Republican Congressman: No Money For Gay Candidates
One Republican Congressman is reportedly pushing the National Republican Congressional Committee to refrain from funding the campaigns of openly gay Republican candidates for Congress:
Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes, a senior House Republican eyeing a powerful committee chairmanship, is causing friction with some of his colleagues by pushing the House GOP campaign arm to deny support for some of the party’s gay congressional candidates.
Forbes has waged a lengthy crusade to convince his colleagues and the National Republican Congressional Committee brass they shouldn’t back some gay candidates. His efforts on Capitol Hill were described to POLITICO by more than a half-dozen sources with direct knowledge of the talks.
The issue is particularly acute because House Republicans have two promising openly gay candidates in 2014 vying for seats held by Democrats. Richard Tisei, who narrowly lost to Democratic Rep. John Tierney in 2012, is running again in northeastern Massachusetts. And in San Diego, Carl DeMaio, a former city councilman, is trying to knock off Democratic Rep. Scott Peters.
Asked directly about the matter, Forbes is a little more circumspect but doesn’t directly deny the allegations:
On Wednesday, Forbes told POLITICO he thinks “GOP leaders can do whatever they want to do,” in terms of giving money to gay candidates.
He said he is more concerned about members being asked to contribute to the campaigns. The NRCC is partially funded by collecting tens of millions of dollars from House Republicans, who pay dues to the organization.
“There would be a different situation if they tried to force other members to give money,” Forbes said.
Asked whether he would have a problem with the NRCC donating money to DeMaio, Forbes said, “That’s a little different situation.”
“I don’t think they’ve done that yet,” Forbes added.
When asked if he would withhold political contributions to the NRCC if they backed DeMaio, Forbes said, “I’m not going to be hypothetical on what we would or wouldn’t do at this particular point in time because you’ve got a lot of scenarios. I don’t think we’ve had primaries and nominations to nominate people. So I don’t want to prejudge.”
The article goes on to note that Forbes’s view is apparently not generally shared by the party leadership, and notes that Speaker John Boehner made a donation to Tisei’s campaign in 2012 and that Darrell Issa has publicly stated that he’d back DeMaio if he turns out to be the party’s nominee for the California seat. So, in some sense, it appears that Forbes may be in the minority in his party even while he seems to be using this issue to somehow help his bid for a committee chairmanship in the future. More broadly, though, it seems quite clear that this is not the kind of news that is helpful to the GOP has a whole as it seeks to broaden its appeal beyond a base that is quickly becoming a smaller and smaller portion of the nation as a whole.