Monday, October 29, 2007

Bill Brownson - Getting Snubbed

Last week, I was minding my own business. Hanging around, expecting the UPS guy to show up. Around 5:30, the doorbell rang. I trotted to the door while our dog barked incessantly, and our children shouted about the door...they get excited about things like that at their age. I opened the door...

But the UPS guy wasn't there. Instead, it was Bill Brownson. I knew nothing about Bill...and originally thought he was selling something...but he was far too appropriately dressed for that. No Bill was running for Columbus City Council. He gave a flyer, told me about himself, and asked if I had any questions.

I probably should have asked him what his stance was on Coleman, but I didn't, since I really didn't think I had a "good" question off the top of my head. This was, after all, the first candidate that had actually shown up at my door in the six years I've been at this address. I didn't even ask him what party he was affiliated with.

So that evening, I peered at his website. Interesting. Good endorsements, but that's not what intrigued me. Fiscal responsibility and the background to potentially know what he's doing. That was good.

Then the Meet Bill page. That was interesting. He's openly gay, formerly high level in the Log Cabin Republicans. I thought it was good that he put that all out there. Then I read that the local gay paper was not endorsing him because he wasn't out enough?!?!

Let's see, meet Bill says "I'm Gay". Pretty out to me. There are quite a few gay folks in the community who are quite publicly in the closet. Bill seems to be pretty far out as far as I'm concerned.

What's troublesome about this, is that the paper isn't basing an endorsement based upon if Bill would be good to have on council based upon his position, it's doing a straight lifestyle snub.
How uncool is that?

Meanwhile, you've got local right wing blogs not supporting Brownson because he's too gay and that he's a "Bush hater". Come on, seriously. If he were to be in the closet about that, I would lose all respect for Brownson. He led the LCR's push against Bush in 2004 because of the Defense of Marriage Act. Well duh! That would seem to be a major principle for the LCRs. In fact, the LCRs would have basically been frauds if they didn't push back on that! If you put yourself in their shoes, of course you're going to be against that.

In the end, Brownson appears to be a guy of principles. Regardless of if you agree with 100% of them (Defense of Marriage), he appears to be on the level with fiscal responsibility and police. And isn't that what you want in city council?

To be honest, I probably wouldn't have known this much about Brownson if he hadn't shown up at my door...but after all of this, I'm making sure to go and cast a vote for him.


Ed said...

I was thinking about my friend Bill Brownson today and decided to "Google" his name and see what appeared and I found this post -- though the race is long past I feel I must comment about my good friend. You are absolutely right in your assessment of him -- he is smart, principled, a good Republican and a good man who should be serving in public office. Though we disagree on some issues, our conversations have always been thoughtful and engaging. It seems that being a gay Republican means that you are to be left to the wolves by those who should be supporting you -- you are "not gay enough" for the gay community and "too gay" for the social conservatives that make up the GOP. The fact is that Bill is thoughtful and informed and listens to those on the left and the right, because he understands that in the extremes lie good ideas about smart government. Columbus would be well served to have a pragmatic leader on council to truly listen to all sides, while being grounded in his own informed ideas on the role of government. Sadly, they missed their chance this time around -- I hope they won't miss their chance in the future. As Bill once said to me (paraphrased): "Won't it be great when we all finally get passed the issue of whether someone is gay or not when running for political office so we can begin the serious debate about our ideas about the fundamental role of government." Yes, I believe that will be great, and I look forward to that debate because I know it will be a good one.

The Thief said...

(again, well past the "sell by" date on the blog, but a comment is due)

Brownson sounds like the kind of politician I could vote for in a political race - standing for principle and not just voting the "party line"