October 23, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Anti-gay groups donate thousands to Va. GOP candidates
Gay News, Washington Blade, Gay Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The latest campaign finance reports that Virginia’s Republican candidates for statewide office filed last week indicate they continue to receive significant financial support from social conservatives and anti-LGBT groups.

The campaign finance report that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed with the Virginia Board of Elections on Oct. 15 notes Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell gave the gubernatorial hopeful $19,665 on Sept. 12.

Morton, who opposed the gay group GOProud’s participation in the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference and received an award during last year’s Values Voter Summit, has given the Cuccinelli campaign a total of $25,878. Morton also gave $1,000 to state Sen. Mark Obenshain(R-Harrisonburg)’s attorney general bid on Sept. 30, according to campaign finance records.

Campaign finance reports indicate the Family Research Council Action PAC on Sept. 30 made a $5,000 contribution to E.W. Jackson’s campaign; he’s running for lieutenant governor. The group also donated $20,000 to Cuccinelli’s campaign on Aug. 31.

Obenshain’s campaign on Sept. 10 received a $10,000 contribution from Pat Robertson, according to a campaign finance report it filed with the Virginia Board of Elections on Oct. 15. The anti-gay televangelist also gave $2,500 to Jackson’s campaign on Aug. 31.

Foster Friess, who backed former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s 2012 presidential bid, on Sept. 19 gave Cuccinelli’s campaign $20,000. Campaign finance reports further indicate the billionaire businessman has thus far contributed $50,000 to the attorney general’s gubernatorial campaign.

John Rocovich, Jr., a member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors who led efforts to remove sexual orientation from the university’s anti-discrimination policy in 2003 when he was rector, has given $38,986 in cash and in-kind contributions to Cuccinelli’s campaign. He has also contributed $7,500 to Jackson’s bid and another $18,750 in cash and in-kind contributions to Obenshain’s campaign.

The Family Foundation, a Richmond-based group that supports the commonwealth’s constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage and opposes LGBT-specific measures in the General Assembly, has also contributed to the three men’s campaigns.

Roger Pogge of the Family Foundation has given $400 to Cuccinelli, according to campaign finance records. Pogge has given $250 to Jackson and another $200 to Obenshain.

The re-election campaign for state Del. Brenda Pogge (R-James City), whose husband is Roger Pogge, has given $1,150 to Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial bid. Campaign finance reports indicate the Republican lawmaker has also given $500 to Obenshain.

Jackson in his latest campaign finance report noted a $1,500 donation to the Family Foundation on Sept. 24. This contribution came less than two weeks before the organization held its annual dinner in Richmond at which Cuccinelli and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) spoke.

LGBT advocates criticize Va. Republican ticket

Cuccinelli’s, Jackson’s and Obenshain’s Democratic opponents and LGBT rights advocates note these contributions come as no surprise considering the three men’s opposition to marriage for same-sex couples and other gay-specific measures in the commonwealth.

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month denied Cuccinelli’s request to appeal a lower court ruling that found Virginia’s sodomy law unconstitutional.

Cuccinelli, who has previously described same-sex sexual acts as “intrinsically wrong”, in July reaffirmed his opposition to homosexuality during a gubernatorial debate against former Democratic National Committee Chair Terry McAuliffe.

The current attorney general in 2010 recommended Virginia colleges and universities remove LGBT-specific provisions from their non-discrimination policies. Cuccinelli was also among those who spoke at an anti-gay marriage gathering at a Manassas church last October to which the Washington Blade was denied access — a California pastor who attended the event described gay men as “predators” during a separate event at a Baltimore church the week before that Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., and others attended.

LGBT rights advocates have repeatedly blasted Jackson over his comparison of gay men to pedophiles and describing them as “very sick people.”

Obenshain sponsored a bill that Gov. Bob McDonnell signed into law in March that bans public universities from denying recognition and funding to student organizations that discriminate in their membership based on sexual orientation and other categories that federal law does not protect. He also opposed a measure a Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee in February tabled that would have banned discrimination against LGBT state employees.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, stars of the TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting” whose eldest son now works as a lobbyist for the Family Research Council in D.C., joined Cuccinelli on the campaign trail last week.

Cuccinelli reiterated his opposition to marriage rights for same-sex couples in response to the Blade’s question after he and McAuliffe squared off in a debate sponsored by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and NBC 4 in McLean last month. He declined to say whether he feels his position on the issue and his previous anti-LGBT statements have received too much attention on the campaign trail.

“That’s a very sensitive issue, and I respect that,” Cuccinelli told the Blade as he discussed his position on same-sex marriage. “There are people who feel very strongly about it, and I respect that. For those folks they want to hear about it, it is one of a range of issues.”

Poll: Nearly half find Cuccinelli too conservative

A poll that Rasmussen Reports conducted on Oct. 20 shows McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli by a 50-33 percent margin. Eight percent of respondents said they support Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis.

Forty-six percent of likely Virginia voters who responded to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted between Oct. 2-8 said they feel Cuccinelli is too conservative.

“Ken Cuccinelli has spent his career demonizing and insulting gay Virginians,” McAuliffe campaign spokesperson Josh Schwerin told the Blade. “It’s no surprise that some of his biggest donors would have equally offensive records.”

Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish noted Cuccinelli, Jackson and Obenshain all have a record of “being openly hostile” to LGBT Virginians through their own statements or their legislative actions.

“It’s not surprising that Pat Robertson, Family Research Council and other opponents of fairness and equality are funding the most right-wing, anti-gay, anti-choice ticket to ever run for statewide office in Virginia,” gay state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) added. “They’re not just conservatives; they are zealots on a mission and it’s a common mission that some of their most prominent donors share.”

Democratic statewide candidates tap gay money

McAuliffe and Jackson and Obenshain’s Democratic opponents – state Sens. Ralph Northam (D-Norfolk) and Mark Herring (D-Loudoun) respectively – have all publicly backed marriage rights for same-sex couples. The former DNC chair has repeatedly said as governor he would issue an executive order that would ban discrimination against LGBT state employees.

Campaign finance records indicate that McAuliffe, Northam and Herring continue to receive significant financial backing from LGBT contributors.

McAuliffe’s latest campaign finance report he filed with the Virginia Board of Elections on Oct. 15 indicates Tim Gill donated $10,000 to his gubernatorial bid on Sept. 25. The gay philanthropist on the same day made $2,500 contributions to Northam and Herring’s campaigns.

DNC Treasurer Andrew Tobias has donated $11,000 to McAuliffe’s campaign. Gay Democratic strategist Steve Elmendorf on March 20 made a $5,000 contribution to the former DNC chair’s gubernatorial bid – and campaign finance reports indicate he made an in-kind donation of $4,060 on May 16 for event expenses.

California Lieutenant Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 21 gave $1,000 to McAuliffe’s campaign, while lesbian Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen on Sept. 27 donated $1,000.

Campaign finance reports indicate the Human Rights Campaign made a $23,308 in-kind donation to the Democratic Party of Virginia for staff time and telephone calls on Sept. 11, and another $31,013 in-kind donation for the same items and e-mail advocacy on Oct. 26. The organization’s PAC on Sept. 11 made $117 in-kind contributions for online advocacy to McAuliffe, Northam and Herring’s campaigns.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

2 Comments
  • Virginia is a beautiful state with wonderful people. Yet, evildoers in high and even respected positions in the state continue to taint Virginia's image. Liberty University enjoys turning out ignorant lawyers whose goal is to help turn the US into a theocracy, Pat Robertson continues to whine ad nauseum and blame all natural disasters on homosexuality and the late Jerry Falwell was a terrible homophobe who aided hateful Anita Bryant ravage the US with her homophobic tirades and lies. Current Virginia GOP politicians like Bob McDonnell, Ken Cuccinelli, Jackson and Obenshain continue to disgrace Virginia with their ignorance and their homophobia. McAuliffe must prevail!

  • PRO-GAY BIGOTS

    we hear the word "bigot" following "anti-gay" almost as much as we hear "woman" following the word "strong". it's like the thought-police want us to put each set of words together automatically and without thought.

    now, let's put aside the fact that the lackluster physical make-ups of members of the little gender (the shorter/smaller/weaker gender) will always make a complete and total oxymoron out of the term "Strongwoman," just so we can focus on the term "anti-gay bigot". has anyone given any thought to the fact that the ones who usually utter this term are actually pro-gay bigots whose minds are totally closed-off to anything that puts homosexuality in a bad light? they are as hell-bent PRO-GAY as i am hell-bent ANTI-GAY.

    homosexuality is forced upon the population by pro-gay bigots. media, academia, where isn't homosexuality always celebrated and never criticized? pro-gay bigots run amuck in the media, just as much as the "strong women" who can't budge a 100-pound barbell. pro-gay bigots have even gone to the ridiculous extreme of editing the bible to take out every negative reference to homosexuality. now, aside from making gays seem weak enough to fall in the face of criticism, making edits of the most famous book of all time sounds quite orwellian. "you VILL not have any problems vith homosexuality, and you vill LIKE IT".

    why don't pro-gay bigots make edits to the seven deadly sins – let's get PRIDE and LUST out of there and save a little more face. oh, i guess they've probably already done that.

    actually, call me a bad christian, but i am one to find fault with anyone who has to get their anti-gay attitudes from any god's bible or from any other outside source, because anyone who doesn't see anything self-compromising and self-disrespecting in a "man" staring open-mouthed and wide-eyed-curious at another man has no sense of gender-identity. to borrow a phrase from a brilliantly-radiant (pun intended) stephen king novel, let me say that the respect i have for myself as a man is "all shot to shit" if i'm gawking at another masculine body. i am man enough to realize that i'm a masculivoid when i'm gawking in utmost reverence at another man's body, and it is a self-esteem issue to leave oneself feeling a void for masculinity when masculinity is what one's self IS…and has been since birth.

    we don't need no bible to tell us what's wrong with homosexuality.

    pro-gay bigots are so hell-bent in their close-mindedness, that they want people to buy into the whole "born this way" propaganda so that nobody has the nerve to question the legitimacy of homosexuality. i am one to believe that nobody can be "born with" an emotional desire for (or a psychological dependence on) anything, because the brain that spawns anyone's emotional desires and psychological dependences has nothing to base them on when it has just left the womb. speaking of having nothing to base anyone's sense of reality on, one would think that anyone who maintains that "a woman can do anything a man can do" must've also just been born. eureka, what do people mean when they say "do you think i was born yesterday" – they mean "do you think i have no knowledge of the world around me". come to think of it, anyone who says "do you think i was born yesterday" is homophobic because they're actually belittling people who haven't internalized their own gender's identity.

    pro-gay bigots are so hell-bent in their close-mindedness that they always have something to prove to anyone who rejects their close-mindedness. what do you think "gay pride" is, and why should it so easily spawn the question "what are you trying to prove" – gay people, let's call them activists, have so much spite for and rage against reality that they should all be named mary (as in "mary, mary, quite contrary").

    let me elaborate on gays' spite for reality, just for a minute or two. "aids is not a gay disease," that one just popped into my head as a mark of gays' spite for reality. i made a lot of t-shirts back in 1999, when i first started my jaggedlittledyl.com website, and one of the designs was "aids is not a gay disease…just please don't justify its epidemic status". hmn, how else are gays spiteful towards reality? well, there's the aforementioned rewrite of the bible. and there's the gay "man" (i have to put "man" in quotes when referring to a masculivoid) who had an embryo implanted inside of him. all of this is spite for reality. when it all comes down, i guess that nose-jobs are really spite for reality, though a pregnant "man" would be more of a spite, seeing that it's totally unnatural and unintended and impossible without hormones, surgical implants and i don't know (or care) what else that must be done to a man's body to accommodate an embryo. likewise, a sex-change operation is spite for reality – i realize that the devil's advocate would compare the sex-change operation to a nose-job operation, but when one thinks of everything entailed in a sex-change, not excluding daily hormones (hormones…don't "strong women" get testosterone-injections?), it's a much bigger deal. a much bigger slap in reality's face. it is not meant to be because it isn't naturally-occurring.

    let me play "devil's advocate" and say that i should not have had a corneal-transplant surgery because it was not naturally-occurring and it was a spite against reality. i could say that people should not have hair-transplants, yeah, but my corneal transplant was necessary when both a hair-transplant and a gender-transplant isn't. i guess changing anything about oneself is all a matter of the importance one places on what's going to be changed. if he doesn't think highly enough of himself as a man, he's going to either get a sex-change or a boyfriend to make himself complete. if he doesn't think highly enough of himself as a fat man, he's going to go on a diet to make himself content. if he doesn't think highly enough of himself as a football player, he's going to find another hobby. if he doesn't think highly enough of america, the nigger's going to try to dhange it.

    that gets us back to the contemptuous bigot who is totally closed-off to opposition. now, gays aren't the only ones who have contempt for reality. as i mentioned in passing not long ago, any little female who deliberately gives herself mens' hormones is contemptuous of her physical abilities paling in comparison to mens'. which brings me to another type of bigot – gosh, my brain is as "all over the place" as the bangles were in 1984.

    the quintessential "male chauvinist pig," made famous by dabney coleman in a movie also starring the biggest tits i've ever seen, has been replaced in today's society by the "female chauvinist pig". like gay people are pro-gay bigots, feminists are not pro-woman as much as they are pro-woman bigots. this is why i have so much rage against them – it's why i disrespect them by referring to them as vaginas. my disrespect towards vaginas has nothing to do with my being a masculivoid, it has everything to do with pro-woman bigots. i should do a parody of the spin doctors' "little miss can't be wrong" and call it "little miss can't do wrong". that describes the mentality of a pro-woman bigot. i say "fuck you" to all of them, and my elaboration is my website – and the essays on that website. quite like the one you're reading now.

    mr. dylan terreri, i
    dr. sheldon cooper, ii
    http://www.dylanhatesfags.com / http://www.godhatespride.com / http://www.anti-gay.com
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    "When I'm hungry, I eat. When I'm thirsty, I drink. When I feel like saying something, I say it." – Madonna
    http://www.jaggedlittledyl.com/essays
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