First, I apologize for the delay in rolling out the parts of my Feb. 4th interview with Log Cabin Republican chief Patrick Guerriero. I’ve been quite busy in my ‘real job’ the past few weeks. So as a reminder, here are the links to the first two parts of the interview.
And now, Part Three….
GayPatriot: I would be slaughtered if I didn?t ask this question ? do you now regret spending the million dollars on the ad campaign against President Bush a year ago?
Patrick Guerriero: Not for a single second. I believe that in the course of my life ? and I?ve in public life for over ten years now, almost 15 — it was probably singularly one of the smartest things we ever did ? for a couple reasons.
One ? people forget that when the President came out in favor for FMA, there was a segment of Washington who said this could fly really fast. It is an election year; people are going to be afraid. And so, for one, we defeated a Constitutional amendment. And I think ultimately, God willing, we defeated it for good. There?ll be different versions of it, there?ll be different efforts for political reasons ? but I think we put it in a box.
The second thing is ? our ad, when you look at it; take away all of the analysis — the ad was the Vice President of the United States speaking the conservative language, opposed to a Constitutional Amendment [FMA]. It didn?t say anything about the President. It didn?t say who to vote for or who not to vote for. It made a conservative case against the FMA.
And what happened as a result of that is the most important thing I think that has happened to this organization in a long time, ever since the courage of my predecessor Rich Tafel and others to come to Washington and knock on doors when no one knew what the hell a Log Cabin Republican was. Rich and I have joked that people probably thought it was someone coming in to sell maple syrup or home-building material.
What happened because of that ad was that our organization dramatically grew in a way that none of us could have believed. You will see in the course of a two-year period this organization double in chapters, more than double in membership. Double the number of real, credible leaders who are out there.
And our budget went from $300,000 two years ago to over $1.5 million this year. Those are cool numbers, they?re important. If you use that money wisely, it means something. And we were able to invest in grassroots. We are able to invest in chapters in the South and in the heartland [of America]. And these are really conservative, damn-loyal Republicans. We have also been able to shift some resources to have a national Field Director. And we have opened another office in Sacramento so we can have a Western Field Director.
So that ad has helped people get a snapshot into Log Cabin?s mission: Republicans fighting to defend the Constitution from what we believe is a discriminatory amendment. And in the end, it has helped build a base of grassroots people that we didn?t have a few years ago. That is an amazing way for us to mature.
So the ad was, I thought, was conservative, Republican, respectful. It didn?t attack the President. It helped to defeat the FMA. And it helped over the long haul most importantly, put a face to Log Cabin that balanced our two missions?. That being Republican and gay are not a contradiction. And that?s why I think it was a smart thing. And if we need to, I hope we won?t, we would do it again.
COMING SOON, PART FOUR: THE FALLOUT FROM THE AD