News Round-Up: August 18, 2017

Some news items you may have missed:

• Germany’s Olympic javelin team (above) offers us a good reason to talk about the country without having to mention “nazis.” Check out this one minute video from the hunky gentlemen from Germany.

• Two lawsuits in Northern Ireland challenging the current ban on marriage equality have been dismissed. The judge in both cases ruled the ban does not violate LGBT couples’ rights.

• Apple is donating $2 million to anti-hate groups, the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

• On the same day, both the American Cancer Society and the Cleveland Clinic have canceled their planned gala events at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago venue. A local Chamber of Commerce official told the press, “The glitter, the shine has gone from the club and I can’t help but think there will be more fallout from it.”

• Openly gay former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken laments his past defense of Donald Trump:

The Wrap is reporting Glenn Close is in advanced talks to star in a film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Sunset Boulevard. Close won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in 1994 and recently ended an enormously successful revival run on Broadway.

• Australian song bird Dannii Minogue dropped her new dance tune last week, “Holding On,” and the title/lyrics couldn’t be more appropriate for the times. Listen below:

Clay Aiken Serves Up Twitter Snark During American Idol Premiere

New TV: Clay Aiken “The Runner-Up”

Clay Aiken returns to reality TV with a new docu-series on the Esquire Channel – “The Runner-Up.”

Premiering tonight at 10PM, the series follows Aiken’s political campaign for a North Carolina congressional seat.

Billboard describes the series:

What the cameras did capture was Aiken-a Democrat- unfiltered. He curses like a sailor, micro-manages his staff — a key example is when he obsesses over the proper way signs are displayed for oncoming traffic — and says some politically incorrect statements about his Democratic opposition, Keith Crisco, who attacked him in campaign advertisements stating he did not show up for meetings of a presidential committee for people with disabilities. He also takes selfies on the campaign trail with unsuspecting voters who did not even realize he was running for office, records robo-calls with his cell phone, and stews over how publicity for his campaign is being run. All of this — and the tense moments awaiting primary results — is captured in four days worth of footage. And that’s just the first episode.

According to Aiken, he agreed to the series as long as the producers would “stay out of my way.” “Don’t come asking me to do anything – if you missed it, you missed it. We are running a campaign, and you have got to get the heck away from us, and they did that.“

Donors Feel “Duped” By Clay Aiken After Announcement of Docuseries Covering Congressional Campaign

Although former American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken came up second on election night for his now-failed Congressional campaign, he quickly announced that he would be the focus of a “docu-series” (read that “reality show”) filmed throughout his campaign.

Apparently, this news has angered some of his supporters who now say they feel “duped” in regard to the filming that went on at events during the campaign.

Actor/producer Steve Tyler organized a fundraiser at the home of EXTRA correspondent Michael Corbett during the election cycle, and has written a letter to Aiken expressing his disappointment over Aiken’s “back-up plan.”

Hi Clay

Again, I am sorry for the loss on your bid for Congress, but apparently you had yourself covered with a reality TV show deal the entire time, just in case you didn’t win. I cannot speak for the NC Voters or contributors, but I can speak for myself and many of your Los Angeles supporters when I say we feel duped, taken advantage of and lied to. When we were asked to sign waivers by your film crew, we were told it was for a BBC documentary that would not air here in the United States.

I have received calls from many supporters at the LA fundraiser all demanding that the LA event not be included in your TV show, as the crew misrepresented use of the filming. It is obvious you had this TV deal prior to the votes being tabulated as GOOD MORNING AMERICA announced the deal just hours after votes were barely in.

On a personal level, I worked very hard convincing people of your integrity, viability and the need for them to donate. It all reflects badly on my credibility amongst donors because of your actions. Now it looks like I deceived donors.

I do hope you realize this prevents you from ever running again for an elected office. You will no longer be credible as someone that wants to help the public more than your need for fame. Had the LA donors known you would personally benefit from their donations and appearance at the event – they would not have donated to your campaign. Your TV deal was announced all over TV yesterday and in the Los Angeles Times today.

It pains me to write this because I so believed your Congressional Campaign was for the right reasons and the greater good. Obviously I misjudged you.


Steve Tyler

Read more about the whole kerfuffle at FrontiersLA.

News Round-up for September 20, 2014

Some news stories you may have missed, starting with the very hunky and handsome rugby playing Burgess brothers of Australia pictured above.  From left to right: George, Luke, Sam and Thomas.  Lots more Instagrams of the brothers at the link.

• Clay Aiken, running for office in North Carolina, says the folks whose naked pics got shared on the internet  “deserve exactly what they get”

• Over 50 Texans working in law enforcement file a brief in support of same-sex marriage in Texas

• The story of Vivian Boyack and Nonie Dubes’ getting married will move you. Grab a tissue and read this love story 72 years in the making.

• College football player Conner Mertens reflects on life a year after coming out

• Nick Jonas says he wants to embrace the gay community “with open arms.”  I don’t think that will be a problem for the community.

And don’t we need at least one more of the Brothers Burgess?

North Carolina: Clay Aiken will be Democratic candidate for 2nd Congressional District this fall

Clay Aiken

It looks as though former American Idol runner up Clay Aiken will be the Democratic candidate for North Carolina’s 2nd House District this fall.

Via USA Today:

The final vote tally by the North Carolina State Board of Elections shows the American Idol runner-up with 11,678 votes to 11,288 for former state Commerce secretary Keith Crisco, who died Monday.

That’s a slight increase for Aiken from last week’s primary, but more important: The 1.37% margin of difference between the candidates would mean no recount in the nail-biter of a race.

Aiken has suspended campaign activities out of respect for Crisco and his family.

It’s a steep climb ahead for Aiken though. His opponent GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers, won reelection in 2012 with 58% of the vote in the very conservative district.

North Carolina: Clay Aiken’s Democratic primary opponent dies at 71

Former North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Keith Crisco died at the age of 71 today following a fall at his home.

Crisco was Clay Aiken’s opponent in last week’s Democratic primary for the U.S House.

From the Huffington Post:

The Asheboro Courier-Tribune reported that Crisco, 71, apparently suffered injuries from a fall Monday afternoon at his home in Asheboro, N.C. He was dead when emergency services arrived, according to the paper.

The race between Aiken and Crisco was considered too close to call, with Aiken leading Crisco by just 369 votes. Both candidates were awaiting confirmation from election authorities before deciding how to proceed in the race to unseat Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) in November.

Clay Aiken issued this statement:

“We are incredibly shocked and saddened to hear about Keith Crisco’s sudden passing. Keith was an accomplished businessman and public servant with a sterling reputation and a tremendous amount of respect from North Carolinians across the partisan spectrum. Keith, like my father, served the state as Commerce Secretary with dignity and humility, and also like my father, passed away well before his time. Keith’s family is in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. I am suspending all campaign activities as we pray for his family and friends.”

The election results are still in flux with Aiken ahead by 369 votes. The state law says to not face a runoff, the candidate who leads with at least 40% +1 vote wins the primary. If Crisco should pull ahead as the votes are still being counted, the state Democratic party would choose the candidate.

North Carolina: Clay Aiken looks to have won Dem primary for Congress

American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken looks to have won his primary tonight in North Carolina.

Although the race is tight, North Carolina state law requires a 40% + one vote finish in order to avoid a runoff.

No media outlet has declared a winner at this point, but if the count holds, Aiken appears to have cleared the bar for this race.

Keith Crisco outspent Aiken through his own wealth by a ratio of 3 to 1.

Clay Aiken: Marriage equality isn’t something that affects people’s daily lives

Openly gay American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is running for North Carolina’s 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives. On a recent appearance with HuffPost Live, he was asked about marriage equality, which he supports. But…

“It’s not why I’m in this race,” Aiken noted. “It’s not an issue that’s really on the radar for most people in the second district of North Carolina. It’s not something that effects people’s daily lives.”

I would beg to differ. I’m certain there are gay and lesbian couples in the NC 2nd District. And I’m sure they would like to benefit from over 1,100 privileges, protections and benefits of marriage.

Aiken later qualified his statement to say marriage equality affects “a very small percentage” of America’s daily life.

I won’t demonize Aiken, but I think to say “it’s not something that affects people’s daily lives” is to be out of touch with his own community.

Check his statements at the 10:00 mark.

Congressional hopeful Clay Aiken stops by The Colbert Report

American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is currently running for Congress in North Carolina’s 2nd District.

He stopped by to “chat” with Stephen Colbert last night, although Colbert says he was “unwarmed” by Aiken’s thoughts and platform regarding the campaign.

Unable to get Clay to sing the national anthem, Colbert announces the headline “Clay Aiken refuses to sing national anthem” all in good fun. Colbert closed the segment telling the audience to “vote for Clay, if you must!”