Sunday, November 21, 2010

EQCA = NOM, Hides Donor Info;
Fudges Sacto Gay Bills

The Human Rights Campaign and Courage Campaign effort to expose the funding sources and other dark details on the National Organization for Marriage, an effort whose budget and fiscal transparency have not been made public, would like for NOM to more fully disclose donor names and related info.

You'll get no argument from me about having NOM forced to reveal their donors and for the public to have a full understanding of their finances and stewardship of their intake, but NOM should not be held to a higher standard than, say, HRC and CC's sister org, Equality California.

The Bay Area Reporter's front-page story about the release of EQCA's latest IRS 990, reported on the org's big donor in 2008 and contained this tidbit:

Kors said an anonymous donor contributed $6.5 million in 2008 that the Let California Ring public education campaign, which is hosted by the institute, used primarily for ad buys around the state, including multi-lingual advertisements, about marriage equality. In 2009, the same donor contributed $500,000 to fund field work. That donor didn't give money this year, according to Kors. [...]

Speaking of keeping donors' name secret, here is what Gay Inc's NOM Exposed site has to say about their adversary:

NOM aggressively works (and litigates) to keep its donors private. [...]

As far as I know, EQCA has not litigated to maintain the 2008 big donor's identity, but that aside, on the matter of disclosing a large contributor's name, EQCA = NOM. Frankly, I'm not surprised EQCA leader-for-life Geoff Kors has strict non-disclosure rules regarding this one donor, because it's so in keeping with his over all lack of transparent leadership.

Related to this is EQCA touting its supposed successes in Sacramento:

During the two-year legislative session, 25 Equality California sponsored bills were passed, with a record-14 pieces adopted in 2010 alone. [...]

That needs further explanation. The EQCA scorecard for this year shows 4 bills passed and signed into law, 3 more pieces passed by the legislature but vetoed by the governor, and 7 resolutions adopted by the legislature. Padding the list of accomplishments like this, with half of the "pieces" symbolic resolutions, is just spin.

With the release of the two-year scorecard since 2008, when Kors and EQCA led us into losing gay marriage in California, wasting $45 million doing so and laid no educational gay foundation with their closeted ads, it would be a good time for Kors and his board to present themselves to the community at public forums they organize.

It's democratic community engagement and organizing, so we call discuss what went into the scorecard, how to use it, and to also question the leadership of EQCA without having the only interface with them being through a computer. Forums would also allow for public discussion about Kors remaining as our state leader.

Kors can never seem to get around to holding any town halls in the flesh, but he sure directs an overabundance of staff time, resources and org money for these activities:

Sunset Reception with 'True Blood' Stars
Laguna Beach
Saturday, December 4

Polar Plunge for Equality
Los Angeles
Saturday, January 15

San Francisco Equality Awards
City Hall
Saturday, February 12

EQCA's leader is only available for face-time, if you've got big bucks, because his "True Blood" color is green:

Hear from Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors on the recent teen suicides and how we can better protect our youth and their rights, as well as the results of the elections and how we can build on our victories in 2011. [...]

$100 Ticket
$500 Advocate
$1500 Co-Host

Nothing has changed at EQCA since Kors led us to magnificent defeat on Prop 8 in 2008.


Anonymous said...

David Bohnett... but you likely already knew this, right Michael?

Anonymous said...

Corr: actually David Bohnett & Tom Gregory delivered the $8m + over 2 yr cycle through the Bohnett Foundation (which bundles other LA-based "anonymous "donors, several of whom are well-known and demand privacy protections which David's family charitable routinely provides...) and there's apparently no longer big love between the Kors-Williamsons and the Bohnett-Gregorys.

Unknown said...

thanks for that info, anonymous.

Anonymous said...

In fairness to EQCA, the donations in question were not directed to the EQCA PAC, which does the electoral work, but to the EQCA Institute, a 501c3 nonprofit. NOM has a comparable c3, and no one is demanding that it disclose any donor names.

I would really like to know more about the schism b/t Bohnett and Kors. To the commenter above, please elaborate if you can. Is it a personal dispute or is it the result of dissatisfaction with Kors' effectiveness?

Whatever the reason, if it is true, this is a huge story, since Bohnett is on of perhaps 6-10 major donors who have had a significant impact on gay rights across America. These donors coordinate their efforts, so if Bohnett has soured on Kors, there is a decent chance that the other donors may withhold money. If Kors is the reason that CA loses access to these substantial resources, that is a very good reason to drop Kors.

Speaking of good reasons to drop Kors, I continue to be amazed at how few bloggers and press picked up on the story that Michael broke in 2008 - that Kors went on an extended vacation to Spain just a couple of months before the greatest gay rights contest in US history was to be decided. And another of these so-called professionals who served on the No on 8 "inner executive committee" indulged in an Alaskan vacation at the same time that Kors was running with the bulls. For that alone they should have been fired.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps EQCA = NOM, but as long as we're doing a math lesson, here's a few other suggestions for "equations" that I'd like to see: