Gay hotelier who said he didn’t donate to Ted Cruz’s campaign totally donated to Ted Cruz’s campaign

When gay hoteliers Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass hosted a dinner for Ted Cruz in April, they drew fire from the LGBT community, which cited Cruz’s rabid opposition to marriage equality — and really the whole idea of being gay in general — as reasons why the event smacked of insulting hypocrisy on the part of the event’s hosts, to say nothing of Cruz.

Reisner, in defense of the event, ensured LGBT observers calling for a boycott of the couple’s new hotel for gay clientele — the Out NYC — that they didn’t have anything to worry about since it wasn’t a fundraiser, telling New York Magazine that “There were no checks given, it was nothing like that.”

Apparently no one told Reisner that campaign finance disclosures are a thing, and that his statement was totally, verifiably false.

But we didn’t need to wait for Cruz’s next FEC filing to learn that Reisner totally did write that check that he insisted didn’t exist. People who knew Reisner was lying simply went to the New York Times and told them about it. When the Times asked Reisner for comment, he told them that he did write the check, but later asked for it back:

“In the interest of transparency, I gave Senator Cruz a $2,700 check to show my support for his work on behalf of Israel,” Mr. Reisner said in a statement he provided after The Times learned of the donation from two people with direct knowledge of it. “When I realized his donation could be misconstrued as supporting his anti-gay marriage agenda, I asked for the money back. Senator Cruz’s office gave the money back, and I have no intention of giving any money to any politicians who aren’t in support of L.G.B.T. issues.”

$2,700 is the maximum contribution that an individual is allowed to make to a presidential candidate per campaign cycle.

Ian Reisner, via Wikimedia Commons

Ian Reisner, via Wikimedia Commons

As the Times reports, Reisner and Weiderpass don’t have a long history of campaign donations, and seemed genuinely surprised to find out about Cruz’s anti-gay agenda after their event sparked major backlash in New York’s LGBT community, where they have long been major figures. The legitimacy of their surprise is suspect at best. If they’re keen enough observers of politics to have picked out Cruz above all other politicians for his positions on foreign policy, surely they’ve come across Cruz’s far more comprehensive domestic agenda, especially as it directly intersects with their identity and business interests as LGBT businessmen who are directly marketing to the LGBT community.

Seriously, if you say you “have no intention of giving any money to any politicians who aren’t in support of L.G.B.T. issues,” you have to know that every Republican presidential candidate is off-limits. And if you say you didn’t donate to a candidate who it would be supremely problematic for you to donate to, you have to know that people are going to follow up on that claim, and call you out when they find out how full of it you were.

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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22 Responses to “Gay hotelier who said he didn’t donate to Ted Cruz’s campaign totally donated to Ted Cruz’s campaign”

  1. Butch1 says:

    He’s a republican and that’s all I need to know. Most politicians are liars and this fellow should become one. Because he is gay is irrelevant. One cannot trust a gay republican to tell you the truth either.

    If people have been frequenting his hotel only because he is gay, perhaps they should reconsider this after his supporting Ted Cruz of all people. This is a man who would rather see us all eliminated from the face of the earth; at least that is what his religion wants and how his father, a Dominion minister literally interprets his Christian bible. We know Cruz came to the Senate with an anti-gay agenda and has been non stop at producing bills against gays and his rhetoric has been non stop as well. Yet, this gay man decided to throw a gathering for him to raise money and then donated a little himself? If there ever was a correct definition of internalized homophobia this would describe this man or he is one of the most obtuse persons of which I have ever read.

  2. BeccaM says:

    Yeah, sure, because I only listed a single issue… Oh wait, I didn’t. Turns out there are lots of reasons I loathe Rand “Senator Aqua Buddha” Paul.

  3. Stained Blue Dress says:

    Not all of those in the community are single issue voters.

  4. Stained Blue Dress says:

    Not all of those in the community are single-issue voters.

  5. BeccaM says:

    Now you’re just trolling.

  6. Stained Blue Dress says:

    LGBTQIAs for Rand, 2016

  7. BeccaM says:


  8. Thom Allen says:

    There’s even moreto the story about these two pieces of – – uh – – work. They only hosted Cruz because they thought that their business partner would want to meet him. Their business partner is a multimillionaire, but he apparently lacks his own mansion in which to entertain the scummy Cruz.

    If I remember, their initial statement was that there were only something like 5 people at the dinner party (NOT FUNDRAISER, NO!!!) plus the Cruz party (and the butler and chef.) Later it turned out to be around 18 guests. No word on how many of them may have not-given non-checks at the non-fundraiser.

    And, in the interests of protecting LGBTQs everywhere, they cleverly got Cruz to admit he’d still love his daughter if she were lesbian. Like that would prevent him from burning gays at the stake if he could get away with it.

    Then they reminded us of all the wonderful things that they did for us – for some reason, I’m having a memory lapse here.

    Next they tried to get some pity from their base by describing how difficult they had it growing up and in early adulthood (think “not very.”) When we didn’t weep and apologize, begging to get back in their good graces, they switched to attack mode. They said that LGBTQs are “cheap” and “entitled.” That it’s almost impossible to make a profit off of us. Yet they seem to have done rather well at doing just that. Ian also bought into a chunk of Fire Island, a gay summer haven. Why would he have done that if it was so hard to make a profit from the clientele there?

    Of course, Ian’s donation was solely for supporting Israel. Of course it was. And of course, the slimeball Cruz would have used that money to continue his campaign against LGBTQs. Maybe Ian should consider moving to Israel.

  9. FLL says:

    The only instance in which Rand Paul is threatening to make a positive contribution is his opposition to renewing the Patriot Act (now that some key provisions have expired). With that exception, Rand Paul is a big mess.

  10. Troy King says:

    Rand cool! I like Rand too.

  11. Houndentenor says:

    The damage is mostly attributable to Cheney. I don’t say that to excuse Bush. He was supposed to be in charge, but almost all the harm is from Cheney who, btw, always intended to submit himself as the VP nominee from the moment he took the job of vetting the other potentials.

  12. BeccaM says:

    Rand Paul? The guy who loves libertarianism so much he’d like to ban abortions and allow employers to restrict access to contraception benefits? Rand Paul, who voted against the Violence Against Women Act? The same one who would annul my same sex marriage, even going so far as to support a Constitutional amendment to do this?

    The man who in 1982 wrote this in his college paper: “[E]very piece of anti-discrimination legislation passed over the past few decades ignores one of the basic, inalienable rights of man: The right to discriminate.” Who on numerous occasions has indicated he thinks businesses should have the right to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation or anything else?

    No fucking way.

  13. mf_roe says:

    If Shrub had a brain he would have done even more damage. So your 100% correct. Bush was the battering ram that opened the door for the truly dangerous psychopaths that contend for their opportunity.

  14. Stained Blue Dress says:

    Rand Paul 2016

  15. Houndentenor says:

    There’s a lot worse here. :-(

  16. White&Blue says:

    I really hope that this guy doesn’t become the next president of your country. My friends and I back in upper secondary always thought that nobody can be worse than Shrub, but it seems we were horribly wrong…

  17. BeccaM says:

    As far as it goes regarding Cruz, you correctly point out, Jon, that Cruz’s anti-LGBT positions aren’t limited to opposing marriage equality and having gone so far as to express support for a Constitutional amendment which would annul every single same-sex marriage in America and ban any further ones from happening.

    Cruz also opposes ENDA and any anti-discrimination measures. He supports anti-gay ‘conversion’ therapy (the kind that has been shown consistently to cause harm and cure no one). And of course he believes being gay is a choice. Oh, and he likes to pile on by expressing disdain for gay pride parades and brags how, when he was working in the Texas DA’s office, he helped prevent recognition of a civil union where the couple wanted a divorce.

    Basically, Cruz and Rick Santorum have been competing for the position of who hates gay people more, among the GOP candidates.

    Anyway, good find, Jon. I had a feeling we were dealing with the sort who either don’t give two sh*ts about the civil rights that allow them to be openly gay and/or who are in deep denial about the intentions of the politicians they’re supporting.

  18. 2karmanot says:

    I’m sure it will be soon revealed that ‘A’ ‘Gay’ stands for A** hole.’

  19. buddym says:

    Sometimes we must accommodate the bigots, racists, & shameless panderers, if they support Israel, the test of True American Patriotism. (this being the internet, I feel compelled to announce: sarcasm.)

  20. Indigo says:

    It’s not easy being a Log Cabin Gay these days. The double standard of closets and social hypocrisy is fading away fast as a mid-day ghost.

  21. gratuitous says:

    Smarmy little weasels. In this case, it’s possible judge this book by its cover. Messrs. Reisner and Weiderpass will find out – and surely too late – that their money won’t protect them from the monsters they’re courting.

  22. timncguy says:

    dig a little deeper into these two and you will find they also held a fundraiser for anti-gay republican senator Ron Johnson. And, when the Cruz issue came to light, they made the claim that they had also held an “event” for a “Ready for Hillary” group. That claim was false. A “Ready for Hillary” group rented space in their hotel to have an event. But, this pair had nothing to do with it and didn’t even attend it. So, they lied to try to get off the hook for the Cruz event.

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