Friday, August 24, 2012

Who Knew?
NGLTF's Carey on 2-Month Sabbatical

This note came my way today from an anonymous tipster:

I consider one of your finest moments your exposure of the extended vacations that Geof Kors and Lori Jean took in the summer of 2008 - just weeks before CA voters were to decide Prop 8. It is no exaggeration to say that we are still paying the price for their incompetence today.

As we are now at the 4-year anniversary of their jaunts to Spain and Alaska, I thought you would appreciate this Washington Blade article, which reports that NGLTF Exec. Director Rea Carey is unavailable as she is on "sabbatical." No word on how long this sabbatical will last or whether she is still in the country. This would be weeks before voters in 4 states decide marriage equality, IA voters decide on whether to destroy their judiciary to make a statement about gay marriage, and the whole country picks a President and Congress.

When an executive director of a major national advocacy organization takes a two-month sabbatical, I believe the community is owed an explanation about the time off from (handsomely paid) movement duties.

It's disappointing Lou Chibbaro in his Blade story didn't delve into how long Carey is on sabbatical, the reason why, if she's in the U.S. or abroad, and who's running the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in her absence?

Ordinary gay Americans are frequently told how valuable and integral the executive directors are of community advocacy organizations. It's one reason why leaders such as Carey, who received $248,000 in compensation in 2011, earn so much. By the way, the 2011 IRS 990 for NGLTF is not on their site, but can be found at this GuideStar link.

I sent off a few questions to Carey's addy and received an automated reply which stated in part:

I will be out of the office from July 1st – August 31st on sabbatical. During that time Darlene Nipper, our deputy executive director, will be serving in my stead.

A two-month sabbatical and NGLTF does not bother to tell us why. Who knew Carey was on sabbatical and can anyone say they noticed her absence? From not posting their latest IRS tax return on their site to keeping Carey's sabbatical on the hush-hush, NGLTF shows how it's not fully transparent with the LGBT community and cares little for accountability.

We need to develop standards of accountability and transparency from Gay Inc and AIDS Inc, starting with the basics of posting at least three years of IRS 990 on their site, the most current return within a week after filing it with the IRS, disclosure of their contract agreements to perform work on the movement's behalf and being upfront when a top executive making a quarter of million dollars goes on sabbatical.

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