Gay Conservatives Out Rick Perry’s Top Pollster Tony Fabrizio, Infuriated Over Anti-Gay Ad



Rick Perry's anti-gay ad that began airing yesterday divided his top staff, including his chief pollster Tony Fabrizio, Sam Stein reports:

FabrizioWhen the ad was being crafted several weeks ago, Perry's top pollster, Tony Fabrizio, called it "nuts," according to an email sent from Fabrizio to the ad's main creator, longtime GOP operative Nelson Warfield. In a separate email to The Huffington Post, Warfield confirmed that the ad was made over Fabrizio's objections.

"Tony was against it from the get-go," Warfield wrote. "It was the source of some extended conversation in the campaign. To be very clear: That spot was mine from writing the poll question to test[ing] it to drafting the script to overseeing production."

Meanwhile, Fabrizio's caving on the ad has enraged conservative gay group GOProud's Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron, who sent out tweets late yesterday.

Said LaSalvia: "I've just about had it with faggots who line their pockets with checks from anti-gay homophobes while throwing the rest of us under the bus." He later clarified, "I was talking about Rick Perry's pollster/strategist."

Barron tweeted to a follower: "Rick Perry's pollster & strategist is a gay guy. Totally disgusting."

Stein spoke to LaSalvia for his piece on the ad:

"It is the height of hypocrisy for Tony Fabrizio to have been a part of that," said Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder and executive director of GOProud. "He has lined his pockets for years with money from the gay community to conduct polls to ostensibly help gay people in this country, and for him to be a part of this is the height of Washington hypocrisy. It is absolutely what is wrong with Washington. It is all about the payday for these people."

If Fabrizio found the ad repugnant and it aired over his objections, LaSalvia argued, he should have quit in protest. "Perry said in the ad that the service of tens of thousands of patriotic gay Americans is what's wrong in this country," LaSalvia said. "That is an outrageous and un-American statement."

Reached by email, Fabrizio confirmed that he was uncomfortable with the ad. But he said he was going to follow the advice he has given to candidates throughout his career: "If you start answering personal attacks, you are just rewarding the attacker."

Stein adds: "Fabrizio has done polling for the Log Cabin Republicans in addition to urging lawmakers to reconsider their approach to the culture wars and embrace basic fairness for gay Americans on the issue of marriage. He was considered an ally by pro-gay rights conservatives."

I have no idea if Fabrizio was out already. Pam Spaulding also notes:

"I have no idea if Fabrizio’s a homo, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s another one of those Beltway creatures that’s socially out, perhaps even professionally out to many, but wants to play coy in order to maximize the cash flow from homophobes like Perry."

More at Back2Stonewall and Pam's House Blend.


  1. Cecil says

    Well, that’s the pot calling the kettle black.

    Yes, this is a terrible and awful person- but look at whose criticizing him! Two men who will vote for Rick Perry, unashamedly, “men” who want to meet with Michelle Bachmann to discuss conservative issues while the “lady” in question would happily have them arrested for being gay if she could.

    Gay Republicans are first, foremost, and always traitors to their own cause. Their reasons for voting for such abhorrent people, and slamming the one political party and movements that have given them the rights and luxuries they have, is unbelievable and unfathomable. These are men who must have serious issues not with their sexuality but their gender and what they want to be, and what society tells them is the right type of “man” to be. Tough talking, rough, conservative, and totally selfish.

    Chris Barron and Jimmy La Salvia are despicable human beings- second handers who benefit off the work of other activists that they undermine with their fundraising and votes. Shun them, and certainly give them an earful if you got the time.

    Screw those three men- they need to get off the float because they don’t get or deserve to march in the parade.

  2. says

    The Irony…the IRONY!


    newsflash, GOProud, you whiteboy wimps have thrown “other gays” under the bus for years – that’s your raison d’etre. you exist to throw “gay liberals” under the bus because it’s the only way you’re tolerated by fellow conservatives. this is not surprising.
    maybe if you wimps had supported and championed a candidate that actually promoted LGBT Equality…..oh wait…that’s too Liberal for you suckers…

  3. Artie says

    We are obviously judged by the company we keep. And now, will someone please, please out Rick Perry? Perhaps we can get some feedback from his bigmouth wife, Anita, who has a penchant for loudly threatening divorce because of same-sex infidelity. Pretty please with rent boys on it?

  4. AERES says

    Am I the only one bothered by LaSalvia’s use of the word “faggot”?

    Seems entirely inappropriate. When used by someone in his position and in such a manner, it has the effect (whether intended or not) of sanctioning its use.

    “Faggot” is a slur – plain and simple – and shouldn’t be embraced, regardless of whether its a gay man using it against another gay man.

  5. Jesus says

    Well I’ve just about had it with privileged white dudes who will do whatever it takes to hold on to their cisgendered patriarchal white privilege while using anti-gay rhetoric in trying to get their message across (whatever it might be)

    I… I just… I can’t.

  6. says

    @Cecil: Yes, exactly my point. What the hell is LaSalvia complaining about? He should look at his own house. He sidles up to conservative organizations at the drop of a hat.

    These GOProud guy, I just can’t help wondering how they can function as human beings with all the self-hate course through their veins.

  7. says

    how long till Jimmy LaSalvia blames this on “black youths” and Barron pipes up that it’s because of “evil gay liberals who do stereotypical things like throw Oscar parties and demand equal rights”

  8. Zlick says

    Well, maybe Fabrizio subversively got his point across by choosing the wardrobe. The comparison shots showing that Perry’s wearing an exact Brokeback Mountain jacket in the repulsive anti-gay ad are all over the internet this morning. Even over his objections to the ad, they probably turned to their token gay guy for costuming, no? 😉

  9. E says

    Hmm…If I was going to try to destroy a republican’s campaign, I’d do it from the inside. I would gain the trust of my republican “peers” by being a “good gay” and I would work diligently to show them just how much I loathe my lifestyle. In fact, I might even help produce a commercial that would extol the gay-hating values of my boss, knowing all the time that such a message would be out of sync with the general populace and would alienate the voting base. That way, I could slowly chip away at the chances my boss would have at a presidential bid.

    That’s how I would do it, but maybe I’m just a little too scheming and have a little too much time on my hands…

  10. Glenn says

    I’m…I’m just speechless. I always knew that the level of self-delusion, denial and projection that it must take to be a Gay Republican was probably large, but seriously, Salvia’s comments are certifiable, multiple-personality disorder kinda stuff.

  11. robert in nyc says

    What disgusts me is that GOProuder “faggots” like La Salvia and Chris Baron opposed marriage equality and even repeal of DADT until recently. Hypocrites both when they both send checks to antigay candidates campaigns too. Their darling Ron Paul apparently supports DOMA and marriage equality in states that so legislate for or against both. How sicker does it get?

  12. Nick says

    “If you start answering personal attacks, you are just rewarding the attacker”

    Not just that, but you’re actually holding yourself accountable and being responsible for your actions…Heaven forbid that should happen

  13. arch says

    When will these people get it.

    A culture war is underway, the christian right seeks to destroy all of the freedoms that gay people have fought for. My generation is the lucky recipient of rights and social acceptance fought for hard by older gays and their straight allies.

    Being gay is not a choice, it is who we are.

    It is profoundly wrong to work for or support any political movement that does not respect that identity and seeks to reduce our civil or legal rights that others fought so hard to gain for us.

    The gay people who involve themselves either professionally or politically with the christian right are dishonest to themselves and they dishonour those who fought for the very rights that are at risk.

    Let them be traitors to themselves but not to the decent men and women, gay and straight to whom we owe so very much.

    It pains me to see this happening in the USA because so much of the gay rights progress in my life in the UK took its inspiration from what took place in the USA in 50s, 60s and 70s.

    A culture war is taking place in your great country and it will affect us on the other side of the ocean, please don’t let them win.

  14. Francis says

    Everything I wanted to say has already been said, and quite frankly, the less said the better. I don’t hate gay Republicans as long as they actually recognize and prioritize our rights as a community and realize who our enemies are, and are committed to fighting that opposition. The gay Republicans I dislike are the delusional ones who openly befriend and actively support those who fight against our very humanity. We can see based on past history where both LaSalvia and Barron stand on this issue.

    I definitely do not like LaSalvia using the f-bomb here, but even with his flaws, he does have a point. There are too many people who take advantage of our community and it’s even more offensive when it’s one of our own.

  15. says

    The guys is working for Rick Perry. What more do you need to know? Where were you guys when he first started working for Perry? Seems to me that would have been the time to OUT this vile rascal.

  16. chuck says

    During the early 1930’s, Rohm was Hitler’s right hand man until the Nazis hung him on a meat hook. Power and money is more important than anything else to these people. The money they pull must be enough to paper over the self-hatred these people feel.

  17. Cecil says

    I really wish I could have a conversation with Chris Barron and Jimmy, I REALLY do. I mean, part of you just wants to ask, ” Do these people really exist? REALLY?? ”

    How can they even function with the hypocrisy of what they do and say. I just don’t get it.

  18. Cecil says

    @Francis, you must realize though that Jimmy and Chris themselves take advantage of the community. Chris is legally married to his husband in D.C., a right and privilege many do NOT have in this country. All the while he has voted for, sent money to, lobbies and campaigned for people who have explicitly made it clear they stand against equal treatment- and it is of no consequence to him.

    The GOProud asshats are second handers who profit and thrive off the work of equal rights activist that they do not contribute to, and often times denigrate, and to their irritation they also thrive off the accomplishments of the Democratic party which has made near all of our gains in equal rights possible.

    They are despicable, despicable human beings.

  19. says

    Jerry, if you want to see what race has to do with anything then you need to do some research like a good responsible adult and check out the historic racist comments and stances of these two cowards from GOProud.

  20. Derrick from Philly says

    “Several people have mentioned race here, I must have missed what being white has to do with anything.”

    It must have been me, Jerry. You see, I’ve got a passion and a callin’ for it.

  21. BobN says

    People, people. Think. The HuffPost story explains everything. Another Perry staffer, who happens to be on GOProud’s board, is just as responsible, just as “hypocritical” as Fabrizio, but Fabrizio is a LCR guy.

    LaSalvia’s rant is just another episode in the on-going war with LCR, in which LCRs do things for gay rights and GOProud does things for far-right Republicans.

  22. walter says

    maybe now lcr an goproud will learn that the masters they want to serve would rather kick them in the balls than accept them. remember all they want are you money an votes not your heart.

  23. Francis says

    Oh, I don’t disagree Cecil, that’s why I said “based on past history we see where these two men stand”. We all know what these two men are about. Also a fight between rival gay-Republican groups…..color me surprised. Pathetic.

  24. Maddog says

    There are straight people who put money and power before human rights. Why should it surprise you that there are gay people that do that to? We’re not that different after all…

  25. Mary says

    Jerry, Kiwi is right. LaSalvia’s story about his supposed assault by a group of thugs mentions “black youth” but doesn’t explain what relevance the race of the perpetrators has. Was it a racial attack? If he thought so, why didn’t LaSalvia say this? Maybe he described them as black in order to exploit racist feelings and get sympathy from the kinds of conservatives who normally are not too sympathetic to gays.

  26. Ask Any Gay Conservative says

    Ask any of us gay conservatives whether we get more hate from conservatives when we tell them we’re gay or do we get more hate from the dwindling members of the gay left when we tell them we’re conservatives.

    And it’s not civil discourse on issues, it’s spittling, slobbering, name-calling wild-eyed Hate with a capital H and endless ad-hominems and probably a shovel upside the head if they had one nearby. Many (if not most) of the dwindling numbers of gay leftists are the embodiment of Hate.

    Why are there fewer and fewer gay leftists? One of the reasons is when I remind them whose signature enacted both Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act – yep, Bill Clinton. I point out that even Barney Frank voted Aye for the bill with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in it.

    Those same haters on the left can come up with excuses but they can’t refute the facts. The fact that Bill Clinton signed DADT and DOMA into law. DADT was passed when both chambers of congress were in Democratic hands – in fact, then-candidate Obama’s top strategist on nuclear non-proliferation matters was former Sen. Sam Nunn, the senate author of DADT.

    It all tracks back. If there’s anything a liberal leftist hates is the truth and if there’s anyone they hate it’s the person who states that truth.

    But but but! Bill Clinton HAD to sign it or his veto would have been overridden and we’d have lost it all! Excuses, excuses. Excuses which don’t change a thing.

  27. Ask Any Gay Conservative says

    For what it’s worth, the last comment is whoever wants it. I don’t check this blog; the facts speak for themselves, so there’s really nothing more to be said on it.

  28. Cecil says


    The fact that you can only dredge up things that happened over a decade ago, and make deranged accusations of hate on the Left is a strident testament to the lack of reason behind being a Republican.

    YOU vote for people who don’t support equal rights. YOU support a party that doesn’t support equal treatment for all citizens. YOU vote for people that would repeal DADT with the stroke of an executive order upon becoming President. YOU vote for people that would, if possible, overturn Lawrence v. Texas and happily send states out to arrest consenting couples of the same gender who have sex. It is YOU who do not support candidates that believe in employment, housing, and public accommodation protections for LGBT people.

    People like you will revisit political fights of the past, things that were done not out of desire but necessity to at least step forward, and then go about pinning it on people in the present who may or may not have had anything to do with it.

    Most importantly, you are a second hander. A person whose equal treatment, should you live in a state where you have equal rights, was done upon the backs of your hated Liberals, Democrats, and Gay Left. People like you reap the benefits and rewards, and then sit there at your keyboard squalling about some things that happened a decade ago. All the while incapable of realizing the people that YOU are supporting are far, far, far worse then anything some politician years ago did out of necessity.

    Honey, get real, and get off the soap-box. You know exactly what kind of person you are. The tragedy is that you just don’t care, in fact you clearly just showed how you couldn’t even approach the subject.

    By all means, tell me I’m hating you with this post.

    – Cecil

  29. bobbyjoe says

    “I’ve had it with f*gg*ts who line their pockets with checks from anti-gay homophobes while throwing the rest of us under the…oooo, look, it’s Ann Coulter! Miss Coulter! Miss Coulter! Over here! It’s Jimmy LaSalvia, Miss Coulter, and, oh my stars, I’m your very biggest fan! Can I have an autograph? Can i touch the hem of your dress? Can I please, please, please stick my tongue up your posterior? Ohmigod, ohmigod, I think I just wet myself.”

  30. GregV says


    What Bill Clinton and many other Democrats of the 1990’s were guilty of was giving in and not fighting harder against the anti-gay Republicans who were pushing them hard on DADT and DOMA.

    Of the House Members who voted against DOMA, 97% were Democrats. In Congress, 100% (Yes, ONE HUNDRED PER CENT) of those who voted against it were Democrats.
    Bill Clinton campaigned against DADT too and instead wanted full inclusion of gay service members. But millions of Republicans across the US (as well as Republican politicians) turned their anti-gay campaign to completely ban gay people from the military into a cause celebre. Clinton and a lot of other Democrats who had no on iterest in passing these regressive Republican-led laws gave in to a “compromise” which pleased no one.
    Yes, Clinton should have fought with more gusto against that bigotry.

    But your revisionist history of trying to turn Clinton and the Democrats into the main villains is pretty ironic.

    Maybe you know better, but you think some people will be dumb enough to fall for the spin you’ve put on it.

  31. says

    Any *faggot*–proudly open or hiding in a shameful closet–who supports people like Perry, who is equal parts stupid and anti-gay, in that overly flamboyant way, is working against us as much as Perry is. You can’t simultaneously support religious-right Republican candidates and pretend to care about gay rights.

    As for the “gay leftists” blather–you don’t have to be leftist to be against anti-gay extremists like Perry. The fact is, for all the flaws of the Democrats, any gay rights legislation has passed only because of their votes and only in spite of the majority of Republicans. (A handful of Republicans on our side do not laws make.) Unless you want to rewrite history, DADT, DOMA etc. were a wrong response to a wronger and much more extreme Republican wish list. And, PS, the 1990’s are over. DADT is gone, DOMA will be, but only if morons like Perry–with their trail of pathetic gay conservatives–are kept out of office. (Fortunately, Perry has long been toast.)

  32. Mary says

    Jack, you may be right. With the way things have been going for the Republicans this year, we’ll find out Rick Perry is gay, Newt will leave Callista for his FOURTH wife, and the “anti-Romney” candidate will have to be either Bachman or Santorum, neither of whom are likely to be electable. (just kidding!)

    But the Christian Right will have a hard time either way. Either oppose Newt on the basis of his dumping of two wives or be accused of opportunistically selling out their cultural values in order to win. I’m totally baffled about what to do – as someone who is primarily in politics due to the social issues. I’ll probably settle for Romney and hope that he won’t be as socially liberal as he was in Massachusets.

  33. RexT says

    While the GoProudGayBoys-Bash-ThePerryGayBoys … This Perry Video is causing QUITE a large stir in otherwise – generally quiet, middle America. This video insults anyone with a brain.

  34. says

    Dear “Ask Any Gay Consverative”,

    can you please post the URL to your own page or youtube video where you show all of us awful gay liberals the specific pro-Equality work you’re doing within the Conservative community, and the successes you’ve had in bringing non-gay Conservatives on board with promoting full LGBT Equality?

    Genuinely, I’d love for you to prove all those liberals wrong by showing us the specific work you’ve done, and accomplishments made.

    You can post the URL in your next comment, thanks.

    After all, there’s no way you’re still living a semi-Closeted existence, right? because the GOP is so accepting of you? Exactly.

    So please provide the URL. or two.


  35. jack says

    Gay conservatives are more interested in their money than their humanity. Any glbt person who votes republican needs their head examined.A gay republican makes as much sense as a jewish nazi or a black klansman.

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