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NOW the truth

Terry O'Neill

Terry O'Neill

There are lots of salacious stories and juicy rumors floating around about the National Organization for Women’s national conference last Saturday in Indiananapolis.  Violet Socks tells it like it is:

#1: The real issue at the NOW election was that the organization is broke and going nowhere fast. Membership has nose-dived and so has revenue (which is primarily based on membership dues):

During the two year period from 2005 to 2007, total revenue declined $1,189,644 or almost 40%. For the past three years, NOW’s expenditures have exceeded income, and NOW Inc. has been forced to borrow money from The NOW Foundation to stay solvent…

During the last election cycle (2005-2009), NOW’s membership declined approximately 10% per year and current membership figures are probably around 60,000…

The current Membership VP (Latifa Lyles) and her five-member team are directly responsible for a catastrophic 40% decline in membership and corresponding decline in revenues that imperils the continued operation of NOW.

In addition, something like 28% of NOW’s membership revenue goes just to pay the salaries of the four people at the top (the president and three VPs).

#2: Latifa Lyles has been the Membership VP during this period of catastrophic decline. She was running for president on a record of under-achievement, to put it mildly. Terry O’Neill, on the other hand, maintained overall membership levels during her tenure as Membership VP a few years ago, enhancing outreach efforts and bringing in new members each year.

#3: Latifa Lyles was not the candidate of change; she was the hand-picked successor of Kim Gandy and Ellie Smeal (who is the power behind the throne, as it were). Latifa’s election would have meant a continuation of Ellie Smeal’s control and a continuation of the inside-the-beltway strategy NOW has pursued in recent years.

#4: Terry O’Neill ran on a platform of change: shaking up the organization, re-invigorating the grassroots, re-establishing vendor relations, restoring financial integrity, and re-building membership.

There is a bunch more, but you need to visit The Reclusive Leftist to read it.

(#7 and #8 are especially shocking)

Well, what are you waiting for?  Go see Violet.  While you’re there you can read her archives and check out her pictures of alpacas too.

Please — DIGG & Share!!!

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51 Responses

  1. My favorite is #8, it’s so classic Failbot. “Demoralize through deception.” It’s easier than offering an actual reason for anyone to vote for you. “Those rallies, those rallies, those giant, giant rallies!”

  2. Thanks for posting! I appreciate the help in combating the idiot rumors.

  3. It just so scandalous and utterly disgusting. Who are these women? How could they have sold us out like this? It’s worse then I could have imagined.

    • I really wonder what Gandy’s motive is. I mean, with Kerry and Reid etc, okay, they’re just hacks. Whatever happens, they cash the checks, get their TV time and laugh at the suckers. And the “find empowerfulness through pole dancing” feminists are like kos, they have no principles, they want jobs/power/influence and the best way to get in the club is to suck up to librul dood misogyny and separate yourself from those annoying naggy whiners who want to be treated like people and expect policy results. Okay, fine, get it.

      But Gandy and Smeal aren’t in that demo. I can understand thinking trying to be insiders might be a good strategy to get something accomplished. Except, it’s proved a big failure. So why be so committed to continue going down a failed path?

      • Maybe she’s just been hanging around the Village too long.

      • Seriously, probably because it gets verrry comfortable to think you are a part of the insiders.

        The sad thing is that probably whoever they contact laughs their asses off at them.

        • Yeah, you get taken real seriously when your rallying cry is “What do we want? NOTHING! When do we want it? NEVER! But please, take all our money and votes, godspeed, and can we smear anyone for you today?

        • But asking for equal rights is pushy and bound to make people uncomfortable…

      • It looks like they also gave themselves a big chunk of the revenues–I’m sure they wanted to hold onto that for doing a bad job.

  4. This comes from Lynette Long (via Alegre):

    Kim Gandy, President
    2005 – $169,041 + $21,802 Total: $190,843
    2006 – $176,009 + $22,252 Total: $198,261
    2007 – $166,984 + $26,323 Total: $193,207

    Olga Vives, Executive VP
    2005 – $139,698 + $12,200 Total: $151,898
    2006 – $151,305 + $12,853 Total: $164,158
    2007 – $145,116 + $13,920 Total: $159,760

    Latifa Lyles, Membership VP
    2005 – $63,416 + $2,026 Partial year Total: $65,442
    2006 – $151,305 + $6,455 Total: $157,760
    2007 – $145,117 + $22,224 Total: $167,341

    Melody Drnach, Action VP
    2005 – $61,708 + $4,160 Partial year Total: $65,868
    2006 – $151,305 + $11,858 Total: $163,163
    2007 – $145,117 + $19,596 Total: $164,713

    Notice the increase in salaries during a period when membership and revenues dropped 40%

    • Why would any organization almost TRIPLE the salaries of two officers in a year? That looks like financial mismanagement.

      • I want a job like that – performance goes down while pay goes up.

        • Even during a good year, that’s really excessive. A standard raise is what, maybe 3%? At $35 for dues, they’d need to attract thousands of new members a year just to pay these salary increases. That does not seem like a smart allocation of funds.

      • I don’t think it almost tripled. 2005 was a partial year.

      • It says “partial year” during those first entries. I was shocked by that at first glance too. Still, Lyles was making more than the VP, and membership was dropping?

    • All that for shmoozing. Gandy made more then Senator Hillary Clinton in 2006:

      Second, the salaries of NOW’s officers are higher than the salaries of other comparable organizations even though NOW is experiencing serious financial difficulties due to the failure of the membership team to enroll new members. According to Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org) the average CEO salary of a not-for-profit is 3% of the organization’s total revenue. Three percent of NOW’s 2007 revenue of $4,450,717 is $133,000. The salaries of NOW officers are high by any standard. Hillary Clinton as a United States Senator earned $165,000 in 2006, which was less than the president of NOW. Eleanor Smeal, President of the FMF, earned $142,000 in 2006, less than any of the NOW officers.

    • the 2005 figures are for only half a year. the salaries are high but not as high as it fist seems. They must have taken office in JULY. I guess K im was trying to cover up the incompetence and the complicity. When I THINK about what NOW did last year to our organization and this COUNTRY!!! It is as awful as what 0bama has done to women, the democrats. and now the country and the world.

    • Does this pattern remind you of anything else? Financial company execs’ enormous increasing salaries even as profits drop and layoffs abound?

  5. Wow! Those changes from 05 to 06 for the veeps is incredible!

  6. I’m past my reproductive years but I’ll never get past my gay years. I’m tired of carrying that picket sign. It’s time for the 4th wavers or whoever they are to pick up the slack and start marching.

    • I so fucking agree with you.

    • Me too. In fact, I was hoping the other woman would win and make our I-told-you-so point with BO a lot sooner! (Yes, that’s how I really am.)

    • I, like you, am over my reproductive years. My productive years will hopefully continue for some times. Women are always women and we need organizations that fight for our rights throughout our lives. Older women often have very serious health and wealth issues that go hand in hand.

      You will not get over your gay years or your female years, you are part of the not so selective club we call women, for your lifetime. (Please no Chaz Bono retort. ) 😉

      • A large percentage of women in this country are either past their reproductive years (like me), permanently sterilized, lesbian, or for other various reasons will never get pregnant.

        I am as pro-choice as they come, but I am sick of that issue being the only issue I am supposed to care about. I’m supposed to swallow every other sort of misogyny and injustice on the planet, because they sort of halfway protect a freedom that does not even affect me anymore? Fuck them.

        Give me all the OTHER freedoms, give me employment equality, get rid of the misogyny, the subjugation, make women in this country more powerful. If we did THAT, then the choice issue would take care of itself, because we’d have women so empowered that they wouldn’t stand for it being taken way.

        But if course, that’s what the patriarchy fears. If we stopped making choice our focus, and made EMPOWERMENT our focus, then they would lose that uterus-hostage with which to control us. I say call their bluff.

        • EMPOWERMENT!

          Sounds like a great new rallying cry to me…

        • The fight for abortion rights was supposed to be the means to an end. With control over their own bodies, women would be free to compete in the market place with men. Unfortunately, we’ve let it become the end. The right to abortion is the law of the land. We won it for them. Let the younger women make sure they keep it. Please let us move on to other issues.

  7. Seriously, you are awesome.

  8. To Obama or lurkers:

    There’s something wrong with Obama acting so nonchalant, talking about a July 4 party and the butchering of human beings in Iran. What bostonboomer said on the Tehran Protest turns bloody thread:

    From Crooks and Liars:

    “In Baharestan we saw militia with axe choping ppl like meat – blood everywhere – like butcher . . . Fighting in Vanak Sq, Tajrish sq, Azadi Sq – now . .”

    saw 7/8 militia beating one woman with baton on ground – she had no defense nothing – #Iranelection sure that she is deadabout 5 hours ago from web

    they were waiting for us – they all have guns and riot uniforms – it was like a mouse trap – ppl being shot like animals #Iranelectionabout 5 hours ago from web

    I see many ppl with broken arms/legs/heads – blood everywhere – pepper gas like war – #Iranelectionabout 5 hours ago from web

    Will someone please explain to me why it isn’t time for the UN to step in?

    Chopping people with axes? Seven or eight men beating a woman to death? Apparently the EU is going to send a delegation to Iran. Where the f*ck is Obama. It’s time to do something now!


    Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi’s appeals to the EU to respond to the violence in her country are bearing fruit: the president of the EU parliament is considering sending an unprecedented delegation to Tehran.

    EU Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering said Wednesday that he is prepared to lead a delegation of European deputies to Iran to study allegations of fraud in the recent election that returned hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to another four years in power.

    His comments came after meeting Iranian Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi, who has been campaigning for EU countries and other members of the international community to “express their protest” over Tehran’s violent crackdown on opposition demonstrators.

    “I have never done this before but this…is so severe and important that I’m ready to go myself as president of the European parliament to show our solidarity with the people in Iran,” he said.

    • You expected something more from PBO?

    • What? they’re going to send people into Iran? this is bullshit. Why don’t we just police all 200 countries on this planet and get it over with.

  9. I think #12 says it all:

    “#12: It’s perhaps worth stepping back and asking why Sarah Palin is such a reviled figure that the phrase “Palin supporter” is the mark of Cain. NOW itself, under the leadership of Kim Gandy, is part of the reason. NOW cooperated with the Obama campaign last year in spreading lies about Palin designed to make her seem crazily right-wing. Most of the things Palin is reviled for — the rape kit smear, the abstinence-only smear, the anti-contraception smear — are simply not true. Ironically, NOW justifies its vilification of Palin with lies that the organization itself helped spread.”

    Thanks again to Dr. Socks for her clear mind and warrior’s heart.

    We don’t all have to support Palin, but we do need to rise above the lies of 2008!

    Carry on, my Feminist sisters.



  10. Oh and, Donna’s accusation about Obama’s nonchalance is on target as well.

    How can any pol stand around twiddling his thumbs… while Iran’s protesters are being mowed down like grass?

    The man is without a moral compass.


  11. 0bama has a serious personality disorder — it should have been obvious to most people. WE could clearly see that he has no core values — no moral compass.


    Anyway Violet’s article was good — especially #12 – the pathological hatred of Palin — was started by 0bama — and his followers took their clues from his behavior.

    She has to stay in the fight — because 0bama has a pathological hatred of anyone who fails to adore him. No matter what she does — she will be attacked. It seems that the only way that the crazy left wing nuts can attack her is to lie — to make up stuff. How crazy is THAT?

  12. Thank you myiq, Violet Socks, Lynette Long, and Alegre’s Corner for providing this very important data.

  13. Bringing in people dressed in Gandys establishment garb to give the impression of overwhelming numbers. Trying to slander female politicians with lies and label the people who speak out against it?! Sounds like the crap the Obamaites pulled at the caucuses. Too much kool aid, their brains have rotted. The Obamaites must be really surprised that their anti democracy tactics did not work this time however.

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