Thursday, July 7, 2016

UPDATE: Anschutz in bed with anti-LGBT forces

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 1:19 PM

click to enlarge The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs is one of many holdings of Phllip Anschutz, who reportedly donates money to anti-LGBT rights groups. - CASEY BRADLEY GENT
  • Casey Bradley Gent
  • The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs is one of many holdings of Phllip Anschutz, who reportedly donates money to anti-LGBT rights groups.
We received this a couple of hours ago from the Anschutz Foundation:

The Anschutz Foundation is not a member of Jonathan Capehart's alleged "vast right wing conspiracy." The Anschutz Foundation donates to hundreds of worthy organizations each year, and it does not attempt to dictate to those organizations how to 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.

This is no reason to comment further on his unfounded statements or on the individuals quoted in his article.

—-ORIGINAL POST 1:19 PM JULY 7, 2016—-

Two groups supportive of LGBT issues are calling out the owner of The Broadmoor and the Gazette as a funder of anti-LGBT efforts after The Washington Post reported who's behind legislation to overturn LGBT rights.

Philip Anschutz, the billionaire entertainment and energy mogul whom we profiled here in regard to the city's land swap with The Broadmoor, has given money to organizations that oppose LGBT rights. Here's what the Post reported about him:
Phil Anschutz is one of the richest people in America, with an estimated fortune of over $10 billion, and is listed at #42 on Forbes' U.S. Billionaires list as of May 17, 2016.

His entertainment company, AEG, is the world’s largest owner of sports teams and venues, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings, the Staples Center, and O2 Arena. In addition, Anschutz owns The Weekly Standard, the Washington Examiner, and Regal Cinemas. He’s also one of the largest landowners in the country.

Anschutz Foundation gave $110,000 to Alliance Defending Freedom between 2011 and 2013.

Anschutz Foundation gave $50,000 to National Christian Foundation between 2011 and 2013.

Anschutz Foundation gave $30,000 to Family Research Council between 2010 and 2013
James Dobson, founder of Springs-based Focus on the Family, known for its opposition to LGBT people and its focus on conversion therapy over the years, also is named on the list of donors to various anti-LGBT rights organizations. Tom Minnery, also with Focus, is listed, along with the king of LGBT hatred, Gordon Klingenschmitt, who holds a Colorado House seat but was defeated in the June 28 Republican primary race for a state Senate seat.

Here's the One Colorado news release:
DENVER – One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans and their families, and ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, released the following statement in response to a report in the Washington Post showing that Colorado billionaire Phil Anschutz has funded anti-LGBTQ groups.

“Today the Washington Post revealed that while making a fortune off hardworking Coloradans – including LGBTQ Coloradans – billionaire Phil Anschutz has been giving money to organizations that have been designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center,” said Dave Montez, Executive Director of One Colorado.

“Instead of investing in individuals and groups that spread misinformation and advocate violence, Phil Anschutz could invest in improving the lives of LGBTQ Coloradans and their families. LGBTQ students still face bullying and harassment in our schools, transgender Coloradans are denied access to the health care, identity documents, and basic rights they deserve, and it is still legal for to subject young people to the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.”

"Phil Anschutz's extensive influence in Colorado politics has been known for years, but the degree of his support for anti-LGBTQ groups that fund extremist hate groups like Gordon Kligenschmitt’s ‘Pray in Jesus Name’ is shocking," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. "At a time in American history when discrimination and violence against LGBTQ citizens is on the rise, support for pro-discrimination groups puts Anschutz on the wrong side of Colorado, and on the wrong side of history."

"The Anschutz name is emblazoned on public institutions across our state," said Silverii. "Now that it has been revealed that his charity is also going to organizations that support political figures who call for gays and lesbians to be killed, it's time to ask Anschutz to take a good look at where his money is being spent. The Alliance Defending Freedom props up the same politicians who have introduced hundreds of rights-destroying bills in legislatures across the country – including right here in Colorado. Today, we’re asking Mr. Anschutz to cancel his checks to the ADF, and instead invest in Colorado-based organizations that help improve the lives of LGBTQ friends and neighbors, not try and strip their rights away."
Anschutz has been known to use his publications to showcase his investments, which was reported by Corey Hutchins for the Columbia Journalism Review, titled, "The Oklahoman runs a puff piece on its billionaire owner’s new resort property." 

So one might ask, what agenda on Anschutz's behalf is being carried out by the Gazette? We've sent an email to Gazette publisher Dan Steever about this and will report back if and when we hear from him. The newspaper's newsroom is overseen by newly hired editor Vince Bzdek, a former editor at The Washington Post.

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