Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Right Wing Can Still Get a Tan

As a Naturist who is also a Republican, all I can say is KUDOS to Kraus'.

Nudist GOP contributor's filing bares all

By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 07.02.2006

PHOENIX — If the phrase "Republican nudist" begs for a little exposure, you might start by peeking into financial disclosure forms on file with the state.

Horst Kraus describes himself as a "dyed-in-the-wool conservative Republican." He said that's why he and his wife, Gisela, have donated to various GOP candidates for legislative, statewide and federal office.

Oh, and the Krauses are owners of the Shangri La Ranch in New River, likely the state's largest nudist camp.

This election Kraus has donated to the re-election campaign of Secretary of State Jan Brewer. Kraus met her about a decade ago when she was a Maricopa County supervisor.

"She's a no-nonsense type politician," he said.

Brewer said she presumes Kraus gave her money because he likes the job she's doing. Nor was she surprised that the owner of a nudist camp gave her money. "My base is so broad that everybody loves me," she said. "I appreciate everyone's support."

Kraus said Brewer isn't a member of his club. Nor, for that matter, has she ever visited. "I wish she would," he said. "It would be good for business."
Some legislators have been to the ranch, though.

Kraus said he hosted a forum for Republican candidates before the 2002 election. One of those attending was Sen. Dean Martin, R-Phoenix, in whose district the resort is located.

Martin said he was unaware when he was invited that Shangri La — which was not in his district until lines were redrawn in 2001 — was a nudist colony. But he went after being assured it was a public meeting.

And though the meeting was held in the facility's Bare Buns Cafe, the candidates, and the guests, all kept their clothes on.

Kraus' interest in politics is not limited to races for state office. He has given money for the upcoming campaign to re-elect Reps. Rick Renzi and John Shadegg, though the biggest check — $1,000 from him and his wife — went to help U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl win another six years in Washington.

A campaign aide to Kyl seemed amused by questions about the donation.

"Mr. Kraus is just one of a diverse group of more than 10,000 contributors to our campaign," said Andy Chasin. "And that's the naked truth."


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