3 Remaining Members of Cash-Happy San Diego Pride Resigning Amidst Scandal

After initially refusing to do so, Philip Princetta (pictured), Mike Karim, and Carl Worrell are all leaving their posts on the San Diego Pride board after they were exposed in “Pridegate,” for handing a $5,000 cash bonus to Princetta, the board’s president.

Called to a special meeting by State Sen. Christine Kehoe, Councilman Todd Gloria, and former San Diego Deputy Mayor Toni Atkins, the trio were told, in no uncertain terms, their actions had broken the gay community’s trust, and they had to go, and they finally relented. And so it was.

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  • Mike in Asheville

    Well that is good news.

    BUT, caution SD Priders, that the old crew is not replaced with a new one that turns SD Pride into their own little fiefdom.

    When I was on the board of directors (mid 1990s) of Academy of Friends (the Oscar show fundraiser in SF), all board members served WITHOUT any compensation and, indeed, were required to sell specific numbers of tickets, provide raffle prizes, etc. Only the executive directors (we had 2 partners, paid $50K for the two of them) and 1 bookkeeper/office assistant were on salary.

    We were set up that since 100% of ticket sales along with 100% of raffle tickets and 100% silent auction fund, went directly to HIV/AIDS service organizations. All costs for the actual event were underwritten by companies and individuals donating specific services and funds for specific parts of the event. Our finances were independently audited just to make sure there was no funny business. I do not remember a single case where our meetings were closed to anyone who cared to attend.

    So to those in SD who care about SD Pride, please show up and help out. Keep the meeting open, get board members who donate their time without any insider deals, but do pay salaries to those whose time is a real job putting in real scheduled hours pursuing real work. And be concerned that board members and executive directors do not give their buddies special deals and receive kick-backs for those deals (like unearned discounts for booth rentals; bargain rates for equipment; security costs, etc.).

    Good luck SD Pride; the next parade is coming real soon so hopefully many will join the effort.

  • Brian NYC

    What about the money? Did they give the money back?

  • anonymous

    I saw first hand here in NYC that those handling the Gay Pride Parade were not receptive to the “public” attending any of their “open meetings”. They would talk in virtual whispers and treated me, a person whose “mistake” was going to what was billed as a “open meeting”, just as though I were a reporter who worked for the Fox Noise Network.

    As soon as I was buzzed into the building and walk through the basement door where the meeting was being held one of the guys there said loudly “who is this guy”. His face was distorted and I knew at that moment what I had walked into. It looked almost like a gay frat meeting. No one looked a day over 35 and I made sure, not know what to expect but knowing I was going to a business meeting that I dressed appropriately, shirt and tie. I looked at this blue jeaned clod and said “sir, I am a licensed street vendor. I have a valid street vendors license and I am here to inquire if there are any fees attached with me selling beverages along the pride parade route. My way of thinking is there are on average 1.2 million people at the event and I would prefer to know now than have to pay one of NYC silly ass fines for not knowing”. They all looked at each other (5 of them were present 3 white males, a negro male, and a white/Jewish woman) fishing for an answer.

    The woman shot back I would have to call and leave a voice mail and they would get back to me. I waited patiently until her obvious “dressing me down” was complete. When I told her I had been calling since last November (the meeting was held in Feb.)and never got a call back all of them avoided eye contact but asked me to leave my name and email address. Still fishing for answers (because they were now visibly nervous because for some reason I knew they did not believe I was a street vendor)they asked me who had I left the messages with. I told them that by the third call I was leaving messages for everyone who was listed on their voice mail. You could have heard a pin drop. THREE YEARS LATER I AM STILL WAITING FOR THIER CALL OR EMAIL.

    Now keep in mind, this was an open door meeting but it was obvious they were not used to people actually attending these types of meetings and asking questions, which led me to believe my deeply held suspicions about these “gay pride” organizations were correct. They are very territorial and clannish WITH THE BOARDS ALL OF THE SAME MINDSET. And it cross all racial and ethnic lines.

    Having left that meeting more frustrated than satisfied I contacted the mayors office and got nothing but a run around. I went to the Manhattan Community Board who then directed me to the office of Ms. Christine Quinn. At that point I left it alone. I knew just where it would lead to from the reaction of the person who answered the phone and began to “interrogate” me about my accusations. I then went to the NYC Vendors licensing division who suggested (off the record of course) that since the fine would be less than what they would have charge me for permission why not do it that way. “Well I’ll be damn” was all that was left for me to say. He was right and I felt like a total fool for trying to do the right thing. It got me no where but did allow me to see just how much they actually “care” about others in their community. With the economy being where it is we will surely here of more financial scandals.

    As time went on and I began to see the scandals that caused many of the more popular gay pride events to close (Riis Beach Party in Brooklyn, two totally different groups now running DC gay pride events simultaneously, Los Angeles, Seattle and elsewhere were all scandal plagued that same year)I sit back and shake my head knowing the reason they get away with this is because the people whose heart were in to getting these things up and running were now either dead (for various reasons) or had simply been pushed aside by the “younger” kids who “know” what the community wants or are no more than political appointees who need jobs.

    The ones who really suffer from these grab the money and shut up artists are us, the small vendors whose little stands selling whatever are the added spice that many who attend these events do look for and support. We have no control over the fees set by these crooks who treat those of us in the community that do not have tens of thousands of dollars to donate as yesterdays garbage they prefer not to smell.

  • Scandalized


    Great letter, Friend! Thanks for the peek behind the scenes. New York’s Pride is sad beyond reason.

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