Group Calling Hagel ‘Anti-Gay’ Has Republican Roots


The New York Times today has a piece about the myriad groups trying to hold-up Chuck Hagel’s confirmation as the next Defense Secretary.

Such organizations, anonymous and amorphous, are a direct descendant of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling giving nameless dollars even more power in the electoral sphere. Yet none of these anti-Hagel groups really think they can use their new positions to actually stop the former Republican senator’s confirmation. They just want to erode the president’s political capital.

Jim Rutenberg reports: “[At least seven groups are] organizing to stop Mr. Hagel’s confirmation, a goal even they acknowledge appears to be increasingly challenging. But the effort comes with a built-in consolation prize should it fail: depleting some of Mr. Obama’s political capital as he embarks on a new term with fresh momentum.”

One of these groups is Use Your Mandate, which launched itself last week with a series of ads denouncing Hagel’s past comments about gay people and Israel.

Most LGBT activists wondered whether this “pro-gay” group really had roots in the equality movement, or if it was just a smoke screen for GOP machinations. Not surprisingly, it was the latter:

[Use Your Mandate] has no Web site and it only lists as its address a post office box in New York. But paperwork filed with the Federal Communications Commission link it back to Tusk Strategies, a bipartisan political group founded by Bradley Tusk, a former strategist for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York.

In an interview, Mr. Tusk would only identify its financiers as Democratic “gay and L.G.B.T. people who have been active in campaigns around the country.”

Yet federal records show that Use Your Mandate uses Del Cielo Media, an arm of one of the most prominent Republican ad-buying firms in the country, Smart Media, with clients that have included the presidential campaigns of former Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. of Utah and Senator John McCain of Arizona; the 2010 Senate campaign of Christine O’Donnell, who was known for positions against homosexuality, in Delaware; and, as it happens, the Emergency Committee for Israel.

And there you have it…


  1. Just_a_guy says

    I’m amused that the headline alone is enough to discredit the campaign against Hagel. It says something about the Republican Party’s record of ZERO good faith on gay rights issues.

  2. says

    What you have is a long-winded, laborious effort to smear a group who have done nothing but speak the truth about this poisonous man. Hagel has fought LGBT rights on every front and made opposing statements as little as two years ago. Since then he’s been off of everyone’s radar until the President nominated him for SecDef.
    Just because he made a half-@ssed non-apology for his past remarks, now you expect those of us who remember his past to roll over and play nice? Which part of “kiss the brownest part of my lilly white @ss” didn’t you understand.
    You think he’s changed? That he’ll somehow overcome decades of Reich-wing comments, attitude, and votes to suddenly become an ally? Fine! Let him prove it first – when he’s done us as much good as he has harm, THEN I’ll let go of a 20 year record and support his nomination.

  3. says

    Exactly HOW does that prove Hagel ISN’T still antigay—DIDN’T just claim he’s “evolved” because he wanted the job? Even athiests have been known to pray in foxholes.

    “Most LGBT activists wondered?” You have NO way of knowing that. The gay activist Hagel SMEARED, James Hormel, questioned his sincerity; Barney Frank did, too, and pointed out Hagels RECORD of opposing ALL gay rights. [That is, of course, until the White House obviously put pressure on them to back pedal.]

    But for those paying attention, the real question is NOT whether Harvey Milk appeared to Hagel in a cloud and converted him. The question is WHY the President has done NOTHING in the YEAR & A HALF to order the STILL SITTING Secretary of Defense Hagel would replace—Leon Panetta—to force the Pentagon to stop discriminating. And that question is MAGNIFIED by the fact that, when he was still a candidate for the Party’s nomination in 2007, Mr. Obama HIMSELF said such nondiscrimination policies would HAVE to be put in place post repeal.

  4. Barca says

    Whats the difference then you all are making between Clinton with DOMA and DADT and Hagel? Can one not really evolve? Are we to shun only Republicans for their bigotry decades ago? Hell, I voted for Prop 22 in CA (basically pre-Prop 8 but only in the Civil Code) before I came to terms with my sexuality and realized the error I made. Should I too be shunned from my own community or do I need to give blow jobs to you all to prove my gayness. Sheesh.

  5. andrew says

    Hopefully this wounded warrior, Chuck Hagel, will become the Sec of Defense and join the Obama team along with another wounded warrior John Kerry in assuring that the U S will not get involved in unnecessary foreign wars. F*ck the “Chicken Hawk” republican neocons who love wars and foreign interventions as long as they don’t actually have to put their own lives on the line.

  6. says

    Chuck Hagel apologized because he wanted the job, however he did not apologized directly to Openly gay former Ambassador James Hormel, and it came 14 years too late. His apology to the “Jewish Lobby” is interesting but I would like to know if he is a member of the NRA, and did he accept contributions from them in any of his campaigns?

    Chuck Hagel is an equal hateful man, and does not deserve to become the Defense Department Czar!

  7. antb says

    On balance, I’d rather have a SecDef who is a strong anti-neocon chickenhawk and maybe needs to be monitored on gay issues than the other way around. Those opposing Hagel are just trying to use us & the issue for their own purposes, which is the march to war in Iran. Don’t be duped by a rainbow flag camouflaging contempt.

  8. says

    I’ve been humming “Colors of the Wind” to myself for weeks, which of course means that everyone who’s been around me recently has started humming it. Last week’s catchphrase around here was “How high does the sycamore grow? If you cut it down, GODDAMMIT, CHRIS.”