The head of a right-wing Texas group with a political blog is stepping down at least temporarily as criticism grows over his apparent habit of tweeting anti-gay and other offensive slurs directed at various elected officials and political activists.
The announcement of Daniel Greer’s leave of absence at AgendaWise comes a few days after another conservative blogger and Republican insider posted a detailed rundown of Greer’s bigoted tweets. That blogger, former State Republican Executive Committee member Mark McCaig, called on the three members of AgendaWise’s board to fire Greer. Two of those board members are Michael Quinn Sullivan of the anti-government Empower Texans/Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and Texas Public Policy Foundation Vice Chairman Tim Dunn. (Apparently, McCaig and Sullivan don’t much care for each other.)
The Austin-based political blog Quorum Report (subscription required) and the Houston Chronicle have also reported about Greer’s tweets. Quorum Report’s story today alerted us to McCaig’s piece, which includes many of the bigoted tweets. “Fag” appears to be one of Greer’s favorite insults — he even includes it in a tweet (in a now-deleted account under an alias) critical of Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, state Rep. Charlie Geren, State Sen. Kel Seliger — all Republicans: “Bless their fag #txlege hearts. Seliger, Geren, Straus and Eppstein will fumble every which way trying to rig the game and #fail.”
(Again, McCaig has all these tweets here.)
McCaig called on AgendaWise’s board members to fire Greer, but it appears that Sullivan — who, according to the Houston Chronicle, shares an office with Greer — and his fellow board members have so far simply settled for Greer taking a leave of absence. From a statement buried on AgendaWise’s website yesterday:
The AgendaWise Board of Directors has become aware that an employee, Daniel Greer, made “tweets” from a personal Twitter account that were in a spirit not aligned with the values of our organization. We do not support personal slurs.
We have also learned there were other derogatory statements Mr. Greer made from an anonymous account not in keeping with the values of AgendaWise, and AgendaWise does not in any way endorse them.
We support Mr. Greer’s apology as well as his expressed desire to reform.
Well, those board members might not endorse the use of slurs like “fag,” but Sullivan doesn’t have much problem demonizing gay people himself. On his personal blog, for example, Sullivan has called proposals to end the Boy Scouts ban on gay youth a “betrayal” and even offered this sneering attack on gay people:
“One of the culure’s [sic] last bastions of decency is again under attack, with liberal promoters of ‘tolerance’ demanding that the Boy Scouts of America — ready for it? — accept gays and lesbians as leaders. What part of ‘morally straight’ do they not get? Unsatisfied with making messes of their own lives and a variety of public institutions, the gay lobby has been obsessed with taking down the Boy Scouts. …
If gays and lesbians are so eager to have a scouting-like organization more in-tune with their lifestyle, they are welcome to start one up. Quick show of hands: how many parents would send your kid to that organization?”
By the way, the folks over at AgendaWise have also taken shots at the Texas Freedom Network in the past. Greer sidekick Weston Hicks accused us in 2011 of “insulting a majority of Texans” when we noted the right-wing temper tantrum over a report from the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute that slammed the state’s heavily politicized social studies curriculum standards. The State Board of Education had adopted the new standards the previous year. Hicks wrote:
“The Texas Freedom Network admits they exist to marginalize the Religious Right. In reality, they exist to try to create shame around being a public Christian. They’re bigoted bullies, hoping they can make the majority of proud Texans feel abnormal and isolated to weaken them politically.”
“Bigoted bullies”? Well, it turns out they would know, yes?