Earlier today I posted a link to items by Andrew Sullivan and Michael Petrelis suggesting personal contributions by executives at the Human Rights Campaign during the primary campaign season exhibited bias in favor of the Clinton campaign.
Sullivan referenced Petrelis' research that top executives at HRC overwhelmingly contributed to the campaign of Senator Hillary Clinton while offering the Obama campaign nothing. Late this afternoon I received an email from HRC containing a statement from David Medina, former national political director for Sen Edwards' campaign and a member of HRC's board of directors, responding to the claims. Medina responds that one of the reasons for the disparity is that Sen. Edwards and Sen. Obama both had policies that their campaigns would not accept contributions from federal lobbyists and that many at HRC were excited and passionately supportive of the Obama campaign during the primary season. HRC has now endorsed Obama.
You can read it, AFTER THE JUMP...
***Statement from David Medina, former national political director for Sen Edwards’ campaign and a member of HRC’s board of directors***
There’s a story percolating online today regarding HRC’s alleged bias toward the Clinton campaign during the Democratic primaries this year. As the national political director for Sen. John Edwards’ campaign, and as a member of HRC’ board of directors, with a seat on HRC’s Public Policy Committee, I’d like to put those assertions to rest.
First off, Sen. Edwards and Sen. Obama both had policies that their campaigns would not accept contributions from federal lobbyists. Sen. Clinton did not have a policy like that in her campaign, so it makes sense that FEC reports would show that some HRC staff, in their own private giving separate from the organization, would have given financial support to her – and not to Edwards or Obama.
Regarding the other issue at hand — were there many people within HRC’s staff and board who were excited and passionate about Sen. Clinton’s campaign? You bet. Can the same be said for Sen. Edwards, and Sen. Obama, who has now been endorsed by HRC for the general election? Absolutely.
HRC is reflective of our community in that people saw a great deal to be excited and energized about this primary season. Throughout the campaign season, I think it’s very fair to say that the staff, the boards and the membership of the HRC were split among the top three candidates, as was the rest of the country.
During the most recent HRC Board meeting, I addressed the staff and board, and personally thanked them for the way they approached the primary season, supporting a robust and genuine dialogue among a fantastic pool of candidates.
Now that HRC has endorsed Sen. Obama, the staff and boards are one hundred percent behind his candidacy and are working to elect him president.
Finally, as I write this today, the communications team of HRC is not in DC in their regular offices, but in California helping manage the surge of media around the historic marriages that will begin taking place this afternoon. That kind of work, along with keeping an eye toward the elections in the fall, is where their energy – and the rest of ours – should be right now, not in this kind of community infighting.
***End of Statement***