Who will save the children?

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"All conservatives are such from personal defects. They have been effeminated by position or nature, born halt and blind, through luxury of their parents, and can only, like invalids, act on the defensive."

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

As if we needed yet one more shudderingly repulsive account of a Republican who is virulently anti-gay by day and an abusive pedophile by night…

But there Jim West is — still squatting in the mayor’s office, still holding all of Spokane, Washington, hostage despite unanimous calls for his resignation from citizens, business leaders, the Chamber of Commerce and, at long last, from even his own City Council. A defiant West maintains that he is being persecuted by those who accuse him of molestation and by Spokane’s newspaper, which broke the story on May 5 after a lengthy and in-depth investigation.

West denies allegations that he sexually molested two boys in the 1970’s when he was a sheriff’s deputy and Boy Scout Leader, but admitted that others would probably "pile on" because of his power and importance. The boys — men now — also accuse a close friend of West’s of abuse. David Hahn, who was a deputy sheriff and co-scoutmaster with West, committed suicide in 1981 during a sheriff’s department internal investigation of molestation. Those files, which Spokane’s sheriff said at first were "shredded," then "lost," have now been "found" and turned over to investigators.

Although West readily admits using City computers to hook up with young men and boys on gay websites, he told Matt Lauer on NBC’s "The Today Show" on May 31 that he has done nothing illegal by offering jobs and prizes to those he met there.

However, Ryan M. Oelrich, a 24-year-old who is openly gay and heads a gay youth organization in Spokane, thinks otherwise. Oelrich was appointed by West to the city’s Human Rights Commission in April 2004, but says he didn’t know at the time that West was "Cobra82nd" or "RightBi-Guy" with whom he chatted on Gay.com.

While on the commission, Oelrich said he rebuffed a series of sexually explicit online advances from West. He said West "offered me $300 cash if I’d swim naked with him in my swimming pool." Oelrich said he considered West’s offer "totally inappropriate," and he resigned from the commission. He says he knows of five or six other young gay men in the city who received "inappropriate sexual advances" from West, and that two of them were offered City Hall jobs.

Is West gay or anti-gay? In 1986, when he was in the state legislature, West and 14 other Republicans sponsored a bill that would have barred gay men and lesbians from working in schools or day-care centers as well as in some state agencies. West is so adamantly opposed to teens having sex that, in 1990, he proposed such hi-jinks be criminalized. He told Lauer that he voted the way those in his district told him to vote, and that his own feelings or how he conducted his private life were not involved.

Like so many of his peers, West can’t seem to decide who, or what, he is. At first, he claimed he’s being destroyed because he’s gay. Then, he decided he isn’t gay after all, but admits to being merely "bisexual." Finally, West concluded that this whole ball of wax is descending on him because — he’s a conservative.

Like he explained to Lauer, "You know, I’m a conservative, you know. I’m not a closet liberal pretending to be a conservative. I’m a conservative. And what’s wrong with somebody who has what’s called an alternative lifestyle or an alternative sexual orientation being a conservative? Can a gay or bisexual person be conservative? Can a black person be conservative? Can a Hispanic person be conservative? I think they can."

The problem with West and far too many other Republicans is not that they’re gay, nor even that they’re conservative. The problem is they’re perverted; twisted, corrupt. The problem is they’re stalking our children, mostly from lower-income, often one-parent families — street children who can be intimidated, controlled and tossed aside, their lives damaged beyond repair. The most reprehensible of them prey on their own children, whose terrible pain-wracked silence is almost always ensured.

They’re everywhere. Pompous, dead-eyed, and devilishly self-righteous, they appear to be obsessed with that which they most abhor — pornography and sexual aberration. Being neither a psychologist nor a Republican, I can only guess that the guilt resulting from these poor creatures fighting to repress normal sexual urges is what drives them into deviancy — is what makes them so insanely religious.

And that religion gives them cover. When West had the audacity to show up at a Leadership Prayer Breakfast last week despite allegations of child molestation and abuse of his office, the Spokesman Review reported that he "was immediately showered with handshakes, hugs and words of encouragement.

"I love our mayor, and I know God’s working on him," said Stephy Nobles-Beans, assistant pastor of the Church of Berachah. "We’ve all sinned. Who are we to try and hold him accountable? Who are we to ask him to publicly apologize? Only God can do that."

Yeah? Well, maybe so, Brother Beans, but — God forbid — if West sodomizes your child, or a child in your congregation, in the next two-and-a-half years he’s determined to hang onto his office, I suspect it’s possible you’d wish you had held him accountable.

What child is more important than any other? Their names, Brother Beans, even if you don’t care, are Robert Galliher and Michael Grant — two kids abused by your mayor who paid them for their "services" with small packets of marijuana — two kids whose lives were changed forever, destroyed forever, because of Jim West’s perverted lust.

As I write this, a petition to recall West has been certified by the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. However, by the time that process wends its way through the court and after appeals, if any, are filed and considered, West could well have served his remaining tenure.

Even if West resigns, his grotesque crimes must not be glossed over. West must be held accountable. They ALL must be held accountable.

Or who will save the children?

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