Simon campaign flops (again) on gay issues
As Weblog noted last week, some religious conservatives in California were outraged by gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon's responses to a questionnaire by the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of homosexual party members. In it, Simon said he would declare a Gay Pride Day, wouldn't try to overturn existing laws allowing homosexuals to adopt children, and would support domestic partnership laws, so long as they're not based on sexual orientation.

Now Simon claims he never saw the questionnaire. "A lot of these questionnaires go out," he said yesterday. "I don't see them all before they go out. I didn't see this, I didn't review it."

California papers apparently have their doubts. Both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times quote from e-mails sent by Ron Rogers, a senior adviser who formerly managed Simon's campaign (the Chronicle doesn't name him). "I have to get this version to Bill now," he wrote in the August 9 message. "Please review and let me know if you have any MAJOR objections. Again, please do not share with anyone else."

"I was told that the reason it was delayed was so (Simon) could review it completely," Dave Hanson, president of Log Cabin California, told the Chronicle. "The campaign had it 24 days."

Asked about this message, Simon told the Chronicle, "I never saw [the questionnaire]. I never saw a draft. I know it makes me look like I'm not on top of this." But some critics wonder why Simon, who has been smeared as a religious extremist throughout the campaign, wouldn't take an interest in such a potential powderkeg? Surely he knew the Log Cabin Republicans would come questioning.

Rogers wouldn't tell the Times whether he gave the draft response to Simon. But ...

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