Straight Talk About Gay Republican Congressional Candidate Carl DeMaioPosted: April 28, 2014
For Fox News.com, former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino writes: Let’s pretend you’re a screenwriter assigned to develop a character to run for Congress in California in 2014. You need a compelling story, so you make him an orphan at 13 – wait, even better his dad leaves the family two weeks before his mother died – and then social services splits up his brothers and sisters leaving him alone in the world.
“…DeMaio’s story is different to because it crosses the line from opposition to outright sabotage.”
Despite those challenges he perseveres, putting himself through a top-tier college and then building and selling two multimillion-dollar companies.
Thus financially secure, he decides to dedicate himself to public service and runs for City Council.
Isn’t his story what the people who fight for equality say they’ve been fighting for?
In his first term he works across party lines and four years after his first election he passes major pension reform that saves the city money and protects the retirement savings of thousand of people.
For good measure, you make him openly gay and in a committed relationship, the first to feature his partner in campaign literature. He’s the perfect candidate to send to Washington, D.C. and, of course, he’s a Democrat, right?
Wrong. The real story proves that truth is stranger and sometimes better than fiction. Your character already exists in Carl DeMaio of San Diego – except that he’s not a Democrat, he’s a (gasp!) Republican.
No one in Hollywood would write this screenplay — unless it was a tragicomedy that ends with the candidate realizing the error of his ways and fleeing to the nurturing embrace of doe-eyed and loving Democrats. Exit weeping.
Isn’t his story what everyone who fights for equality says they’ve been fighting for?
When I talked to DeMaio, he said he doesn’t want to emphasize his sexual orientation or his challenging childhood – he prefers to talk about the fiscal condition of the country and his candidacy to defeat freshman Rep. Scott Peters, a Democrat. But because he is who he is, and because his opponents are making an issue about his sexual orientation and lying about his record, he’s willing to talk about it. And he’s disrupting all of the stereotypes.
For instance, DeMaio has been the target of homophobic attacks. But where are those attacks coming from? It’s not always from the far right social conservatives you’d expect; rather, it’s been from DeMaio’s left – the liberal and Democrat-affiliated groups that you’d think would be proud that an openly gay successful businessman has decided to run for office.
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.
That was so egregious and false that the group was fined by the city’s Ethics Commission, but even after that, and with his 100 percent voting record with the LGBT community, the Left still didn’t speak up to defend him. They told DeMaio, “It’s complicated.”
I’m sure. The Right, on the other hand, did speak up about it.
“I’ve found more tolerance, acceptance and inclusion from social conservative groups who have to reconcile that I’m a Republican who happens to be gay…versus the intolerance the LGBT leaders see me as a gay man who happens to be a Republican,” DeMaio said.
As the race heats up and DeMaio gains in the polls ahead of the Republican primary on June 3rd, the LGBT groups have gone from silence about his candidacy to actively working against him.
“Despite claims that they insist on tolerance, diversity and acceptance on all political issues, I suspect that they really want to keep intact their alliance with unions so that they don’t upset their funding sources and coalition. The Democratic groups need the GOP to remain the bogeyman because if the Republicans are no longer a threat, who needs to donate to these LGBT political groups?” he said.
Full disclosure: I am a former employee of the San Diego city council, where I worked with Ric Grenell, now again a colleague of mine at Fox News Channel, and who currently consults on the DeMaio campaign…(read more)
Dana Perino currently serves as co-host of FOX News Channel’s “The Five” (weekdays 5-6PM/ET). She previously served as Press Secretary for President George W. Bush. Ms. Perino joined the network in 2009 as a contributor.
- DeMaio’s new ad with openly gay partner is GOP first (fox5sandiego.com)
- Carl DeMaio scares the crap out of NOM – and for good cause (slowlyboiledfrog.com)
- Gay Republican Candidate to Run Ad Featuring Same-Sex Partner (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- DeMaio: A ‘new generation’ Republican? (kjrh.com)
- The Dccc Attempts to Derail Demaio Win (thefreedomposts.wordpress.com)
- Gay Republican candidate features partner in ad (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Gay Republican to Run Ad With Partner (online.wsj.com)
- GOP congressional candidate channels Frank Underwood in new campaign ad (redalertpolitics.com)
- County GOP backs DeMaio over two rivals (utsandiego.com)
- DeMaio calls for GOP renewal after election (utsandiego.com)