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The unfortunate collateral damage of political campaigns


Some politicians will stop at nothing to get their hands on power and capture voters' support. But sometimes, such desperation results in serious collateral damage for the people closest to the candidate. Take for instance Colorado state Rep. Marsha Looper's gay son who was inadvertently outed by Looper's campaign manager in an email to supporters:

State Rep. Marsha Looper's campaign manager forwarded an e-mail to supporters that praised the lawmaker for voting against civil unions even though she has a gay son.

It's no secret at the state Capitol that Looper is one of at least four House Republicans with a gay child, but an unwritten courtesy has been to let the lawmaker be the one to publicly reveal that information.

Looper said she has been asked by some voters about her son's sexuality and has answered honestly, but never meant for it to become so public.

"I'm very, very disappointed," Looper said, of the e-mail making its way among El Paso County voters. "These are are very intimate issues. I love my son. I always will. He has said, 'Mom, I want my privacy.'"

And despite the fact that the private info came from within her own campaign, the Republican state rep's political opponents haven't hesitated to use the error to attack Looper's character.  "I wonder if her son appreciates being used in this way," said Rep. Mark Ferrandino, a gay Denver Democrat who co-sponsored the failed civil unions measure.

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