Saturday, January 21, 2012

GLAAD'S Corey Johnson Fired;
Running for NY City Council Seat?

(Johnson, left, posing with Chuck Wolfe, the head of the Victory Fund, a group devoted to electing Democratic LGBT people. Credit: Klaus Enrique.)

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is no stranger to LGBT politicians in need of employment.

Two of its executive directors, Neil Giuliano and Jarrett Barrios, ran the organization after their political careers ended, and there's also been aspiring elected official Corey Johnson using his perch at GLAAD to pretty much run a nascent campaign for New York City's City Council in 2013.

Yesterday, Johnson, along with ten other staffers at GLAAD, was fired because of severe budgetary problems. The Advocate is so far the only source of info on the firings and continuing fiscal troubles of GLAAD, but their story omits the names of who was laid off.

GLAAD's staff directory no longer lists Johnson as the deputy director for programs, and there is nothing posted about the shrinking of the staff.

My sources in NYC inform me that much of Johnson's time while on the GLAAD payroll was spent shoring up support for his next step up the political ladder, and that his advocacy for the group was all about promoting himself.

He currently serves as the board chair of Manhattan's Community Board 4, for the Clinton/Hell's Kitchen and Chelsea neighborhoods, a position he's held since July of 2011, and last summer spoke with the Chelsea Now paper and had this to say when asked about his interest in running for the City Council:

Q: There’s been lots of speculation, in the pages of our sister publication The Villager, for example, that you have ambitions for the District 3 City Council seat in 2013.

A: I think it’s flattering that people are talking about two years from now. But my only focus is to do the best job possible as Community Board 4 chair, and to continue the amazing, deliberative, engaged work that this Community Board does.

After months of hearing supposedly interim San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee say he would not seek a full term, only to see him run last November, I know dog whistle code when I hear it. My sources don't believe Johnson's coy protestations about no interest in becoming an elected Democratic gay officeholder, and I believe them.

They say Johnson is not solely focused on the Community Board, that he is campaigning already for 2013's race and spending lots of time on Facebook. Now that GLAAD has sent him packing, he'll plenty of time to work on his City Council campaign.

The larger picture, GLAAD laying off so many staffers, while it's terrible that LGBT folks are losing their jobs, is something that leaves me deeply untroubled. GLAAD is a bloodsucking leech upon the gay body politic and pocketbook, putting on an endless number of meaningless awards shows and getting all riled up about pathetic TV shows dying from their own stupidity.

When the day comes that GLAAD goes out of business, and make no mistake it is business first and foremost, it will be an excellent development for the LGBT community.


Anonymous said...

GLAAD is still run by the overpaid select few, a group of "mean girls and boys" who care nothing about the organization or its people. They needed the layoffs to pay for their many awards shows. Why is good money being invested in this organization? And why is their a facebook group called Formerly at GLAAD? I thought we were not supposed to use that term. Hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

Given articles stating employees were taken by surprise by the layoffs, when will GLAAD give an honest interview about the organization? GLAAD's donors, corporate or otherwise, have a right to know where there money is going. With all the layoffs, contract buyouts and turnover, it would be a question worth asking.

Anonymous said...

Corey Johnson publicly supported Bloomberg in 2009 didn't he??? Why would any Democrat want to support him?

See the Hall of Shame list of Gay Bloomberg Supporters here:

Anonymous said...

Why did GLAAD re-hire Johnson in the first place? He was on their staff a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

Would it be possible to have Thompson or a senior staffer go on record regarding their finances, how much was paid out to their last two Presidents/former staff let go under the last regime, why the high turnover and/or layoffs?

Anonymous said...

It is not the same organization that you and I were a part of in NYC in 1986.

BTW, speaking of Gay Inc., can you put some heat on NGLTF to release their 990? Their latest one up on their site and on Guidestar is from 2009-2010. Pathetic that they have to be browbeaten to be transparent.