Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Arizona Governor Race Turns Nasty

The race for Arizona Governor turned a bit nasty over the last couple of days.  Yesterday, while attending the SCAz kick-off event, Kyrsten Sinema told us that current governor Jan Brewer's campaign manager, a fellow by the name of Chuck Coughlin, put out a memo suggesting the Democratic candidate Terry Goddard was gay and that he should take a lie detector test.  This seemingly coincided with a recent tightening of the race between the two candidates.  I can't seem it find a news story that cites the lie detector test.  As it turns out, rumors had been floated the day before via the internet that Jan Brewer's health was in serious decline, which certainly raises questions of her ability to complete a full term as governor.

I don't know who you believe.  To Brewer's credit, she fired Coughlin.  In such a tight race, as this has become, it certainly shows the Brewer thought it was a classless accusation.  Coughlin has since apologized, sort of.  In a statement released by Coughlins's firm, he said that the accusation was only meant to prove a point.  That it was ridiculous that Brewer's health was even in question on internet blogs.

OK.  Lots of points to be made here. 

I think the health of an official running for office is important.  However, to post only anonymous rumors with no supporting evidence is uncalled for.  I don't question that. 

The counter-accusation by Coughlin was just plain stupid.  It utterly failed to make the point he says it was trying to make.  The health posts were anonymous.  Was Goddard, or his campaign behind them?  Maybe.  But at least they were smart enough to put some anonymity between them.  Coughlin just stepped right in it without even looking.  Stupid.

As for the accusation itself, the Goddard camp could have handled that better.  They called the accusation "abhorrent."  Not sure how to take that.  I would hope that in this day and age, being "accused" of being gay would not be "abhorrent."  It is sort of like me being accused of being black.  I'm not, but is that abohorrent?  It is uninformed.  A simple picture of me would settle the matter once and for all.  It doesn't take much to look at Goddard's wife and family to strongly believe that he is heterosexual.  I think for gay rights to be mainstream, even gay rights supporters should not be flinching at being "accused" of being gay.

Goddard's camp should have answered the question quite simply.  So what if he is.  It should not make one bit of difference to anyone whether a candidate for public office is gay, or black, or a woman, or an atheist, or a jew, etc.  What should matter is whether or not the candidate supports your position on the issues.  If you have issues with a candidate solely on whether he is gay or not, then you suck.

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