RINO Fundraisers See Big Cash Opportunity In Gay Marriage Shift

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Republican fundraisers say the changing views of gay marriage in their party could unlock big money from GOP donors in places like New York, California and Florida — where some Republicans have kept their checkbooks closed over what they saw as misplaced priorities, at best, or intolerance, at worst, at the highest ranks of the party.

Several Republicans pointed to Sen. Rob Portman’s switch in support of gay marriage as a watershed moment for the party. And more than two dozen high-profile GOP-ers asked the Supreme Court to back gay rights. And even Foster Friess, Rick Santorum’s top benefactor, has softened his stance on domestic partnership.

“Republicans’ intolerance to marriage equality has been detrimental to winning,” said Aaron McLear, a California Republican strategist. “Big donors understand that they don’t want to invest in campaigns focused on a losing issue, and I think certainly the fiscal issues for Republicans are much more marketable.”

Republican fundraiser Jim McCray agreed. “I think it will open up donors across the board, because it demonstrates Republicans are trying to recreate the big tent they were known for,” McCray said.

It’s not clear how much money could come from donors supportive of the party’s move toward new thoughts on gay marriage. Pro gay-rights donors have long been an important source of campaign cash for Democrats, including after President Barack Obama pushed through a repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which barred openly gay people from serving in the military.

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