By William Rodriguez-Kennedy
President, Log Cabin Republicans, San Diego
Log Cabin Republicans is a national organization committed to working with the Republican Party to advocate civil rights. Our mission derives from the belief that conservative principles such as limited government, individual liberty, individual responsibility, free market and a strong national defense are consistent with the equal treatment of the LGBT community.
Now it would be foolish of me to say at this point that the Republican Party is the party of gay rights. The GOP has a long way to go in this area, but what I can say is that progress is being made. The very public rise of Republican leaders who support marriage equality and the repeal of the discriminative and unconstitutional “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy cannot be denied and it falls upon us as a community to accept that support graciously and move forward with new momentum. The single party approach to LGBT rights is a path to failure. The Democratic Party had full control over all branches of government in 2009, with super majorities in the House and Senate, and we still do not have marriage equality and LGBT service members, are still forced to serve in silence. This must lead us to conclude that only a bipartisan approach to LGBT rights will result in victory.
With this in mind locally, Log Cabin San Diego has been very active and has affirmed its support proudly for the following candidates:
In the 76th Assembly District we acknowledge the great historical accomplishment for our community to have two LGBT members, an openly gay Republican and an openly lesbian Democrat, vie for the this office. We have endorsed longtime LCR member Ralph Denney. Ralph is a longtime LGBT advocate in some of the most hostile environments, and sadly he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for the contribution he has made to this community. Ralph’s voice in the GOP is a major asset to the community. His stances, fiscally conservative, will provide the greatest good for the state of California, especially amidst the budgetary chaos in Sacramento.
In the 4th Supervisorial District, we are truly proud to support Ron Roberts for re-election. Ron Roberts has been a stalwart supporter and friend of the LGBT community. He has often stood for what was right and has been on the short end of 4 to 1 votes, but despite this has been a steady leader in a county that is one of the most fiscally sound governments in the country. His opponent, Stephen Whitburn, is campaigning as a partisan Democrat against a true and proven independent. We feel that the type of partisanship Stephen Whitburn promises will be a detriment to the very causes he supports and thus he would be ineffective as a County Supervisor. In this election we have to think quite clearly. Are we willing to turn our backs on a longtime friend and supporter, one who has stood up for us even when it made him unpopular with his party, who in his leadership has known the right thing to do and gotten it done? When you ask that, the answer is quite clear, re-elect Ron Roberts!
In the 6th Council District, I am here to tell you as someone who has gotten to know Lorie Zapf, she definitely has changed. This year our city, state and nation is faced with perilous budgetary woes and we must elect candidates to office that are committed to solving these problems and who care about their community. Lorie Zapf represents change for San Diego. Her opponent, Howard Wayne, represents the status quo. Howard Wayne has run his campaign around sharp and personal attacks. His near bullying tactics cannot be rewarded. The major problem our community has with Lorie is due to comments she made in 2006, released by homophobe James Hartline. Former Republican and known homophobe Kim Tran, a Hartline ally, has recently made a public spectacle of herself by supporting Howard Wayne. Log Cabin San Diego however has gotten to know Lorie Zapf and is quite proud to say Lorie Zapf for City Council!
Last but certainly not least is the Sweetwater Union High School Board of Education, where Log Cabin San Diego Public Relations Director Andrew Valencia has been making waves. His campaign promises to bring accountability and common sense to the SUHSD Board—especially considering recent allegations about the practices of his opponent and the school board. We are proud to say that the only reasonable choice is to vote Valencia for the Sweetwater Union High School District Board.
Log Cabin Republicans has also taken a stance of No On D in relation to the proposition to raise the sales tax in San Diego. We feel that city leaders have not done enough to reform the wasteful spending practices of the city government. In a city where librarians make in excess of a quarter of a million dollars and retiring officials make more than four-star generals it is no surprise that we are in the mess that we are in. The only way to ensure that our city implements the reforms it promises is to vote No on D, the “Blank Check Sales Tax,” which has no guarantee that it will be used for its stated purpose.
Of course, the most important thing that we call all agree on is to get out and vote!