From The Hill:
At her weekly news conference, Pelosi (D-Calif.) was asked if she was concerned about whether the debate over healthcare and the role of the federal government — much of it wrapped in escalating anti-government rhetoric — could lead to acts of violence.
“I think we all have to take responsibility for our actions and our words. We are a free country and this balance between freedom and safety is one that we have to carefully balance,” Pelosi began.
But she then reached back some 30 years, to the very beginning of her career in politics, to recall how heated rhetoric led to the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk by a disgruntled former supervisor on Nov. 27, 1978.
“I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw … I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco,” Pelosi said, choking up and with tears forming in her eyes. “This kind of rhetoric is just, is really frightening and it created a climate in which we, violence took place and … I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made.”
Following the press conference, Pelosi aides confirmed that she was referencing the Milk and Moscone assassinations, which coincided with a wave of politically driven violence throughout the city.
When Dan White murdered George Moscone and Harvey Milk it had NOTHING to do with political rhetoric. White was angry because Moscone rejected his request to be reappointed to the Board of Supervisors. The only other notable political violence in that period was the 1979 “White Night Riots” which were an expression of outrage by the San Francisco gay community over the lenient sentence White received for the murders.
BTW – Dan White was a Democrat.
The House Republicans’ top campaign chief strongly denounced Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comments that appeared to question whether today’s angry conservative protests were similar to anti-gay rallies in the late 1970s that preceded the assassination of two San Francisco political leaders.
Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Pelosi crossed the line when she related the rhetoric of anti-gay protesters in San Francisco in 1978 — the year Harvey Milk, the first openly gay member of the city’s board of supervisors, and his political ally, Mayor George Moscone, were killed by former supervisor Dan White — to that of contemporary conservatives while answering a question about the protests against President Obama’s health-care proposals.
The 1978 Briggs Initiative (Proposition 6) would have banned gays and lesbians from working in public schools. Even Ronnie Raygun opposed it and it was overwhelmingly defeated. I don’t recall there being many Prop 6 supporters in the SF Bay Area – it originated in SoCal. Nor do I recall any violent rhetoric being associated with either side of the campaign.
In any event, it had nothing to do with the Moscone/Milk murders.