(Trenton) -- According to the latest campaign finance records, the hateful anti-LGBT views of North Jersey's resident Tea Party extremist, Rep. Scott Garrett, have made him toxic to the corporations that previously supported his campaign.
Garrett raised one-fourth of the amount he took in from businesses at this time in the previous election cycle, reports show. And, Garrett’s First Quarter fundraising from businesses plummeted from an average of nearly $64,500* over the last three election cycles to just $15,500 raised from businesses this quarter. To fund his campaign, Garrett is now relying more heavily on donations from far-right Tea Party groups and members of Congress who share his long track record of hostility to equal rights for the LGBT community.
Garrett became radioactive to corporate donors after Politico reported this summer that the Tea Partier refused to contribute to the House Republicans’ fundraising arm because it supported gay candidates. Soon after, BusinessWeek dubbed Garrett "Wall Street’s Bigot in Washington."
Many companies have corporate policies that explicitly require LGBT equality. These and others have publicly distanced themselves from Garrett and announced that they will no longer write checks to him. These companies include Goldman Sachs, Capital One, BBCA Compass, U.S. Bancorp, Nomura Holdings, PNC Bank and State Farm. A recent Star-Ledger editorial noted the similarities in Garrett’s fundraising failures to the wave of companies speaking out against anti-LGBT laws in places like North Carolina and Mississippi.
State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) said Garrett’s stalled fundraising is proof that corporations are standing with their LGBT customers and employees against Garrett’s hate and bigotry.
"Scott Garrett is way out of step with New Jersey's values, and I'm glad that businesses are joining the fight against bigotry by withholding campaign funds from him. Public officials should stand up for tolerance and decency, not against them. Clearly, corporate interests are recognizing that funding anti-LGBT extremism tarnishes their respective brands, and hurts their bottom lines," Weinberg said.
With his corporate wells drying up, a desperate Garrett has turned to national Tea Party groups to fill his depleted coffers. In the first three months of 2016, the proportion of contributions Garrett received from anti-LGBT Tea Party groups increased six-fold compared to the three previous election cycles.
Notably, Garrett received $5,000 from FRC, a Radical Right group with a long history of disparaging the LGBT community. Last week, an FRC spokesperson called LGBT rights activists "un-American" for opposing laws that permit discrimination of LGBT individuals.
Similarly, Garrett’s reliance on checks from his fellow anti-LGBT Tea Party members increased nearly 30-fold, from only $1,000 or 0.5% of his contributions this time last Congressional cycle to $29,795 or 11% in the first quarter of 2016. For example, this year, he took money from the likes of Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia, who has claimed that the LGBT movement wants to "eliminate free speech", compared being gay to alcoholism and drug addiction, and fallaciously stated that LGBT people have "tendencies to lie" and "tendencies to be violent."
A sampling of Garrett’s anti-LGBT cronies follows:
- Family Research Council (FRC) – According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science.” FRC gave Garrett $5,000.
- Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) – Hice claimed the LGBT movement wants to “eliminate free speech,” compared being gay to alcoholism and drug addiction, and asserted that LGBT people have “tendencies to lie” and “tendencies to be violent.” He gave $1,000.
- Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) – In the 113th congress, Meadows earned a 30% rating from the HRC. He gave $8,795.
- Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) – Congressman Ribble has earned 0% ratings from the Human Rights Campaign for his votes during the 112th and 113th Congresses. He gave $1,000.
- Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN) – Rep. Fincher earned a 30% rating from HRC during the 113th Congress and a 0% rating in the 112th Congress. He gave $2,000.
- Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) – Rep. Aderholt earned a 0% rating from HRC in the previous three Congressional terms. He gave $1,000.
- Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) – Rep. Babin is co-sponsor of a bill that would undermine the government’s ability to combat anti-LGBT discrimination. He gave $1,000.
- Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA) – In the 112th and 113th Congresses, Rep. Rigell earned a 0% rating from HRC. He gave $2,000.
- Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) - In the 111th, 112th, and 113th Congresses, Rep. Lummis earned a 0% rating from HRC. She gave $1,000.
- Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) – In the 111th, 112th, and 113th Congresses, Brady earned a 0% rating from the HRC. He gave $1,000.
- Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) - In the 111th, 112th, and 113th Congresses, Burgess earned a 0% rating from HRC. He gave $1,000.