Dave Dayen reported this morning on Greg Sargent’s scoop about big LGBT donors withholding donations from the Obama campaign over the President’s refusal to sign an executive order on ENDA. Paul Yandura, spokesperson for Jonathan Lewis (son of Progressive Insurance’s Peter Lewis) has this to say to Gregg:
A number of gay and progressive donors, unsolicited, have indicated to us that they aren’t considering requests to donate to the Obama SuperPac because of the president’s refusal to the sign the order. And those are high-dollar asks, some in the seven digits. We have heard from at least half a dozen major gay and progressive donors that they stand united with us. There is still time for the President to do the right thing and sign this executive order, our great hope is that he does so immediately.
Unless I miss my guess, “we have heard from at least half a dozen major gay and progressive donors” is code for what used to be known in donor circles as “the Cabinet” or “the Gay 8.” The group has grown over the years, and it includes many of the biggest Democratic Party donors of the past decade. In addition to Jonathan Lewis, the it includes David Bohnett (Geo-Cities), Jon Stryker (Stryker Corp), Tim Gill (Oracle), James Hormel (Hormel), Henry van Amerigen (International Flavors & Fragrances), Linda Ketner (Food Lion), Weston Milliken (Milliken & Co.), Esmond Harmsworth (Daily Mail) and Laura Ricketts (Chicago Cubs).
While most in the group have already maxed out to Obama campaign and the DNC, that’s small potatoes. The Obama campaign has recently been tapping members for multi-million dollar donations to the 527s — but according to Open Secrets, they’re all conspicuously missing from the top 2012 election cycle donors.
The White House is pushing back on the Sargent article and telling journalists that there really are no problems. But if that’s the case, where are the traditional LGBT 527 donors? They should name the ones that plan to donate.
The decision of LGBT donors to shut off campaign donations over Obama’s refusal to sign an executive order on ENDA has tremendous downstream implications. It could have serious consequences for members of congress who rely not only on LGBT donors themselves, but who will need well-funded GOTV support for 2012 as well.
LGBT donors can check to see whether the names of their representatives appear on the naughty or nice lists when it comes to signing the letter to President Obama, asking him to issue an Executive Order on ENDA.
If you haven’t already, click here to call and urge your member of Congress to sign the letter urging President Obama to issue an executive order protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors from discrimination.