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Former City Paper staffer John Cloud has a fascinating piece in the latest Time magazine about the so-called “gay mafia” that contributes millions of dollars to national political races each year, and operates in secret. Cloud identifies five men and one women as members of “The Cabinet”—-Geo-Cities co-founder David Bohnett, tech millionaire Timothy Gill, meat heir James Hormel, Stryker Corp. billionaire Jon Stryker, import magnate Henry van Ameringen, Progressive Insurance heir Jonathan Lewis, and Food Lion heiress Linda Ketner. All are openly gay, Cloud says, but secretly working together to influence elections against anti-gay candidates nationwide:

Among gay activists, the Cabinet is revered as a kind of secret gay Super Friends, a homosexual justice league that can quietly swoop in wherever anti-gay candidates are threatening and finance victories for the good guys. Rumors abound in gay political circles about the group’s recondite influence; some of the rumors are even true. . . . The Cabinet spends at least as much each election cycle as does the PAC run by the Human Rights Campaign, the world’s largest gay political group. And yet the Cabinet has operated in stealth, without accountability from watchdogs. (The Cabinet does not subject itself to MAP analysis.)