Wednesday, April 28, 2010

BAR: GLAAD Prez Barrios
Won't Disclose Salary

(The $300,000 GLAAD man? Photo credit: Jane Philomen Cleland.)

Reason number 666 why Gay Inc is rancid, undemocratic and ought to be dismantled? Another unelected gay leader whose org rakes in millions of community dollars annually rejects transparency, this time over his salary, which he won't reveal. Like politicians, it must become required that every leader of every Gay Inc org reveal their current salary.

That is, if they're the least bit interested in quieting a wee bit of the outrage in the activist community directed at Gay Inc over a growing list of failures, the most current of which are DADT about to be retained and ENDA passage highly questionable.

We as a community should be outraged at the GLAAD board co-chairs, John Hadity and Susan Mindell, and the other members of the board of directors, for pushing this garbage from their ED on us. Either we have full salary transparency for GLAAD's prez, or we continue to malign and discredit this org, for their willful arrogance.

Kudos to Matthew Bajko for getting this excellent accountability story into print. Here is my favorite sentence, coming after a lengthy discussion about the prez's potential way-more-than-quarter-million salary:

He said he is willing to live with that "price of being activists" at a time when bloggers and others online are quick to judge GLAAD and its work.

I'm sure he is. From the BAR story that hits the streets and bars tomorrow:

Jarrett T. Barrios began work as president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation September 7, 2009. Nearly eight months into the job, what Barrios is earning at the helm of the LGBT media watchdog agency with a budget of $8 million remains a mystery to the public.

During his first interview with the Bay Area Reporter since being hired, Barrios last week declined to disclose the actual amount of his compensation.

He did boast that he had reduced his salary between 10 percent and 15 percent and "took a big pay cut to come work for GLAAD." He also noted he takes the bus, flies coach, and "I don't take per diem reimbursements."

But when pressed on what the nonprofit's board set his salary at, rumored to be between $300,000 and $350,000, Barrios said he was not obligated to disclose the figure.

"What is my salary at? That is actually not public information," said Barrios, 40, a former Massachusetts state lawmaker. "I will tell you I decreased my salary when I got there by about 15 percent, 10 percent." [...]

Barrios said he would not disclose his salary information prior to the filing of the agency's 2009 tax forms, which he said would be done May 15, because the number may not be fully accurate as he is reimbursed for certain expenses and the final total would be reflected on the tax return. The figure, however, would only be for the nearly four months he worked at GLAAD last year and not his full yearly salary.

Of course, there was one demanding voice raising questions and demanding answers yet again from Gay Inc:

Last fall Michael Petrelis, a San Francisco gay activist and blogger, criticized GLAAD and Barrios for not revealing his salary. In his interview with the B.A.R., Barrios suggested that the majority of GLAAD's donors are not concerned with knowing his compensation figure until the agency releases its annual report.

Yes, that may be the concern of the donors, but when GLAAD speaks it does not say it is advocating only behalf of its donors. It speaks for the community, which in and of itself is a good damn ethical reason for this org to get with the transparency or do us all a favor and go out of business. And make no mistake about it, GLAAD and its partners in Gay Inc are businesses. Why do you think it is called Gay Inc?


Anonymous said...

I am a FORMER major donor to GLAAD. I stopped donating when I realized they were do-nothing idiots. The organization is a great IDEA, but they don't DO shit. Yes, I am a FORMER major donor. If he doesn't want to disclose his salary to the community of people who PAY IT for Christ's sake, then fuck him. NO MORE DONATIONS. Who's with me? NO MORE GLAAD DONATIONS, EVER!!

RJ Bowers said...

I normally applaud groups serving as watchdogs on spending, but your post is unfortunate and arbitrary. First, and primarily, Jarrett Barrios is one of the most honest people I know - and he is well known for his integrity. In years of public service and now in non-profit work, Jarrett has always stood for the marginalized and the needy. But secondly, Jarrett's point, about waiting until the facts are clear regarding his salary when he files his taxes in May, makes sense. It would seem by your blog you are not interested in the facts, but in innuendo and sensationalism. Before you question this fine man's integrity, I suggest you get the facts.

Michael said...

hey rj,

guess what? both myself and the BAR have been trying to get the facts about jarrett's salary, and he ain't giving up the info. the problem is not the gay press or gay bloggers demanding transparency from the GLAAD leader. the problem is the lack of transparency with jarrett.