We are not children anymore, and we refuse to be bullied.
That was Brian Edwards speaking to the press a few months ago about the theft and defilement of his favorite engagement photo for use in an anti-gay political mailer.
Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit against Eugene Delgaudio’s hate group “Public Advocate of the United States” on Edwards’ behalf, along with his husband Tom Privitere and their photographer Kristina Hill. “We are going to take back the beautiful moment in our lives that was hijacked by a hate group,” Edwards said during a telephone press briefing on the lawsuit. Public Advocate could easily have “legally obtained a generic photo” of a same sex couple for its purpose instead of “stealing and destroying my work,” added Hill. The lawsuit follows Delgaudio’s failure to respond to a July 11 cease-and-desist letter sent by the SPLC on behalf of the plaintiffs.
And yesterday, Caitlin Gibson of the Washington Post published a long-awaited exposé of Delgaudio’s conduct in the office of Sterling Supervisor. It contains compelling evidence that he habitually uses county staff and resources to raise money for his own reelection campaign and for Public Advocate. One former aide, Donna Mateer, told Gibson that she was instructed to spend all of her time setting up fundraising meetings with potential donors, and that she was placed under the direct supervision of Delgaudio’s Public Advocate office manager, Hannah Scoggins. Other former aides stated that they quit after being repeatedly instructed to engage in improper political activity, that they were instructed to enroll in classes on fundraising and online activism paid for by Public Advocate, and that they have been questioned by the FBI about activities in the county office and at Public Advocate. Mateer also alleged that Delgaudio asked about her religious and political views as a condition of employment, and that he often engaged in racist and anti-gay tirades in the office as well as berating his aides.As shocking in some ways as these allegations are, the knowledge that there really is no boundary between the Sterling Supervisor office and Public Advocate is nothing new. Not too long ago, Pariahdog described Eugene Delgaudio as a “Nervous Nellie,” blowing up at reporters who asked him to explain how someone else’s copyrighted image ended up on his hate mailers. We are just beginning, I think, to see the extent of what he’s so nervous about.
Our Nellie and his apologists have for years gotten away with brushing aside questions about his lie-filled Public Advocate screeds, insisting that they have “nothing to do with Loudoun County.” But that has never been true. We’ve consistently seen him introduce the hateful content of Public Advocate into Loudoun County schools and government.
In his capacity as a county supervisor our Nellie has attacked LCPS officials for seeking input from parents about anti-gay and gender-based bullying in schools, attacked LCPS officials, principals, teachers, and the Loudoun community for standing up for a gay-affirming student’s freedom of expression, and made numerous other defamatory and dehumanizing remarks about Loudoun County residents.
As “Public Advocate” he has defamed Loudoun Boy Scouts and their leaders as “Sandusky-friendly” sex abusers, claimed that any TSA official working at Dulles airport “could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission,” and appeared at “his local Chick-fil-A restaurant” (that would have to be in the Sterling district if, as he claims, he lives there) with a misspelled sign and a bag of chicken, urging locals to buy non-existant Chick-Fil-A stock. Quite simply, there is no boundary.
As a final intrusion, the ad pictured above, with the vulgar language “immoral sex acts taught in elementary school” prominently displayed, recently started appearing on the Loudoun Times-Mirror website. With this ad, Nellie endorses the gender-based bullying of not only Loudoun’s children, but of children across the country, and exposes Loudoun residents of all ages to his uncomfortable obsession with sexuality.
The page the ad linked to is the same one that got Nellie bumped as an advertiser from the Weekly Standard with an apology to their readers, and ridiculed by Too Conservative. A smear of the Student Non-discrimination Act, it exhibits the strict SPLC criteria for a hate group – that the group be guilty of “propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling.”
The LTM agreed that the ad was embarrassing and inappropriate, and immediately took steps to have it blocked. It’s a keyword-based Google ad that started appearing when articles about the legal troubles of “Public Advocate” were published. In addition, Google has been advised of the ad being in violation of their policy prohibiting ads and associated websites that advocate against a protected group or attempt to revise history against the interests of a protected group, and of the fact that the ad was placed by an SPLC-designated hate group. Ad violations may be reported via email, and another Loudoun resident has started a petition, so Google has been advised of the situation by many different sources. If readers notice this or another ad that links to “Public Advocate” or to “traditionalvalues.us” popping up anywhere else, we ask that you alert us.
Readers who have been watching this debacle for awhile will recall that this is not the first time Nellie has been caught altering someone else’s image. Remember when the Times-Mirror exposed the “Blood door” hate mailer? That was a welcome development – despite the paper’s regrettable endorsement of Mr. Delgaudio for reelection – because finally a local journalist was willing to stop pretending that there are two Mr. Delgaudios with a boundary between them. When questioned about the violent image he sent to his donors:
Delgaudio said the image was originally rainbow colored and Equality Loudoun, a pro-gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender group doctored it to look like blood in another image.
That was quickly shown to be a lie with a simple Google images search. When questioned about the copyrighted photo stolen from a private citizen’s wedding website, Mr. Delgaudio responded:
I am searching whether or not we have the photo. I have not commented on this ever and I have no statements on it. Someone could do this without my permission.
We definitely have 2,000 photos and in the neighborhood of 80 to 100 videos on my website, and if someone doesn’t want us to use it, we take it off…Frankly, we are not distributing this photo and I’d be hard pressed to find anything today [emphasis added]. Mostly, this an attack on me from previous statements I’ve made.
When asked if he was concerned that he is, in fact, “distributing this photo,” as it was used in his mailers, Mr. Delgaudio angrily shouted “I’m looking into it!!” at the reporter.
In the past, he has been happy to have a spotlight on his activities, as he could count on cooperation from the media, his donors, and his colleagues in not saying out loud what they really think, and going along with the pretense that his hate group activities don’t impact Loudoun. That cooperation seems precarious now, especially with former aides coming forward and members of the Loudoun business community speaking “on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be associated with Delgaudio’s activities.”
“I’d be hard pressed to find anything today.” Does this mean what it sounds like, that the misappropriated and altered photo, which was obviously in the possession of “Public Advocate” or “Eugene Delgaudio,” has now disappeared from such possession? Let’s be clear: That’s called destroying evidence. A court of law, as I understand it, would take such an action very seriously. Expect to see Nellie turning in tighter and tighter circles. And asking for money, of course.