According to a post on the Tea Party Nation (TPN) website earlier this month, TPN founder “Judson Phillips will be joining… Josh Mandel in Ohio” on October 23rd for multiple rallies in Ohio.

You may remember Phillips from, among other things, his over-the-top homophobic rant over Arizona’s SB1062, the bill that would have allowed any individual or business to legally discriminate against the LGBT community because, well, that’s what Jesus would have done.

In his post, Phillips insisted the bill was necessary protect God-fearing straight folks from the “homosexual lobby” who are “pushing slavery using the Orwellian concepts of ‘tolerance’ and ‘inclusiveness’.”   Philips warned that, without the “protections” offered by this bill, small business owners would “be required to create a cake for a homosexual wedding that has a giant phallic symbol on it” or to “create pastries for a homosexual wedding in the shape of genitallia [sic].”

Penis cakes, people!  You have been warned.

Mandel, a skinny rich kid from Northeast Ohio, has been locked in a tough race for state treasurer with State Rep. Connie Pillich, a former U.S. Air Force captain representing a very conservative district in Southern Ohio.  And it seems Mandel will do anything necessary to reach out to Tea Party voters in the area – including rallying with wackadoodle homophobes like Phillips.

Mandel has spent much of his political career trying to convince voters that he is just like them.   He’s tried to cast himself as a regular blue-collar guy and not the fortunate son a rich lawyer who happened to marry into one of the wealthiest families in Ohio.   He’s tried to cast himself as a hard working friend of coal workers, going so far as to poorly fake an accent.   And during his failed Senate campaign against Sherrod Brown, Mandel tried so hard to appeal to the hard-right fringe of the Republican party that his own family wrote and published a letter to young Josh, calling him out of his new-found homophobia.  “This family is sprawling and diverse, but it has always believed strongly in the values of equality and inclusiveness,” wrote nine family members.  “Your discriminatory stance violates these core values of our family.”

Sadly, Josh learned nothing from the experience.  Instead he seems to be kicking-up the crazy as election day nears.  And he needs to be called out on it.   Reporters need to ask Josh Mandel why he plans to appear publicly with a guy who writes racist posts about President Obama.  Reporters need to ask Josh Mandel why he is hanging out with a guy who believes non-discrimination laws are the same thing as “slavery”.  And above all else, reporters immediately need to ask Josh Mandel his opinion on penis cakes.