DeMaio’s accuser sentenced
November 23rd, 2015
In the final weeks of the 2014 election, the battle between incumbent Scott Peters (D) and gay challenger Carl DeMaio (R) was intense. DeMaio’s chances looked promising, until nasty accusations began to fly.
A story was leaked about a former staff member, Todd Bosnich, a straight man who was allegedly sexually assaulted by DeMaio. Although DeMaio denied any impropriety and insisted that Bosnich was fired for plagiarizing, local media seemed to buy into the ‘gay men are sexual predators’ stereotype, and their bias bled through in news reports.
In the last week of the campaign, Bosnich produced an email which he said had been sent to him anonymously but which he thought was from DeMaio. It made threats that Bosnich would never again work in politics and implied that DeMaio would buy his silence. This appeared to be the smoking gun that Peters’ camp needed. When Bosnich gave Peters’ campaign the email, they “took it to the police” (after a little trip to the local media).
It seemed proven now that DeMaio was a liar and a predator and he lost the election by 3% of the vote.
But while the email may have been the item that convinced the public that DeMaio was lying, it was also Bosnich’s error. This was a tangible item and, as such, had a traceable history.
Further, the threats implied in the email were sufficient for San Diego Police to turn the email over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which opened an investigation into the matter. Had DeMaio made threats of this nature, it could have been a serious issue.
Throughout the investigation, Bosnich insisted that he had received the email anonymously and that anonymous emails were a common means that DeMaio used to attack political threats. But when he was finally confronted with evidence, Bosnich admitted that the email was created by himself and sent to himself in order to give the appearance that DeMaio was threatening him.
Federal prosecutors brought Bosnich up on charges of obstruction of justice and he admitted his guilt. He has now been sentenced.
A former aide to Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio was sentenced to five years of probation Monday for using a phony email account to make it appear DeMaio or one of his associates threatened him.
While he avoided jail time, Todd Bosnich will also have to complete 240 hours community service, to take part in a mental health treatment program and to pay a $2,500 fine.
Bosnich will have this felony on his record for the rest of his life and will never again work in politics. DeMaio lost an election over false accusations. The voters were unduly influence and voted based on information that wasn’t true. Peters (who responded to the admission of fakery in the nastiest way possible) now has a tarnished reputation. And yet again, it has been proven that accusations against gay men are believed true until proven otherwise.
There are no winners here.
Sadly, I suspect this is a model that we will see used again against gay candidates. The stakes are high, and probation seems a low price for slandering a candidate enough to throw an election.
GOP Campaign ad features partner
February 13th, 2014
It is not uncommon for a political candidate to feature a spouse in a campaign ad. It’s a quick way to send a signal to the constituents that this is a good family man (or woman) who is settled and responsible and just like they are.
What is unusual, however, is for a gay candidate to make mention of their spouse or partner. Generally, that is seen as a difference from the voters, something to be minimized. Though many had partners, or were married, most presented a public image that could be mistaken for a sexless bachelor or spinster.
Carl DeMaio, a Republican running for Congress from San Diego, has become the first serious candidate to do so. (Wall Street Journal)
Carl DeMaio is one of three openly gay Republicans running for Congress this year, and he would be at least the third to serve in the House if he wins. But Mr. DeMaio on Thursday will take a step that none of them has, airing a campaign ad that features a shot of him with his same-sex partner.
The clips are brief: A shot of Mr. DeMaio holding hands with his partner, Johnathan Hale, as they march in a gay pride parade in 2012, followed by a clip of the San Diego candidate waving a rainbow flag that symbolizes the gay-rights movement.
Several GOP campaign officials and Elizabeth Wilner, who tracks campaign ads for the nonpartisan firm Kantar Media, said it was the first time they knew of a candidate of either party airing an ad featuring a gay partner.
It’s possible that there were other ads missed by Wilner. And some spouses have been publicly acknowledged or have been part of a campaign.
But, nevertheless, this is a rather remarkable moment. This signals that DeMaio, at least, believes that his relationship makes him a more connectable candidate than were he to be seen as single. And this is more noteworthy when considering that DeMaio’s ad comes in the primary season when he has a conservative GOP opponent.
It could be that we are reaching the point where, in some circles, gay relationships are no longer just tolerated but are an expectation, a sign that this is a serious responsible person. Just like the voters.
Gay-baiting political group identified and fined
October 14th, 2013
A group founded to use gay-baiting tactics against San Diego Republican mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio has been fined for failing to follow campaign laws. (LATimes)
Conservatives for Gay Rights Supporting Carl DeMaio for Mayor 2012 paid for “robo-calls” and leaflets reminding voters that DeMaio is gay.
The calls asked voters twice, “If you knew Carl DeMaio was the first openly gay man to be elected to our San Diego City Council, would you be more likely or less likely to vote for Carl DeMaio or does this fact make no difference?”
The leaflets showed DeMaio standing near a man dressed in drag.
The group was comprised of neither conservatives nor supporters of Carl DeMaio. While the Los Angeles Times declined to print the names of those responsible, the San Diego Union-Tribune was more forthcoming: (SDUT)
The Ethics Commission investigation revealed that Democratic consultant Jesus Cardenas and Cynara Velazquez, a Democratic organizer with ties to medical marijuana advocacy groups, directed the group’s activities. Cardenas’ company, Innovation Media Group, received tens of thousands of dollars last year for its work on behalf of the San Diego County Democratic Party. Velazquez organized a fundraiser for Filner’s mayoral bid on behalf of the Patient Care Association in April 2012. She had organized an Oct. 20 event for City Councilman David Alvarez’s current mayoral bid, but a release from the campaign said the event has been canceled.
Filner beat DeMaio in November 51% to 49%, but it isn’t possible to know to what extent the gay-baiting tactics by Candenas and Velazquez play a role, if any, in the outcome.
Filner’s term was brief. On August 23rd he resigned after fourteen separate women from around the country came forward with stories of sexual harassment and impropriety, including a member of his staff and several women who had met with him in his official capacity as mayor and formerly as a House of Representatives member.
DeMaio is currently running in the Republican primary for the 52nd Congressional District.
A mayoral race without “values” distractions
January 30th, 2012
The term of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, an advocate for our community, is coming to an end and San Diegans will be selecting a new mayor. Their choices are Democrat Bob Filner or Republicans Nathan Fletcher, Carl DeMaio, or Bonnie Dumanis.
Fletcher, an assemblyman and former marine, is best known to our community for his articulate and compelling speech calling for the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Fletcher is endorsed by Log Cabin Republicans.
Carl DeMaio, city counselor, is in a relationship with Jonathan Hale, the publisher of the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.
Bonnie Dumanis, attorney general, married her wife, Denese Neleson, in 2008 during the window of marriage opportunity.
All candidates are in agreement on issues of importance to our community, including marriage equality. Which means that in San Diego, candidates can compete on the positions and ideas that will best benefit the city without distractions over what portion of the populace should not receive the same rights as others.
Congratulations, San Diego.
San Diego candidate learns not to buddy up to ex-gay gadfly James Hartline
March 17th, 2010
It never pays to buddy up to ex-gay activist James Hartline. You’re going to get burned. Even if you agree with everything that Hartline supports, you have to be as extreme and wacky as he is or he’ll turn on you.
And San Diego City Council candidate Lorie Zapf has just found that out. Hartline is sharing some of their communications with the press. (Union-Tribune)
Hartline said he distributed the e-mail to media outlets this week because Zapf was not living up to his anti-gay standards.
It all started in 2006 when Zapf supported a candidate for City Council who endorsed the mayor who was known to be tolerant of gay people. Although she had attended church with him at Mission Valley, this was enough to lead Hartline to suspect Zapf’s anti-gay credentials. Or as Hartline tells it (in the third person):
It was because Hartline and Zapf knew each other at MVCF that Hartline began to email Zapf regarding her obviously hypocritical involvement with the campaigns of Judy Riddle, a member of the cult Mormon Church, and pro-homosexual San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. Hartline could not understand at the time how Zapf could be involved in promoting Mormon candidates when MVCF had taught her that Mormonism is a cult. Equally perplexing for Hartline was the idea that Zapf was so involved with Jerry Sanders after the years Sanders had marched in San Diego’s pornographic gay pride parades.
Initially, Zapf attempted to manipulate Hartline in emails, telling Hartline that she was firmly in his camp on the homosexual issue. As Hartline responded with emails showing Zapf was compromising, she began to take a sinister turn, emailing Hartline’s pastors in an attempt to shut Hartline down. It appears by her responses in the recent Union Tribune article, that the sinister Zapf is once again replacing the “Aunt Bee” Lorie Zapf.
Hartline’s view of “compromising” is probably a bit different than yours. Zapf was pretty clear where she stood: (City Beat)
“I absolutely want to keep homosexuals out of public office and not be allowed to influence our schools, textbooks, altering marriage, children, and on and on”
“I like that you are trying to keep homosexuals and homosexual activists out of public office because we both know what the long term agenda is.”
“I do believe homosexuality is a sin. I have three homosexual first cousins. I love them all and would ‘be seen’ in a photo with them. I believe they all live in sin and frankly all are very unhappy people and had horrible childhoods as well.”
But hating the gay isn’t enough for Hartline. You have to be fire-breathing, take no prisoners, crazy-ass in your hating of the gay. But crazy-ass homophobia doesn’t sell with in San Diego. Yes, this is a Republican city, but it likes its Republicans to be either gay supportive or gay themselves.
So Zapf is now clarifying. She says that she didn’t mean gay people, per se, just gay activists (ya know, the gay folk who aren’t closeted, delusional, ex-gay, or like Roy Ashburn).
And she’s a victim. It was just taken out of context.
“This is what keeps good people from running for office,” she said. “Everyone’s got something. It’s going to be a little sentence plucked out, taken out of context … and then used against me to try to destroy me and my family.”
Zapf said voters should note that Hartline’s anger stems from her support of gays.
“The irony is that James Hartline, of all people, who is so rabidly anti-gay, is trying to hurt me because I’m not,” she said. “He doesn’t think I’m anti-gay enough. I’m not at all.”
Oh, I dunno, Lorie. I think you’re plenty anti-gay.
Even if you would ‘be seen’ in a photo with me.
Carl DeMaio Wins City Council Seat
June 4th, 2008
Ex-gay gadfly James Hartline did not place in the top three contenders for District 3. It seems that the good Christians of San Diego must have failed the test that Hartline thinks God set out for them.