Karen Ocamb

HRC Blames Prop 8 Trial Ruling, NOM for Possible Democratic Loss of Congress

Filed By Karen Ocamb | September 17, 2010 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: election 2010, gay rights, HRC, Joe Solmonese, NOM, November election, Prop 8 trial

What is Joe Solmonese smoking? The President of the Human Right Campaign sent out a fundraising email Wednesday morning that appears to blame the possible loss of the Democrats majority in Congress on District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional - and on the Joe+Solmonese+head+of+Human+Rights+Campaign+photoNational Organization for Marriage:

"Extremists’ hatred is surging in the wake of the Prop. 8 decision. The National Organization for Marriage is spreading vicious anti-gay lies. Control of Congress could be up in the air."

I realize that fear-based fundraising letters are a traditional tactic to draw attention to one's cause. In this case, HRC's political action committee is trying to raise money for their designated races – Democrats Tarryl Clark (challenging Rep. Michele Bachmann), the terrific LGBT ally Patrick Murphy who's lead the House repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Rep. Joe Sestak from Pennsylvania, openly gay Providence, Rhode Island Mayor David Cicilline, longtime LGBT ally Sen. Russ Feingold, and Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias who is running for Senate.

The problem is - HRC may have just provided opponents of LGBT equality talking points and quotes. Not to mention that HRC is just plain wrong.

First of all, as Prop8TrialTracker pointed out following NOM's summer bus tour was a "flop" and failed to generate "traditional marriage" crowds as they expected. Additionally, Prop8TrialTracker humorously noted how NOM used stock images for those glowing families they purport to represent. At the end of the day, NOM came off as a failure, no matter how many "vicious anti-gay lies" they spread.

But most importantly, since it happened in HRC's backyard - NOM lost the ONLY race they focused on during Tuesday's primaries. Here's MetroWeekly's headline: "Thomas Trounces Hunter Ward 5 race gives clear win to marriage-equality supporter, despite NOM support for challenger."

But there's more. Here's blogger Adam Bink from OpenLeft.com:

“Even in what many considered to be a very tough district [Ward 5] for a sitting councilmember to support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, where NOM went all in for their candidate, Delano Hunter got a smaller percentage of the vote than I’ve seen dead people get for being on the ballot. Seven out of seven DC Councilmembers who voted for the freedom to marry less than a year ago were either re-elected or elected to higher office, even in districts with what conventional wisdom would call tough electorates. That says something about how elected officials can support equality and be safe, and how NOM’s last stand didn’t just fail, it laughed them out of town.”

Geoff Kor, executive director of Equality California, would not comment on HRC's fundraising letter, but didGeoff Kors - EQCA ED respond to questions about the premise. Kors wrote in an email:

"There hasn’t been a backlash as a result of Judge Walker’s decision overturning Prop 8. In fact, we have seen just the opposite as more and more people of both parties have announced their support of marriage equality.

Support for equality doesn’t hurt candidates, it helps them. We have seen that again and again. Not a single legislator who voted for marriage equality lost their re-election bid in California. But several who voted against marriage equality lost their next race against candidates who supported full equality.

Equality California’s PAC has long had a policy of only supporting candidates who are 100% in support of equality for the entire LGBT community and we have more endorsed candidates this year than ever before, including our Senator who now supports marriage equality — Barbara Boxer. We need to make it clear that support for equality is good politics, as well as morally correct.

NOM has failed repeatedly in their efforts to defeat incumbents who have stood with us. If the Democrats lose control of Congress it will be — even if unfairly– due to the economy, not due to support of LGBT equality. If anything, the lack of progress on promises such as passing ENDA [Employment Non-Discrimination Act] and repealing DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act] may cause LGBT people and those who support equality not to vote. That is why I believe [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid is finally agreeing to have a vote on DADT [Don't Ask, Don't Tell] repeal. They need us.

The ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional and support for LGBT rights is not even a minor factor in why Dems are expected to loss seats and possibly control of Congress. It would be a disaster for our movement if the story of this election was that support for marriage equality and other LGBT rights cost Dems seats as that will make politicians less likely to support our rights moving forward. And it is imperative that we make it clear that that isn’t true – no matter what NOM says."

In fact, the Republican Party is splitting over social issues, including some within the various anti-big government tea party groups. And certainly the legal star power of former Solicitor General and Prop 8 federal challenger Ted Olson changed many Republican minds and allowed other Republicans, straight and gay, to finally come out of the closet in support of marriage equality.

Recently out GOP strategist Ken Mehlman is one of the star hosts of this weekend's mega New York fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group sponsoring the federal Prop 8 trial. Robert A. Levy, chair of the Cato Institute (who sits on the board of the conservative Federalist Society) and Margaret Hoover, Fox News Contributor who served in the George W. Bush White House, also sit on the AFER board.

Clarke Cooper LCR EDAdditionally, not only has the Log Cabin Republicans federal trial on Don't Ask, Don't Tell help introduce America to straight Republican attorney Dan Woods of who is also fighting for LGBT equality, but Log Cabin Republicans new executive director R. Clarke Cooper just appeared at the RNC “Fire Pelosi” bus tour launch in Washington DC Wednesday morning. The emcee for the event was DC State Party Chairman and former Log Cabin Republican Chair, Bob Kabel who introduced RNC chair Michael Steele and Rep. Pete Sessions. Cooper says the focus of the "Fire Pelosi" tour is the economy, not social issues. In response to the HRC fundraising letter, Cooper said: “Ken Mehlman is helping raise funds for AFER to support marriage equality. Further, Ken is helping me reach out to Republicans on equality measures writ large.”

Meanwhile, previously politically powerful antigay religious such as Family Research Council head Tony Perkins is trying to get Sen. John Cornyn not to appear at Log Cabin's big gala in DC on Sept. 22 (same day as AFER's fundraiser in NYC). In a letter to Cornyn, Perkins writes that it is “deeply troubling” that Cornyn will “lend [his] credibility to the organization" that works for marriage equality and DADT, which Cornyn opposes. But, the senator told Scripps Howard News Service , he hopes to find common ground. Also scheduled to attend the LCR gala are Sessions, Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana , Rep. Charles Djou of Hawaii , Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Rep. Judy Biggert of Illinois. (UPDATE: Cornyn is still attending, despite the Perkins letter.)

Meanwhile, Republican political leaders, who are also trying to find common ground with the new tea party people, say the primary win of "no-masturbation" Christine O'Donnell in Delaware Tuesday night may have deprived the Republicans of their chance to recapture the US Senate.

We'll see. A lot can happen between now and November 2 – just 48 days away. But without the Prop 8 religious networks connected by Yes on 8 campaign managers Frank Schubert and Jeff Flint - and the combined Mormon, Catholic and evangelical money to back them, I don't know just how effective NOM will be in the 2010 election cycle. And I don't know if the RNC wants to risk having marriage equality be a campaign wedge issue, either. I suspect that Mehlman and even Karl Rove, who lead the grandly divisive 2004 campaign using marriage equality as the tip of the spear, is now saying sheath that sword this election.

We'll see. Turnout is what matters, period.

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This is what you get for $50 million a year.

Soon, HRC will suggest "we were so close on DADT Repeal, we just need more money."

Instead of continuing to fund all these non-profits (that lack any incentive except their paychecks) we should offer reward money. Gay Inc. doesn't even have a strategy to win our full equality, but they have many fund-raising strategies.

I think we are beginning to see the light. We need to figure out how to win and focus on that and stop wasting time, money and energy with overpaid blamers and apologizers.

HRC has received +$550 million in 30 years and they have nothing to show for it. We must be crazy.

This is what you get for $50 million a year. ...

HRC has received +$550 million in 30 years and they have nothing to show for it. We must be crazy.

Nothing to show for it? ... Check out Little Joe's closet ... and by that I mean, his wardrobe.

Honestly, I've never seen HRC as more than a shill asking for "just a few more dollars to do an important job" and then just seeing Joe going off to hobnob and party with pol's.

I only see it as an organization that generates money. It clearly can not point to any one thing and say "We did that!" simply because they don't 'do' anything but hold out thier hands and ask for more money.

The democrats have a problem in mobilizing their voters to go and actually vote in the upcoming election. This is their biggest problem.

On the other hand, the Tea Baggers are actually mobilizing Republican voters passionately, even though at the moment there are some internal disagreements. the bottom line is that there will be lots of Republican turnout this time. One thing which helped Obama in 2008 was that Republicans were angry about the failed Bush presidency, and so lots just stayed home and did not vote.

It is vitally important that Democrats make the case strongly that a Republican House or Senate will be anathema to their interests. Many Republicans have called to end Social Security and Medicare, plus to repeal the new Health Care Bill. We need to start seeing ads about all this.

Democrats don't sufficiently realize how important it is to keep Democrat-appointed judges getting appointed and approved by the Senate. These judges all get life time tenure. At this critical stage of gay rights struggles, we need non-extremist judges.

Of course, the big thing is that people want more jobs. Californians should remember that Carly Fiorina, now trying to oust Barbara Boxer in the US Senate race, got rid of 35,000 Hewlett Packard American jobs and sent these positions all to China and other points in Asia.

If people are tired of the (Republican) wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, then what about all the Republican calls for invading Iran and North Korea? Who wants a couple more Republican wars? Remember how the Bush/Cheny lies were that the Iraq war would be short lived, maybe only 90 days, and that it would pay for itself with the oil revenue? Heckm Iraq doesn't even have much electricity now, let alone an oil revenue stream to pay us back.

That's because the enemy (religious believers - Republican and Democrats) have churches and we don't. This November divine instructions will be given in churches throughout the US commanding believers to save America or risk a life in Hell. Religion will provide the massacre.

We just don't have that kind of theatrics. Some of our gay clubs are very well done, but come on, there are 300,000 churches in the US and less than 3,000 gay bars. We're screwed. Wait.... drink specials.

HRCs attempt to blame anyone but Obama and the Democrats for their upcoming defeats is as ridiculous as Obama's attempt to blame the left. The truth is that they're becoming as detested as Bush and the Republicans and in far less time.

US politics are now being driven by rage and fear about the effects of the current depression (1) and the growing effects and insecurity arising from Obama's wars in Palestine, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The upcoming election will hinge on that and their record.

On every issue from the oil spill to the depression the Democrats have failed.

They continue to send munitions and money to zionist colonists for their ethnic cleansing campaigns against Palestinians. They're keeping 50,000 US regular and 50,000 US owned mercenary troops in Iraq. Obama's escalation policies are murdering civilians and GI's in Afghanistan and Pakistan in ever growing numbers. Obama continues to enforce Clinton and Bush policies of kidnapping, torturing and murdering opponents of US military aggression and colonization.

Obama went out of his way to bust the UAW and allow managers and owners to slash salaries, wages and benefits. He continues to promote the export of jobs. Obama and the Democrats refused to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and, with the support of Republicans are imposing austerity measures and cutting social services while handing out trillions to the looter class.

Their racist and frightening policy of denying medical care to immigrant and imported workers is a ticking time bomb. Their sexist policies of denying federal funding for abortions and reliance on christer 'abstinence programs' promotes the pauperizations of women and the spread of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and HPV.
Obama still defends antigay laws like DOMA and DADT in court while ignoring his promise to pass ENDA.

It matters little which party wins in November because both are bankrupt. On November 2nd, 2010 and November 4th, 2012 vote against Obama and the Democrats and Palin (or whomever) and the Republicans. If you can't vote for socialist or other workers parties just sit it out (unless there are important referenda on the ballot.)

(1) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/opinion/28krugman.html?_r=1

I'm the last one to defend Joe Solmonese who is little more than a spoilt, whiny, white gay guy who managed to get one of the best-funded jobs out there in Gay Inc. The man is utterly clueless about systemic discrimination across race and gender lines and speaks for no one other than, well, people just like him. But, hey, I never asked for him...you guys in the "movement" wanted him and are now stuck with him.

BUT - a) you don't give us the entire e-mail and b) He didn't "appea[r] to blame the possible loss of the Democrats majority in Congress on District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional" (your use of "appears" does not help any). Writing that "Extremists’ hatred is surging in the wake of the Prop. 8 decision" is, as I read it, simply stating that the decision has given extremists more fodder for their nastiness - and he's probably not wrong on that count and yes, this sort of claim is not uncommon in fundraising letters. You can dispute him on that, of course, but you don't really (and, really, HRC is the kind of animal that can only do one thing: raise funds).

As you present it, what he wrote is tantamount to writing: "Judge Vaugh Walker's ruling is directly responsible for the possible loss of the Democrats' majority etc. OMG, we wish Judge Walker had never made that ruling!"

But he didn't, and this post - or at least the heading and the first para - is entirely misleading. And NOM *is* still spreading anti-gay lies. And control of Congress *is* up in the air (for those who care).

I don't care for the Dems or the Repubs and I think the likes of Joe Solmonese are what plague truly transformative radical politics - the sooner we defund and dismantle HRC, the better. I'm also on record stating that the marriage movement should be defunded. But, for now, sticking to this post: we already have a problem with the public not thinking of bloggers as credible, and gay bloggers in particular are even more distrusted, I think - let's not contribute to that tawdry image with more sensationalism.

Or at least give us a copy of the entire e-mail so we can see for ourselves. Otherwise, this is just an example of easy and cheap HRC-bashing. And again, let me emphasise: I'm no fan of them or the mainstream gay politics articulated in this post. But I'm a huge fan of responsible blogging.

Yasmin –

To paraphrase Jon Stewart, “I disagree with Joe Solmonese but I don’t think he’s Hitler.” And just for the record, I did a lot of “smoking” in my day – which is why I now have 30 years (!) in a 12 Step program.

Here’s the bottom line, which I apparently didn’t convey very well: I was annoyed at the fundraising email for a couple of reasons: 1) From my perch in West Hollywood, where I watch MSNBC and CNN all day and read a lot and talk to a lot of folks via email, etc - I haven’t heard people talk about the consequences of Walker’s Prop 8 decision, other than the Protect Marriage folks trying to find someone credible to give them standing in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Yes, the hyper-Religious Right like Lou Engel still going on and on about “gay marriage” and FRC’s Tony Perkins is raising it during his Values Voter Summit happening now – but the central theme of most of the various Tea Party groups is the economy, not social issues – as much they have been in the past. In fact, if anything, the Democrats are delighting in the nomination of Christine O’Donnell in Delaware because she’s so extreme on social issues. And the fact that Rep. Pete Sessions is bucking Perkins’ plea not to go to the Log Cabin gala this weekend is another indicator that the GOP wants to win this November so they are toning down the gay marriage-bashing and talking “Big Tent” and making overtures to LCR and the tea party folks.

And yes, NOM continues to spread anti-gay lies: that’s their raison d’etre so no shock there. But I question how effective they are these days. I’m not the only one – check this link that says support for the NOM-backed candidate in Washington DC dropped AFTER NOM started “helping.” http://www.glaaforum.org/glaa_forum/2010/09/the-value-of-nom-support.html

So I guess what pissed me off was that HRC is still using old thinking and old language to raise money for their six candidates, who I mention in the piece. Just an aside, they don’t mention Barbara Boxer who is neck and neck with Tea Party-backed and rich Carly Fiorina in California. Democrats could lose that seat.

And is the Democratic “Control of Congress” at stake – yes, it is. So for heavens sake, if you want to keep that control – come up with inspiring and accurate new messages. The GOP can target their messages, so surely there will be some social messaging going on. But with their considerable outreach to the Log Cabin Republicans in recent months – and with polls showing the tide has turned toward the inevitability of equality, those targeted messages will not be coming from the RNC – I don’t think. This is not 2004.

Just for a kind of comparison to try to show you what I mean – people who work in HIV prevention are constantly working to come up with new ways to say “wear a condom” and “protect yourself” and “get tested.” Constantly hearing the same messages over and over again doesn’t work – especially when you have other people – bloggers – pointing out the NOM has lost some of its 2008 luster and the major polls say the country has moved more in favor of marriage equality.

I think HRC needs to get with the times. That’s all. If the Dems lose Congress, I don't think it will be because of same sex marriage, Prop 8 or NOM. Just my opinion – not a hard, reported piece.

I'm the last one to ask a blogger for a "hard, reported piece;" as a reporter, I know the difference between blogging and reporting (and since you're one too, I know you do as well). What's still a fact is that you haven't shown us the e-mail and you've danced around the central issues I raised. I'm not critiquing the reportage here (and I think that's clear) - I'm simply asking for a measure of responsible blogging. I'm also not disputing that NOM may not be doing as well and all the rest - I'm simply pointing out that Solmonese's e-mail isn't what you portrayed it as being, even if it did give you a catchy - and false - headline. That's all.

You have a good deal of leeway as a blogger, but directly misrepresenting an e-mail which you don't even link to or provide (which is what I still see) is not part of it. I agree that, in this case, "accurate new messages" are in order - but perhaps not just from HRC. I'd look closer to home. And please, no more obfuscation.

HRC is a tool, a front group for the Democrats.

A footnote: I suspect the reason HRC didn't even mention the Boxer-Fiorina race is that, even with their war coffer of some $45M+, they know that Fiorina, former CEO at Hewlett-Packard, has deep pockets that even they can't go up against dollar-for-dollar. Fiorina literally has mega-millions to spend. If they put that much money up for Boxer, HRC would have to lay off employees or even, god forbid, cut salaries.

[ * Besides, Fiorina dresses even better than Little Joe! ... sorry, the Devil made me say that! * ]

The email from HRC should have read:

"This is our 30th year working for the LGBT Community and we still have nothing to show for it. How about another year? It's not our fault. Really, it isn't. Click the DONATE button and we promise to spend another year trying."

Here's the full fundraising email - minus the graphics, which didn't copy over. It's a fundraiser for the candidates I mentioned. There was no link since I didn't see it posted anywhere at the time I wrote the piece.

And as far as I'm concerned - my opinion as a blogger - the first scary-graph blames the Prop 8 ruling and NOM for the potential loss of Congress.

Dear ---,

Just 48 days until Election Day – and there's more on the line than ever before.

Pro-equality candidates need you now.

Help defeat right-wing favorites like Michele Bachmann with a generous donation to Tarryl Clark and other progressive candidates.
Extremists' hatred is surging in the wake of the Prop. 8 decision. The National Organization for Marriage is spreading vicious anti-gay lies. Control of Congress could be up in the air.

If times like these make you want to stand up and fight, I've got just the candidate for you.

Tarryl Clark is challenging perhaps the single most strident opponent of equal rights in the entire U.S. Congress: Rep. Michele Bachmann. But anti-LGBT heavyweights like Sarah Palin are backing Bachmann – and November 2 is just 48 days away.

Elections are often won and lost weeks before the votes are counted – so we need to stand together to support Clark and other progressive, pro-equality candidates today. Are you ready to fight?

Donate today to send pro-equality champions like Tarryl Clark to Congress.

Michele Bachmann has claimed that taxpayers can't afford the additional health care costs incurred by the "homosexual lifestyle." She has even questioned whether "society will remain coherent and strong" if we allow same-sex couples to marry.

Tarryl Clark shares our pro-equality vision and will put her constituents first. But her challenge to Bachmann has set off a wave of Tea Party sympathy, making Clark's need for funding even more dire.

Help support Clark and these other remarkable candidates:

· Iraq War veteran Patrick Murphy, the Pennsylvania representative who's the leader of the push to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," a co-sponsor of the bill that would outlaw workplace discrimination, and a strong supporter of the hate crimes prevention law that passed last year.

· Senate candidate Joe Sestak is a congressman from southeastern Pennsylvania and the highest-ranking former military officer ever elected to Congress. Sestak brings unique talents to Congress and the commitment to equality that earned him a 95% rating on HRC's last scorecard. He faces an ultra-conservative former representative, Pat Toomey, in his Senate race.

· David Cicilline, the openly gay mayor of Providence, Rhode Island who has delivered positive results for his city and is prepared to do the same in Congress. GOP heavy-hitters like John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Rudy Giuliani are helping Mayor Cicilline's Republican opponent.

· Russ Feingold, one of just 14 senators to oppose the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, and one of the first to publicly support marriage equality for all Americans. This year, Feingold faces multi-millionaire Ron Johnson, an archconservative who thinks that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is "working pretty well" – and who has publicly committed to spending $15 million out of his own deep pockets in his effort to unseat the progressive, pro-equality Feingold.

· Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias who is vying for President Obama's former Senate seat. In explaining his support for marriage equality and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Giannoulias wrote, "All Americans should enjoy the same freedoms and share the same responsibilities. Separate laws for certain groups of people have always been morally wrong."

As Election Day nears, rhetoric is reaching a fever pitch and the right wing is doing whatever it can to drive turnout among its base. The television ad wars are heating up and our endorsed candidates need as much financial support as they can to effectively make the case for equality all across the nation.

Mike, you know how much is at stake this November – and all that we're up against. That's why I'm hoping I can count on you to stand with us today. With your help, we'll send true champions to Congress – men and women who will defend our victories, fight the raging battles, and finally lead our nation toward full equality.

Join me in making a pledge to these leaders. The stakes are too high and the issues are too important for us to back down now. I know it'll make the difference come November.

Let's elect some champions,

Joe Solmonese

Paid for by the Human Rights Campaign PAC, and authorized by Friends of Tarryl Clark, Patrick Murphy for Congress, Sestak for Senate, The Cicilline Committee, Feingold Senate Committee, and Alexi for Illinois.
© 2010 The Human Rights Campaign. All rights reserved.
Human Rights Campaign | www.hrc.org
1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-3278
Phone: 202/628-4160 TTY: 202/216-1572 Fax: 202/347-5323

Karen, On reading your TBP post and then the mail from HRC you have seriously undermined your status of a blogger, you have stretched the truth and focus with a large dose of paranoia. I do not read any of your post assumptions whatsoever. Shameful.

The primary concern for Buffalo Joe and the folks over at HRC has always been fundraising to pay their salaries. They value access over success to an extreme and they promise that is they are allowed into the room they will be good and be seen and not heard.
This is an LGBTQ site, what does the HRC self employment scheme have to do with LGBTQ rights aside from their view of us as the source for income to keep paying them their checks?

You politicians and national activitists may see no backlash from the judges prop 8 decision, but I hear a lot on the street. I go to diners for breakfast and frequently hear people talk about queers taking over. Some are against national health care because fags will force the government to pay for sex change operations.

These people are voters.

Undermined her status as a blogger?

All it takes is a keyboard and an internet connection -- oh, and perhaps somebody to read what you write.

Being quoted by other bloggers is optional.

How many people does it take to change HRC from a non-functional / nothing accomplished (other than the spending of large amounts of money) organization to an actual supportive & functional organization?
Look at what the small, state LBGT organizations have done. Everyone should be sending in donations or at least donating time to those smaller less well funded LBGT organizations. Not HRC!

We need to replace them by providing an option. It's coming.

In the meantime, give money to local and statewide groups - they get results.

Interesting to hear you suggest donating to state and local groups since they're the ones who do most of the direct actions we see, ala the HRC ENDA protests over the last few years.

Tell me Andrew, do you think those protests had an impact? I'd point out that before those direct actions HRC was still considered the leading LGBT advocacy organization in the country, the politicians were still attending their events in droves, and booting transpeople out of ENDA was still considered a viable option. Now, not so much.

Direct action has its place and it does work, but it has to be done both consistently and well in order to have the impact it needs to have, just as lobbying and other behind-the-scenes efforts must.

HRC is just plain wrong
Why should this be any different than anything else that the Scampaign is in any way associated with, connected to or involved in?

Over at ENDABlog, I contextualized the wonderful(ly scary) clip of Masturbation Mama that Bill Maher unearthed on this week's Real Time. It was from the episode of Politically Incorrect that aired on Oct. 29, 1999.

That was two days after the Littleton v. Prange anti-transsexual decision from Texas.

That's just about a month shy of 11 years ago.

Taking as a guidepost the sum of $300K (or so) that Pee Wee Solmonese is generally believed to be sucking up for his regal duties at the Scampaign - and presuming that neither Queen Elizabeth III nor Cheryl the Insta-Lesbian made much less than that during their reigns - that means that in the 11 years since Littleton v. Prange, the collective head of the Scampaign has extracted $3.3 million from the civil rights community.

Do you feel you've gotten your money's worth?

No. Please provide some evidence of a successful protest. Local and most statewide issues know the issues (unlike GetEQUAL's traveling circus) and that makes them more effective, but not for any protesting activities. If you have examples, please share.