Here we go again in Hawthorne. Those of you who follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook may have wondered over the last day or so what I was alluding to when talking about anti-gay politicking in Hawthorne. Well, here’s the story:
Anti-gay politicking fails again in Hawthorne
We have 4 Ward Council races this year, and in 3 of those Wards, we had an uncontested primary yesterday. But, one of our candidates – Rob VanDeusen, an Iraq War veteran and volunteer firefighter – faced a contested primary against a perennial candidate in town, Phil Speulda, who stooped to new lows in dirty campaigning, using hateful language that has no place in Hawthorne, let alone in a Democratic primary anywhere.
Speulda delivered the pictured palmcard throughout the Ward, announcing:
As you may know our Hawthorne Democratic County Committee and the Row A Passaic County Democratic Organization, Inc. Line has been hi-jacked by a fringe special interest group that raises their money from gay marriage activists who don’t represent our Good Old Fashion Christian Values no less know the issues of our good town of Hawthorne.
(Hmmm. Now where have I heard language like that before in Hawthorne?)
The palmcard goes on to call our candidate “IRRESPONSIBLE and FLAMBOYANT” and asks voters to choose “The Alternate Democratic Candidate running against The Alternate Lifestyle Candidate.” It closes with a photo plucked from Facebook that was probably foolish to post, but certainly not salacious in any way, and proclaims “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” to suggest/remind the reader that Rob VanDeusen is gay. (Rob is also Jewish, but these days it is hard to tell which “Good Old Fashion Christian Values” one is not living up to.)
So, what to do? Should we have complained loudly about the piece ahead of the primary? Maybe. But, we chose instead to focus on our GOTV operation, and the results spoke for themselves: Rob won the primary 70%-30%. Chalk one up for the good people of Hawthorne who rejected bigotry for the second consecutive year.
But, here’s the most interesting part: the paid-for line. Ah, the paid-for line. The paid-for line on this piece says: “printed on home printer with leftover 2007 campaign material” (I told you he was a perennial candidate). The problem is, we know this candidate has no home computer, let alone a home printer, let alone a color printer. Nor is he on Facebook. And this piece is very obviously professionally designed and printed, in full color, two-sided, perfectly cut, and with graphic design far above the skills of this candidate (or me for that matter).
Someone paid for this hit piece – there is no doubt about it. Someone who did not want people to know about their involvement. Someone who would be embarrassed (at least) if they were exposed as financing Speulda’s campaign. So, on the heels of another victory in Hawthorne, we’ve got our next mission: to find out who financed this hate lit, and expose them.
Wish us luck!