Friday, November 03, 2006

Paccione May Have Done It; The Ted Haggard Case

Bold statement, I know.

But, based on my interpretation of the evidence, that's what I think happened.

First, the overall story, for those of you who missed it; Mike Jones, a male prostitute in Denver, Colorado, accused Reverend Ted Haggard, pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs and president of the National Association of Evangelicals, of having a three-year affair with him and purchasing/using methamphetamines from him. Haggard, while admitting that he did purchase methamphetamines from Jones, insists that he did not use them and that he only contacted Jones for a massage.

Towards my postulate, here's the evidence in order.

Item 1: the male prostitute in question flunked the lie detector test which he insisted on having.

Item 2: the male prostitute in question is in significant financial trouble and, despite insisting that he has given up both selling drugs and himself, was advertising his wares in a November 1 magazine issue.

Those two items establish both that the source is, at best, questionable, and that there is significant financial and legal incentive for him to cooperate with any proffered golden keys or incentives.

Item 3: the political situation. Allegations against Haggard would primarily affect the evangelical vote, especially in Colorado. That could affect two major points -- one, the amendments to ban gay marriage and enact a domestic partner registry that are on the ballot, and the hotly-contested race between Marilyn Musgrave and Democratic challenger Angie Paccione.

As it turns out, this race is a cause celebre for the gay leftist community, mainly because of Musgrave's sponsorship and authorship of the Federal Marriage Amendment and Marriage Protection Act. Blogs such as John Aravosis's Americablog (look under the "banned" on the sidebar blogrolls) have not only taken it upon themselves to raise thousands of dollars for Paccione, but have offered their political support and assistance of the gay community to her.

Interestingly enough, Americablog has strong ties to the blog Blogactive and its proprietor, Mike Rogers, who is expert in the practice of making false accusations and bringing forth "anonymous" sources about peoples' sexual orientation, and who regularly solicits information in order to blackmail and harm conservative and religious (not Democrat) individuals. Indeed, John Aravosis has regularly praised Rogers and supported his efforts, including his recent attempts to claim (via "anonymous sources") that Senator Larry Craig is a criminal who has sex with men in public restrooms.

Given the links to both the Paccione campaign and Rogers, one need only put two and two together. While I have no direct evidence that Paccione was involved, the connections between her and these bloggers, as well as the similarity of the tactics used to those previously employed by Rogers and Aravosis, is quite a compelling argument that she may have been.

Perhaps Paccione should clarify her relationship with these bloggers, issue a public statement that she would not engage in such tactics, and, as a show of her good faith, return any donations that said sites have collected and repudiate their actions in supporting outing and vicious mischaracterizations of her opponent.

After all, it's what she would demand Musgrave do.

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