Arizona candidate cries foul over gay-baiting ads

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com September 30 2002 11:00 PM ET

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, lashed out Saturday against an anonymous phone message that went to homes across the state accusing her of pushing a pro-gay agenda.

A woman in the message complains that Napolitano's politics as the state's current attorney general prevented her from getting her child back from a gay couple who adopted the baby, according to a transcript provided by the Napolitano campaign.

Calling it false and "bigoted," Napolitano said the phone message violates state law because it doesn't identify who paid for it. Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Salmon and the state GOP condemned the message and said they had nothing to do with it.
"I have no idea whatsoever where it came from," Salmon told Phoenix radio station KTAR on Saturday night. "My campaign had nothing to do with it."

In the message a woman identifying herself as Sarah Phillips says she went to the Department of Economic Security to demand her baby back. "I was told that the attorney general, Janet Napolitano, is pro-gay adoptions, that I have no rights anymore as a mother," according to the transcript. "That's not fair."

Napolitano and the Department of Economic Security said they have no record of any dealings with Phillips. Officials say the scenario described couldn't have happened because the Department of Economic Security handles only adoptions in which a court orders a baby removed from parental custody for abuse, neglect, or abandonment.