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GOProud Goes Out Of Business… Or Something

Jim Burroway

June 5th, 2014

Bilerico Project learned the news on Sunday:

GOProud has been mired by several controversies since the departure of their founders. The group has bled donors since the widely reported departure of Jimmy LaSalvia from the Republican Party earlier this year. His departure was so loud, but it focused primarily on his shift of ideology and thus projected a new image onto the organization that he helped found.

Finding it difficult to continue without securing more funding, GOProud will be shutting down immediately – an homage to an era gone by. The shuttering is undoubtedly necessary as the organization’s full effectiveness has been tarnished.

The organization may rebrand and regroup later, but for now, the organization will no longer be functioning. Co-director Matthew Bechstein stated in an interview that the “brand is broken” and a rebrand is necessary.

Except that it’s not:

To deflect a story alleging that the organization planned to shut its doors as part of a rebranding effort following years of financial woes and stagnancy, the organization took to social media to claim that “nothing could be further from the truth” and insist that “GOProud is not closing. It is growing.”

Except that it is, sort of:

“I posted what I had to on Facebook so I wouldn’t scare our members and thwart our fundraising efforts,” Executive Director Matthew Bechstein told Bilerico Project in an exclusive interview. “I wanted to mitigate a disaster.”

“We’re leaving GOProud behind and re-branding the chapters.”

While yesterday’s Facebook posting originally denied the report saying it was “misinformation” and the work of someone “that will stop at nothing to discredit our organization and its leadership team,” when presented with quotes he had made to Markle during a previous interview, Bechstein admitted that GOProud would soon cease to exist.

“There have been concerns among our members and investors about whether or not we can continue to grow and be effective without severing ourselves from past controversies,” Bechstein said in a separately emailed statement.

Unless it doesn’t:

“The fact is, in order to continue promoting the conservative principles upon which this organization was founded, change is needed. One of the changes under discussion is a switch to a different legal type of organization – basic paperwork that requires dissolution and immediate subsequent reorganization. Technically, as some argue, this would be a legal closure,” he emailed. “But if it were to actually happen, it would only be momentary and certainly not the end of our organization.”

…Let me be clear, no matter what happens, our grassroots infrastructure and our daily activism will continue throughout any possible transition,” Bechstein said. “We do not plan to stop working. What has made this organization strong in the past is the support and devotion of our membership, I don’t expect that to waver in the future.”

Comments

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JohnAGJ
June 5th, 2014 | LINK

Good riddance. I like the idea of a gay group that’s more libertarian or conservative, but GOProud was an offensive disaster. Then there are the myriad of problems with the GOP itself, which GOProud attempted to paper over (not very convincingly). I’m not a Democrat and do not support that party, but the GOP lost me awhile ago and to this day has yet to remove its head from its posterior. So third party all the way for me still…

Hyhybt
June 5th, 2014 | LINK

GOProud never made any sense.

Hue-Man
June 5th, 2014 | LINK

Rebranding to “TeaParty/GOP”. (lots of) Guns, (no) Gays, and (even more) God.

Mission accomplished.
P.S. Get back in the closet if you want to keep your TPGOP card.

Lucrece
June 5th, 2014 | LINK

LCR/GOProud deserve all they get. They were partisan organizations, not gay ones.

I hope the same happens to Stonewall Democrats and all organizations pretending to serve the gay community when in fact all they do is use the community as a cash cow.

AlexH
June 5th, 2014 | LINK

Yeah, Bechstein’s explanation really clarifies what’s going on.

Ray
June 6th, 2014 | LINK

I can see it now – TeaProud. It’s that big tent thingy the Republicans have been searching for.

Richard Rush
June 6th, 2014 | LINK

If they were interested in accuracy, GOProud could simply change their name to GOPathetic.

Victor
June 6th, 2014 | LINK

“The fact is, in order to continue promoting the conservative principles upon which this organization was founded, change is needed.”

If only John Boehner was saying this about the shuttering of the GOP itself. The truth of the matter is everything on the Right has been FUBAR (f*cked up beyond all repair) for quite some time and every remotely moderate aligned organization (like GOProud) has been flailing in a futile effort to appear untainted by the crazy. Though I am not a Republican, I do sympathize with the group’s organizers. Activism is tough even under the best of circumstances; when you are forced to contend with a parent orthodoxy that has gone off the rails it is impossible. I do hope everyone on the Right someday finds their way back to sane, fact-based discourse that doesn’t tread in hyperbolic rhetoric, disinformation, bigotry, and anti-science malarkey. Democrats do not have all the answers but they do appear remarkably sane in contrast to the GOP… which is why most moderate Republicans are now moderate Democrats. It would be beneficial for this country if real solutions that take multiple concerns into account in an effort to compromise could be found. Until that is possible, groups like GOProud – which try to rise above the madness – will continue to be victims of their own forced equivocation.

Timothy Kincaid
June 6th, 2014 | LINK

Lucrese,

I see a value in an organization that lobbies within a party to encourage that they adopt policies that support the community. Stonewall and LCR both do that (and though I’ve seen no examples, perhaps GOProud did so as well).

I also see value in a group that informs the community about which candidates in a primary are more supportive. Log Cabin and Stonewall both do that. GOProud certainly did not do that!

And there is some value in a group that counters false partisan-based information about their party and its candidates. Stonewall doesn’t have to face that much, but Log Cabin serves well when that happens.

I see value in Stonewall and Log Cabin. Not so much in GOProud.

bjohnm
June 6th, 2014 | LINK

Obviously a Republican group. They couldn’t even tell the truth about shutting down.

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