October 18, 1995 in Nation/World

Dole Regrets Spurning Donation From Gay Group

Washington Post

Weeks after he returned a campaign contribution from a group of gay Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Dole, R-Kan., Tuesday called the action a mistake and blamed it on his campaign staff.

“I think if they had consulted me they wouldn’t have done that,” the presidential candidate said. “I just didn’t agree with what happened” when the $1,000 check from the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay and lesbian Republicans, was sent back in August.

Until Tuesday, Dole had repeatedly defended the decision to return the contribution.

Tuesday, however, Dole said, “My view is, (just) because you accept money from them, you don’t agree with their agenda.”

The latest turn in the story was greeted gleefully by some of Dole’s rivals for the Republican nomination, who have accused him of flip-flopping on tax cuts and other parts of the GOP “Contract With America.” “We see this almost every day with Senator Dole,” said Mark Merritt, spokesman for former Tennessee governor Lamar Alexander. “It’s a pattern.”

A spokesman for Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who received and kept a $1,000 contribution from the Log Cabin Republicans, said, “We have always favored an inclusive, big-tent party and it is heartening to see that Senator Dole apparently has come to feel the same way.”

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