Only days after Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain publicly claimed that he would have "no problem" appointing gay staffers to work in the White House, his campaign quickly sought to conceal the fact that one of its top staffers was gay.
Cain’s former PAC treasurer and senior political strategist Scott Toomey was removed as the treasurer of now-defunct Madison Gay Pride after a financial scandal. Cain's Iowa straw poll coordinator Kevin Hall said that Toomey's sexuality and history "had become an issue" among senior campaign staff, reports the AP.
Hall said he was not bothered by Toomey’s background but aides knew it exposed Cain to charges of hypocrisy.
"A conservative candidate, Mr. Cain is on the record as stating that he believes homosexuality is a sin and a choice. And they know that, if his top adviser, his highly paid adviser, is openly gay that it would cast a negative light on Mr. Cain and would cost him in his efforts to become president" he testified. "Basically the campaign was trying to cover up the fact that Mr. Toomey was still involved. They asked ... me to help them cover up that fact."
The cover-up allegations surfaced during Hall's testimony to the Iowa Workforce Department for unemployment insurance. Administrative Law Judge Bonny Hendricksmeyer ruled that Hall should be awarded benefits.
Hendricksmeyer ruled Hall resigned “due to a change in the contract of hire” and said the alleged cover-up could have damaged his career as a political consultant.
"The presence of the gay person on the campaign was misrepresented to the staff, which caused Mr. Hall and others to inadvertently misrepresent the fact to others," Hendricksmeyer wrote. "(Hall’s) credibility and his future job prospects would have suffered. It is possible if the situation had been discovered it would have also created a negative impact on (Hall’s) job duties. He felt it was possible the candidate would lose credibility and the straw poll results would be very poor."
Cain is opposed to most federal level LGBT action items. Cain opposed repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and blasted the Obama Administration after its decision to no longer defend recent lawsuits challenging DOMA Section Three. Can also said that being gay was a "sin and a choice".
The right-wing Tea Party favorite claimed in early June that he "wouldn’t have a problem" appointing gay staffers because "they’re not going to try to [impose] Sharia law." This was after his infamous vow not to appoint any Muslims to cabinet or as federal judges.