Conservative activist hired by openly gay mayoral campaign

By Todd A. Heywood

Capitol Correspondent

FLINT-

The campaign of openly gay mayoral candidate Dale Weighill has hired Tyler Whitney to run the campaign's field operations. Whitney has been trained by the Leadership Institute in Virginia. He is also closely tied to the Southern Poverty Law Center recognized hate group Young Americans for Freedom chapter at Michigan State University.

BTL reported a month ago that Whitney had begun the process of coming out to his friends in the conservative community. The story lit up the internet because he had participated in a protest against a human rights ordinance passed by the City of Lansing, and was picked by the leader of MSU YAF to run the WMU YAF chapter in Kalamazoo. MSU YAF leader Kyle Bristow has written homosexuals should be jailed, and says that homosexuality kills people almost to the extent of cigarettes.

Whitney was also the webmaster for the Tom Tancredo for President web site. Tancredo has a 0 percent rating with HRC, and at the time, Bay Buchanan senior advisor to the campaign and sister to Pat Buchanan, told BTL that sexual preference had "nothing to do" with the campaign.

Reached by cellphone, Whitney said he left the Tancredo campaign because he wanted to come back to Michigan. "I decided to come back to Michigan because I missed home. So I'm back here now."

He said he decided to work for Weighill for several reasons. "He's more conservative than pretty much anyone else, and I agree with him on the issues. He seems like a very nice guy."

Asked which issues Whitney said, "Mainly economic issues. I'm more of a libertarian and he is very fiscally responsible."

Asked specifically if he joined the campaign because Weighill was openly gay, Whitney responded, "It doesn't make a difference to me whatsoever."

He said residents of Flint are responding well to Weighill's campaign message.

Weighill has also been given a strong endorsement by Triangle PAC.

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