Yesterday, anti-gay activist Eugene Delgaudio was sued by a gay couple for stealing their wedding picture and using it in an anti-gay attack flyer. But believe it or not, that may be the least of Delgaudio's problems. Since 1999, Delgaudio has been a member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors (county commission), representing the Sterling area. Now a former part-time aide in his office, Louise Mateer, claims Delgaudio made her raise money for his reelection campaigns using county offices and on county time. (h/t to Horace Boothroyd III)
Before Mateer’s first meeting with Delgaudio in the summer of 2011, she knew little about his role with Public Advocate. But the first sign that working for the supervisor would not be what she had expected came during the job interview, held at a Chick-fil-A – a restaurant chain Delgaudio has championed because its president opposes same-sex marriage.According to several emails obtained by WaPo, Delgaudio's anti-gay organization, Public Advocate of the United States, footed the bill for the training courses. Shortly after the training was finished, Delgaudio gave her a spreadsheet listing thousands of campaign donors from Northern Virginia--also paid for by Public Advocate. He then had Mateer call the numbers on the list--from his county office and during her working hours. She was to use the list to schedule meetings between Delgaudio and the donors, and place the meetings on a Google calendar.
The supervisor wanted to know her views on homosexuality, she said. Was she “pro-marriage,” “pro-life,” “right-wing”? Was she a Christian, a Catholic? How many times had she been married? Where did her children go to school?
She suspected he was not supposed to be asking such questions, but she was looking for work, so she put her concerns aside.
“It kind of made me feel weird, but I needed the job,” said Mateer, whose accusations have not been previously reported.
Once on the job, Mateer, like several of his other aides, was instructed by Delgaudio to enroll in courses at the conservative Leadership Institute aimed to enhance their political savvy — including classes such as High Dollar Fundraising, Campaign Management and Online Activism, according to e-mails from Delgaudio to the aides that were obtained by The Post.
“He said he wanted me to learn how to raise big campaign bucks,” Mateer said.
There's one problem with what Delgaudio was doing--it not only violates county policy, but also violates federal law. Two other aides expressed concern about this, and resigned when Delgaudio kept at it. Mateer grew increasingly uncomfortable with what she was going, and also claims Delgaudio went on racist and homophobic tirades as well. Even more egregiously, she claims that after all of the more senior aides resigned, the office manager for Public Advocate effectively became her supervisor--in effect, putting Public Advocate in charge of a county office. She finally went to the county human resources department to complain. Hours later, Delgaudio fired her. The FBI and the U.S. Attorney for Eastern Virginia are investigating.
Delgaudio claims that he was actually raising money for a youth football league. But at least three of the donors who met with him say that the only topic of discussion was raising money for his campaign.
But when Bruce Hutchison, a dentist in Fairfax County, met with Delgaudio on Jan. 9, it was clear to Hutchison that the solicitation “was for [Delgaudio] as a politician,” he said.Delgaudio also claims that Mateer had a misunderstanding about what the list was for. But that's pretty hard to believe since the list had several notes in the margins--such as “top fundraiser for delgaudio,” or “will not donate to delgaudio” or “waste of time . . . is a democrat.”
“He told me that he was very proud of me because I was a good supporter of Republican values,” Hutchinson said. “I didn’t quite get where he was coming from. And then he left me a brochure and said he would be glad to take a donation of any kind.”
Hutchison said he was surprised to receive a call from Delgaudio’s office requesting a meeting because he had never heard of Delgaudio before. “He’s not even my [representative] or anything,” he said.
Two members of the Loudoun business community, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be associated with Delgaudio’s activities, also said Delgaudio spoke of his political interests and requested campaign donations during meetings scheduled by Mateer early this year.
“I don’t recall that he set an amount, but it was suggested that if I was so inclined and felt that I was aligned with some of his positions and views . . . that he would gladly accept” a contribution, one Loudoun man said. “He was obviously soliciting funds to continue his campaign.”
Delgaudio may have been able to lie and dissemble to WaPo, but based on what we know he won't be able to do so with a judge.