Democrats featured two “lifelong Republicans”onstage at the Democratic National Convention Thursday, but these two so-called Republicans actually have histories supporting the Left.
“It’s an honor to be here. Candidly, it’s also a shock. Not because of the momentous nature of this event, or the size of the crowd. It’s a shock because, unlike you, I’m a Republican,” Lobbyist Doug Elmets told the crowd at the DNC Thursday night.
Elmet’s website says he worked as a spokesman for the Reagan administration, as well as speechwriter. He then worked in the communications department for the Department of Energy before starting his own private lobbying firm.
Elmets represents the interests of Thunder Valley Casino Resort, the United Auburn Indian Community, Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, Pala Band of Mission Indians, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the California Business Defense.
Donald Trump targeted casinos run and operated by Native Americans in 1993, when he testified before Congress they shouldn’t have special rights because he believed they were fronts for the mafia, controversially adding some of the people didn’t “look Indian.”
Elmets donated to several Democratic campaigns over the years, starting in 2004. One donation in 2010 was made from Elmet’s lobbying firm to Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in Sacramento.
Jennifer Pierotti Lim also spoke Thursday. She helped found the group Republican Women for Hillary in May with former Republican staffer Craig Snyder.
Lim is the director for health policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an organization that criticized Trump’s trade speech in June in a social media firestorm. Snyder started his career as a Republican staffer for Arlen Specter, before ultimately donating to and voting for Democrats in the last few presidential elections.
“It’s really important that Republican leaders, especially Republican women leaders, stand up right now and say we’re not OK with Trump representing our party,” Lim told CNN when she founded Republican Women for Hillary.
The group had a small leadership circle when it started, but its social media influence is growing. The video announcing they planned to attend the DNC in Philadelphia earned almost 16 million views.
“I’ve voted Republican my entire life. I believe in the bedrock values of the Republican Party: liberty, equality, and the idea that there are individual rights that cannot be taken away. These are values to be proud of,” Lin told the crowd during her two-minute DNC speech.
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