A liberal who has clashed with Obama about the pace of action on LGBT rights says the group behind “Use Your Mandate” ad is “chicken” for not revealing the funders' names. The ad is scheduled to run on several Sunday news shows.
WASHINGTON — People associated with two prominent LGBT organizations — one loyal to President Obama for the most part and the other one of his loudest critics on the left — disclaimed any knowledge Saturday of the funding source for a TV ad opposing former Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination for defense secretary that is scheduled to run during multiple Sunday morning news shows.
The Huffington Post reported that the group placing the ads is calling itself “Use Your Mandate” and stated that the group is “made up mostly of Democrats and independents” who are “choosing to stay anonymous” for now.
The ad attacks Hagel as “anti-woman, anti-choice, anti-Israel, anti-gay and pro-assault weapon” and is reportedly scheduled to run on NBC's “Meet the Press,” CBS's “Face the Nation” and ABC's “This Week.” The Huffington Post based the report on “a source close to the group who declined to be named in order to speak openly.” To that end:
The source close to the group said that for now, those involved are choosing to stay anonymous because they are allies with the Obama administration and hesitant to criticize the president publicly or fear retribution or pressure from the White House. The source characterized members as a “concerned group of people who … have some questions about Chuck Hagel,” including individuals who have “fought for LGBT rights for a long time.”
A spokesman for the nation's largest LGBT organization and the person who helped organize the funding for the direct-action, liberal group that most often challenged President Obama's first-term efforts on LGBT issues both told BuzzFeed Saturday that they had no knowledge of the ad prior to the Saturday report and also said they were unaware of who was funding it.
Paul Yandura, who worked with Jonathan Lewis to secure funding to start Get Equal — the liberal organization that led civil-disobedience actions against President Obama at the White House and against Democrats in the Capitol in 2009 — said he had “no idea” who is behind the ads.
Get Equal already has gone on the record in opposition to Hagel for his LGBT record and his larger civil-rights record, and Yandura was incredulous that the funders of the new ad campaign are attempting to not reveal who is behind the group.
“It's laughable that they want to stay anonymous because they are too chicken to criticize the president since they are his supporters. Either this is a serious enough issue to call out the president or not,” he added.
HRC vice president for communications Fred Sainz said he had not even heard of the new group or the group's ad.
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