By Jon Ponder on 7/14/2008, 12:34pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

The McCain campaign's Alabama chairman, Attorney General Troy King, the virulent homophobe who is the subject of rumors that his wife discovered him having sex with another man, was a client of Strategum USA, the consulting firm of Ralph Gonzalez, a closeted gay GOP political operative who was killed last summer in a double murder-suicide in his home in Orlando.

Gonzalez was also the one-time campaign manager/consultant for Florida's hard-right, scandal-plagued 24th Congressional District U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney whose close ties to disgraced GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and involvement in an alleged electronic vote-rigging conspiracy have been reported extensively for years by The BRAD BLOG.

Last Friday, the McCain campaign quickly scrubbed all references to King from its website without offering a public reason.

The August 27, 2007 Birmingham News report of the murder-suicide which took Gonzalez' life, discussed the consultant's work for King in Alabama...

Consultant dead in murder-suicide did work in Alabama

The Republican political consultant who died in an apparent double murder-suicide in Florida late last week had several Alabama clients, including Attorney General Troy King.

Ralph Gonzalez, 39, president of The Strategum Group, was found dead Thursday along with his roommate, David Abrami, 36, and a friend, Robert Drake, 30, according to The Associated Press.

A motive has not been determined, and weapons and signs of a struggle were found in the house.

The Web site for Gonzalez' firm lists among its Republican clients King, Jefferson County Commissioner Jim Carns, and four other legislative and judicial candidates from Alabama.

The Strategum Group produced a flier in a state legislative race in 2005 saying Democratic candidate Gloria Dolbare supported same-sex marriage. The flier said "Let Gloria Dolbare know God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!" and depicted two smiling men on a porch holding hands.

The Alabama Republican Legislative Committee reported paying Strategum $3,144 for the advertising on behalf of Dolbare's opponent Nick Williams. Williams won race for House District 65.

In January, the Orlando police released their final report, which according to the Orlando Sentinel, ascribed no motive for Jason Drake's murder of Gonzalez and Abrami or his own suicide.

One of Strategum's highest profile clients was Rep. Tom Feeney, the scandal-plagued Florida Republican, who, as the Florida Speaker of the House played a minor but key role in helping George W. Bush steal the 2000 election, and who could probably tell the McCain campaign a thing or two about scrubbing websites.

(H/t: Michelle L)

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