Columnist says candidate should be 'dragged behind a pickup truck'
Posted: Thursday October 12, 2006 at 5:40 am
Keywords: Stephen Morse
Note: If you have ADD or ADHD, you might want to skip to the video (below) and read this when you get confused.

Last night, I went down to the Trocadero Theatre at 10th and Arch Streets. I was prompted to go by Liz Spikoli's Philadelphia Weekly feature last week about Dan Savage, who writes the nationally syndicated column Savage Love.

Thanks to Ray Murphy of the Philadelphians Against Santorum, I was granted a video interview with Mr. Savage.

Whichever side of the political spectrum you are on, I think that my video speaks for itself. This was by far the most insane interview that I've ever conducted.

For those who need a primer on the senate race before watching the film, here are the players discussed by Mr. Savage:

Sen. Rick Santorum: As the senate's number three man, he is either hated or loved, depending on who you ask. Santorum is known as a quintessential right-winger.

Bob Casey: Son of former Pennsylvania governor Bob Casey Sr. and currently running against Santorum for his senate seat.

Carl Romanelli: Though he was tossed off the ballot two weeks ago by Commonwealth Court Judge (and former Democratic State Senator) James R. Kelley, Romanelli is still fighting a legal battle to get back on the ballot. Romanelli has little political experience. Democrats tend to hate him because ,should he be allowed back on the ballot, he could serve as a "spoiler" for the Republicans. It is widely known that individual Republicans provided the financial support to get Mr. Romanelli's campaign off the ground.

From the interview: - "Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there's nothing left but the rope." (2:41)
- "The Green party and its supporters are tools and fools for the republicans and the radicial right." (2:50)
- "Any progressive who votes for a Green anymore after Nader and now Romanelli is a fucking idiot and should be beaten with sticks." (3:05)
- "Romanelli may want to … rim my ass three times a week, that doesn't make him better for me. And it doesn't make his presence on the ballot better for me than a casey victory." (3:31)
- "Mr. Romanelli should go fuck himself." (4:00)
- "If Carl Romanelli gets back on the ballot, someone should run him over with a truck." (5:22)

You may link to this video as you please, but if you intend to use it for commercial purposes, please contact Stephen Morse at

This is awesome. Yay DP going multimedia.
- Shannon
Hahaha! Amazing.
I love Dan Savage.
- Insert Name
Stephen, I'm unbelievably jealous that you got to interview Dan fucking Savage. But I think you completely missed the point that most of what comes out of Santorum's mouth is infinitely more disturbing than anything said here. We should fight fire with fire, right? Isn't that what Michelle's post was all about?
- Amara
Romanelli Response to the story" Dan Savage, Editor of Seattle’s “The Stranger” and the sex advice column “Savage Love” made terroristic remarks in regards to Carl Romanelli and his candidacy that advocated violence against Romanelli, the Green Party, and its supporters. Dan Savage told Stephen Morse, a reporter for The Daily Pennsylvanian, “Someone should run Romanelli over with a truck” and “any progressive that votes for a green is a fucking idiot and should be beaten with sticks”. Carl Romanelli issued the following statement in response: “Dan Savage is very irresponsible in his remarks. He has a responsibility to speak like a responsible adult in his position as editor of “The Stranger”. Inciting violence and essentially calling for my death is the tactics of individuals like Osama bin Laden. Savage is not fit to be the editor of any newspaper. As a strong supporter of Democracy and free speech I welcome his opposition to my candidacy, but I condemn his call to violence. Dan lacks good judgment and I hope his newspaper’s sponsors will not support Dan Savage and his calls to terrorism and my death. Like Osama Bin Laden, Dan Savage is a coward. If he wants me dead he should do it himself and not hope some zombie-like supporter will do it for him. Tim Keck, publisher of “The Stranger” should fire Dan Savage and all sponsors should pull their advertising dollars, or they should consider themselves aligned with terrorist-like behavior. Any newspaper that prints his column is printing the words of a potentially violent man.” Romanelli Continued, “You would think a man who has been discriminated against as a gay man would be more sensitive then to support violence and hate crimes against individuals for their political beliefs. I hope Philadelphians Against Santorum were not aware of Savage’s inclinations toward violent action and I hope they will donate the money from their fundraiser to a group that helps victims of hate crimes.” The permalink to the video is at:§ion=2&id=364 ###
- anony
Grow up Anony! Dan Savage has the guts to call a spade a spade, and you should have the courage to deal with it like a man instead of hurling the same tired charge of "terrorist." Green voters have done an incomparable amount of damage to this country in the past 6 years. If not for Green voters, the USA would not be waging a war in Iraq, would not be eavesdropping on our citizens, and would not be torturing people in foreign prisons. I think running Romanelli over with a truck is too good for the guy. Dote be a fool people: Vote Democrat!
- Gurldoggie
My apologies— a database error caused the deletion of some comments, including some in this post. We do not expect this to happen again.
- Eric Obenzinger
Gurldoggie- Was it the fault of Green voters that so many Democrats voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq? Was it the fault of Green voters that only one Democrat voted against the Patriot Act or that so many voted for the latest wiretapping bill? Please stop lying about the Green party, and blaming them for the failures of the Democrats. I'm not aware of any major elections that were "spoiled" by the Green Party let alone how such Green voters are responsible for the things you listed. Dan Savage sounds an awful lot like Ann Coulter in this interview, it's pretty sad.
- Dietrich
It's too bad in Mr. Savage is stuck in the mindset that only twqo parties are possible within the American electoral system. Most of the other advanced nations of the world have found ways of sharing power among multiple parties. Greens for years have been urging the passage of instant run-off voting, which would allow people to vote their conscience with a first choice and to vote pragmatically with subsequent choices. Democrats had better get aboard with this idea because Greens aren't going away. Mr. Savage has a most appropriate last name, considering all the violence he wished upon Mr. Romanelli. the imagery was very remniscent of the actual things that occured to the young gay who was killed out west a few years ago.
- David Mccorquodale
Interesting how a candidate running for Senate who is prochoice, supports equal marriage rights, supports transgender rights, universal single payer healthcare,and end to the war, the repeal of the taft hartley act, renewable energy, and other progressive causes is seen as such a threat to the anti-choice, corporately compromised Democrat candidate in PA that folks feel it necessary to call for violent political repression. Some people will simply choose not to vote rather than vote for Casey on his abortion stance alone which is no different than that of Santorum. Yes, many, in fact most progressives will hold their noses and vote for Casey because Pennsylvania politics and progressive vision in the statewide political structure are so far gone that the differences between the two will make some differences. Hopefully, someday, Pennsylvania progressive movement will have grown and matured enough to have a populist embrace of a candidate like Romanelli. Funny how nobody talks about some of Casey's questionable corporate funders. There are several state legislative races in my home state where Greens are very competitive in races for state legislature including one state senate race against an unpopular Republican incumbent winning Sierra Club, NARAL, GLBT groups and other progressive, environmental and labor endorsements over the Democrat who wound up dropping out of the race anyway and a state house race where the Green is favored in recent polling with the Republican coming up in the low single digits. Before you go and write off all Green voters and Greens nationwide remember the old maxim that "all politics is local" and for that matter temporal. What might hold true for some in this years election may not hold true in another in another time or another place. The most offensive thing about Savage's ramblings being one who comes from a blue-green city is that he does many elected officials and activists who've done a hell of alot for sexual liberty, glbtiq equality, and for the state of the nation as whole wrong when he paints Greens with his monochrome view that only two parties are and/or should be allowed on the ballot. Competition of ideas in the democratic marketplace improves the whole. If you want better choices than Casey OR Santorum you have to allow other voices to at least be allowed to be at the table even if in the end you don't vote for'em.
- David Strand
Dan Savage has just endorsed lynch mob campaigns, and yet he dares to pretend he is defending democracy? Savage plays upon hipster reflexes, but his thinking is as muddled as his calls to violence against any candidate who dares to challenge the bipartisan lockdown on elections. If the Democratic Party had behaved like an opposition party, why did leading Congressional Democrats-- including Hillary Clinton-- vote for the bills to budget and wage the war in Iraq? To this day neither Bill nor Hillary have dared to condemn the war and to work toward ending this latest imperial adventure. They merely hope to be better managers of a kinder, gentler imperialism. The Clintons are pillars of the Democratic Leadership Council, the dominant faction of the Democratic Party and a crudely corporate operation. The Clintons helped sabotage serious health care reform in this country, and when Bill was president he not only waged a "bipartisan" war on welfare, but also tore down the last remnants of New Deal democracy. The word "progressive" really is up for grabs if Dan Savage demands loyalty to the Democratic Party. Democrats in Congress enabled the Republican torture program, so torture is no longer the realm of a bloody soundproof Republican basement. No, torture is part of bipartisan business as usual. Just last week, the Senate voted 80 to 19 to build a "security wall" against immigrant workers along the Mexican border. Repeat: 80 to 19. That's nineteen "profiles in courage." That's an opposition party? On every important issue, Romanelli is the better candidate in Pennsylvania. If politics is the art of compromise, we would do better to vote our conscience and compromise with the Greens than with the big business parties of war and empire. The Green Party does not promise heaven on earth, but they happen to be our best hope for peace and democracy. Savage's calls for violence against Romanelli are simply calls for thugs to shut down independent campaigns. As the fascists took power in Italy, the thugs of Mussolini made sure to target opposition members of parliament such as the Socialist deputy Matteoti-- who was duly assassinated. Anyone cheering on Savage is indeed cheering on this kind of fascist savagery. If the Democratic Party does not disown and condemn Savage, then the public has positive proof of the desperation of Congressional Democrats. I lived in Pennsylvania for over thirty years, and I am not surprised that "progressives" in that state have sunk to the regressive level of voting by rote for Casey. But the real hope for democracy lies fair and square in voter rebellion against both parties of war and big business. Vote for Romanelli but don't expect democracy to be a Christmas gift only on election days. Winning peace and democracy means much more than spinning the wheels of career politicians. In his vain and deliberate ignorance, Savage should go far as a partisan hack and as a salesman of the gospel of political violence. The Green Party deserves our votes and support. Peace and solidarity, Thomas Scott Tucker, Editor of Open Letter Online
- Thomas Scott Tucker, Editor of Open Letter Online
I am a Green and if i run across mr. savage i would ask him one question, did you really say those things about Greens and our candidate? then proceed to give him the ass whupping of the century. with love of course lol
- bad ass green
If I tell you, Stephen, that I'm going to rip that silver spoon out of your mouth and beat you with it, is it a threat? No, it's sarcasm. Do they offer "sense of humor 101" at Penn? If so, get thee some edumication! And to all you Greens- when you finally get a job and move out of mom's basement, then maybe you'll figure out that life doesn't bend to your wishes and dreams. Until you all grow up and deal with the real world that we live in, you will be looked at as the fools/tools that you are. How does it feel to carry Republican water? I bet you'd all love to get a little Santorum on the sheets with Santorum.
- Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg
I dont know much about the green,but i am sick about what is going on.Not just the war but in illinois our politican are being tried and sent to jail.Iam just checking things out.;
- Ted.
Dan Savage is a funkin' genius. The Stranger is the best newspaper in Seattle. These green party candidates should all be shot. If you don't like Dan Savage you are an idiot Repuklican.
- Joe
Dan has made a weak apology. Read about it at my blog: /
- Insert Name
Maybe the link will work this time:
Dan Savage is very "green" he drives a Prius and The Stranger Newspaper he edits is printed with soy ink. When Dan flies he always brings along sustainable, organic snack foods. I believe he even only travels on airlines that use biodiesel fueled airplanes.
- Kimberly
Maybe I should not admit this on my blog, considering how intolerant and hateful Savage is towards Greens, and his calls for violence to be perpetrated on Greens, but I am a registered Green and will be voting for every candidate my party has on the California ballot in November, and my votes on the ballot initiatives will be cast as the Green Party has recommended. Having said that, I'll keep an eye over my shoulder, for the likes of Savage and his fellow Democrats, who think America and our special democracy is so week it can only survive and thrive if there are just two political parties. Savage is going to hate me for saying this, but I genuinely believe America is such a great nation and its people so wonderful, that the country will be even more fabulous, if Green candidates weren't kept off the ballot or out of political debates by fearful, hateful Democrats. I'll give Savage some (micro) credit for his tepid apology on his paper's blog, but I think in his abusive Ann Coulter-esque heart, he really would like to see Green candidates and voter dead. From the blog at the Stranger: Now, anyone doing anything that might help keep Santorum in the Senate pisses me right off. That’s my only excuse for using an image that was, well, violent and uncalled for and disrespectful while discussing Romanelli. Here it is: > Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope. Today blogger Michael Petrelis slapped me around for making the comment. And rightly so. It wasn’t kosher, and it was especially disrespectful of the memory of James Byrd Jr., a black man who was lynched in Texas in 1998 by being dragged behind a pickup truck. [...] For the record: It was a stupid, shitty thing to say. And I would like the record to show that I did a very un-Coulter-like thing on October 12 before anyone beat me up for saying it: I withdrew the crack and apologized for it. From a Slog post on October 12: > You know, I just got off the plane and I haven’t watched the video. But here’s the diff between me and Coulter: I regret using that truck metaphor, and didn’t mean it literally, and it was in poor taste, and I regret it. [...] Wait a minute… did I apologize or did I just “regret”? And were my regrets posted prominently enough on the Slog? They weren’t in their own post, just attached to another post in a comment thread. So that’s why I’m writing this post… I’m sorry about that comment, and I regret it. But I still hate that Romanelli bastard. And, hey, if I am Ann Coulter’s “political twin,” as Petrelis claims, how come I don’t make the money she does? Okay, Dan, you still despise the Green, but would it have cost you too much to apologize for advocating Romanelli's death, by directly saying you're sorry to him?
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Stephen Morse
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