slush funds

Why Is Gay Inc. Giving Less Cash Than Ever To Political Candidates?

Donations to political candidates (of any party) from LGBT organizations has taken a hit this year, reports The Center for Responsive Politics and, with cash trafficking to federal candidates hitting just $744,040 so far this year, compared to $2 million in 2006 and $1.8 million in 2008. And guess who’s responsible for 85 percent of that giving? The Human Rights Campaign.

How to explain the decrease in donations? No, not because there are fewer candidates deserving of the cash (professional liar Rep. Mark Kirk got $2k for his Senate bid!), but because almost every organization is seeing its budget dwindle as its own pool of donors hold back.

After all, HRC still blows its wad on Democrats who stonewall on LGBT equality issues. After peaking at $1,294,504 to Dems and $52,789 to GOP ballers in 2008, Joe Solmonese and David Smith still found $646,500 $18,838 for candidates, respectively, this year.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #politics #activism #fundraising stories and more


  • Andy Szekeres

    I do not post on here much but

    What I am hearing from major donors across the country and it is not limited to the gays by any means is that everyone is giving less. The mood for Democratic donors compared to 08 or 06 is depressed just like the general electorate. What many fundraisers are seeing are an increase in the number of smaller gifts from more people but the big 1000 and up gifts are down across the board. Looking at the trends my firm just did across the board more of our major donors are down 10 to 30 % from where they were in years past against their federal caps.

    Also the economy is catching up with a number of our largest traditional funders. We as the LGBT community have been relied upon for years to be the gay atm for many national orgs gay or not but when we pull back they feel the pinch in a major way. It is also worth noting looking at races that excite the LGBT community… they are still more than willing to open up their wallets.

    LGBT orgs have always relied on major gifts from a number of funders, when those funders decide to put their money elsewhere they need to totally rework their fundraising strategies. If the community has something to get excited about they will come back full force with their check books, but they are not stupid. The major donors are reviewing every gift much closer and want to know where each dollar is going with reports of what it achieved.

    Who the hell I am – I was the finance director for the No on 1 – Protect Marriage Campaign and many other races.

    Andy Szekeres
    3PG Consulting

  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    Gee, at that rate the HRC has been Federal candidates about as much money as they’ve paid Solmonese’s own salary and the office rent. How nice….

    Where;s the REST of the money, Joe ????

  • matt

    Maybe if the HRC run by Joe was more effective in getting a few GLBT laws approved or limits repealed (like DADT and DOMA) with his rubbing up against the Democrats and members of congress there would be more monies donated.. but sending monies to the hrc and seeing how Joe can piss it away – hell NO! Why not go on a vacaton where I can enjoy my partner’s companship without all of the BS of this president and congress. It is time for another change!

  • RobF

    Why the hell would anyone EVER give a penny to HRC so HRC can pay for Joe to go to cocktail parties and then endorse the wrong candidates?

    Give directly to candidates or local equality organizations.

    HRC is a dinosaur that doesn’t know it’s dead already.

  • Ted B.

    Political Contributions to Federal campaigns; $745,000

    Top salaries from the 2007 IRS 990 forms for HRC:
    Joe Solmonese, Executive Director $259,096
    Cathy Nelson, Development Director $167,891
    David Smith, Communications VP $165,413
    Susanne Salkind, Managing Director $158,721
    Maxim Thorne, Chief Operating Officer $155,939
    Kevin Layton, General Counsel $133,134
    Andrea Green, Treasurer $124,795
    Mary Breslauer, Agenda Radio Program/Board Member $110,000

    Total $1,274,989
    And that just the top 8 employees…

    Is something out of whack?

Comments are closed.