Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
 
search SGN
Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
click to go to click to visit advertiser's website


 
 

 

Speakeasy Speed Test

Cost of the
War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
 

 

 

click to go to advertisers website
 
John McCain raised money for Oregon bigot Lon Mabon
John McCain raised money for Oregon bigot Lon Mabon
by Mike Andrew - SGN Contributing Writer

John McCain has always been a popular speaker at Republican fundraisers. Now it seems his past fundraising activities may come back to haunt him.

Oregon Congressperson Darlene Hooley (D-OR) told the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday that McCain had been the featured speaker at a fundraiser for Lon Mabon's anti-Gay Oregon Citizens Alliance (OCA) in 1993. Rep. Hooley described her speech as a "little note in history to let people know McCain has never been very good on any of the social issues." McCain's appearance was documented in The Oregonian on August 31, 1993.

Mabon told reporters at the time that the money McCain helped raise would go toward strengthening the OCA's legal team so it could "take on the ACLU whenever they attack our values."

The SGN contacted McCain's campaign press office for comment, but none was forthcoming by press time. "Most of our people are in Denver, working the Democrats' thing," a McCain staffer said, "and after that they're going to our convention. I can't promise I can get something for you."

Scott Tucker, Communications Director of Log Cabin Republicans, a national LGBT Republican organization, did agree to make a statement. "The remarks Sen. McCain apparently made demonstrate he's willing to speak before different groups of Republicans, whether it's the OCA or the Log Cabin Republicans. That's encouraging."

Tucker added, however, that "Sen. McCain could do more to reach out to the LGBT community, and we will be taking that message to our convention. I want to point out, Log Cabin Republicans has not made an endorsement yet."

The OCA is a Christian-right organization founded by Mabon in 1986 to oppose pro-choice Republican Senator Bob Packwood. The group gained international attention in 1992 when it put forward the infamous Ballot Measure 9 to prohibit so-called "special rights" for the LGBT community. According to many community activists, the measure would in fact have mandated state discrimination against sexual minorities.

Ballot Measure 9 was defeated by Oregon voters by 56% to 44% in the 1992 election. OCA also proposed several successful local measures restricting LGBT rights. All of these were ultimately invalidated by the Oregon State Legislature.

McCain's involvement with the group came about through a convoluted scheme to save Sen. Packwood from a right-wing third party challenge in his 1992 re-election bid. Mabon reportedly met with several prominent Republican senators, including McCain, and extracted a promise to assist the OCA with fundraising in exchange for his group's continued support for Republican candidates.

McCain was featured speaker at an OCA dinner on August 30, 1993. Then-Sen. Mark Hatfield, a liberal Republican, urged McCain not to attend, and the event was picketed by LGBT activists including members of the Log Cabin Republicans.

McCain displayed his famous bad temper when reporters confronted him at the event. Asked if he was concerned about appearing at an OCA function, McCain is reported to have replied, "No, are you?" When asked if he was worried about being labeled anti-Gay, he said, "I don't think I need to respond to that stupid question."

Although McCain did not cancel his appearance, he did meet with local NAACP and American Jewish Committee leaders to smooth things over. He would talk to the OCA about "tolerance," he promised.

McCain reportedly told the OCA that Republicans have to be careful to not be seen as the "private advocacy group of only some Americans" and that they should observe the "essence of tolerance." Nevertheless, Mabon was publicly jubilant after his speech, vowing that Sen. Hatfield would meet primary opposition from the OCA in his next election.

As a result of Mabon's deal with McCain, Packwood did not face a challenge from the OCA, and was narrowly re-elected in 1992. Hatfield decided not to run for a sixth Senate term in 1996 and retired after 30 years of service.

Ironically, McCain's effort to shield Packwood was rendered moot by subsequent events. Immediately after the election, the Washington Post broke a story detailing allegations by 10 women staffers and lobbyists that Packwood had sexually assaulted them. Packwood resigned from the US Senate on September 7, 1995 after the Senate's bipartisan Ethics Committee recommended his expulsion.

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog



: http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS?
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2008

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News