gay inc.

Why Won’t HRC Jump On Board the DNC Boycott?


Often viewed, accurately, as an extension of the Democratic party, the Human Rights Campaign has gone back and forth with how much criticism it’s willing to levy on the White House and members of Congress. But now that members of the indie (read: non-Gay Inc.) activist scene are boycotting the Democratic National Committee, where will HRC’s chips fall?

HRC’s Joe Solmonese, who claims to represent the entire LGBT community but completely bails out on certain gay issues, claims to enjoy special power brokering relationships in Washington. Supporters might see lots of handshakes between Solmonese and lawmakers; actual action and influence, however, is harder to spot.

It’s eerily difficult to tell just how hard HRC is pressuring Democrats on its own. Some might say HRC merely “advises” them.

One minute, the organization is demanding action from Obama; the next, it’s giving him a seven-year pass.

But now that somebody else (initially, it’s Americablog‘s John Aravosis and Joe Sudbay) is actually calling for the closing of LGBT coffers — the “gayTM,” if you will — will HRC get on board?


Hard to tell. Here’s what HRC told Firedoglake‘s David Dayen when asked:

Individual donors should always make their own careful assessments of how to spend limited political contributions. We all need to focus on the legislative priorities identified by AmericaBlog and with whatever tactic individuals decide to employ, the ultimate objective needs to be securing the votes we need to move our legislative agenda forward.

Dayen calls the response “a tacit endorsement, or at least not a public disavowal, of the strategy,” and notes “HRC hasn’t given to the DNC this year, as per the policy put in by Obama after his election that the Party cannot accept contributions from organizations structured as a C(4).”

Well, it’s a more immediate response than HRC had when asked whether it supported the National Equality March (sixty days before the march, HRC got on board). But by no means is it a ringing endorsement of the boycott.

So, why would HRC hold back? Besides the whole “don’t want to piss off the Dems” angle? Perhaps because it has some blood on its hands. HRC raises vasts sums from supporters to fund efforts to lobby legislators to act on gay rights — and this boycott was started precisely because those legislators are not acting on gay rights.

Us? We think HRC should back the boycott, not because of any ethical responsibility it feels, but because less cash going directly to Democrats means more cash that could possibly wind up in its pockets.

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  • Bill

    They won’t get on board because then they won’t get invited to all the fabulous DNC parties.

    They’ll be Z-List Gays, just like the rest of us.

    Sad when even your own people will sell you out for some cheap wine and a cold plate of chicken eaten next to a black President who does not believe gay people should be allowed to marry. Hear me, Joe???????????????


  • Brian

    HRC should shut off the lights and go home.

    They have spent 30 years and +$300 million. We have nothing to show for it except “photo-ops” and those stickers for cruising.

  • Lady Ga-Gasp

    Because it would be stupid and pointless?

  • Keith Kimmel

    Because half the HRC elite are DNC members/donors/lackeys/lapdogs?

  • Attmay

    Because they won’t have any more One Dollar Donors to count as members.

  • The Swimmer

    I think rather than shut HRC down, we ought to fire Joe Santorum– I’m sorry, I mean Joe Solmonese as well as the entire board.

    They have $35M and millions on their listserv. What we should do is make Dustin Lance Black their President, get rid of the entire board and replace them with hardcore activists who put our rights in front of the elections of career politicians.

    Let’s not forget these guys have the resources. Let’s take those resources back or cut them off from receiving anymore. Either way I think Joe Solmonese is a rat and a piece of shit who deserves to be in the unemployment line.

  • Brian NJ

    HRC won’t jump on the boycott, because they are too busy jumping on the humping horse as the democrats hump them for money, appeasement, parties and applause

  • Tim

    Just a slight correction. Though gay Americablog is responsible for the petition Pam of Pam’s House Blend has been calling for the gAyTM to be closed for awhile.

  • Cam

    Joe Solmonese has absolutly no juice on Capital Hill. Real lobbying organizations hire former Senators and Congressmen who can levy their relationships. HRC just randomly hires people, nobody on the Hill Owes Joe anything, nor are they friends with him. He can’t bring any pressure on them or use past favors as leverage. We would have been better off raising money to hire one of the real powerbroker lobbying firms in DC.

  • Kurt

    Get off it. There is no boycott of the DNC. Some people who never did give them anything are now making a virture out of their non-giving by saying they are boycotting.

    95% of those of us who gave in the past are giving again.

  • wondermann

    This is a “Future Fail”, but it will be fun to watch

  • Steve

    It never hurts to be nice to people. Even if we don’t give them money for a while, we can still be nice about it.

    Joe Solmonese (and HRC) is really good at being nice to politicians. Even if we don’t give him any more money for a while…

    During every war, both side need to be careful to keep open diplomatic connections to a mutual neutral country. It enables communications that might be helpful at the end of the war.

  • Kurt

    Pay attention children. For one thing this boycott isn’t new. It begin in response to the outrageous DOJ support for DOMA that at the time seemed to hail from the retarded Bush Administration. And at the time the HRC and all the national organization where included in the Boycott. Now all of a sudden after much backdoor dealing all the national campaigns seem to actually be showing some focus but the DNC still seems to have their rear end hanging out. So After healthcare expect the administration and Gay Inc to step up there efforts against DOMA through the beginning of the year. Pass or fail everyone should be in the pocket and active by March of next year if the Dems have their way. ONly problem will be they still seem to misjudge the true depth of the communities ire. So grab your popcorn boys and girls and others it should be a heck of a ride! *smirk*

  • Shawn

    @Kurt…I gave to Obama and to the HRC. I have sent a letter to both and told them that until they repeal DOMA, DADT and enact ENDA and The Matthew Shepard Act I will not donate to the DNC and I also left the party. I told the hrc that they no longer are the voice of the LGBT community and that if they let go Joe and be more tough I would consider donating again.

    (sorry for the grammar, I’m typing with one hand because I’m holding a kitten with the other)

  • Hirma

    If HRC won’t get on with the DNC boycott then I say we boycott them too! Enough is enough!

  • Rainfish

    Better yet, focus on a massive, nationally organized, effort to put GLBT money into a truly LIBERAL third party. Just look how that asshole Lieberman (who ran as an Independent) has Harry Reid’s balls in his pocket and how Lieberman is controlling everything in the Senate with his Insurance Lobbyist Campaign Contribution driven “I’m just voting my conscience” bullshit song and dance routine on Capital Hill.

    Just a ten percent makeup of liberal Independents in the House, as well as a few well-placed liberal Independent Senators here and there, could act as very influential powerbrokers in order to get GLBT legislation passed.

    As Independents they could caucus with either Republicans or Democrats while turning one rat against the other rat seeking control of Congress. And, in a closely divided congress, they could shift control back and forth, at will, if their asses aren’t properly kissed in the fawning manner Sen. Lieberman demands today in the Senate from his limp dick Democratic colleagues.

    Break the strangle-hold of the fucking two party system. Outside of the remote possibility of an all encompassing pro-GLBT U.S. Supreme Court ruling unambiguously applying each of the principles of the 14th Amendment to all of our freedoms, then a third party is the only way we are going to advance our civil rights in these un-United States.

    The Battered Wife Syndrome relationship that the GLBT community has with the self-serving DNC is getting really, really old. If you truly want the DNC attention, then stop voting for the douche-bags in the party who do not fully support our civil rights nor represent our interests.

    Unless you’re into a lifetime of humiliation, bondage and bootlicking, then please just stop the fucking madness at the ballot box and break free of the HRC/DNC Pied Piper’s song which has had too many of us slow march, like pliant little Lemmings, off the cliffs of our own disillusionment.

  • Mark

    Shawn, can we see the kitten? They’re sooo cute! That said though, I went to the DNC website to tell them I would no longer support Democratic candidates and know what they did? They signed me up for their e-newsletter? I fired back a response spot quick and said they’d obviously not read my email or the wouldn’t have had the hutzbah to send me a newsletter! Funnily, I’ve never heard another word from them. HRC, either fish or cut bait – this GayTM has been closed a long time and will probably never open for the likes of you ever again.

  • spar-k-ling

    I live above the fray – I must say.

    This black and white pick, so elegant…I find its quietness to be so beautiful…..Lovely in other words.

  • pantherq

    The TOOLS! Why are they not supporting the community?

    Are they afraid of becoming redundant?

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    HRC are afraid to use their name while canvassing in Chelsea! Informed Gays will generally flip the bird at their complete and utter failures. They prey on foreign-born workers for fresh faces who must work to keep their Greencard eligibility and the still very real fears of being deported. It’s like a Banana Republic Sweatshop! I didn’t mean to snap at the Australian guy but……….We Know Better in NEW YORK CITY!!!

  • Come On

    Hey, here’s an idea: Have a circuit party in Washington. Call it an Equality march. Draw 20,000 and call it 200,000. That will show ’em!

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