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Henry Kravis Among New Co-hosts of Ken Mehlman AFER Fundraiser

A new invitation in circulation for the September 22nd American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) fundraiser hosted by Ken Mehlman, Peter Thiel, and Paul Singer reveals an expanded co-host list. I posted the original invite on August 25, the day former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman came out of the closet publicly. AFER is the organization employing Ted Olson and David Boies as lead attorneys in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal challenge to Proposition 8.

Kravis New to this revised invitation (see below) are Republican financier and fundraiser (and Mehlman employer) Henry Kravis (right), Michael Lebovitz, Amy and Bruce Mehlman, Garrett Moran, Mary Kathryn and Alex Navab, Amy and Scott Nuttall, and AFER Board President Chad Griffin.

In related news, Gay City News reporter Duncan Osborne and the NYT take a look at some of the donations made by hedge fund manager Paul Singer, who is hosting the event at his NYC home. Osborne makes note of Singer's donations of $100,000 to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and $25,000 to attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, both of whom have been in the news this year for pushing aggressive discriminatory measures in that state.

Singer Writes Osborne: "McDonnell issued a 2010 executive order banning discrimination in state government jobs that omitted sexual orientation as a protected class....Cuccinelli sparked controversy early in his tenure when he wrote to Virginia’s state colleges telling them that since the state legislature had not barred discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity their policies should not ban such discrimination."

The NYT notes, in a recent article, that Singer has also given large amounts to LGBT causes: "...very quietly, Mr. Singer has...given significant sums to personal causes that run counter to the agenda of many conservatives. With no public disclosure, Mr. Singer has given more than $4.2 million to groups supporting gay rights and same-sex marriage, like the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, associates said. 'Several of Paul’s family and friends are gay activists, and he has learned a lot from their work over the years,' said Myron Kaplan, a longtime friend and lawyer for Mr. Singer. 'He supports the work of these groups. He also believes the Republican Party is a big tent, and he respects the different perspectives within the party on this issue.'"

Griffin has said, of AFER's goals: "Our goal is to get as many people who aren't on the side of gay marriage on our side, and once they are here, to welcome them."

The revised invitation:

Afer_invite_new

(kravis image source)

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Comments

  1. There are prominent Democrats on this invitation list, too. It suggests that Ted Olson and David Boies have personally had an impact on changing people's minds about marriage equality. We should recognize people do change their minds about public policy issues. Since Mr. Singer made his donations before Gov. McConnell and Mr. Cuccinelli were elected, before they acted to discriminate, it is reasonable to wonder if he has changed his mind about them, too. His contributions to LGBT causes at minimum indicates he likes a lively debate.

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Aug 31, 2010 9:26:58 AM


  2. All the fundraisers in the world will not wash the blood from the hands of that evil bigot Ken Mehlman. Has that sickening scumbag confirmed he is donating his $3.7 million Chelsea apartment (earned from te proceeds of his evil bigotry) to equality causes. With 'friends' like Mehlman no wonder we are struggling to gain our rights. I hope he gets egged at this fundraiser.

    Posted by: Martin Murray | Aug 31, 2010 9:38:09 AM


  3. "Osborne makes note of Singer's donations of $100,000 to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and $25,000 to attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, both of whom have been in the news this year for pushing aggressive discriminatory measures in that state."

    "In the news"? Towleroad was leading the charge against McDonnell and Cuccinelli. I guess they don't even deserve a link to your coverage.


    "With no public disclosure, Mr. Singer has given more than $4.2 million to groups supporting gay rights and same-sex marriage, like the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, associates said. "

    But there are no public records of this.
    And the New York Times is taking and publishing the word of anonymous associates? If Singer has donated $4 million to LGBT groups, surely one of them can verify? Or there's a cancelled check? Or a tax return?

    And Andy, are you ever going to discuss the fact that Mehlman is STILL donating to anti-gay Republican candidates and politicians? Or does his co-hosting an AFER fundraiser absolve him?

    Or are you just protecting your access to AFER, Towle?

    Posted by: Anderson | Aug 31, 2010 9:50:21 AM


  4. Absolutely doesn't absolve Mehlman. I believe he has a long road of amends to make before he can ever be forgiven for the destruction he has caused. If he can ever be forgiven. And I'm happy to provide the links to the McDonnell and Cuccinelli coverage. Adding them now.

    Posted by: Andy Towle | Aug 31, 2010 9:56:27 AM


  5. "Singer made his donations before Gov. McConnell and Mr. Cuccinelli were elected, before they acted to discriminate"

    are you trying to rewrite history, or just plain stupid? McConnell and Cuccinelli's hatred of gays and dedication to enshrining their bigotry in discriminatory laws against us was well known before their election. In fact it was a cornerstone of the campaign for both men. These Republicans and Mehlman can all go to hell.

    Posted by: gaylib | Aug 31, 2010 9:57:28 AM


  6. If Mr. Singer likes to think of the GOP as a "big tent" party, so be it. However, I believe it's more realistic to recognize that several of the GOP "big tent poles" to which he donates his financial support, namely, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, are about as anti-GLBT as politicians can get. How can it be Mr. Singer has recognized their extreme homophobia ONLY after they were elected and started passing anti-GLBT initiatives? Is his situation the perfect definition of having it both ways? If so, his actions indeed create a lively discussion about what he expects out of donating to GLBT civil rights causes while at the same time supporting the election of anti-GLBT civil rights politicians.

    Posted by: Rob | Aug 31, 2010 10:06:45 AM


  7. Mr. Singer is thinking about the big tent in his pants.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 31, 2010 10:42:44 AM


  8. Thinking "Big Tent".....


    I wonder whether Martin Luther King would have donated to the KKK.....you know....thinking BIG TENT!

    Posted by: Brains | Aug 31, 2010 11:15:54 AM


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