Monday, May 17, 2010

Is This NV Candidate A Gay-Baiter?

David McKee, the Stiffs & Georges blogger, is straight and he first noticed the above in a flier for Kathy McClain, who is running against Mark Manendo for the Democratic nomination for State Senate in, as it turns out, my part of Vegas. They're both term-limited members of the Nevada Assembly who are seeking higher office. Trouble is, their voting records are virtually identical -- and identically very liberal, in fact -- so they have to beat one another up personally.

A mailer from McClain that arrived today contained the snippet above in which she gingerly points out that "Mark Manendo, age 42, has never been married and has lived with his mother for long periods of time." By contrast, she's in a "long-term marriage" with three kids and four grandbabies.

McKee referred to that bit as "lobbing a creaky old form of sexual innuendo." Other gay leaders I read it to also read it that way, that she was making a backhanded reference to the prospect that he's a gay Momma's Boy. Bob Forbuss, the former Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce chairman and prodigious Democratic fundraiser who is openly gay, told me, "It's definitely an inference, and it's really tacky."

So, really, Grandmother McClain? This is how you want to win? Really? Might I remind you that your district contains the ZIP code with the most number of gay couples registered in domestic partnerships in the entire state? That your district includes the only region ever elect an openly gay person to anything in Nevada, the man who could be your colleague, Sen. David Parks? [Each Nevada Senate district gets two representatives.]

The rest of the mailer is vicious but also largely fair game. Click on it below to read it:

Yeah, yeah. College education, job performance surveys and endorsements are all fine political arguments. I wonder how far she's going to get painting Manendo as "unemployed for significant periods" since so many of the residents around here are, too, and don't need Grandmother McClain telling them it's a character flaw.

But she also wants points for being a married heterosexual, too, in the GAYEST district in Nevada? Does she not get that this is precisely the undercurrent presently being floated against Supreme Court Justice nominee Elena Kagan, that she's a lifelong spinster who loves softball and has a short haircut and you know what that means! (Grandmother McClain, incidentally, has a really short haircut, too, see? Hmm!)

Surely McClain finds that kind of innuendo offensive against people like Kagan. So why would she do it herself?

People's life and relationship choices, so long as they're legal, are their own. That's what Grandmother McClain's own voting record reflects, actually. So how about her campaign literature does so, too?


M.H. said...

That is pretty stupid of her. I wonder who advised her to do this. Clearly, they didn't do their homework.

detroit1051 said...

Yes, "Kathy McClain Stands Out"... as a gay basher. The last item, "Leading a stable, mature life" and then implying that her opponent isn't because he has "never married and has lived with his mother for long periods of time" is irrelevant to the campaign and his qualifications. I know nothing about either candidate, but this is a good example of what's wrong with politics today.
Since you say their voting records are identical, I'm sorry I can't vote to defeat her.

Anonymous said...

I noticed the employment thing immediately and noticed as you did that it seems inappropriate for a supposedly very liberal candidate to fall back on bootstrap rhetoric.

And no, the attacks on Kagan have more to do with a lack of judicial experience combined with her position currently giving her an Administration's Insider stench on issues like executive power, combines with the left's fear that she builds on Obama's futile attempts at coalition building with people who disagree with him. Obama wishes it turn into a lesbian thing, as she's easier to pass Congress if her appointment is seen to Defeat Homophobia Forever, the same way his election Defeated Racism Forever.


Todd said...

Gay innuendo? If that's what it is, it flew right past me. I think it's implying he's immature (and possibly lame). What does living his mother have to do with being gay?

Anonymous said...

I'm not gay so it's possible that I'm just less attentive to this kind of thing, but I didn't see any kind of gay bashing here. In fact, I think it was more of a loser stereotype than anything. "Mom's basement" and all that. Like in the Will Ferrel movie step brothers.

But again, I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Each Nevada Senate district does NOT get two representatives. Certain Nevada Senate districts get two, but most have only one.

Anonymous said...

I think perhaps she may have been inferring more to his seedy track record of sexual harassment. Manendo is known in the capitol as being inappropriate with junior legislative staff. There have been complaints, he's been stripped of leadership roles completely, and general understanding of his innuendos and inappropriate behavior. Unfortunately, no one has officially filed a complaint for fear of having their name and story public (as to not jeopardize their career).

a story actually came out today on McClain and Manendo in the Las Vegas Sun that mentions this issue and blog post.