Sen. Alesi's SSM Flip Flop An Effort to Drown Out Further Ridicule?


TheĀ Associated Press on the curious case of Mr. Alesi:

"My friends are showing me on their BlackBerrys, 'Jim Alesi, gay icon,'" he said. "I just take it in stride."

It is a welcome change from January, when Mr. Alesi was associated less with legislative history than with what he has since described as a "bone-headed" personal-injury lawsuit against the owners of a home in which he fell off a ladder while trespassing on their property.

The home was under construction, and Mr. Alesi has said he was under the impression that it was open to prospective buyers.

Though he quickly withdrew the suit, the incident made him the subject of derision and appeared to inflict permanent damage on his reputation and re-election bid.

"I would have to say 99.9% if not 100%" of Mr. Alesi's constituents were outraged, said Bill Reilich, Monroe County Republican Committee Chairman. "It was pretty brutal."

"I can tell you that the almost constant feedback that I receive is dissatisfaction with Jim's actions," said James Smith, Perinton, N.Y., town supervisor.

For better or worse, Mr. Alesi's vote appears to have overshadowed that incident, though whether his gay-rights advocacy will help or hurt a 2012 re-election bid is hard to say.