Granted, it’s Politico, but if they’re even close to correct on this, my new member of Congress (I recently moved to Suffolk) has a serious problem:
Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes, a senior House Republican eyeing a powerful committee chairmanship, is causing friction with some of his colleagues by pushing the House GOP campaign arm to deny support for some of the party’s gay congressional candidates.
Forbes has waged a lengthy crusade to convince his colleagues and the National Republican Congressional Committee brass they shouldn’t back some gay candidates. His efforts on Capitol Hill were described to POLITICO by more than a half-dozen sources with direct knowledge of the talks.
The issue is particularly acute because House Republicans have two promising openly gay candidates in 2014 vying for seats held by Democrats. Richard Tisei, who narrowly lost to Democratic Rep. John Tierney in 2012, is running again in northeastern Massachusetts. And in San Diego, Carl DeMaio, a former city councilman, is trying to knock off Democratic Rep. Scott Peters.
Now, the article authors only focus on two candidates (Tisei and DeMaio), and it appears they only asked Forbes about DeMaio, so for all we know, Forbes might just have a hang up about the Californian. Moreover, Forbes is angling to take over the House Armed Services Committee, and while he’s not the favorite, it may very well be that someone is is blowing stuff waaaaaaaay out of proportion just to keep him a long shot.
However, Forbes did himself no favors with his statements:
On Wednesday, Forbes told POLITICO he thinks “GOP leaders can do whatever they want to do,” in terms of giving money to gay candidates.
He said he is more concerned about members being asked to contribute to the campaigns. The NRCC is partially funded by collecting tens of millions of dollars from House Republicans, who pay dues to the organization.
“There would be a different situation if they tried to force other members to give money,” Forbes said.
Asked whether he would have a problem with the NRCC donating money to DeMaio, Forbes said, “That’s a little different situation.”
“I don’t think they’ve done that yet,” Forbes added.
When asked if he would withhold political contributions to the NRCC if they backed DeMaio, Forbes said, “I’m not going to be hypothetical on what we would or wouldn’t do at this particular point in time because you’ve got a lot of scenarios. I don’t think we’ve had primaries and nominations to nominate people. So I don’t want to prejudge.”
Notice anything missing? Like say a statement making it abundantly clear that using sexual orientation to disqualify a candidate is a no-no? Me neither, and that’s the problem.
Has the Republican Party of Virginia fallen so far that opposing Bob McDonnell’s tax hike is considered “extreme,” but backroom homophobia is just fine?
Memo to my Congressman: the clock is ticking; I think 24 hours to be sufficient for a much needed clarification. Likewise for the newfound “moderates” who make up the Bolling faction (as it were) of the the RPV: you have 24 hours to practice what you preach, condemn this behavior (if you don’t think Forbes actually did it, you can feel free to blast the concept without touching him), and show me this is about more than giving yourselves cover for tax increases.