The George Rekers scandal might have a second victim.
Bill McCollum is the state’s attorney general and is running for the Republican nomination for governor. Newspapers across the state are vilifying him for his connection with Rekers.
McCollum hired Rekers for $120,000 to testify in a trial to defend Florida’s ban on adoptions by gay or lesbian parents. The candidate for governor said he hired Rekers because he looked long and hard and had trouble finding other expert witnesses. The state’s newspapers point out that it was because Rekers’ points are based on junk science. Florida is the only state with such a ban, and real experts know there is no reason for qualified gays or lesbian to be prevented from adopting.
One of Florida’s more liberal papers, the South Florida Sun Sentinel, ran a headline saying, “Rekers case again shows shame of gay adoption ban.” In the first sentence of the editorial, the paper calls the adoption ban “embarrassing.”
Under the headline, “No lawsuit is too sleazy for McCollum,” the more conservative Palm Beach Post wrote: “Quit farming out the work to guys in suits. From now on, just send the money directly to the male prostitutes.”
The St. Petersburg Times pins McCollum to Rekers despite the attorney general’s attempts to deflect blame.
“McCollum personally chose Rekers,” the newspaper wrote, putting “expert” in quotation marks when referring to Rekers.
“For such worthless testimony in a losing case, taxpayers paid Rekers a premium,” the Times wrote.
The Tampa Tribune wrote, “The real scandal is that Attorney General Bill McCollum paid Rekers $120,000 in taxpayer money even though Rekers was a long-discredited ideologue that two courts had already deemed worthless as an expert witness.”
The more conservative Orlando Sentinel wrote, “Reputable studies have shown parents’ quality, not their sexual orientation, is what counts.”
In another article, the Sentinel explains how the case ended up in court.
“It’s an interesting question given the state is engaged in a legal battle to prevent a gay foster dad from adopting the two boys he rescued from a crack house.”
The Miami Herald, the state’s largest newspaper, points out that in a similar case in Arkansas, Rekers’ testimony was dismissed by the judge.
“The Arkansas judge, Timothy Fox, said Rekers’ testimony was worthless as evidence because it was only his personal view,” the Herald wrote, accusing McCollum of being irresponsible in his hiring of the discredited “expert.”
All of the state’s major newspapers blame McCollum and come out on the side of allowing gays and lesbians to adopt.
The Florida primary is Aug. 24. So McCollum would seemingly have plenty of time to recover from this, but the Rekers story just won’t die. Rekers is so toxic, he’s taking down people around him.