It seems to happen like clockwork. Just as the ballots go out and shortly before Election Day, out of nowhere ugly charges are dumped on a candidate. As we head into the final days of the 2015 campaign for the Burbank Primary Election on February 24, 2015, city council candidate/Burbank Planning Board vice-chair, Chris Rizzotti, is battling anti-gay accusations.
At the Burbank City Council meeting last night, a number of Rizzotti supporters spoke up for his character and what they described as his lack of bias against anyone for their race, religion or sexual orientation. Also, Rizzotti went before the council, during public comment, to defend himself.
“I’m sorry that we’re taking, uh, business time away from our city to answer to this issue … last week you heard accusations from a member of the public that I have never met or spoken to in my entire life…last week I was hurt by the accusations and the words that the speaker said… but shortly thereafter, I received so much support from my friends that are gay, straight and members of the community that it has been uplifting.”
“I have never posted, spoken, or supported any belief that can be construed anti-gay or bias toward any group or individual.”
Rizzotti’s accuser, Burbank resident Brett Loutensock, took a turn at the podium as well Tuesday night. Loutensock demanded Rizzotti resign from a faith-based group called Young Life because of what he charges is its “… discriminatory policy against homosexuals.” Loutensock, who is openly gay, accused Rizzotti of “talking out of both sides of his mouth.”
Gee, hasn’t Loutensock heard of the Catholic Church where many of its 1.2 billion members disagree with strict church policies on gay marriage, divorce, birth control, and so on? However, it doesn’t stop those members from still worshiping as Catholics.
When asked if the attack is politically motivated, Rizzotti said “I have to say that the timing is quite interesting. Coupled with the fact that I’m the only candidate being questioned about their faith, my beliefs and my community service..”
I have to agree with Rizzotti. The timing of this attack is, ah, interesting. As I have reported, Rizzotti launched his high-profile campaign for city council last March. Since Rizzotti has never hidden his association with Young Life, why wait until right before the primary to call him out for being anti-gay?
Why go before the city council to make accusations against a candidate who is not sitting on that panel? Also, Loutensock has called on State Assemblyman, Mike Gatto, a Democrat, to withdraw his endorsement from Rizzotti, who is a Republican. Yeah, it smacks of dirty politics.