Issa Bashes Gays, Goes Harshly Negative in Final Days of GOP Campaign

Attacks Fong and GOP Slate of Endorsed Candidates for Gay Endorsements

May 27, 1998 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(WASHINGTON, DC) – After holding a wide lead for months in the race for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination in California, fueled by personal wealth and television advertising, millionaire Darrell Issa dropped to dead even with his moderate opponent and has resorted to bashing gay Republicans in the final days of the primary campaign.

Issa sent out a press release targeted specifically to Christian fundamentalist media outlets in the state, announcing that Log Cabin Republicans California, "an organization of gay Republicans, has mailed out its candidate slate, headlined by none other than U.S. Senate candidate Matt Fong."

"There is a huge gay community in California, and Darrell Issa just turned every gay voter against him," said Richard Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. "Matt Fong is an inclusive candidate with integrity who knows the state, and Issa is a man without integrity who will do anything to win."

Log Cabin called on gay voters to send a message through California's open primary on Tuesday that gay bashing will cost votes in the nation's largest state.

"The Democratic Senate primary is already decided, so every gay and lesbian voter in the state should go to the polls and cast their votes against Darrell Issa in the Republican primary and send a message to candidates from both parties that gay bashing is wrong and won't be tolerated in California," Tafel said.

"This whole episode shows that Issa doesn't have what it takes to serve as an elected official," Tafel said. "It was a reckless move that shows he will be an embarrassment if he is the Republican nominee. He will not be a Senator of all the people of California – he won't even be the Senator of all Republicans. Not only did he attack a statewide Republican organization, he impugned Matt Fong and a long list of top Republican officials, such as Congressman Brian Bilbray of San Diego and Congressman Tom Campbell of Silicon Valley, who appeared with Fong on the endorsement list. Issa does not deserve to be on the ticket with them in November."

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest gay and lesbian Republican organization, with 50+ chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office and a federal political action committee.