A February 20, 2014 story in the Hollywood Reporter notes that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas is venturing into the heart of Hollywood to address a secret group of film and television industry conservatives called “Friends of Abe.” “Abe” is a reference to the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, who waged the Civil War and freed the slaves.
The FOA is currently embroiled in a fight with the IRS similar to ones being fought by other conservative groups over an attempt to establish itself as a tax-free charity organization. The IRS has demanded that the FOA turn over its list of members, something the organization has refused to do.
The problem is that conservatives, especially if they are not bankable stars, are treated in the movie and film industry pretty much as communists were in the 1950s. To be outed as a conservative is to lose work and to be, in effect, blacklisted. The FOA will not turn over its membership list for fear that it would be leaked, exposing many of its members to retaliation. The demand to, in effect, “name names” is an irony that should not be lost on anyone.
Cruz is warmly supporting the FOA in its fight.
"FOA should respond to the IRS as it would to any McCarthyite request for information. The US. Supreme Court has already ruled that Americans have freedom of association and that groups should not be forced to reveal the names of members, because that information could be abused for political gain. There has already been an incident where the IRS leaked that kind of information about a group."
The Friends of Abe is an unofficial group of Hollywood conservatives who meet frequently for discussions on political, current events, and popular culture. It numbers among its members sch stars as Kelsey Grammer and Jon Voight as well as many rank and file film and television industry workers,