Sunday, November 07, 2010

HRC, Courage Omit 
NOM Allegation Sources

Back in the day, I was a member of ACT UP/NYC's Treatment & Data Committee, and though there were many differences among its members over practically every issue, there is one mantra we all agreed on. Show. Us. The. Data.

Oh, the voluminous papers that flew around the table at meetings in the Port Authority workspace. Sources of all sorts - medical journals, Congressional transcripts, NIH and FDA budgets, Big Pharma R + D info - were shared and argued over. If you made an allegation, you were expected to provide evidence to back up the claim.

That is what is missing from the Human Rights Campaign and Rick Jacob's Courage Campaign's effort to expose the money trail of the National Organization for Marriage, all part of Gay Inc's plans to give Democratic political a pass this election season.

The NOM Exposed web site, whose budget and sources of revenue, including amounts of donations from HRC and CC have not been disclosed, late last week put out a scorecard on what they say is NOM's $5 million largess in the current election cycle. (A digression. That site's black background, with splotches of heavy read and then hard-to-read small white lettering, is quite harsh on the eyes. NOM Exposed would be wise to make an optional mirror site with lighter backgrounds, for older gay eyes.)

From the HRC and CC site:

* In California, NOM joined with the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles and together spent $1 million on a statewide bus tour supporting U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina. Incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer was a special target for NOM (at least $220,000 in advertising) [...] 

* In New Hampshire, NOM claims it spent $1 million on television ads targeting the re-election of Gov. John Lynch [...]

* In Minnesota, NOM bought $200,000 worth of TV ads in the governor’s race, targeting DFL candidate Mark Dayton, and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner [...]

* In Iowa, NOM spent approximately $600,000 in the state’s [...] election because the three state Supreme Court justices were involved in the unanimous decision holding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

* [...] NOM started three years ago with a budget of $500,000 [...] 

I've bolded what I believe should either be linked, to the source of the claim, assuming the info originated with the CA, NH, MN or IA state elections office and that the data is online. Not a single allegation on the site has a link.

If that's an incorrect assumption and the source is not online, or is not from a state agency, maybe the data is off-line, then NOM Exposed should provide either a direct link to the source, or share details on how to find it.

I'm not saying that NOM didn't give all that money. They probably did, but it's so laughable to think HRC and CC would expect activists to accept the monetary allegations being made simply on their say so. These gay orgs should do all in their power to have more watchdogs look over the sources regarding NOM's donations, and in the process empower activists to follow the money.

What excuses do HRC and CC offer for omitting links and sources? Every claim the gays want to make about NOM, and we should criticize NOM and what it does with its money, must absolutely be a click or two away from verification. How can we follow the money if NOM Exposed omits sources?

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