VIEWER POLL: Did Grover Norquist betray conservatives
by speaking to the Log Cabin Republicans? Vote now in
the CNSNews.com Viewer Poll [poll closed].
“Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, was not impressed with (Grover Norquist’s) explanation. ‘Log Cabin’s accounting shell game will not cover up Grover’s act of utter betrayal of the Reagan coalition of social and fiscal conservatives,’ Glenn told Cybercast News Service. …Glenn was also critical of Norquist’s efforts to ‘raise money for an organization (Log Cabin Republicans) actively campaigning against the Texas marriage amendment, whose national affiliate last year spent $1 million in TV ads blasting President Bush for his support of a federal marriage amendment.”
CYBERCAST NEWS SERVICE
October 19, 2005
Grover Norquist betrayed
conservatives, critics charge
by Randy Hall
CNSNews.com Staff Writer/Editor
A number of conservatives are seething over the fact that Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), was the featured speaker at a fund-raising event for a group of homosexual Republicans last weekend. One pro-family leader called Norquist’s appearance “an act of utter betrayal.”
Norquist was the main attraction at the “Grand Ol’ Party,” the largest fund-raising event of the year for the Dallas, Tex., chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, a homosexual advocacy group within the GOP.
Carla Halbrook, a member of the national Log Cabin board and the organization’s chapter in Dallas, told Cybercast News Service that Norquist gave a “fantastic” speech at the dinner on Saturday night.
Halbrook said that during his speech, Norquist discussed “Social Security reform and reducing taxes and government in general. It was his normal message.
“The fact that the group is gay was irrelevant,” she said. “It was one conservative talking to other conservatives.”
However, the event generated controversy even before it began due to an article in the Dallas Voice, a weekly newspaper for homosexuals that described the dinner and how the chapter would spend the funds raised that night.
“The money is used to fund [the chapter’s] participation in events such as the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, LifeWalk and other community endeavors,” the Dallas Voice article stated. “The local group is paying part of the salary for a field director representing Log Cabin Republicans to work helping defeat Proposition 2.”
Proposition 2, which will go before Texas voters on Nov. 8, is a constitutional amendment “providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”
As a result of the Log Cabin Republican fund-raiser, word began to spread that Norquist’s speech would be used to help defeat a pro-family initiative on this year’s ballot. Halbrook said that is not the case.
The Grand Ol’ Party “is a general fund-raiser to help finance next year’s activities for our group like the Pride parade and printing and just whatever expenses come up,” she told Cybercast News Service. “It’s not in any way funding our ‘No on Prop. 2′ activities, which is the big brouhaha … out there.”
While acknowledging that some members of the Log Cabin chapter have volunteered their time and the club has made “specific contributions to the campaign against Proposition 2,” Halbrook said those contributions would not be “intermingled” with the money raised at the event Saturday night.
“Grover wasn’t speaking about Prop. 2, nor was he raising money about it,” she stated, before dismissing the controversy as “a tempest in a teapot.
“But I can understand how this started. The wording in the Dallas Voice was a separate thought, but it was put on the end of another thought, so people got hold of it and thought something was going on that wasn’t,” Halbrook added.
Christopher Butler, director of communications at Americans for Tax Reform, told Cybercast News Service that his organization received written confirmation from the Dallas Log Cabin club before the event, indicating that the fund-raiser would not benefit the anti-Proposition 2 campaign, “nor would it free up any other money to be redirected” toward that effort.
“We’re trying to let our social conservative friends know that that’s the case,” Butler said. “People were concerned we’d take a position on something like that, but ATR certainly doesn’t take a position on social issues. We’ll lower your taxes, but other groups exist to deal with those other issues.”
However, Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, was not impressed with Butler’s explanation.
“Log Cabin’s accounting shell game will not cover up Grover’s act of utter betrayal of the Reagan coalition of social and fiscal conservatives,” Glenn told Cybercast News Service.
Glenn noted that Norquist has clashed with conservatives over same-sex marriage in the past. According to a Jan. 16, 2004, report in the New York Times, “Norquist said some potential Republican voters might be turned off by raising the issue to a constitutional level, just as they were by too much talk of guns or abortions.
The paper quoted Norquist as saying: “Obsessions turn people off.”
Glenn was also critical of Norquist’s efforts to “raise money for an organization (Log Cabin Republicans) actively campaigning against the Texas marriage amendment, whose national affiliate last year spent $1 million in TV ads blasting President Bush for his support of a federal marriage amendment.
Cathie Adams, president of the conservative Texas Eagle Forum, also criticized the Dallas Log Cabin Republicans and Norquist.
“[The Log Cabin Republicans’] rhetoric is disingenuous,” Adams told Cybercast News Service. “Their actions are absolutely deceptive.” However, “their position in opposition to Prop. 2 is irrefutable.”
Norquist’s presence at the fund-raiser was “traitorous,” she added. “If he was a serious economic conservative, Grover Norquist would not have accepted the invitation or the honorarium for speaking at a fund-raiser for a group bent on the destruction of traditional families,” Adams said.
“It’s deceitful to pretend to defend sound economic principles while undermining the very fabric of society,” she added.
In his response, Butler insisted that “nobody is surprised that Grover has met with the Log Cabin Republicans.
“He has in the past, and he’ll continue to do so in the future, but always about economic issues,” Butler said. “I don’t think that’s the source of any particular consternation now.”
Noting that the ATR asks politicians to “take the pledge” not to raise taxes, Glenn encouraged “fiscally conservative ATR supporters who are also social conservatives to withhold their future support until Grover ‘takes the pledge’ to no longer give aid and comfort to homosexual activist groups intent on undermining traditional marriage and the family.”
Log Cabin Republicans and Bush
According to the Log Cabin RepublicansÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ official statement on the 2004 election campaign, Ã¢â‚¬Å“[i]nstead of helping re-elect President Bush, Log Cabin dedicated all its efforts to defend the Constitution.Ã¢â‚¬?
This Ã¢â‚¬Å“defenseÃ¢â‚¬? of the Constitution amounted to a television ad campaign in 12 states plus the District of Columbia, arguing against a constitutional amendment, which President Bush endorsed, that would have defined and limited marriage to one man and one woman.
But eight of the 12 states where the Log Cabin television ads ran were Battleground States, believed to be the closest in BushÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s campaign against Democrat John Kerry. The Battleground States where the Log Cabin Republican ads ran were Missouri, Ohio, Florida, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Washington State.