Tom Campbell – the moderate
Republican who supports gay marriage – is in the crosshairs of an
unlikely political foe: a group of gay Republicans.
Campbell, a former congressman, is
vying against former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and state
Assemblyman Chuck DeVore to win the California GOP Senate primary.
In a recent Public Policy Institute of California poll, Campbell and
Fiorina, who says she believes marriage should remain solely a
heterosexual union, are running nearly even.
The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, is
spending $300,000 in the state on ads attacking Campbell for his
support of gay marriage. NOM says it can wrench primary votes away
from Campbell because the majority of Republicans are unaware that he
supports gay marriage
“Voters want politicians with the
courage to stand for their values, not the values of San Francisco,”
Brian Brown, executive director of NOM, said in a statement. “We
know that Californians, especially GOP primary voters, are going to
be asking who will be on their side for the tough fights ahead. As
ordinary Californians were standing tall for marriage in the face of
enormous pressures, harassment and name-calling during the Prop. 8
battle, Tom Campbell was nowhere to be found. Or rather, he was to
be found standing hand-in-hand with [Democrat] Barbara Boxer.”
This is NOM's first major outing in
California since it led the effort to pass Proposition 8 –
California's gay marriage ban – in November of 2008.
Campbell's gay marriage stance,
however, has fallen on deaf ears with gay GOP group GOProud, which
released a 30-second web ad attacking Campbell on Thursday.
“Tom Campbell has proposed increasing
taxes on California families,” a male announcer says.
“Tom Campbell,” he adds, “Wrong
on taxes. Wrong for Republicans. Wrong for California.”
While Jimmy LaSalvia, executive
director of GOProud, applauds Campbell for his gay marriage support,
his beef with the 57-year-old politician is his record on taxes and
foreign policy, which he called “abysmal.”
“Prop 8 was and is a state issue and
we agree strongly with Rep. Campbell on Prop 8,” LaSalvia told On
Top Magazine in an email. “However, the totality of his record
on issues of importance to gay conservatives – particularly his
record on taxes and foreign policy – is abysmal.”
Campbell must be judged on national
issues, not state issues such as California's gay marriage ban,
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