Monday, November 16, 2009

Gene Locke, what the heck were you thinking?

This past weekend the Chronicle ran a story confirming some of the rumors that had been floating around about Gene Locke meeting with a right-wing hate monger, Dr. Steven Hotze and David Welch, executive of the Houston Area Pastors Council. As you can imagine this has caused quite a stir. For a former civil-rights activist to get in bed with such a rag-tag group of people does not bode well for his campaign and his democratic credentials. According to the Chronicle piece:
He appeared at the Pastor Council's annual gala last Friday and was encouraged several times by State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, a featured speaker, to stand for conservative values.

Locke has also met with and sought the endorsement of Dr. Steven Hotze, a longtime local kingmaker in conservative politics and author of the Straight Slate in 1985, a coterie of eight City Council candidates he recruited who ran on an anti-gay platform.

Gene came out this weekend and condemned the actions or potential actions that the group has plannned for the upcoming weeks against Annise Parker.

"As I have previously stated, I reject any association with the style of campaigning that was the subject of an article in the Houston Chronicle today. We have serious issues to deal with in our city that require us to work together as one Houston and I trust that Houstonians will choose a new mayor based on the issues that effect our lives every day and not to be swayed by divisive rhetoric."

This statement works if he had never met with Hotze but the facts remain that he did. I wanted to hear an admission of guilt or a least a better explanation of why he met with him and asked for an endorsement in the first place aside from the snarky response that Gene's spokeswoman Kim Devlin gave to the Chronicle.

Kim Devlin said he [Gene] has met with “thousands of people” and promised from the outset of his campaign to be “mayor for every Houstonian … no matter their political party or their ideology.”

“Annise Parker is letting Houstonians in on her true character by leveling these highly incendiary, baseless and ridiculous attacks,” said Devlin.

I have no idea why the campaign thought that this was a good thing for Gene. It's one thing to try and make an appeal to the religious Republicans in town but it is a completely different thing for a man of Gene's history to even think of involving himself with a man like Hotze knowing his past. For those of you who are not familiar with this man let me re-introduce you:

Hotze says that when he's been asked about imposing the death penalty for homosexuality he's always given the same reply. "The only thing I've ever said is that I'm a Bible-believing Christian, and the Old Testament says that it is a capital offense for a man to lie with another man, as he would a wife," he says. "If the Old Testament has such a high penalty for such behavior, why in the world should we be promoting it as natural and safe and normal to our kids?"

While Hotze has long made it clear that he believes government should be operated according to biblical precepts, he says he takes the scriptural opprobrium to mean that the state should forbid gay marriages and adoptions, "affirmative action" for gays and the teaching in public schools that homosexuality is an "alternative, acceptable" lifestyle. "That's where I stand, period," he says.

Hotze actively campaigns for the greater involvement of religion in government. For all intents and purposes, he wants to install a theocratic system of government. Hotze is also a member of a group called the Christian Reconstructionists. In it's manifesto the group states:

We affirm that the Bible is not only God’s statements to us regarding religion, salvation, eternity, and righteousness, but also the final measurement and depository of certain fundamental facts of reality and basic principles that God wants all mankind to know in the sphere of law, government, economics, business, education, arts and communication, medicine, psychology, and science. All theories and practices of these spheres of life are only true, right, and realistic to the degree that they agree with the Bible.

This Hotze guy is a piece of work. He does not allow for anyone to meet with him without expecting any sort quid pro quo for his support. As one of his former political associates put it:

"Every meeting I've ever been to with Steve, he ran it."

Gene, is this really a guy that you want to associate yourself with? And don't tell the public that you meet with "thousands of people" and you plan on being a “mayor for every Houstonian … no matter their political party or their ideology.” Houstonians await your response. Kuff, Stace, Martha and John have more.


Saul said...

Ohhhh, Kim Devlin... It's hard to to take someone seriously when they don't proof-read their own press releases. Anyhow, her comments in the Chron and Gene's press release are so completely backwards. I just don't understand how they could possibly think this is kosher.

erikvidor said...

Yeah I thought that the response was laughable at best. Affect vs. Effect. We all make mistakes so I can forgive her for that but the non denial-denial was crap. thanks for reading my blog.