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The Curious Incredulity of* Gay Conservatives’ Liberal Interlocutors

Broadly speaking, there are two types of reactions we get when we come out as conservative to our gay peers, particularly to those who have never previously met a “homocon.”  To be sure, there is also a third type of reaction we get, but that from those who more regularly interact with gay conservatives and who are truly familiar with the ideas undergirding modern American conservatism.  And while it may seems sometimes that most who meet us respond with bile and vitriol, we only report those stories more often because they provide greater entertainment and reveal much about a growing strain of intolerance inherent in the new American left.

We also tend to remember such dramatic confrontations more readily than we more polite and genuinely curious expressions of incredulity.  And that type of incredulity seems to be the more common reaction, gay men and lesbians who seem legitimately astounded that someone so intelligent, sensitive and interesting could support ideas or back the political party whose guiding principle, they have been taught to believe, is preserving straight white male privilege.  Unlike the “third type” mentioned above, they have little real experience with real conservatives and almost no understanding of Republican ideals.   They don’t know the history of the conservative movement and remain unfamiliar with the everyday concerns of rank-and-file Republicans.

All they know is what gets filtered through the mainstream media, what they learn in conversations with their friends and, increasingly, what they find presented in various social media.  They have rarely met actual conservative individuals and  have had almost no exposure to our web-sites, magazines, editorial pages nor have they read books which articulate our ideals. (more…)

Scott Schmidt for West Hollywood City Council

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:40 am - March 3, 2011.
Filed under: LA Stories,Noble Republicans

I have known Scott Schmidt now for nearly six years.  He launched his BoifromTroy blog shortly before Bruce launched this one.  And while Bruce and I tend to see ourselves as conservatives who happen to be gay, Scott has been more active in gay causes than have either of us.  Indeed, he spearheaded Republicans Against 8 in 2008.  Had the “No on 8” leadership designed a campaign along the lines of the one Scott waged on a shoestring budget, the results that fall might have been quite different.

Indeed, Scott’s energetic opposition to Prop 8 earned him the endorsement of Oscar-winning Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black who said that the former blogger “did more to fight Prop 8 than [incumbent City Councilors] John Heilman, Abbe Land or Lindsey Horvath combined.”  Scott worked with Black on a video project for his “Republicans against 8,” web-site. The site later won a “Pollie Award from the American Association of Political Consultants for the best use of a web video in a state ballot measure campaign.

But, Scott is not just basing his campaign on his opposition to that ballot measure.  He’s also basing it on his years as a civic activist and businessman in West Hollywood.  He is now serving in his second term on the West Hollywood Transportation Commission, having been elected chairman after just two years on the commission.  On that commission, he led “the effort to improve signage at Taxi Zones,” making it easier for motorists to avoid parking illegally.  As a result, fewer parking tickets were issued.

Indeed, Scott wants to steer the city away from its reliance on parking tickets as a means of revenue enhancement, a welcome priority for those concerned by the city’s overzealous enforcement of its byzantine parking regulations, often issuing tickets to motorists who have parked their cars in spots where no visible sign indicated they were subject to penalty — or where the signs gave conflicting information.

Unlike some of the more “progressive” challengers, Scott doesn’t believe “believe development is a four-letter word.”  He contends that the city can live up to its “moniker as the ‘creative city,'” while continuing “to renew and reinvent ourselves–and part of that process means building new buildings.”

Scott has drawn attention to the spendthrift ways at City Hall, noting, in a forum last week at the West Hollywood Heights Neighborhood Association that “that the lowest paid employee in City Hall makes $56,000 a year, higher than the $40,000 average among all West Hollywood residents“:

[He also] pointed out that the city uses two inflation rates—one for determining how much a landlord can raise rents in rent-controlled apartments and a second, higher one for determining cost of living raises for City Hall employees. He believes there should be only one rate.

I agree.  That commitment to one rate is part of his plan to hold the line on city hall salaries and pension benefits.  This dedication to cutting costs is one of the many reasons I am endorsing this Scott Schmidt for West Hollywood City Council. (more…)

On excess phonebanking in the West Hollywood election

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:46 am - March 3, 2011.
Filed under: LA Stories

Last fall, I can’t recall a single call I received for the fall gubernatorial campaign, only recall being phonebanked for one race.  These past few weeks, hardly a day has gone by that I haven’t received a phone call on behalf of the various candidates running for West Hollywood City Council.

I have been polled at least two times for the City Council race and twice for the campaign on Measure A, with each of the polls on said measure taking more than five minutes.  They offered me various hypotheticals, such as if you learned that this measure would raise 47 quadrillion dollars for the city, would you support it.  I kept responding, this is all well and good, but I plan to read the measure and if I find it places unnecessary limits our freedom or taxes individuals or employers too much, I’ll probably vote against it.

I began to wonder how accurate polls which ask such questions could be.  I was eager to end the call and knew I wouldn’t make my mind up on the measure until I had read it.  Given that most people have busy lives, they too are eager to end the calls.  Not just that, their minds may become distracted as the polling drags on. (more…)