For last week's issue, we ran a story on the 10th anniversary of the Alliance for Full Acceptance, a local gay education and advocacy group that has been a national model. Congressional candidate Linda Ketner was a driving force behind the group's creation and was one of several people featured on the cover and inside the issue.
Here's an e-mail sent out to the Law Republicans group at the Charleston School of Law:
Subject: Henry Brown volunteers - (Law Republicans)
I received the following message from Kathy Crawford of Congressman Henry Brown's office asking for volunteers. Since he is taking the time to come talk to us, I believe we should definitely "give back" to him somehow. Please e-mail me if you are interested. Thanks
"Thank you so much for offering to help our campaign. I have to tell you that we are in a dead heat with Ms. Ketner. I need your help. We are going to lose this election if we don't get energized and get the truth out on Linda Ketner. Have you seen last week's edition of the Charleston City Paper. I would like for someone in your club to take this paper to all of the news/media outlets in the area. Also, if you could send out this side by side comparison to everyone in your address book encouraging them to get out and vote for Congressman Brown. Also, if you know of anyone who goes to any of the big Churches around town, I think we should get the City Paper to them as well. We have to get a grassroots effort started today.
Also, I just found out that we need volunteers to help stuff O'Henry candy bars for mailing. They will be doing this at 2850 Ashley Phosphate Road. Off I-26 take the Ashley Phosphate Road exit and turn left at the light and go about 1/3 of a mile and it is on the right. Please if you can help us get some volunteers out there it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much."
We gave Kathy Crawford a call and she was embarrassed, to say the least. First, she says that the e-mail was from a home account — not on the taxpayers' dime. Second, she says that the first graph was part of a forwarded message from a close friend. She had meant to forward the second graph about the candy bars and didn't realize that the first graph would be forwarded, or passed on to the entire group of young Republicans, as if it came from her.
"That was never my intention," Crawford says. "We need people to stuff some envelopes."
From the Brown campaign:
"As Associated Press noted last week, the Brown campaign has not raised the issue of Ms.Ketner's lifestyle choices, nor will we. The City Paper last week raising the issue of "LGBT involvement in election-year politics" was the first mention I am aware of in the local media; however, the Post and Courier also mentioned the issue that same weekend. I suspect volunteers may have further disseminated these media accounts, but neither Henry Brown nor anyone authorized to speak for the campaign has mentioned her sexual preferences as a campaign issue."