Super-Secret Group Of Hollywood Conservatives Falls Apart Over Trump
April 23, 2016

A few years back, I ranted about the Friends of Abe, a Hollywood group of Secret Conservatives, who were looking for an IRS tax exemption so they could deduct their "dues" in order to sit around and grouse about Democrats and President Obama in particular.

It ticked me off then to think of these rich fat cats getting a tax deduction for their Friends of Abe subversion. Led by the likes of Gary Sinise, Kelsey Grammer and Jon Voight, it struck me as a tax-deductible way for them to be greedy and nasty.

But now, a little Karma dawns. Donald Trump's candidacy has dropped a bomb in their comfortable little lives, and so the Friends of Abe are friends no more.

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 website,” the executive director, Jeremy Boreing, told members in an email, a copy of which the Guardian has seen.

“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.”

The announcement caught members by surprise and fueled speculation that infighting over Donald Trump’s candidacy, among other factors, had drained commitment. Others said the group had been losing steam for years.

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.

They're ex-Friends of Abe now. Conservatives. Enemies of everyone everywhere.

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