Manhunt Founder’s Donation to McCain Not Returned

JC Adams,
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A controversial personal donation made by co-founder and CEO Jonathan Crutchley to John McCain’s presidential campaign was to have been returned, according to published reports. Records now show otherwise.

Manhunt is one of the industry’s largest gay networking websites. It earns an estimated $30 million per year from a primarily gay male customer base, according to an Out magazine profile.

The blog examined last month’s campaign finance records and there is no record of the McCain campaign returning Crutchley’s donation.

“Indeed, while the contribution caused a bitter backlash against Crutchley inside the gay political world — and a backlash against that backlash — there was never any indication of a backlash from the Republican side,” Politico’s Ben Smith said.

“McCain has never been well suited to the role of culture warrior, and his aides declined at the time to comment on Crutchley or the contribution,” Smith added.

Crutchley was asked to step down from the Manhunt board of directors after news broke of his $2,300 donation to the McCain presidential campaign.

“According to Manhunt co-founder Larry Basile, he asked Crutchley to resign after members of the site began canceling their subscriptions,” XBIZ reported last month.

Basile issued a formal statement announcing Crutchley’s resignation and 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.”

Basile subsequently revealed to the Boston Herald that Crutchley has been told the money would be returned.

“So, if Smith is correct, Crutchley’s donation still sits in McCain’s coffers, working hard to defeat gay rights,” wrote gay blogger Andy Towle.