Don Flad on Tony Simao

Don Flad makes the crucial Who The Hell Cares point about Tony Simao’s nude photos:

I do not care to whom a candidate or an office holder shows his dick. As long it is consenting.

How does this photo op in any way impact on the way police protect my street, how my leaves are picked up, and how many tourists come to town to support our small business people (Hell it may even help)…

I don’t know Mr. Simao views on gay rights issues but I believe he has the right to show his dick to whoever is willing look at it.

Quite so. The Internet really has changed the cultural norms around online dating and sex, to the point where this story seems kind of ho-hum. Maybe I’m too cynical, but is anybody really scandalized by it?

I would like to hear Don explain more why he thinks what Walt Garvin did was homophobic.

Quick go back and reread Lynn Olanoff’s original article on this.

Do you think Lynn would have chosen to mention Tony’s sexual orientation in this article if he didn’t offer this statement?

Simao said he believes Garvin’s real motivation is to discriminate against him for being gay. 

“I find it hypocritical that the kinder, gentler Democratic Party that is so embracing of every minority now wants to use salacious materials to attack someone because they’re a Republican,” he said.Garvin said he takes no issue with Simao’s sexual orientation. He said his criticism is about having bad judgment to have nude photographs on public websites.

This is the only mention of it, and it doesn’t appear until the 10th paragraph.  After Tony makes the accusation, Lynn asks the Democratic candidates to comment on it. Would she have asked them that if Tony hadn’t played the “gay card?”  I’m not sure. In paragraphs 1-9, she is very careful and conscientious in her explication of the story. I don’t know if she would have mentioned it if Tony didn’t bring it up.

I also wonder what Don would have advised Walt Garvin to do if nude photos of Ron Angle were discovered on a heterosexual hook-up site. Would those be off-limits for politics? :\ I dunno. I think it would be political malpractice for a campaign manager not to make hay over some naked pictures. There might be a case for a different standard for LGBT candidates, but if you can find a naked picture of your opponent, isn’t it kind of fair game?


  1. I thought that Clinton’s sexual escapades were only the concern of him and the First Lady and I am pretty confident that Walt Garvin thought the same thing. Walt Garvin brought this issue up to ensure the conservative voters of this city knew Simao was gay and horrors on horrors tried to pick up other young men via the scary interwebs by showing his dick.
    Tony didn’t play the gay card Walt Garvin did.
    What do you think Walt Garvin’s motives were? To show poor judgement. I think not.
    The reporter did not have to use the GAY word because it was implied. We all knew what was going on here by the headline and the first few lines. For you to pretend otherwise is really pretty disingenuous – Really Jon you had no idea until Simao’s quote? You are one of the smartest people I know.
    As per Angle – I am or at least I try very hard to be consistent – if it is not a real issue I don’t want anything to do with it.

    In the end Jon I am sort of taken aback that you are surprised by my reaction and that you question my integrity on this issue. But then again you are not a gay man. The mistake the Gay community makes time and time again is to overly depend on our straight allies, this is not your fight it is ours.

  2. Sorry – I forgot a part
    For me there is not one set of rules for the gays and another for the straights. It is amusing that you think that I would think that there would be.
    But, this pretty clearly sums up why I am serious about bowing out of this process. It is beneath may not have always been but it is now. I want nothing to do with all this foolishness.
    It will take someone pretty special to get me to be involved with anything more than a bumper sticker, campaign pin, little donation check and occasional, Facebook-Tweet-Blogpost. I want nothing to do with people who think that this is an important issue.

  3. Don,

    Let’s forget that you, Jon, me, Walt, and whoever else may or may not have known Tony Simao was gay. Let’s just pretend we’re Joe down on the corner. If Tony doesn’t say in the article, for the first time ever I might add, “I’m gay,” does Joe on the corner take that away? I don’t see how. Straight and gay folks can put nude pictures online. I wouldn’t imply anything but that the guy put nude photos up, if he hadn’t said it, but that I knew before hand.

  4. Mind you here, I agree that this shouldn’t be an issue. Tony’s a nut job without going down this road, and I don’t really care who he sleeps with.

  5. Rich – I agree that in 2011 it should not be an issue.
    Is it true that Tony has never said he was gay to anyone? He may not have discussed his personal sexual life during the campaign but then again maybe he thought that it did not matter.
    Millions of people all over the planet post nude pictures of themselves on line – it is hardly an unusual act and I doubt that experts in the field would even call it a fetish. I would never do it.
    There was a rumor campaign going around that Tony was gay for a few weeks before Walt Garvin’s release of this information and when things are whispered around the whisperers intent is not to praise but to smear. The Chairman of the Democratic Party made a decision to out Tony Simao with the calculation that it would hurt his campaign the nude photos were just the icing on the cake.
    I wonder what Jon’s reaction would be if the GOP Chairman used the same tactic against a Liberal Democrat who was foolish enough to forget to take down photos.
    There are still people in this world who believe it is wrong, sinful or criminal to be gay and perhaps my sensitivity to this issue is based on that fact and that I am of a generation that was unable to live his life as open as the folks who followed me have been able to. The closet is still very real for me and what Walt Garvin did reminds me of things that were done in years past to ruin peoples lives.
    My question really is what was the motive behind Chairman Garvin’s action. I wonder if he rubbed his hands with joy knowing that he was able to destroy Tony Simao with the double whammy of pervert and gay?

  6. Actually that’s not true. In 2009 Simao wore his hommosexuality like a badge of honor. He didn’t stop being open about being gay till he managed to get on a ballot as a Tea Party Republican. Before this race he was a democrat If Mr Simao wishes to post pictures of his junk online and racial remarks that’s his perogative but he should have known it would come back to bite him in the ass when running for public office. The double standard from the republican party is amazing. If this were a Democrat candidate you would demand his withdrawls from the race just like you demanded the resignation of Anthony Wiener.

  7. To Donaldon Bill Clinton.

    With all the things Clinton accomplished in his two terms the 2 things everyone remember about him is that he was the 2nd president to be impeached and that he finger banged the chubby young intern while getting a knob job. So it seems the republican party then didnt think it was only between him and his wife.

    • That is true – but the Democrats did.

      • Jon Geeting says:

        Hey Don, just read your response. I was just pointing out that Tony is the one who brings it up in the article, not Walt Garvin. I understand what you’re saying though. Raising the issue of the photos in any case ended up outing Tony at the political level. It ensured that all the people who would care about that would end up finding out. Fair enough.

        I also wasn’t trying to question your integrity. I’m just saying that most campaign managers would probably use the nude photos. If you think it’s wrong in all cases, well then you’re a good guy.

        If the Chairman of the Republican Party used nude photos against a Democrat, I would still be saying that the guy shouldn’t have had the photos online during a political campaign, but that it’s no reason to vote against the guy, just as this is no reason to vote against Tony. People should vote against him because he has bad ideas.

        • Thanks Jon – perhaps saying you questioned my integrity was a bit over the top.

          I can’t be part of a campaign or campaign organization that is willing to do this type of outing – I think they were looking for some way to out Simao and this gem just fell into their lap. (I think I explained best on my blog) (Shameless self promotion).

          I think my time has passed – I spend to much time remembering the time of political titans & statesmen. And, I hate the Politics of Personal Destruction that seems to be so much a part of our campaigns no matter what level of office a person is running for. I know that politics has always been rough and tumble but I always tried to support candidates that would try to stick to the high road.

          Maybe it’s my advanced age or maybe I am just not the young horny guy I once was but the idea of putting my stuff out there for the world to see in the hopes of making a connection has not only never crossed my mind but well it just seems tacky.

          But, of all the reasons not to vote for Tony Simao this is not one of them and it depresses me that Walt Garvin thought he had to destroy this young man’s reputation in order to ensure a Democratic victory tomorrow.

          Don’t look for me at any of the Democratic Victory Parties tomorrow – I don’t want to get beer cans chucked at my head.

          • Jon Geeting says:

            That’s too bad, I was hoping to see you tomorrow. Maybe we can get a beer after the polls close?

  8. I think this is the problem with campaigning. I don’t think anyone commenting here actually cares if Tony is straight or gay, or has nude photos. To me, he’s an adult, do as he wants (within legal limits obviously). Unfortunately the politics of this are brutally calculating. With some of the Bethlehem GOP activists, you’re right, this is a sin to them, and revealing this was a death blow to him. Unfortunately, our political system isn’t civilized yet.

  9. To Donald.

    I must also note to you Tony Simao threw his hat in the ring with a political party that is simply never going to regard your request for equal rights. Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin are never going to be on your side. By him joining the Tea Party which he knew is controlled by the religous right wing sect of the Republican Party he shows he wont actually stand for anything. He has folded his beleifs to get his name on a ballot and we do not need another puppet in politics obstructing the process. Since there is nothing wrong with being gay and you should have equal right across the board you should ask Tony why he would not be open about who he is till having to use his sexuality as a defense. With that being said him being gay still does not defend his racist attitude toward an ethnic group that happens to take up 1/4 of the towns population. He is running to represent all the people and i do not believe he would be capable of doing that by having a known hostility toward 25% of the populas. I also believe the same about Thomas Carrol who is said to have beeen terminated from the NoCo DA office for his racially motivated behavior toward another ADA in the office. Then there is the most important reason not to vote for them as Jon pointed out there ideas stink there terrible and i have to live in this town that they want a seat on the counsel.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      Ok, I do want to push back on this idea though, regarding “a political party that is simply never going to regard your request for equal rights.” If you look at the way attitudes toward civil rights for African Americans and women have progressed since the 1960’s, the gains have come from raising the status of the pro-equality position within both parties. Rand Paul got in trouble last year for saying the Civil Rights Act was an overreach, and then had to backpedal and pretend he doesn’t really think that. And that’s because *most* mainstream conservatives now regard the Civil Rights Act as necessary. If LGBT equality is going to be sustainable over the long run, the pro-equality position needs to become more mainstream in both parties. That means more openly gay Republican candidates, and more pro-equality Republicans. In the short-term, advancing the cause of LGBT equality is best accomplished by voting for Democrats, and raising the status of this issue on the Democratic agenda. They’re the party that is at least saying they want to make progress on this. But over the long-term, it’s not going to be sustainable to have a dynamic where one party supports equality and the other doesn’t. In the long-run it needs to become less polarized if the gains are going to be durable.

      So I’m fully supportive of having more gay Republican candidates. The more gay people Republican lawmakers know personally, the more progress we’re going to see. My point is just that it’s mistaken to conflate “Walt Garvin attacked Tony Simao for nude photos” with “Walt Garvin attacked Tony Simao for being gay” since Garvin would have attacked a straight candidate for nude photos too. If you could point to a double standard, I think you could say it’s homophobic, but without the double standard, I don’t think the charge makes sense.

      I see Don’s point about how once people know a candidate’s gay, he’s viewed in a one-dimensional way that doesn’t happen for straight candidates. But Don also believes that all candidates are entitled to privacy for this kind of stuff. That’s a consistent and respectable position, but I disagree with it. I don’t think candidates for public office are entitled to any expectation of privacy, and anything that’s Googlable is fair game. Candidates know what they’re signing up for when they run for office, and if people can find unflattering things about them online that the candidates themselves could easily have taken down, then I think that’s the candidate’s fault 100%.

      As for the Recchiuti email making the rounds this morning, I’m not sure what the issue is supposed to be. Of course he was going to Google “gay” after Tony’s ET handle. Tony is gay. That’s how you’d find his photos.

  10. We are not referring to the Republican party of Martin Luther King Jr and the congressmen who worked to pass the civil rights act of 1964 we are referring to the Tea party of today that has shown time and time again to be anti gay rights. If gay rights are important to Tony Simao who as a gay man i cant imagine they wouldnt be then joining the obstructionist tea party of the present that pushed him back into the closest makes the apperance of being dishonest to the voting public. If a candidate cannot be honest about himself than he would never be honest about anything.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      I agree that the modern coalitions are different than the 60’s coalitions, and that’s why I used Rand Paul as an example. All the racist Southerners who used to be in the Democratic Party are now the heart and soul of the Republican Party. But even Rand Paul had to pretend that he’s for the Civil Rights Act. That’s a durable law right there, and it’s durable because the big civil rights questions enjoy broad consensus within both political parties.

  11. Now referring to the race at hand if Simao or the repubs had of found something to use against the Democrats you could bet damn sure they would have used it. The internet is public and fair game.

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