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Hollywood's Lone Conservative Group Closing Down

Image: Hollywood's Lone Conservative Group Closing Down

Jon Voight was a member of the conservative  "Friends of Abe." (Joe Kohen/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 22 Apr 2016 02:30 PM

The secretive group of Hollywood conservatives known as “Friends of Abe” is winding down because its members like Clint Eastwood and Jon Voight accomplished what they set out to do. 

Some, though, think the Republican civil war over Donald Trump has roiled the group. Others think it's over the clandestine group's nonprofit status.

“Friends of Abe” reportedly had 1,500 members, including Eastwood, Voight, Jerry Bruckheimer, Kelsey Grammer, Gary Sinise, and Patricia Heaton and hosted events featuring such conservative speakers as Antonin Scalia, Dick Cheney, John Boehner, and Rush Limbaugh, The Guardian reported.

The group’s executive director, Jeremy Boreing, told members in an email that the organization was winding down, ending membership dues, doing away with its infrastructure, and shuttering its website

“Today, because we have been successful in creating a community that extends far beyond our events, people just don’t feel as much of a need to show up for every speaker or bar night, and fewer people pay the dues that help us maintain that large infrastructure,” Boreing said.

While Boreing said the group’s demise was due to its growth and success rendering its structures less useful, some reports blamed infighting over GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump. Its co-founder, Lionel Chetwynd, recently called the presidential primary a “civil war in slow motion.”

“People don’t really sit around any more and talk about their preferences because it’s a time of inflamed passions. Now I don’t talk much to my Republican friends,” Chetwynd said.

Former member David Stein speculated that the group’s demise was tied to controversy over its nonprofit status, Truthdig reported.

In 2014, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz criticized what he termed the IRS’s “McCarthyite request” for a list of Friends of Abe members as part of its investigation into the group’s request for nonprofit status, granted that year. He claimed government authorities were targeting filmmakers who speak out politically, said The Hollywood Reporter.

Raw Story followed up with a report claiming that Friends of Abe “had been gaming the system” by telling members it had 503(c)(3) status years before it did in order to solicit donations and raising suspicions that the group funneled money to a GOP cause.

Twitter users had mixed reactions.


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The secretive group of Hollywood conservatives known as “Friends of Abe” is winding down because its members like Clint Eastwood and Jon Voight accomplished what they set out to do.
hollywood, conservatives, friends of abe
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2016-30-22
Friday, 22 Apr 2016 02:30 PM
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