Washington outing blogger says 'a few more' to come
John Byrne
Published: Tuesday September 4, 2007


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Post omits Congressman Raw Story outed

Move over, Larry Craig.

The "most feared man" on Capitol Hill promises he's going to release the names of a few more closeted Republicans in the months to come.

In a Tuesday profile of Washington outing blogger Mike Rogers by Jose Antonio Vargas, the 43-year-old activist says he plans to release the names of "a few more" closeted Congressmembers on his blog, blogACTIVE.

The onetime fundraiser outed Larry Craig on his blog last October. Following his post, the Idaho Statesman dispatched a reporter to this story -- a piece which remained canned until revelations that Craig was arrested for lewd conduct in a Minneapolis airport bathroom appeared in August.

Larry Craig wasn't "the first on my list," Rogers told the Post. "And the Idaho senator, who announced his resignation Saturday, 'won't be the last.'"

Years before outing gay members of Congress became fashionable, Rogers was hot on the trail. RAW STORY joined Rogers in reporting on closeted gay members of Congress and senior officials who preached an anti-gay agenda in public but lived another life in private.

In 2004, following up on a blog post, RAW STORY joined Rogers in reporting on California Republican David Dreier, who, according to associates and a former challenger, lived with his male chief of staff. Follow-up stories further revealed that Dreier paid his chief of staff from both his committee and office funds at a higher rate than similarly experienced aides.

The report, which drew attention from the LA Daily News and Hustler, failed to draw attention from the mainstream press. At the time, an editor from the LA Times declared the piece a non-story in a conversation with RAW STORY and this reporter.

Two Congressmen omitted

The Washington Post omitted Rogers' work on Dreier. Dreier has vehemently denied allegations of his homosexuality. After being handpicked by erstwhile House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) as his temporary successor, Dreier mysteriously vanished from the short list after a piece on RAW STORY revealing earlier reports that he previously lived with his chief of staff.

The Post also left out Rep. Jim McCrery (R-LA), who Rogers blogged about in October 2004.

In addition, the article makes no mention of the outing of former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, an architect of President George W. Bush's victory in 2000, or the former Chief Financial Officer and Director of Administration for the Republican National Committee Jay Banning.

This site reported on both. Mehlman denied allegations of his homosexuality; Banning said co-workers knew he was gay.

'I just like to get together with a guy'

Two months before, Rogers had targeted then-Virginia congressman Ed Schrock after a source supplied audio recordings of Schrock calling a gay phone sex line. On the recording, Schrock described what type of man he was looking for, including his endowment.

"Uh, hi, I weigh 200 pounds, I'm 6'4" (inaudible) blond hair....very muscular, very buffed up, uh, very tanned, uh, I just like to get together a guy from time to time, just to, just to play," the erstwhile representative remarked. "I'd like him to be in very good shape, flat stomach, good chest, good arms, well hung, cut, uh, just get naked, play, and see what happens, nothing real heavy duty, but just, fun time, go down on him, he can go down on me, and just take it from there... hope to hear from you. Bye."

RAW STORY was the first to publish the transcript.

Rogers says he targeted Schrock because of his voting record on gay rights and a comment he made to the Virginian-Pilot in 2000, speaking of gays in the military.

"You're in the showers with them, you're in the bunk room with them, you're in staterooms with them," he marked. Schrock bowed out of his reelection race.

Rogers also blogged about ex-congressman Mark Foley months before instant messages of him soliciting congressional pages surfaced on the Web. The Florida Republican had voted various times against gay rights.

"I write about closeted people whose records are anti-gay," Rogers told the Post. "If you're a closeted Democrat or Republican and you don't bash gays or vote against gay rights to gain political points, I won't out you."

According to Vargas' Post profile, "Rogers came out in his early 20s and has spent the bulk of his life working for gay organizations. A native of the New York metropolitan area, he's lived in the District for more than a decade. Although his blog isn't his main source of income -- he was a fundraising consultant and currently runs Page One News Media, a gay-oriented online company -- the Web site has become more than a full-time job. He's a student of the gay rights movement and considers Larry Kramer, the writer and AIDS activist, and Franklin E. Kameny, the lifelong Washington firebrand, as models."

Read the full Post profile here.

Rogers is a technical consultant for Raw Story.