Love was hired for the 2015 legislative session, which means the hire couldn’t have been earlier than January. Love was reportedly fired immediately after, according to a BuzzFeed News report.
Apple hasn’t given a specific reason for cutting ties with the lobbyist. But some have claimed that Love’s views contradicted the personal politics of Apple’s gay CEO Tim Cook, who recently allowed his name to be used on an upcoming bill that would ban LGBT state workplace discrimination in Alabama.
Love’s personal history doesn’t reveal much actual bigotry. He has, however, curved his political message to better suit one of the most conservative states in the union.
Before getting involved in state politics, Love was a restaurateur and owned a slew of restaurants, including a Subway franchise. He was elected to the Alabama House in 2002 and kept a low profile in his first term.
During his second term, he launched a Senate campaign for Terry Everett’s vacated seat. Love was pitted against fellow Republican Harri Anne Smith in a nasty primary battle, where Love was accused of not being a Christian. One of Smith’s ads opened with the line, “He claims he’s a Christian conservative. The truth is, Jay Love is not conservative at all.” Love, a deacon at his local Methodist church, took the ad as an opportunity to come out touting his Christian values.
“Jay Love does not work for Apple nor does he do any lobbying on our behalf.”
According to CBS, his response ad was the first ad to air against same-sex marriage after the California Supreme Court overturned the state’s marriage ban in 2008. The ad contained the lines, “Jay Love will stand up to the liberals and fight for what’s right. He’ll defend the unborn [and] traditional marriage.”
Love won the primary handily, but eventually lost to democrat Bobby Bright, a man who was voted to be the most conservative democrat. Bright drew ire from advocates after voting against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in April 2009.
Love received some national attention after sponsoring a resolution in the House to praise Miss USA pageant contest and conservative meme Carrie Prejean for speaking out against same-sex marriage in the 2009 competition. “We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage,” she said. “And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.” The resolution passed without any problem on a voice vote.
After eight years in the house, Love rose to modest power when Republicans took over the house in midterms of 2010. He became the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Education Committee in 2011 but resigned two years later to focus on educational lobbying as part of the firm Business Education Alliance.
His contradictions with Apple’s company philosophy came to light via questions from Inside Alabama Politics. A representative for Apple told the Huffington Post yesterday, “Jay Love does not work for Apple nor does he do any lobbying on our behalf.”
It was also reported that Apple has since replaced Love with lobbyist Greg Jones. It’s still unclear what they’re specifically looking for in an Alabama lobbyist, but this news comes after Tim Cook gave approval for his name to be used for an Alabama bill that aims to ban discrimination against LGBT state employees.
Jones doesn’t seem to have any public opinions against same-sex marriage. He was caught by ABC News in 2010 taking politicians golfing during the National Conference of State Legislatures—which is legal under Alabama’s loose lobbying laws. (Jones did not respond for a request for comment.)
For what it’s worth, Tim Cook is not a big golfer—he prefers “rock climbing and mountain biking.“
H/T BuzzFeed | Photo via tk/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)