Donna Frye on Lorie Zapf
For this week’s cover story about Donna Frye, I spent about two hours and 45 minutes interviewing the termed-out San Diego City Council member. So, there was lots and lots of material that didn’t make it into my article. One topic that was left on the cutting-room floor was the specter of Frye being replaced by socially conservative Republican Lorie Zapf.
Here’s what Frye initially said about that:
I would have preferred Steve [Hadley, Frye’s chief of staff, who finished in third place in the primary election]. However, that being said, my community voted, and I will do everything I can, and I have done everything I can, to make sure that that is a successful transition. I’m not going to trap-block her; I’m trying to help her. I’m not running out and spending my budget; she’s going to be left in really good shape financially. I’m making sure that all the documents that she’ll need will be there. I’m giving her books. I’ve met with her; I’ve talked with her. I’ve printed out the permanent rules of council, gave her the Brown Act [the state’s open-meetings and open-records law]. I’m going to do everything I can to help her.
Then I pressed her, noting that Zapf once said in an e-mail that she didn’t believe that gay people are fit for public office. That reminded Frye of the political battle over whether the city would allow the Boy Scouts, which discriminates against gay people, to lease land in Balboa Park:
It’s funny, when I first ran for office, the issue was the Boy Scouts, and that was the one that they beat me over the head with. They had these campaign mailers that they sent out with pictures of Boy Scouts giving food to the poor and mothers with children, and talking about God and the American flag and values and ethics for the country and the Boy Scout pledge—and saying it’s just not good enough for Donna Frye.
Frye, who supported booting the scouts from Balboa Park because of the discrimination issue, recalled one day when a neighbor brought one of those fliers, and it brought her to tears. Frye noted that Zapf, in her e-mail conversation with anti-gay activist James Hartline, said that she has cousins who are gay but that she was OK getting her picture taken with them. Frye expressed disgust at Zapf referring to gay people as “them,” as if they’re somehow less human than straight people. Therefore, Frye said, as for handing over the keys to her office to someone who feels that way:
It’s hard. I don’t like it.