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Various Authors 6:38 p.m., Sept. 24
Carl DeMaio and his mayoral campaign have been drawing fire from several directions in recent weeks.
First, there’s the San Diego LGBT Weekly. Last week, the paper published an editorial criticizing recent endorsements the openly gay DeMaio’s campaign has picked up.
DeMaio backer, former mayor, and AM radio conservative talk host Roger Hedgecock is one of the eye-raisers. Hedgecock has in the past petitioned for a protest group he headed, called “Normal People,” to be allowed to march in Hillcrest’s annual Pride parade. He’s referred to homosexuals as “the radical leftist gay and lesbian community,” and campaigned heavily to get Proposition 8, which created a state law to deny gays the right to marry, on the ballot.
Republican politician and municipal judge Larry Stirling, another recent endorser of DeMaio’s candidacy, also draws ire from the LGBT community. According to LGBT Weekly, Stirling consistently voted against measures beneficial to gays while a member of California’s Assembly and Senate. On the bench, he earned the nickname “Lysol Larry” after ordering his entire courtroom sanitized after the appearance of a HIV-positive defendant in 1991, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Hedgecock and Stirling still do not believe in LGBT equality. What did DeMaio discuss with homophobes Hedgecock and Stirling to secure their support?” asks LGBT Weekly. “Was there a promise to put LGBT equality on the back burner if elected, or worse, a promise to not promote any items on the LGBT equality agenda?”
Doug Porter of the local progressive news website OB Rag has also been critical of DeMaio. One of Porter’s complaints centers around DeMaio’s aversion to attending mayoral forums and debates. According to an October 1 article, DeMaio had previously used the excuse of being too busy petitioning for his plan to alter city worker pension benefits to show up to debates. Since turning in the signatures to get the pension measure on the ballot, DeMaio has remained absent from the forums, including skipping an October 19 mayoral debate put on by the Coalition For a Better San Diego, a union-supported group. Bonnie Dumanis, another Republican candidate, also declined to attend, leaving Democrat Bob Filner to share the stage with Nathan Fletcher, one of the three Republicans in an officially non-partisan race.
Porter has also criticized DeMaio’s campaign for focusing primarily on affluent, predominantly white neighborhoods. DeMaio’s District 5, with a 2008 median household income of $95,211, is the second wealthiest in the city.
Jim Miller, co-author of Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See, also gets his shots in, saying that DeMaio’s agenda “is connected to a larger, nationwide web of think tanks whose decades-long intellectual assault on unions, the public sector, and even the very notion of government is now bearing fruit from Wisconsin to California,” in another OB Rag post, which he quotes in a more recent article on wage disparity in San Diego on the same site.