UPDATE: The Anschutz Foundation has issued a statement in response to Jonathan Capehart’s Washington Post column about Freedom for All Americans’ report “Enemies of Equality.” Here is the complete statement:
The Anschutz Foundation is not a member of [Washington Post columnist] Jonathan Capehart’s alleged “vast right wing conspiracy.” The Anschutz Foundation donates to thousands of worthy organizations each year, and it does not attempt to dictate to those organizations how they spend their monies. Moreover, those donations are made in accordance with our process and guidelines, and neither process or guidelines identify or reference in any way sexual orientation or gender issues.
Mr. Anschutz, and the Anschutz companies, invest in many businesses employing tens of thousands of people. In all instances, personal lifestyles are neither a requirement or limitation to employment.
Mr. Capehart’s attempt to smear individuals with unfounded allegations is straight out of the Saul Alinsky playbook. It is unworthy of him and of the publication by which he is employed.
There is no reason to comment further on his unfounded statements or on the individuals quoted in his article.
In a report released today, Freedom for All Americans, which aims to “secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide,” documents, among other things, a trail of cash leading from Colorado billionaire Phil Anschutz to 1) Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a national anti-LGBT group, to 2) anti-LGBT extremists like former Rep. Gordon (“Dr. Chaps”) Klingenschmitt and numerous other far-right Christian conservatives.
But, as I blogged previously, here in Colorado, ADF has enjoyed the embrace not only of Anschutz but of 33 Republican state legislators who joined with ADF last year to push for an investigation of Planned Parenthood.
The lawmakers, who appeared to be led by State Rep. Dan Nordberg of Colorado Springs, included State Sen. Larry Crowder of Alamosa, State Sen. Tim Neville of Littleton, State Rep. JoAnn Windholz of Commerce City, and State Sen. Laura Woods of Arvada/Westminster, whose fate in November’s election will likely determine whether Democrats gain control of state government.
Last November, Windholz wrote that Planned Parenthood was the “true instigator” of the domestic terrorism at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, and last week she wrote on Facebook that pro-choice people don’t care as much about women people with anti-choice views.
In the September 25 letter to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), ADF along with the 33 GOP lawmakers requested the “standards or criteria that are required to initiate an investigation” of Planned Parenthood, and the letter asked why a heavily edited video that falsely purported to show illegal dealings in fetal tissue donation would not be investigated.
The video and others like it were part of an undercover series by the anti-choice front group the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and have been discredited and their creators indicted.
The Republicans sent their letter, after CDPHE rejected a demand by many of the same state legislators to “initiate an investigation” of Planned Parenthood.
The GOP letter was signed on behalf of ADF by Michael Norton, an outspoken social-conservative attorney in Colorado, who drafted a 2006 Amendment to the state constitution that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
Many of the Colorado legislators who aligned with ADF were part of an unofficial “hearing” in November focused largely on the CMP smear videos and turned into a day-long condemnation of Planned Parenthood. It took place just over two weeks before three people were murdered at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic.
Correction: Crowder represents Alamosa, not Colorado Springs, as stated in an early version of this post.