Tuesday, February 16, 2010

HRC's Solmonese Gave
How Much Money to Coakley?

One of the worst Democratic candidates in recently memory to run for a U.S. Senate seat is, of course, Martha Coakley of Massachusetts. She ran a classic "take the voters and their concerns for granted" campaign, and lost the race to the GOP's Scott Brown.

I was convinced Coakley received a donation from Joe Solmonese, head of the Human Rights Campaign, because he is such a lapdog of both the Democratic Party in the Bay State and the Democratic National Committee.

However, in searching for donations from "Joe Solmonese" at NewsMeat, which shows that he gave $10,350 to Democrats and their affiliates, and a search for "Joseph Solmonese" reveals $20,250 donated to the Democrats, for a total of $30,600 from HRC's executive director, but nothing turned up regarding a donation from him to Coakley.

Thinking that Solmonese's FEC files might not be current at the NewsMeat site, I checked the CQ MoneyLine site for "Human Rights Campaign" for the 2009/2010 election cycle, and sure enough, there was a listing for a $500 donation from "Joseph Solomonese."

Yes, the Coakley campaign's filing with the FEC misspelled his name, just one more mistake from that losing campaign effort. Sure enough, back at NewsMeat, the $500 contribution from HRC's leader is posted under the incorrect spelling.

If Solmonese and HRC were an effective, productive, transparent and accountable org for the gay community, with some genuine accomplishments that directly benefit the vast numbers of our community who need federal protections in employment, housing, healthcare, military service, etc, I wouldn't give a damn about Solmonese's lapdog status for the Democrats.

But Solmonese and other HRC leaders have no urgency or public plan of action to pressure the White House and Congress on our behalf, either this spring or before the year is out.

As Chris Crain notes at his blog today, an activist effort organized by gay bloggers targeting HRC to receive phone calls and emails from gay people, is happening today, pushing HRC to better represent and aggressively lobby for our community in Washington. We need all the pressure possible from gays to force HRC to deliver on its promises of being our supposed top-notch org in the capitol.

HRC itself has not responded yet to the activist pressure, and as reported over at Queerty this morning, a member of the org's board of directors is dismissing the pressure on his blog.

Sure, it's great to see an organized campaign targeting HRC for better leadership, but I fear with DNC operative Solmonese at the helm, nothing much is going to change. I hope I am proved wrong.

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