Candidates traditionally return donations "when they discover that the person is a crook or an extremist, like a Nazi"
The Log Cabin
Federation, a national coalition of gay Republicans, has learned that there is no room for them at the Dole-for-President table.
In late August, the Dole campaign returned a $1,000 donation made in May by the Log Cabin Republicans.
"It was a decision made by the finance committee," Senator Dole told reporters. "I don't agree with their agenda, and I assume that's why it was returned." He said he did not agree with Log Cabin's support of such issues as allowing gays in the military.
Dole campaign spokesman Nelson Warfield said that they had been "unaware" of the gay organization and its "special rights agenda" until Detroit News columnist Deb Price threatened to reveal the nature of the group. At that point, the decision was made to return the money.
The Log Cabin Republicans are furious.
"It would be a little hard for him not to know we were an organization of gay and lesbian Republicans," said Log Cabin's Cincinnati chapter president Sam Collins, "since not only the senator, but also his senatorial staff and his campaign staff had been working very closely with members of our organization in Washington for the past nine months."
Log Cabin's national executive director Rich Tafel said he has a letter from the Dole campaign dated May 24 encouraging the organization's continued support. Dole had discussed the Ryan White Act with Tafel, and subsequently supported its funding renewal. Tafel charged Dole with appeasing the Religious Right, and that returning the money for ideological reasons was "such hypocrisy."
Los Angeles club president Ritch Colbert called Dole a liar, and said they "intend to confront Senator Dole's campaign people directly" at a planned California Republican Party workshop in Palm Springs later this month.
Chris Bowman, an outspoken San Francisco gay Republican, said that political campaigns traditionally return donations "when they discover that the person is a crook or an extremist, like a Nazi. Members of Log Cabin are law-abiding, moderate Republicans, so they're neither." He said that Dole is "painting himself into a corner for a faction of the Republican right."
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