If you’ve been following local politics at all, you may have noticed this little dust-up. Democratic candidate for congress Kris Kiser threatened legal action against a local political blog for a post one of their contributors made about him, alleging some shadiness about his personal life and business dealings when he lived (recently) in Washington D.C. The local blog pulled the post because they’re a small operation, and they were worried that any legal action would be a strain on them.
Let me back up a step futher and explain who Kris Kiser is. He’s a gay carpetbagger democrat who just moved to Indianapolis from Washington D.C. and decided to set up shop here in Indianapolis to run against, of all of the ever-loving things — popular Democratic incumbent Julia Carson. Which strikes me as something akin to beating one’s head against the wall whilst investing in the 12th level of a pyramid scheme, but hey, far be it from me to stand in the way of other people’s masochism.
One of the first things he did after unpacking his carpet bag was get an endorsement from the sleazebag gay “newspaper” “The Word” published by Ted Fleischaker. That’s a pretty good sign he’s not from in town right there, because that paper is taken about as seriously in the LGBT indianapolis community as the plastic baggy I use to pick up my dog’s poop.
Another fine idea he had was to imply that popular gay political office holders Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank were endorsing him. Of course, that whopper was immediately debunked by local blog Advance Indiana, who then suffered an onslaught of abuse from Ted Fleischaker and a hacked website to remove posts. But the controversy didn’t die down, and Barney Frank came all the way to Indiana to fundraise for Julia Carson to drive home the point that Kiser wasn’t associated with him in any way.
Which brings us back around to this weeks controversy — the blog post and threatened legal action.
The post was made by Marla Stevens. I certainly haven’t been on her side of things all the time, as you may well know. And I definitely don’t know whether the allegations she made are true. It seems to me that someone with connections to people in D.C. could verify or debunk some of the claims. But just for the sake of you knowing what the controversy is about, I was able to pull the original post out of my rss feed reader, and with all due “allegedly”s and cautions about the veracity of the post, here it is:
Kiser revisited or Here’s a real “Word” for the wise…
In case anyone cares, my legal residence is in Iowa. I own property in Indiana and continue to rent property in the 7th district. I’m not in Iowa right now and wasn’t for the time change. Iowa does observe daylight savings time.
None of these things have anything to do with the sorry state of candidate Kiser’s character that makes him not fit for public office, including the sham “marriage” he tried to pass off on gullible Hoosier queers as proof that he cares about them and their needs.
Nor does it have anything to do with the fact that he’s hired not one but two notorious polling organizations and is readying last minute push poll attacks on his opponent, Rep. Julia Carson — if he hasn’t started them already.
Nor does it have anything to do with the gaping hole in common sense Kiser’s self-purported recent history poses.
Really…here’s a gay man known for being a very hearty partier in D.C. circles — with a great job as a business association top lobbyist of the sort that pays solidly enough in the six figure range to enable that partying — partying that reportedly includes enough significant drug use and sex for hire, (including one hunk from Baltimore who sported a sex-for-hire website, no less [until reportedly being hired to play husband in Indiana], and was known in such circles up and down the eastern megalopolis and Miami and who is player enough that, when imported to Indianapolis to play husband*, couldn’t resist “entertaining” an out-of-town buddy in the notorious upstairs of the 501) that only an MSM as timid and incurious as Indianapolis’ wouldn’t dig it up in due course. (Same ones it took decades to expose the open secret of Rep. Dan Burton’s “family values” hypocrisy in his personal life despite that such hypocrisy is perfectly legitimate political fodder. I can only guess that, with only a few months of campaigning to worry about, Kiser wasn’t worried about our hapless press stumbling over his dirty laundry.)
The top lobbyist puts out two different stories about why he’s no longer working as a top lobbyist but instead came back to his family’s home he’s barely set foot in for decades to run against an incumbent he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of beating:
Story #1: He quit his to-die-for job on his own to engage in the house restoration work he loves. That one fails to pass muster for even the least skeptical.
Out comes Story #2: Top lobbyist supposedly was politically forced out of his job because he’s not a Repug even though he’s done a many years long expert hatchet job on such dear-to-Dems’ hearts’ issues as the right of workers to organize, get health insurance and other worker benefits, and other issues the support of which one would expect from the likes of John Roberts instead of a loyal-enough-to-be-fireably-irksome Democrat — even of the DLC kind.
And he just can’t seem to find a new job despite that D.C. is a veritable boom town for lobbyists of late — for a year??? — which he spends predominantly in D.C., trying to find a new job, not Indiana as he later claims.
Doesn’t compute. Doesn’t even come close.
A reasonably curious person would ask questions…and the answers that are floating around K Street aren’t pretty.
The scuttlebutt is that he was forced out all right but not because of his party or even his partying — at least not for the consensual sort — and it just goes downhill from there.
It’s not atypical for people with Kiser’s expertise and experience as a corporate gun who were fired even for cause (even for something as damning as sexual harassment — even same-sex sexual harassment) — to get another chance in the sort of hot labor market that is D.C. lobbying right now. Ruthlessness and relentlessness in winning is the name of the game and Kiser was good enough at that to be rehirable under all but the most limited of circumstances — perhaps conditionally but rehirable nonetheless.
People who know me know that I don’t get riled up by people’s personal peccadilloes — that I’m usually the last person who’d care except for two things, one of which — using a false cloak of heterosexuality to hurt fellow queers — is impossible for a gay man as out as Kiser has been to be guilty of, leaving just one thing…
I cannot begin to tell you how much you do not want Kris Kiser as your neighbor, much less your congressperson.
* When this didn’t fool anyone but the most willing to be fooled, the campaign got as degayed as when a Mom-not-in-the-know is coming for a visit. Don’t take my word for it. Check the candidate’s website for yourself.
I don’t know what to think about this post. I will say this, though — I know Julia Carson. She lives in the neighborhood north of me. Several times I’ve walked my dog past her house and waved to her in her yard, and once I stopped to talk to her about a political issue. She’s lived in Indianapolis for decades, and she’s be a true friend to the GLBT community in dozens of ways. She pushed city-county councilors to support the Human Rights Ordinance. I’ve seen her speak at numerous gay pride events and AIDS Walks. I stood next to her at a candle-light vigil on the circle for Planned Parenthood when the local clinics were being threatened with anthrax letters by domestic terrorists.
I’ve studied her voting record.
I don’t know Kris Kiser from Adam. But if Ted Fleischaker is endorsing him, I’m voting for anybody but him. And I’m inclined to vote against anyone who held a position as a professional lobbyist in Washington, too.
UPDATE: Regarding Marla’s quote, “People who know me know that I don’t get riled up by people’s personal peccadilloes — that I’m usually the last person who’d care except for two things…” the second thing that she doesn’t name but leaves hanging in the air is pedophilia, if I’m guessing correctly.
I was in a GLBT political organization with Marla in the early 90’s when she discovered that a local gay “leader” we were working with had coerced young people he had access to into sexual relationships with him. (One of them having been a college friend of mine.) Marla went to Child Protective Services and had a full-blown investigation of him started when he suddenly dropped dead of complications due to AIDS. Marla actually took the time to sit down with the young people to give them good counseling about how to get AIDS tests at the same time the guy was being revered in the GLBT community as a visionary.
Of course that may not have any bearing on Kris Kiser at all, and it’s all personal speculation on my part about what Marla might have been trying to say there. Allegations of pedophilia seem to be the go-to smear tactic of choice in the GLBT community in Indianapolis, too. I’ve heard whisper campaigns against other gay figures in the community where no foundation ever appeared to support the rumors. So I’d consider that on its merits.
Either way, without Marla’s post as a factor, I was still voting for Julia Carson over Kris Kiser.