FBI, Entire Republican Party Thought Jack Kemp Was Totally Gay

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According to "files obtained by Salon," 1996 Republican vice-presidential candidate Jack Kemp was investigated by the FBI because everyone thought he was really, really gay. So score one for Salon's crack investigative team, we guess, for finally bringing down that dead guy who lost his election 14 years ago. The FBI looked into the matter as part of Kemp's background check when George H.W. Bush appointed him HUD secretary for being hip and urban. And what they were able to dig up about Jack Kemp's gay condo and gay Ronald Reagan sex parties will have a major impact on this dead man's career, now that these documents are out.


History lesson time!

The columnists Jack Anderson and Drew Pearson broke the news in 1967 that what they called "a homosexual ring" had been "operating" in Ronald Reagan's California gubernatorial administration. And while Reagan publicly denied it, he had in fact fired his chief of staff and another aide after an internal investigation concluded that they were gay.

Kemp, then in his early 30s and the quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, was at the time working on Reagan's Sacramento staff during the off-season. He had purchased a cabin in Lake Tahoe in partnership with Reagan's chief of staff; that's where some of the "homosexual parties" reportedly happened. Kemp later maintained that the cabin was merely a real estate investment and he never visited it. But the columnists had referred to an unnamed "athlete" who was a member of the "ring," a clear reference to Kemp. The rumor that would follow Kemp for the rest of his life had been born.

But according to the people the FBI talked to, none of this gay Jack Kemp stuff happened. Still, the rumor pretty much ruined his career ambitions by keeping Ronald Reagan from selecting him as his running mate. When Bob Dole picked him in 1996, the rumors persisted, and who wants to be Bob Dole's running mate anyway?

What a country, huh? Why did we let this happen? Mark Foley, what do you have to say about this?

Exactly right. We must take this message to children's instant messenger accounts and sneak into the congressional page dormitories to spread the word. Intolerance must end now. [Salon]

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