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5 Food Companies Run by Radical Right-Wingers

A number of food chains are owned by far right-wingers who've spent significant money opposing gay rights and abortion rights and funding conservative super-PACs.

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4. White Castle

White Castle joins Carl’s Jr. on the list of beloved burger joints with right-wing ties. According to a  ThinkProgress report about companies that have helped bankroll right-wing attack ads, White Castle has given $25,000 to the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC, a group linked to House Speaker John Boehner that is supporting conservative candidates in the November 2012 election.

5. Waffle House

Waffle House (or Awful House as I used to call it growing up) is also mentioned in the ThinkProgress report. The breakfast joint has given $100,000 in the 2012 election cycle to the Karl Rove super PAC American Crossroads. Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy reported on the donation:

This is surprising because one doesn't normally associate Big Waffle with big scary super-PACs, but also not that surprising: CEO Jim Rogers Jr. is a longtime supporter of Republican causes, and the company's political action committee has given exclusively to Republicans (in considerably more modest quantities). His ties to Romney date back to 2006, when he joined the finance team of Romney's political action committee, Commonwealth PAC.

So there you have it. The next time you go out to eat at one of the above restaurants, know that your burger and waffle dollars might eventually end up funding anti-gay, anti-choice or other conservative causes.

Correction: The original version of this article included pizza chain Domino’s, though we have chosen to remove the company from the list. While it is true that “Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan is an unapologetic supporter of anti-choice groups, including Operation Rescue, Right to Life, Priests for Life, and the Committee to End State-Funded Abortion in Michigan,” as was originally written, Monaghan sold the company in 1998. We regret the implication that Monaghan is currently involved in Domino’s, and we are equally glad to know that Domino’s is no longer run by someone who so strongly supports anti-choice causes.

“Tom Monaghan sold Domino's Pizza back in 1998....The company has been public since 2004. He is not affiliated with the brand and hasn't been since that time,” says a Domino’s spokesperson. “Today, there are more than 150,000 people who work in Domino's Pizza stores and offices in 72 countries around the world -- people of all races, religions, sexual orientations and beliefs. The only thing we have in common is that we like pizza.”

Lauren Kelley is the activism and gender editor at AlterNet and a freelance journalist based in New York City. Her work has appeared in Salon, Time Out New York, the L Magazine, and other publications. Follow her on Twitter.