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Eugene Delgaudio is an American social conservative politician who is the executive director of the conservative organization Public Advocate of the United States. He also currently represents the Sterling District on the Loudoun County, Virginia, Board of Supervisors. According to The Washington Post, "Delgaudio has become a leader in the nation's anti-gay rights movement". He is also called "one of the key leaders" in the conservative view of "moral health".
Involvement with Public Advocate of the U.S.
Delgaudio was a board member of the conservative youth group Young Americans for Freedom. In 1981, he started Public Advocate of the U.S., a conservative activist group known for its street theater and its protests opposing taxes and homosexuality. He has staged numerous protests outside the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Capitol including a "Perverts for Cellucci" rally opposing the nomination of Paul Celucci as ambassador to Canada, a man-donkey wedding to support the Federal Marriage Amendment, and a "Kennedy Sobriety Checkpoint" to draw attention to Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy's (D-RI) car accident. In August 2007, he introduced a resolution asking the county administrator to determine which county services could be denied to undocumented immigrants. He has also appeared on Fox News, opposing the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers, suggesting Ann Coulter instead. The organization Public Advocate of the United States of which he is the executive director was designated in March 2012 as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Delgaudio has also controversially asked Muslims if they "come in peace" and whether they pledge allegiance to the United States.
In 2010, Delgaudio issued a fundraising letter in which he reported the following:
- One stormy night I drove to a mailshop hidden deep in a nearly deserted stand of warehouses. I'd heard something was up and wanted to see for myself. As I rounded the final turn my eyes nearly popped. Tractor-trailers pulled up to loading docks, cars and vans everywhere and long-haired, earring-pierced men scurrying around running forklifts, inserters and huge printing presses. Trembling with worry I went inside. It was worse than I ever imagined. Row after row of boxes bulging with pro-homosexual petitions lined the walls, stacked to the ceiling. My mind reeled as I realized hundreds, maybe thousands, more boxes were already loaded on the tractor-trailers. And still more petitions were flying off the press. Suddenly a dark-haired man screeched, "Delgaudio what are you doing here?" Dozens of men began moving toward me. I'd been recognized. As I retreated to my car, the man chortled, "This time Delgaudio we can't lose." Driving away, my eyes filled with tears as I realized he might be right. This time the Radical Homosexuals could win.
In 2011, Delgaudio also issued another fundraising letter in which he stated: "You see, the Homosexual Lobby and its billionaire donors are flush with cash. When Congressmen and Senators see the power and riches of the radical Homosexuals, they get tempted. You'd be surprised how many politicians are already bought and paid for." This e-mail also contained an image of what appeared to be a rainbow-colored bloody hand and body. Delgaudio acknowledged that his organization was the source of the email and the image. When asked about it, Delgaudio said that it looked like paint to him and that the homosexual lobby had doctored his rainbow-colored image, changing it to red.
Public records and media reports indicate that Public Advocate of the United States supports conservative— and primarily anti-gay—causes through only two activities: sending fundraising messages via e-mail and traditional mail; and paying Eugene Delgaudio more than $150,000 per year. Although his personal website claims that Public Advocate has an annual budget of $2.7 million, 2010 tax records of the organization indicate an income of only $1,071,623.
Public Advocate was designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center in March 2012. On July 11, 2012, the SPLC sent Delgaudio a cease-and-desist letter associated with what they claimed was his unauthorized use of and modification of a photograph of a gay couple's engagement photo. On September 26, 2012, SPLC filed a federal lawsuit against Public Advocate, seeking damages for its use of the engagement photo.
Investigation into fundraising impropriety
in September 2012, The Washington Post reported that a former aide to Delgaudio, Donna Mateer, accused him of instructing her to fundraise for Public Advocate while on company time. When asked about the allegations, Delgaudio said that while it was true that his employees were asked to spend up to 60 percent of their time on fundraising, the fundraising activities were to benefit a local boys' football league. The article also reported that Mateer filed a Human Resources complaint with the county based on what she perceived to be unethical requests from the Supervisor. When asked about the complaint, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York refused to take action on her complaint, stating that the county policy does not apply to part-time aides. The Post also reported that three other former aides of Delgaudio have been questioned by the FBI in relation to Delgaudio's fundraising practices, which the FBI would neither confirm nor deny.
On October 3, 2012, the Board of Supervisors voted to begin an independent investigation of the allegations made against Delgaudio in the Post article. Delgaudio spoke before the board prior to the vote, saying, "The suicide bombers of the political left pull their own rings on their detonation devices as they advance on me, and Sterling, and all honest-to-God conservatives... I stand as a small David against the foul-smelling, decaying corpse of the Washington Post."
On November 8, 2012, at the request of Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman, a special prosecutor was appointed by the Loudoun County Circuit Court to investigate Mateer's complaint. As a result of the appointment of the special prosecutor, the Board's investigation into Mateer's charges was suspended. Leesburg Today reported that Mateer had initially given to Scott York a large quantity of supporting documents, but York failed to deliver these documents to Plowman. The documents were not given to Plowman until after the Board had voted to begin their investigation, but it is unknown if these documents prompted Plowman's request for the special prosecutor.
On Monday, June 24, 2013, the grand jury came back without returning an indictment against Delgaudio. The grand jury, in its report, noted that behavior cited in the initial complaint occurred just outside of the one-year statute of limitations. However, they did make several recommendations, among them suggestions to change the law to extend said statute and to make it easier to prosecute candidates who fail to report certain donations.
Loudoun Board of Supervisors Decision
On July 17, 2013, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted 8-1 to censure Delgaudio in response to a report issued by the special grand jury that spent five months investigating allegations of misconduct. and make permanent earlier committee assignment removals. The Board also voted 6-3 to take away Delgaudio's staff aides and defund the Sterling District office.
Earlier in that day, Delgaudio unsuccessfully petitioned the Loudoun County Circuit Court to prevent the Board from taking action against him.
In July 2012, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) served Delgaudio's Public Advocate of the United States with a cease-and-desist letter over a mailer sent to some Colorado primary voters in 2010. The mailer included a modified version of their client's engagement photo, taken of them kissing with the Brooklyn Bridge as a backdrop. Their client is a gay couple married in a civil ceremony in Connecticut. The photo had allegedly been copied without permission from the couple's blog and edited to appear as if they were kissing with snow-covered pine trees surrounding them. In September of that same year, the Los Angeles Times reported that SPLC was suing Public Advocate in Denver, Colorado, federal court, over the use of the letter. The lawsuit sought unspecified damages and attorney's fees.
Current roles with the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors
As of 2013[update], Delgaudio has been removed from all committees on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. Delgaudio was first elected to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in 1999, running unopposed, and was later re-elected in 2003, 2007, and 2011. He has been an outspoken critic on the board of anti-growth groups (consisting mostly of large estate owners in the western half of the county) and an advocate of homebuilders in Loudoun. Delgaudio also has been opposed to expanding government services to undocumented immigrants as well as the school budget on nonessential programs. With regard to social justice issues, he has repeatedly expressed vehement opposition toward expanding marital rights to include same-sex partnerships.
While serving as Supervisor and in working with Public Advocate, Delgaudio has remained a vocal activist for conservative causes. He campaigned strongly in 2006 for the Virginia Marriage Amendment, also called the Marshall-Newman Amendment. He has proposed that alternatives to anti-bullying programs be used in Loudoun County schools.
- It's the federal employee's version of the Gay Bill of Special Rights... That means the next TSA official that gives you an 'enhanced pat down' could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission.
Delgaudio attracted media attention in February 2010 when he claimed that the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa, Florida, was being infiltrated by "radical homosexuals" seeking to exploit unsuspecting college students.
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- Gibson, Caitlin (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/investigation-of-loudoun-supervisor-eugene-delgaudio-concludes-with-no-indictment/2013/06/24/64a7c750-dce8-11e2-bd83-e99e43c336ed_story.html). "No indictment for Loudoun supervisor Eugene Delgaudio". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- "Delgaudio Grand Jury Issues Recommendations, Not Indictment". Leesburg Today. 24 June 2013.
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- "‘Enough Is Enough’: Delgaudio Censured". Leesburg Today. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "Southern Poverty Law Center Tells Eugene Delgaudio To Stop Using Couple's Engagement Photo In Anti-Gay Mailers". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- Susman, Tina (September 26, 2012). "Gay couple shocked to find their faces on anti-gay mailer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
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