Alex Blaze

HRC gave LCR $10,000 but not the Stonewall Democrats?

Filed By Alex Blaze | September 04, 2008 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: donation plea, Ethan St. Pierre, HRC, Human Rights Campaign, LCR, Log Cabin Republicans, National Stonewall Democrats, NSD, PAC, Republicans Who Care, Steve Driscoll

Bil and I have already gotten a few emails about this one. This post is all after the jump, and, no, I don't think HRC's about to commit political suicide.

The story, as far as I know, started with this post on TransAdvocate by Ethan St. Pierre:

Early yesterday evening during a phone call conversation, I received a tip from a reliable, anonymous source revealing yet another one of HRC's true colors. According to my source, The Human Rights Campaign donated ten thousand dollars to the log cabin republicans and a big fat goose egg to the National Stonewall Democrats.

Stay tuned as more info comes in.

Naturally my interest was piqued, but HRC, LCR, NSD, and Ethan didn't respond to my emails for a week. So the story wasn't going to make it to TBP. Sorry, folks, it was too convenient to other people's narrative for my taste and I didn't know what proof Ethan had or who his sources were.

Then he emailed me a link to where he posted this email, from Steve Driscoll, Board co-chair of the National Stonewall Democrats:

From: StDris***************

To: _____________________

Cc: jho**************

Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 2:24 PM

Subject: HRC Sucks.

In light of HRC taking the weasel way out - again - I think we should take the lead.

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". 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.

When I called him (twice) today he said that budget constraints were the reason why they would not be giving us a comparable (or any) sponsorship. I siad that there was an inequity here and asked if no one took NSD under consideration when they decided to sponsor the Logs. I then suggested that perhaps they could come up with some other way show support. His response: "there will be couple of HRC staff people in Denver".

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. The task Force is at least giving us a stack of tickets to their Unity Dance. From HRC we're getting bupkiss - and worse.

I, for one, will not attend their concert - and I will not go quietly into that good night either.

Any ideas?

I tried to get a response to this from NSD, LCR, or HRC. Considering that the Unity Dance is co-sponsored by the Task Force, HRC, NSD, and several other organizations, it didn't seem kosher, but I know Ethan and, while I know he's not HRC's biggest fan, he wouldn't just make up emails.

So here's the response Bil finally got out of NSD's comm director John Marble:

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.

Regardless, we are focused on electing the Obama/Biden ticket and on the dangerous records of Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin. I am always happy to comment on that!

And HRC's comm director Brad Luna adds:

We have not given anything to LCR more than a year. So, I don't know where this is coming from but it's not true.

LCR hasn't responded to requests for comment. I don't blame them.

I'm taking Marble's email as a confirmation that the email Ethan posted is real, but that the organization is backing away from the claims it makes.

The email might have been confused about the $10,000 HRC's 527 donated to "Republicans Who Care," a group of moderate millionaires who want to support non-fundie Republicans (h/t Michael Petrelis). The Nation points out that they probably aren't getting much bang for their buck, although the Republicans Who Care (And Who Have a Junky Website) haven't, as far as I can tell, directly given any money or support to the McCain campaign.

Not that that's either here or there. I have no proof that that's what Driscoll was actually referring to.

It's great, though, that the LGBT community is remaining vigilant and out-spoken. Michael Petrelis said on the phone to Bil just now, "The more eyes that follow the HRC money, the better."

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Petrelis seems to track those dollars to support for McCain & the RNC. That certainly raises questions. But - outside of any of any other questions - I have to ask regarding this:

"the $10,000 HRC's 527 donated to "Republicans Who Care,"a group of moderate millionaires"

HRC is giving money to a group of millionaires? I nearly spit my coffee on a friend reading that.

The "group of millionaires" was a description that came from The Nation, not the group itself. The group itself barely has a webpage, so I have no idea what they think they are.

The connection that Michael Petrelis discussed was that RWC used the same publicity firm that the McCain campaign has used. That's hardly anything, if I'm reading correctly.

I just want to be clear that I didn't "finally" get an e-mail from John Marble. I sent out a query and got a fast response from both Stonewall Dems and HRC. While I understand Alex was having a problem getting a response last week, I'd assume it was because both groups (and spokespeople) were in Denver at the DNCC working like mad to keep things on track at various events.

Queerty got a response from the Log Cabin Republican president who also denied that HRC had donated to the org.

Queerty: Clearing up a Gay Group Scandal

Well, I'll stand by the "finally." I emailed while they were in Denver and after they got back (this Monday). Bil, you "finally" got a response out of them, in the context of what I was trying to do. It was a form email, but still, they could have sent it my way.

I dunno, maybe it's because you're cuter than me, but their response wasn't rapid at all in my opinion.

You're cute. Slow on responding to E-mails, but cute.

Touche, Monica Helms, touche.

I'm getting on yours!

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | September 4, 2008 3:36 PM

This is one of the ridiculous "HRC is the Great Satan" rumors that gets started for no apparent reason other than that some people don't like HRC. Of course, this being the internet, it really doesn't matter what is and isn't true. As long it is bashing HRC, that is good enough for some people to believe and promote.

Yeah, I know, now will come the comments attacking me for not believing that HRC is evil and claiming that I hate transgender people because I refuse to join in the all too often HRC bashing that appears on Bilerico.

You would think that with the most important presidential election in a generation, the winner of which will likely appoint 2-3 Supreme Court justices that we could find better than things to do with our time that creating false rumors about HRC.


"rumors that gets started for no apparent reason other than that some people don't like HRC."

Unless I misread Alex's post - the report that was made by Ethan was not without apparent reason. Indeed - the report was sourced - and the reason for the support was substantiated here in Alex's post.

You may disagree with the substance of the report, but it was hardly without apparent reason.

Oh - I stand by my amazement at any progressive group donating money to a group of republican millionaires. If Emily's List or People for the American Way was doing so - I'd say the same. I think you would have a few things to say about them also.

You don't believe HRC is evil and you hate transgender people.

There you go, Michael. We got that out of the way now. I'm always willing to help a friend.


I have run several non-profits. Tax law prohibits “activities (whether or not substantial) … [that] consist of participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”

I am pretty sure that precludes a donation to LCR or a faction of any political party. I am finding this episode difficult to believe.

It was HRC's 527 that made the donation, David. 527s are allowed to be politically active - think the "Swift Boat" group or