I know, I know -- it doesn't really count because he's not supported by angry rabid blogofascist Stalinists like that evil Ned Lamont, but the guy who might be on the verge of beating the incumbent moderate Republican senator from Rhode Island in a primary has a somewhat ugly youthful paper trail:
As a student at Bowdoin College a generation ago, Cranston Mayor Stephen P. Laffey wrote humor columns for a campus newspaper that even he now acknowledges could be construed as homophobic.
For example, in one column in the Bowdoin Patriot, the paper published by campus Republicans, Laffey wrote, "I have never once seen a happy homosexual. This is not to say there aren't any; I simply haven't seen one in my lifetime. Maybe they are all in the closet. All the homosexuals I've seen are sickly and decrepit, their eyes devoid of life."...
"And how about this humanoid (I'd hesitate to say person, and I would never use the word MAN) Boy George," wrote Laffey [in another column]. "It wears girl's clothes and puts on makeup. When I hear it sing, 'Do you really want to hurt me, do you really want to make me cry,' I say to myself, YES, I want to punch your lights out, pal, and break your ribs...."
Laffey's reaction, of course, is to describe the use of words he admits he wrote as a "smear." He also describes the columns as "sophomoric political satire." "We thought it was funny," he says -- though I'm searching in vain for anything resembling an actual joke. Here's another sample of Laffey's youthful writing from the Patriot (PDF):
...It is the immoral action of compromise that has led our country into its present condition: a Government that interferes with individual rights, a foreign policy that, until recently, accommodated the spread of communism, and workers who seek the largest salaries for the least amount of work.
I will say here and now that I do see things in black and white -- that I do discriminate between moral and immoral actions. The compromises that this country has made to the moral flinchers must be stopped....
It's the product of his youth, so it's hard to believe this will hurt him electorally. On the other hand, this is a state where the largest city has an openly gay mayor, so in a general election, who knows?
(If the first link doesn't work, read the story at, er, Free Republic.)