Sometimes, we get by with a little help from our friends. But what happens when that help is unwanted and does more harm than good? That's exactly what happened to Pastor Brian Hale, a state GOP House candidate in Maine's 85th district.
Hale opened up his mailbox recently to find an anti-same sex marriage flier with his name and e-mail address on it. The only problem is he didn't commission the flier and was unfamiliar with the organization that did.
From the Kennebec Journal:
The two-sided flier features a smiling family of four with a "Welcome to Maine, the way life should be" placard and a single photograph of Hale. Hale said the family in the picture is not even his family.
On the flip side of the flier is a photograph of [incumbent Rep. Jeffrey McCabe (D)], with his e-mail address and two men in bow ties, arm-in-arm, appearing atop a wedding cake.
"Now it's time to let Jeff McCabe know we don't agree with his decision to back same-sex marriage," the flier reads.
McCabe voted for the 2009 law legalizing same-sex marriage. The legislation, which was signed by Gov. John Baldacci, was reversed by referendum last November.
Hale says he supports traditional marriage, meaning a union between a man and a woman, but said his campaign did not send the fliers.
The return address on the fliers supports Hale's claim. The address listed is for the National Organization for Marriage, based in Washington D.C., a group that supports the traditional definition of marriage.
“I never heard of the National Organization of Marriage until I pulled it out of the mailbox,” Hale told the Journal, and then decried the effort as “tasteless”:
"I think this is tasteless; I'm not enjoying this," Hale said Monday. "I think this is an incidence of friendly fire -- someone thought they were helping me and they're not. I'm running as a fiscal conservative -- that's what I'm going around talking to people about. I'm not running an anti-gay campaign. ...
The gesture by NOM seems to have backfired: "People are seeing this and saying, 'Pastor Hale is a homophobe' -- and I'm not."
Both Hale and the local Republican party called McCabe to assure him that they were not involved in the flier campaign.