Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kurt Hayes' Stealth Agenda

Kurt Hayes is a Republican running for State Rep. in the 37th Middlesex district (which includes parts or all of Shirley, Lunenburg, Lancaster, Harvard, Boxborough, and Acton).

He has a terrible website. Also, for awhile I thought his name was "Kurt Haves" due to some poor design choices on his campaign signs. What more is there to say about him?

Quite a bit, actually. Though I suspect he would prefer it remain quiet.

See, there's a funny thing that happens to Republican candidates in Massachusetts. Since we're among the bluest of the blue states, Republicans have a difficult time getting elected. So they pretend to be "bipartisan" or downplay their conservative views, or run as independents, or try to appear more liberal than they are, or just simply lie. See Mitt Romney for examples of most of the above.

To be fair, Democrats running in red states do a lot of the same kinds of things. But they're not my concern at the moment.

My concern is this Kurt Hayes fellow, his seedy backers, and what he stands for (but doesn't want you to know he stands for).

A few weeks ago I got an email from Jamie Eldridge, the former holder of the seat for which Hayes is running (against Jen Benson). Eldridge is running for State Senate instead. By most accounts, he's a good guy.

It was an interesting email, which I oddly can't find on Eldridge's website. You can see the bulk of it quoted here. I'm not on Eldridge's mailing list, so I guess this was part of an effort to inform area bloggers. I also had a local tipster mention the same thing to me, so mission accomplished!

If you didn't bother to read it, the memo from Eldridge basically goes over how Hayes (and two other Republican candidates) are funded in large part by the despicable MIPAC.

Here's how MIPAC describes itself:
Massachusetts Independent PAC for Working Families, or MIPAC, is dedicated to helping elect candidates at the state legislative level who support pro-family positions, particularly candidates who support traditional marriage and the right of the Massachusetts citizens to vote on this vital issue.
What the hell do "working families" have to do with gay marriage? Beats me!

The important part to note is that MIPAC's entire reason for existing is to promote "pro-family" (more commonly known as "anti-gay") candidates, and to try to get gay marriage banned in Massachusetts. They do this by giving money to candidates, natch. But it's not just through the PAC that they give money (there's a $500 limit for that), as Eldridge pointed out in a nifty chart, the donors to MIPAC also give independently to these candidates. To such a degree that nearly 40% of Hayes' donations come from these out-of-district jerkasses whose defining quality is that they don't like gay people.

It's worth looking over the list of MIPAC expenditures, by the way. You'll find a number of familiar names. Brian Knuuttila, for instance. Guess that was wasted money. You'll also find Dennis Rosa and Guy Glodis on there. It's a handy little list of candidates who MIPAC believes will support their discriminatory agenda.

Of course MIPAC could be wrong to support some of these people, right? Maybe they're actually all very progressive candidates that MIPAC is just hoping to sway with the power of the purse.

Maybe, but that's not the case with Hayes. Hayes filled out a questionnaire for the Massachusetts Family Institute, another anti-gay (also anti-gambling, anti-stem-cell, anti-first-amendment, anti-porn, etc., etc.) group. You can see his responses in pdf form here. I don't recommend it, though, since the morons scanned it upside down.

Here they are flipped over and in image form. Click to embiggen.

The MFI also have a voter guide (also pdf) which boils down those longer responses. Obviously the MFI has more varied concerns than MIPAC, which is pretty straightforward about just being anti-gay. But the first question is the really telling one (though all Hayes' responses are straight along social conservative lines).

If you can't make it out, that first question is:
Should legislators vote yes to allow Massachusetts citizens to vote on a Constitutional Amendment that would define future marriages as between one man and one woman?
... to which Hayes answered "YES" without any further comment.

Of course, what that convoluted question is really asking is "do you oppose gay marriage?" It's just easier to ask it this way, where the respondents can pretend it's about voters' rights or some such bullshit. It's not. It's about whether or not they'll waste everyone's time fighting gay marriage.

So what's the problem? MIPAC can donate to whomever they want. Supporters of their cause can do the same thing. They don't have to live in Hayes' district to support his agenda, after all.

But Hayes' website makes no mention of his massive backing from anti-gay activists. In fact, I couldn't even find a mention of gay marriage anywhere on the site. If you went to his site not knowing his party affiliation, it would probably take you a little while to even figure out he's a Republican. But not only is he a Republican, he's a Republican who toes the conservative line on most social issues. Just another shill.

If that's what you're into, go ahead and vote for the guy (also, if that's what you're into why the hell are you here?). Knock yourself out. But he should at least have the decency to be upfront about his agenda.

I guess it's a good thing he intends to keep his day job even if elected, because I can't imagine people being happy if they voted him in, only to later find out what he's really all about. Better that they just hear it now, isn't it?

So yeah, if you live in that district, consider giving Jen Benson a vote.