Gay’s Largesse Thinks Small

Speaking of HRC: they get a lot of shit – and rightfully so – for blindly supporting democratic candidates. You may recall reported douche bag Chris Crain‘s comments against the group’s stale politics, in which he said:

The effect of the new HRC strategy is to put all the gay movement’s marbles in the Democratic Party basket… What’s worse, HRC support for Democrats, especially in the most contested congressional races, often went to beat moderate and even pro-gay Republicans.

Those of you who agree will be intrigued by a piece in the fresh edition of The Atlantic, in which journo Joshua Green sits down with former software mogul and forever homosexual, Tim Gill: a man who may become the most powerful political donor in America.

If he’s not one of the most powerful political contributors in the world, Tim Gill’s certainly one of the most generous. Last year he personally gave away $15 million to help defeat anti-gay politicos. Of the seventy he targeted, Green reports, fifty were brought to their knees by Gill and his like-minded cohorts. So, what’s the secret? Realizing that when elections are involved, bigger isn’t always better.

For years Gill concentrated on supporting gay organizations. Time went on, of course, but America had yet to feel the effects of Gill’s efforts. Frustrated but not deterred, Gill shifted gears, using some of the same efforts that brought the GOP back into power back in the 1990s.

Green writes:

[Gill] enlisted as his political counselor an acerbic lawyer and former tobacco lobbyist named Ted Trimpa, who is Colorado’s answer to Karl Rove. Trimpa believes that the gay-rights community directs too much of its money to thoroughly admirable national candidates who don’t need it, while neglecting less compelling races that would have a far greater impact on gay rights–a tendency he calls “glamour giving.”

Together, Gill and Trimpa decided to eschew national races in favor of state and local ones, which could be influenced in large batches and for much less money. Most antigay measures, they discovered, originate in state legislatures. Operating at that level gave them a chance to “punish the wicked,” as Gill puts it–to snuff out rising politicians who were building their careers on antigay policies, before they could achieve national influence.

As part of his mission, Gill and his non-profit, The Gill Foundation, urges his queer comrades to contribute even the smallest amount to like-minded candidates, regardless of geographical region or political party.

Yes, much of Gill’s largesse has benefited the Demmies, he’s not committed to a party line. For example, he set his sights on an anti-gay marriage Democrat: the retired Massachusetts Representative, Philip Travis.

Sure, Gill’s tactics may not always work, but they’re certainly proving more effective than throwing money at one party and hoping they lend a helping hand.