Honestly, this is the sort of thing that makes one spout glub-glub noises — or post pictures of rabbits with pancakes on their heads.
Just now in the Minnesota House, Glenn Gruenhagen (R-Glencoe) introduced his “ex-gay” friend Kevin Petersen who is now married and father of three. This was a point of personal privilege.
Members of the House either clapped or groaned.
Just as the House was about to adjourn, Speaker Thissen ruled that points of personal privilege had gotten out of hand in the past few sessions, declaring that they would no longer be allowed for random shout-outs to personal friends and family members visiting the House.
Thissen’s such a spoilsport.
But that’s not the end of it:
What Gruenhagen didn’t tell his colleagues is his own relationship with Petersen, an arrangement that’s no surprise for Gruenhagen watchers.
As the American Independent reported last February in Ex-gay movement deeply tied to marriage amendment push, Gruenhagen and Petersen had formed the Pro-Marriage Amendment Forum:
“A Republican state legislator and a man who claims to be a “former
homosexual” have teamed up to support an anti-gay-marriage amendment to
the Minnesota constitution.
The group — called the Pro-Marriage Amendment Forum — is just one
example of the deep ties between backers of the marriage amendment and
the “ex-gay” movement. The connections have left some LGBT advocates
wondering if it’s not just gay marriage these groups are opposing, but
rights for LGBT people as a whole. .. .
Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, a Republican who represents the city of
Glencoe about an hour southwest of Minneapolis, and Kevin Peterson, a
man who says he was gay until the age of 33, started the Pro-Marriage
Amendment Forum in order to raise money in support of the amendment.
They are planning to show a series of Powerpoint presentations around
Neither gentleman responded to requests by The American Independent
for further information about the organization, but both did appear on the Late Debate, a conservative-libertarian radio program based in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul, last week.
‘Kevin and I formed a 501(c)(4), and the purpose is to advocate and
educate people regarding the upcoming vote in November,’ said
Gruenhagen. ‘It’s a 501(c)(4). You can make contributions to that org,
but they are not tax deductible. There’s a place to donate; all the
money is going to be used to cover expenses for getting out the
information regarding the upcoming marriage amendment especially in the
area of economic benefit to marriage and the consequences to our
Bluestem Prairie reported that they took their show on the road to venues like the SW Metro Tea Party, hosted by now-Representative Cindy Pugh (R-Chanhassen) in Pro-Marriage Amendment Forum’s Gruenhagen calls Sigmund Freud a pervert & a moron:
So what in the world is a 501(c)(4) organization? Apparently, it’s whatever you want it to be, you just click your heels together a few times and wish really hard:
501(c)(4) organizations are generally civic leagues and other corporations that are supposed to be operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, or local associations of employees with membership limited to a designated company or people in a particular municipality or neighborhood, and with net earnings devoted exclusively to charitable, educational, or recreational purposes.
501(c)(4) groups have never had to disclose their donors, but were not allowed to take corporate or union money, otherwise they’d have to disclose their donors to the Federal Election Commission. But after the January 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision, 501(c)4 groups can take unlimited corporate and union money, still without disclosing. 501c4s have been increasingly affiliated with the growth of super PACs.
… Unlike 501(c)(3) organizations, 501(c)(4) organizations may lobby for legislation; they may also participate in political campaigns and elections, as long as campaigning is not the organization’s primary purpose. There has long been a hanging question in campaign finance law, however, over just what constitutes a political communication or campaign.
Nice work if you can get it. You even get to play show and tell with your friends on the floor of the Minnesota House and call it “educational”. That is, until the meanies obsessed with ethics take your playtime away from you.