Secretive Gay Donors Back Candidates Nationwide

Group of donors organizes to put millions of dollars behind pro-gay pols
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2008 7:19 AM CDT
Marchers carry a rainbow flag at the gay pride parade along Fifth Avenue in New York on Sunday, June 29, 2008.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
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(Newser) – A secretive group of wealthy gay activists who call themselves the Cabinet has been pouring huge sums into defeating anti-gay political candidates across the country, Time reports. The seven members of the Cabinet are estimated to have injected at least $7.8 million into races nationwide since 2004, and have earned a reputation in the gay community as a sort of "homosexual justice league."

Spokespeople for the publicity-shy Cabinet stress that the group—whose members range from dotcom millionaires to heirs of industrial fortunes—is not breaking any donations rules. Analysts see the group's clout as part of a wider shift in gay and leftist politics, as rich donors emerge in place of the old grass-roots movements. Some worry that the big checks are breeding a damaging complacency among groups once spurred by outrage to push for change.