Rep. Jim Jordan’s staff gave his State of the Union tickets to the Family Research Council

When news broke yesterday that the tax-exempt hate group, Family Research Council, had arranged for Kim Davis to attend the State of the Union, it was unclear at first which member of Congress had forked over the tickets necessary to let her in. No member of Congress spoke up to claim her; Davis and her accompanying lawyer, Matt Staver, declined to say. You see, “it’s not about the member, per se, as it is about what the member wanted to represent.”

Or perhaps the member, per se, didn’t know that they had invited the face of anti-gay massive resistance to attend one of the most exclusive events in the country. From The Huffington Post:

Congressman Jim Jordan, via Wikimedia Commons

Congressman Jim Jordan, via Wikimedia Commons

There’s a reason the secret was kept so well. Jordan did not know he had invited Davis until The Huffington Post asked him about it and he checked with his staff.

“I didn’t invite anyone,” Jordan initially said late Tuesday afternoon, as he was jogging to House votes. When pressed on whether he had given his ticket to the Family Research Council, which then gave it to Davis — which is what a Democratic aide told HuffPost had happened — Jordan said he would have to confirm with his office. “I don’t know,” he said.

“My understanding is they gave them to the Family Research Council,” Jordan said, promising to call his staff and get back in touch.

Jordan was later spotted in the Capitol basement, on the phone with his communications director, confirming what had happened.

“Yeah, so we gave a ticket to — at the request of the Family Research Council — we gave the ticket to Kim Davis’ family,” he said.

This is actually worse than if Jordan had invited Davis personally (Jordan, for his part, said that he was fine with how things shook out). State of the Union invites seem like a trivial deal until you get so lackadaisical with them that your staff feels like it’s alright to give them to a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group and effectively say “go nuts.” As I and others wrote yesterday, the story here isn’t that Kim Davis got invited to the State of the Union. The story here is that the Family Research Council can stroll into the Capitol and tell conservative members to jump.

Yesterday, people were confused by reports that Kim Davis would be attending the State of the Union as the guest of the Family Research Council because only members of Congress are supposed to be able to bring plus ones. That being the case, it’s bad enough for Jim Jordan to have proxied out his State of the Union invite to anyone. Let alone one of the most vile Christian extremist groups in the country that dares show its face in Washington.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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