Social conservatives strike back at gay-Tea Party alliance

Jonathan Strong Jonathan Strong, 27, is a reporter for the Daily Caller covering Congress. Previously, he was a reporter for Inside EPA where he wrote about environmental regulation in great detail, and before that a staffer for Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA). Strong graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a degree in political science in 2006. He is a huge fan of and season ticket holder to the Washington Capitals hockey team. Strong and his wife reside in Arlington.
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A key social conservative group is striking back at a fledgling alliance between a gay right wing organization and 15 leaders of local Tea Party chapters across the country who urged Republican leaders Monday to avoid social issues.

Citing a memo sent last week to Republican leadership, Concerned Women for America (CWA) CEO Penny Nance argued that social conservatives’ priorities for the next Congress could be easily embraced by those focused on spending issues.

“I’d like to know which one — support for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, eliminating taxpayer dollars from funding embryonic stem cell research, or defunding Planned Parenthood — the signers of the GOProud letter have a problem with,” Nance said in a statement.

Nance also said “Americans voted overwhelmingly for both social and fiscal conservatives,” citing “a net 52-seat pro-life gain in the House of Representatives, an unprecedented statement that voters reject taxpayer-funded abortion and want a more conservative, pro-life legislature moving forward.”

The reaction from Nance came after GOProud, a group representing “gay conservatives and their allies,” according to its website, and 15 Tea Party leaders, mostly the heads of local chapters of the Tea Party Patriots group, sent a letter to GOP leadership urging them to focus on economic issues, not social issues.

“Poll after poll confirms that the Tea Party’s laser focus on issues of economic freedom and limited government resonated with the American people on Election Day,” the letter says. “We urge you to stay focused on the issues that got you and your colleagues elected and to resist the urge to run down any social issue rabbit holes.”

CWA’s memo to Republican leadership last week backed three priorities that all focus on government spending towards socially liberal ends.

Jimmy LaSalvia, the executive director of GOProud, said the narrow scope of CWA’s priorities underscores how focused the conservative movement is on spending issues rather than social issues.

“The only issues they can bring up are spending issues. They prove our point,” LaSalvia said.

Ed. note: This article has been corrected to reflect that leaders of local chapters of the Tea Party Patriots, not the Tea Party Express, signed the letter with GOProud urging the GOP to avoid social issues.