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July 15th, 2010

Culver Cozies-Up to the Gay Millionaires Club

As a gubernatorial candidate in 2006, Chet Culver said that he believed that marriage is between a man and a woman. That was the position Culver held during the Democratic primary, as a candidate in the general election, and after being elected Governor of Iowa.

In January of 2008, Culver was asked to respond to a court case dealing with the custody of a child between a lesbian couple. Culver told Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa, “I think we have to let the judicial branch work through these cases, and as a former government teacher and as governor, I have a lot of respect for the judicial process. We shouldn’t tamper with it,” Culver said. “Let them do their work and then we can respond and react if we need to.”

Later in the article, Culver said, “We’ll do whatever it takes to protect marriage between a man and a woman.”

Iowans thought that they had elected a governor who supported traditional marriage. In fact, they had good reason to believe Culver. On numerous occasions, he said that he supported traditional marriage. He ran radio ads talking about his Christian faith. His television ads showed him on a couch reading the Bible to his two young children. Iowans now realize that they were fooled. The rhetoric that he used to get elected has not matched his actions as governor.

Culver made his promise to “do whatever it takes to protect marriage between a man and a woman” on January 18, 2009. Culver’s own campaign disclosures show that eleven days earlier, he received his first contribution from a homosexual activist from Colorado named Tim Gill. Gill gave Culver’s campaign a check for $12,500.

Governor Culver knowingly lied to the people of Iowa on the critical issue of marriage.

Later that year when Iowa’s Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) was challenged in Iowa’s court system, Culver yielded to the Supreme Court, once again urging the people of Iowa to let the judicial process work itself out.

After the Court issued it’s ruling on April 3, 2009, Culver was nowhere to be seen or heard from for days. Finally, he appeared and said that he was, “reluctant to amend the constitution in any way that would be deemed unlawful or discriminatory,” but still said that he personally supported traditional marriage.

Governor Culver skillfully avoided publically endorsing gay marriage until the Iowa Democratic Party’s Annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner on November 21st. By the time that the Jefferson-Jackson dinner had rolled around, Culver had received sizable contributions from wealthy out of state homosexual activists Tim Gill, Jon Stryker, James C. Hormel, and David Bohnett.

Gill is the best-known out-of-state gay activist. Not only has he supported Culver’s re-election campaign, but he personally has pumped $95,000 into the coffers of the Iowa Democratic Party, most of which in the last election cycle. While Iowans became familiar with Gill after the 2006 elections where he was credited for taking out Republican State Representative Danny Carroll, he wasn’t the only gay activist targeting legislative races.

More unknown is Stryker, who began donating to legislative candidates and the Iowa Democratic Party in 2006. In fact, he contributed to more Democratic candidates than Gill and gave $25,000 to the Iowa Democratic Party in 2006.

Stryker is a billionaire from Michigan. He is known as one of the leading donors to gay and lesbian causes around the globe. He is the founder of the Arcus Foundation whose mission is to achieve social justice that is inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity and race, and to ensure conservation and respect of the great apes.

In his home state of Michigan, Stryker created his own political action committee called the Coalition for Progress. Stryker’s PAC spent more than $2 million on targeted state races across Michigan. Almost all of the money that the group spent came from him personally. The Coalition for Progress is credited for helping Michigan Democrats take control of the State House.

Bohnett is one of the co-founders of Geo-Cities, which was acquired by Yahoo! in 1999. In addition to being a technology entrepreneur, Bohnett is also a philanthropist. His David Bohnett Foundation supports many Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered (LGBT) causes. Last fall, at a speech to Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Bohnett attacked Christians who think homosexuality is immoral

Let us make it known . . . that we will challenge those religious leaders and institutions that shamefully and cowardly use the imprimatur of their church and the name of god [sic] and Jesus to promote hatred and bigotry toward lesbians and gay men. Among our greatest adversaries who actively work against us are the leaders of the Catholic, Mormon, and evangelical churches who seek to deny equal protection for us and for our children,” said Bohnett.

James C. Hormel is the first openly gay United States Ambassador. He was a Clinton appointee. He is the grandson of George Hormel, the founder of Hormel Foods. Hormel has been a long time homosexual activist. In 1981 he founded the Human Rights Campaign, a leading advocacy group for LGBT rights.

Governor Culver has come along way on the issue of marriage since January of 2008. Unfortunately he has made a decision to side with a handful of wealthy out-of-state gay activists instead of the people of Iowa.

CitizenLink.com, a part of Focus on the Family, reported yesterday that Governor Culver attended Gill’s “Political OutGiving” conference, which was held in Chicago in May. Governor Culver wasn’t the only governor at the conference. He was joined by Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire, Governor Michael O’Malley of Maryland, and Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania. Governor Lynch, a Republican, has flip-flopped on the marriage issue like Culver.

The Washington Blade, a LGTB newspaper, described Gill’s Political OutGiving conference as, “a highly confidential event for a network of more than 200 big-stakes LGBT contributors to political campaigns.” An organizer of the event told the paper that the event is “a focused, bipartisan state-based strategy that concentrates on delivering resources from dedicated and generous donors to select campaigns in a limited number of states.”

Governor Culver’s actions over the past two years have clearly illustrated that he no longer supports traditional marriage. Not only has he let the Supreme Court usurp the power of the legislature, but he has also used the issue to raise money for his campaign from a handful of wealthy gay activists.

Sadly, there are some Republicans following the June 8th gubernatorial primary who believe there is basically no difference between Terry Branstad and Governor Chet Culver. Not only is that position is ridiculous, it’s also dangerous.

That line of thinking is ridiculous because Branstad has a solid record on those issues. While Branstad is not a perfect candidate, he did sign Iowa’s Defense of Marriage law and has advocated that Iowans should have the right to vote on a marriage amendment to the state’s constitution. That position is dangerous because, if Culver is re-elected, he and his gay activist donors will continue to wreak havoc our conservative values.

There is another big difference between Terry Branstad and Chet Culver. Branstad will not blatently lie to the people of Iowa like Culver did in January of 2008. We also know that he’s not in the back pocket of these uber-rich gay activists that Culver and the Democrats are using to bankroll their campaigns.

Photo of Culver by Dave Davidson

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheIowaRepublican.com, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and TheIowaRepublican.com as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, TheIowaRepublcian.com. Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.




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