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GOP Outing Campaign Hits Minnesota State Senator

Raw Story reports that activist blogger Michael Rogers has outed another Republican politician - Minnesota State Senator Paul Koering. They quote Koering as saying:

"Somebody who is possibly in the closet and uses their bully pulpit or their position to bash gay people or to make gay people's lives difficult... and are in essence leading a double life - people like that need to be exposed for the hypocrite that they are," Koering says.

"And I sometimes find that, I feel that the people that you find who are hollering the loudest and who are putting people down the most are the ones that have the most to hide," he added. "They're so uncomfortable in their own skin that they have to tear everybody else down to make themselves feel good."

In an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Koering tells a different story about his "outing:"
"I've always thought that my personal life was just that -- personal," Koering said. "But over the last couple of months there's been a gradual ramping up of calls and questions. And then with the vote that I took last week [breaking with Republicans on a procedural vote on the amendment], it sparked a frenzy of questions." Family, close friends and associates in Brainerd, and GOP Senate colleagues all knew that he was gay, Koering said.

...At about the time of the vote, gay and lesbian activists were e-mailing reporters and legislators pictures of Koering allegedly taken at a gay bar in Minneapolis. He doesn't seem pleased with efforts to "out" him against his will. He says of pressure from the activists: "They can do, and I'm sure they will continue to do, whatever they want, which I think is a sad state of affairs. ... But they did NOT precipitate my decision.

Ironically BlogActive's Mike Rodgers is the one who feels violated.

Update: John Byrne at Raw Story writes to say that the Star Tribune comments need to be appreciated in context. They've published a much more complete backstory on Koering and Rogers conversations. It's worth a read.

In somewhat of a chicken/egg conundrum, Koering in the Raw Story article indicates that he outed himself after being initially contacted by Rogers. As the story indicates, Rogers didn't plan on outing Koering, and Rogers was actually caught off guard when Koering went to the local media. Koering states that his friends and associates knew he was gay, so it seems to me that Rogers initial phone call OR the possibility of pictures of Koering at a gay bar was the tipping point for Koering publicly outing himself.

The fact that Koering went to the media himself, to me indicates that he knew the issue about his sexual orientation was "in play" and would never disappear. Rogers or the mysteriously circulating picture(s) may have ignited the situation, but Koering says the decision to come out was his own, and was the right thing for him to do. Good for him.

[5:00 PM Typo's corrected]


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Comments (36)

This is truly tiresome. Ga... (Below threshold)
-S-:

This is truly tiresome. Gay outrage about outrageous gay people being outraged about being gay or about the outrageous gayness of some outrageous gay person or another, another gay in outrage.

It's tiresome. Gays continue to insist that everyone focus on their 'self loathing' (hey, Clinton said it, I'm just quoting it) and their outrage about someone else's 'self loathing' or about...and they wonder why people PREFER the "don't ask, don't tell" approach and it's because, otherwise, what you get is two/three percent of the population talking about nothing else but being gay, who is gay, he's gay, she's gay, outrageous gay, gay outting, gay outrageous...it's very tiresome.

Hey! What about heterosexuals! Let's talk about heterosexuality!

Here's what it is: gay people are really, really, really possessed about being gay, talking about being gay, talking about others who are gay, who might be gay, who should be gay, who could be gay, gayness, gay, gahh.

People get a little tired of it. This person is. Not like the rest of us run around talking about heterosexuality, being straight, who is, who isn't, he is, she is, hetero, hetero, hetero....

This is the behavior about homosexuals that sets them apart from others by their own determination. And they wonder why other people think there's something wrong there.

I don't care if it is a lin... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I don't care if it is a link, Kevin, I'm not reading "Raw Story." Or anything by Michael Rogers. Guy has a problem. Outrageous gayness gone gayly outrageously gay. He's really got a problem.

Wanton distortion at Wizban... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

Wanton distortion at Wizbang? Surprised? Nah...

If you're gonna outright lie and distort Kevin, don't link to an article where Roger says he helped Koering in the process of coming out! And, that Koering supports outing closeted Republicans.

Pathetic.

...like the fruitbat to the... (Below threshold)
-S-:

...like the fruitbat to the mango...

Clive's upset because there... (Below threshold)

Clive's upset because there might be another take on the story other than what the rigorous and objective gay press wants to peddle?? And the Minnie Star Trib -- are they pathetic too?

Roger's whining is illuminating. He's miffed because he wasn't the center of attention when this went down? He's broke and he needs to pay some bills, please send him money??

What is Mike's motivation here? Methinks he doth protest too much.

Endless engagements, weddin... (Below threshold)
instafaggot:

Endless engagements, weddings, registrations at Target, having babies, having grandchildren, getting divorced, getting widowed. Can't you people quit throwing all your straightness in everyone's faces? Clearly you're obsessedd with your own straightness. Stop it and maybe we'll be nice to you.

Oh, I'm sorry, but your fac... (Below threshold)

Oh, I'm sorry, but your face just happens to be in the way.

So it really doesn't matter... (Below threshold)

So it really doesn't matter if you are gay or not.

It is more important to be Anti-Republican if you are gay or black or any minority.

Again, Liberals and Leftist Radicals are not 'for' anything, they are just against anything that is considered good and decient...which seems what the Republicans are struggling to attain.

Things that make you go hmmmmm.....

Since y'all think pointing ... (Below threshold)

Since y'all think pointing out hypocrites is bad, ergo you are pro-hypocrite...which explains why you're Bush supporters.

I'm sorry, but maybe I'm ... (Below threshold)

I'm sorry, but maybe I'm missing something here - just what, exactly, is accomplished by Michael Rogers sniffing into the personal lives of other people like this? This is almost obsessive, and having an MO of outing the private lives of gay people who take a public (different / separate, take your pick) stance otherwise is pretty pathetic. OK, so you proved them to be a hypocrite - want a medal? Anyone who takes a basic Logic course would find out that just because someone's argument is hypocritical (and, granted, being publicly anti-gay whilst being gay yourself is rather high up there), doesn't defeat the argument entirely - it makes it more difficult to accept. Rogers and others frequently stop short on that, and just lunge to the conclusion that the entire argument, or even an opinion, is from that of a charlatan and a fraud and therefore shouldn't be accepted, period. Wow, maturity at its absolute finest.

Instead, it looks more as if Michael Rogers is just supplying ammo for ad hominem, abusive attacks against other people, in the name of "exposing hypocrisy". The activists lap it right up, because what good does an actual, well-thought out argument do when you can circle around the blood in the water and treat the meat as a reason to squawk about something? They're not after discourse- they're after a circus, a public spectacle.

This incessant crap about outing others and treating their personal lives as political cannon fodder is childish - there is no other word to describe it. It is much like watching toddlers squabble over who's rattle is better and how the other is a moron because of it. There's no argument on the basis of logic, facts, or even a cogent premise - it is made entirely of grasped straws and bleating "OMG He's gay, he's a hypocrite! Burn the brownshirted witch! OMGWTF we can't listen to him OMG!!!!1!!!!111!!!!"

Seriously, people need to grow the hell up before they get anywhere near a keyboard.

who in the hell is Keening?... (Below threshold)

who in the hell is Keening?

[Kevin - A typo]

It's not about being gay, i... (Below threshold)

It's not about being gay, it's about being a hypocrite. Why is that so difficult for you people to understand?

Is it because you support an administration so full of hypocrites that you simply cannot allow yourselves to see one?

Oh, I see "instafaggot" is ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Oh, I see "instafaggot" is here, too.

I write, "too" because his/her/its drech had to be removed from my blog. More of that problem I was referring to earlier.

Ha, now everyone (else, not... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Ha, now everyone (else, not gay) is "you people."

Interesting, um, sexism in that statement, Don Myers.

Allow me: simply because you/anyone is homosexual does not make it alright to be a jerk, to be psycho and inconsiderate about private aspects about other persons' lives, does not make it alright to be sexist.

It's a problem in society - not created by heterosexuals, by the way, but by those who protest about their own behaviors, way too much.

A few here could stop it with the nasties about others who aren't homosexual. It's called "acceptance." You might consider trying to allow the same tolerance and acceptance of the opinions and values of others as you insist be provided to you.

That's what is offensive to many about this ongoing "gay uproar" about "hypocrisy" which is quite hypocritical itself.

Odd that the very same peop... (Below threshold)

Odd that the very same people who defended Clintons sexual transgressions as "private" have no problem delving into the private sex lives of Conservatives or Republicans.

I for one have no problem letting them play this petty little game for it exposes them for what they truly are. And golly by gosh gee, if a hypocrite wants to call me a hypocrite I can't really get too upset over that now can I.

It's not about being gay... (Below threshold)

It's not about being gay, it's about being a hypocrite. Why is that so difficult for you people to understand?

Is it because you support an administration so full of hypocrites that you simply cannot allow yourselves to see one?

You completely play into the point I made, Don. What business is it of Rogers or anyone else that what Koerning does that makes it newsworthy? He's gay, but he took a decidedly anti-gay marriage stand up until now - big deal, find me any politician that doesn't do that and I'll buy you lunch. Hell, I'll even buy dinner. What Rogers has been doing is making a name for himself by being a major league asshole by dragging people through individual personal hellholes because he has some axe to grind (but he couches it in the terms of "hypocrisy") - how is that at all right? Rogers would be the first one to bitch and moan about the invasion of HIS privacy if I or anyone else engaged into this sort of shitraking, and he knows it. The only difference is I have a damn conscience, and he doesn't, or pretends that he does but casually ignores it. It isn't even remotely fair to make someone's life a living hell because they do and say different things - we'd all be busy bastards doing that to each other if we were.

You taking this one politician and making it a blanket statement about an entire government administration is textbook contemporary liberal - always shooting for some way to engage in effective misdirection and never facing the issue. I know, I know - I'm a horrible person for somehow attacking your (now-maligned) integrity for calling you on engaging in illogical, missed-point arguments but, oh well.

At the end of the day, every single person on this planet has done hypocritical things in their lives - and it is not right and (at a bare minimum) impolite to slam people with this garbage just because they're human. Seriously, it is totally ridiculous to somehow make "hypocrisy" the sudden catch-all reason to not listen or accept people's opinions any more. Outside of the fact it isn't logical, we would not have a single politician in office right now - we'd be so busy having bugs up our asses about every single one and every single thing, we'd implode from being in that constant condition.

Mistake in the previous p... (Below threshold)

Mistake in the previous post - the line "Is it because you support an administration so full of hypocrites that you simply cannot allow yourselves to see one?" belongs to Don Myers, not me. I'm not sure how I goofed on the italics thing, but I never pretended to be good with comment section code, either. =D

The problem with the "hypoc... (Below threshold)
Synova:

The problem with the "hypocrite" defense is that while some people may be hypocrites, for the most part it is defined as "any gay person who is Republican". See, cuz gay people can only be progressive. It's not possible for a gay person to be conservative, socially or economically or politically.

Which is a bunch of BS anyway. What does sexual orientation have to do with foreign polidy or economic theory or the general concept of conservatism, which is nothing more than prefering slow and measured change over change for it's own sake.

"Hypocrite" is used for anyone who might possibly be percieved to keep a low profile, even if they are out.

This was no secret. Rogers... (Below threshold)

This was no secret. Rogers actually did a service in this case, he was able to persuade Koering to come out publically himself. Koering showed lots of courage here. His GOP colleagues in the Senate - minus wingnut Michele Bachmann - have expressed public support. The idiot party chair in Crow Wing County is looking to ask for his resignation.

His name is Koering not Kee... (Below threshold)

His name is Koering not Keening.

Could one of Mike's fans ex... (Below threshold)

Could one of Mike's fans explain to me the definition of "hypocrite?"

If a lawmaker is a gambler, or a smoker, or a drinker, or a patron of prostitutes, is he a hypocrite if he takes a public policy position (i.e., votes) against these acts?

Or is he a hypocrite only if he climbs on his soap box and demonizes smoking, gambling, drinking whoremongers?

Hypocrisy is the favorite c... (Below threshold)

Hypocrisy is the favorite charge of the left. Since they have no moral code they cannot be hypocrites.

Hypocrisy is the favori... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

Hypocrisy is the favorite charge of the left. Since they have no moral code they cannot be hypocrites

And, the Wizbang brand of a 'moral code' Brainster, is defending a gay escort and Tom DeLay?

When your party counts on James Dobson to get Bush re-elected, you then take responsibility for his actions too!

You guys are further isolating yourselves in threads like Wizbang, hiding from the truth and reality. Which doesn't make it so, just because I come here to confront you with it.

Oh please, Clive - leave ... (Below threshold)
CollegePundit:

Oh please, Clive - leave Jeff Gannon / James Guckert out of this. He may have been a softball-throwing journalist, but using what he does in his private life as a reason to bash him about his public profession is really poor sportsmanship, and carrion-feeding buzzardy as well. That load of horse crap wouldn't have happened if he asked a softball questions of a Democrat's administration while being gay - it's only used as a cudgel to beat him around when he asks a Republican.

Tom DeLay, meanwhile, is only marginalizing himself, as any other Republican has already moved a fair distance away from him and his sabre-rattling.

What Wizbang, and others, are defending is the right of people like Jeff Gannon and Koerning to have a blasted private life, or at least not allow what they do privately to be used as reasons and means of "discrediting" someone, just because you guys are too damned lazy to do actual, you know, research and stuff to form a counter argument. Instead, it makes liberals look like buzzards, circling around and crowing about how someone is evil/wrong/hypocrtical because they're guilty of being gay AND a Republican. Oh, the sheer, unmitigated horror that they don't fit into YOUR neat little box about everything! The Democratic Party and the Big Tent, my ass.

Take the blinders off, man, and get a grip on reality.

CollegePundit, I s... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

CollegePundit,

I suspect the Right Bloggers obsession with this supposed 'gay witch hunt' of the Left, is either latent tendencies or fear this issue is a credible threat exposing your hypocrisy - or both.

I've now learned credible evidence of your party's intolerance and hate (or pandering to those who exploit it), is not worth the effort offering it up on Wizbang anymore. But, it's why RNC Chair Ken Mehlman will not answer the question, and why many here continue to look stupid defending a gay prostitute.

Did you happen to read about that investigation into the Armstrong Williams scandal?

Please - do you take me f... (Below threshold)

Please - do you take me for a fool? You blather on about how WE'RE the ones obsessing yet it was Atrios and others giving wall-to-wall coverage on Gannon's gayness. Meanwhile, the rest of us react with the appropriate outrage that a man's private life is being dragged through the mud because a bunch of liberals can't otherwise think of a compelling reason why he shouldn't be allowed into the press room as a journalist, and yet we're the ones obsessing here? Give me a break.

YOU are disappointed that we don't give two shits what Gannon does in his private time (and yet care enough to defend his right to have privacy and still have a professionally-separate public life), and then try to wave us off by saying that its "not worth your time" to offer a counterargument. It is patently obvious that you don't have one, so go sparingly with the high and mighty attitude and this juvenile "latent tendencies" garbage.

Armstrong Williams is a completely different case - he couldn't keep his hands off of people on the job, and he got burned for it. Gannon and others, meanwhile, don't suffer from that dubious distinction - so why the hell is that relevant? All the Left seems interested in doing is convicting people on the basis that they're Republican and (horrors!) gay, which tells everyone a lot about their own preachings of "tolerance", or lack thereof. If the only thing you can throw at me is the fact that some public figures are gay (or, in the case of Armstrong Williams, letting Lott make his comparison of gays to alcoholics), I remain unconvinced that that is somehow signs of hypocrisy on the Right.

Please - do you take me... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

Please - do you take me for a fool? You blather on about how WE'RE the ones obsessing yet it was Atrios and others giving wall-to-wall coverage on Gannon's gayness.

Wrong again CP!

This was the Right's only angle in response to Gannongate and once all the salacious pics and details were out there, we moved on - but you couldn't.

What perpetuated this story for the Left was the manipulation and complicity of White House, blog posts that were of no use to your one note outrage. Such suspicions were confirmed on Friday, when the internal investigation of the William's scandal proved that Spelling and the White House knew all along what was going on.

What is hysterical, is watching your party defend a gay prostitute, while you allow homophobes like James Dobson and Jerry Falwell exploit such intolerance that wins you elections.

gambler, or a smoker, or a ... (Below threshold)
keN:

gambler, or a smoker, or a drinker, or a patron of prostitutes

This is who you lump homosexuals with?

KEn

It's your problem if gays, ... (Below threshold)

It's your problem if gays, the word gay, or anything that implies being gay bothers you. Gays do not discuss their lifestyles to any greater degree than breeders.

What you "straight" people don't realize is that every time you talk about a spouse, significant other, child, wedding, date, boyfriend, girlfriend etc. you are making a statement about your sexuality. You can disagree, but you're a fool if you do. The idea that you are creeped out, embarrassed or uncomfortable with homosexuality only exaggerates what you perceive to be persistent references to our sexuality. Straight America is imposing the same limitations on gays as they did on Blacks 40 years ago: "What's wrong with those Negroes? Why don't they just act like they are supposed to? Why don't they act like good N******? Why do they have to march in the streets, cause trouble, demand rights, go where they aren't wanted?"

Blacks made whites uncomfortable, but eventually—because of Black’s unwillingness to compromise—the discomfort began to go away, at least for the majority of white America.

What is happening now is no different. I have every right to tell someone I'm gay when they make a statement that presumes I am straight. The difference is you're never put in a position in which people presume things about your sexuality.

So, stop repressing us, discriminating against us, and treating us like second-class citizens and your squeamishness will go away.

Gannon/Guckert was a prosti... (Below threshold)

Gannon/Guckert was a prostitute - who got white house press credentials - and that's wierd. That's nothing like this story - which is one where Mike Rogers role was a possitive one - because he helped to support Paul Koering making the right decision to come out.

I talked to Koering after he came out - and he confirmed Rogers account.

I enjoy reading arguments b... (Below threshold)
Barry:

I enjoy reading arguments between straight men who learned how to be straight from Rock Hudson and delayed sex movies of the 60's and gay men who became gay by watching the same man act. The arrogance of right-wing straight people has always been their downfall. They think "we're better because..." I think it's much more pleasant to live in a world where everyone thinks there's enough for everyone and where people work to make abundance possible for everyone. Right-wing straight folk believe that there are limitations, that there isn't enough to go around, that shortages are the natural order of things. They think: "there isn't enough marriage to go around...so we have to keep it to ourselves."
The argument isn't really about gay and straight ever...not ever. It's about how one group of people can keep something from another group of people. If it wasn't gay people they were after, they'd go after purple illegal immigrants or orange-eating Eskimos from Miami. It's just snobbery. Good ol' snobbery. Lots of people buy into it. It's not a sin as far as I can tell...God didn't say "don't be a snob." I suppose one could argue the ten commandments include snobs someplace. Those ten rules don't include gays either. So they get to keep their snobbery and I get to be a raving queen...how fabulous!

Support the right of your e... (Below threshold)
tom:

Support the right of your elected representative to say, "I can but you can't". Vote republican

Not hard to read between th... (Below threshold)

Not hard to read between the lines on this one. Rogers calls Koering, confronts him with the fact he's got photos of him at a gay bar and then they have a friendly chat. Rogers says "Don't worry, I won't out you because you've supported this bill and opposed that one." Koering interprets, "But don't cross the gay lobby," and realizes he'd better come out on his own terms.

So outing Koering is interf... (Below threshold)

So outing Koering is interfering with his private life?

Perhaps.

But Republicans love interfering with the private lives of gay people. George Bush and Republicans advocated the imprisonment of gay people in Texas, when they had private consensual sex in the privacy of their own home. Republicans favor snooping into the lives of gay soldiers and discovering which ones are gay, so that they can kick them out of the military. They favor snooping into the private sex lives of gay people so that they can deny them housing.

When a hypocritical politician supports snooping into the private lives of every gay American, and that politician happens to be a self-loathing gay person (can you say the Mayor of Spokane?), then they have every right to be exposed for the hypocrites they are.

Hypocrites should always be exposed. Whether on the left or on the right.

It kills me that suddenly w... (Below threshold)
Jim, Chicago, USA:

It kills me that suddenly we're hearing Republicans talking about how personal lives should be left out of the discussion.

And the Jeff Gannon story isn't a story just because he's gay. There's a big difference between being gay and being a prostitute. But the prostitution prepared him for his work for the Bush Administration in the press corps.

I hope to hear more about the personal lives of Religio-Republicans who are so intent on telling everyone else how to live. My favorite story still has to be Bill Bennett being a degenerate gambler. That's rich.

The first poster sounds mor... (Below threshold)
scoper:

The first poster sounds more than a bit hysterical. Thinks heteros are not obsessed wth themselves, does he? Wants only to keep the focus on them and their sex starved lives? Oh why, after all these centuries of keeping a low profile and saying not a word that could very well have them burning at the stake, are all these damned gays mouthing off without stop nowadays?

Well, my dear little straight, get used to it as you lurch from lousy lay to mom's bosom, we're not shutting up for your neurotic convenience, not ever. Plus, from the crazed sound of your ramblings, I suspect we're in your dreams and under your skin. My latent ami.




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