DeMaio Campaign attacks Fletcher for supporting LGBT rights, scores important GOP nodTop Highlights, Breaking News Saturday, March 10th, 2012
In a surprising move, the Republican Party of San Diego County endorsed openly gay Councilmember Carl DeMaio in his race to succeed termed out Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders. Two thirds of the 59-member central committee voted Saturday morning to endorse DeMaio over two other Republican candidates: District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, and State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher.
Before the endorsement battle, the DeMaio campaign circulated a 14-page document to members of the Republican central committee questioning Fletcher’s “conservatism.” DeMaio’s campaign manager, Ryan Clumpner also directly took issue with Fletcher’s failing grade by the California Republican Assembly and the Capitol Research Family Institute. Both conservative groups gave Fletcher failing grades for supporting LGBT-related legislation, including his vote in favor of a resolution by the California State Legislature in support of the repeal of the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy and his support of Senate Bill 48, the FAIR education act, which mandates that the contributions of the LGBT community be taught in public schools.
The DeMaio campaign’s assault on Fletcher’s record is especially significant given the fact that DeMaio is openly gay and has professed support of LGBT rights.
Since 2008, DeMaio has been criticized on numerous occasions by members of the LGBT community for his silence during the fight against Proposition 8 and his lackluster support of other initiatives of interest to the LGBT Community. Doug Case, President of San Diego Democrats for Equality told LGBT Weekly “Carl DeMaio has never been a leader when it comes to LGBT equality, nor has he demonstrated courage in publicly challenging the anti-gay positions of some of the people who are helping to fund his campaign. Silence is the voice of complicity.”
DeMaio has also been criticized for not attending events of significance to the LGBT community. In September of last year DeMaio opted to go to a fundraiser for his campaign as opposed to attending a rally celebrating the Repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” DeMaio, in a tweet to his followers, said he was looking forward to attending, but he was a no-show.
To many, DeMaio was also noticeably missing from a rally celebrating the 9th Circuit ruling that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. DeMaio’s lack of attendance at any of the Imperial Court events celebrating their 40th anniversary and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund Brunch was also widely criticized by LGBT community leaders. Each of the other candidates for mayor were participants.
The endorsement, while a significant victory for the DeMaio campaign, is not necessarily an indicator for an inevitable victory. In 2005 the Republican Party of San Diego County endorsed Steve Francis over Jerry Sanders for mayor of San Diego. Jerry Sanders went on to win the primary and was ultimately elected. With this victory however, DeMaio will now focus on defeating what he says are his real opponents telling the popular conservative Republican blog, sdrostra.com, “My real opponents are government employee unions and powerful downtown interests … ”
San Diego LGBT Weekly reached out to both the DeMaio campaign and Nathan Fletcher for Mayor 2012. We are awaiting comment from each camp.
(Disclosure: Will Rodriguez-Kennedy is a supporter of Nathan Fletcher for Mayor and a former independent contractor for Reforming City Hall with Carl DeMaio.)
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