This Is The Rick Perry Strategist GOProud's Jimmy LaSalvia Is Complaining About
His name is Tony Fabrizio. Politico reported on him in October.
Tony Fabrizio, a veteran strategist and pollster, is joining the Rick Perry campaign, sources tell me. Fabrizio was the chief strategist and pollster for Bob Dole's 1996 presidential run. His other recent clients have included Tim Pawlenty and Rick Scott. Fabrizio joins another Dole alum, Nelson Warfield, and media strategist Curt Anderson, whose hires by Team Perry went public last night. A national pollster had been a major missing piece for Perry, who is trying to adjust his message and fix his campaign's woes for the coming truncated primary fight.The Miami Herald reports that in addition to working for FL Gov. Rick Scott, Fabrizio has worked for gay rights groups.
Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio, who has worked for gay-rights advocates in the past, has become the target of criticism among gay activists who opposed the Texas governor's latest Iowa ad that takes a swipe at the end of the Don't Ask Don't Tell military policy. '"This is the dilemma for working in the Republican Party: the candidates need to appeal to the far right and that sometimes means bashing the gay community," said Stephen Gaskill, a former spokesman for the Florida Red and Blue committee that unsuccessfully tried to block a 2008 Florida constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.UPDATE: How's this for some cognitive dissonance?
Fabrizio was the Republican pollster hired by Florida Red and Blue, which paid his firm more than $264,000. Fabrizio also lives in one of the friendliest of gay towns, Miami Beach, where he has a South Beach condominium. Fabrizio, who said by email that he couldn't chat this morning, was just quoted in the Huffington Post as having opposed the Perry ad, which he described as "nuts" in an email to Perry ad man Nelson Warfield, a longtime friend of Fabrizio's. Both men were top advisors to Rick Scott in his gubernatorial campaign last year.
"It is the height of hypocrisy for Tony Fabrizio to have been a part of that," said Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder and executive director of GOProud. "He has lined his pockets for years with money from the gay community to conduct polls to ostensibly help gay people in this country, and for him to be a part of this is the height of Washington hypocrisy. It is absolutely what is wrong with Washington. It is all about the payday for these people."For his part, Fabrizio tells the Huffington Post while he was "uncomfortable" with the ad, he won't comment otherwise. "If you start answering personal attacks, you are just rewarding the attacker."