Follow The Money
September 2, 2008
What NCTE Doesn’t Say
September 6, 2008

Can I Have a Refund Please?

On June 25, 2008 I was asked to sign on to the National Stonewall Democrat's Transgender ActBlue page. While I disagreed with the effort (there was no concerted effort behind the scenes to make the fundraising campaign a success), I donated $150 to try and help in the effort. As I predicted, it was a flop (collecting a measly $4,951. I know gay donors that have given as much).

On June 25, 2008 I was asked to sign on to the National Stonewall Democrat’s Transgender ActBlue page. While I disagreed with the effort (there was no concerted effort behind the scenes to make the fundraising campaign a success), I donated $150 to try and help in the effort.  As I predicted, it was a flop (collecting a measly $4,951. I know gay donors that have given as much).

While I felt uncomfortable with the idea of the page, I felt comfortable giving money to the NSD. That trust was shattered on September 2nd, 2008. Ethan St. Pierre reported here of an e-mail from Steve Driscoll, the Co-Chair of the Stonewall Democrats, saying:

I might also add, that after beginning discussions with HRC in OCTOBER about collaborating on events for the Democratic National Convention (to avoid the the anger and resentment they engendered by their high-handedness in Boston four years ago) as well as requests for sponsorship of the NSD Denver convention, AND following up with phone calls every two months with no return calls, I finally heard from them TODAY that no sponsorship would be forthcoming. When I pointed out to Marty Rouse last week that they sponsored the Logs Convention, his response was “Oh right, we did, didn’t we”.

How can the National Stonewall Democrats try and squeeze cash from the Human Rights Campaign on one hand, and profess to be part of a “United ENDA” on the other? Since the very month that we were written out of ENDA and the so called “United ENDA” campaign/coalition started, they’ve been courting HRC money.

In the last few days both HRC and the NSD have denied these aligations (but NSD has NEVER denied that the email was sent from Steve Driscoll) but Michael Petrelis has shown that HRC isn’t above giving money to Republicans. Frankly I’m more upset with the National Stonewall Democrats, an organization that I respect and was a proud member of. I’m not going to lie, this one stings. I didn’t see this one coming. The fact that the NSD needs the money is almost as disturbing as them asking for the it.

8 Comments

  1. Marti Abernathey says:

    Frank,

    What has NEVER been disputed, was he email. I published it because it came from a VERY reliable source. One thing I can promise you, this email was legit. The facts covered within it may be in question, but the authenticity of the email is not.

  2. Marti Abernathey says:

    Frank,

    What has NEVER been disputed, was he email. I published it because it came from a VERY reliable source. One thing I can promise you, this email was legit. The facts covered within it may be in question, but the authenticity of the email is not.

  3. Frank says:

    A website called Boycott HRC last week reported that a “reliable source” told them HRC had donated $10,000 to the LCR, while giving none to the National Stonewall Democrats.

    TransAdvocate, meanwhile, published an email purportedly sent from NSD co-chair Steve Driscoll to executive director Jon Hoadley, among others. In this email, Driscoll derides HRC for their “high-handedness” at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and gripes that the organization had been stonewalling discussions on a possible 2008 collaboration.

    Driscoll also writes that Marty Rouse, HRC’s National Field Director, affirmed they had given money the LCR. He concludes with a searing string of curses for HRC:

    …Might also add, that after beginning discussions with HRC in OCTOBER about collaborating on events for the Democratic National Convention (to avoid the the anger and resentment they engendered by their high-handedness in Boston four years ago) as well as requests for sponsorship of the NSD Denver convention, AND following up with phone calls every two months with no return calls, I finally heard from them TODAY that no sponsorship would be forthcoming.

    When I pointed out to Marty Rouse last week that they sponsored the Logs Convention, his response was “Oh right, we did, didn’t we”. I then pointed out the obvious, that there were a lot more of us than there were of them – and I got no response when I asked what they got for their purportedly $10,000 to the Logs.

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am absolutely furious about this. Not only is this inequitable, it’s fuckin dismissive and disrespectul [sic]. The task Force is at least giving us a stack of tickets to their Unity Dance. From HRC we’re getting bupkiss – and worse.

    Worse than bupkiss?! Perish the thought!

    Of this story, HRC media man Brad Luna had this to say, “That is not true.”

    Log Cabin leader Pa†rick Sammon also says the information’s erroneous.

    And, finally, NSD media maven John Marble remarked, “I looked into this. Apparently that was a private email which was based on information that is now incorrect. It looks like that HRC did not sponsor the LCR event.”

    But to have the national org trying to take money from the org they were opposing (instead of going into the community) in ENDA just seems rather dirty and makes them look weak.[/quote]

  4. Frank says:

    A website called Boycott HRC last week reported that a “reliable source” told them HRC had donated $10,000 to the LCR, while giving none to the National Stonewall Democrats.

    TransAdvocate, meanwhile, published an email purportedly sent from NSD co-chair Steve Driscoll to executive director Jon Hoadley, among others. In this email, Driscoll derides HRC for their “high-handedness” at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and gripes that the organization had been stonewalling discussions on a possible 2008 collaboration.

    Driscoll also writes that Marty Rouse, HRC’s National Field Director, affirmed they had given money the LCR. He concludes with a searing string of curses for HRC:

    …Might also add, that after beginning discussions with HRC in OCTOBER about collaborating on events for the Democratic National Convention (to avoid the the anger and resentment they engendered by their high-handedness in Boston four years ago) as well as requests for sponsorship of the NSD Denver convention, AND following up with phone calls every two months with no return calls, I finally heard from them TODAY that no sponsorship would be forthcoming.

    When I pointed out to Marty Rouse last week that they sponsored the Logs Convention, his response was “Oh right, we did, didn’t we”. I then pointed out the obvious, that there were a lot more of us than there were of them – and I got no response when I asked what they got for their purportedly $10,000 to the Logs.

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am absolutely furious about this. Not only is this inequitable, it’s fuckin dismissive and disrespectul [sic]. The task Force is at least giving us a stack of tickets to their Unity Dance. From HRC we’re getting bupkiss – and worse.

    Worse than bupkiss?! Perish the thought!

    Of this story, HRC media man Brad Luna had this to say, “That is not true.”

    Log Cabin leader Pa†rick Sammon also says the information’s erroneous.

    And, finally, NSD media maven John Marble remarked, “I looked into this. Apparently that was a private email which was based on information that is now incorrect. It looks like that HRC did not sponsor the LCR event.”

    But to have the national org trying to take money from the org they were opposing (instead of going into the community) in ENDA just seems rather dirty and makes them look weak.[/quote]

  5. Marti Abernathey says:

    The actblue page, regardless of how much money it raised in comparisons to other actblue pages misses the point. The transgender community doesn’t have other fundraisers, Wes Clark, or other GLBT groups do. This made the T community look anemic, in the big picture.

    And as far as NSD goes, you’re comparing your local Stonewall to NSD. Both my local HRC and local Stonewall do great work on the local level. Shit, my local Stonewall was one of the major reasons I was a delegate.

    But to have the national org trying to take money from the org they were opposing (instead of going into the community) in ENDA just seems rather dirty and makes them look weak.

  6. Marti Abernathey says:

    The actblue page, regardless of how much money it raised in comparisons to other actblue pages misses the point. The transgender community doesn’t have other fundraisers, Wes Clark, or other GLBT groups do. This made the T community look anemic, in the big picture.

    And as far as NSD goes, you’re comparing your local Stonewall to NSD. Both my local HRC and local Stonewall do great work on the local level. Shit, my local Stonewall was one of the major reasons I was a delegate.

    But to have the national org trying to take money from the org they were opposing (instead of going into the community) in ENDA just seems rather dirty and makes them look weak.

  7. Kathy says:

    “While I felt uncomfortable with the idea of the page, I felt comfortable giving money to the NSD.”

    Marti:

    I’m sure you know – as you got the same thank you letter from the Obama campaign I did. But to clarify if anyone misunderstood – donations on the ActBlue page go to the Obama campaign – not to Stonewall.

    Hey – yes – just about everyone has lots more money than we do – but Obama has been saying that’s not the only thing that matters – that the $5 and $10 donations are very important to him and do a great deal to motivate people to become involved and to vote. People should still give their $5 dollars (though it looks as though the average donation was about $50 given 101 people have contributed thusfar).

    Lots of other groups on this page had fewer supporters and less in donations – and everyone from any community doesn’t chose to make their donations through ActBlue. It wasn’t the only place I donated at – there’s local fundraisers to go to.

    Stonewall Democrats Supporting Barack…
    by Stonewall Democrats 29 – $1,657

    Wes Clark had 246 supporters there and the “Great Orange Satan” had only 9 times as many supporters. And 9 times the donations. They have what – 20 million visitors a month?

    That Stonewall needs money doesn’t surprise me – it’s the natural condition for these organizations. Even in the best of times. And it’s not the best of times for them – for what I would consider a good reason.

    I think that Stonewalls fundraising ability has been negatively effected by publicly disagreeing with their founder on an inclusive enda. I have little doubt that’s what happened with HRC supporting the Republican group’s convention but not Stonewall’s. They’re being told that a price will be exacted for that decision. Even if that price negatively effects the Obama efforts. And that’s an important story.

    But – for Stonewall – Maybe this means I should send them what more I can spare so they don’t have to depend as much on those who made the choice to support excluding me from civil rights legislation? I’d certainly prefer their voice was stronger relative to HRC’s rather than weaker.

    And I think they do much better than HRC in working to get people elected. On much less money. The get out the vote efforts in my town are always ably handled by Liberty City – not by HRC. And not just for the lgbt vote – but also for a whole section of center city.

  8. Kathy says:

    “While I felt uncomfortable with the idea of the page, I felt comfortable giving money to the NSD.”

    Marti:

    I’m sure you know – as you got the same thank you letter from the Obama campaign I did. But to clarify if anyone misunderstood – donations on the ActBlue page go to the Obama campaign – not to Stonewall.

    Hey – yes – just about everyone has lots more money than we do – but Obama has been saying that’s not the only thing that matters – that the $5 and $10 donations are very important to him and do a great deal to motivate people to become involved and to vote. People should still give their $5 dollars (though it looks as though the average donation was about $50 given 101 people have contributed thusfar).

    Lots of other groups on this page had fewer supporters and less in donations – and everyone from any community doesn’t chose to make their donations through ActBlue. It wasn’t the only place I donated at – there’s local fundraisers to go to.

    Stonewall Democrats Supporting Barack…
    by Stonewall Democrats 29 – $1,657

    Wes Clark had 246 supporters there and the “Great Orange Satan” had only 9 times as many supporters. And 9 times the donations. They have what – 20 million visitors a month?

    That Stonewall needs money doesn’t surprise me – it’s the natural condition for these organizations. Even in the best of times. And it’s not the best of times for them – for what I would consider a good reason.

    I think that Stonewalls fundraising ability has been negatively effected by publicly disagreeing with their founder on an inclusive enda. I have little doubt that’s what happened with HRC supporting the Republican group’s convention but not Stonewall’s. They’re being told that a price will be exacted for that decision. Even if that price negatively effects the Obama efforts. And that’s an important story.

    But – for Stonewall – Maybe this means I should send them what more I can spare so they don’t have to depend as much on those who made the choice to support excluding me from civil rights legislation? I’d certainly prefer their voice was stronger relative to HRC’s rather than weaker.

    And I think they do much better than HRC in working to get people elected. On much less money. The get out the vote efforts in my town are always ably handled by Liberty City – not by HRC. And not just for the lgbt vote – but also for a whole section of center city.

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