The Human Rights Campaign announced Tuesday that it’s making a massive ― and early ― investment in its grassroots mobilization efforts, with a goal of turning the 2018 midterm elections into a rebuke of President Donald Trump and anti-LGBTQ members of Congress.
The LGBTQ rights group is spending $26 million on “HRC Rising,” a new campaign aimed at electing pro-equality candidates and fighting homophobic policies in all 50 states. HRC will beef up its staff and volunteers nationwide, but make a particularly strong push in six states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada. It will also focus on trying to unseat about two dozen House Republicans with records of voting against LGBTQ rights but who represent districts Hillary Clinton won last year.
It’s the biggest investment the organization has made in its 37-year history. It’s also more than a year out from the midterms, which is early in the political process for such a coordinated grassroots effort. HRC president Chad Griffin said it’s warranted given “the extreme nature” of Trump’s administration.
“Mike Pence has spent his entire career attempting to undermine equal rights for LGBTQ people. That’s who Trump chose as his No. 2,” Griffin told HuffPost. “His secretary of housing and urban development [Ben Carson], charged with enforcing fair housing, doesn’t even acknowledge that LGBT people exist. Then, one of [Betsy DeVos’] first acts as education secretary was to attack transgender students.”
Griffin is referring to Carson previously describing the LGBTQ community as “a few people who perhaps are abnormal.” DeVos, in February, rolled back protections put into place by President Barack Obama for transgender kids. Vice President Pence, meanwhile, has a generally awful record on LGBTQ rights.