Photo credit: Phil Roeder via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Pa. GOP’s Scott Wagner Accepts Money from “George Soros of LGBT Movement”

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Conservatives are well aware of the corrupt nature of politicians and their pay-to-play schemes. Many politicians will support legislation or policy changes for the right price. Often times special interest groups donate money or hold massive fundraisers for politicians with a wink-and-a-nod agreement that, in exchange for their campaign donations, their prized legislation will advance.

This tactic is often used to get politicians to support harmful legislation. Think of it as the sugar that helps the “medicine” go down. It’s corrupt and one of the major reasons we see politicians supporting indefensible legislation.

Which brings us to Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner and LGBT megadonor Tim Gill.

A lot of people don’t know who Tim Gill is. But a profile in Rolling Stone magazine tells us a lot. He’s invested hundreds of millions of dollars to restrict religious freedom and freedom of speech, and to push radical transgender ideology across the country — by backing both politicians and legislation that meet these objectives.

Gill’s support of anti-religious and anti-speech policies has been mainly through his backing of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) and so-called “hate speech” legislation. SOGI bills, among other things, have been used to allow biological males to use female bathrooms, locker rooms, showers and any other facility where privacy is expected; that’s why these bills have been called “bathroom bills.”

Gill is the George Soros of the LGBT movement, a megadonor who has vowed to “spend himself broke” to “punish the wicked” in conservative states in the South and the Rust Belt. The wicked, of course, are those fellow citizens who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and those that believe there are only two genders.

Gill and Gill-funded entities have been early financial backers of Scott Wagner ever since he was a state senator. In fact, they’ve donated not only to Wagner, but also Wagner’s lead consultant Ray Zaborney, a former LGBT lobbyist. Zaborney has been paid thousands of dollars by Pennsylvania Competes, a Gill-funded LGBT group established to pass controversial SOGI legislation in Pennsylvania.

Wagner is a brash but otherwise conservative politician on many issues, so his support for SOGI legislation sticks out like a sore thumb.

His platform is supposedly about getting the government off the backs of working families and businesses, so why in the world would he support regulating the bathrooms of small businesses and schools? Why would he make it harder for Catholic Social Services to provide foster care to children in need? Why would he force schools to hire transgender kindergarten teachers? It makes no sense — until you realize his financial connection to Tim Gill.

Tim Gill and his LGBT groups gave $15,000 to Wagner in late 2015, and by mid-2016 Wagner had cosponsored Gill’s SOGI legislation, SB974. When Gill endorsed a strategy of paring back the SOGI legislation by excluding public accommodations in an effort to get it by conservative watchdogs, what did Wagner do? He took up that version of Gill’s bill as his own, shepherding SB1307 into and through his own subcommittee (Urban Affairs and Housing) before the original committee it was in (Labor) could even debate or discuss it. Wagner was even the deciding vote against a religious freedom amendment that simply exempted religious organizations from having to open up their locker rooms, showers, and dorm rooms to members of the opposite sex.

Apparently, Wagner’s “common sense” sense agenda doesn’t include those who don’t believe that men can become women and vice versa.

Did Scott Wagner participate in a pay-to-play scheme with Tim Gill? That’s up to Pennsylvania Republican voters to decide — and deciding they are.

Scott Wagner was once the inevitable choice for the Pennsylvania GOP. A poll last September showed him with 45 percent of the Republican primary vote, versus 16 percent for his nearest challenger, and in February he was emphatically endorsed by the Pennsylvania GOP Central Committee. Fast forward to March: two independent polls have now showed Wagner’s once formidable 29-point lead drop to a near dead heat.

Wagner has been criticized throughout the campaign for a lot of things that he’s done for his own financial interest — including suing an 83-year-old widow over $600 in trash collection — but for Pennsylvania voters, allowing boys to shower with their daughters could be the deal breaker.

Photo credit: Phil Roeder via Flickr, CC BY 2.0


Terry Schilling

Terry Schilling is executive director of the American Principles Project.