(Update: spelling of Congressman Michaud’s name fixed – sorry)
It might be best of some candidates for office had no access to Facebook.
Erick Bennett is a Maine Senate candidate who is seeking to replace Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). Collins is seeking reelection in 2014. Bennett’s website lists him as a political consultant who formed the Maine Equal Rights Center, a group that “campaigns to raise awareness about the impact of social issues on our Constitutional rights and liberties.” He is looking to launch a primary bid against Collins.
Meanwhile, Maine Congressman Michaud (D) is seeking to replace conservative Paul LePage (R) as Governor of Maine. In an op-ed last month, Michaud came out as gay. Considering that same-sex marriage is legal in Maine, this is relatively unlikely to hurt Michaud.
In a Facebook post from December 11, Bennett referred to the openly gay Michaud as a homo:
As noted by the Bangor Daily News, Bennett said he was calling Michaud a homo because that was short for homosexual, not because of any slang connotation of the term. It pretty much went down hill from there:
Did you know that the truth hurts?
Bennett went on to note that some Democrats didn’t want to end slavery, because that’s relevant:
Unsurpringly, Bennett has a history of saying outrageous things. He had earlier called Nelson Mandela a communist terrorist:
That comment, and the Michaud comments, earned Bennett a rebuke from the chair of the Maine GOP, Rick Bennett (no relation, as Rick Bennett quickly pointed out), who said:
I find those comments personally reprehensible, and I’ve heard people from across the political spectrum in Maine who share their abhorrence with those views. … They do not represent the views of the Republican Party.”
The bigger picture is an obvious lesson: don’t use Facebook, or Social Media, to say things that you shouldn’t, like comments that are vulgar or offensive. There is no way that using the word homo can help Bennett, particularly running against someone as well respected as Collins.