Gay Group Urges Wolf to Return Foe's Donation

Article excerpt

Byline: Christina Bellantoni and Robert Redding Jr., THE WASHINGTON TIMES

An Arlington-based homosexual-rights group is criticizing a donation to U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf's campaign from a California millionaire who supports "biblical law."

The Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club is asking Mr. Wolf to return $1,000 from Fieldstead and Co., a nonprofit charitable group run by Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson Jr.

Club President Josh Israel said Mr. Wolf is out of step with his Northern Virginia constituents in taking donations from Mr. Ahmanson, noting his past donations to the Chalcedon Institute, a nonprofit Christian educational research group.

"This is a person whose political views are way outside of the mainstream," Mr. Israel said. "He has donated substantial amounts of money to anti-gay and lesbian ballot initiatives and he is against nondiscrimination policies."

Some people affiliated with the Chalcedon Institute, though not Mr. Ahmanson, have said that homosexuals should be imprisoned.

The donation was Mr. Ahmanson's first to Mr. Wolf, a Virginia Republican in his 12th term. Federal Election Commission documents confirmed the donation.

Mr. Wolf's campaign staff did not return requests for comment.

Republican sources close to Mr. Wolf said privately that Mr. Ahmanson has contributed to many positive organizations, including homeless shelters, as part of President Bush's faith-based initiative.

Mr. Ahmanson, a philanthropist who lives in Southern California, could not be reached for comment. He has contributed to political campaigns and nonprofit groups for at least 20 years.

Mr. Ahmanson once told the Orange County (Calif.) Register: "My purpose is total integration of biblical law into our lives."

FEC documents also show Mr. Ahmanson contributed $1,000 to U.S. Sen. George Allen, Virginia Republican, in 2000.

Allen spokesman John Reid said the contribution was not an issue in 2000 and that opposition to the donation to Mr. Wolf is no shocker.

"It doesn't surprise me that a partisan, Democratic, pro-gay rights group would have a problem if they thought someone was working against their legislative agenda," Mr. Reid said.

Mr. Ahmanson also contributed $6,000 to Mark Earley's campaign for Virginia attorney general.

Mr. Wolf's Democratic challenger for the November election is James Socas, who also criticized the contribution.

* The parade goes by

The Chuck Floyd for Congress campaign is suing the city of Takoma Park for repression of free speech, according to a paper filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

Mr. Floyd is challenging U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen in Maryland's 8th Congressional District.

John W. Tuohy, a consultant for the Republican's campaign, said Mr. Floyd was "not allowed to march" in the town's July Fourth parade, while Mr. Van Hollen, a Democrat, was.

"The rules give an unfair advantage to incumbents," who are the only ones allowed to march, Mr. Tuohy said.

Linda S. Perlman, assistant city attorney for Takoma Park, said the lawsuit is vague and has no merit.

"All candidates are welcome to pass out literature at the beginning or at the end of the parade, but candidates are not official participants," she said.

* Show compassion

Area Republicans collected thousands of dollars for troops during a "Compassion Across America" community service initiative, countering the Democratic National Convention last week.

In his 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush asked Americans to donate 4,000 hours of their lives to community service.

As part of that initiative, the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) announced the state's delegation to the Republican National Convention had collected more than $10,000 in monetary contributions, $5,000 in goods ranging from ramen noodles to a Microsoft Xbox video game console and 17,000 prepaid calling cards for troops to use to call home. …