side effects of the drug

Ken Mehlman recently made a list in the Institutional Investor of people who regularly make the news.  The list includes other influential people such as Tom Steyer, founder of the $18.4 billion hedge fund Farallon Capital Management, Warren Buffet’s protegee Tracy Britt, and Andy Smith, head of equity research at Sberbank CIB.

According to the Institutional Investor, Tom Steyer made the list because he often shows up in the news in regards to social media like Twitter. Particularly, as the paper puts it, Tom Steyer “wants Barack Obama’s Twitter army.”  In June, he announced a campaign dubbed “We Love Our Land” to mobilize online supporters to urge them to tell the White House to block the planned Keystone XL pipeline, especially those that previously supported the president in his campaign.

Ken Mehlman, meanwhile, is working hard to “change GOP minds about another demographically important issue: gay rights.”  His work on the amicus brief signed by more than 130 prominent figures on the political right in support of gay marriage in the case of Proposition 8, as well as his belief that “the political right should embrace gay marriage because it is consistent with the conservative values about the importance of family and freedom from government intrusion” is part of what made the Institutional Investor include him on their list of People in the News.

Ken Mehlman discussed marriage in a recent video answering the question, what is the single best way to get Republicans to support marriage equality? See below for the video, as well as a full transcript.

 

Transcript:

What is the single best way to get Republicans to support marriage equality?
Ken Mehlman: It’s interesting. As I’ve thought about this and as I’ve learned from a lot of people who have worked on this for many years and who are professionals at it. I really think it’s best to think about this not in terms of Republicans or Democrats or Independents, but what’s the best way for people to become supportive of marriage equality. In my experience at least, the best way is to have a conversation with them. The best way and the most important way is for them to know someone in their lives, whether it’s a friend or a relative who happens to be gay. And to have that person make the case and explain why they think that civil marriage available under the law ought to be a right, and ought to be something that’s available to them. I have found that to be the best and most effective way. Obviously, it’s important I think it’s important to make the case from all ideological perspectives, and as we’ll talk about in this interview, I’ve tried to explain why as a conservative, as someone who believes freedom, as someone who believes in family values, or as someone who believes in the golden rule, civil marriage makes sense.
What do you think is the most reasonable case against gay marriage that is made by its opponents?
Kenneth Mehlman: I’ve had a lot of conversations with friends who I have a lot of respect for who don’t agree with me on the issue. What I hear from them are a couple of things.
First, sometimes folks talk about the importance of protecting religious freedom and the sacrament of marriage, and I think that it’s very important from my perspective and those of us who believe both in the right to marriage but also in religious freedom, to be clear that we’re talking about civil marriage. We’re talking about the government, the state simply providing people with a license for civil marriage. It’s up to each religious tradition to decide how to define it. The home I was raised in, my parents were a member of a Jewish congregation and our synagogue was a conservative synagogue. Conservative Judaism recognizes marriage equality, as does Reform Judaism. Other branches of Judaism might not, and everyone ought to have that right. There’s room enough in society for all of us to have different views on this, but one thing is clear, the law should treat everyone the same.
Secondly, you sometimes hear people talk about tradition. They say that they were raised with marriage as between a man and a woman. The President said that, for example in explaining his evolution. To those people, what I try to do is ask them what they think marriage is really about. And to me, what it’s about is two individuals who love each other, who want to spend their lives committing to each other. So that they take care of each other when they’re sick, or when they’re old, and so that the people in their world or community share that commitment and help them out through tough times. I think that goal is something that ought to be available to people whether they’re straight or gay. And for society, if you believe as I do in family values, if you believe in shared commitment and responsibility. If you believe that our society is better off when that happens, more stable, then it seems to me that allowing civil marriage to both gay and straight couples makes a whole lot of sense, and that’s how you answer that particular concern.

“Making the case from a conservative values perspective is an imperative, not an option” Ken Mehlman stated in his recent OUT Magazine article. Mehlman sat down with Aaron Hicklin for a question and answer interview on DOMA, marriage equality, and more.

When asked if he was surprised by the results in California, he responded no. “Based on the conversations I’d had with Ted Olsen and David Boies from AFER, which is a board I serve on, and also I’d gotten to know Robbie [Roberta] Kaplan [the lawyer for Edie Windsor]. Although no one can predict the court, it was possible to imagine this result based on the hearings earlier this year. If you read Justin Kennedy’s opinion, and I take him at his word, he looked at that law [DOMA], read the legislative history of the law, and concluded that the law should be overturned.”

Ken Mehlman doesn’t think there will be any Republican backlash. “If you look at the history of marriage from the beginning, what you see is that after states pass civil marriage, support invariably grows across party lines.” He gives Massachusetts and New Hampshire as examples. Both of these states passed marriage equality laws. Although there were fewer Republicans, “…ultimately Republicans and Democrats came around to embrace gay marriage.”

Is the battle for gay marriage won? He doesn’t think so, but there has been progress. He shares the alarming statistic that 29 states still allow people to be fired due to their sexual orientation. 73 percent of Republican voters believe someone should not be able to be fired for this reason, and about 55 percent of Americans favor marriage equality. 30 percent of America live somewhere with marriage equality, but there are still 37 states that don’t allow it.

What role does Ken Mehlman plan to play in the fight to have marriage equality for all? “What I will do, and keep doing, is to listen to the experts and professionals, from people like Chad Griffin to Evan Wolfson and Matt Coles, and others. I do think when you look at these places where there are no legal protections, making the case from a conservative values perspective is an imperative, not an option, so I hope to be helpful from that perspective.“

He also shares the role that the media has played. He finds the single most important role to be that of ordinary people coming out and sharing their stories. “The role everyone has in simply coming out and telling their story to their family and their friends and their colleagues. There are so many examples, every day. What was so compelling about these cases was Edie’s story and Edie’s example. We all have the power to tell stories, and the media can magnify that. It’s also important for kids who are growing up—who want to grow up in a nation where they have equal rights under the law.”

What’s next for marriage equality? “There’s obviously a lot of clean-up that will happen now that DOMA has been repealed, from tax equity issues to immigration, and those are things that need to be reviewed. There’s been a lot of progress in the past on safe schools and making sure that bullying is addressed. Governor Christie in New Jersey, and in Maine, Governor LePage, have signed very robust laws making sure that every child is safe in school. Those can be a model for other states.”

Ken ends the interview with these words, “Everyone comes from a different ideological perspective, and we should use our way of thinking and our particular relationships to make the case for equality.”

Ken Mehlman, a private equity executive in Manhattan is working to convince Republicans that gay marriage is consistent with conservative values.

Coming out “has been a little bit like the Tom Sawyer funeral, where you show up at your own funeral and you hear what people really think,” Mehlman stated in a recent interview at his KKR office. “A big part of one’s brain that used to worry about this issue has now been freed to worry about things that are much more productive.” With all this free time, Ken has worked all over to help legalize marriage equality.

“I have a happy life today, and I had a happy life before,” Ken Mehlman said.

John Aravosis, a gay blogger talked about how coming out is difficult, and “If you’re going to have an epiphany, do it like Mehlman.”

He has worked with the White House and President Obama, who was a classmate at Harvard Law School to help repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He has worked with Republican Ohio Senator Rob Portman and recruited Republican donors, helping to raise $4.5 million for gay causes and anti-bullying.

In Maine in 2009, voters were against same-sex marriage. Last year, Ken Mehlman helped to change up their advertising. They ended up winning. “He brought a totally fresh perspective that nobody else had, and because he was so prominent, people had to take note,” said Matt McTighe, who managed the Maine effort.

“This is not just any Republican — this is one of the single greatest successful strategists for Republicans,” Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign said of Ken Mehlman. “And now he’s on our side.”

 

 

It was announced on May 30, 2013 that General David Petraeus will be joining the team at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts as the Chairman of the newly created KKR Global Institute where he will work closely with Ken Mehlman and Henry McVey.

With the new role of central banks after the financial crisis, new regulations and major changes in public policy, KKR has increased in the areas of social, environmental and governance issues. The KKR Global Institute will be the company’s way to focus on these issues and help the company to expand globally.

“KKR is one of the best investment firms in the world,” General Petraeus stated. “I am very pleased to join such a great team. I have watched KKR evolve as it adapted to the post-financial crisis world and became a go-to partner for companies worldwide. I look forward to supporting the investment teams in their pursuit of the best opportunities for clients and also being a part of a new initiative to provide additional insights to KKR’s clients and companies.”

General Petraeus will be working very closely with Ken Mehlman, Global Head of Public Affairs and Henry McVey, Global Head of Macro & Asset Allocation.

Ken Mehlman was a key part of establishing the KKR Global Institute. He stated that, “For 37 years, KKR has produced strong returns for our investors by marrying deep industry knowledge with active ownership and a long-term focus. Over the last five years, KKR has established and systematized our focus on stakeholder engagement and macro-economic and geopolitical factors. These considerations are now built into our investment and portfolio management processes and with this new initiative and additional talent, we will take it to the next level.”

Ken MehlmanKen Mehlman wrote an op-ed in the Las Vegas Sun called Marriage Equality: A Conservative Ideal. He started off the article asking, “What do Vice President Dick Cheney, Gen. Colin Powell, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Clint Eastwood and more than 130 top officials from the Reagan and both Bush administrations have in common?” They are all proud conservatives and have spent years fighting for a smaller government. Another thing they have in common – they all support civil marriage for gay couples.

 

Just two weeks ago another prominent conservative was added to this list: State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer. He stood in favor of repealing Nevada’s current constitutional ban on same –sex marriage. And replacing it with protections that will provide all “loving, committed couples in the state the freedom to marry while also protecting religious freedom for churches that feel differently on the issues.”

 

“Freedom of Americans across all races is why the Republican Party was founded,” Ken Mehlman states.  As he explains it, all of the party’s best accomplishments have come from moments when they have promoted freedom as based on the Declaration of Independence.

 

“What freedom could be more basic and personal than the right to marry the person you love?” he asks. “If we are serious in our belief that every citizen is endowed by his or her creator with the right to pursue happiness, then how can this not include the freedom to marry? What could be more central to a person’s happiness? And alternatively, if we want a smaller, less obtrusive government, shouldn’t individuals, not politicians decide who they can marry?”

 

Kenneth Mehlman believes that marriage not only maximizes freedom, but also promotes stability, responsibility, commitment and family values.

 

This new amendment approved by Kieckhefer adds new protections that strengthen religious liberty. If it is passed, same-sex couples will be allowed to marry and private religious institutions would not be required to recognize or perform a wedding.

 

In national polls, support for marriage equality from Republicans has increased by 50 percent in the past 3 years. As Mehlman put it, “This isn’t surprising. The freedom to marry is consistent with core conservative and American values – limited government, personal responsibility, commitment and, above all, freedom for all.

 

 

Ken Mehlman works as the head of the Global Public Affairs team at KKR, and he used his position of authority wisely when speaking with the American Federation of Teachers this past week.

When KKR found out that the AFT had included the company on a list of money managers that the union says solicit investment business from pension plans while also supporting think tanks and advocacy groups that seek to undermine pensions, they were not too happy. “Over the past several years, we have worked, in partnership with legislators, policy makers and organized labor leaders, to advocate the importance of defined benefit plans as an option for public sector workers.” Ken Mehlman said in a letter to teachers’ union president Randi Weingarten. Mehlman also noted that he has worked with Service Employees International Union president Andy Stern, “to ensure that policy makers have the facts…on the importance of a defined benefit option for public sector workers.”

After receiving this letter on Wednesday, Weingarten stated that, “Your firm has taken an important step in declaring its support for defined benefit plans and retirement security.” Weingarten also said that the union would take KKR’s name off of their list.

Ken Mehlman recently talked to the Huffington Post about the GOP evolution on gay marriage acceptance. “I think that most of the signers of the [amicus curiae] brief, like other Americans who have increasingly embraced the freedom to marry, are most impacted by what they see in their own lives,” Ken Mehlman stated. “That’s how change so often occurs — people reflecting on their core values and also their experiences. And as people consider the importance of marriage to their own lives, they recognize how fundamental this right is. As they come to fully know their gay friends and relatives and neighbors and teammates, they don’t think it’s fair or consistent with conservative values to deny them this basic right.”

 

The former RNC Chairman has been very outspoken about his views on same-sex marriage and continues to work with his organization, Project Right Side, to get more conservative support for gay marriage. “Conservatives don’t need to change core convictions to embrace the growing support for equal rights for gay Americans,” Ken Mehlman wrote in a 2012 Wall Street Journal op-ed. “It is sufficient to recognize the inherent conservatism in citizens’ desire to marry, to be judged on their work, and not to be singled out for higher taxes or bullying at school. These objectives can be achieved while also protecting religious liberty, as demonstrated by states enacting civil marriage with exemptions for religious institutions.”

Out Magazine announced it’s 7th annual Power List, ranking the top 50 gay men and women  “whose power and prestige is instrumental in influencing the way Americans think about, and engage with, the world.”

This year, number 32 was Ken Mehlman. As Out Magazine puts it, “As well as being on the board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group behind the brief, he has deployed his skills to help win victories for marriage equality in New York, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota, and his influence can only grow as Republicans continue to play catch-up with public opinion on gay rights.”

Other notable people who made the list were Chad Griffin, head of the Washington DC based Human Rights Campaign, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis, Reps. Mark Takano, D-Calif.,David Cicilline, D-R.I., and Jared Polis, D-Colo.

 

 

Kenneth Mehlman was interviewed last week by Thomas Roberts on MSNBC and discussed the marriage equality cases pending at the Supreme Court.  He discussed his own experience at the hearings, his experience on the board of AFER, and the cautiousness of the justices on the Supreme Court.  Ken Mehlman pulled on his own experience as a lawyer to answer questions about how the legal case is being presented and what might happen in the next couple weeks.

Watch the entire piece, and read the first part of the interview below.


Video transcript:

Thomas Roberts: And our special guest at the top of the hour, former RNC Chairman Ken, Mehlman, Richard Socarides former president of Equality Matters, and openly gay Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline. Gentlemen, great to have you hear, but I want to start with our exclusive interview with Ken Mehlman, former RNC Chair, former campaign manager for George W. Bush’s ’04 campaign. And Ken you publically came out in 2010.

Ken Mehlman: I did.

Thomas Roberts: It’s been written about you, that you are the highest profile gay republican in American history. It just crossed the wires from Reuters saying that, the US Supreme court, who is hearing the oral arguments right now, it’s saying that conservatives justices are troubled by the Obama Administration’s refusal to defend the marriage law. As a lawyer, how do you interpret whats coming out of the court right now?

Ken Mehlman: Well I was actually in the hearings yesterday, in the oral arguments, I’m on the board of AFER. Which is the organization that brought the proposition law suit with Ted Olsen and David Boies. What I saw yesterday were justices that were taking a very serious issue very seriously. They were asking a lot of very touch questions to all three of the council that were appearing before them. They recognized the enormity of what they were dealing with. What was interesting to me though, was that you heard from all sides two things that I think are really important. One was how important the issue of marriage is, how central it is to an individual, as a person to their freedom, to their essence. As Ted Olsen said it is the single most important relationship you have. And the second thing was the fundamental nature of that right, which in my judgment and in our judgment, the constitution ought to protect.