Weisser Offer Officially Rebuffed by Babeu Campaign (2/25/12)
This week, among other major developments, Babeu for Congress campaign manager Chris De Rose officially declined the “Mikel Weisser for US Congress”campaign offer of taking over the Babeu campaign war chest if Babeu were to withdraw his now embattled campaign for the Republican nomination for the new open House of Representatives seat in AZ CD4, the left coast of Arizona. Paul Babeu, Sheriff of Pinal County, is currently under attack from the Right in the wake of last week’s scandal, when Arizona Republic reporter Rebekah Sanders revealed that Babeu, a purportedly straight man, secretly had Mexican national as his gay lover and had threatened the man, simply known as Jose, with deportation when their relationship turnedsour.
Outcry arose from across the country over the scandal and Chicago celebrity LGBT activist and seminarian, TJ Williams-Hauger launched a campaign to callfor his fellow clergy to press for Babeu’s resignation in light of the exploitive nature of the allegation. After speaking to the press earlier in the week, Thursday Feb, 23rd, Weisser formally contacted Chris De Roseat the Babeu campaign to make the offer. Weisser encouraged Babeu, as a gay man, to step down from his campaign and throw his economic and material supportto the Weisser campaign since Weisser is already an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights. “Babeu is not going to get represented on the GOP side; he’s not goingto get elected by the religious right that dominate AZ GOP politics and so heneeds to come to his senses now that he’s out of the closet. I am the onlycandidate in this race out in front on LGBT issues and I will certainly work tomake sure he gets the support he deserves.”
In addition to being the Mohave County regional adviser on gender bias for the AZ state Democratic Party’s LGBT caucus, Weisser’s record on LGBTissues dates back to the early 1980s when he was attacked in a gay bashing so severe, the US Navy had to do reconstructive surgery. In 2010, Weisser’s coverage of PHX’s annual Pride Day Parade, “Is Glenn Beck Gay Enough for Phoenix?” caught national attention as his Arizona Republic blog, Current Comedy, was widely republished among the gay press in including Gay Voice.
Still the Babeu campaign officially declined Weisser’s offer Friday in a brief voice mail. De Rose characterized the Weisser proposal as “not only illegal, but ill-advised,” and added he “looked to competing in the general election.” Weisser acknowledges there may have been some logistical complications if the Babeu camp had actually taken him up on the offer, but reassures both the press and the public that the offer’s language was rhetorical, rather than literal. “We wish De Rose and Babeu and all the other dedicated activists in the Babeu campaign the best, though I doubt Paul will be my opponent in Nov. just sayin’,” Weisser added.
The breakthrough in the week-long tension between the two campaigns came on the heels of an incredibly busy week for the Weisser campaign that included a full slate of Presidents Day events in Lake Havasu (including a Wheeler Park Occupy, catered Dem meet-n-greet at Bad Miguel's, a coffee klatch with the Havasu LGBT Pride community & a visit to Weisser's other GOP opponent, Ron Gould), a Wednesday night fire and brimstone style campaign speech at a Bullhead City meetingof the River Valley Democrats, and a pilgrimage to PHX to catch the Arizona Advocacy/PDA Dinner featuring leading progressives such as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Arizona’s own Raul Grijalva and Nation writer, John Nichols. Nichols is also a feature at the upcoming PDA event in Winslow Saturday that Weisser is attending before going to Sedona’s late night Saturday night Poets Party hosted by fans of Sedona Slam and Flag’Slam. Sunday sees a series of visits and events in Cottonwood, Jerome, & Prescott.