Tuesday, April 22, 2014

City Delaying Charlotte Shultz Charity Law-Breaking Investigations?

(Shultz, lower left, at her annual taxpayer-funded diplomatic City Hall party in December 2013. Credit: Catherine Bigelow, SF Chronicle.)

There are two San Franciscos. One is for the elite 1% where they wield power and public money at City Hall, and pay no heed to good government laws and ballot propositions they don't like. The other San Francisco is for the rest of us who will be arrested and charged at the drop of a hat for minor infractions of the law.

This month marks the fifth month I've been investigating Mayor Ed Lee's director of protocol, socialite and party-giver on the taxpayer's dime Charlotte Shultz and how she receives a nice chunk of City change and evades a few laws in the process.

I've written to the head of the General Services Administration, City Administrator Naomi Kelly, to see if the City is delaying the two investigations it has opened against Shultz. My letter sent today:

Dear Ms. Kelly,

In March, I brought several complaints to your attention regarding the annual $250,000 City grant to Charlotte Shultz's SF Host Committee charity your General Services Agency administers. Your department has confirmed that Shultz and her nonprofit have not complied with City law requiring open board meetings annually, as one legal requirement in exchange for municipal money, for at least the past six years.

Indeed, in a written response to you at the end of March from Shultz's attorney, he admits the committee has never met this the requirements of Sunshine laws and were unaware of the full laws that apply to them.

Your deputy Bill Barnes in early March wrote:

"After receiving a response, the City Administrator will swiftly make a determination and/or request additional information. The grantee and the complainant will be notified of the results. If the grantee is deemed to have violated the provision, the City Administrator will consider next steps based on the seriousness of the violation and the provisions included in the Administrative Code."

Additionally, I've complained that Shultz is violating the 1998 Prop F law passed at the ballot box, barring the use of City funds for Protocol Office expenses and functions because her committee spends its $250,000 on diplomatic events and such. Also in March, your department wrote to me saying you'd asked the City Attorney to investigate the potential violation to Prop F.

Mr. Barnes in said:

"The Proposition F issue, which we are treating as a separate request, relates to a ballot initiative from 1998 which references policies in effect in 1989. Therefore, additional research is required to properly respond. Once that research is complete, we may find it necessary to consult with the City Attorney. Such consultation would be subject to attorney-client privilege. We will inform you once we have completed this research, received advice, if any, and made a determination of how to proceed." 

Thanks to a public records request I made because your office was refusing to respond to requests for updates, in early April you wrote to Shultz's attorney saying you would investigate the apparent breaking of City law and for several years.

Today I am requesting an update on both the Sunshine complaint and the City Attorney's investigation, and any steps you've taken regarding these several apparent violations of the law. Please provide me with a status report by the close of business on Wednesday, April 23. 
Sups. Chiu & Campos's Offices: Public Comment Around 3 PM Today

(Campos, left, and Chiu, are competing in June's primary for Assembly District 17's seat in Sacramento. Public domain photo.)

A short while ago, I spoke with Taylor in board president Sup. David Chiu's office and her counterpart Meredith in Sup. David Campos's office and they each guesstimated public comment today would start between 3 and 3:30 pm today. Spread the word so more folks can take advantage of this info.

It's just one way the Board of Supervisors disrespect the taxpayers. While each Tuesday's full board meetings always include public comment time, the supervisors make no effort at allowing the taxpayers to show up at a fixed time to address our public officials. Sometimes public comment is early in the meeting or way at the end, forcing working people to take off from their jobs and give up pay in order to make use of 2 minutes of public comment.

I've advocated with staffers at Chiu and Campos' offices for each to take up the cause of a fixed time for general public comment on Tuesdays, if only to win a few votes as they compete against each other for the district 17 seat in the state Assembly. Unfortunately, neither candidate addresses this matter but that could change between now and the June election.

Practically all City commissions and advisory panels, like the police and healthy commissions and the HIV community boards, put public comment at the top of the agenda which allows for taxpayers to show at a certain time and know they can speak. The Sunshine Ordinance Task Force's monthly meetings always start at 4 pm and regardless of the agenda, when the clock strikes 5 pm they take public comments on matters not on the agenda. So civilized!

For the past few weeks, I've emailed most of the supervisors and their aides, along with Clerk of the Board Angela Calvillo, urging a set time for public comment. The supervisors and staffers haven't replied, but Calvillo shared these details:

California Government Code Section 54954.3(b) and Administrative Code Section 67.15(c) state that a policy body may adopt reasonable rules and regulations relating to public comment. In Chapter one of the Board’s Rules of Order, while various rules have been adopted pertaining to public comment, a time certain Rule has not been codified. 

As you know, the Board welcomes input from members of the public on items of interest that are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Board, including items being considered at the meeting which have not been referred to committee, public comment is placed on the Agenda in order to fulfill both types of public comment. 

Thus, the current placement of public comment on the Board’s agenda is to allow working individuals a chance to get off work and get to the meeting and still have the opportunity to provide either general public comment or public comment on those items not referred to committee. This would not be the case should public comment be placed at the beginning of the meeting. [...] Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide anyone with an estimated time when any item, including general public comment, will begin.

Well, it's not rocket science to determine a set time for public comment and our supervisors should address this subject so that taxpayers can make regular appearance at the Tuesday meetings, and not waste hours of our precious time.
SF Ex: Gay Man Living With AIDS Faces June 1st Eviction

Kudos to reporter Chris Roberts who yesterday had a cover story in the SF Examiner about a gay man living with AIDS facing eviction from his loft. The one bright spot in this matter is that this guy is being offered a market rate apartment in the city, something rarely happens with other people dealing with an eviction notice.

A reminder. Last October, KQED published a story about gay men of a certain age living with HIV in the Castro district, either homeless or facing eviction, and it was pointed out that they had survived the challenges of AIDS, but maintaining their wellness was seriously challenged by lack of affordable housing.

I believe that mainstream media coverage and attention from bloggers and via social networks, can assist folks facing eviction in either helping them retain their current housing at an affordable rate or obtaining increased compensation from speculators. Just one reason why I'm blogging about the Ex story today.

(Jon Stoa and his dog in his loft. Photo credit: Mike Koozmin, SF Examiner.)

From Roberts' article:

Live-work lofts were a flashpoint during San Francisco’s first dot-com boom over a decade ago, and now they are again wrapped up in a city housing controversy. No tenants are feeling this more than those living in the several Potrero Hill and South of Market buildings that comprise the Bennett Lofts, where an eviction crisis is threatening to develop. [...] 

Jon Stoa moved into his airy ground-floor loft on Pennsylvania Avenue in Potrero Hill in the early 2000s. He’s not anti-tech — in fact, he worked for Apple as an art director on one of the most important projects in the Silicon Valley titan’s history, the launch of the first iPhone. [...] 

Stoa and as many as 24 other households in the Bennett Lofts -- 147 units in two buildings in Potrero Hill and three in SoMa — received eviction notices last month from property owner Essex Trust. [...] The company is using the “discovery” that it bought illegal units as a pretext to get tenants like Stoa to vacate by June 1 [...]

If Stoa leaves the Bennett Lofts, he will be given 60 days to move and $500 in relocation assistance — or $1,000 if he agrees to move to a market-rate unit at another Essex property, such as Fox Plaza on Market Street. “That won’t even cover the U-Haul,” he said.

Despite the pressure from city officials, there appears to be little they can do to help Stoa — who said he has lived with AIDS for 20 years and is on full disability following a motorcycle accident — or his neighbors.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dangling Castro Rainbow Banner Blight Worsens: Removal When?

The Castro district was full of happy, peppy people and much beauty on 4/20 and Easter Sunday with all that beautiful sunshine beaming down on everyone and everything yesterday. Unfortunately, the blight of faded and soiled rainbow banners on City utility poles hung over the streets, and at Market and 14th Street the terrible condition of one banner showed serious deterioration.

This photo was snapped at the end of March and was sent along to Mohammed Nuru, head of the Department of Public Works, with other photos of similar dirty and tattered rainbow banners and a complaint requesting immediate removal of the blight. On April 7, I blogged about and shared emails between DPW and the administrator of the Merchants of Upper Market Castro, Richard Magary.

The City and the private merchants group were trying to determine which flags were the responsibility of DPW or MUMC, and the fate of each banner.

I took this photo yesterday afternoon and as you can see the rainbow banner is now split, torn and blowing in the breeze like a windsock. Since this location is several blocks distance from all the tearing up of Castro Street's roadway pavement and sidewalk cement, there is no reason to delay it's removal until after that urban redesign work is finished in the summer.

This note was sent to DPW from Magary of MUMC earlier this month:

Upon current inspection, this Banner, in our opinion, is in poor repair and should be removed promptly, along with its outdated hardware. It is torn and overly soiled. This Banner is NOT part of CASTRO MERCHANTS' SFDPW-BSM Permit and is not our responsibility. It was not installed by us, nor has it ever been maintained by us. [...] Removal of the Banner shown in [Petrelis' photo] is NOT our responsibility.

On April 16th, in response to my request for an update, DPW's Mindy Linetzky shared this info:

The Department of Public Works Bureau of Street Use and Mapping has contacted permit holder Richard Magary regarding the banners.  He is coordinating removal of most of the banners with the Castro Streetscape Improvement project and they have asked him to remove them as soon as possible.

It is our understanding that when the Castro Streetscape Improvement project is complete, all the banners will be replaced. Mr. Magary is also removing the banner [at Market and 14th Street] right away.

Since MUMC is saying one thing and DPW another, I've written to DPW for both clarification and renewed by request for removal of the banner in question. I'll update when the City responds.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekend Woof #72: For Boy Lovers

Was today the most fantastic 4/20 celebration and enjoyable Easter revelry day of sunshine, great people and abundant love you could imagine? It certainly was for Mike and I, as we mellow out for the evening.

Presenting a bevy of boys who caught the attention of my queer eye, and reminded me of the gift of being gay. While not representative of my usual taste for the mature male of the human species, I occasionally have to salute the under 30-somethings.

Thanks to Mike and these fellas for making it a groovy week!

BART boys smiling for my camera.

 Boy in blue checking his cell phone messages as Valencia Street baked in the sun.

 Latin boys from Noticias 14 fiddling with their electronics near the Twitter headquarters.

Construction boy of the large and fine chunky variety near a Muni stop.

 Boy in orange playing with his big stick and digging up Market Street pavement.

Super smooth boy waiting for the light to change near Fox Plaza.

168 Civilians Killed in SFPD Officer-Involved Shootings Since 1939

I now have as complete a list as possible of all civilians who died in officer-involved shootings with members of the San Francisco Police Department. My previous posts on this subject are here and here and here.

Last week, I made my final public records request to the department's legal counsel Maureen Conefrey and she explained that OIS deaths' record-keeping went back to 1939. The more recent batch of names were added to the previous editions of the list and we now know there have been at least 168 civilians shot and killed by SFPD officers. I say at least because as you see in this note from Lt. Tim Plyer, an entire year's list of potential names cannot be located. From the SFPD:

Here is the list we put together for O.I.S incidents, between 1939-1979, where the suspect was killed during the incident. This is as accurate as we can make it. Some of the race and age/ DOB information was not provided in the log books that we have. The year 1959 is missing altogether. Some of the years they listed the incident as "justified" and the Police officer is listed as the defendant and the victim/ suspect is listed as deceased. We are drawing the conclusion that this was an O.I.S. and the suspect was killed. Each incident was not researched as to the exact facts of the incident. We are only using the information from the log books that we have. 

1939: One: Castro, Carlos (White male)
1940: One: O’Toole, John (White male)
1941: Three: Church, Richard (White male), Brown, Joseph (White male), Imperiale, John (White male)
1942: Two: Silvestri, Joseph (White male), Walker, Harvey (White male)
1943: Four: Weber, Howard B. (White male), Warner, Glenn K. (White male), Dallas, William L. (White male), Pruszynski, Valdimir (White male)
1944: Four: Artega, Julio (White male), Anderson, Robert (White male), Taylor, Paul (White male), Adams, James (White male)
1945: Six: Buchanan, Willie (White male), Melendez, Francisco (White male), Brown, Paul Jr. (White male), Murphy, James (White male), Hayward, Bert (Unknown race), Pellan, William (Unknown race)
1946: Three: Copeland, John T. (White male), Ping, Lou (Oriental male),  Armelin, Eustice (Filipino male)
1947: Three: Knego, Frank (White male), Dabandan, Apolonio (White male), Ella, Edison Griffith (White male)
1948: Zero
1949: Three: Pixley, Ernest (White male), Leonard, Frank (White male), Chene, Dennis L. (White male),
1950: Two: Lassen, Dwaine (White male), Stanek, Robert (White male)
1951: One: Moss, Francis H. (White male)
1952: One: Lewis, Harper (White male)
1953: Three: Martinez, John (White male), Bishop, James L. (White male), Nichols, Jack (White male)
1954: One: Aladrid, Ernest P. (White male)
1955: Two: Ewen, Paul D. (White male), Smith, Albert (White male)
1956: Zero
1957: Zero
1958: Zero
1960: Two: Padron, Liborio (Filipino male), Bruce, Paul (White male), Cronin, Joseph (White male)
1961: Two: Porter, Lester (White male), Barajas, Joaquin (White male)
1962: One: Medina, Ernest Isaels (White male)
1963: Zero
1964: Zero
1965: Four:  Besk, Knute A. (White male), Vogel, Joseph Adam (White male), Cortez, Govea (White male), Camargo, John A. (White male)
1966: Two: Johnson, Mathew (Black male), Klebanew, Richard (White male)
1967: Zero
1968: One: Rains, James A. (White male)
1969: Six: Pollard, William H. (White male), Linthcome, Al (Black male),
Ross, Lannie (Black male), Ogden, Larry L. (White male), Brumfield, Charles (Black male), Martin, David O. (White male)
1970: Five: Clancy, Gerald M. (White male), Beavers, Miles T. (Black male) Morton, Charles (Black male), Prince, Van Allen (Black male), Williams, Alfado (Black male)
1971: Four: Torres, Christopher (White male), Legault, Ronald (White male), Faletoso, Maya (Spanish male), Johnson, Clarence (Black male)
1972: Three: Deer, Earl (Black male), Scarborough, Earl (Black male), Fowler, Raymond (White male)
1973: Three: Pratt, Josiah (Black male), Alexander, Dennis (Black male), Lenton, Albert (Black male)
1974: Four: Bacy, Wilber (Black male), Mueller, Herbert (White male), Hughes, Andre (Black male), Quinteno, Ivan Peter (White male)
1975: Zero
1976: Zero
1977: One:  Hill, Lloyd H. (Black male), Wells, Coleman A. (Black male), Riegel, Robert (White male)
1978: Zero:
1979: Two: Hughes, Perry (Black male), Sorrel, Roger (White male)
1980: Four: Grillo, Patrick (White male); Garrett, Vernell J. (Black male); Mata, George (White male); Hill, Raymond (White male)
1981: Two: David, Wayne M. (White male); Thomas, David J. (Black male)
1982: Two: Contawe, Ricardo (Asian male); Middleton, Victoria (White female)
1983: Two: Payne, Demetrius (Black male); Truong, Vo Tuoc (Asian male)
1984: One: Hoard, Jackie (Black female)
1985: One: Farrow, Warren (Black male)
1986: Three: Lumpkin, Larry (Black male); Flores, Charles (White male); Yip, Nesly (Asian male)
1987: Zero
1988: Four: Groshe, Tony (Other race male); Dixon, Ronald (White male); Bell, Charles (Black male); Barnett, Abraham (Black male)
1989: Three: Cafaro, Joseph (While male); Mason, Martin (White male); Nasalgay, Rene B. (White male)
1990: Seven: Bouyer, Allen (White male); Singh, Narinder (Other race male); Montes, Manuel (White male); Villanueva, Raymond (Asian male); DOE, John (Other race male); Quaid, Henry (White male); Wadsworth, Norman (Black male)
1991: Two: Galen, William (White male); Dixon, Edward (Black male)
1992: Three: Gardner, Scott (White male); Griffin, Glend (Black male); Washington, Damon (Black male)
1993: Three: Williams, Frank (Black male); Houston, Albert (Black male); Flores, Juan (Asian male)
1994: Three: Huang, Sai Ting (Asian male); Moore, Sidney W. (Black male); Boutwell, Victor (White male)
1995: Three: Boss, David (Black male); Hankston, William (Black male); Sheenan, Edwin (Black male)
1996: One: Thibeaus, Lernest (Black male)
1997: Two: Truong, Hue (Other race male); Solano, Silvano (Hispanic male)
1998: Two: Madrid, Jessie (White male); Smart, John M. (White male)
1999: Two: Nguyen, Phuc (Asian male); White, Bufford (Black male)
2000: Zero
2001: Two: Stelley, Idris (Black male); Smith, Randy (White male)
2002: Five: Hooper, Gregory (Black male); Tims, Richard (Black male); Ruffin, Robert (Black male); Tan, Jerry (Asian male); Akbar, Jihad (Black male)
2003: One: Moll, Michael (White male)
2004: Four: Dean, Paul (Other race male); Boyd, Cammerin (Black male); Angulo, Carlos (Hispanic male); Rugley, Gustavo J. (Black male)
2005: Zero
2006: Four: Harrington, Michael (White male); Ruff, Marlon (Black male); Breed, Charles (Black male); Eklund, Karen (White female)
2007: Two: Vargas, Mario Javier (White male); Robinson, Rene (Black male)
2008: One: Cole, Leonard (White male)
2009: One: Li, Xiyu (Asian male)
2010: Three: Bui, Vinh (Asian male); Lee, Michael (Other race male); Smith, Edward (White male)
2011: Six: Smith, Joshua (White male); Hill, Charles (White male) (BART police department officer involved shooting); Sicat, Roselyndo (Asian male); Woo, Peter (Asian male); Harding, Kenneth (Black male); Young, Steven (White male)
2012: Two: Pralourng, Pralith (Asian male); Hughes, Dennis (White male)
2013: One: Wilkerson, Dale (White male)
2014: One: Nieto, Alejandro (Hispanic male)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Gentrification May End New SF Gay Sex Club & Old Glory Hole Arcade 

Back in June 2012, I reported on what was supposed to be just a temporary closure of the Mack Prison sex space on Folsom Street near 9th, to a new location in the South of Market area. The owner had passed away and the landlord ended the lease but the survivors of the owner promised on a now-closed web site that they would reopen nearby in a short period. Didn't happen.

(The two adult sex spaces at 960 and 962 Folsom Street, before The Brig opened for business. Public domain photo.)

Commercial spaces for consenting queer males to gather for sexual liaisons may suffer another loss in a few months. Thanks to Jim Provenzano editor of the BAR Tab rag, details are coming out about another negative impact on San Francisco because of the rampant march to build more new condos for the tech class. From Jim's article:

Only a few months after it opened, South of Market's newest sex club may have to move, as gentrification swiftly turns the once-cruisy bar district into open season for even more pricey residential housing.

Scott Morris, co-owner of The Brig, confirmed that the owners of the building at 962 Folsom Street have sold the property, and the building will possibly be demolished to make room for residential housing. [...]

Morris, who heard about the building's sale two weeks ago, said, "I know we'll be in there through June. We have enough visitors to keep promoting the events, and to keep the idea going. And we're looking for other venues." The building sale is indicative of a larger issue that Morris raised about the once-active gay bar and nightclub scene in SoMa.

"South of Market is losing its identity," he said. "A couple of buildings away, some large condo complexes keep going up. It's sad, because we're losing it block by block."

Morris is speaking much truth and I salute him for taking a chance on giving gay kinksters a comfortable playspace. Wishing him all the best for supportive patronage and staying in business if he's force to vacate the premises in the summer.

It's not just the potential of losing The Brig but also the separate glory hole arcade on the first floor of the building that may cease to provide much needed services to the horny homosexuals.

Sure, they may find other locations in which to operate for the thousands of gays who aren't into using online hookup sites or apps, but given how we've lost the bathhouses, the back room institution My Place and Mack Prison, and probably other clubs I can't recall right now, I won't hold my breath on that happening.

Please visit your local commercial queer sex space today, get off with a buddy or two or three, and keep bricks-and-mortar gay playspaces alive and thriving.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Gilead on Weinstein & Truvada = Party Drug; AHF Got $10M in Grants 

Earlier this week, the executive director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation Michael Weinstein had this to say to AP reporter David Crary about using Truvada as a pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV infection among negative gay men:

"Let's be honest: It's a party drug."

Talk about scientific ignorance and adding stigma to Truvada and gays using it properly to avert acquiring HIV. Sheesh. That comment, and years of bullying on a host of AIDS issues by Weinstein, pictured, triggered a much-needed backlash and Los Angeles gay leader Eric Leue began a petition to have him removed from AHF.

Curious about how much money Weinstein and AHF have accepted from Gilead over the years, I pored over the IRS 990s for the Gilead Foundation and here are the figures I found:

2005: $600,000

2006: $750,000

2007: $1,500,000

2008: $1,750,000

2009: $1,000,000

2010: $1,000,000

2011: $1,000,000

2012: Zero


That total apparently is not the full amount.

I reached out to Gilead's representative Amy Flood who is a director of their foundation, asking questions about these numbers and any other donations they have made to AHF, and for a reaction to Weinstein's "party drug" remark. Flood replied:

With regards to grant funding, in some cases your numbers are off (that may be because in certain years the Gilead Foundation grant was paid in two installments). Gilead Foundation funding from 2005-2011 totals $10,600,000. 

Over roughly the same time period, other grant funding or project support from Gilead Sciences, Inc. totals approximately $600,000. Gilead also provides funding for a direct product donation to Uganda Cares, a clinic in Uganda, not captured in the previous numbers. 

With respect to Michael Weinstein’s statement, we aren’t going to comment other than to say Gilead believes PrEP has an important role to play as part of the HIV prevention landscape, as evidenced by clinical data. 

As you are likely aware, we are not promoting Truvada as PrEP but we are actively engaged in helping to communicate accurate and appropriate information about its usage. We have, for example, supported (and we continue to support) the efforts of community-based organizations and public health agencies to educate their constituents about the role of PrEP as part of comprehensive HIV prevention. 

One question among many I'd like Weinstein to answer is why he's biting the Gilead hand that has so generously fed his AHF coffers. He should be subject to much more scrutiny regarding his opposition based on ignorance against Truvada as an HIV prevention option.

NYC Gay Councilman Corey Johnson's Ties to Corrupt Hotelier

There can never be too much scrutiny of elected officials, especially in America's big cities. The recent indictment against California State Senator Leland Yee on several corruption charges is a huge reminder that office-holders need constant monitoring by law enforcement agencies and good government watchdogs.

(Johnson with Hillary Clinton. Public domain photo.)

This week, I was made aware of two items related to corruption and Manhattan's District 3 representative on the City Council. First up, this news from Seth Barron at City Council Watch:

Councilmember Corey Johnson took Transition and Inauguration contributions from a hotel magnate who pled guilty yesterday to violations of federal campaign finance law.

Sant Singh Chatwal, who owns and/or manages a number of luxury Manhattan hotels, including Chelsea’s hip Dream Hotel, gave Corey Johnson’s TIE committee $2,500. Councilmember Johnson, who lives one block from the Dream, is the only Council candidate or member ever to receive a contribution from the billionaire. [...]

As I reported in City & State last month, developers associated with the Dream Hotel (including Sant Chatwal) gave Corey Johnson $15,000 towards his transition expenses; the latest revelations beg the question of whether Sant Chatwal was perpetrating a similar scheme on the local level, inducing his associates to make contributions for which they were reimbursed. [...]

I must note that there is no evidence that any of the beneficiaries of Chatwal’s machinations knew about his illegal efforts on their behalf, and one must assume the same ignorance on the part of Councilmember Johnson.  Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that during his campaign Corey Johnson assiduously steered clear of associations with real estate interests, only to accept large donations from that sector once he was elected.

Over at the NY Daily News site, is a story from February that I wasn't aware of about councilmembers and how the speakers buys their votes, literally, with cash bonues. The politicians on the wrong-side of this issue, according to the papers are "weasels". Try to act surprised that Johnson is among them:

A grand total of 10 members of the City Council have so far kept their pledges to spurn the stipends that empower the speaker to buy votes. 

It took dedication to public service for the 10 to turn back annual amounts ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, while an additional 20 members are breaking their word to constituents. 

In keeping with a long and lousy tradition, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito last month published the list of who among her 51 members would be getting so-called lulus. The Council calls the payments compensation for committee leadership, but she denied money to only four members, all of whom are on the outs with her. [...]

Four members who called for restricting lulus are pocketing the money: Corey Johnson and Ydanis Rodriguez of Manhattan, Daneek Miller of Queens and Vincent Gentile of Brooklyn.

Color me very blase about Johnson for lying and failing to keep his word to constituents. He was the Gay Inc groomed and Democratic Party politician in his November 2013 against out lesbian Yetta Kurland, and he received beaucoup amounts of donations from A-Gays who probably see nothing wrong with his double-dealing on lulus.

Expect Johnson to continue enjoying deep support from those A-Gays, while civic watchdogs keep him under the microscope.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

AIDS Healthcare Fdtn's New IRS 990 Online: $514M in Revenue

The czar of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's empire is Michael Weinstein and according to his organization's most recent IRS 990 for FY 2012, his salary that year was officially $398,650. I know this not because Weinstein is committed to transparency. He refuses to post AHF's tax filings on their site, something I've kvetched about for years.

However, because I am familiar with IRS statutes require a nonprofit to provide members of the public a copy of their latest tax filing the day it is accepted from the accountant and filed with the Treasury Department, is the day they have to make the 990 open for public inspection, I requested the 2012 filing in January. AHF emailed me an electronic version of it and I've now posted on my Google docs page for all read. Click here to read it.

That salary amount for Weinstein is not such an outrageous amount when considering AHF's revenue was over $514 million, pictured. The chief financial officer Lyle Honig explained:

I wanted to point out that page one does summarize the financial information with identifying $188,296,151 in revenue. Please review Schedule D Part XI. This section reviews the Reconciliation of Revenues and Expenses between the Audited Financial Statements and the Revenue and Expenses reported on Page 1. Please find line 1 Total Revenue, gains, and other support per audited financial statements identifying the total $514,734,211.

The reason why I've posted the AHF filing is because Weinstein is facing much-needed criticism and controversy over his comment that Gilead's drug Truvada, when used by sexually active gay men, equals a party drug and I am doing my part to make as much of AHF's financing as transparent as possible.

Down in Los Angeles, leather and AIDS leader Eric Leue has started a petition calling for Weinstein to be removed and more than 2,000 people have signed it. Leue and others are also pushing the Twitter hashtag #RemoveWeinstein to build awareness about this campaign to hold this executive director accountable.

Part of Leue's petition reads:

In 2012 the FDA approved the medication Truvada for use by people at high risk for HIV—including gay men, sex workers and HIV-negative individuals in relationships with people living with HIV—to help prevent transmission of the virus. Yet rather than embrace Truvada, one of the most revolutionary developments in the history of the AIDS epidemic, Weinstein poured considerable resources into fighting its approval, and called the HIV-prevention pill "a party drug." This statement needlessly stigmatizes individuals trying to protect themselves from AIDS by likening them to illicit substance abusers. 

Truvada ain't no party drug and we don't need AIDS executives stigmatizing it that way not to mention adding stigma to men using Truvada for PrEP purposes.

I would like Weinstein to not only post his five most recent IRS 990s on the AHF web site, but to also fully disclose all sources of his income. Does he own stock in condom or drug or medical devices corporation? Some activists speculate that he has income way above the $398,650 listed on the FY 2012 filing and the AIDS community needs for Weinstein to be way more fiscally transparent.

Let the sun shine in!