Illinois campaign comprised of pure homophobia

Timothy Kincaid

December 28th, 2009

markkirkThere are currently a handful of candidates for the Republican nomination to the US Senate seat in Illinois vacated by Barack Obama and currently held by Roland Burris. Two are in the news today.

Congressman Mark Kirk is a moderate Republican who has voted favorably on issues before Congress which would impact the gay community. He has been supportive on ENDA and hate crimes legislation and voted against amending the US Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. He is involved in Republican groups that are seeking to make the party less about social issues and return its focus to fiscal conservatism and small government.

He also has been the subject of rumors relating to his sexual orientation.

Andy Martin, on the other hand, is a colorful character primarily known for creating and disseminating conspiracy theories (e.g. Obama is a closet Muslim), filing lawsuits, and for his flagrant Antisemitism. In short, he’s pretty much a complete loon.

But Martin has developed a strategy to get attention and, perhaps, hurt Kirk: repeat rumors in hopes of stirring up homophobia. He ran the following radio ad:

I’m Andy Martin, Republican candidate for United States Senator. I approved this message because Illinois Republicans deserve the truth about their candidates.

I have over forty years of experience and integrity fighting corruption, and fighting for the truth in politics.

I helped expose many of Barack Obama’s lies in 2008.

Today, I am fighting for the facts about Mark Kirk. Illinois Republican leader Jack Roeser says there is a, “solid rumor that Kirk is a homosexual.” Roeser suggests that Kirk is part of a Republican Party homosexual club. Lake County Illinois Republican leader Ray True says Kirk has surrounded himself with homosexuals.

Mark Kirk should tell Republican voters the truth.

I\’m Andy Martin a Republican you can trust for U.S. Senator.

Please vote for Andy Martin.

Paid for by Illinois Republicans for Andy Martin.

Now, I don’t know anything about Mark Kirk’s sexual orientation. But I also know that as an active Navy reservist, he’s not going to announce that he’s gay any time soon. And as he is not a enemy to our community, accusations of “hypocrisy” sound hollow.

As for Martin, he again proves my contention that haters are often inclusive. Martin is bigoted towards both Jews and gays (at least).

And his campaign is pure unvarnished bald-faced homophobia. Let’s hope it backfires.

bearchewtoy75

December 28th, 2009

I miss the good-old days of politics when candidates smeared each other on the basis of things that they knew to be true, like, ya know, THE FACTS.

To quote Kathy Griffin, “It’s a rumor, so that’s good enough for me!”

Pender

December 28th, 2009

It already has backfired; I believe the national Republican party has publicly denounced Martin.

Fortunately, we are past the point where “homosexual!” is an effective political tactic, and its use here suggests political incompetence or desperation; I doubt it is culturally instructive. The state of the art against a gay candidate is now about dredging up incidents from the candidate’s past that implicate some sort of “radical agenda” — and that, not coincidentally, make the candidate’s gayness topical. Kevin Jennings is the most prominent victim of this technique. The parallel to Lee Atwater’s Southern Strategy is perfect; eventually “nigger!” became a counterproductive strategy and the racial slurs were refashioned as innuendo about school busing, voting legislation and the like.

Tina

December 28th, 2009

its unfortunate that “accusing” someone of being gay is the equivalent of character assination.

here’s Andy Martin’s email, if you’d like to share your thoughts with him:

[Ed: email address removed. We do not encourage hate mail, it tend to be counterproductive.]

better yet, and focusing on the positive, Rep Kirk can be reached at:

info@kirkforsenate.com

these comment boards are great, but let’s not stop there. Remember Bayard Rustin’s saying…

“The proof that one truly believes is in action.”

Tina

December 28th, 2009

@BTB

thanks for the reminder about hate mail being counter-productive.

my intention was to encourage feedback that shares how this message is harmful to everyone.

i would hope that we can respond with information and personal stories that are educational and not hateful.

Timothy Kincaid

December 28th, 2009

Thanks, Tina.

I do believe that your intentions were above reproach. And I know that many, especially BTB readers, are responsible when they contact opponents of equality.

Sadly, that isn’t always the case.

John

December 28th, 2009

The Repubican Party in Illinois really seems to be struggling when it comes to Senate seats. The party imploded in its last run against Obama and in the end put up a crazy, religious right, carpet bagging nut from Maryland.

Matt

December 28th, 2009

Don’t know if this has been reported or not, but the Illinois GOP is apparently cutting ties with Martin:

http://www.sj-r.com/breaking/x664195621/GOP-calls-ad-questioning-candidates-sexual-orientation-bizarre-repugnant

Ephilei

December 29th, 2009

“Martin is bigoted towards both Jews and gays (at least).” And Muslims.

John

December 29th, 2009

Rep. Kirk supports Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I don’t have much sympathy for a gay person who supports discrimination against gay and lesbian servicemembers. If he really is gay, I hope his outing leads to his dismissal from the military under the policy that he supports so strongly.

Timothy Kincaid

December 29th, 2009

John, please provide a link to support that claim.

Richard W. Fitch

December 29th, 2009

I don’t know that much about the source, but here is a web link:
http://mediamattersaction.org/blog/200910160001
Rep. Kirk: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Has “Worked Out Well”
October 16, 2009 9:39 am ET by Matt Finkelstein

Timothy Kincaid

December 29th, 2009

Richard,

Thanks.

Media Matters is a partisan site so I take what they say with a grain of salt. I’m still waiting for a source that can be tied either to Kirk’s campaign or to something he has actually said.

I know that he is not a cosponsor of the legislation to reverse DADT, but I’m having difficulty finding a good source for his supporting the policy that can be read in context.

John

December 29th, 2009

Timothy,

There is video of Congressman Kirk stating his support for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell:

http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/10/12/dont-ask-dont-tell/

Timothy Kincaid

December 29th, 2009

John,

Thank you for the source. Yep, you’re right, he definitely has stated his support for DADT.

Perhaps ironically, though I don’t want to assume the Miller has anything other than pure speculation at this point.

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