A longtime gay rights activist is asking for the state’s largest LGBT civil rights organization to stay out of Palm Beach County.
Rand Hoch, President and Founder of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, says Equality Florida is causing more trouble than they are worth. Hoch claims Equality Florida’s political action committee is making foolish endorsements without knowing the facts.
“We actually interview the candidates,” Hoch said.
West Palm Beach has an election on March 10 and the Palm Beach Human Rights Council is recommending voters return Mayor Geraldine “Jeri” Muoio and Commissioner Keith James to office. Both public officials, Hoch said, have been great allies for the LGBT community.
Equality Florida agrees, said Stratton Pollitzer. Speaking for Equality Florida’s political action committee, Pollitzer said Muoio and James underwent a rigorous review process to gain its endorsement. Pollitzer said Equality Florida is looked to for guidance from voters.
“Equality Florida has over 20,000 members in Palm Beach County,” Pollitzer said. “And those members count on us to be a trusted source of election information.”
Hoch said Pollitzer is “full of shit” and lying about Equality Florida’s level of influence. He said the organization simply mails out questionnaires to candidates and endorses those who answer correctly.
“A chimpanzee could get their endorsement,” Hoch said.
Hoch, a former judge who founded PBCHRC in 1988, is demanding EqFL cease operations in Palm Beach County. Pollitzer said fat chance.
“Rand Hoch is well known for voicing his opinions at full volume,” Pollitzer said. “He’s just over-reacting to our initial voter guide.”
That initial voter guide did not include an endorsement of Muoio or James. It was only after Hoch raised an objection did Equality Florida endorse both candidates, going so far as to send out a separate e-blast announcing their decision.