HRC vs the Blogs

More brutal revelations are following blog scrutiny. There's a new Blade story, showing that the group paid a former executive director $160,000 last year even though she quit the group in 2004! So that's where your donations go. Bay Windows has a longer story on the spat between HRC and gay blogs. They have alienated all of us - right, left and center - with their arrogance and secrecy. Money quote:

For many bloggers, HRC's response to criticism has come off as either defensive or dismissive. After Pam Spaulding criticized HRC for its handling of the Coulter debacle, Solmonese invited her on HRC’s satellite radio show, The Agenda, and allowed her to explain her problems with their response. [Spaulding runs Pam's House Blend, which has won the Weblog Award for best LGBT blog for the past two years.] But after she made her point, neither Solmonese nor the show's other host, Boston-based communications consultant Mary Breslauer, directly responded to it or explained HRC's strategy behind the Coulter incident.

"I don't feel like they addressed them so much as they wanted them aired to say that they gave the opportunity for an alternate viewpoint of how to handle it,” said Spaulding. She also said HRC appears to be struggling, as many organizations are, to figure out what relationship it should have with the blogosphere. She spoke on a "state of the movement" panel with Solmonese last month at HRC headquarters, and she said he seemed to see the blogs as an obstacle to putting forward the organization’s message. "I think the interpretation Joe gave at that panel was that blogs were somehow obstructive or got in the way of messaging," said Spaulding.

HRC has failed to respond to my five questions, and failed to respond to my emails asking when they will provide a response. It seems as if they won't. That's their idea of transparency. Chris Crain is rightly concerned about a quote by Solmonese in the Boston Globe last January:

The article claimed that HRC leaders wanted the organization to be seen as a "steady source of grassroots support for Democrats more akin to a labor union than a single-issue activist group." In the article HRC President Joe Solmonese said that after the 2004 elections HRC shifted its priorities away from opposing state marriage amendments and towards electing candidates. For Crain, the article showed that HRC had put the interests of the Democratic Party ahead of the LGBT community.

Just remember that before you give them your dollars. Scrutiny continues at Petrelis, Pam's House Blend and Citizen Crain, among others. Blog power!