We got a lot...an awful lot....of posts in the comments about this one.
So, here's another family values Republican....one with a strong anti-gay record: Spokane Mayor Jim West. The Spokane Spokesman-Review found out that Mayor, and former State Senator, West is a big closet case:
In an Internet chat room last New Year’s Eve where he discussed his recent date with an 18-year-old man, Spokane Mayor Jim West criticized the “sex Nazis” who try to regulate private sexual behavior.It's not like people didn't know:
For years, that’s exactly what West tried to do in Olympia.
Over two decades, West rose to power in the Washington Legislature with a carefully cultivated image as a fiscally conservative Republican opposed to gay rights, abortion rights and teenage sex.
His abrasive style and temper were legendary in Olympia. But even his opponents speak highly of his legislative and budgetary skills, which have made him one of the state’s most powerful politicians.
Because of his clout as the former Senate majority leader and his reputation for attacking his enemies, no one has publicly confronted West about any discrepancy between his private sexual behavior and his political stances, people in politics and in Spokane’s gay community have said.
"It’s the worst-kept secret in Washington politics,” said Christian Sinderman, a top Democratic political consultant.So why is it even relevant? West was a fierce and committed gay basher during his tenure in the State Legislature. In 1986, he sponsored a bill that
Sinderman helped run the campaigns of Sen. Maria Cantwell and Spokane’s Laurie Dolan, who challenged West for his state Senate seat and lost in 2002. Dolan is now a policy adviser to Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire.
The Dolan campaign decided not to use the issue of West’s sexual orientation for political advantage, Sinderman said.
“We decided his personal life wasn’t germane to the campaign because his private life is his private life. It’s not a public issue unless it involves the abuse of power. He was an incumbent with a record. We addressed that, and we lost,” he said.
“Spokane wouldn’t have believed us” if her campaign had tried to bring up West’s sexual orientation, Dolan said.
“People wanted to believe that Jim represented family values,” Dolan added.
"would have barred gay men and lesbians from working in schools, day-care centers and some state agencies. It called for screening prospective employees for sexual orientation and firing employees whose homosexuality became known."That's ugly. And, of course, he was opposed to the gay rights legislation in Washington State. (Back then, Microsoft supported the bill.):
As a Senate leader, West consistently opposed efforts to expand civil rights protections for gays in jobs and housing. In an interview Wednesday, he said he’s philosophically opposed to legislation that creates “special classes” of rights for minorities, including gays. “I don’t think you should discriminate against anybody. I have never been outspoken against gays, and I’ve never discriminated against gays,” West said, adding that he felt the gay rights bills were unnecessary.So Spokane thought Jim represented family values...and Jim hasn't quite figures out who Jim is. This is a text-book case of a self-loathing, screwed up Republican homophobic homo:
In February 1998, West voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, a ban on gay marriage. Gov. Lowry vetoed the measure, but the veto was overridden and Washington became the 27th state to enact such a ban.
In a wide-ranging interview Wednesday night, West acknowledged he’d recently begun to seek out young men on the Internet and said he couldn’t explain why. “I don’t want to go into the whole issue, but I wouldn’t characterize me as ‘gay,’.” West said.I would characterize you as a nasty, pathetic loser. Other suggestions for how to characterize West?