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MARCH 12, 2007
Cyndi Lauper Headlining HRC Tour


Announced this morning, legendary diva Cyndi Lauper will headline the 15-city True Colors Tour, the first-ever concert run benefiting the Human Rights Campaign, the world's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender political lobby group. The tour kicks off in Vegas on June 8 at the MGM Grand Garden and winds across the country before winding down on June 30 at LA's Greek Theater. Joining Cyndi will be Debbie Harry, Erasure, the Gossip, Dresden Dolls, the Misshapes and comedian (and tour host) Margaret Cho. Guests, including Rufus Wainwright, Indigo Girls and Rosie O'Donnell, will make special appearances throughout the tour. For every ticket sold, $1 will go to benefit HRC in order to create equal rights for gays everywhere.

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Only 1 friggin' dollar?!?!?!?!? I'm not surprised. Read this story and then think twice before writing that next check to HRC...(however, the concert does sound really fun)...

HRC paid former leader $160,000 last year
New headquarters building cost $26.4 million
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | Mar 15, 11:59 AM

The Human Rights Campaign disclosed for the first time this week that the total cost for buying and renovating its headquarters building in Washington came to $26.4 million. HRC also paid a former executive director who left the organization in 2004 nearly $160,000 last year.

According to IRS 990 forms for fiscal year 2006 (April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006), HRC Inc. paid its former executive director, Cheryl Jacques, $117,652 during that period. Jacques received additional compensation of $41,590 from the HRC Foundation for a total of $159,242.

Jacques abruptly resigned on Nov. 30, 2004, just weeks after that year’s elections in which 11 states voted to ban same-sex marriage and President Bush was re-elected. She served as executive director for just 11 months.

Jim Rinefierd, HRC’s vice president for finance and operations, declined to comment on the payments to Jacques, citing a confidentiality agreement. But he said those 2006 payments were the last to be made to Jacques under terms of her departure.

HRC also released new details about the cost of its headquarters building and the financing arrangement at the request of the Washington Blade following criticism by gay commentator and blogger Andrew Sullivan that the building was too expensive and detracted from resources that should have been used to advance gay rights causes.

Rinefierd said HRC moved ahead with the purchase after a market study showed that HRC would save $15 million over a 15-year period by owning a building rather than renting office space in Washington.

He said HRC financed the building with support from more than 2,000 donors in a special capital campaign operated separately from the group’s regular operating budget. “No membership or operating dollars” were used to purchase or renovate the high-rise office building at 1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W., Rienfierd said. At least 10 donors gave $1 million or more and others contributed at least $500,000 to the capital campaign, according to a list of donors displayed on a wall in the building’s lobby.

City records show that the purchase price for the building itself in April 2002 was $9.8 million. Rienfierd said HRC financed the purchase and renovation costs through a $22 million bridge loan from a local bank at an interest rate of 1.4 percent plus the monthly adjusted London Interbank Offered Rate, known as LIBOR. The Wall Street Journal listed that rate at 5.32 percent as of last week, bringing HRC’s mortgage interest to about 6.72 percent for this month. Rienfierd said the rate has been considerably lower during the past three years.

The terms of the loan require that the principal balance must be $10 million or lower by April 2007, Rienfierd said. As of this month, he said, cash payments collected through the capital campaign already reduced the principal balance on the mortgage to $7.6 million, he said. The loan must be paid in full by March 1, 2013.

Additional income for covering costs associated with the building is being generated by rent from tenants in the building’s upper three floors, HRC officials have said.

“We’re in great shape, and it’s all because of the great support from our donors,” Rienfierd said.

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