Hunt” when referring to the vote. It reminds us all that the state Republican party and Beaty’s local Republican town committee have not made any move to revoke his membership, or censure him. Local elected state officials and the Cape Republican Club calling for his resignation is not separating him from the party. Does this behavior represent the Republican party? Do they think it is a “Witch Hunt”?
UPDATE 3/5/2019: The Assembly of Delegates meets Wednesday 3/6/2019 at 4 pm at Barnstable County Complex Harborview Conference Center, 3195 Main St. (Rt 6A), Barnstable, (click here for map). Their meeting agenda includes public comment and a proposed Hate Speech Condemnation Resolution. See agenda: 3-6-19-Business-Calendar.
If you are able to attend, the more bodies the better! We also urge you to contact your Assembly delegate, whether or not you can make the meeting, and ask that they support the resolution and any proposals to add a recall to their charter later this spring, click on the image of the assembly-person who represents your town for contact information. You can also send an email to the clerk and ask that it be added as testimony and to the record of the meeting: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are still encouraging the actions suggested in our original post below, including contact the state party. Local Republicans have “condemned him” and the Cape Cod Republican Club requested he resign his position, but he is still a member of the party. The state Republican party must take stronger action, or, like it or not, they take responsibility.
Beaty himself has poo-pooed the calls for his resignation. In a letter he wrote that was published in Cape Cod Times, he said:
Regarding the ongoing political harassment by others attempting to muzzle me by trying to force me to resign, I want to say that if my freedom of speech rights are successfully silenced by others, then their First Amendment rights are next!
Again, no, I will not apologize, and certainly will not resign.
Yes this is giving him the attention he seeks, but each time he says something outrageous he makes national headlines as an elected official. He makes these statements from his Twitter account that identifies him as a Barnstable County Commissioner. We cannot ignore this behavior he represents Cape Cod.
Update February 27: Ron Beaty didn’t show up to face a standing room only crowd who came from all over Cape Cod to confront him. Despite his excuses of a “family emergency” during the meeting he was tweeting about the weather. The Cape Cod Times captured the meeting in a photo spread that leads with his empty desk and includes photos of people who spoke.
We’ve heard from many of you that, like our official twitter account, have been blocked by Beaty on twitter. That in itself may be a violation based on a court finding that said Trump cannot block constituents (We the People) from following him on twitter. That we have a legal right to know what someone who is identified as a elected representative is saying. We are looking into that.
Please take the actions described below:
Original Post February 22, 2019: This past week, Ron Beaty has enjoyed local and national headlines for abhorrent behavior. Again.
It’s become a regular pattern of embarrassment for many of us here on Cape Cod, as he is a one of the Commissioners who represents Barnstable County.
In October of 2017, Beaty was rebuked for using his twitter account – which, at the time, identified him as a Barnstable County Commissioner with no caveats- to post a tweet denigrating the #MeToo movement.
Last spring, Beaty gained national attention for tweeting insults to and about David Hogg, Parkland school-shooting survivor turned gun-sense activist. Back then, calls for Beaty to apologize and step down were ignored and he seemed to enjoy the attention and support he got from like-minded people on the social media platform.
Like a child looking for attention any way he can get it, Beaty has pushed the boundaries of decency, again. This week, he posted a homophobic tweet, that seemed to refer to two Cape Cod legislators. He is once again garnering negative attention while representing Cape Cod. Many of us have reacted the same way:
“What can we do about this guy?”
Public calls from local officials and state officials for him to resign fall on deaf ears. Fellow Republicans’ admonitions and calls for him to resign ring hollow, as they are just words with no action.
County government is organized by a charter, which is a home-rule (created by the constituents of the government being developed) document like a constitution. An initial charter, and any substantial changes after it is established, has to be passed by voters and then approved by the state legislature.
Last year we supported a petition asking for a recall provision. Adding a recall provision to the County charter was discussed after his twitter assault on the #MeToo movement, and is in a package of changes being proposed to a charter commission that will present recommendations to the Cape Cod Assembly of Delegates. and will follow the process involving voters and the state legislature. In other words, it appears a recall petition/election is not a tool available to us right now.
- Request and support censure by both the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates and Commission. This would be non-binding, but is the message is important and would be in place the next time he seeks national negative attention on Twitter or anywhere else. Contact your County Assembly-person linked from here. Contact the Commissioners here.
- We need to insist that the state and local Republican organizations do more than speak out against him. He must be formally censured and if possible, his membership to any of these clubs or organizations should be revoked. Will they support him if he wins a primary in 2020? Contact the state party: https://www.massgop.com/contact
Let’s not let this happen again!
In response to the few who have suggested that we are giving him too much attention, unfortunately, he has managed to get national attention on more than one occasion for his insulting, intolerant and abusive tweets. We must not ignore this. It reflects badly on Cape Cod. We have to decide whether his comments are representative of who we are. If he removes references to his elected position, then they are his own comments. But without the identity as an elected official, he won’t get the national attention he seems to enjoy. It’s a circuitous, but overall our reputation suffers.
Stories – some national outlets – about Beaty’s (most recent) Bad Behavior:
- MA GOP official who threatened to kill George H. W. Bush cites Trump in refusal to apologize for anti-LGBT remarks
- GOP official says it’s OK to attack gays because Trump does it too
- Official Cites Donald Trump to Defend Tweet Suggesting Gay Politicians ‘Too Self-Absorbed’ to Govern
- Cape Cod Commissioner Under Fire for Social Media Post on Gay Politicians
- Has County Commissioner Ron Beaty Finally Jumped the Shark?
- Mass. Republican under fire for anti-gay post blames Trump
- County Officials, State Lawmakers Call For Ron Beaty To Resign
- Barnstable official criticized over Twitter poll asking if gay politicians are ‘too self-absorbed’ to be effective
(If you see errors or omissions please contact CapeCodWomenforChange@gmail.com)
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