New York businessman Ian Reisner and his business partner Mati Weiderpass incited ire when they hosted a dinner at their apartment last month for proud homophobe/presidential candidate Ted Cruz. After the story broke, the two gay men claimed the dinner was not a fundraiser. But The New York Times reported Friday that Reisner did indeed cut a check for $2,700 to Cruz's campaign and only asked for the money back when the newspaper reported on the dinner.
“In the interest of transparency, I gave Senator Cruz a $2,700 check to show my support for his work on behalf of Israel,” Reisner said in a statement to the Times, which was informed of the donation by two people with direct knowledge of it. “When I realized his donation could be misconstrued as supporting his anti-gay marriage agenda, I asked for the money back. Senator Cruz’s office gave the money back, and I have no intention of giving any money to any politicians who aren’t in support of L.G.B.T. issues.”
Reisner donated the maximum amount allowed in a nominating contest.
The news of the donation is the latest disaster for Reisner and Weiderpass, who have alternated between apologizing and lashing out (Reisner called gays "cheap" and "entitled" in one post-scandal interview). The two have also changed stories on why they hosted the dinner in the first place, first saying they approved of Cruz's Israel policy and were unaware of the Texas senator's antigay record, then claiming the dinner was an attempt at extending an olive branch to a right-wing politician.