Saturday, May 26, 2018

Will Rohrabacher's Crazy Homophobia Cost Him His Orange County Seat In Congress?


Should congressmen who get high and play dress-up be barred from buying homes in Orange Co?

I can remember when I was a kid growing up on Long Island, there were fights in the suburbs-- Nassau County-- about selling houses to black families. Half the people who lived in some of these towns were there because of "white flight" and they brought their ugly bigotry and racism with them. Trump is ginning that up again-- and on Long Island! But here in California, Trump's top lackey-- and Putin's-- is Orange County lunatic Dana Rohrabacher and he's got gays in his sites. Thursday, Jeff Collins, writing for the Orange County Register, reported that last week Rohrabacher told a group of realtors that homeowners should be able to refuse to sell their property to gays and lesbians.
“Every homeowner should be able to make a decision not to sell their home to someone (if) they don’t agree with their lifestyle,” Rohrabacher told an Orange County Association of Realtors delegation at a May 16 meeting in Washington, D.C., according to Wayne Woodyard, a former Orange County Realtor president who was at the event.

On Thursday, Rohrabacher confirmed the accuracy of the sentiment, and added that homeowners should have the right to “choose who they do business with.”

“We’ve drawn a line on racism, but I don’t think we should extend that line,” Rohrabacher said.

“A homeowner should not be required to be in business with someone they think is doing something that is immoral.”

The statement ignited a protest by a Realtor gay-rights group, prompting the National Association of Realtors to withdraw its recommendation that members send campaign contributions to Rohrabacher.

“It was determined that Rep. Rohrabacher will no longer receive support from NAR’s President’s Circle,” an association statement said, referring to its list of recommended candidates. Rohrabacher’s stance, the 1.3-million-member trade group said, is contrary to NAR’s code of ethics, which bans discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“We certainly hope that Congress will... support the elimination of housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The about-face occurred as the 15-term coastal Orange County Republican is locked in his toughest re-election campaign.

He’s facing 15 challengers, including eight Democrats as well as onetime political ally Scott Baugh, former Orange County GOP chairman.

“It certainly can’t do me any good to have people take me off their endorsement list,” said Rohrabacher, who represents California’s 48th District in coastal Orange County. “It’s sad to see (the association’s) priority is standing in solidarity with making sure a stamp of approval is put on somebody’s private lifestyle.”

Harley Rouda, a Democrat who is challenging Rohrabacher and a son of a former Realtor association president, called Rohrabacher’s statements “outlandish and unacceptable,” saying everyone should have the same rights to buy and sell a home.

“What Dana Rohrabacher fails to understand is discrimination is discrimination,” Rouda said. “It shows how backward his thinking is.”

Previously Rohrabacher had been designated as a “Realtor Champion,” eligible for support from top Realtor donors.

The Realtors Political Action Committee, the trade group’s campaign finance arm, also donated $5,000 to Rohrabacher’s re-election campaign in December and January, campaign finance reports show. Rohrabacher also received donations from numerous agents, real estate developers and Realtor groups.

The backlash occurred after Orange County Realtors met last week with Rohrabacher during NAR’s mid-year lobbying conference in Washington and asked him to support H.R. 1447, among other issues.

The measure expands the Fair Housing Act passed in 1968 to add anti-discrimination protections based on a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity. The existing law already forbids home sellers, landlords and lenders from discrimination based on a person’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Rohrabacher’s remarks sparked outrage among gay and lesbian Realtors after Woodyard posted them on Facebook. The founder of a real estate gay-rights group then wrote to NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall requesting the association revoke its support of Rohrabacher.

“When a supposed champion of the Realtor Party outright states that housing discrimination should be lawful, I hope you agree there should be cause for concern,” wrote Jeff Berger, a Florida agent and founder of the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals. “Ignoring the congressman’s comments belies the decades of serious work and progress NAR has made in the area of fair housing.”

Rohrabacher denied he’s trying to shore up his conservative flank in the face of opposition from Baugh. Indeed, he said, his stance likely will “alienate a certain number of gays who think I’m anti-gay, which isn’t the case.”

Rohrabacher added he vehemently opposes housing discrimination based on race, religion or a person’s sex.

But, he said, “there are some fundamentalist Christians who do not approve of their lifestyle. I support their rights.” He also said he believes the Realtor association’s stance is “way out of sync” with its own industry.

Rohrabacher distinguished race-based discrimination from choosing not to do business with someone because of their lifestyle or political beliefs.

Homeowners, for example, shouldn’t be allowed to deny a sale to an interracial couple, he said.

But Democrats or Republicans should be able to refuse a home sale to people with opposing political views.

Would Rohrabacher, who uses a medical marijuana cream to ease his arthritis and supports relaxed penalties for cannabis use, be OK if a home seller refused to do business with him based on that lifestyle choice?

“Yes,” Rohrabacher said. “Absolutely.”
Ted Lieu is the DCCC regional vice chair for the West Coast, including, obviously, California. Since Rohrabacher refuses to do town hall meetings in his own district, Ted went down to Orange County and did one for the folks who live down there. "Dana Rohrabacher," he told me today, "thinks it is fine for gays and lesbians to be denied a house-- let's work to make sure Dana is denied a seat in the House."

Eric Bauman is the chairman of the California Democratic Party. He's watching all the Orange County congressional races very carefully. This morning he told me "It's pathetic that Putin’s favorite member of Congress thinks his best path to re-election is to attack LGBTQ people where it hurts most-- in their homes and jobs. This sorry excuse for a congressman is happy to help cover up Trump’s exploitation of women, bashing of immigrants and cavorting with foreign regimes, especially because he has no record to run on after decades in the House. So he has no choice but to turn to the classic fascist agenda and scapegoat LGBTQ and other at-risk people. Well I have a suggestion for you Dana, you'd better get out your surfboard and prepare for a long trip, we are going to send you to hang 10, and it won't be in DC, perhaps Moscow or... Stalingrad."

Goal ThermometerDuWayne Gregory is the progressive Democrat running for the congressional seat in Nassau and Suffolk counties in southern and central Long Island (NY-02), a seat currently held by old time reactionary Peter King. DuWayne recognizes  just what Rohrabacher is up to, "Congressman Rohrabacher is an illustration of how the Trump era has empowered people to speak and promote hatred," he told me this morning. "As a father of a son who is gay, I want my son to be able to live a life free of fear and hatred. A society where he won’t be the victim of a hate crime. A society where he can work for an employer that won’t discriminate against him, because of his sexual orientation. A society where he can purchase a home and raise his own family. A society where he can pursue his dreams just like every other American citizen. That’s why I am running for Congress, because my congressman, Peter King, has just as bad a record on LGBTQ issues as his colleague in discrimination Rohrabacher. We can do better and we must do better by electing people to Congress that understand the true values of our country."

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At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a toss-up. Many of the supremacists have moved out of the county, but there may still be enough to keep the district for the GOP.

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duwayne ran and lost to King already by 24 points in 2016. He did worse than Hillary did in the district. Liuba Grechen Shirley is the real grassroots progressive candidate who has already raised 3x the money Duwayne has. She is our best chance to take King out.

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the united shitholes of America in 2018, hatreds play less and less a part in the elimination of candidates. Orange county is an interesting place. You have it dominated by the OUTWARDLY altruistic Disney complex but they regularly elect regressives (of both parties) to rep them.

Dana may lose, but I doubt it will be because of his hatreds. More likely it will be because he's engulfed in trump stink or because of his overt corrupt russophilia.
He's also fat and ugly... but he's white. Those are a push.


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