Back when she was avoiding voters and the press even more than she is now, Hillary Clinton was going to gay and lesbian fundraisers soliciting money — what else would a Clinton do? — from LGBT Democrats who are among her most loyal supporters.
These people aren’t just average gay people or even average gay Democrats who have been fear mongered into believing that any and every other candidate, especially the GOP candidates, will strip them of every legal right they’ve recently required. (Even though those rights are clearly more due to independent changes in public opinion, or court cases won by libertarian-leaning Republicans like Ted Olson, and not to anything done by the Democratic Party, which primarily views gays, in GOProud founder Chris Barron’s coinage, as a GayTM, whose donations can replace or supplement those of Jewish Democrats, Wall Street Democrats, and other donor groups the DNC might begin to alienate.)
Instead, the gays and lesbians going to Hillary fundraisers include a high percentage of cronies and job seekers who hope to get some “Clinton cash,” to enhance their careers and incomes by being in or having access to, a Hillary administration.
A report by Chris Johnson, the national politics reporter for the gay paper of record, the Washington Blade, confirms this. “Clinton’s LGBT backers unfazed by email controversy,” reads the headline. And just who are these backers?
Attorney Richard Socarides, 60, would no doubt be easily fear mongered, as the traumatized child of the late anti-gay psychiatrist Charles Socarides. But he also gets his bread buttered by the Clintons, in his case voluntarily.
He served for six years in Bill Clinton’s administration, in a variety of positions, then bounced around through law and PR firms and law schools, with occasional talking head gigs on MSNBC in the Bush and early Obama years.
Hillary lackey David Brock hired him to run Equality Matters, a Soros funded gay auxiliary to the Media Matters smear machine, in 2011, though he only stayed there a year, during which time he, Brock, and Equality Matters were criticized by the gay community generally, as an attempt to duplicate the work of older gay groups like the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, whose ideologies are identical but which are not under the direct control of the Clinton’s (or of George Soros).
Socarides, said Mrs. Clinton “has my enthusiastic support” despite the ongoing controversy. “This in spite of unprecedented attacks from Republicans in Congress, false reports in the media, and a barrage of negativity from her and our Republican opponents. I am confident she will weather the storm and any others that may come her way and that she will not only be an effective leader for LGBT Americans but for all Americans.”
Lobbyist Hilary Rosen (56), was part of the pre-eminent lesbian power couple of the first Clinton administration, when she ran the Recording Industry Association of America, and her partner Elizabeth Birch, a former Apple computer lawyer, ran the Democratic lobbying group that herds gay voters, the Human Rights Campaign (which claims to be nonpartisan).
Rosen told the Blade: “I am confident that Hillary Clinton will be a strong general election candidate. Elections are about choices. Every one of those GOP candidates has significant flaws — most important of which is that they would set back LGBT progress. I think everyone needs to stop all this handwringing.” During the first Clinton administration Birch and Rosen rented a house from a CNN journalist in an exclusive D.C. neighborhood, near where Greg Craig, the Clinton administration lawyer who sent Elian Gonzales back to Cuban slavery, still lives.
Rosen and Birch separated after adopting two children, and lived (Birch sold her million-dollar-plus house overlooking the Potomac River this May) in exclusive, adjacent, lily white DC neighborhoods along the Potomac River near the Maryland border, where their neighbors included members of the Democratic media elite like Jay Carney, Andrea Mitchell, David Gregory, and Tammy Haddad.
Rosen’s solution to having a $2 million home with a huge mortgage during the first years of the Obama administration was to start a lobbying group, that sold “memberships” to companies that needed access to Obama for $75,000 a pop, and then work for several other lobbying firms and companies, including British Petroleum during the Gulf oil spill. Rosen has since been linked romantically with Randi Weingarten, head of the anti-education choice American Federation of Teachers.
Besides badly chosen remarks about Ann Romney, Rosen is best known for being “denied” by then White House Press Secretary Jay Carney for her constant buying of papal indulgences for her clients in the Obama White House, leading to the following Jimmy Kimmel satire:
One of [White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s] jobs is to keep track of all the Hilary Rosens. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this story […] Hilary Rosen is the woman who said Ann Romney never worked a day in her life, even though Mrs. Romney raised five kids. And of course, the administration tries to distance itself from those comments. They said she’s not an adviser to the Obama campaign, even though, as we later found out, her name appeared on the White House visitor log 35 times.
So when reporters ask Jay why her name showed up 35 times, this is where it gets hilarious. He said, he wasn’t sure it was the same Hilary Rosen. He said, “I personally know three Hilary Rosens.”
You personally know three Hilary Rosens? Where did all these Hilary Rosens come from? Did you pick them from the Hilary Rosen garden?
I’d bet you $10,000 you don’t know three Hilary Rosens, but I’m not running for president though.
What Kimmel probably doesn’t know is that Rosen and Carney live about a nine-minute walk apart, on the same street, on different sides of DC’s MacArthur Boulevard. And Rosen often attends the same social events as Carney’s wife, journalist Claire Schipman.
Lobbyist Steve Elmendorf (55), a former Dick Gephart staffer and long-time Democratic lobbyist, board member of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund (a junior partner to the massive Human Right Campaign Fund), and a 2004 John Kerry staffer.
Elmendorf told the Blade he had “no fear” for Hillary: “She continues to beat every Republican she’s running against. Her favorables are better than any Republican in the race. Her favorables are better than any Democrat in the race. I think this a long campaign … There will be good moments and bad moments.. I think this story’s [about secret emails] completely manufactured by the news media. I think it’s ridiculous.”
Elmendorf started out as a Mondale field operative after college in 1982 and now owns his own lobbying firm. Even if he didn’t take a job in a Hillary administration, having access to it would be very lucrative. A non-Democrat in the White House would shut him out and could lead his clients to drop him. And Elmendorf has bills to pay, with a million and a half dollar condo in DC’s gay-gentrified Logan Circle and a vacation home in Lewes, Delaware.
Lawyer Elizabeth Birch (58), Rosen’s former partner, directed litigation worldwide for Apple, before running two de facto Democratic Party gay lobbying groups and then doing consulting and running Rosie O’Donnell’s production company.
Though still a Hillary Clinton supporter, Birch is simultaneously the one of these four gay Democratic bigwigs the Blade interviewed with the most private sector experience and the least to gain from being a lobbyist with access to a future Clinton administration and the one most critical of Clinton’s email scandal,which she called “an annoying distraction….If I was her general counsel, I would not have approved this. I mean, she was secretary of state in a very challenging era and, you know, it seems to me it never should have happened… [Clinton’s handlers] have not done a good job…I think she’s completely clear of any wrong-doing, but I wish we didn’t have to deal with perception issues, and this is something that time and time again all candidates need to learn these lessons. It’s not always about the black letter of the law; it’s about perception, and this feeds into a narrative that we did not need.”
Normally the Blade has uniformly pro-Hillary and pro-Democratic coverage and commentary, especially at the national level, with occasional pro-free market pieces by one columnist, Mark Lee, who covers local business issues, and some favorable or neutral coverage now and then of local Libertarian Party candidates who are vocal in support of gay issues. Besides interviews with these four major Democratic Party supporters on how Hillary’s email crimes are not a significant problem, the current issue also features one op ed by a much less connected local Democrat supporting Senator Bernie Sanders.
The oldest and best known national gay news magazine, The Advocate, claims to find in Hilary’s now released email trove a silver lining, proof that she is at least pro-gay. But Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State who let a gay Ambassador, Chris Stephens, be murdered, and who shaped a foreign policy that armed ISIS, which is now systematically raping women and girls and using social media to track down and murder Syrian and Iraqi gays.
Can gay Americans afford this kind of “friend?”
(Full disclosure – I’ve met 3 if not 4 of these Hillary supporters, been to the same cocktail parties and fundraisers, and been a guest at events at some of their homes.)