Candidate Stings – The Gay Pride Parade, Overstock and Paul Mero

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In 2010, a mysterious “temple” mailer was received shortly before the convention.  It appeared to be a mailer from the Mike Lee campaign, depicting him in front of the Salt Lake Temple and appealing to voters based on his religion.  It backfired.  The campaign was vigilant and researched the source:  Tim Stewart (Congressman Chris Stewart’s brother), who had worked for Senator Bob Bennett and is now the managing partner for his Washington DC Lobbyist firm.  He received a slap on the hand of a about $1400 in fines.

Every election, consultants get the compulsion to do whatever it takes to win because their next job hinges upon it.  At times politics tends to bring out the most evil in an otherwise very good person.  This typically plays out in the final days of a campaign when tensions are high.  The bombshell will drop and the targeted campaign goes into override to respond.

WATCH OUT FOR SUSPICIOUS 11TH HOUR HIT PIECES
In general, if you receive a damaging piece of literature about a candidate right before or at the convention, it may not have a proper disclaimer on it. It might say something highly sensational. Be careful. It is most likely a bogus piece of literature intended to frame another candidate.

What do you do?

  1. Report it and ignore it or…
  2. Talk to the candidate directly and don’t listen to hearsay. Here’s an example – the rumors going around this week about a gubernatorial candidate.

You may be hearing about or have received an email and a mailed letter from the former Executive Director of Sutherland Institute, Paul Mero.  His message is that gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Johnson’s company supported the gay rights parade and that he is really a liberal in disguise.  Frankly, Paul is not the one to talk about this. He called all of us “nativists” and “racists” for defending our borders and opposing his amnesty bill that got its hearing with the Obama Administration. It morphed into the President’s executive order.

Here are the facts that Mr. Mero did not explain correctly, after having trying to kill our project in the first place that he is now using.

Two years ago, two film maker friends Jeff Chamberlain, Robert Starling and I went to the gay pride festival and parade to film footage of it.  We asked other pro-family organizations that advocate at the capitol to help with this project that we would use to show people the pornographic images and actions taking place along the route and at the event.

Only two organizations got involved – both anti-pornography groups.  The others, encouraged by Sutherland Institute and Paul Mero, did not want to participate.  In fact, I received a text telling me that if we did such a thing, we would be setting the movement back a decade.

We went forward with it in spite of the criticism, and it had a significant impact on cutting back on the lewdness of the event the next year.

Yes, we did expose the fact that ZIONS BANK was in the parade. And OVERSTOCK was as well.

We met with ZIONS Bank and they were so upset they threatened to sue me. My attorney assured me I had done nothing that warranted a lawsuit.

Here is the video – just click on it and it will play in Vimeo.  WARNING – OFFENSIVE MATERIAL.

The Rest of the Story About Overstock

As for Overstock, yes, I was deeply concerned.  And so our radio editorial board invited Jonathan Johnson to meet with us and we asked him directly.  He explained that Overstock is a publicly traded company with a board of directors and shareholders.  It was not his decision to make.  It was Patrick Bryne’s decision.  Jonathan was troubled and met with his family to decide whether he should stay with the company or leave.

He stayed.

In today’s business environment, the larger corporations are presented with a 53-page survey to determine if they are LGBT-friendly.  If they don’t fill it out, they will be blacklisted.  If they do, and if the answers are not reported to the Human Rights’ Campaign’s liking, they will be censured.  If he left, where would Jonathan go to make a lateral move in this environment?

Get a glimpse of this massive survey right here.

The presence of Overstock in the gay pride parade raised a lot of questions about who Jonathan Johnson was in my own mind.

 

But after getting the facts, it is not a truthful statement to say that Jonathan Johnson supports gay marriage or gay rights.

There are few that worked as hard as I to protect Utah’s Marriage law.  It was a decade-long challenge.  I understand Jonathan’s position.

I don’t agree with everything that Jonathan stands for, just as I don’t agree with all that Gary Herbert stands for.

We need a governor that will not simply sit back and say, as Governor Herbert did: “Well, it’s the law now.”

We need leaders that will take the initiative to just say “no” to the key issues, and stand up to the unconstitutional federal courts and regulations coming at us from Washington DC.

So the message for the convention Saturday is this:  STAY CALM.  If in doubt, don’t listen to the person sitting next to you.  Go find the candidate and ask directly.

And if you see Paul Mero, ask HIM to do the same.