On Monday, a local West Hollywood website called WEHOville published an article revealing an online profile of Eric Jon Schmidt, candidate for City Council, filled with sexual images and videos. Contrary to other outlets’ reporting of the story, Schmidt says he didn’t “release” the images as part of his campaign; rather, Schmidt claims the images were pointed to as some sort of “personal vendetta” against him by the site’s publisher.
In its original article, WEHOville wrote, “Eric Jon Schmidt … has promised to run an absolutely transparent campaign. That apparently includes his willingness to continue posting photos and videos of him having sex on a website called DudesNude.com and alerting WEHOville and others to its presence.”
Such a statement by WEHOville implies that Schmidt was more than willing for his DudesNude.com profile to be brought to the attention of constituent voters. But Schmidt alleges it was Henry Scott, WeHOville’s publisher, who first alerted him to the desire to run an article about the lurid profile.
“Those pictures were not released as part of my campaign,” Schmidt tells Hornet. “Basically, Henry, the guy who runs WEHOville, seems to have a personal vendetta against me. He called me and said, ‘I know about the DudesNudes profile and I’m gonna run a story about it.’ I’m not ashamed of it, so I wasn’t going to lie about it.”
The profile WEHOville links to in its original article includes various images of Schmidt nude, erect, masturbating and having sex with others. The profile also includes a lot of biographical info about Schmidt, including details about his military career, his previous work with West Hollywood’s homeless community and his other hobbies.
In a separate post, WEHOville later claimed Schmidt also had an XVideo account under the name SlutsvilleUSA, though that account has since been deleted and Schmidt claims it was not his.
Schmidt says he isn’t certain about the cause of this “vendetta,” noting he has actively posted comments on Scott’s website for about seven years, even submitting an article for the site once, though Scott allegedly rejected it.
The WEHOville publisher has since responded to our request for comment and says, “I am a long time journalist and media business executive … and have and always will follow a basic journalism standard: to publish without fear or favor. So, no, I do not have a ‘vendetta’ against Mr. Schmidt. I do not know him (I’ve met him briefly and he emails me several times a day.)”
Schmidt officially announced his candidacy on March 2, a month before WEHOville’s article. After announcing his candidacy, he began posting images of himself at public events and West Hollywood landmarks. He posted his campaign issues on his campaign Facebook page along with a mention of his refusal to accept corporate campaign donations.
While Schmidt says he wants greater transparency in how West Hollywood handles its financial dealings, he says he extended the theme of “transparency” to include his publicized nude pictures when WEHOville revealed them.
“I think being more open about their sex lives would make the politicians seem warmer and more human, make them more accessible,” Schmidt says. However, he adds, “By transparency, I don’t mean transparency about [politicians’] sex lives; I mean transparency about payroll, finances and other things.”
“For example,” Schmidt continues, “right now the city manager of West Hollywood makes about $300,000 a year, but the mayor of Los Angeles only makes $200,000 a year. That’s a lot more for a city of only about 35,000. The President of the United States only make $400,000 a year.”
Schmidt says he’d like to see West Hollywood adjust its budgets based on other nearby California areas and consider whether the money might be better invested elsewhere. And that’s just one of 17 items listed on his campaign platform. His other items include expanding housing and transportation for West Hollywood’s aging, disabled and poorer citizens, and addressing substance abuse issues by empowering police to arrest drug dealers and offering drug users more treatment and rehabilitation options.
Schmidt says he plans on reaching out to West Hollywood voters through voter registration drives on street corners and other public venues.
In its coverage of Eric Jon Schmidt and his run for West Hollywood City Council, WEHOville wonders whether voters will object to Schmidt’s sexual behavior, particularly in light of the 2016 gay sexual harassment lawsuit against West Hollywood City Council member John Duran.
“As to whether his sexual ‘hobbies’ might affect his campaign for a City Council seat — that’s not for me to say,” Scott tells Hornet. “That’s up to the voters of West Hollywood.”
The West Hollywood City Council election is set for March 5, 2019. Schmidt will be running for one of three seats. He says he isn’t worried the publicity around his nude images or sex life will hurt him.
“As I said, it’s a hobby of mine, like stamp collecting,” he says. “But I’m not going to bring it into the office.”