(Belated) Weekend Open Thread: OCGOP Complaint About Gay-Bashing Leaves Just One Thing Out

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Jeff LeTourneau Ass-Kicking some liars from San Diego “who happen to be gay” in a shirt that he did not actually have the foresight to wear.

The OCGOP is practically quivering with excitement over the chance to accuse Democrats of gay-bashing:


ORANGE COUNTY – Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Fred M. Whitaker released the following statement after Fox News released video of Democratic Party of Orange County Vice-Chair Jeff LeTourneau verbally attacking gay volunteers who were collecting signatures for the effort to recall Democrat Senator Josh Newman:

“Jeff LeTourneau’s outrageous and unacceptable verbal attack against gay volunteers collecting signatures to recall Josh Newman is intolerance at its worst and we completely reject it,” said Chairman Fred Whitaker. “As Chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County, I call on Jeff LeTourneau to resign as Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County. I also call on both the Democratic Party of Orange County and Senator Josh Newman to officially condemn Jeff LeTourneau’s vicious tirade. As a community, we must stand together and oppose this kind of intimidation – it has no place in civil society.”

To view the video footage published by Fox News of Jeff LeTourneau verbally attacking gay volunteers, please click here or click on the picture below

Letourneau was called over to the WalMart at the Fullerton-Anaheim border when he was told that gay volunteers from San Diego had come up here from San Diego to try to convince the local LGBT community that Josh Newman’s recall was in their interest.  What seems to have driven LeTourneau into an even greater-than-usual fit of contempt over gay men (and it’s usually gay men) affiliating with the party of denying gays civil rights, of gay-bashing, of “restorative therapy,” of noted LGBT civil rights proponents “John and Ken,” and so much more — more from which wealthier gays and lesbians (etc.) can largely shield themselves, making being a gay Republican a sort of additional mark of class superiority — is one of the most brazen deceptions of the year.

Part of their pitch was to imply to the unwary targets of their message is that State Senator Toni Atkins, a lesbian who a year ago ended her term as Assembly Speaker, FAVORED the recall of her respected colleague Josh Newman.  THIS lie was apparently too much to take — and LeTourneau freaked out in front of a conveniently (and my guess is intentionally) located videocamera.  This is because — and you wouldn’t know this from the article — LeTourneau is arguably (I’d even say probably) the most prominent gay activist in Orange County over the past 25 years.  He was the one with the guts to run against B-1 Bob Dornan 25 years ago, on a pro-LGBT and pro-AIDS care platform, not long before Loretta Sanchez was finally able to retire him.

Pretty important bit of context there for an accusation painting Democrats as gay-bashers, huh Fred?

GAY BASHING?  This was an ASS-KICKING of some putrid, shameless liars.  And it was richly deserved.  Furthermore, Fred Whitaker is either THE most out-of-touch Republican in OC or he already KNOWS that LeTourneau is gay and just decided to leave that fact out of his statement because trying to deceive people about Toni Atkins just wasn’t enough for the GOP.

So: on behalf of no one but myself, I call on Fred Whitaker to resign from his position as OCGOP Chair because of the utter contempt that he has shown to the LGBT community by characterizing holding even LGBT people accountable for lying and making common cause with despicable bigots.  (Of course, many of them there may consider that a qualification for office.)

Note, this is not to disparage some very good LGBT activists, such as our own Matt Munson, who remain in the GOP after conscientiously weighing the alternatives.  It’s the lying about someone’s support in order to achieve a political objective that is what is filthy here, and I’ve never seen Matt (or various other LGBT Republicans) approach this level of gall.

This is normally where I’d put in the disclaimer that LeTourneau is my brother-in-law.  Well, currently he is my estranged brother-in-law, because we are on opposite sides of the conflict over auditing the results of the California Democratic Party Chair’s race, where the state’s first “out-and-proud” LGBT party leader, Eric Bauman, has had himself declared Chair after an extremely questionable vote.  I support LeTourneau’s conclusion in the “WalMart recall” instance that being gay is not a sufficient defense of someone who is a dishonorable, selfish, destructive liar.  Jeff does not believe — indeed, I would say is incapable of believing — that Bauman fits an ethical bill not that dissimilar from the people he yelled at from San Diego.  For those of us like him and me, who take politics seriously, that’s a damn good basis for estrangement.  Maybe there will be some reconciliation after the independent external forensic audit of the vote that his buddy is trying to block.  Incidentally, Jeff has NO IDEA that I had ever intended to write this — and probably won’t like it because of this paragraph and the next one.

By the way: Chumley is correct that I abstained on the vote to have DPOC write each of Orange County’s 34 cities to demand that they each raise a gay pride flag on the pole outside of each of their City Halls for 40 days (May 22-June 30, aka 1/9th) of every year until the sun swallows us all — because I did not think that the plan was as yet fully baked.  (There was one other abstention as well, reportedly from Avelino Valencia.)  The problem was that we had not thought through the consequences of making those flag polls “public forums” (nor of the consequences of saying that City Councils should be able to pick and choose who got such a privilege) and we had not considered that it turned out that in Anaheim the demand was in fact illegal per their Municipal Code — a fact that former Council member Jordan Brandman apparently KNEW at the time that last year’s vote took place and seems to have prevented Staff from warning the Council of the problem at the time — which, over the intervening year, was supposed to have been fixed but never was.  (Brandman was gone, but Kris Murray was around to carry the ball — which she dropped … and blamed Staff.)

Chumley has wondered whether I voted against the resolution because “he wrote it.”  (He’s listed as its final — somewhere between fifth and seventh — author.)  Not as such.  I voted to abstain because it was a half-basked bit of pandering by “summer soldiers” in the war for LGBT rights that would likely have been improved by another month’s gestation.  Now, the fact that it was a half-baked bit of pandering may very well have had something to do with Chumley’s participation in the project — but I would have had the exact same reaction has his name not been at the tail-end of the author’s list.

Chumley also helpfully suggested the alternative possibility that perhaps I was just anti-LGBT (or as one of his anonymous ringwraiths said without so much as Chum’s tut-tutting in response, “hates gays”), apparently because listening to the actual substantive argument I made against the motion at the time would have imploded his head or something.  Nope, I’ve been a gay-rights (as we used to call it) proponent for about 40 years now — and I’m secure enough in my position that I think that I can tell their advocates (the real ones, not the panderers) when and how they are fucking up in a given instance.  So, in other words, Chumley shares something with Fred Whitaker — a penchant for accusing people of gay bashing out of context — aside from common belief in a corporate subsidy based economic program and an utter contempt for the poor.  Except Whitaker hides his contempt better.

This is your Weekend Open Thread on what Chumley endearingly calls “your closeted blog.”  (I think, from context, that he meant “cosseted.”  As in “you don’t have enough anonymous commenters there supporting your ideas from a deniable distance!)  Talk about this past weekend — Eid Mubarak, cowpokes! — and the upcoming week and whatever else strikes your fancy, within reasonable bounds of discretion and decorum.

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose worker's rights and government accountability attorney, residing in northwest Brea. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Occasionally runs for office to challenge some nasty incumbent who would otherwise run unopposed. (Someday he might pick a fight with the intent to win rather than just dent someone. You'll know it when you see it.) He got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012 and in 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. A family member co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)