The action from McCain came one day after Crutchley had stepped down from his position as CEO of Manhunt.net, in response to negative backlash from the gay community, once the donation was revealed on socio-political blog Huffington Post.
According to Manhunt co-founder Larry Basile, he asked Crutchley to resign after members of the site began canceling their subscriptions.
Basile, who issued a formal statement on Friday announcing Crutchley’s resignation, said that he was “embarrassed” when he found out about the donation.
In light of McCain’s mixed record toward gay rights and his stance against same-sex marriage, Basile said, “Politically, it was just off-base, with the whole feeling over here at Manhunt.”
Oddly enough, the story received little mainstream media attention even after the donation was made public by Huffington Post. The revelation coincided with a profile story featuring Crutchley and Manhunt.net posted on Out.com, in which the author referred to Crutchley as a “liberal Republican.”
Last week, gay blog Towleroad.com called attention to the situation, and was also the media outlet that Basile sent his formal statement to on Friday, when Crutchley stepped down.
At some point over the weekend, Crutchley was informed that his donation was being returned by the McCain campaign.
Reportedly, the Manhunt.net founder decided, at that point, to give the donation to McCain’s democratic rival and presumptive presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Basile quoted Crutchley as saying, ‘If John is too good for my money, I’ll give it to Barack.’ ”
Apparently, Crutchley has also issued a letter to Manhunt.net employees, explaining his actions and pledging his support to Obama.
Basile also has speculated that the donation will be returned by the Obama campaign, considering the publicity that the situation has already provoked.
“Barack can’t endorse this kind of adult content. It’s sort of like a third rail,” Basile told the Herald. “I would imagine if it’s tough for one, it’s tough for the other.”