Originally published: Aug. 31, 2009, 4:38 p.m.
Updated: Sept. 2, 2009, 8:34 a.m.
Washington, D.C.-based activist and blogger Mike Rogers claimed Aug. 31 he had enough evidence to confirm South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer is gay. Bauer had been the subject of longstanding rumors, including those passed on by former South Carolina congressional candidate Linda Ketner.
Rogers, who says he has a 100 percent track record outing public officials, said he is first and foremost a reporter who deals in facts.
“I’m a reporter. I meet with people and I talk to them,” he said on his blog. “Then based on a review of all of the facts, I report closet cases that hurt the gay community. You may not like my style, but I have a track record of 100%.”
Rogers said he has met with several men who claim Bauer hit on them. He has also met with a man who said he had sexual relations with Bauer two different times.
Still, Rogers said, those few stories were not enough evidence to make a report on the Palmetto State’s second-in-command.
“I was led on a path to chatting with acquaintances of the source and two former employees of Bauer who served on his staff between 2004 and 2007,” Rogers writes. “They reported to me that on on a total of three occasions Bauer spent hours alone with men in hotel rooms. Each of them explained that the visits were with younger men who were not on the staff of the Lt. Governor nor had any official reason to be with him. The two men each confirmed that they had not known each other and each described similar circumstances under with these interactions occurred. One of them confirmed that he was told by the Lt. Governor’s visitor he had a sexual encounter with Bauer.”
Rogers has successfully outed several high-profile politicians, including Ed Schrock, Mark Foley and Larry Craig. Rogers’ reports were made before the politicians either confirmed it or were caught in unsavory sexual situations, such as Craig’s arrest for solicitation in a Minneapolis airport.
In June, one-time congressional candidate Linda Ketner, who is lesbian, claimed Bauer and other South Carolina officials were gay.
“We have more gay people serving in South Carolina than probably in anyplace in the United States; they’re just not out of the closet,” Ketner told blogger Howie Klein. “We have an awful lot of people in the closet — Lindsey Graham, Glenn McConnell who’s our Senate president pro tem, our Lt Governor [André Bauer].”
She later apologized for her remarks.
In June, Rogers told Q-Notes he would only report on suspected closeted, anti-gay politicians when he was certain of the facts.
“As always, I support the reporting on closeted, anti-gay politicians who work against the interest of the gay community,” he said. “I am careful to only report on cases of which I have 100 percent confidence and encourage others to not use rumors, whether longstanding or recent, as a basis for outing.”
At the time, he encouraged South Carolinians to do the appropriate research into allegedly closeted politicians’ records and actions and have all the facts before going public with any evidence.
Bauer has repeatedly denied rumors that he is gay. When asked about the rumors after Ketner’s claims in June, Bauer told a South Carolina newspaper, “One word, two letters. No.”
In a newscast on NBC affiliate WIS 10 in Columbia on Sept. 1, Bauer communications director Frank Adams said Rogers’ reporting was, “Rumors, gossip, lies, innuendo….a bunch of scurrilous crap.”
On his blog, Rogers said he was “shocked” that local Columbia news organizations were covering the story.
In recent weeks, Bauer has called for South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s resignation. If Sanford resigns, Bauer will become governor.
- Ketner apologizes for ‘outing’ S.C. Republicans, June 9, 2009