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The Victory Fund gets it right

There was a bit of controversy around whether the Victory Fund should endorse City Councilman Carl DeMaio in the mayoral race. After all, DeMaio is gay and the Victory Fund’s purpose is to expand LGBT persons in elected and appointed office across the nation.

I applaud the Victory Fund’s apparent decision not to endorse DeMaio based upon its clearly outlined criteria for any endorsement. Their first criterion is that the person must be openly LGBT.

While some could argue that DeMaio is only open before certain audiences, I think at this point most people do know that DeMaio is in a committed relationship with Johnathan Hale.

The second criterion is that the candidate must have support from the community and a clear strategy to win. I think this is the area that was most problematic for a Victory Fund DeMaio endorsement.

The booing of DeMaio at the LGBT mayoral debate, coupled with similar boos when he marched at the Pride parade and appeared at the Hillcrest flag raising, probably raised concerns about community support of DeMaio’s candidacy.

In addition, not one LGBT elected official has come out for DeMaio and only one of the many LGBT city commissioners have come out in support of DeMaio’s candidacy.

Hale tried to muster support for his partner through a Facebook event page suggesting that people call the Victory Fund to express their love for DeMaio. The event was sent to thousands of people and reportedly only 12 people liked the page. The plan clearly backfired. Plus the U-T article outlining DeMaio’s lack of LGBT support further solidified the narrative that DeMaio is not supported by our community.

The third criterion is a candidate’s ability to demonstrate support of federal, state or local efforts to advance LGBT civil rights via the legislative or regulatory process. DeMaio’s only blemish in this area was his lack of support for needle exchange to prevent the spread of HIV.

The fourth criterion is to demonstrate support of efforts to safeguard privacy and reproductive freedom. Surprisingly at an event for the La Jolla Rotary Club, DeMaio described himself as a “gay, pro-choice, environmentalist.” I think that would be a surprise to many of the Tea Partiers in DeMaio’s base.

So all-in-all the Victory Fund got it right. It is not their mission to support any LGBT candidate but those that embody the criteria for the Victory Fund endorsement.

Of note is that six San Diegans are part of the Victory Campaign Board that decides endorsements; Jeff Jordan, Bob Mahlowitz, John Lipsey, Matt Stephens, Marcia Green and Linda Perine. Clearly, their voices were a significant part of the process.

Bravo, Victory Fund, bravo. Those who support their decision should go and donate to the Victory Fund to support their courage. Donations can be made at thevictoryfund.org

STAMPP CORBIN

PUBLISHER

San Diego LGBT Weekly

LGBTweekly.com



Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=29540

Posted by LGBT Weekly on Sep 28, 2012. Filed under Editorial, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “The Victory Fund gets it right”

  1. There’s a review of “Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir” in today’s LGBT Weekly that could apply to Carl DeMaio.

    “Bendrix” is told from the viewpoint of a young gay cabaret singer in the 1950s, a period when most LGBT people were circumspect about their lives.

    Playwright Keith Bunin says, “They all lived their lives in a kind of code; they were open about their sexuality in many ways, but in other ways they were deeply secretive.”

    As long as Carl tries to curry favor with gay-hating Tea Party types, he will always have to remain in the twilight regarding his personal life. In some ways he is out of the closet, but in ways that impact the rest of us, he is still very much in it. And that just wouldn’t do if he were to be elected to higher office.

  2. Mr. Corbin,

    “Wow,” I’m so surprised by this. Actually, I’m not. This shameful “editorial” has made it clear to me, and many others by its backlash, that the LGBT Weekly is doing everything in its power to prevent the election of San Diego’s first openly gay mayor.

    From Lilly ponds to Victory Fund endorsements, the gay “politico establishment” is more concerned with their position within partisan ranks and those in power, than they are for doing what’s “strategic” for our Movement.

    As a prior donor to the Victory Fund as well as a participant in their gay candidate training, I can assure you that you are missing some key points.

    The Victory Fund has a history of not supporting every gay candidate. Even though a candidate may meet all criteria on paper, due to the fact that the Victory Fund must raise significant funds if they endorse a candidate or that the endorsement/funding can actually make a difference in the race, they often times do not endorse a candidate. Yes, the Board members have input into the process but I can assure you that the local Board doesn’t consist of a majority of gay republicans.

    As far as your review of the criteria for selection, here are a few considerations:

    1. Openly Gay. Why does the LGBT Weekly even question this? Mr. Corbin, enough of it. Stop trying to create an impression that Carl DeMaio is somehow, someway closeted. Carl has been clear that he’s gay and its been written about by mainstream / non-gay media since 2007 (San Diego Magazine – http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/San-Diego-Magazine/April-2007/Carl-DeMaio/). He doesn’t hide his partner with conservative groups (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saEsHLmKids), he’s marched in every Gay Pride, and has been in attendance at many gay events such as the Center’s Gala.

    2. Support from the community and a clear strategy to win. The attack on Carl began a long time ago by the “gay political establishment” because Carl is a republican that ran on fiscal not social issues. People need to remember that he represents a council district that is made up of 70% conservatives. However, Carl has boldly supported resolutions such as Pride, Harvey Milk Drive, and the Rainbow Flag in Hillcrest with hostile opposition from conservatives (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HMMDyBGMPU).

    3. As far as booing of DeMaio at the LGBT mayoral debate or Pride is concerned, I was at both and can assure you there were just as many cheers, if not more, than boos taking place regardless of what LGBT Weekly reported.

    4. Not one LGBT elected official has come out for DeMaio. Can you name another openly gay, republican elected leader? Mmm…. Perhaps endorsing your own Party’s candidates might have something to do with that? Oh, a very popular republican mayor loved by all in Hillcrest – Jerry Sanders – has endorsed Carl. Did you report that?

    5. Gay Marriage. Oh, you didn’t cover that one. Yes, Carl does support Gay Marriage
    (http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Mayoral-Candidates-Applaud-Prop-8-Decision–138967279.html).

    So all-in-all the LGBT Weekly got it wrong. It was highly unlikely this late in the election cycle to get an endorsement to begin with. Further, given the lack of Carl’s previous involvement with the Victory Fund, an endorsement was not likely.

    Booo, LGBT Weekly, booo for not supporting the election of San Diego’s first openly gay Mayor. And, to those who support or disagree with the Victory Fund’s decision, they should definitely donate to the Victory Fund to support their mission. Donations can be made at thevictoryfund.org

    Patrick Adams,
    Founder, LGBT Friends of Carl DeMaio – http://www.facebook.com/LGBTFriendsOfCarlDeMaio

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