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hactivist feuds

Did HRC Get Rep. Joe Cao to Throw GOP Support Behind DADT Repeal? Or Log Cabin?

Joe Cao is a Republican Congressman from Louisiana. It’s his first term in office, so don’t blame the guy for taking some time to figure out where to invest his mostly empty gestures, as a freshman lawmaker’s decisions are generally determined by the party (if he has any hope ascending its ranks), or desires to tickle. But Rep. Cao is finding his way, and today it landed with the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, the bill introduced this month in both the House and Senate that would repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Cao has agreed to sign on as a co-sponsor. Except now both the Human Rights Campaign and the Log Cabin Republicans are taking credit for scoring Cao’s support, and one of them is pissed!

And you thought Gay Inc. groups were ineffective at lobbying lawmakers.

On its website, HRC says of Cao making the repeal effort a bipartisan one: “Several HRC volunteers who are his constituents met with Rep. Cao’s staff on several LGBT issues and also asked him to cosponsor the MREA during the HRC’s recent lobby day.” Though, to be fair, they threw a bone to some other groups: “HRC has worked with a coalition of groups to win Rep. Cao’s support for MREA including Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Log Cabin Republicans and Servicemembers United.”

See how they namedropped LCR there? They’re sharing the win.

Not good enough, the gay conservative group tweets: “glad to see @HRCBackstory taking credit for @AnhJosephCao’s #MREA support when he only signed on after @LogCabinGOP spoke to him.”

Well, c’mon, that is what HRC does. With arguably the largest email database, it gets to put its name ahead of other groups — and get that message in front of more people, and that’s how history is written. This is HRC’s win, you see, and these other lackies were just playing follow the leader.

Meanwhile, in an email blast, LCR quotes Cao: “I am proud to stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in support of a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Our military commanders at the Pentagon believe it is time to proceed with dismantling this flawed policy, and I am happy put my name on this legislation, as well as to continue to work alongside Log Cabin Republicans as we speak to our Republican colleagues about the merits of repealing the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in our armed forces.”

Well that’s quite the endorsement of the little conservative GOP group that could, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, does LCR have a picture with Cao’s House staff? Because HRC does!

    • Someone who knows

      Log Cabin has actual quotes approved by Cao’s office from Cao himself…HRC doesn’t. Sounds like LCR was in there talking and making things happen instead of just taking pictures in the front office. Here’s the quote directly from Cao:

      “I am proud to stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in support of a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Our military commanders at the Pentagon believe it is time to proceed with dismantling this flawed policy, and I am happy put my name on this legislation, as well as to continue to work alongside Log Cabin Republicans as we speak to our Republican colleagues about the merits of repealing the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in our armed forces,” concluded Cao.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 8:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert

      LMAO @ HRC. Cao probably was more influenced by KFC than anything HRC pretends to have done. LOL

      Mar 17, 2010 at 9:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Someone who can read

      Cao has been supportive of most gay issues since he was candidate Cao. Before HRC or LCR got their lobbying fingers on him. They’re just working out their symbiotic soundbites now.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 9:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AndrewW

      Representative Cao is a self-defined “Moderate” and was faced with Recall only 6 weeks after he was sworn in because he DIDN’T vote with Republicans. He’s also from New Orleans. He co-sponsored the Hate Crimes Bill and he voted for the Healthcare Act.

      He’s only a Catholic (Catholics are only 50/50 anti-LGBT) and he knows the majority of the people in his District support LGBT Equality.

      HRC is really suggesting that he was persuaded? His political survival requires that he support DADT and other LGBT issues. Nobody talked him into anything.

      If Log Cabin helped Cao get elected and got him to sponsor DADT Repeal, then they deserve some credit.

      But, I don’t see any evidence that lobbying changed his mind. He was already gay friendly.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 9:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • delurker

      He’s gone after the November elections. It doesn’t really matter.

      Mar 17, 2010 at 11:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent

      Not sure if he’s gone. He’s in New Orleans.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 12:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tjr101

      If he doesn’t become a reliable NO vote, the Republican establishment will get rid of him soon enough.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 12:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • delurker

      Cao won in a heavily Democratic district that was represented by the uber corrupt William Jefferson (remember the guy with the wads of money in the freezer?). He’s the most endangered Republican in Congress and will lose his seat in November.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 1:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris

      He will lose in November, Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district is composed mainly of Orleans parish which went for Obama 81% to 19% in 2008. He will likely be suceeded by Cedric Richmond, current state representative, so HRC would do well to ask him for his position on this issue.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 4:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chris

      Who really cares? The Log Cabin Republicans are pretty much of a do nothing group to me (yeah i was a “republican” once when I was young and dumb and voted like my dad)

      HRC is stil our best voice in DC – Nice job Congressman. Are you the only sane one in the GOP?

      Mar 18, 2010 at 7:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC

      @chris: HRC is our “best voice” in Washington? We’re fucked.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 9:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WildCat

      This is pathetic. Trading jabs over which group managed to secure this “victory” has got to be the most childish thing done by a national LGBT group in a long time.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 10:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      Cao’s statement would seem to indicate, much as it surprises me, that the Log Cabins were the more instramental group. Then again, DC is a town where everybody seems to want to take credit for things they haven’t done, at least everybody in politics and lobbying.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 10:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC

      @Cam: Cao was ALREADY supportive. Nobody persuaded him. Both groups are trying to take credit where none is due. HRC hasn’t changed a single mind in the US Congress for their entire 29 year history. We gave them $500 million. WE are the fools.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 10:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SFGuy

      This is a prime example of why our fight for equality will take considerably longer — we continue to fight amongst ourselves and we have the blogosphere, with no worries of responsible journalism, who tries to build and maintain rifts so they’re viable and they can exist.

      HRC did not claim to be solely responsible for this Congressman’s support. HRC did not claim that this Congressman’s support came directly after meeting with HRC volunteers. With all due respect to LCR, any fool knows that support isn’t attained via one source, but collectively over a period of time.

      This irresponsible and ongoing hit piece against HRC is a disgrace. You have regular citizens taking time off work, flying into D.C. and staying in hotels on their own dime, trying to make a difference, yet you have a total disregard for citizen activists. I, for one, think they contributed to this successful outcome. Because of your hatred of HRC you can’t see that HRC attributed the outcome to HRC volunteers and the coalition of LGBT groups.

      We’re all in this together. Get with the program.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC

      @(HRC)SFGuy: Nobody changed Cao’s mind – it was his position as a CANDIDATE.

      This is how sad HRC’s performance really is. They try to take credit for something they didn’t do and in fact nobody did. Those who believe lobbying on gay issues is effective just needs to look at the $500 million HRC has wasted. They don’t have ANY examples of changing a politicians mind.

      Queerty is simply trying to hold LGBT Advocacy organizations accountable and HRC doesn’t like that. They better get used to it, along with the rest of Gay Inc.

      Mar 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert Turner

      I would like to point out two facts. (1) FACT: Log Cabin Republicans met with Congressman Cao onTuesday, March 16, 2010, in which the Congressman said to me that lifting the ban is something he could support. (2) FACT: On Wednesday, March 17, 2010, Congressman Cao became a cosponsor of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act.

      You do the math.

      Mar 24, 2010 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paschal

      @delurker: Maine is a blue state represented by two Republicans in the U.S. Senate, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. Republicans can get elected in by Democratic electorates if they’re moderate enough.

      May 3, 2010 at 7:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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