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04/19/2007


Gay Donor's Dough Becomes Controversy In Texas Senate Race

PeterThielIn the NPR article about gay political donations cited earlier, journalist Ari Shapiro mentions a 1988 incident in which Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis turned down a $1 million donation from gay donors. Juxtaposing that fact against today's far more gay-friendly fundraising climate showed how far the nation has come in terms of LGBT acceptance.

But that doesn't mean the States have completely evolved on the "acceptability" of LGBT dough. Just look down at Texas, where a donation from Peter Thiel (pictured) is complicating Tea Party U.S. Senate hopeful Ted Cruz's campaign.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Cruz's opponent in the upcoming GOP primary run-off, is currently criticizing his rival for accepting $5,000 from Thiel, the openly gay PayPal co-founder and Facebook investor who has dedicated hundreds of thousands to equality causes.* As the July 31 runoff nears, Dewhurst's team is saying self-proclaimed conservative Cruz's alignment with a pro-gay businessman is "deceptive." 

"It's hypocritical and deceitful for Ted Cruz to claim to be a Tea Party Republican when his largest donor spends millions of dollars pushing the opposite side of conservative issues important to Republicans," said Mark Miner.

Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, a former contender in this race, also used Thiel against Cruz, citing the $250,000 Cruz took from Thiel in his failed 2009 state attorney general race. "[Cruz] received a quarter-of-a-million dollars from the gay activist who was leading the fight for gay marriage in California," Leppert said.

Thiel had no comment on this controversy, but Cruz, who once attacked Mayor Leppert for attending Dallas pride, responded by reiterating his opposition to marriage equality, one of Thiel's primary political purposes.

"Ted's record of defending marriage between one man and one woman is as clear and unwavering as his commitment to reduce the size of government and defend the Constitution come hell or high water," said a Cruz spokesperson. The candidate, however, is "grateful" for any and all support.

*(In a strange "six degrees of Facebook separation," the site reporting on this, The Texas Tribune, is edited by Evan Smith, a former deputy editor at The New Republic, the liberal magazine now owned by gay Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. The Texas Tribune headline on this topic is "Cruz Mega-Donor is Gay, Pro-Pot Billionaire.")


Watch: Pups Join Party in OK Go's Latest One-Shot Masterpiece

Okgo

OK Go released its video for "White Knuckles" yesterday, which features the band and a bunch of athletic pups.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Pups Join Party in OK Go's Latest One-Shot Masterpiece" »


ValleyWag Opens Up About PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel: He's Gay

Silicon Valley gossip blog Valleywag wants to put the notion that Venture Capital is scarce of gay people to rest, letting the world know that PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is gay. They say that his sexuality is part and parcel of his success:

Thiel"His disdain for convention, his quest to overturn established rules. Like the immigrant Jews who created Hollywood a century ago, a gay investor has no way to fit into the old establishment. That frees him or her to build a different, hopefully better system for identifying and rewarding talented individuals, and unleashing their work on the world."

Valleywag also discusses a widespread unspoken homophobia in Silicon Valley venture capital: "The clubby ranks of VCs are mostly straight, white and male. They instinctively prefer entrepreneurs who remind them of themselves...VCs fund so few of the companies they talk to that it's hard to prove a case of discrimination; there are a hundred reasons why they might pass on any given startup. But gay and lesbian entrepreneurs I've spoken to agree it's real. PlanetOut, the gay and lesbian portal, had to buy out Sequoia Capital, which had come to regret its investment in the company, before it found braver VCs and eventually went public. And really: How many out gay VCs do you know?"

Valleywag feels the coverage on Thiel has been unfair: "There's been a crush of coverage on his $220 million Founders Fund, which may well change the way entrepreneurs get paid in the Valley. We know about his mansion (he rents it -- clever!), his butler, his early-morning jogs." So they say "what no one ever says out loud." Whether he likes it or not.

Peter Thiel is totally gay, people [valleywag]


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