Leesburg Today reports that Charlie King, the attorney representing Eugene Delgaudio in the citizens’ effort to have Delgaudio removed from office by the Circuit Court, has filed a subpoena seeking documents from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The rationale for the subpoena, according to Charlie King:
“Almost every article written about Supervisor Delgaudio mentions the designation of Public Advocate as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center,” King said in an email statement. “The Sterling petitioners (in a petition to remove Delgaudio from office) cited Public Advocate’s hate group status as one basis for removing him from office. In today’s America, calling somebody a member of a hate group is serious.”
Yes, it certainly is. And now I don’t know who, if anyone, is in charge of strategy over at Public Advocate/Office of the Sterling Supervisor.
Regarding SPLC’s 2012 addition of “Public Advocate of the U.S.” to its short list of anti-gay organizations extreme enough to be called “active hate groups,” Delgaudio only sings one note. Every transparently planted online comment, every press release, every public utterance directed at Loudoun County we’ve seen has repeated the same monotonous talking point: That the SPLC designation was made “because Public Advocate upholds traditional marriage.”
The repetition of this talking point has been so consistent that it could not possibly be accidental. The propagation of this lie has been the centerpiece of Delgaudio’s public relations management of the revelations about the co-mingling of his hate group’s fundraising activities with the privileges of his public office.
And now his attorney has just invited – demanded, actually – that this lie be conclusively refuted in open court. Can he possibly be this foolish?
The subpoena seeks all the documents the Southern Poverty Law Center has on Delgaudio and Public Advocate that led to the hate group designation, including “the criteria, research and decision process used…”
“The quality of the SPLC’s work goes to the weight to be accorded the hate group designation,” King stated. “Was the SPLC’s decision to name Pubic Advocate a hate group made reluctantly, after careful study, or did some intern decide to send out a press release? This is an important question.” [Emphasis mine.]
Is it really possible that Charlie King isn’t familiar with the careful and rigorous SPLC process for designating organizations as active hate groups? Could he really not understand the caliber of organization he’s dealing with?
I can’t imagine a better way for him to sink his client than to cause the criteria, process and research used by SPLC in designating Public Advocate an active anti-gay hate group to become publicly available. Some of it is on the public record already, but King may as well have lit the evidence up in neon. It will be fantastic to have the full, documented case on the public record, all due to a subpoena by Delgaudio’s own attorney.
Delgaudio himself may be a reckless narcissist. Consider, for example, his apparent inability to resist mocking his board colleagues (who dared to censure him last year) by nominating an openly bigoted street activist to the library board, and then boldly lying about it. He seems to have a need to continually test and see what he can get away with. One would expect his attorney to have more self-control – or the capacity to say no to him.
Or then again, maybe it’s nothing more than an excuse for a fundraising letter.