The CP bloggers have done a nice job summarizing an attempt by a newly formed bar-owned PAC, HosPAC, to punish Brenda Frazier in her current campaign by launching a “Don't Vote for Brenda Frazier” campaign of their own. Her crime? The drink tax.
“I just don't buy it that there's no alternative to balance the county budget except to impose a new tax,” said John Graf, owner of the Priory Hospitality Group and chairman of the new committee, called HosPAC.
“The people spoke loud and clear that they didn't want this tax,” Graf said. “[The members of Allegheny County Council] weren't listening and they weren't willing to be creative.”
The group's first visible efforts will be radio ads and rented billboard space to push the message: “Don't Vote for Brenda Frazier.”
“It just happens that Brenda Frazier is the first person running,” Graf explained. “It's our intention to challenge each and every person that voted for this tax.”
What's interesting about this situation from a gay perspective is the juxtaposition of Frazier, a long time LGBT advocate, and the local gay bar owners emerging as leaders under the Delta Foundation mantle.
According to DF Chair Gary Van Horn, part owner of Images, no local gay bar owners are members of the PAC. Van Horn points out that he is not a one issue voter and remains mum on his support for or opposition to Frazier.
I would hope that the gay bar owners would stay out of this. While the drink tax does have an impact on them, so would losing a House seat to someone who is not an ally of the gay community. Len Bodack and Dom Costa don't have pro-gay track records and we need every ally we can muster in the battle over the marriage protection amendment and the advancement of civil protections legislation.
We cannot afford to be divided on this. Frazier's election is imperative for the well-being of the entire LGBT community.
Let me amend my earlier statement. I would hope the gay bar owners support Frazier. A gay friendly state environment is good for business. Period.
I'm just bummed that the Priory is involved in this. I love their bakery and, clearly, I cannot patronize a business that wants to elect some homo-bigot or quasi-homo-bigot into a space I need filled by an ally.
So, don't buy cupcakes at the Priory Bakery.