Politics as Blood Sport

We’ll see how this pans out. I do know that the anti-gay right and the “progressive” gay left (especially) would do anything—yes, anything—to keep openly gay Republican Carl DeMaio from being elected to Congress from San Diego. And he had been leading in the polls.

DeMaio calls himself a proud gay American, but he earned the everlasting ire of the left when he spearheaded efforts by the San Diego City Council to reform bloated public employee pension obligations. The unions and their LGBT-left allies went bonkers.

As noted here (and I’m not apologizing for citing a Fox News columnist):

One false attack drew the attention of the San Diego Ethics Commission. An anonymous left-wing group funded a SuperPac and sent mailers of DeMaio Photoshopped next to a drag queen to neighborhoods with a majority of elderly and African-American voters, knowing that such a photo would depress support for DeMaio. …

The Victory Fund, which is a group that says it supports any openly gay candidate, first told him that he couldn’t win when he was considering running for mayor in 2008 against the now disgraced former winner of that contest, Bob Filner.

The Victory Fund not only declined to endorse DeMaio, it’s common knowledge in San Diego that it then gave his confidential campaign information to the Democrats and bragged about it. The Human Rights Campaign also has declined to endorse DeMaio in either his mayoral or congressional race.

And this: Screens Smashed, Cords Cut inside DeMaio’s Campaign Office.

And this. “The post on the freshman Democrat’s campaign site referred to DeMaio, a gay Republican, as a ‘Mary.’ … a staff member uploaded the post about a week ago from the liberal website AmericaBlog…”

So unless these allegations are shown to have substance, I’ll remain skeptical.

22 Comments for “Politics as Blood Sport”

  1. posted by Tom Jefferson III on

    1. Correct me if I am wrong, but DeMaio didn’t seek the endorsement of the Victory Fund and has campaign statements/past history with regards to gay rights issues is pretty ‘iffy’.

    2. It is simply wrong for someone to steal yard signs or engage in other acts of vandalism because you don’t like the views of a candidate or political party or interest group. Although, I find it to be something that people on the left AND right have been known to do and probably is a much bigger issue (i.e. civility, polarization, etc) then just DeMaio.

    3. If you do not like what SuperPACS can do, then maybe you should rethink your position on campaign finance law. The power and influence of SuperPacs can largely be traced to some recent Supreme Court decisions,

  2. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    The Victory Fund, which is a group that says it supports any openly gay candidate …

    That is simply not true, not that I expect truth from Dana Perino. The Victory Fund is selective. In 2010, for example, about 350 openly gay/lesbian candidates ran for public office. The Victory Fund endorsed less than half of those candidates.

    The criteria for Victory Fund endorsement are clearly stated on the group’s website. DeMaio might or might not have met them in this election cycle, but the point is moot. DeMaio did not file an application for a Victory Fund endorsement, so he wasn’t considered for endorsement. End of story.

    What puzzles me is why you are so fixated on DeMaio, who is, to say the least, a candidate who has so little going for him, when there are other Republican candidates, gay/lesbian and straight alike, who are so much more deserving of your efforts. You could help the cause of turning the Republican Party if you chose to do so. Instead, you harp on and on about DeMaio. Why?

    • posted by Wilberforce on

      If I had to guess, it’d be because Carl D is for huge tax cuts. That seems to be the main issue for Republicans of the social climbing school.

  3. posted by Jorge on

    (and I’m not apologizing for citing a Fox News columnist):

    You just did.

    So unless these allegations are shown to have substance, I’ll remain skeptical.

    Um, let’s see… the guy gave an interview with a conservative radio host who declined to air the interview.

    DeMaio’s response to being told to quit the race (an act of gross insubordination in my book) was to send a messenger saying he had “lost trust in him” and to offer a golden parachute. The accuser refused it.

    DeMaio’s campaign office is broken into 10 days later.

    DeMaio states the authorities concluded the harassment claims were unfounded.

    There is no need for skepticism. The accuser smells like a skunk. The worst case scenario is that Carl DeMaio took advantage of someone knowing he was of such a crass character nobody would trust him.

  4. posted by Aubrey Haltom on

    “it’s common knowledge in San Diego that it then gave his confidential campaign information to the Democrats and bragged about it.”

    I spent far too much time trying to research this claim – excuse me, “common knowledge” – and all I found was DeMaio’s accusation (which the Victory Fund strenuously denies).

    There apparently isn’t any evidence to this siphoning of insider info by the VF. Just DeMaio’s claim.

    And, no, it doesn’t seem to be “common knowledge” in San Diego, either…

    • posted by Doug on

      Keep in mind that Stephen gets his information from Fox News. Enough said.

      • posted by Jorge on

        on second thought, Mr. Miller opened up the can of words himself with his own insecurity.

    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      I think that there is something to be said for going court by court at this point.

      Each time a court (District or Circuit) considers the arguments presented by the anti-marriage and finds them wanting (and wanting they certainly have been and will continue to be, since the arguments require those making the arguments to reside in a fact-free cocoon), the decision adds weight to the conclusion that no rational reason exists to continue marriage discrimination.

      The effect of scores of lower court decisions over a period of months is more likely, in my view, to persuade the population at large than a single Supreme Court decision striking down the laws nationwide.

      The reason is simple: It is much harder to argue that “judicial activists” are bowing to the “homosexual agenda” when judge after judge, “conservative” and “liberal” alike, are striking down the laws one by one than it would be to make that argument about a single 5-4 decision from the Supreme Court.

      It makes things messy, and might take longer (although I think that things will move very quickly though the lower courts now and we’ll have the thing wrapped up by late Spring or early Summer), but it seems to me that the benefits outweigh the downside.

      In any event, it is out of our hands. At this point, Judge Sutton in the 6th Circuit controls the timing. If Judge Sutton comes down in favor of marriage equality, it is very unlikely that the Supreme Court will take up the issue this term, so a Supreme Court decision will not come until 2016.

      The 11th Circuit is moving quickly, but is likely to rule in favor marriage equality, so that decision won’t trigger Supreme Court review.

      That leaves the 5th and the 8th Circuits.

      I don’t see any realistic chance that the 8th Circuit cases are going to move quickly enough to get a 8th Circuit ruling until Spring, so a decision in that Circuit is not likely to make the docket this term.

      The same is true in the 5th (the Circuit considered most likely to throw a monkey wrench requiring Supreme Court intervention). The 5th Circuit has (finally) gotten off its ass and scheduled oral arguments for mid-December, but unless the 5th Circuit moves with lightening speed after orals, I don’t see how a 5th Circuit decision could make the January conference, which is the normal cutoff for cases heard in any given term.

      It is messy, but consider where we are. We are at 30 states as of today, i think, and we can get to 35 with the existing decisions. That’s 16 states that would be waiting until June 2015 if the Supreme Court had elected to decide the issue without a conflict in the Circuits.

      Add the 6th Circuit (assuming that it decides in favor of marriage equality), and we get to 39 this fall. Then we wait for the 11th, 5th and 8th Circuits.

  5. posted by Don on

    What I do like about DeMaio is that he will likely shape a new breed of gay Republican. Sure there are dozens of operatives just like him. But he is the only gay Republican candidate that fits a Tea Party mold. The rest are running in liberal states on Democrat lite platforms.

    That should be enough for a true conservative to get behind. IF they can get past the gay part. Trouble is, many of them can’t. But I think DeMaio winning would be a wonderful thing for the party. He is a full-throated anti-tax republican who happens to be gay. I just don’t see that with Tisei & Co.

    I believe that is why Stephen supports him so strongly. I don’t subscribe to that philosophy myself. I think we need more moderate republicans who recognize that government isn’t actually evil. And that it has a role in our lives. That’s my reason for not getting behind him. But I can still see how he will be a pioneer in busting down doors and building bridges with guys like Boehner.

    • posted by Houndentenor on

      Yes, I can see why Stephen is so excited for DeMaio over less right-wing gay candidates, but I don’t understand why he thinks any moderate or liberal should support him? Did he support Tammy Baldwin or Jared Polis? Of course not, because he disagrees with them on the issues.

      And then there is the repetitive charge that the Victory Fund should have endorsed him even though he didn’t ask for their endorsement because reasons. WTF?

  6. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    From SCOTUSblog a few minutes ago:

    Without explanation, the Supreme Court late Friday afternoon rejected a request by state officials in Idaho to postpone a lower court ruling that had nullified the ban on same-sex marriage there. The two-sentence order also lifted an earlier order by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy temporarily delaying that decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

    Meanwhile, a federal judge in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday ruled that state’s ban to be unconstitutional, applying a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit had made in a Virginia case. North Carolina is in that judicial Circuit. The Virginia case was one of those the Supreme Court declined to hear this week.

    I think that it is significant, as I noted in another thread, that the full Court made the decision to lift the stay.

    The handwriting on the wall is getting clearer and clearer.

    • posted by Don on


    • posted by Jorge on

      Without comment? I don’t. The article I read in the NY Daily News I believe today said Kennedy made the order in error. If that is true, then this may just be that he is getting the approval of his “supervisor” for appearance’s sake.

      • posted by Tom Scharbach on

        The article I read in the NY Daily News I believe today said Kennedy made the order in error. If that is true, then this may just be that he is getting the approval of his “supervisor” for appearance’s sake.

        The thing that differentiates Idaho’s appeal from the five cases that the Supreme Court dealt with on Monday is that the 10th Circuit used “heightened scrutiny”, not “rational basis”, as the standard of review. Idaho’s appeal is based on that difference.

        My guess is that Justice Kennedy referred the matter to the full Court to see whether the Court might grant cert to review and decide the applicable standard of review. The fact that the full Court declined to issue a stay suggests that the Court is not likely to grant cert in the Idaho case.

        With respect to Justice Kennedy’s “error”, it was a clerical error, probably made by the clerk responsible for drafting the order, which was issued immediately before the Court went into session to hear arguments. The basis of the error was that the 10th Circuit consolidated Nevada and Idaho in its order, and Kennedy’s initial order didn’t split out the two cases. The error was quickly corrected. Embarrassing, perhaps, but nothing substantive.

        I guess we wait and see what the Court does next.

        Michael came up from downstairs to tell me that North Carolina is now issuing marriage licenses. Meanwhile, the NASCAR Nationwide race at Charlotte is running just fine, all the drivers remembering to turn left at each corner.

  7. posted by Houndentenor on

    This just in: DeMaio’s accuser passed his polygraph while DeMaio claims to have taken one too but won’t release the results. http://americablog.com/2014/10/gay-sex-scandal-hits-gop-congressional-candidate-carl-demaio.html#add-comment

  8. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Idaho Governor Butch Otter surrendered late yesterday, and marriage equality in Idaho has commenced:

    “The Supreme Court’s order lifting Justice Kennedy’s stay effectively allows same-sex marriage in Idaho as soon as the 9th Circuit directs compliance with its decision. I disagree with the court’s conclusion, which negates the 2006 vote of the people of Idaho, is contrary to the values of most Idahoans, and undermines fundamental states’ rights. But we are a nation of laws. Idaho now should proceed with civility and in an orderly manner to comply with any forthcoming order from the 9th Circuit.”

    The 9th Circuit is likely to issue the necessary order Monday.

    I think that we are now at 30 states with marriage equality. We can, in theory, get to 35 this round. We await decisions in the 5th, 6th, 8th and 11th Circuits. The 6th should come soon; the others will take a while because the courts in those Circuits have not yet heard oral arguments.

  9. posted by Tom Jefferson 3rd on

    I would be surprised if court in North Dakota strikes down the State ban. BUT…North Dakota judges are very difficult to read.

    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      We will certainly have an outlier or two at the District Court level going forward. But what counts are the Circuit Court decisions.

      The 8th Circuit (Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota) isn’t a hotbed of wild-eyed liberal “judicial activists”, but it isn’t likely to ignore the clear signals being sent by the Supreme Court.

  10. posted by Tom Jefferson 3rd on

    I JUST LOVE IT when an IGF ad asks such silly and leading questions like…..”should children and teachers be allowed to pray in school?”

  11. posted by Doug on

    Hey Stephen, your guy Carl DeMaio is certainly a class act.


    Is this enough reason not to vote for him?

  12. posted by clayton on

    So, Stephen, what’s your take on Brian Brown of NOM robocalling voters and telling them to vote for the Democrat, because a Demaio victory will destroy the Republican party?

Comments are closed.