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Minnesota House candidate makes AIDS, ‘Gay Agenda’ campaign issues

Bob Frey
Bob Frey

As far as hot button issues are concerned, the Republican primary race for governor has been a snooze, with the four candidates steering clear of controversy like gay marriage. But that’s not the case in a couple of legislative primary contests.

In house district 30B in Wright County, Kevin Kasel is challenging Eric Lucero, who won the party’s endorsement, in part, by criticizing incumbent David FitzSimmons’ vote for same sex marriage.   

Then there’s Carver County’s house district 47A, where Waconia Mayor Jim Nash is facing off against Norwood Young America businessman Bob Frey, a race in which “sodomy” has become one of the campaign issues.

Neither Nash nor Frey could win the party endorsement last spring. Their respective websites state their allegiance to the GOP positions on taxes, health care and gun rights. But Nash maintains that his opponent “is more focused on social issues than the issues that Minnesotans care about. I am more of the conviction that they are interested in the issues that I’m interested in — education, transportation, taxes.”

“[Nash’s] comment is, of course, false,” Frey said.

Frey says he’s also talking about business and taxes. He says education is a particular passion, developed while working with then-state senator Michele Bachmann to defeat the “profiles in learning” education platform.

But when questioned about his position on social issues, Frey added that it “does certainly need to be addressed for what it is. It’s not about the gay agenda but about the science and the financial impact of that agenda. It’s more about sodomy than about pigeonholing a lifestyle.”   

Frey then explained his view: “When you have egg and sperm that meet in conception, there’s an enzyme in the front that burns through the egg. The enzyme burns through so the DNA can enter the egg. If the sperm is deposited anally, it’s the enzyme that causes the immune system to fail. That’s why the term is AIDS – acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.”

(This explanation of AIDS has no scientific validity, but it may strike a familiar chord: It is essentially the same one given by Bob’s son, Mike Frey, in testimony given before the House Civil Law Committee last year during the debate over gay marriage.)

Mike Frey’s testimony given before the House Civil Law Committee.

Of the financial impact, Bob Frey says, “It’s about sodomy. It’s huge amounts of money. AIDS is a long term illness, causing pain, suffering, death, a long-term illness that’s very expensive to treat.”

Both candidates say they prefer to talk about their experience and accomplishments. Nash has won his previous elections for mayor of Waconia by large margins. “The Taste of Minnesota came to Waconia. They didn’t come because it was a poorly run city,” he said.  

Frey is not without supporters, though. Carver County commissioner Tom Workman has endorsed him, as have state representatives Glenn Gruenhagen, Cindy Pugh, Jim Newberger, Joe McDonald, and Steve Drazkowski.  

Frey has also received the endorsement of the district’s retiring representative, Ernie Leidiger, perhaps best known for inviting anti-gay pastor Bradlee Dean to serve as guest chaplain for the House prayer, a prayer that was stricken from the record after Dean questioned President Obama’s faith.

For now, the candidates have stayed away from overt attacks on conservative credentials. “They have yet to attack my record as a conservative because they can’t,” said Nash.

Frey says that when his direct mail starts arriving in voters’ homes, the topics will be, “Second Amendment rights, pro-life, the responsibility to reduce the size of government.” 

But the primary race in 47A race shows that even in Carver County, one of the most conservative in the state, there is friction among Republicans — a schism between traditional and socially conservative Republicans that won’t close.

Comments (35)

  1. Submitted by Sean Huntley on 07/09/2014 - 10:52 am.

    Wow, more pure nonsense from the right. Imagine that.

    • Submitted by stan James on 08/04/2014 - 08:53 pm.

      AIDS etc

      BTW check the CDC website – women of certain demographic groups have virtually the same rate of AIDS that gay men have

      Lesbians – almost zero cases of AIDs

      What else is going to come out of AIDS research – a pill to prevent the common cold or mitigate it

      The struggle re AIDs where lots of progress is ababout is partially re the fact that the virus mutates – exactly the same prob with the common cold and some other viruses

    • Submitted by stan James on 08/04/2014 - 08:56 pm.

      gay agenda – that word designed to create fear –

      the gay agenda – to be treated equally under our laws and the constitution

      BTW take a look at Western Europe where almost all nations have marriage equality

      The further you go toward or into commie land the worse it gets for gay people

      Central Europe 4 nations with second class civil unions – Austria, Hungary, Chech repub, slovenia

      Russia etc not a chance

      This shows what and who indirectly conservatives support

    • Submitted by E Gamauf on 08/25/2014 - 05:04 am.

      No, this is about High Tech! Science.

      Lasers burning through eggs.
      Sharks with Laser Beams!

  2. Submitted by Roy Everson on 07/09/2014 - 11:09 am.

    Not a doctor, but…

    Don’t know about the science but it appears Frey’s immune system has been severely weakened by indirect exposure to the Bradlee Dean virus. How it’s contracted I haven’t a clue.

  3. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/09/2014 - 11:15 am.

    Where’s the “balance?”

    Ms. Brucato, don’t you feel any obligation to point out that the theory that “sodomy” causes AIDS is nonsense? Or do you regard it as too obvious to merit contradiction?

  4. Submitted by Ralf Wyman on 07/09/2014 - 11:19 am.

    AIDS acronym

    Just for the record, Cindy, did Mr. Frey in fact say “autoimmune deficiency system”?
    Because that’s just flat wrong, never mind the junk science it purports to support. It would be helpful if your article had bothered to correctly indicate to readers that he badly misquotes the actual term: acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

    • Submitted by Kent schulz on 07/11/2014 - 09:55 am.


      He did state it as such in the video. The guy is a dolt.

      • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 07/11/2014 - 11:22 am.

        Two different Freys

        The video attached to this article is Mike Frey, and in it, he does incorrectly state what the AIDS acronym stand for.

        The quote within the article itself is from Mike Frey’s father, Bob Frey. The article initially also had same misstatement as appears in the video, but the article was later changed to correct this after it was commented on by MinnPost readers.

        Unless someone has access to the source recording from which Bob Frey’s statement was transcribed, we have only MinnPost’s word that the corrected version was – in fact – what was said.

  5. Submitted by Sally Sorensen on 07/09/2014 - 11:20 am.

    DVD Frey distributed– Youtubes online

    I’m glad MinnPost is finally picking up this race. Readers can get an idea of campaign literature Frey has distributed here:

    The DVD is narrated by Mike Frey sources say.

    Andy Birkey at the Column has also covered this race in depth.

  6. Submitted by Sean Olsen on 07/09/2014 - 11:20 am.

    It would be nice if the story had actually pointed out that Frey’s explanation of how AIDS works isn’t accurate.

  7. Submitted by Richard Steuland on 07/09/2014 - 11:22 am.

    GOP crazy candidates

    Wow, Another crazed Christian running with a message of ignorance. Anyone who can claim association with Bachman is worthy of scrutiny . Does Minnesota need another embarrassment to represent us? Frey is comical and another half wit GOPer running for public office. The cast of weird religious fascists seek the GOP banner is an indication of just how out of touch these people are. Should be a great year for democrats if the best they can come up with is crazed ignorance.

  8. Submitted by Dimitri Drekonja on 07/09/2014 - 11:32 am.

    So the whole “This year Republicans are talking economy, not social issues” from Tom Scheck’s MPR story is really holding true, isn’t it? I think a comment on Brian Lambert’s Daily Glean from a few days ago predicted that the Republicans wouldn’t be able to stick to that goal.

    And as multiple others have pointed out: Ms. Brucato, you owe it to your readers to point out that this idea on AIDS (yes, incorrectly named in this genius’s quote), is completely wrong. This isn’t a “I have my opinion” sort of thing– this is like someone trying to say that evil spirits caused their heart attack. Please, call out lies when you see them– don’t just put quotes around them.

  9. Submitted by Tom Nehil on 07/09/2014 - 11:47 am.

    Scientific accuracy

    RB, Ralf, Sean—

    We’ve updated the story to note that Frey’s explanation of AIDS has no scientific validity.

    We’ve also corrected the last part of Frey’s quote about what the term AIDS means. It was originally incorrect due to a transcription error.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 07/10/2014 - 06:36 am.

      Editorial practice

      When an article is changed after publication, isn’t it customary to add a note within or at the head of the article explicitly stating that it was edited, and how? I know I’ve seen such notations on articles in other publications.

      It seems to me a good practice to adopt to maintain readers’ confidence rather than just “changing the story to fit the facts as you go”.

      • Submitted by Jim Elwell on 07/10/2014 - 10:31 am.


        To echo the comment by Pat Berg, shouldn’t editorial corrections to a posted article be clearly marked? Especially when it shifts the focus of the piece?

        Yesterday MinnPost promoted Brucato’s article by tweeting:

        “Minnesota house candidate makes AIDS, ‘Gay Agenda’ campaign issues.

        After correcting a few inaccuracies, and possibly reading the comments, MinnPost tweeted a link this morning promoting the same article as:

        “Bob Frey offers unfounded explaination of AIDS, makes “science and financial impact of gay agenda” part of campaign

        That seems like a rather substantial shift in tone.

  10. Submitted by Robin Scholer on 07/09/2014 - 12:02 pm.


    Really, the word “anally” should never come out of a politician’s mouth.

  11. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 07/09/2014 - 01:43 pm.

    What’s really scary

    …is that this candidate, whose knowledge of biology and disease approximates that of a 1st-grader, has supporters. Any time someone has the approval or support of Michele Bachmann, or Mr. Drazkowski, sensible people should beware.

    When Republicans campaign on the “homosexual agenda,” it tells voters in the affected area that A) they’re sexually-obsessed busybodies; B) they’re simultaneously terrified of sexuality; and C) they’re ignorant and uninformed about the issue to which they’re devoting so much time and energy.

  12. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 07/09/2014 - 01:49 pm.

    Givce the GOP a little credit..

    …at least the Party hasn’t endorsed any of them. And, besides, where am I going to get my legislative humor if not from one of these goofballs?

  13. Submitted by Michele Olson on 07/09/2014 - 02:10 pm.

    By his reasoning, we should probably illegalize heterosexual sex, too.

  14. Submitted by Bradley Johnson on 07/09/2014 - 05:08 pm.

    He’s not representative of the GOP

    For the record, Jim’s right. The issues that Minnesotans care most about right now involve keeping food on the table, keeping medicine within reach, and preparing our future generations for a productive future.

    Don’t connect this ass-hat (I would love to see what disease he thinks posterior haberdashery causes) with mainstream GOP in the state. It’s just not the case. And shame on Joe McDonald… I can’t believe he backed this bad joke.

  15. Submitted by Eric Snyder on 07/09/2014 - 10:33 pm.

    Minnesota, moving ahead with traditional values

    We’re facing a vast array of interrelated issues of increasing complexity: Funding higher ed, reducing student loan debt and affordability issues, the achievement gap in the public schools, our increasing and unsustainable ecological footprint and the corresponding need for systemic changes, economic inequality, increasing precariousness in employment, climate change, attacks on voting rights, disability rights issues, elder care, violence against women, the need for renewable energy investment, sky-high medical costs compared with other countries, immigration reform, and a hundred others things…


    …Bob Frey and his peculiar interest in anal sex. If we can just squeeze down tight on anal sex in America, Jesus will be happy, god-fearing morality will be restored, and we can go back to hating other people for a change. (—An idea for a television spot for Mr. Frey’s campaign? It’s a freebie, on me.)

    You might recall that Republican legislator Glenn Gruenhagen shares Frey’s interest in anal sex. (Perhaps they’ll team up in St. Paul?) A staunch advocate of traditional values and an illustrious independent scholar of penile-rectal intercourse, Gruenhagen has stated that:

    -An enzyme in sperm causes AIDS when introduced to the digestive tract
    -Homosexual men have an average lifespan of 41 years
    -Words like “sexual orientation” and “gay,” “lesbian,” and “bisexual” are “triggers for the hormone dopamine in children like pornography in adults”
    -HIV can be spread through sweat, tears, and saliva

    Remember, it’s not conservative ideas that are wrong, it’s merely their messaging.

  16. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 07/09/2014 - 09:31 pm.

    seeking clarification…

    So, he started out defining sodomy and then went into a discussion of anal sex and how nasty and murderous it is. But he skipped the other part of his sodomy definition. So in oral sex does the secret killer enzyme cause death? And if so is it worse in homosexual versus heterosexual oral sex. If you spill it on your skin during masturbation does it cause a rash or something?

  17. Submitted by Todd Adler on 07/10/2014 - 12:06 pm.


    It’s not often I get to legitimately put the word ‘sodomy’ into a post’s subject line. Make the most of it while you have it, folks.

    It’s ironic that the party who rails on the most about the nanny state wants to legislate what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom. The tone has shifted from “the bible says it’s so” to this pseudo junk science that Frey got off some layman’s blog and didn’t bother to vet it.

    Just because you read it on the interwebs it doesn’t make it true! That’s why we go to the experts in the field and ask them what the data says. BillyBob from the corner bait shop is not a reliable source when it comes to AIDS, vaccinations, or global warming.

  18. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/10/2014 - 12:09 pm.

    The problem it…

    Republicans have spent decades not just descending but actually cultivating intellectual dishonesty and mediocrity. At this point watching them try to locate real issues and propose innovations is rather like watching a room full of dogs attempting to form an orchestra.

    They got nothing but same ol social issues and their economics is nothing but circular reasoning based on voodoo economic applications of tax cuts and government spending cuts. One thing we know about the US economy is that more often than not these cuts harm the economy more than they help.

    The funny think thing that republican intellectuals in a very basic way have defined innovation to be a liberal phenomena, a challenge to stability, tyranny of “reason”. They talk about innovating, but they have no coherent concept of innovation, and instinctively resist it when they see it.

  19. Submitted by jason myron on 07/10/2014 - 12:43 pm.


    your list of supporters include the likes of Gruenhagen, Cindy Pugh, Jim Newberger, Joe McDonald, and the Draz, you can bet that the campaign will be waist deep in homophobia. I can’t quite figure out if these people are puritanical, sexually repressed or just way too curious about the sex practices of gays…or at least what THEY perceive them to be. Of course, I highly doubt that any of these people have actually met a gay person and are quite content to rage on using their 1970’s era stereotype as a template for their ignorance.

  20. Submitted by Geo. Greene on 07/14/2014 - 09:54 am.

    At what point

    …do voters see this as more than just plain weirdness and instead develop an urgent concern for our democracy. One party has created an alternate universe where reason and fact matter only when they don’t disagree with their ideology and their theology.

    This fact free, non-rational way of thinking has already had us in a war we didn’t need to fight and a deep recession that was a result of the historically monumental failure of trickle down. Conservatives think corporations are people, they want their religion taught in schools and believe you should only have health if you make enough money to buy it. The tolerance for ignorance and hate in their party is at a fever pitch.

    Are voters that apathetic that they don’t see this -or is the Svengali hold of the conservative propagandists so effective they can no longer break free?

    • Submitted by Eric Snyder on 07/16/2014 - 08:50 am.

      Agreed…. With this candidate it gets even worse

      In 2004 this character testified before the MN Senate in opposition to the state’s proposed science standards. He was concerned that they didn’t reflect the alleged reality of dinosaurs and humans living at the same time:

      • Submitted by Todd Adler on 07/16/2014 - 12:59 pm.


        Just yesterday I was just reading about Frey and his view that dinosaurs and mankind roamed the earth together. To be uncharitable, this is complete idiocy that has zero basis in fact. Humans as we know them today have been around for roughly 250,000 years. Although there are a few dinosaurs left today, the bulk of them passed on 60 million years ago. Notice there isn’t a lot of overlap between the two time periods.

        It’s irresponsible to even bring up creationism–or it’s sickly cousin intelligent design–to schoolchildren or anyone else. It adds nothing to science and just teaches people to be intellectually lazy. That’s like teaching kids astrology rather than astronomy and giving the two of them equal value. They are not. And pretending they are just creates adults who are unable to think critically nor compete on the global stage.

        Let’s do ourselves and our children a favor and stop pretending that magic and superstition are a substitute for reason and logic.

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