Tuesday, June 21, 2011

EQCA's Palencia = GLAAD's Barrios;
Pay Stays Flat as he Changes Jobs

If there is one thing you can count on from Gay Inc when they play executive musical chairs, it is that the salary of the incoming honcho will be omitted from the press release issued by the agency hiring him or her. And if one of the handful gay reporters or bloggers who ask rude questions about salaries try to find out the new ED's compensation, they would not get the info.

One of the warning signs many missed about Jarrett Barrios was the "GLAAD prez refuses to disclose salary" piece by Matthew Bajko in the Bay Area Reporter in an April 2010 story. Nine months after becoming ED of the communications group, the leader wouldn't communicate about his compensation:

During his first interview with the Bay Area Reporter since being hired, Barrios last week declined to disclose the actual amount of his compensation.

Look at where he is now. In hiding, not speaking with the traditional and online gay press, avoiding the corporate media, refusing emails requests for comment, and on his way out the door. And GLAAD, whose board includes Troup Coronado who is the AT&T lobbyist at the center of the group's meltdown, is suffering numerous crises.

Let's dig in and examine how Equality California's new ED, Roland Palencia, handled the salary question when raised by Seth Hemmelgarn in the B.A.R. and resembles Barrios' executive style. BTW, Coronado is also on the EQCA board:

Palencia, 53, declined to state his salary, but Vaishalee Raja, an EQCA spokeswoman, disclosed that it's $170,000. 

The commonalities are striking. Both Barrios and Palencia are Latino gay men, they won't answer simple questions about pay, their respective organizations are quite irrelevant, more beholden to the Democrats and corporations than ordinary gays, and AT&T well has its hooks in both groups, with Coronado serving on both GLAAD and EQCA boards, while each agency has not been upfront about their views on  the AT&T merger with T-Mobile.

Speaking of Palencia's salary, I filed a public records request with his former employer, LA Care Health Plan, for his compensation info for the past three years. In 2009 his package was $148,859 and jumped in 2010 up to $174,908. For all intents and purposes, his pay level remained flat changing jobs. Oh, how gay leaders are hurting in this economy.

The crisis hitting GLAAD is showing us, so beautifully too, how incestuous Gay Inc boards are, why they lobby regulatory agencies on issues many never knew were gay issues, and the meltdown has many links to EQCA. Lots more accountability getting produced right now.

Call me realistic as I predict Palencia closely follows Barrios' executive leadership agenda - no town halls, fear of directly hearing average gays, looks sharp in a tux, carries the water of corporations first and LGBT people second - and further drives EQCA into the ground.

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