Former San Diego City Council member Carl DeMaio is mad -- and he apparently has a right to be. The gay Republican narrowly lost his bid for Congress and he believes it's because the campaign director for his opponent, Democrat Scott Peters, went to police with made-up evidence of harassment.
Peters stands by his decision to send his campaign manager, Mary Pintar, to police with the claims, according to The Daily Beast. The lurid accusations came from DeMaio's former campaign staffer Todd Bosnich, who DeMaio has previously fired for plagiarism. Bosnich now admits he made up emails to support the harassment charges, and last week he pleaded guilty in federal court to obstruction of justice, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Bosnich had gone to Pintar not only with the harassment claims -- including false accusations that DeMaio tried to buy Bosnich's silence for $50,000 -- but strategy documents from DeMaio's campaign. Pintar made copies of the documents before handing them over to police and telling them of Bosnich's story.
"A young man I had never met before reached out to me saying he'd been sexually assaulted and threatened by Carl DeMaio," she told the San DiegoUnion-Tribune at the time. "I was concerned about his welfare and went to the police, who thanked me and asked for my continued cooperation, which I provided."
Shortly after Bosnich's harassment accusations, another former DeMaio staffer also made harassment claims against him. That person -- Justin Harper, who has not retracted the claim, at least yet -- also went to Pintar with the information.
DeMaio feels he was the victim of a "smear the queer" campaign by Peters and Pintar. DeMaio feels he is still being smeared by Peters, even after one of the accusers recanted. The obstruction of justice investigation did not involve determining if the accusations were factual, according to the Times, but DeMaio has denied the allegations, and no criminal charges were ever filed against him.
"We did not make any allegations against Carl DeMaio," Peters said, defending himself to The Daily Beast. "Those allegations came from two former Republican staffers. To blame it on me is something Carl is trying to do to avoid answering some of those questions himself. And, again, the police did not say that those allegations were false."
After the ordeal, DeMaio is no longer interested in politics, saying he and his partner are still recovering from the experience. He also feels that the LGBT community has not come to his defense for one particular reason.
"If I were a gay Democrat and a Republican tried doing what Scott Peters did to me, there would be rioting in the streets in the middle of the election," DeMaio said. "But it's OK to do it to a Republican because, you know, we really don't want you to break through that glass ceiling. And so that was very challenging."