Monday, March 10, 2008

DeMaio Musings

I spend a lot of time in District 5, and recently discussed the topic of Carl DeMaio with friends and family in the Carmel Mountain Ranch/Rancho Bernardo area.

The discussion is often pretty short, with friends being able to tell me he’s going to fix San Diego’s finances followed by silence. No one can answer how DeMaio, as just one of eight votes on the City Council, is going to be able to do this. No one can tell me his plan for solving all our problems. Just that DeMaio can fix everything, as if he were magic.

The fact is that to this point DeMaio has been somewhat of a one-trick pony insisting that the solution to solving all of San Diego’s fiscal problems is by selling-off city services one-by-one. Good luck telling parents in D5 that their children can’t visit their branch library because it closed early or their child’s Little League games at Community Park or Highland Ranch Park are canceled due to poor conditions, all because the contractor has profits as higher priority than service.

Having grown up in the heart of District 5, living there until I was 25, I know there will be questions about what are DeMaio’s plans after he “fixes” city finances. This is where I think he will struggle due to the area’s ultra-conservative values.

I remember debates in my high school civics class where the majority of the class would argue, passionately, that the widow of a fallen soldier should not receive any government assistance since she was “foolish” to marry and have children if she couldn’t have been able to afford life without her husband. My senior year a fellow progressive-minded student and I searched for a teacher who would brave the stigma from ultra-conservative parents and sponsor a campus Future Democrats Club (we found a closeted gay teacher, but with just two members in a school with 2,800 students we couldn’t sustain a full club).

So I can’t help but think that, as sad as it may be in this day and age, DeMaio’s sexual orientation will be a factor in this election.

This is still an area of the city where there was more outrage that a student was asked to remove a t-shirt referring to a Bible verse than that said t-shirt was hateful towards fellow classmates.

This is the same area where a local country club recently settled an anti-discrimination lawsuit with a lesbian couple.

This is the same area where the fear of high school girls wearing the wrong type of underwear resulted in a disgraceful school dance.

It’s unfortunate, but I have to think at some point DeMaio is going to run into problems from those spouting traditional family values.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

DeMaio is in the wrong district to be "out." Oh well, he's made his bed.

Anonymous said...

I think San Diegans are better than we give them credit for. Last time i checked this was a dem blog and we're supposed to be progressive.

People aren't going to care.

But i find it interesting that demaio's opponents on the left are the ones raising this issue.

so much for practicing what we preach.

Proud Progressive said...

I am progressive. For me, the problem is not that he is gay, but that he did does not support issues that affect the community. What gay man is against domestic partner benefits, needle exchange, marriage equality, discrimination etc? Only one that is self-hating. That is my issue.

blue in the face said...

The issue isn't that he is gay, but that he doesn't fit in an ultra-conservative suburban family neighborhood.

Even if District 5 is able to overlook him being gay, which I hope they do, doesn't it seem weird that he would sell himself out (re: equal rights for the LGBT community)? Who would he sell out next?

J Agatha said...

Funny, the right-wing blogs are claiming Lorena Gonzales is actually me. As flattered as I'm sure she may be, I don't think she is a 27-year-old male who grew up in Carmel Mountain Ranch. Try again fellas.

Anonymous said...

Whoever J Agatha is, he/she is not a progressive. A homophobic socialist is not a progressive.

Plus, what does needle exchange have to do with being gay? Are you implying that all gay men are drug addicts?

Please delete my comment, just so you can prove that you don't believe in free speech as well.

Anonymous said...

regardless, Red County is having a field day with some of these posts for their hypocrisy. I agree.

Anonymous said...

There are no questions about his ability due to being a member of the LGBT community.

However, you can't deny that District 5 is not the most LGBT-friendly part of the city, and therefore I think it is perfectly acceptable to wonder how that will play in the area.

Nothing hateful has been written, only pointing out how conservative the 15 corridor is.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Lorena would also have written a post like this one "musing" about Carl if he were black instead of gay?

Probably...if she's stooping this low to use the gay issue.

The point being is she's posting her "musings" because she's beating the drum to raise the gay issue. You know how mainstream media reads blogs and then starts repeating the same line of commentary.

Lorena's comments behind closed doors are worse--much worse. And she has said it to enough people that they are repeating it.

People respected Jerry B. I'm not sure the same will be said about Lorena for the way she's handling this.

Anonymous said...

How is it homophobic to point out that District 5 is not gay-friendly? That is just reality. I think the focus should be - from the progressive side - that Carl simply is a hypocrite.

And, as a LGBT community member, I would point out that I care deeply about needle exchange.

Anonymous said...

Hey Carl - get off the progressive blogs - JAgatha made it clear he is not Lorena. Coming to the boards and calling her homophobic or racist is a joke. You guys must really be deperate to be stooping that low.

Anonymous said...

hmmm...you mean the same Carl who is walking in Scripps Ranch right now?

no secret here on the right that he walks every week day (except Friday) from 4-7:30pm.

Anonymous said...

I'm a straight man and i like skittles. Does that mean that all straight men like skittles....

NO

I love how "Progressives" group people and beliefs together based on sexual orientation, needle exchange, yet they screem bloody murder when somebody is "profiled".

Lorena is no Jerry B. Jerry B. was a good political operative. I can't say the same for his replacment. And that is because of her individual actions, not because she is a woman or a latina.

Unlike ya'll, i don't base my decisions on race, gender or sexual orientation. I'm ashamed that i once considered myself a Progressive.

Lorena Gonzalez said...

First, thank you to the 3 people who called me this evening to let me know about the posts made on this site. I am used to getting calls about the bashing on red county, but I find that amusing since they just make things up. But, since I do respect some of the people who blog on this site, I felt compelled to respond.

I don't honestly believe anyone in Democratic circles thinks I am homophobic, so I will let that accusation stand as another shot from the right. That being said, District 5 voters are very conservative and probably aren't too hip on having a gay Councilman. I don't understand why that would matter to any voter, but I do think that is a political reality.

I agree that the really offensive thing about Carl, as a gay man, is that he doesn't support marriage equality. I believe that marriage equality is absolutely a critical civil rights issue. To me, Carl not supporting marriage equality is like me, with my mixed-race daughter, defending anti-miscegenation laws.

I think Carl DeMaio will be a horribly divisive Councilmember, but my main issue with him is that he doesn't respect workers. I don't understand how someone who had a good Jesuit education can hate the working poor. We obviously learned very different lessons from the priests at Georgetown.

Those are my thoughts, the same ones I have and would voice to Carl directly. If you claim to be progressive and have a critique of me, at least have the balls to attach your name to it.

Oh, and it is true, no one can compare to Jerry Butkiewicz, certainly not me.

Anonymous said...

You said you respect bloggers on this site, do you repect J Agatha?