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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 7, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 49
Bye bye, Jim DeMint
Section One
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Bye bye, Jim DeMint

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Ultra-right anti-Gay Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced on December 6 that he will resign from the U.S. Senate in January to become president of the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing Washington, D.C., think tank.

DeMint was elected to the Senate in 2004 after three terms in the House of Representatives, and was re-elected in the Republican sweep of 2010.

As a legislator, DeMint leaves no mark at all. He was best known for feuding with his own party's leadership, and devoted very little time to sponsoring actual legislation.

Nevertheless, in slightly more than one term in office he managed to earn a flat Zero rating from HRC for his fierce opposition to LGBT rights. Always an equal-opportunity bigot, DeMint also got a 7% rating from the NAACP and 7% from the ACLU.

'COSTLY AND DESTRUCTIVE'
As a senator, DeMint consistently supported constitutional amendments barring same-sex marriage.

'In America,' he once said, 'people should have a right to live with whomever they want, but redefining marriage to promote behavior that is deemed costly and destructive is not the proper role of government.'

In his 2004 Senate campaign, DeMint said that Gays, Lesbians, and unmarried women should not be allowed to teach in public schools.

When challenged by his opponent for that stand, DeMint excused himself by saying he spoke 'as a dad with my heart and I did not answer as a Senate candidate. I apologize for making the remark because it distracted from the debate.'

As a Representative in 1999, DeMint voted to bar same-sex couples from adopting children in the District of Columbia.

REAGAN'S BRAIN
The Heritage Foundation may be the perfect place for a man of DeMint's peculiar talents. Founded in 1973 with funding from anti-Gay beer tycoon Joseph Coors, it is now a recipient of money from the Koch brothers and other ultra-conservative businessmen.

The organization is widely credited - or blamed - for providing the ideological underpinnings of the Reagan administration, and Reagan's attorney general, Ed Meese, still serves as a foundation fellow.

DeMint, who is reportedly one of the poorest U.S. senators, will be well-compensated for his efforts. His predecessor at Heritage got a base salary of $477,097. The annual salary for a senator is a mere $174,000.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican, will appoint a successor who will serve until 2014, when the remaining two years of DeMint's term will be filled in a special election.

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