Metro Weekly

Dark Money Group to Run Ads Attacking Democrats Over Trans Athletes

Republican-allied "Citizens for Sanity" to run ads attacking Biden administration and pro-LGBTQ Democrats ahead of midterms.

Athletes competing on a track – Photo: Steven Lelham, via Unsplash.

A conservative dark money group is doing its own part to boost Republican candidates in the upcoming midterm elections by attacking Democrats over their positions on transgender rights.

The nonprofit organization, known as Citizens for Sanity, has seized on LGBTQ rights, specifically the issue of transgender participation in female-designated sports, as a way to turn out the conservative base while attempting to drive moderates away from Democratic candidates. 

According to Politico, the group has been “begun running a television, newspaper and billboard advertising campaign” that specifically attacks transgender as well as the broader LGBTQ community.

Billboards with obviously sarcastic slogans mocking “progressive” and Democratic candidates, paid for by the organization, have been spotted all over battleground congressional districts.


On the organization’s Twitter page is a video depicting a fictional scenario of a transgender athlete competing and winning a track race. The video, in its narration, derides the idea of transgender women competing in such competitions and turns political, saying that President Joe Biden “and his radical allies” are aiming to “destroy girls’ sports.”

That kind of messaging falls in line with Republican talking points, echoed by various lawmakers at the local, state and national levels, attempting to use LGBTQ issues as a cudgel to attack their political foes while exciting Republican base voters. For the past several months, various Republican-led legislatures have passed all sorts of anti-LGBTQ laws, including measures preventing transgender people from participating in sports based on their gender identity, pulling LGBTQ books from libraries, and banning teachers from teaching LGBTQ topics.

While this battle has been most apparent in Southern states like Texas and Florida, where the governor’s office, state legislature, and even legal system are staffed by hard-line anti-LGBTQ conservatives, state governments all over the country have been forced to address issues of gender and sexuality due to Republicans attempting to limit the rights of LGBTQ people. 

Citizens for Sanity, which is staffed by veteran Republican “operatives,” as Politico puts it,  is — although not directly or in a coordinated way, which would be prohibited under law — effectively supplementing the messaging of Republican candidates and groups like the National Republican Congressional Committee, whose mission is to elect more Republicans to Congress and often works in partnership with individual campaigns.

Considering the upcoming 2022 midterm elections this November are fast approaching, the fact that Citizens for Sanity’s messaging has increased and its anti-LGBTQ stance has become so flagrant should come as no surprise.

“Our mission is laser-focused on highlighting the far-left, woke policies that are anathema to common sense and critical thinking in this country,” Prior told the Washington Examiner. “Millions of people in America, liberal and conservative, see the destructiveness of this agenda and these policies. This fight is not about liberal or conservative, it’s about standing with all commonsense Americans to bring reason back to our country.”

Politico reported that, due to campaign finance laws, the group is not required to reveal their donors. In the upcoming weeks, it is expected that the groups will spend “millions of dollars” to continue its ad campaign.

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