Monday, April 13, 2009

Kors/EQCA Sitting on Finished Prop 8 Audit?

Just over a month ago, I blogged about the two long-promised audits of the No on 8 campaign and the role of Equality California in the campaign.

Now, five months after the A-gays on the executive committee of the campaign and their well-compensated consultants lost gay marriage in California, and burned through $45 million doing so, word comes from Seth Hemmelgarn of the Bay Area Reporter that one of the audits is finished.

However, the audit has yet to see the light of day beyond the ivory tower of EQCA's headquarters in the Castro.

From the BAR's blog last Thursday:

Geoff Kors, EQCA’s executive director and a member of the No on 8 executive committee, told the Bay Area Reporter in a March 30 e-mail that the report “was expected to be received tomorrow and released in its entirely sometime soon.”

Why is this man still in a leadership position in California? I don't understand why, after losing so much for gays, he's still in charge of "our" statewide organization. A crisis went to waste, in that after Prop 8 won, no structural changes were made to Gay Inc in California and the generals who lost the war are still in charge.

Vaishalee Raja, EQCA’s communications director, responded to questions about the report in an e-mail April 9.

“We’re just waiting for the final, final version of the report,” Raja wrote. Staff have reviewed previous drafts and provided edits as basic as language, grammar, and punctuation, and they’ve added substantive material because the firm’s information was incomplete for certain parts of the report, she said. ...

“The delay is simply due to Geoff’s intense schedule and all the traveling he’s been doing, and the report is around 35 pages so there’s a lot of material to comb through,” she wrote. “Plus going back and forth with the firm on edits is taking some time.”

I don't trust anything anyone from this organization has to say. They lied so many times during the campaign, and have shown themselves beholden to A-gays only, all the while positioning themselves to lead the next ballot proposition on gay marriage.

Raja said in her e-mail that the B.A.R. will hopefully get a copy of the report by Tuesday, April 14, the day after EQCA is set to lead a marriage equality town hall in San Francisco, “which means we’ll probably be working over the weekend again to get everything into shape.”

She did not immediately respond to a message asking how much EQCA is paying Woodward and McDowell, the Burlingame-based ballot measure and issue advocacy firm, to conduct the assessment. Raja later said EQCA is paying $7,500 for the report.

Kudos to the BAR for informing us of the cost for the audit. Every detail of it must be transparent and scrutinized.

Ted Green, a project director at the firm, said the report contains three sections: an inventory of what EQCA did to try to help defeat Prop 8; an analysis of what’s happened since November, when the measure to ban same-sex marriage passed with 52 percent of the vote; and “lessons learned and recommendations going forward.”

Green is gay and volunteered with No on 8, though he noted that the firm was not involved in the campaign. He said the substantive material Raja referred to pertains to the inventory portion of what EQCA did. ...

“We took an objective look at what Equality California did,” Green said when asked if his volunteer role with the campaign could taint the evaluation. “We came at it from the view of people who wanted to see Prop 8 defeated” and see marriage equality in California.

Green said he couldn’t say how much EQCA is paying for the assessment.

Huh? EQCA said the cost was $7,500, so why would he not know the cost involved? Cost aside, would be nice of EQCA to share this report with the community.

There’s no word yet on when the larger assessment of the No on 8 campaign will be available. That evaluation is being conducted by UCLA.

C'mon, UCLA. Get moving on your audit and give the community a clue as to when your report will be made public.


Unknown said...


As always, you are doing a great job staying on top of this. I am sure they would be more than happy to have everyone just forget about their promised audits and, for that matter, their dismal performance. I am sure you are vexing them, and that is a good thing.

One point, though. I think you may have buried the lede.

"He said the substantive material Raja referred to pertains to the inventory portion of what EQCA did. ..."

So in other words, his firm has completed the audit and drafted the report and all this was done *without* the benefit of full and accurate information about EQCA's activities. This substantive info is being added in by EQCA *after* the auditor's conclusions have been reached and after the report has been drafted. But the main point of the audit was for an outside party to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of EQCA. So unless I am fundamentally misunderstanding what they have done, it would seem totally ass-backwards to have this critical data peppered into the draft report at the end of the process.

Anonymous said...

Here you go, Michael. This one will make your day.

The repainting of the Kors reputation continues.

And the independent post mortem reports that say, "hey, let's be about the future, let's not be so post mortem-y..." is just the start.

In the email below (among other things) note how Kors role in Prop 8 was referred to: Just dough. Which means, it follows, that "we" put everything in the hands of a straight guy, Steve Smith of Dewey, whose marriage license was not being voted on, who has never fought a gay war, and wished him godspeed, and went on vacation or sabbatical or whatever it is that these people do. I'd fire the whole bunch of them, just for that, win or lose.


Dear EQCA Member,

It gave me immense pleasure yesterday morning to read that Geoff Kors had been named in Capitol Weekly’s Top 50 list of the most influential and effective political leaders in California. Clocking in at the #40 spot, Geoff deserves this recognition
more than just about anyone I know.

I truly treasured my years serving Equality California, first as a board member, then as president, working with this visionary leader.

When Geoff started the job over six years ago, EQCA was a shadow of the organization it is today. It had but two staff members and its vital documents were stored in a used pizza box. But under his steady leadership, EQCA has grown to become one of the the most successful LGBT organization in the county, passing over 52 pieces of legislation and donated $14 million to Equality for All, the organization that ran the Prop 8 campaign.

But there’s more to be done. EQCA continues to defend the gains we’ve made, fight to win back what we’ve lost, and continually push the envelope—this year introducing one its most impressive legislative packages ever.

This nod from one of the foremost authorities on California government and politics is not only testament to Geoff’s groundbreaking work, but the great strides our community has made together. LGBT issues are now at the forefront of the dialogue at all levels of government. We are not a mere constituency, but a powerful movement—one which can no longer be ignored.

With gratitude for what each of you has done to achieve equality,

Hon. John Duran