Since Tom Campbell trailing badly in the race for the California GOP gubernatorial nomination jumped to the Senate race, I have been largely silent on this blog about the move. To be sure, at least two of his new media people, both individuals I respect, have reached out to me.
While I have never shifted my personal allegiance from Carly Fiorina, I was initially less concerned about Campbell’s candidacy than that of Chuck DeVore. I had heard Campbell speak last June at a Cato event here in LA and was impressed with his understanding of and commitment to the ideas and ideals of free markets. But, given his record in Sacramento where he served a stint as director of the California Department of Finance, it seems that commitment is entirely rhetorical.
And then, we learned about his association with some unsavory characters who had terrorist associations. Today, Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director of GOProud is calling the FCINO (Fiscal Conservative in Name Only) out on those ties:
[LaSalvia said,] “The greatest threat facing gay people worldwide is the spread of radical anti-gay Islam. Unfortunately, Tom Campbell’s record makes it clear he either doesn’t understand that or is unwilling to confront it.”
Campbell wrote a letter of support for convicted terrorist Sami Al-Arian, who actually raised money for Campbell’s failed run for Senate in 2000. Al-Arian was indicted in February 2003 as the North American head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In the indictment, it was revealed that in Al-Arian’s communications with his colleagues were discussions of terrorist operations. Among the victims of these operations in Israel were several Americans.
“Tom Campbell raised money from and publicly voiced support for a convicted terrorist,” continued LaSalvia. “A man who once publicly declared, ‘Jihad is our path. Victory to Islam. Death to Israel. Revolution. Revolution until victory. Rolling to Jerusalem.”
This is not a man gay people can, in good conscience, support.
If Campbell’s lead in the polls for the GOP Senate nomination does not continue to erode as it appears to be doing, Democrats would be wise to tap Micky Kaus as their party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate. Many Republicans, straight and gay alike, wary of supporting a candidate with associations like Campbell’s might opt for a new face instead of the failed Senator now ending her third term in Washington.