Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pete Wilson and perhaps even George Deukmejian didn't really care if same-sex couples won the right to marry, not that they'd let their Republican base in on that before their first elections as California governors. So give Irvine's Neel Kashkari, the GOP nominee squaring off against Jerry Brown in November, credit for freely flying his rainbow flag.
Yes, Gipper lovers, that wasn't Mr. Clean waving to the crowd while walking in San Diego's 40th LGBT Pride Parade on July 19. It was Kashkari who–correct me if I'm wrong–would be the first California Republican nominee for governor to do such a thing.
"I'm hoping to show the LGBT community there's a different kind of Republican now, who's running for governor," Kashkari told Frontiers' Karen Ocamb before the parade.
"One of the things I'm really proud of is that in the primary–that's where Republicans can feel real pressure to meet the expectations of the base of their party–I didn't compromise one ounce," Kashkari explained. "I went to voters across the state and I said, 'Look, I'm a brown guy, son of immigrants, I'm pro-immigration, I'm pro-gay marriage, pro-choice, I'm Hindu and I'm running for governor. I'm not going to apologize for any of my beliefs. I'm going to explain to you why I believe what I believe. And even if you disagree with me on some of these issues, that's OK. The issues I think we can all unite around are economic issues.'"
Kashkari was an executive with Pimco before leaving the Newport Beach global investment firm to run for governor. He is perhaps best known for helping the Bush and Obama administrations dig out of the 2008 financial crisis, something that some tea party types say makes him untrustworthy.
He goes on to say in Ocamb's piece that "the LGBT community is a very important part of California;" that the Democratic governor and attorney general were correct not to appeal the federal Prop. 8 trial that found the anti-gay marriage initiative unconstitutional; and that the Texas GOP platform endorsing so-called reparative therapy–a.k.a. "pray the gay away"–does not make sense.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.