Mehlman = Socarides;
Donor to Moderate CA GOP Pol
Say, did you hear the news that the Pope is Catholic yesterday? You might have missed it, what with all the news about former Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman officially coming out as a gay man. I hear fellow closeted GOP travelers Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham were simply shocked at the announcement, but we'll leave their coming outings for another day.
Many ordinary gays, legions of bloggers and others in the community are weighing in on Mehlman's publicly joining the tribe, and his abysmal and harmful agenda carried out when he was in a high-level position, carrying out anti-gay policies for the Bush/Cheney/Rove White House and the GOP. Nice to see Mehlman getting raked over the coals, and much of his public record against gay receiving a fuller airing.
But I see Mehlman as in the same blighted category that former President Clinton adviser and Democratic Party strategist Richard Socarides belongs to, and other bloggers don't see a link between the two, beyond that fact that they share a same-sex orientation.
Mehlman and Socarides should be viewed as gay men carrying water for their respective parties, and putting their bosses, access and jobs first, gay community needs second. Sure, Mehlman wielded much more influence and resources than Socarides ever did, but both men stood silent as their bosses did harm to gays. Only a few political degrees separate the two.
Over at Oscar-winning writer Dustin Lance Black's Facebook page yesterday, his friend Socarides left this note, after Black gushed over Mehlman:
Andy Humm, longtime gay advocate from NYC, offered this response to that note:
It is not surprising that Richard Socarides would welcome Ken Mehlman to his club--the gay club where LGBT rights has nothing to do with progressive politics or helping anyone but yourself. It is shocking that Mehlman's coming out hasn't caused him to move away from all the regressive Republican positions that he took as party chairman. He's still into punishing the poor and immigrants.
Socarides and Mehlman work to elect friends like Bloomberg and Bush who have done nothing but make America safer for the rich.
In other Mehlman news, public campaign records reveal he has made only one donation in any California race. He didn't give money to either side in the Prop 8 or Prop 22 gay marriage ballot initiatives, but he contributed to moderate Republican Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher:
|MEHLMAN KENNETH B., KOHLBERG KRAVIS & ROBERTS LP, MANAGING DIRECTOR, WASHINGTON, DC 20007||FLETCHER FOR ASSEMBLY, ID#1281231||State Assembly 75||$500.00||10/29/2008||MONETARY|
Since that donation was made, Fletcher voted against creating Harvey Milk Day in California and he opposed recognizing out-of-state gay marriages, and also in 2009 Equality California gave him a rating of only 29%. However, in May he took to the Assembly floor to speak in favor of lifting the ban on gays in the military and voted for a resolution against the ban.
For info on Mehlman's donations at the federal level, click here.