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Don't Ask, Do Tell

   Jacob Meister says Americans won't concern themselves with a political candidate's sexual orientation, if they believe that candidate can help improve the economy and create jobs.  The 44 year old Chicago attorney is running in the 2010 Democratic primary to represent Illinois in the United States Senate.  If elected, he would become the first openly gay member of what some have called "the most exclusive club" in the country.

  Mostly with borrowed money, Meister's campaign this week began airing the first broadcast television commercials in the four-candidate race.  In the 60-second ad airing in the Champaign, Springfield and Peoria markets, he can be heard saying that economic issues trump the corruption concerns in Illinois.  Meister talks jobs, jobs and more jobs.  Visually, the video is as diverse as any political commercial you'll see.  But there is no mention of the candidate's sexual orientation. 

  We didn't bring it up either.  Meister and his media director Karen Craven raised the subject of sexual orientation after we had finished our on-camera interview with the candidate.  Jacob estimated that the state's lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered (LGBT) voters numbered as high as 800,000 and could form a "base" for his campaign.

  For him and his handlers, the key at this early stage of the campaign is to get people talking about Jacob Meister.  And if people want to talk about Meister's sexual orientation, that's fine as far the campaign is concerned.

That means somebody's paying attention. 






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