Some interesting tidbits from the Blade’s coverage:
Gay staffers from the Paul campaign, some speaking on condition that they not be identified, said they learned about Snyder’s unpaid medical bills from a web site created by his friends that calls on Paul supporters to contribute to a special fund to help Snyder’s family pay the bills, which come mostly from a two-month hospitalization. So far, the site (kentsnyder.com) has raised about $32,000.
It’s a bit sad that gay staffers feel like they cannot be openly gay in the Ron Paul campaign.
“I can’t believe he didn’t have health insurance,” said one political activist who read about Snyder’s unpaid medical bills in a story published last month in the Wall Street Journal. “I can’t believe that Ron Paul didn’t give him health insurance,” said the activist, who asked not to be identified.
Over $35 million raised, but no health insurance for key staff?!?
Craig Max, a D.C. gay Republican activist who sought to become a Ron Paul delegate to the Republican National Convention, said news of Snyder’s death and his lack of health insurance has triggered a behind-the-scenes debate among Paul supporters and libertarian activists over whether or not the Paul campaign should have provided health insurance to its staff.
The Journal story did not identify Snyder as gay; a Washington Post obituary reported Snyder died of viral pneumonia but did not mention his sexual orientation.
At least three gay Paul supporters said it was well known among Paul campaign insiders that Snyder was gay. Although Snyder shunned the public spotlight, activists and political operatives working on the campaigns of rival GOP presidential candidates, including officials with the McCain campaign, recognized Snyder’s efforts in building a major campaign operation for Paul, Paul’s gay supporters said.
Imagine if Synder had stepped out of the closet to challenge his boss on some of the issues I’ve criticized Paul on — it would have made a big difference.
Overall, this story is a compound tragedy. Snyder helped build a doubtlessly successful fundraising and publicity campaign, but was ultimately forced into the closet by the politics of the Republican Party, and ended up dead due to a lack of health insurance.
Whether it was the campaign’s responsibility to provide insurance for full time employees is up for debate, and I don’t know what the answer is to that question. I do know that America is poorer for Snyder’s death — and poorer for Beltway Republicans’ habit of forcing yet another brilliant gay man into the closet.