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Posts for October, 2013

Gay-baiting political group identified and fined

Timothy Kincaid

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.