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Gay Councilmember in Rancho Mirage, California Hit with Homophobic 'FAGS' Mailer

Scott Hines, an openly gay city councilmember in Racho Mirage, California, si being targeted by an anonymous homophobic mailer, Frontiers reports:

MailerIn mid-February, some Rancho Mirage voters opened their mailboxes to find an anti-gay postcard attacking openly gay Councilmember Scott Hines with the message “Send Hines Packing Back to Palm Springs (where he belongs).”

The postcards feature a shirtless picture of Hines with a caption in rainbow-colored lettering that says “No More ‘Fab’ Party Guy Scotty.” The letters of the message line up vertically to spell out “FAGS.”

The mailing was sent out without a return address, so no one knows who sent it. Hines, an educational technology company CEO and former Air Force Intelligence officer, has been careful not to point any fingers, but many residents suspect the postcards came from his campaign opponents, a group Hines sometimes refers to as “The Gang of Four.”

The so-called Gang of Four ("three Rancho Mirage City Council incumbents—Dana Hobart, Ted Weill and Iris Smotrich—plus political newcomer Charles Townsend") deny responsibility and suggest that the postcards were sent by Hines's supporters.

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  1. There is no such thing as anonymous. You can track who sent them, and from where.

    Posted by: Tigernan | Mar 24, 2014 2:26:45 PM


  2. Great publicity for Scott Hines. I'd capitalize on it and promote the homophobic aspect of it greatly - in the media, at every press conference and make a public demand of the authorities to track down the sender(s). Enough votes could catapult him to the head of the council I would think (at least here in SF the highest vote getting automatically becomes President of the Board). Gay voters of Rancho Mirage (and elsewhere) do your best to get Scott elected. Then maybe we'll see some real fireworks! :-)

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Mar 24, 2014 2:38:23 PM


  3. The statement from Hines's opponents read, “We suspect this postcard was probably sent by someone or some group friendly to Mr. Hines. The four of us would absolutely never authorize anyone to distribute a mailing like this piece that belongs in the gutter, we suspect that the postcard was mailed by someone who sought to create the impression that it was mailed by the Experience You Can Trust team.”

    (http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/politics/elections/2014/02/16/mailer-with-shirtless-scott-hines-stirs-controversy-in-rancho-mirage-race/5528761/)

    The odd thing about this statement is that rather than pointing the finger at Hines directly, they suggest a group of Hines supporters, implying that Hines need not have been involved. But if it could have been done without candidate involvement, it could just as easily have been a group of Hines opponents. Why single out supporters and paint them as more likely?

    Indeed, if the authors of that statement had no involvement, they would have realized that opponents and supporters were equally likely. It's odd then that they would offer this theory. Innocent parties rarely point fingers, because they don't have the facts. Guilty parties, on the other hand, have an incentive to deflect suspicion away from themselves.

    Posted by: JJ | Mar 24, 2014 2:43:36 PM


  4. I thought the same thing JJ, if you're going to bring in the idea that it wasn't any actual candidate but some unconnected party then it could just as easily be their supporters. The right move would have been to deny responsibility and denounce the mailer as having no place in a civilized campaign, period.

    Posted by: e.c. | Mar 24, 2014 2:51:42 PM


  5. As a Rancho Mirage resident ,I can attest that this has been a messy election for a small city of 17,000. What the article above fails to mention is that 2 other candidates running are also openly gay. At stake is a huge , cash city reserve. I am glad this will all be over in a few weeks. Neither side has run a " clean " campaign but Scott Hines does deserve to be reelected.

    Posted by: N | Mar 24, 2014 3:09:02 PM


  6. More homophobia from the South......err......never mind.

    Posted by: MIke | Mar 24, 2014 3:27:38 PM


  7. I'm a proud Republican, meaning I'm a closeted homosexual when it counts. But if I make fun of liberal areas and rag on democrats any chance I get, I momentarily forget about my disastrous choices/affiliations.

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 24, 2014 5:01:27 PM


  8. I can pretty much guarantee that Hines supporters would not have sent out that mailer. It would be counterproductive and a waste of money.

    Posted by: anon | Mar 24, 2014 5:34:51 PM


  9. If I ever see a Rancho Mirage I'd like it to look like Scott Hines.

    Posted by: Hansel Currywurst | Mar 25, 2014 7:50:34 AM


  10. he looks great. I hope my haters choose a good picture of me

    Posted by: skeeze | Mar 25, 2014 9:23:04 AM


  11. @TIGERNAN - you are 100% correct. There are many ways that this "anonymous" mystery could be resolved very very quickly. I can assure you that if this had happened to me as a candidate I would have known, before making any public statements concerning the mailing, who was responsible.

    Posted by: ThomT | Mar 26, 2014 10:32:19 AM


  12. The story fails to state that Charles Townsend, one of the winners, is gay.

    Posted by: Andy | Apr 16, 2014 8:47:20 AM


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