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Sullivan Launches Fresh Attack Against HRC

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The protracted (and increasingly ugly) struggle between Andrew Sullivan and Human Right Campaign continues. This fresh round of attacks started when Sullivan took on the allegedly “largest” gay rights organization’s membership numbers, writing:

The mimimum membership fee on your website is $35. How many members paid $35 or more in annual dues in the last twelve months? You claim 650,000. What’s the real number? Please provide documentation to prove it.

Some of Sully’s faithful readers did a bit of research and found that HRC reported donations of $7.3 million. Divide that number by $35 and you get, at the most, 210,000 people donated to the cause. So, what of the other 440,000 members? Sullivan seems to think HRC’s lying. They’ve promised to get back to him today. Can’t wait to read their creative response…

(Also, Chris Crain’s all up in the mud-slinging mix. Read his take here.)

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Mar 12, 2007
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 15 Comments
    • Marcos
      Marcos

      I dislike it when people play stupid with numbers in order to illustrate their point. It is untrue that you HAVE to donate $35 to give to the HRC. You may have to give $35 to get a stupid little sticker but you can send the HRC a $5 check, or $10. I assure you they will not return it to you. Furthermore not all member need to even give a cent. I participated in HRC’s online take action system to contact my representatives before I ever gave them a dime, which means I was a member of the organization. The HRC is not perfect and few organizations are, but it is not the son of Satan either that some people make them out to be.

      Mar 12, 2007 at 2:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jack e jett
      jack e jett

      andrew is my hero du jour.

      someone needs to be watching the watchdogs.

      how much money are they making? where is it going?
      what are the salaries of the execs? what are they paying their spokespeople?

      i don’t know why people would get their jock straps in a wad over someone wanting to make sure your $ is used for what it is supposed to be used.

      jack jett

      Mar 12, 2007 at 2:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vincent
      Vincent

      As a proud member of HRC and card holder along with their merchandise, I don’t understand the attack on HRC. I had not always been a member every single year however, they never left me out of the loop and always sent me correspondence and sure, requested donations. Anyone who is well informed knows the HRC logo and I’ve been recognized in the streets of New York for it. And to add one last mention, Anyone knows what role they helped play in the last midterm elections ?

      Mar 12, 2007 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • phil
      phil

      Well, I can’t stomach Andrew Sullivan, but he may be right here. It has been a few years since my partner and I donated to HRC and we still get HRC mailings as though we were members. I have a feeling they count people like us as still members in that 650,000. I have nothing against HRC. Andrew Sullivan is a pig.

      Mar 12, 2007 at 4:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      I wonder why it is that we gay folk seem to be the most bent on self-destruction. I mean, arent there enough ANTI-gay groups out there to muck rake and criticize? Must we turn it on ourselves and waste all the effort/time/money/blood/guts/tears to tear apart our own infrastructure of support?

      Cmon, people, I’m sick of this crap. I’ve already posted my support of HRC. I grow weary of folks (like Andrew Sullivan) not doing their own research. Personally, I dismissed Andrew long ago.

      Stop being stupid. It’s like criticism of your mother’s parenting when you were a kid. Totally useless, irrelevant, hurtful, and uninformed.

      Mar 12, 2007 at 4:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • adamblast
      adamblast

      Ok, I’m being way too snarky myself, but I think “totally useless, irrelevant, hurtful and uninformed” would look fine under the masthead here at Queerty! (Now I duck and cover.)

      Mar 12, 2007 at 4:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jack e jett
      jack e jett

      the lack of transparency is what got this country into the fucked up state it is in.

      why should gay organizations be above transparency?

      it should be no issue answering the questions of an andrew sullivan if all is cool in the accounting department.

      i am sure the little old ladies that were putting money into the offering plates at the catholic churches around the world had no concept that money would go to pay for legal fees for pedophiles.

      just sayin////////////

      jack jett

      Mar 12, 2007 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • el polacko
      el polacko

      i’m with jett and sullivan on this one. if ‘gay dollars’ are going to the building of grandiose office buildings and exorbitant salaries so that a few elites can be invited to A-list parties, i think we should know about it.

      Mar 12, 2007 at 6:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • adamblast
      adamblast

      Transperancy is a good thing. Creating scandal for the sake of partisanship isn’t–although it’s par for the course in Washington… Crain & Sully are simply out to bash the organization for its close ties with the Democratic party. Ties that can do us a world of good, and are exactly what I’d expect in a Washington lobbying group focused on gay rights.

      Mar 12, 2007 at 6:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      Adamblast you made my day! A real lol.

      To el polacko: Welcome to the world of politics. What constitutes a ‘grandiose’ building to you, may not to others. Also ‘exorbitant salaries’? Just how much money would it take for you to hear this kind of crap from your own community on a daily basis, and to give up your personal life for endless and thankless traveling and lobbying? It’s not like Solomnese can go home to his dog every day…

      It’s all relative my friends, and HRC is a lobbying group (yes, a lobbying group) in Washington DC, and they must look the part. Don’t forget one of the biggest players players in this years’ Democratic Sweep…

      In terms of transparency, I’m all for it. But, I hardly think Andrew Sullivan is on to something. In fact, is he so over it and tired that he has to resort to this ‘non-issue’ issues? I think you’ve got it Adam – it’s a scandal for the sake of partisanship – and Andrew trying to get hits on his site…. do I smell a quota?

      Mar 12, 2007 at 8:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cal
      cal

      Just so I am clear, was Andrew Sullivan questioning the integrity of HRC and its membership numbers when they were paying his speaker fees to appear at various fundraisers?

      Mar 12, 2007 at 9:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nystudman
      nystudman

      If we don’t question our own orgnaizations, who will? Sullivan’s right to call them on infalted membership numbers. HRC blew scads of money building its own HQ in DC.

      Mar 12, 2007 at 10:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • yan
      yan

      Because 7.3 million a year is that much money for all HRC has to do??

      Some people are naive.

      HRC has its faults, but they’ve done the job recently in their handling of the Ann Coulter saga. I have gained so much respect for Joe Solmonese after that.

      Mar 12, 2007 at 10:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gene
      Gene

      Okay, fine. Andrew Sullivan wants transparency about HRC’s actual membership numbers.
      But when is he going to ask the odious organizations on the right — such as, say, “Focus on the Family”, which claims more than a million members — to justify their inflated membership claims?
      Gosh, what if we found out that the conservatives are NOT in the majority? Golly gee.

      Mar 12, 2007 at 11:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      I agree that gay organisations should be “transparent,” but at the same time, we as GLBT’s have to be more involved with our organizations and if we are, that transparency won’t be needed, or used to trash our own people.

      It’s like when hets who don’t know us trash us. We need to know our reps, before passing judegment on them, or their membership lists and the only way to do that is to get involved.

      Mar 13, 2007 at 9:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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