I was meaning to post about this last week right before I ran off on vacation (I'll be posting about that this weekend once I go through my pictures). A group in Portland, OR, has formed to gather signatures to recall mayor Sam Adams. About a month ago, Adams was caught lying about having had sex with another man, even though Adams was openly gay.
It's great that they've set up sites called "Recall Sam Adams," since it makes their motives, and who they are, so utterly transparent. As I discussed before, it's not about the lying, it's about the sex. And it's obvious now that their motives are complete emotional immaturity:
A group of coworkers and I were talking yesterday about Sam Adams. I mentioned the site and one of my managers shot back, "if some one does not have the balls to publicly say who they are then I have no respect what so ever for them". This hurt me for she is my friend and supervisor. I knew then that I would never be able to tell her my involvement with this site and feel as though I am being forced to lie because Sam lied.
Y'know, I remember this little 2-year-old who used to live in my neighborhood, who, whenever she fell or something, would point her finger at whoever was closest to her and blame that person. And yet somehow I'd imagine that she grew out of that phase by, say, her adulthood, but some folks....
From these experiences and the stratification in the Blog-o-Sphere, I sense our city starting to dig in and take sides for a long fight. I finding with each hour we are becoming politically divided around Sam Adams. This is a community cancer and destroying the ability for our local government to operate. Our city is hurting and those who were once friends find that Sam Adams has placed a wedge between them. Each second is a hammer striking that wedge. When you separate friends you separate communities. We used to have a city that was focused around sustainability, transportation and weird stuff that made this the best place in the world to live. The true cost of Sam's lie is that we are turning into a city that is divided between sex and honor.
It's a breath-taking lack of self-awareness. If they're really worried about divisiveness, then shouldn't the folks who are collecting signatures to recall someone because of who he had consensual, adult sex with be the ones to, you know, realize that they're being divisive?
Of course, they're not being divisive if their actions are dictated to them by Sam Adams and the awful, just awful thing he did to that pleasant little boy who couldn't have possibly decided what was best for himself as an adult.
What's even funnier, though, is that the website says in about 80 different places that it's not about the sex, it's about the lies (were these people running a recall website, or even a site that called for the resignation of, Gordon Smith? I mean, if it's the lies, not the sex, then maybe these folks could get worked up every now and then over non-sex-related lies, and boy did that Gordon Smith ever lie, lie, lie). I guess it's just as reliable as their statement that it's not about the homophobia:
What are your views about homosexuality?
Every citizen has the right to the pursuit of happiness and it is the job of government to protect individual liberties. Deliberately lying, masterminding cover-ups and abusing power are traits of a corrupt politician and has nothing to do with sexual orientation.
We feel that Sam Adams has exploited and done a great disservice to the LGBT community. Our recall effort is dedicated to educating the public that any citizen with integrity, honesty and ideas can be leaders.
My God, if I tried to remove from his job every gay man who I thought was doing "a great disservice to the LGBT community," then I wouldn't have any time to do anything else.
But I think it's great that these nice mostly-straight folks have taken it upon themselves to define what's best for Portland's LGBT community, and to make it all about removing people from their jobs for who they had sex with. I can't see any way that could backfire against LGBT people.
Yet, JustOut reports:
Wurster says he deletes "a lot of very homophobic and hate-infused messages of intolerance" left on the recall Web site. "This cannot be subverted by people who have a political or, more so, a social agenda," he said. "It's not going to be or I'll pull the plug on it at any minute."
Actually, there aren't that many comments on his site, so if he's deleting "a lot" of homophobic comments, I'm guessing that means a majority.
So while a few of the non-anonymous people who run this site or this group aren't necessarily homophobic, they should at least have the decency to realize that the vast majority of the signatures they're going to receive in their recall effort are going to be from homophobes.
And, I hope, they'll think about that, and reflect on just why so much of their support comes from homophobes. There's a reason for that, even if they aren't willing to look for it, analyze it, or accept it.
Then again, one could fill a lake with the things these folks seem unwilling to accept. Just check out this quotation from the group's spokesperson:
"It's not about removing Sam Adams from office. Right now the jury is still out for me," said Ally Powell, a spokeswoman for Recall Sam Adams and Citizen Recall, Web sites aiming to be a clearinghouse for the campaign to recall Adams. "Before anyone decides how right a recall is for Portland, there needs to be a dialogue. Right now, Recall Sam Adams is making that happen."
Really? Really, Ally Powell, it's not about removing Sam Adams from office? The recall drive isn't about removing a politician from office? Do you even know what "recall" means? It might be important to know, say, if you're the spokesperson for a group called "Recall Sam Adams."
But, hey, this is what Portland has to work with. Maybe the folks who remained anonymous were the smart ones in the group.
JustOut has the logistics of the recall:
Starting July 1, the campaign has 90 days to collect the required 32,183 signatures. Wurster hopes to recruit 2,000 volunteers to gather only 30 signatures each from their friends and neighbors, providing a 27,817-signature cushion to account for the "digital provocateurs" he says are signing up on the recall Web site. A special election on the recall would be held within 35 days after a five-day reconsideration period.