Why Karl-Thomas Musselman Is My Election Day Hero

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Work. Action. Results.

Burnt Orange Report publisher Karl-Thomas Musselman is twenty-five years old. KT is a great friend of mine — someone who brought me onto BOR over four years ago, and has continued to give me a platform to write stories, make arguments, provide political analysis, and — when I was in Boston for two years — stay connected to home through the amazing BOR community he's helped nurture and grow for the better part of this decade.

In many ways, BOR is KT's full-time job. Though he does work for various clients from time-to-time (and despite the fact at least three current statewide candidates have tried to get him to work for their campaigns), KT has stuck to his grassroots and netroots self and fought in every way he could for the bigger change, and the bigger cause.

On Tuesday, he helped deliver one of the coolest election night wins in the country — a measure in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to approve an anti-discriminatory law.

Voters in Kalamazoo have approved a measure banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity.

With all precincts reporting Tuesday, the ordinance had 7,671 votes in favor to 4,731 opposed.

The ordinance will add gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals to an existing Kalamazoo city ordinance banning discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.

There are about 72,000 residents in the southwestern Michigan city.

It may not seem like much, but it is. Especially when you understand that KT basically left Austin and lived in Kalamazoo for two weeks to help make this happen and be a part of this important local election.

How many of us can claim that? How many of us settle for what is comfortable, as opposed to doing what is challenging?

KT just did it. He didn't have to. No one asked him to. He just went for it.

Congratulations are in order for KT, this site's publisher — and my election day hero.


About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.


  1. KT Is My Hero On The 364 Other Days
    But my election night hero was the guy from the Houston Police Officers Union sent to work the precinct I was working. He spent the entire afternoon reading a hunting magazine, didn't hand out any lit, and wore a sweater over his t-shirt.

  2. KT is awesome
    When I read KT was heading to Kalamazoo from his Facebook and Twitter updates I realized he was making a commitment to a cause and bringing his talents to the table. Kalamazoo was lucky to have him there. He's a great role model for a lot of young political minds and some old dogs like me.

    Thanks for the post Phillip and thanks for your hard work KT.

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