In recent days, I have received two seemingly unrelated e-mails that nevertheless got my brain a-thinkin’. 

The first was from Youth First Texas, an admirable group that helps gay teens deal with coming out, provides support, etc. Great organization. The e-mail noted that, as a recipient of much-needed funds from the Human Rights Campaign’s Black Tie Dinner, YFT is required to pull its weight in support of the November event. That includes captain-ing at least four tables of 10 seats each (at $300 a plate), and selling at least 25 raffle tickets (at $100 apiece). By my calculations, that puts the burden on YFT to generate $14,500 at a minimum, just to qualify as a recipient of HRC funds.

That in itself doesn’t seem like such a bad deal — after all, Youth First Texas depends on the largesse of the HRC to stay afloat. Small price to pay.

But then there’s the other e-mail I received.

That’s the one that revealed the salaries of top executives on the Human Rights Campaign. At the head of the list is executive director Joe Solmonese, whose compensation is $259,096 — that’s more than a quarter of a million dollars. Indeed, if you add together the total salaries for the seven highest-paid officers, the number is $1,274,989 — a figure eerily close to the $1.27 million that last year’s Dallas Black Tie Dinner generated. 

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