Tim Gill, the software billionaire and philanthropist, is no stranger to political maneuvering. Thanks to some key campaign donation in local and regional campaigns,
The Gill Foundation the Gill Action Fund has helped push anti-gay lawmakers out of office. Or, at least, place gay friendly lawmakers in office. But his new project — a $100,000 fund aimed at killing the re-election campaign of New York State Sen. Hiram Monserrate, a convicted lady-abusing crimiinal and ardent anti-gay legislator — isn’t just ballsy, it’s a model for what the nation’s self-professed largest LGBT organization should be doing.
Having been expelled by the NY Senate for being a skeezeball, Monserrate is running in a special re-election to reclaim his seat. And Gill isn’t having it. With his moneyed and powerful friends, Gill formed the political action committee called Fight Back New York, and Monserrate is just the first target. (Step 1: Mailing fliers to voters in his district.)
And from there, expect things to snowball.
Think about how impressive this is: Independent gay activists — who, let’s be clear, have the financial means — unhappy with politicians whom vote against their civil rights and endorse discrimination will specifically target these officials in hopes they never see another day in office. Might the Human Rights Campaign, which tells us it’s fighting for our rights at the federal level, take a hint?
With an annual budget in the tens of millions, HRC has the power to go after senators and congressional representatives with a fair warning: voting against equality, or inaction, will make you eligible for a seven-figure campaign to unseat you from office. They need only make an example out of a few lawmakers — politically entrenched veteran lawmakers are the best choices — before others realize HRC (and its donors) is not fucking around, and hey, lip service just isn’t good enough anymore.
But that would require HRC, or other Gay Inc. institutions, to detach their hands from the smalls of Democratic politicians’ backs. It would require a complete revolution in the way HRC attempts to change history and secure a more progressive future. It might just require a complete regime change at the top of HRC.
And in return, you’d have a well-funded national gay rights organization that actually did something substantial.