Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-10-07
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


Quiet power: Gay money in the 2012 election
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

There has been much said and written about right-wing political operative Karl Rove's spectacular failure to buy a Republican conservative victory in the 2012 elections. The two Crossroads political action committees run by Rove spent more than $200 million on television advertising attacking Democratic candidates in an effort to hoist Republicans into office. That included $6 million against lesbian Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin and another $1 million for her Republican opponent Tommy Thompson. It also included $263,000 against openly gay Congressional candidate Sean Maloney in New York.

But both Baldwin and Maloney won, despite the millions of right-wing dollars that poured into campaigns seeking a Republican win. That's because they, like five other openly gay and bisexual Congressional candidates, benefitted from a strong outpouring of funding from many various Democratic PACs and super PACS.

For instance, Tammy Baldwin's successful campaign for the U.S. Senate spent $15 million, and outside groups spent another $20 million to get her elected. Of that $35 million total, according to Federal Elections Commission reports, the Human Rights Campaign PAC and super PAC spent only $2,826 and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund chipped in $10,000.

The biggest contributors to Baldwin's successful bid were the Democratic Senatorial Committee, which spent $5.8 million on Baldwin's win, the pro-Democratic "Majority PAC" that spent $4.9 million, and the EMILY's List super PAC "Women Vote" that spent $3.1 million.

But the $12,826 spent by HRC and the Victory Fund did not represent all the "gay money" in Baldwin's success.

Many individual LGBT people all over the country gave to the effort. For instance, Miami gay philanthropist and Victory Fund board member Joe Falk gave Baldwin $2,500. Dallas attorney Vanessa Benavides gave $4,000, and Texas philanthropist Paul Boskin gave $7,000.

And many gave both to Baldwin and to pro-Democratic PACs that supported Baldwin. According to FEC records, gay Colorado philanthropist Tim Gill gave $5,000 to Baldwin's campaign directly, and another $250,000 to Fair Share Action. Fair Share Action spent $125,000 on Baldwin's victory.

Illinois lesbian activist Laura Ricketts gave $2,500 directly to the Baldwin campaign, plus gave $242,500 to the L PAC, and $200,000 to the Women Vote PAC. The lesbian-organized L PAC did not give directly to the Baldwin effort, but the Women Vote PAC pitched more than $3 million into the Baldwin effort.

Chicago gay political activist Fred Eychaner gave $2,500 to Baldwin's campaign but also gave $4.3 million to the Majority PAC (which spend $4.9 million on Baldwin) and $750,000 to Women Vote (which spent $3.1. million on Baldwin).

San Francisco gay philanthropist James Hormel did not give any money directly to the Baldwin campaign, but gave the Victory Fund $125,000 and the Victory Fund gave $10,000 to Baldwin. Hormel also gave $100,000 to the House Majority PAC, which helped Democratic candidates, including $1.4 million against Sean Maloney's Republican opponent in New York and $672,500 against bisexual Kyrsten Sinema's Republican opponent in Arizona.

Michigan gay philanthropist Jon Stryker chipped in $2,500 directly to Sinema's successful campaign, but he, too, contributed $250,000 to the House Majority PAC which directed $672,500 in television advertising against Sinema's opponent.

Sinema, who became the first openly bisexual person to win a seat in Congress, took in $55,528 through the Victory Fund for her campaign and $9,984 from HRC PACs. These were the largest amounts given by each of the groups to openly LGBT candidates in 2012. The Victory Fund gave or "bundled" a total of $114,136 to six out of seven openly LGBT candidates to the U.S. House in the 2012 elections; and HRC's two PACs gave $36,623 in direct contributions to five out of seven gay House candidates.

Richard Tisei, the only openly gay Republican candidate running for Congress, received no support from the Human Rights Campaign PACs and $18,618 through the Victory Fund. Tisei's effort to unseat incumbent Democrat John Tierney of Massachusetts fell short. But Log Cabin Republicans' PAC and GOProud apparently had no money to spend during the past election, according to FEC records.

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), with assets exceeding $65 million, is the sixth richest member of Congress and recorded no contributions from the Victory Fund or HRC for his successful re-election bid.

Still, despite the fact that LGBT political funding groups have less money to throw into campaigns than most groups, they make their mark.

The Center for Responsive Politics lists HRC at the top of 50 "single issue" PACs, in terms of money to candidates during the 2012 election cycle. The Victory Fund places seventh on that list, Log Cabin Republicans' PAC places 14th, the L PAC places 39th.

The L PAC, a lesbian-run super PAC which organized just last April, raised $774,989 during 2012 but contributed only $10,500, according to its latest report to the FEC. Contributions included $5,000 to U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) re-election, $5,000 to Elizabeth Warren's successful bid for the Senate, and $500 to Sinema's win in the House.

And according to the latest data, released by the FEC January 15, the HRC PAC contributed $775,378 to all federal candidates—gay and straight— and campaign committees in 2012 and $267,855 in 2011, for a total of $1,043,233 in the 2011-12 election cycle.

© copyright 2013 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


National roundup: Clinton liaison; trans suicide; Voices on Point gala 2015-10-06
World news: IGLHRC renamed; Ugandan honored; bi billionaire comes out 2015-10-06
Duncan to leave education post 2015-10-06
Bernie Sanders returns to UChicago for recruitment drive 2015-10-05
Clinton promises to fight, Biden says past ensures the future 2015-10-04
Donna Shalala suffers stroke 2015-09-30
Indiana Republican suddenly resigns 2015-09-30
Clinton, Biden to speak at HRC events 2015-09-30
Planned Parenthood thanks Durbin, Kirk 2015-09-30
World: Prince William; George Michael situation; Zimbabwe's prez 2015-09-29
25 year old Int'l G/L Human Rights Commission becomes OutRight Action International 2015-09-29
Victory Fund holds Chicago celebration of LGBT candidates 2015-09-28
U.S. Government called upon to safeguard 500 slots for LGBTI refugees 2015-09-28
President to DNC LGBT gala: Religious freedom doesn't allow denying constitutional rights 2015-09-28
Boehner quits speaker post 2015-09-26
World: Marriage stalled; pro-LGBT move in Nepal; rugby partnership 2015-09-23
National: Bisexual awareness; Bernie Sanders; hazing settlement 2015-09-23
Obama promotes, nominates LGBTs 2015-09-23
Hillary Rodham Clinton to address Human Rights Campaign 2015-09-22
Area Democrats rally for Hillary Clinton 2015-09-20
Last Wednesday's GOP debate: The fall out 2015-09-20
Vatican urges gay bishop be disinvited to White House welcome for Pope 2015-09-20
Schock turns documents over to judge 2015-09-19
HRC responds to anti-gay attacks from GOP candidates 2015-09-16
National: Pro-LGBT ordinances; Cleveland assault; Hip Chick honor 2015-09-15
World news: Queen Elizabeth; intersex infant; Sir Elton John 2015-09-15
Darin LaHood wins bid to replace Schock 2015-09-12
Sept. 20 rally to support Clinton 2015-09-09
Creating Change kickoff Sept. 18 2015-09-09
World news: Ugandan bill; Mexican trans woman; civil unions in Italy 2015-09-08
Simon announces state Senate bid 2015-09-08
PASSAGES Chicago athlete, philanthropist Dick Uyvari dies 2015-09-02
Historic UN Security Council briefing focuses on LGBTQ refugees 2015-09-02
Upcoming events in politics, parties, health, art, music 2015-09-01
World news: UN briefing; Turing letters; African activist 2015-09-01
Pride at Work takes aim at HRC and Equality Index 2015-09-01
Supreme Court denies KY County Clerk's request to refuse marriage licenses 2015-08-31
Equality Illinois announces statewide expansion 2015-08-30
Equality Illinois announces statewide expansion 2015-08-29
Chicago momentum building for 2016 Creating Change 2015-08-28

Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.