If You Work Out In A Gold's Gym Or Stay At An Omni Hotel, You Are Underwriting The Fascist Agenda In America
Gold's Gym started in Venice, CA in 1965 as a funky, organic operation but today it's a corporate behemoth and claims to be the largest chain of coed gyms in the world-- 650 of 'em in 42 states and 30 countries. It's also a political money-making machine for the fascist agenda, filling right-wing coffers with a piece of every membership.
When Wikipedia lists the criticisms of Gold's Gym, it sounds like a typical right-wing operation, but they never get into the financial connection between the corporation and the Republican Party and its anti-gay agenda. It's all the penny-ante stuff you expect from any Republican-oriented ripoff business:
Numerous customers have reported Gold's Gym franchises acting in dishonest and unscrupulous ways. They have reported advertised deals not being honored, billing irregularities, contract terms being fraudulently altered by sales staff after signing and problems canceling accounts or relocating. A Gold's Gym in Provo, Utah was successfully sued for fraud in 2006 for changing a contract after it was signed in 1999. Like many gyms, some Gold's Gym franchisees lure customers with "free" sign-up or gift certificates with fabricated nominal values, and then require long term contracts that are very difficult to get out of without paying cancellation fees and following long and inconvenient procedures (such as having to send a certified letter to their central billing office a month in advance). In the past, gym websites did not give membership rates and the gyms would usually not tell customers the rate over the phone, asking instead that customers come to the gym to have a tour and discussion, which often included a heavy sales pitch.
But the real problem with Gold's comes when you follow the money. The principal owner is shady Texas oil billionaire Robert Rowling (also the principal owner of the Omni Hotel chain), one of the financiers of the Republican Party's turn towards out-and-out fascism and one of the 4 principal backers of Rove's anti-democracy PAC American Crossroads. Gold's Gym, which at least in California has a heavily gay clientele, is financing a virulently hateful anti-gay agenda.
Four San Francisco Gold’s Gym franchises are splitting away from the brand, which Rowling owns as part of his hospitality firm TRT Holdings. The director of Gold’s Gym Bay Area says his decision to leave stems from Rowling’s $2 million gift to Rove’s conservative PAC American Crossroads, which has given money to candidates with anti-gay views.
American Crossroads has supported Sharron Angle, who is opposed to gay adoption, and Roy Blunt, who was given a 0% score on his gay rights record by the Human Rights Commission.
In a statement to customers, Don Dickerson of the Bay Area franchise of Gold’s Gym said:
Gold’s Gym San Francisco has long been a pillar of the gay community. We will continue to be. It is very unfortunate that the CEO of TRT Holdings has chosen this course of action. We do not support it in any way.
Aside from being one of the four people to have poured millions of dollars into Rove's destructive reactionary operation, Rowling has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the most right-wing extremists in Congress, including many thousands to Miss McConnell, Richard Burr, Louie Gohmert, Tom Coburn, David Vitter, John Cornyn, Jim DeMint, Rick Santorum... all the worst and most poisonous garbage in American politics. As we warned back on the eve of the disastrous 2010 midterms:
If you've been pumping iron at a Gold's Gym-- or, for that matter, sleeping at an Omni Hotel-- you've helped pay for thousands and thousands of vicious and distorted attack ads against progressive champion Alan Grayson and for narrow-minded religious fanatic Daniel Webster in Orlando. The owner of both, Texas billionaire and right-wing fanatic Robert Rowling, has been pumping millions of dollars into Karl Rove's shady American Crossroads operation whose sole purpose is to take over Congress on behalf of the richest 2 or 3% of Americans... like Rowling. American Crossroads has raised more than $65 million as of Monday, $30 million of which has already been spent on 14 Senate and 18 House races, according to the Federal Election Commission. Grayson and other vulnerable progressives in tight races are among their key targets. Grayson's Orlando district is awash with shady but legal corporate cash and illicit foreign money targeting his reelection bid. The special interests want him out more than anyone else. He's too effective and too inspiring for the elites who run the country to be able to tolerate him, no matter what it costs.
No one expects any DWT readers to match the millions of dollars fascist plutocrats like Rowling put into the political arena to fund their anti-American agenda. But by focusing on just a few outstanding progressives-- like Bernie Sanders' and Elizabeth Warren's Senate campaigns and less than a dozen carefully vetted House candidates -- we're hoping to help keep fascism at bay and prevent a complete takeover. Can you help?
GOP closet queens like Aaron Schock love working out