Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Donald Trump & ACT UP Shared the Same Publicist

History, like life, is strange.

If I knew this factoid from back in the AIDS plague years when I was in the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, it faded from my memory.

According to David France's new book "How to Survive a Plague," there's a connection between the activist group and president-elect Donald Trump:

"As the group entered its second year, the pace it set was numbing. Each week brought expanding reports from Staley, whose efforts succeeded in making ACT UP-branded clothing among the city's most popular fashionwear.

"An intense man with a large voice named Bob Rafsky headed up the Media Committee, as good a match as Staley was to fund-raising. By day, Rafsky was spokesman for the real estate developer Donald Trump. He knew assignment producers and editors at the highest levels."

Of course, no one knew back in 1988 that Trump would run for and win the White House. Who would have thought there was a connection between an ACT UP leader and Trump?

You may recall that Rafsky gained national attention for HIV matters and people living with AIDS when he famously confronted Bill Clinton, during the New York primary in 1992. Here's a photo from that zap, next to the pertinent passage from the "Plague" book:

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