The LCR executive director, Clarke Cooper, writes the Dish:
I have never discussed the names of specific Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) donors or ad costs. LCR ad campaigns are funded by a number of donors and that protocol will not change. Much like the ad campaign we ran during the RNC convention in August, LCR developed the ad first and then found funding by 'passing the hat' to a variety of supporters. No one should be shocked that LCR or any organization is careful to not give away or hint at an ad campaign before launch.
LCR is particularly concerned about Chuck Hagel as a potential Defense Secretary because of the role he would play in continuing to oversee the implementation of open service of the military. As you may recall, LCR brought the federal court case that resulted in an initial ruling declaring the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" (DADT) statute was in violation of the Constitution and that it should no longer be enforced as well as LCR lead on securing the Republican votes in the Congress to repeal DADT and we then served in a consultative capacity on the ministerial study and implementation guidance to military commanders. We are extremely invested in who will continue to preside over the remaining issues for LGBT military families.
We appreciate that senator Hagel has apologized for his words now that he is up for a major position, but what he said about Ambassador Hormel and his support of DADT should give the LGBT community pause about his sincerity. It is Chuck Hagel's weak record on preventing nuclear proliferation in Iran, lack of confidence in our ally Israel as well as an aggressive history against the LGBT community that is a negative combination for a Secretary of Defense nominee.
While he may have recently apologized for his anti-gay comments to save his possible nomination, Hagel cannot walk away from his consistent record against economic sanctions to try to change the behavior of the Islamist radical regime in Tehran. To use an US Army colloquial term, he is a "No Go" for the cabinet post. LCR has a long history of showing support for our ally Israel and questioning those who would be soft on Iran.
While it may surprise some to see LCR taking out a major ad in the New York Times, it's part of a broader communications strategy that LCR and its board have been developing over the last year. The next couple of years will be critical with regard to helping the Republican Party change its position on a number of LGBT issues and we as an organization have made strategic decisions to dramatically increase the sophistication and profile of our communications efforts. For background on LCR's stance regarding Iran, here is one of the statements we put out on Iran sanctions in my term. Anyone conducting basic research on LCR and or my national security experience would see the consistency in position.
I've asked some more questions and will report back to you what he says. Just for contrast, read this statement on Hagel by Cooper published in the Gay City Times only two weeks ago:
Asked how well suited Hagel was to handle the ongoing LGBT rights issues facing the Defense Department, R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, focused instead on the former senator’s military credentials and on his fidelity to Republican positions.
Speaking for himself and not for LCR, Cooper wrote in an email, “I recall working with Senator Chuck Hagel and his staff during the Bush administration and he was certainly not shy about expressing his criticisms. But despite his criticisms, Hagel voted with us most of the time and there was no question he was committed to advancing America’s interests abroad. As for his nomination to be secretary of defense, it is well worth noting that Senator Hagel is a combat veteran who has hands-on experience in the field. The battlefield is not just theory for him.”
So when the left group NGLTF was on the warpath for Hagel, Cooper defended him. Then his organization goes further than the far left in targeting a moderate Republican. I've simply never seen that happen before. And by the way, is Hagel's alleged "aggressive history" with respect to gay equality worse than, say, Paul Ryan, whom LCR recently endorsed? Where is the consistency?