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Should Victory Fund endorse DeMaio?

Commentary: Politically Aware

As election season heats up, two questions seem to be getting an increasing amount of attention in the San Diego LGBT community: “Could the Victory Fund endorse Councilman Carl DeMaio for mayor?” and “Should they?”

The first question is not as absurd as one might think. In the crowded world of interest groups, The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund has a special niche. While their goal to “achieve equality for LGBT Americans …” is mirrored by many progressive and LGBT groups, their method of “increasing the number of openly LGBT officials at all levels of government” sets them apart. Straight allies like Rep. Bob Filner and Scott Peters, no matter how stellar their record on LGBT issues, can’t be endorsed by the Victory Fund.

So what about DeMaio? Beyond the requirement that the candidate be openly LGBT, the Victory Fund’s Web site says candidates must support efforts to advance LGBT rights and support privacy and reproductive freedom. Notably missing are prerequisites to support environmental causes and labor. Those two omissions amount to a welcome sign to Republicans with a libertarian streak, as some have described DeMaio, who support less government in both the bedroom and the boardroom.

The Victory Fund’s final requirement is that candidates “demonstrate community support and a realistic plan.” As a viability test, DeMaio should do fine on this one. Though a recent poll showed Filner with an 8 point lead, he is still only at 40 percent, with more than enough undecided for DeMaio to make up the gap. That compares favorably to Victory Fund endorsee Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who is down by 7.8 points, according to RealClearPolitics.com’s poll-of-polls average, in her race for the U.S. Senate in Wisconsin.

“Community support” could also be interpreted as the backing of San Diego’s LGBT community. Even then, DeMaio could make the grade. Despite high profile protests at Pride and The LGBT Center Forum, DeMaio counts a number of LGBT community members among his supporters.

So, yes, if his answers on a privacy and reproductive freedom are satisfactory, the Victory Fund could endorse Carl DeMaio. Should they?

Despite a particularly visible presence in San Diego, the Victory Fund is a national organization with long term goals. Endorsing DeMaio could cause at least short-term problems with local progressives and in San Diego’s LGBT community. However, if he meets the same criteria applied to other candidates, not endorsing him could cause longer, and further-reaching, problems.

The Victory Fund believes that “LGBT office holders are our clearest and most convincing champions for true equality.” That makes it hard to explain to a nationwide donor base why they would skip the chance to seat a gay man at the head of the table in America’s Finest (and eighth largest) City – particularly when he voted for a 65-foot Pride flag.

But, for Victory Fund, these questions are not just about maintaining credibility. Open LGBT elected officials really do change the dynamic. It’s one thing to spew hate from a podium. It’s harder (though not impossible) to tell a colleague sitting across the table that she and her wife aren’t in a real marriage. We’ve long known that people with “close friends” who are LGBT are more supportive of our causes, and the same is true for politicians.

If he requests their endorsement and meets their criteria, the Victory Fund could – probably should – endorse DeMaio. That doesn’t mean you have to like it. And it doesn’t mean you have to vote for him. But don’t be too hard on the Victory Fund. They have a good plan. As a wise man said recently when speaking of another issue: “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” That man was, Rep. Bob Filner, DeMaio’s opponent.

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=28874

Posted by on Sep 13, 2012. Filed under Politically Aware. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

10 Comments for “Should Victory Fund endorse DeMaio?”

  1. Oh hell no! No Log Cabin, Uncle Tom Queers are getting my support. HELL NO!

    • Concerned Americian

      This is such an irgnorant and bigoted statement. I am not going to support him, but this statement by Vicki is unwarranted and hurtful. We need to be respectful and treat each other with respect and dignity. Carl is not the right man based on ties of his supporters and bullying. Also, his partner and his using of his publications to complain and try to do puff pieces is irritating and quite dissapointing.


  3. DeMaio, the happy recipient of large donations from the supporters and defenders of Prop.8, the guy who explicitly promised these same right-wing supporters that as Mayor, he “would not push the Gay social agenda”, may be Gay, but not deserving of Gay support.

    The Victory Fund is not and should not be a mindless supporter of any Gay person running for office. If Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney were gay, should the Victory Fund support them because of their gender preference alone?

    Don’t think so.

    In a world of limited resources, the Victory Fund should support Gay candidates who do in deeds and actions, support the Gay social agenda. That is NOT Mr. DeMaio.

  4. “In a world of limited resources, the Victory Fund should support Gay candidates who do in deeds and actions, support the Gay social agenda.”

    Can you explain the gay social agenda? I honestly have never heard anyone articulate it.

  5. My goodness… we finally have a candidate who can reach out and have an appeal beyond our well-defined gay enclaves, and suddenly he is not “gay” enough? How is the gay community ever to have broad respect and acceptance in the political world if we cannot see beyond our own horizon. Face it, most in the GLBT community are devoted Democrats, interested only in their partisan interests, support of unions and liberal causes. Here we have a candidate who is gay and who can be Mayor of one of the largest cities in the US, and you want to find reasons to oppose him. Carl De Maio will do more for the gay community being exactly who he is, and he can do it on a nationwide basis. And before this campaign, Bagman Bob has never been a particular friend to any GLBT cause. Oh sure, he is a card-carrying Democrat who does what leadership tells him, but he would not be running for mayor if he could have won re-election to congress. We have a clear chance to support a gay candidate who will advance our cause far more in one election than Filner has done in decades of sitting on the back bench. You don’t have to love De Maio… but if you are honestly interested in advancing the long-term interests of the gay community you will vote for him and support him to the fullest extent possible. Either that or just admit that the gay community is a pawn of the Democratic party and be taken for granted forever.

  6. Of course not! One of DeMaio’s biggest supporters and best buddies is Karl Rove, proud architect of the 2004 jihad on gay marriage that sent George W. Bush back to the White House. Why in the name of God would the Victory Fund endorse someone like that? They won’t get another penny of my money if they do.

  7. If I might add one more caveat: Just who in the gay community is debating whether Councilman DeMaio should be endorsed by the Victory Fund? The owner of this newspaper and his friends? Your premise is badly flawed.

  8. I would vote for a candidate that is gay friendly like bob filner over someone I believe to be gay, but one who is not known for his work on civil rights like I believe de maio is not known to be. I voted for Filner via mail today. I believe him to be a better candidate for GLBTC rights, for the environment, for education, and for our city.

  9. Thank you for the article, it is rather useful, will surely try to research what you get indicated… there’s only one factor I want to speak about in more detail, My partner and i wrote an e-mail to your address about it.

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