For the past 30 years the Human Rights Campaign has been presenting itself as the official voice of Gay America. It has developed the ability to raise very substancial financial contributions from LGBT Americans and their friends and allies. This is the first installment in a series of articles that will examine that money. It will look at what it is being spent on and most importantly just what results are being accomplished with it.
HRC has followed a very deliberate marketing and political strategy of presenting the gay community as mainstream middle class Americans with an above average level of disposable income. They have aggressively pursued the cult of Washington beltway political insiders. They would have us believe that our money is buying political clout and influence. Their organizational style is characterized by glitzy fund raising dinners featuring political and entertainment celebrities.
Influencing the politicians with decolletage:
HRC is a web of interlocking corporations with different boards of directors. On its tax forms it lists over 20 related organizations in addition to its three main operating units. Most of these are state level political action committees or PACs which it has incorporated separately. The three principal operating corporations are:
- Human Rights Campaign, Inc.
- Human Rights Campaign Foundation
- Human Rights Campaign PAC
These are all registered with the IRS as nonprofit corporations. As such they are required to make annual filings of their financial activities. These documents are available online. This series will be using the data from the reports for 2008 which is the latest available year.
- HRC Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 corp.
- HRC, Inc. is a 501 ( c ) 4 corp.
- HRC PAC is a 527 corp.
These three categories progressively increase in the level of political activity that they are permitted to engage in under the tax laws.
Since 2005 the HRC empire has operated under the leadership of Joe Solmonese.
According to the reports that they filed with the IRS this is the money that HRC took in in 2008.
Now when you compare this with the kind of money that gets tossed around on Wall St. this might not look like such a big deal. However, for most of us in the LGBT community 42 million dollars qualifies as big money. All of us can think of many practical things that could be accomplished with it. This series is going to take a close look at what HRC did with this money and then ask some questions about just what they have accomplished.
The articles planned for the series will include
- Salaries and compensation
- Fund raising cost and proceeds
- Political campaign contributions
- What did we get for all the money?