Idaho Pol Says Controversy Helped Sell Tickets To His ‘Duck Dynasty’ Fundraiser

The firestorm around “Duck Dynasty” has worked out pretty well for Lawerence Denney’s campaign to be Idaho’s secretary of state.

Denney is scheduled to hold a fundraiser hosted by “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson on March 29 of next year. In a phone interview Friday, Denney said he’s still planning to have the event in spite of Robertson’s controversial comments about gays, blacks, and non-Christians in a recent magazine interview. In fact, Denney said the attention generated by Robertson’s remarks has helped his ticket sales. 

“I have not been watching that myself, but my wife did say that ticket sales were up yesterday,” Denney said, adding that “the Christian community has rallied around Phil.”

Denney said he has no objection to Robertson’s comments. 

“Under the First Amendment he has the right to say what he wants and under the First Amendment he also has freedom of religion,” said Denney. “One of the reasons that we invited him to come to Idaho is because he reflects our values as well.” 

“They do reflect my Christian values,” Denney said of Robertson’s comments about gays and non-Christians.

Denney also addressed Robertson’s statements that African Americans “were happy” in the South during the Jim Crow era.

“Being from Idaho, we really didn’t know any of that and I can’t really speak on what happened in the South back when Phil was growing up,” he explained. 

Denney is a Republican who previously served as speaker of the house in the Idaho Legislature. He said his daughter lives in Louisiana and is friends with Robertson’s family. 

Robertson will be joined by his wife, son, and daughter-in-law at the event, which is being billed as “An Evening With Duck Dynasty.” According to Denney’s website the Robertsons will “speak on their family values and America’s Heritage” at the event.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK