Chicago, Illinois, March 12, 2014 –Political epithets are written all the time. GOP political operative Dan Proft’s should read: He who would lie even when the truth would benefit him more.
Proft, a co-host on WLS-AM with money connections to Cicero town president Larry Dominick, has flip-flopped numerous times on the abortion issue with his support of liberal candidates. But few noticed Proft’s verbal gymnastics on same-sex marriage a few days ago.
Even fewer – as in none – have commented on it.
The controversy began when Chicago Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin lashed out at Dan Proft over some political mailers attacking State Rep. Ron Sandack (R-IL), including a mailer from Proft’s Liberty Principles PAC showing Sandack pictured with Rahm Emanuel and a gay activist with the words, “Strange Bedfellows.”
Marin called the mailers “gay bashing” and outed Proft as a “dark presence in Illinois politics.”
But only some of the mailers were from Proft’s home address. Consequently, Marin was forced to make this partial retraction:
What I said in that earlier column was that Proft’s Liberty Principles PAC had issued a homophobic attack mailer showing two men kissing with the line, “You can kiss the GOP goodbye with officials who vote like Democrats.”
The ad attacks Republican state Rep. Ron Sandack, one of only three state reps in his party to support gay marriage.
The ad was not Proft’s. It was sent out by another group, the Illinois Family Action group.
Proft has had a long relationship with David E. Smith, the head of Illinois Family Institute, the sister organization to Illinois Family Action. Richard Uihlein who donated $1.5 million to Proft’s Liberty Principles PAC is also a donor to Illinois Family Institute and to Family PAC, another organization that has part of the effort to get rid of Sandack for his vote on same-sex marriage.
But this is where it gets really interesting.
Few noticed the slip Proft made in his angry retort to Marin, demanding the retraction on the gay bashing:
“You want to make the [Sandack] race about gay marriage. I do not. . . . To accuse me of gay bashing is little more than conservative bashing,” Proft said. “I’m a gay basher? Utter and complete bulljive.”
Proft goes on to tell Marin in an email that he has supported two candidates who endorsed either civil unions or same-sex marriage, and that it is only economic policy principles that guide his commitment to a candidate.
Proft has long positioned himself as a spokesman for social and religious conservative groups and has spoken out against same sex marriage legislation in news interviews, including this interview on Fox Chicago in 2011:
“I think it is a concern about what the next step is going to be [after civil unions]. And that next step is going to be the attempt to redefine marriage in Illinois and you have folks that are very concerned about that in addition to folks that are very concerned about the implementation of that law in this state,” Proft said in an interview that appears on the Illinois Family Institute’s website.
But now Proft is saying he has supported two candidates that endorsed either civil unions or same-sex marriage? Which candidates did he support? The religious conservatives that he says he represents should find that of interest.
Is Dan Proft just trying to play both sides here? Did he get heat from WLS-AM which has been tolerant until now of his outside political activities? Does Proft just lack core principles on the issues he speaks about?
Or does it just come down to whom is paying him?
Proft says it is only “economic policy principles that guide his commitment to a candidate.”
But Sandack scored a 100 percent positive rating on Dan Proft’s on Illinois Opportunity Project rankings. Sandack also scored a 92 ranking on the Illinois Policy Institute’s economic rankings. Illinois Opportunity Project is a sister organization to Illinois Policy Institute. Dan Proft’s Liberty PAC is also listed at the same address and the group has also given $20,000 to Sandack’s opponent.
Proft’s attack mailers on Sandack also use this language following quotes from Sandack’s answers on the issue of same-sex marriage on Illinois Family Institute’s questionnaire:
“Regardless of your view on this issue, you can’t trust your vote with Ron Sandack because you can’t trust his vote.”
Another Proft mailer states: “If you’re not sure if Sandack is on your side, he isn’t.”
Given Proft’s flip-flop on gay marriage, shouldn’t the same language be applied to him?
For social conservatives in Illinois, these flip-flops add up. They will continue to add up – especially if GOP candidate for governor Bruce Rauner wins the primary as he is expected to.
Rauner says he is "pro-choice" and has said his personal views on gay marriage “don’t matter.” Many predict Rauner will come out for same-sex marriage after the GOP primary to match Gov. Pat Quinn on social views. Rauner, a close friend and business associate of Rahm Emanuel, has donated $500,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute where Proft calls himself a senior fellow.
Perhaps Dan Proft will be able to recycle his Sandack mailers against Rauner in the general election but only if someone pays him.
And that’s no bulljive.