|Anti-gay extremists Mark Obenshain, Ken Cuccinelli and "Bishop" E. W. Jackson|
As this blog has stressed many times, the current Virginia GOP statewide slate was nominated by the Christofascist elements of the Virginia GOP base. These nominations were the result of what basically constituted a coup against establishment elements of the Virginia GOP and shut out moderate and sane voters from a primary contest which the extremist candidates could not in likelihood have won. Thus, it should come as no surprise that anti-gay Christofascist groups have been donating heavily to the GOP ticket candidates. The Washington Blade looks at this phenomenon. Here are excerpts:
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
I continue to urge every fair minded Virginian to get out an vote against the GOP slate on November 5, 2013. For out of state readers, PLEASE urge family members and friends who live in Virginia, to vote against Ken Cuccinelli, "Bishop" E.W. Jackson, and Mark Obenshain on November 5, 2013. It is critical for Virginia and the nation that this extremist ticket lose and lose badly.