Barack Obama | Chuck Hagel | Israel | News | Paul Yandura

Anonymous Group Runs New 'Anti-Gay' Chuck Hagel Attack Ad: VIDEO


Today's Sunday talk shows bring a mystery: who is behind a new ad attacking Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel?

The ad, a 30-second spot calling former Sen. Hagel anti-women, anti-gay, anti-Israel and pro-assault weapons, will run on NBC's Meet the Press, CBS' Face the Nation and ABC's This Week today*, and clearly hopes to churn up the many varied controversies that have swirled around Hagel - but no one is taking responsibility for it. Not directly, at least.

The Huffington Post reports that an anonymous group calling itself "Use Your Mandate" says they're behind it, but they refuse to reveal their actual identities because they claim they're Democrats and independents who work with the president and don't want to complicate that relationship.

The source close to the group said that for now, those involved are choosing to stay anonymous because they are allies with the Obama administration and hesitant to criticize the president publicly or fear retribution or pressure from the White House. The source characterized members as a "concerned group of people who ... have some questions about Chuck Hagel," including individuals who have "fought for LGBT rights for a long time."

Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed asked the usual suspects — HRC and GetEqual, for example — but found no leads, but Paul Yandura, a former Democratic staffer who helped get GetEqual off the ground, said whoever is behind it is simply "chicken" and totally eroding the power of their message.

"It's laughable that they want to stay anonymous because they are too chicken to criticize the president since they are his supporters. Either this is a serious enough issue to call out the president or not," he said.

Watch the ad, AFTER THE JUMP.

(*Apparently they're running online ads, too; some are popping up on this very site.)

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  1. Just as with the Log Cabin idiots, there is no question what the real agenda is here. Did you see "anti-Israel" pop up in the middle there? I'm not in love with the choice of Hagel; however, his stance on Israel and Middle East issues is exactly what we need more of in our government, particularly in a position like Defense.

    Posted by: SoLeftImRight | Jan 20, 2013 10:27:25 AM

  2. I would be checking out Karl Rove, Murdoch, or some other right wing group. I don't believe this is really a left-wing organization. Remember, the Republicans/Tea Party want to disrupt anything they can having to do with Obama.

    Posted by: Peter | Jan 20, 2013 10:31:26 AM

  3. Yup, The "Gay" thing is meaningless. The REAL issue is his stance that Israel is not a nice country and goes against the "international community" in ignoring UN resolutions, violating human rights, and illegal confiscations and destruction of homes. The list goes on.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Jan 20, 2013 10:31:56 AM

  4. As an openly liberal independent gay Jew... I voted for Obama,however he does not always bat 1.000%, and his choice of Hagel, he has struck OUT! However, let Hagel have his hearing and lets see who ask the questions that needs to be answered before he sworn in. I hope there are enough people who inform our President, bigots need not serve in any branch of our government and should not be rewarded automatically.

    Posted by: jerry Pritikinj | Jan 20, 2013 10:48:02 AM

  5. I'd ask Ken Mehlmen.
    This ad campaign reeks of Republican sleaze.

    Posted by: chasmader | Jan 20, 2013 10:50:40 AM

  6. probably lockheed martin, haliburton, GE...yes GE is invested in arms building = military industrial complex, etc

    hagel wants the pentagon budget cut and his focus on the grunts means it wont be at the expense of soldiers but rather the expense of profits for arms manufacturers/ industrial military complex

    Posted by: Moz's | Jan 20, 2013 11:19:16 AM

  7. You can take it to the bank that the big money behind the anti Hegal ads comes from the "Chicken Hawk" NeoCons who just love war and US military interventions around the world. These "Chicken Hawks" who never served in our nations military oppose this Vietnam Vet and wounded warrior because he has seen the horrors of war first hand and seen military intervention as a last resort. I think their chance of blocking Hegal is doomed especially since Sen Schumer and Sen Boxer both Jewish and strong supporters of Israel and equality for LGBT people and women have come out in favor of Hegel. The foreign policy team of Obama-Kerry-Hegel will make it harder for the voices of foreign military intervention to rush us into foreign military actions.

    Posted by: andrew | Jan 20, 2013 11:52:09 AM

  8. Meanwhile, banner ads linking to the youtube video are appearing on this page. Contextual advertising at it's best.

    Posted by: Dave | Jan 20, 2013 1:11:48 PM

  9. What everyone else already said, plus the best thing about Hegel is that he seems to be (relatively) realistic about military spending. Of course any stance on anything that is the opposite of tea partiers and/or neocons is relatively realistic.

    Posted by: emjayay | Jan 20, 2013 1:57:50 PM

  10. WHATEVER Hagel ACTUALLY thinks about gays in the military is beside the point. The REAL problem is that, for reasons he refuses to explain, the person ANY Secretary of Defense reports to—the President—has refused to order the CURRENT STILL SITTING Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta—a DEMOCRAT never accused of being antigay—to make the Pentagon stop discriminating against individual gay and lesbian service members and those in relationships. For instance, there are MANY important partner benefits such as access to free military family housing that are NOT banned by DOMA but they're denied simply because the President is inexplicably letting recalcitrant Pentagon homophobes get away with it.

    WHY is SLDN refusing to call him out on it but instead only adding to the meaningless noise about what Hagel MIGHT do MONTHS from now IF confirmed? “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass, onetime slave and abolitionist leader.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jan 20, 2013 3:27:47 PM

  11. @jerry Pritikinj: Read - it appears that Hagel made a questionable statement about James Hormel in the 1990s and has since apologized. Hagel was apparently reacting to a hit-piece video that had been sent to senators by right-wingers. According to the video showed Hormel laughing at a statement made by an announcer during a gay pride parade in San Francisco, as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence went by, that 'the Sisters got their habits from a convent in Iowa, saying they needed them for a production of "The Sound of Music."' The video took the laughter out of context and Hagel reacted to that, thinking that Hormel was laughing at the Catholic Church in general. Hagel objected to what he assumed was Hagel ridiculing the Catholic Church. Hagel also accused Hormel of being "aggressively homosexual," apparently as a reaction to sexually explicit material in the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center - the right-wing hit piece never mentioned that the same material was in the Library of Congress. So, the question is whether he is really a bigot or was simply duped. The other thing to ask is how did his opinion on gays compare to the average opinion at the time. Interestingly James Hormel stated that "I never felt any animosity from (Hagel) toward me or my situation." Hormel also pointed out that Hagel had been a senator for a very short time when the incident occurred, so he probably had a bit to learn about how things work in Washington.

    BTW, while the conservatives are trying to paint him as soft on defense, he was seriously injured in the Vietnam war and they couldn't remove all the shrapnel that hit him when a mine exploded (in spite of that, he managed to pull his brother, who was in the same unit, to safety). Given the history, he would hopefully be skeptical of any attempt to get us into a war based on bogus data (read up on the Gulf of Tonkin incident if you do not know the history).

    Posted by: Bill | Jan 20, 2013 11:38:19 PM

  12. You all know Hagel is on the Borad of Directors at Chevron right? To me that's even more worrisome than his anti-gay bigotry.

    Posted by: andy | Jan 21, 2013 10:00:33 AM

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