Eugene Delgaudio is a supervisor on the county board of Loudon County, Virginia who also serves as the president of Public Advocate of the United States, a nonprofit advocacy organization that was recently designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group.
But Delgaudio isn’t your run-of-the-mill anti-LGBT bigot. He has a long and dubious history of almost unbelievably extreme vitriol. He sends email blasts to supporters approximately three times per week with hysterical subject lines like “More perversion in uniform?,” “Man in the women’s room?,” “Real marriage outlawed,” and “Congress to mandate pro-homosexual education?” The emails are written in a frantic, sometimes despondent tone, lamenting the current state of “the Family” and raging against the ever-present threat that LGBT people pose to every classroom, every pulpit, and every bathroom in America. (Note: sarcasm.) Delgaudio frequently implores his supporters to send him money — one subject line earlier this year read “Are you still with me?” — yet David Badash at the New Civil Rights Movement reports that Public Advocate has made up to $1.6 million per year, largely from these defamatory emails. (Badash says Delgaudio’s fundraising emails read “like scripts from bad TV pilots.”) After a public meeting in 2010 during which the Loudon County Board of Supervisors voted to expand the county’s nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity, for example, Delgaudio referred to trans persons in an email to supporters as “it.” In another email, he claimed that the new TSA pat-downs were a part of the “radical homosexual agenda” and criticizing the TSA’s nondiscrimination hiring policy, writing:
“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 is also well known for his outrageous publicity stunts. For example, the Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank reports that to mark the anniversary of the Chappaquiddick incident, Delgaudio and a group of supporters marched on Capitol Hill wearing swimsuits, calling themselves the “Ted Kennedy Swim Team.” During the 1993 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, Delgaudio staged a protest in which he cordoned off what he called a “Sodomy-Free Zone.” He also protested President George W. Bush’s nomination of John Roberts to the United States Supreme Court in 2005, claiming that “Judge Roberts assisted the forces that would criminalize Christianity.” Just last July he and a handful of supporters stood outside the headquarters of the Securities and Exchange Commission and sang a protest song about keeping gays out of the Boy Scouts:
But this batty character has had a bad, bad week. First, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit against Delgaudio on behalf of a same-sex couple in New Jersey for grabbing their engagement photo off of their personal blog, doctoring it, and using it without permission in an anti-gay attack mailer. The suit, for misappropriation of the photo and monetary damages of an unspecified amount, was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver.
Second, Delgaudio appears to be under FBI investigation after an ex-aide filed a complaint against him alleging that Delgaudio used his county office and staff to raise money for Public Advocate, and that Delgaudio asked improper questions about her religious beliefs and views on abortion and homosexuality as part of the hiring process. The Washington Post reports:
She worked from a spreadsheet that listed more than a thousand names and the political campaigns to which they had contributed. For weeks earlier this year, she said, she sat in a county office, while on county time, and spent hours calling them, one by one.
The goal was to arrange meetings with the donors and her boss, four-term Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling), one of the region’s most controversial politicians, who is known for his animated diatribes from the dais.
If she was successful, Donna Mateer, a part-time aide, was to list the appointment in a Google calendar titled “Eugene 2012 Campaign Schedule,” she said.
Since then, Mateer came to believe that what she was doing was unethical. She filed a complaint with the county’s Human Resources Department that also alleged a hostile work environment. . .
Mateer said that Hannah Scoggins, Delgaudio’s office manager at Public Advocate, became her de facto supervisor.
“I was to go through [Scoggins] for everything,” Mateer said. “[Delgaudio] put the Public Advocate office in charge of a public office.”
We’ll continue to monitor these stories as they unfold. Who knows, this notorious homophobe may finally be about to receive some much-needed karmic justice.