Friday, 1 August 2003

Not your father's GOP

My friend Scott Huffmon passed along by email a link to an article in the Middletown, N.Y. Times Herald-Record: Young Republican’s party plan crashes:

An aide to Orange County Executive Edward Diana is under fire after he and his friends invited some of the nation’s brightest Young Republicans to what was advertised as a booze-soaked sex bash in Boston.

The controversy surrounding Diana’s 24-year-old staff assistant, Karl Brabenec, started at the Young Republicans national convention July 11, when his friends distributed fliers “for lots of beer, liquor and sex” at a party dubbed, “Karlpalooza ‘03.”

Since then, copies of the incriminating invites have surfaced in Orange County, prompting cries of disgust from women’s groups, county legislators and fellow Republicans.

I guess I can see how a flier that called on young women to “wear as little clothing as possible” might be construed as offensive by some. Meanwhile, Brabanec supporter Laura Vance has come out swinging against Brabanec’s assailants:

A few, like Orange County Young Republican Treasurer Laura Vance, who called the Times Herald-Record and a WTBQ talk show yesterday, came to Brabenec’s defense. Vance said most of the criticism had come from political rivals, and she brushed off the Republican Women’s comments.

“They’re a bunch of old hags, and I’ll tell them that to their face,” Vance said. “I’m a woman, and I don’t feel offended. The party never even went on. It’s unfair to make a big deal of something back home that happened on someone’s vacation.”

By that logic, I guess Chrisapalooza ‘03 in Ann Arbor is on (woo-hoo!). It’s not like anyone back in Oxford could be offended by an evening of drunken debauchery taking place 700 miles away, right?

Then again, maybe in light of the Las Vegas “What happens here, stays here” ad campaign, maybe Vance isn’t too far off the mark.

And just to clarify things, (Edward) Diana is a man and (Laura) Vance is a woman. Them Yankees seem to have trouble keeping the genders and surnames congruent. Thankfully for him, at least Brabenec doesn’t have that problem.