It's easy to focus on the candidates: who's flacking with you, though?
Part 1: Steve Aiken - Gay Basher, Child Molester, Republican Campaign Official...
By Steve Huff on 8/3/2006, 8:27pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Steve Huff

Theodore Robert Bundy, one of the most infamous serial killers of the last half-century, was a Republican activist while studying law at various universities in the west and northwest.

John Wayne Gacy, a serial killer who equalled Bundy in viciousness and notoriety, was very active as a Democrat in his Chicago neighborhood --- even had his photo made with former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

Politics and sex crime. Sometimes, they go together. Perhaps because both deal with dominance, and power. Bundy and Gacy would simply be two of the most extreme examples.

Of course, both sides of the aisle get hit, but lately, it is Republicans who are taking a consistent battering in this arena.

My first entry here on The BRAD BLOG was about a stalwart in Illinois Republican politics, Tom Adams. The mayor of the wealthy enclave of Green Oaks, 30 miles north of Chicago, was recently arrested on a kiddie-porn rap.

But before I ever heard of Tom Adams, I was blogging at Huff's Crime Blog about a pair of political hacks/flacks whose hypocritical conservative Republican poses were ripped away and their inner predatory nature exposed.

I am exquisitely sensitive to displays of sheer hypocrisy, having grown up in a city that sits squarely on the proverbial buckle of the bible belt. I know they have always been part of the political arena. I also suspect that some of the following won't be news to BRAD BLOG readers. What has struck me continually though is that the supposedly liberal mainstream media seems to be virtually ignoring these stories lately --- perhaps stung by the "L" word? I don't know.

The guys in question were not politicians themselves, but men who in some instances appointed themselves to help politicians attain higher office. They were flacks, using predatory and manipulative techniques that are native to the typically antisocial personality usually convicted of the crimes these men were convicted of committing. These kinds of guys and gals are the political arena's more obvious instances of Snakes in Suits.

This entry is about an ultra-right-wing talk show host and campaign manager in Arizona who had his past served back to him on a platter, and things didn't go well from there.

Steve Aiken {ed: See note at bottom of article}

Steve Aiken was the campaign manager for Arizona Republican Randy Graf, who is running for Congress in the 8th Congressional District to fill a seat about to be vacated by Jim Kolbe.

On June 16, 2006, ABC News published a report about Aiken by Brian Ross on its blog, The Blotter. From Ross's report:

Steve Aiken, a former Quakertown, Pa. police officer and self-proclaimed reverend, was convicted of two counts of corruption of a minor stemming from his 1995 sexual relationships with two teenage girls. He served almost two-and-a-half months at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. Aiken is listed as campaign manager for Randy Graf, a Republican in a five-way primary for the Congressional seat in Arizona's 8th district. Aiken told ABC News he had been "falsely accused and convicted" of the two misdemeanor counts.

Aiken says the candidate, Graf, was fully aware of the conviction when he was hired as campaign manager...

Graf fired him anyway:

R.T. Gregg will replace embattled former top aide Steve Aiken. Graf fired Aiken on June 16 after revelations that Aiken was convicted in the mid-1990s of having sexual relationships with two teenage girls...

Aiken was a talk show host with an ultra-conservative pose on KVOI-690 in Tucson. Between his trials and tribulations in Pennsylvania and his makeover in Arizona as a "straight-from-the-hip" "former cop" and security dude, Aiken was distributing blatantly homophobic press releases for The Traditional Values Coalition, based in Washington, DC.

Many examples of the tripe Aiken put out were posted to the Usenet, now Google Groups. This is just one example, posted to alt.rush-limbaugh on October 19, 2001. Read it at your peril, as it isn't worth a quote.

Randy Graf seemed to shake Aiken off pretty well, and after Graf fired him, so did KVOI. Maybe someone really checked into his background, as I did.

Aiken presented himself in Arizona, and at www.steveaiken.com as a "former cop." Technically this was true. Of course, he'd rarely had a job as a cop that was full-time, and when he did, he ended up involved in an accident that saw the end of the Trumbauersville, PA police department and the township there sued by the family of a teen for more than a million dollars. The allegation was that Aiken caused the teen to crash his vehicle on a dark country road. The family won that suit.

In 1991 Steve Aiken had a mail-order divinity degree, and he incorporated the Youthquest Evangelistic Association in Lexington, PA. The call of the Association was to assist youth who were troubled, having problems at home. Instead, Aiken preyed on them. This culminated in his 1995 conviction for the corruption of morals of minors --- two minor girls. Those were the charges for which Aiken spent a couple of months in jail.

The jury deadlocked on the charge that Aiken molested one of his accusers.

The last time Aiken popped up in a Pennsylvania newspaper was in August of 2000, when a short article in the Allentown Morning Call showed that Aiken allegedly committed a kind of home invasion:

Former youth minister Stephen Aiken of Souderton, convicted four years ago of corrupting the morals of minors, has been charged in a summary harassment case, Hatfield Township police said. On March 11, police said, Aiken allegedly arrived at the home of Hatfield resident Lisa Cunningham and threatened her. Aiken, according to police, said Cunningham’s husband, Gary, should leave Aiken’s wife alone or ‘suffer the consequences.’

Aiken apparently went to Washington shortly after that and began his rabid hating on homosexuals. (That probably didn't go over well during his short stint in prison, I'd bet. Or maybe it began there.)

Then it was on to Arizona, and becoming, for a time, a political insider. Archived versions of steveaiken.com will give you a taste of Steve Aiken prior to June 16, 2006.

Aiken, on his website, now only promotes his "book," and it appears that he addresses why he wanted to help Randy Graf get into Congress in that book, saying about outgoing Republican Congressman Jim Kolbe that it was Aiken's "fiercest battle" to "help force [Kolbe] into an early retirement."

The wikipedia bio for Jim Kolbe (who survived the first challenge from Graf in 2004 and decided to not seek re-election this time around) may give a good idea as to why Steve Aiken felt that way about another Republican.

Jim Kolbe was the first openly gay Republican to address the Republican National Convention.

In that sense, there is perhaps a certain consistency in Steve Aiken's behavior.

You have to wonder just how consistent he was in other ways, as well.

{Ed Note: The "Steve Aiken" referred to in the above is NOT Steve Aikens from Clovis NM. Mr. Aikens, with an "s" at the end, wrote to ask us to make that clear, since he's been contacted inappropriately by folks who have read this item and misidentified him as the one referred to in the article.}