Mass. Homosexual Lobbyists: Conley, Shapiro, Isaacson: Bay Windows, the Boston "gay" newspaper, recently identified Guerriero (above) as part of the GLBT lobbying team in the Massachusetts State House. He joins these three (left): Bill Conley (recently arrested for solicitation); Norma Shapiro of the ACLU; Arline Isaacson, who works for both the MGLPC and teachers' union (MTA). [Team Photo: Bay Windows.]
In the aftermath of Bill Conley's arrest for solicitation, the GLBT lobby is discussing what it can get away with, and to what extent it needs to regroup. Bay Windows reports that a major new player will be joining the team: Patrick Guerriero, formerly head of the national Log Cabin Republicans, former Mass. State Rep, and former mayor of Melrose. (He was also chosen by Acting Governor Jane Swift to be her running mate for Lt. Gov., though Mitt Romney stepped in and that team never ran.)
Guerriero has just been named Executive Director of the Gill Action Fund which, according to Wikipedia, "was created in August of 2005 from the political donations of Colorado gay millionaire Tim Gill, to coordinate activities with gay rights and other allied organizations, and to embark in activities that the tax code prohibits the nonprofit Gill Foundation from performing. Gill has donated over 100 million dollars (US) to LGBT causes, either directly or through the [Gill] Foundation."
"Basically this entity will become one of the largest funders of LGBT political work in the nation," said Guerriero, who was no doubt hired in part due to his connections in this state. Now the Gill Foundation's MILLIONS will pour into the all-important Massachusetts GLBT beachhead, focusing not only on the "marriage" issue, but also on the homosexual programs in the schools.
In fact, the wording of the law establishing the new independent "Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth" specifically allows for outside, private funding of its activities. (This is in contrast to usual government agencies or school departments, whose allocations are regulated by elected representatives, giving the voters/taxpayers some control.)
From Bay Windows, "MassEquality, Caucus ponder next moves" (8-10-06):
The MassEquality coalition was formed to preserve equal marriage rights in Massachusetts after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued its ruling in the Goodridge marriage lawsuit. Isaacson, who has more than two decades of experience lobbying on Beacon Hill, oversees the team of lobbyists working on marriage equality. Until two weeks ago, Conley, as the only full-time lobbyist working on LGBT issues, formed the core of the lobby team. During an interview with Bay Windows early this year for a story on MassEquality’s lobbying efforts, Isaacson said that Conley spent “99 percent” of his time at the State House working on marriage equality. [They're definitely underplaying the time Conley spent lobbying for homosexual education and youth outreach programs.]
In addition to Isaacson, who works as a lobbyist for the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the other core member of the lobby team is Norma Shapiro, who is the legislative director for the Massachusetts chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. This week, Isaacson said that other members of her team include MassEquality’s Solomon, Ann Lambert, who is a lobbyist for the ACLU, Holly Gunner, a board member of the ACLU and Patrick Guerriero, who is leaving his post as president of the Log Cabin Club at the end of this month to work for the Colorado-based Gill Foundation.