Monday, November 06, 2006
Charlie Crist: Pretty is as pretty does
Here we are—down to the electoral wire. But Friday a gay activist group called "Proud of Who We Are" jumped up demanding that Charlie Crist, Republican candidate for Governor of Florida, come out of the closet. Though there have been rumors, this time the matter is back in the mainstream media. For instance, here's NBC2's David Sutta—
In front of the media, gay activist and former part time worker with the Democratic Party, Kyle Devries hand delivered a letter to Crist headquarters. In it he asked Crist to be honest about his sexual orientation.
"Honesty is important. Charlie Crist has come out there now and said that he's never had sex with another man and that he's not gay," said DeVries.
DeVries is claiming Crist is gay based on a video that has surfaced on the internet. The video allegedly shows a Katherine Harris aide being deposed. However, we could not verify what she was being deposed for.
The woman claims another staffer admitted to her that he is Crist's lover.
NBC2's David Sutta spoke with Charlie Crist Friday.Sutta: Are you gay?
Crist: No. I've answered it over and over again. Absolutely untrue.
Sutta: With that said over the years you have said that you are not. Yet it's coming up 3 days before the election.
Crist: I wonder why? Listen, people are smart and the voters get it.
Both Crist and current Governor Jeb Bush are claiming this is just a political ploy. Poppycock!
Beth Reinhold of the Miami Herald noted that
[Florida] Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman issued a curious statement "criticizing any attempt to inject unfounded allegations about Charlie Crist's personal life into the campaign.''
The statement seemed like a cheap shot disguised as the high road to get the media to write about Crist's sexuality. But as it turns out, Democrats were nervous about being tied to the activist because he used to work for the state party.
So, you see! And even if I wrote about the rumor last week, no one would ever accuse me of trying to influence an election!
But let's be clear. The rumor isn't that Crist is gay—which is obvious—but that he's a hypocrite. And I'm sure that's what his Democratic opponent Jim Davis meant when he said "I condemn this kind of personal attack. It has no place in this campaign or any campaign."
It is no more a "personal attack" to aver that someone is gay than it is to aver the opposite, whatever that is. But of course to allege that someone is a hypocrite is a serious charge.
I, for instance, would welcome the first openly gay Republican governor in the State of Florida—or anywhere, for that matter. But if Crist is going to be a hypocrite about it, it just seems to me we've had enough of that.
Now I know you don't want to read all the tawdry allegations—about the claims of 21-year-old Jason Wetherington, a "young rising star" in the GOP, that he had sex with Crist. Or that Crist is in a long-term relationship with Bruce Carlton Jordan,1 convicted of felony theft. But if you do, Bob Norman of the Broward-Palm Beach New Times has the details.
Charlie Crist is currently Florida's Attorney General. After urging that prisoners be displayed working along the roadside in shackles, Crist was nicknamed "Chain gang Charlie." I had always assumed he just wanted to appear tough on crime. Now it hints of the Neronic—a cruel act for his personal titillation.
The Republican party's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy (8/31/04)
What a closeted gay candidate for Governor of Florida might look like (10/25/06)