More specifically, the Log Cabin Republicans have around $100K in consolidated debt. They're blaming the economic downturn, apparently because Sisyphean projects like making the GOP gay-friendly (I don't think LCR considers itself a B or T organization) are the first things to go when we all have to tighten our belts.
But this was interesting:
"Really what we anticipated was that 2008 would be a better year fundraising-wise based on what we've seen in other presidential election years," he said. "We just didn't see the fundraising materialize the way that we expected."
Hm. I went to check their 990's to see if that was true and if I could find anything interest. It really looks like their campaign efforts on Mitt Romney's behalf might have used up a bulk of this money.
They entered 2005 (right after the last election) with about $100K in excess funds, and spent that money that year. In 2006, their revenue was about equal to their expenses. But in 2007, they overspent again, leaving them with about $91,500 of debt at the end of the year.
I'm going to guess that they overspent about that amount expecting the election to cover the difference this year, like it did in 2004. Except that didn't happen, or, if it did, it was offset by increased spending in 2008 on the Prop 8 campaign.
So I looked at their expenses for 2007, and the $140,000 for "Media Buys" under "Program Services" didn't make much sense. LCR does media buys now as part of its mission? Ads to increase membership wouldn't count since it's listed as a program service.
A bit below, they describe their program services, and this one stands out (click to enlarge, and, don't worry, this one's real):
Their ENDA campaign, as they describe it, was a postcard campaign. I'm going to put myself down as highly doubtful that that took more than $90K. But a TV/radio ad campaign could have easily used that kind of money.
Both of these numbers from their expense report (which aren't parallel, so there can be overlap) point to the fact that over $100K was spent on that Mitt Romney campaign. Which is insane for a group with such a small budget (around $900K in donations per year). They're working on lots of other issues, and this one doesn't seem like the one they should be throwing their lot with.
Sure, they claimed credit for helping defeat Mitt, but he wasn't substantially worse than McCain was. They were both against pretty much every piece of LGBT legislation, including that LCR centerpiece, ending DADT.
The big difference between the two candidates, for the LCR, though, was access. McCain met up with the leaders of LCR (super-secretly), and a staffer told them behind-the-scenes that he'd accept their donations. And when it comes to one of these organizations, trust me, access to politicians is a substantive issue that could lead to some poor judgment.
Maybe McCain wasn't a homophobe in real life, I don't know and I don't care. But his policies would have hurt us just as bad as Mitt Romney's, and that LCR wasted their money in the primaries on a closeted campaign to help McCain could be half the reason they didn't get a donation bump this past year.
I might be able to believe that the organization has some use if its core mission was making Republicans more gay-friendly, not gays (and straights) more McCain-friendly.
Perhaps Mitt Romney has rued the day he ever crossed the LCR's path and may reform his positions on LGBT issues for 2012.