The California-based fiefdom known as the Courage Campaign, founded and operated at the sole discretion of Rick Jacobs, is one more murky Gay Inc entity in which there is no genuine democratic engagement with the community.
Jacobs, who once served as a vice president of Occidental Petroleum, hardy a corporation known for developing grassroots gay organizers, has an extensive portfolio of profit-making endeavors leading me to label him Rick Jacobs Inc.
The CC is his plaything for dabbling in progressive politics, remember his org is not gay-specific, and he's another leader not known for holding town hall forums. He prefers leadership where he alone is in charge of the hierarchy he controls.
His FEC file shows tens of thousands of dollars to (surprise!) Democratic candidates and PACs. None of his donations list him as the executive director of CC. Nope, he's IDed variously as investor, self-employed, consultant, or as with the RDJ Strategic Advisers. Those initials stand for Richard D. Jacobs.
Do not for a single moment ever think that Rick is ever really about anything other than, well, Rick.
A few months back, I searched the White House visitor logs for his name, found one listing that could be him, but because no ID info or home city is listed, I wasn't sure it was him, so I emailed him, asking if this was indeed him. Never heard back from him.
From the White House logs:
JACOBS RICHARD D
ZIENTS JEFFREY OEOB 216
18:43:00 VA 2009-10-06 14:47:00 2009-10-07 18:30:00 2009-10-07 23:59:00
Who is this Zients fellow? At the time of his meeting with Jacobs, he was Obama's director of U.S. Chief Performance Officer. In July, he was made acting director of the Office of Management and Budget. He has nothing whatsoever to do with gay issues.
But in the week leading up to Cleve-Apalooza last October, CC's Jacobs was meeting with Zients, and I doubt that the subject had anything of substance or relevance to the gay struggle at the federal level. My hunch is that Jacobs, looking out for his business interests, used his White House access to meet with the chief performance guy for America.
If there was another Richard D. Jacobs who met with Zients on October 7, 2009, lemme know and I'll amend this post.
Regardless of that White House meeting, I want to point out that Jacobs, without a single public meeting with the 600,000 members of CC, recently aligned hundred of thousands of gays and allies with the Human Rights Campaign.
Occasional Gay Inc mouthpiece Joe Jervis, of the blog I call Joe.NOT.My.God., was all starry-eyed and fawning when CC and HRC announced their campaign to divert gay attention away from the political problem killing gay rights advances in DC, the Democratic Party. From Jervis:
[HRC and CC's] NOM Exposed is one of the most extensive takedowns of the enemies of the LGBT movement that I've seen on the web yet, and I've only just begun to dig in. Take note of the site's "Rogue's Gallery" and start from there. This is fantastic.
What's so damn fantastic about letting the Democrats off the hook, for the 6,549th time, Joe?
It makes sense that Jacobs, who as his FEC file abundantly shows loves to write big checks to Democratic Party folks of all sorts, and who has not used CC to back the grassrootsy blogger effort to close down the gAyTm, is collaborating with Joe Solmonese, another gay leader who abhors town halls but rushes to write checks to Democrats. Nice that HRC and CC do nothing this election season to hold the DNC accountable.
And when the two gay orgs filed an IRS complaint over NOM last week, another diversionary ploy benefiting Democrats, Jervis gave the development big space on his blog, without any criticism or larger context.
It's bad enough we have oily Jacobs and slimy Solmonese driving the gay movement ever deeper into the Democratic ditch, do we also need bloggers such as Jervis gushing over this sorry state of gay affairs?