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Tim Gill’s Stealth Strategy Targets State Legislators for Defeat in Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington

If you read only one article about the homosexual agenda this year, make this be the one. It describes homosexual activist and Quark founder Tim Gill‘s stealth strategy of targeting pro-family, Republican state legislators for defeat by funneling “gay” donors’ money to these candidates’ opponents. The plan worked and the result is that states like Iowa are now facing a burst of pro-“gay” legislation fueled in part by out-of-state checks — about which the average citizen knows nothing.

We don’t imagine that The Atlantic Monthly’s editors would be quite so upbeat about this story if it were about secret donations from evangelical moneymen targeting pro-homosexual state legislators. But now is not the time for sour grapes. Instead, we need concerted action to stop this sneaky plot from succeeding in the form of new “sexual orientation” laws.

One more thing: isn’t it telling that Patrick Guerriero, the former head of the national Log Cabin Republicans — a group dedicated to advancing homosexual interests in the GOP — took a job to help achieve Democratic takeovers of state capitols? More proof that the Log Cabin activists are homosexuals first, and Republicans second. After all, this is the same “Republican” group that refused to endorse President Bush for re-election because he supported a Federal Marriage Amendment (horrors!). And yet there are still plenty of “moderate” Republicans who insist that the key to the party’s success is tilting more toward the Log Cabins and away from the GOP’s conservative, religious base. — Peter LaBarbera

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The following is excerpted from They Won’t Know What Hit Them, by Joshua Green, published March 2007 in Atlantic Monthly:

The software mogul Tim Gill has a mission:
Stop the Rick Santorums of tomorrow before they get started.
How a network of gay political donors is stealthily
fighting sexual discrimination and reshaping American politics.

…Danny Carroll, the Republican speaker pro tempore of Iowa’s House of Representatives, …was among the dozens of targets of a group of rich gay philanthropists who quietly joined forces last year, under the leadership of a reclusive Colorado technology mogul, to counter the tide of antigay politics in America that has generated, among other things, a succession of state ballot initiatives banning gay marriage.

Like many other state legislatures last year, Iowa’s was narrowly divided. …If Democrats took control of the House and Senate, however narrowly, the initiative would die, and with it the likelihood of further legislation limiting civil rights for gays and lesbians…

Over the summer, Carroll’s opponent started receiving checks from across the country—significant sums for a statehouse race, though none so large as to arouse suspicion (the gifts topped out at $1,000). Because they came from individuals and not from organizations, nothing identified the money as being “gay,” or even coordinated. Only a very astute political operative would have spotted the unusual number of out-of-state donors and pondered their interest in an obscure midwestern race. And only someone truly versed in the world of gay causes would have noticed a $1,000 contribution from Denver, Colorado, and been aware that its source, Tim Gill, is the country’s biggest gay donor, and the nexus of an aggressive new force in national politics…

Tim Gill is best known as the founder of the publishing-software giant Quark Inc., and for a long time was one of the few openly gay members of the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans…In 2000, he sold his interest in Quark for a reported half-billion dollars in order to focus full-time on his philanthropy.

Gill’s principal interest is gay equality. His foundations have given about $115 million to charities. His serious involvement in politics is a more recent development, though geared toward the same goal. In 2000, he gave $300,000 in political donations, which grew to $800,000 in 2002, $5 million in 2004, and a staggering $15 million last year, almost all of it to state and local campaigns…

“My goal is to see that all Americans are treated equally regardless of sexuality,” he told me when we met.

…Gill decided to find out how he could become more effective and enlisted as his political counselor an acerbic lawyer and former tobacco lobbyist named Ted Trimpa, who is Colorado’s answer to Karl Rove. Trimpa believes that the gay-rights community directs too much of its money to thoroughly admirable national candidates who don’t need it, while neglecting less compelling races that would have a far greater impact on gay rights—a tendency he calls “glamour giving.” Trimpa cited the example of [a prominent, Democratic presidential candidate]: an attractive candidate, solid on gay rights, and viscerally exciting to donors. It feels good to write him a check. An analysis of [the candidate’s] 2004 Senate race, which he won by nearly fifty points, had determined that gays contributed more than $500,000. “The temptation is always to swoon for the popular candidate,” Trimpa told me, “but a fraction of that money, directed at the right state and local races, could have flipped a few chambers. ‘Just because he’s cute’ isn’t a strategy.”

Together, Gill and Trimpa decided to eschew national races in favor of state and local ones, which could be influenced in large batches and for much less money. Most antigay measures, they discovered, originate in state legislatures. Operating at that level gave them a chance to “punish the wicked,” as Gill puts it—to snuff out rising politicians who were building their careers on antigay policies, before they could achieve national influence. Their chief cautionary example of such a villain is Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who once compared homosexuality to “man on dog” sex (and was finally defeated last year, at a cost of more than $20 million)…

Gill’s idea was to identify vulnerable candidates like Danny Carroll and move quickly to eliminate them without the burden of first having to win the consent of some risk-averse large organization or board of directors. Another element of this strategy is stealth. Revealing targets only after an election makes it impossible for them to fight back…

In the 2006 elections, on a level where a few thousand dollars can decide a close race, Gill’s universe of donors injected more than $3 million, providing in some cases more than 20 percent of a candidate’s or organization’s budget. On Election Day, fifty of the seventy targeted candidates were defeated, Danny Carroll among them; and out of the thirteen states where Gill and his allies invested, four — Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Washington — saw control of at least one legislative chamber switch to the Democratic Party… Gill’s stealth campaign was both effective and precedent-setting. For the first time, in a broad and organized way, gays had taken the initiative in a sweeping multistate strategy and had mostly prevailed.

 

This article was posted on Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 at 3:38 am and is filed under "Civil Unions" & "Gay Marriage", Gill Foundation, News, Pending Legislation. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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