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April 22, 2016

Semi-Secret Hollywood Conservative Group "Friends of Abe" Legally Dissolves, Partly (Possibly) Due to "Civil War" Over Trump

And a lack of dues-paying, too.

The Friends of Abe has acted as a clandestine club for Hollywood conservatives for more than a decade, hosting secret events where they could vent rightwing views and hear speeches from visiting Tea Party luminaries.

But on Thursday the organisation -- which counts Jon Voight, Jerry Bruckheimer and Kelsey Grammer among its 1,500 members -- made an abrupt announcement: it was dissolving.

"Effective immediately, we are going to begin to wind down the 501 c3 organization, bring the Sustaining Membership dues to an end, and do away with the costly infrastructure and the abespal.com website," the executive director, Jeremy Boreing, told members in an email, a copy of which the Guardian has seen....

The Guardian suggests this is possibly due to infighting in the group due to the approaching California primary, but some say the group had been in decline for a long time anyway.

Instead of electrifying the organisation, California’s 7 June primary, a final and potentially decisive showdown between Trump and his GOP rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich, appeared to frazzle it.

Lionel Chetwynd, a producer and screenwriter and co-founder of the FOA, recently spoke of the primary campaign causing a "civil war in slow motion", which fractured friendships and shredded solidarity.

Just yesterday, Cruz-supporting members of FOA were reportedly lobbying big-name FOA members to declare their support for Cruz.

They hoped to counteract Ann Coulter's longtime lobbying for Trump, and a big-name endorsement for Trump from Jon Voight.

Whether it's at dinner parties, private events, fundraisers, cocktail hours, or one-on-one lunches, these committed Cruz fans are regularly pressing the flesh to drum up wider entertainment-industry support for the senator. They have a "to-do" list of celebrities they wish to soon convert to public Cruz endorsers, including Wheel of Fortune’s Pat Sajak, Clint Eastwood, Tom Selleck, Patricia Heaton, David Mamet, Gary Sinise, and Kelsey Grammer.

"We are working on all these people, as well as others," an FOA member said.
"They are [conservative] Hollywood’s most coveted endorsers, and they are being courted from all sides, I can tell you that."

Ideally, the Texas senator's supporters would like to recruit enough high-profile actors and talent to justify a big coming out for Cruz, concert-style event that would end with Cruz himself taking the stage in California before the primary.

Well, I'm sure the lobbying effort will go on, but FOA I guess is no more.

Note: Overstated? The fact that the organization is dissolving as an official 501(c)(3) entity doesn't really mean the club itself is done. It just means it has no formal legal existence.


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posted by Ace at 03:09 PM

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