Tuesday, December 08, 2009

GLAAD's Barrios' Pay = ?;
Hubby Has No Last Name?

When ex-politician Jarrett Barrios was picked to head the media advocacy group GLAAD back in June, he received a good deal of fawning coverage from Towleroad.com and Bilerico.com, but no mention was made about what his salary would be at GLAAD. After last week's ridiculous confusion from the group regarding Adam Lambert and ABC, I searched the web for any clues about Barrios's GLAAD pay level, but couldn't locate any pertinent info.

However, a 2007 Boston Globe piece on his resignation from his elected office so he could take a top position at the Blue Cross MA Foundation, showed troubling reluctance on his part to be transparent:

Neither [the foundation chairman nor Barrios] would disclose Barrios's salary. But Barrios said he will earn slightly more than the six figures he earns as a senator and a lawyer at DLA Piper in Boston, a job that Barrios said he would also quit soon.

A look at the 2007 IRS 990 filing by the foundation showed that Barrios earned $139,000 in his first year there. (See page 28.) That's a decent salary, and by 2009, Barrios had a nice increase in pay.

From an October 2009 Boston BizJournals.com story:

And Jarrett Barrios, former president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, who resigned from his position this summer, froze his $262,000 salary going into the 2009 fiscal year.

That was a bit less than what Neil Giuliano made in his last year as head of GLAAD. The 2008 IRS 990 report shows that Giuliano was paid $271,000 for his services. (See page 26.)

Barrios sent along this reply regarding several questions I posed to him:

Today at GLAAD my total compensation is less than when I was at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation (your number was incorrect for that, by the way.) It is also less than the salary you have indicated for my predecessor in 2008. All the final information, along with the salary of other officers, will be released when GLAAD’s IRS 990 form is finalized and filed. We will be glad to forward it to you at that time.

So much bobbing and weaving, instead of just stating what his GLAAD pay is. Notice he doesn't provide the number he claims is incorrect, which I obtained from foundation's IRS 990, while also not saying what the supposed correct salary was. If the info on his salary is wrong in the foundation's IRS 990 report, they should file an amendment. Barrios further avoids mentioning his GLAAD predecessor's more than quarter-million salary.

Showing a politician's slipperiness, Barrios doesn't disclose when the 2009 IRS 990 will be made public. Frankly, I don't get the sense that he wants full transparency practiced, unless he's required to disclose by law.

On a separate matter, Barrios' bio on GLAAD site omits the name of his husband:

He resides in Boston with his husband Doug and their two children, and splits time between GLAAD’s New York and Los Angeles offices.

Barrios is married to Douglas Hattaway, an elite communications consultant for top national Democrats. His very flattering profile at the Washington Post's WhoRunsGov.org site, which has not been updated since early this year, gives a taste of his powerful Democratic credentials:

As Hillary Rodham Clinton’s spokesman during her 2008 presidential run, Hattaway was a calming presence as well as an effective advocate for the candidate on the trail. After his impressive performance, Hattaway is a likely candidate to head communications at the State Department under Secretary Clinton.

Hattaway, who runs his own communications firm, has worked for a long list of Democratic power-brokers. He was the spokesperson for Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign and has worked for Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Tom Daschle, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D).

Why can't GLAAD's bio on Barrios' hubby either mention his name or give a few details about his work? I would expect any non-profit org, gay or straight, when talking about an executive director's married partner, to give basic facts, but obviously GLAAD thinks otherwise.

I broach the subject of Barrios' hubby because I wonder if his marriage in any way influences what he says on behalf of GLAAD, and the larger gay community, when he goes on national TV. In early November, the Queerty.com site expressed qualms about Barrios' performance during once such media appearance:

While we expect Solmonese to give Obama a shoulder rub at every turn, we thought Barrios might be a smidge different. But on CNN yesterday, it's clear which side of the fence Barrios is going to stand on: straddling it!

While Barrios isn't Obama's grand apologizer, he's certainly not his critic, either. He does make the worthwhile point that the White House isn't the only game in town when it comes to gay rights legislation; Congress has to get in on the game, too.

But good to know what we should expect from GLAAD moving forward.

Given that Barrios watchers in MA say he's "seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party," that his spouse is so tight with high-ranking Democratic Party leaders, while he also couldn't find any real criticism to spout against Obama on CNN, I fully expect GLAAD under Barrios will spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about hurting the feelings of Democrats, to the detriment of gay people.

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