The game of hot potato being played by California republicans in response to the state's budget crisis and recently defeated ballot measures is turning into quite a spectator sport. Actually, "hot potato" isn't quite right. More like... "smear the queer"? Or... "12-year-olds calling each other names"?
As I posted yesterday, south-county professional gadfly Jim Lacy nailed State Assemblywoman Diane Harkey in the latest issue of the Dana Point Times for flip-flopping on her special election recommendations.
A few hours later, I got an email from "The Real Jim Lacy." It's not from the real Jim Lacy. The anonymous press release pointed out that while Lacy serves as an officer in a few anti-Prop 1A organizations -- think the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association -- his law firm took $7,500 from the Governor's "Yes on 1A" campaign.
The subject line for the attack email? Jim Lacy Had "Wide Stance" on Proposition 1A Tax Increase. "Wide stance," of course, is a reference to the scandal surrounding Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), who was arrested for allegedly solicit gay sex in a Minnesota airport restroom in 2007. To the accusation that he was trying to play footsie with the undercover cop in the neighboring stall, Craig said he just had a "wide stance" while on the toilet.
In other news that shows why Outrage seems like such a perfect movie for our times...
No Republican-on-Republican politicking has been more hilarious for outsiders to watch than the cannibalistic recall campaigns launched against state legislators who offended Howard Jarvis types by accidentally helping to increase taxes. Take the case of Jeff Miller, who represents parts of Orange County and Riverside. He didn't vote for higher taxes, but he didn't support the ousting of a leader who did. And so, there's a recall effort against him.
This has raised the hackles of republican hacks everywhere, for whom recalls represent a threat to party orthodoxy. So, the anti-recall sentiment can get nasty. We see this on Flash Report, where Irvine blabber Adam Probolsky blogged last week about "The Face Of The Jim Miller Recall." He writes:
Well, the human face of the purported recall of Assemblyman Jeff Miller has finally been revealed to the public. It's an interesting young man, accented not only by a bare-shouldered party dress, but also complete with carefully applied lipstick, mascara and eye liner.
Apparently, Probolsky dug up a picture from recall leader Blaine Jenks' Facebook account or something and found a picture of the 22-year-old wearing drag. His political cause is therefore gayish and discredited, by Probolsky's implied logic. But any 22-year-old would tell you, that this entire generation of 22-year-olds has similar pictures on their Facebook accounts. Holloween, theme keggers, ironic visitations to Rocky Horror Picture screenings... these things cause cross-dressings.
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Jenks confirms that in a comment he left on Probosky's post:
As for the photo and commentary, I think you chose a very flattering picture of myself getting ready to go to a costumed event, but since that is the so-called "skeleton" you chose to pull from my past, I thought I would let you know that I am not ashamed or embarrassed.
So now Matt Cunningham, that perennially independent-minded Red County editor, regurgitated the whole thing. Steve Rocco's obsessor/obsessee, Fred Smoller, then left a lovely comment: And I would not be surprised if he/she opposed Prop 8.
Nice! Belittling tolerance! Perfect tactic to expand your party, guys!