The West Hollywood Term Limits initiative, Measure C, was placed on the ballot with the signatures of thousands of West Hollywood residents. The more-than five dozen volunteers who gathered signatures also registered more than four hundred new voters—mostly Democrats, but many with no party preference. Supporters of Measure C come in all shapes and sizes—renters and homeowners, Jews, Christians and atheists, Democrats and, yes, Republicans.
If you read the arguments against Measure C, the one that is being repeated most often was that Measure C was placed on the ballot with the help of a Republican consulting group associated with Orange County Tea Partiers. And oh, Republicans who helped pass Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage.
As the president of the only political consulting firm engaged by the West Hollywood Term Limits Committee, I take it personal when I am falsely vilified for my party preference. I am a Republican who would like to change the GOP, and understand that change can only come from within.
Yes, I marched in the Kona, Hawaii, July Fourth Parade with some local tea party group to protest federal government raids on pot farms.
Yes, I spoke to a local tea party group about focusing West Hollywood’s resources on social services rather than employee salaries and benefits.
I even once fell in love a guy from Sarah Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska.
Together, that guy from Wasilla and I worked with Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk) to convince Republicans to vote NO on Prop 8 and support the freedom to marry. Our innovative approach was recognized in 2009 with an award from the American Association of Political Consultants.
The methods we used to reach out to Republican voters were taken to New York, where Republican Senators cast the decisive votes needed for passage of marriage equality in that state, and were incorporated into the successful campaigns for the freedom to marry in four states in 2012.
I am proud of the work I have done for marriage equality, as I am proud of the broad, bipartisan support that Measure C has in West Hollywood.
I love West Hollywood, but believe we can do better with fresh, new leadership.
But to those of you who disagree, let’s debate Measure C on its merits, and not by making shrill negative attacks on your opponents. The voters deserve better.