Nice Work If You Can Get It

Rob Tisinai

January 6th, 2012

How’s this for a plan:

1.  Send people letters and email, pleading for money to fight a terrible (yet non-existent) danger.

2.  Use that money to finance another round of dishonest pleas for money.

3.  Repeat steps 1 and 2, month after month, year after year, while taking a “management fee” for my efforts.

Nice, huh? Actually, I didn’t invent it. I’m trying to figure out if that’s what anti-gay activist Eugene Delgaudio is doing.

Eugene Delgaudio

Delgaudio is kind of a joke, known for extreme, over-the-top, even messianic fundraising appeals. On the other hand, he’s an actual elected official, and pulls in well over a million dollars a year in donations. He’s also in the news right now, because he rented the Weekly Standard‘s email list to send out an anti-gay fundraising request so appalling that the conservative magazine has actually issued a statement of regret.

For some reason, I’m on the mailing list for Delgaudio’s organization (“Public Advocate of the United States”). Last month he asked for money with a novel and ballsy approach. He was about to file his 990 with the IRS (a financial disclosure form) and he was short of his 2011 fundraising goal. This would devastate the nation:

If I fail to raise $46,359.17 by December 31st, I’ll be forced to broadcast our weakness and vulnerability to the Homosexual Lobby…

…if they see Public Advocate’s treasury depleted they will see an opening to ram through the Gay Bill of Special Rights, the Homosexual Classrooms Act and the repeal of DOMA…

No wonder they’ll be pouring over my finance report like demented hyenas cackling as they stalk their prey, ready to rip it to shreds…

Robert, that’s why your emergency gift of $50, $100 or $200 is so important.

Without it, the Homosexual Lobby will be able to show Public Advocate’s 990s to moderate politicians as proof there is no effective opposition to their agenda.

His chutzpah is breathtaking, as he pretends NOM, AFA, TVC, FRC and a host of anti-gay groups don’t exist. But that’s not even the ballsy part: Delgaudio is openly asking for money just for the sake of having money!

He’s not even saying what he plans to do with it. But that’s not important — all that matters is making sure everyone knows Eugene Delgaudio has your money. Literally, that’s his pitch.

Delgaudio’s been sending me junk for months, but it never occurred to me “scour” his 990s until he brought them up. Then I figured, Why not? What does he do with all this cash? I’m no accountant, but I can read a 990. Let me walk you through what I found. And I’ll try not to cackle like a demented hyena stalking its prey.

In 2009 (the latest year on file), Delgaudo received $1,276,232 in donations (plus another hundred grand in investment income). Here are his expenses.

Various basic expenses
(Payroll, legal, accounting, etc)
$224,942
Management fee 163,944
Grants, travel conferences 16,579
Lobbying 0
Postage 390,855
Printing 392,961
Computer and list maintenance 65,875
Creative and Coordinating 129,658
Other (mystery) 71,697
Total $1,456,511

So it costs him almost a quarter of a million a year just to maintain his basic operation. That’s actually not too bad. You might be wondering how much of that sum is Delgaudio’s salary. Well, none. Zip, zilch, nada. The records are clear. He doesn’t draw a salary. What selfless devotion to the cause!

Except for…well, except for the management fee paid to Eugene Delgaudio & Associates, Inc., a management consulting company wholly owned by, of course, Eugene Delgaudio. It’s $163,944, plus another $7662 buried in other expenses, for a grand total of $171,606.

$171,606. That’s what Delgaudio pays himself every year.

Next, we see a tiny bit of money for grants and travel conferences. Sure, why not. Actually, I’m surprised it’s not higher, given his superhuman activist persona. In fact, there’s a deeper mystery: his listed lobbying expenses are zero. Again, I have to ask — what is he doing with his donations?

The next three items (postage, printing, and computer and list maintenance) add up to $849,691. And you know what I call those expenses? Fundraising.

Delgaudio would disagree. He’d say he’s sending letters and emails asking for money so he can fight the homosexual agenda by…sending out letters and emails asking for money.

I guess I don’t know what he’d say. The letters, though are a hoot. Not just because they’re full of lies (e.g., if anti-discrimination law passes, “Churches would be forced to hire homosexual youth pastors” and there will be “pro-homosexual hiring quotas in workplaces” — both demonstrably false). No, the letters are hilarious because, well, read for yourself:

One stormy night I drove to a mailshop hidden deep in a nearly deserted stand of warehouses. I’d heard something was up and wanted to see for myself. As I rounded the final turn my eyes nearly popped. Tractor-trailers pulled up to loading docks, cars and vans everywhere and long-haired, earring-pierced men scurrying around running forklifts, inserters and huge printing presses. Trembling with worry I went inside. It was worse than I ever imagined. Row after row of boxes bulging with pro-homosexual petitions lined the walls, stacked to the ceiling. My mind reeled as I realized hundreds, maybe thousands, more boxes were already loaded on the tractor-trailers. And still more petitions were flying off the press. Suddenly a dark-haired man screeched, “Delgaudio what are you doing here?” Dozens of men began moving toward me. I’d been recognized. As I retreated to my car, the man chortled, “This time Delgaudio we can’t lose.” Driving away, my eyes filled with tears as I realized he might be right. This time the Radical Homosexuals could win.

I love this trembling, bulging, homoerotic vision of a shady warehouse filled with gay men on forklifts, loading boxes of petitions onto tractor-trailers.  Of course, you have to believe some unbelievable things. First, that gay men have never heard of Kinko’s. And second — long hair? Dude, it’s not 1977. Update your stereotypes.

I’ve screen-capped a recent email from Delgaudio. You can view it here. Typically, it starts with a grandiose description of his personal martyrdom, breathlessly describes “a new threat,” and pleads for your money. He also asks you to update your contact info for future fundraising sign an online petition.

What are we left with now? A little over two hundred grand for “Creative and coordinating” and “Other.” That’s mysterious. In this frustrating effort to find out what he actually does, I checked his website and found a list:

public demonstrations, news conferences, media campaigns, petition drives and face-to-face confrontations with leading liberal politicians

That’s his claim. I found scant evidence of it though.  He’s got:

  • An online petition to members of Congress, which hasn’t been updated since the 2008 elections.
  • “Press releases,” which are like tiny blog entries linking to work done by people who are not Eugene Delgaudio.
  • Some youtube videos cribbed from other sources (newscasts, etc.).
  • A few original youtube videos. Stuff like Delgaudio wandering around other people’s events with a camera. Or running down an empty sidewalk waving a flag, and then shouting at the White House. (Seriously, check it out. I’ve cued it up to the funniest bit.) These have petered off lately: just one video in 2010, and two in 2011.
  • Also, in a sudden fit actually doing something, he printed out what he claims are “over a million petitions” against special rights for gays in 2010 (not 2009, the year detailed above), and delivered them to the Senate, whatever that means — apparently dropping them off at the back of a building after a cop tells you to move your boxes. The video of that is pretty funny, too.

Crap, I do more than that for free. But it’s what you get for your $1,276,232. What Eugene Delgaudio gets, of course, is $171,606.

Delgaudio has the public’s eye right now, and he’s working it. This might be a good time for him to step back from his cries of persecution and tell his donors exactly what it is he does with their money — besides using it to ask them for more money.

Becky

January 6th, 2012

Hyenas are scavengers, right?
So if you’re tearing through his 990 like a hyena stalking its prey, it means his organization is dead.

Pacal

January 6th, 2012

This looks like a scam. Any organization that spends more than 1/4 of its income on fundraising is either a scam or very badly run.

Over 1/2 of the cost of this little operation is postage and printing alone! so that if we factor in the additional costs of fundraising something like probably over 2/3rds of the money spent is fundraising!

Given this is what the records his company files indicate I strongly suspect that this little racket as more dubious ways of raking in the dough.

Mike

January 6th, 2012

Don’t forget the time we were cackling and banging through the halls of congress. That’s my favorite.

AlexH

January 6th, 2012

Damn! I thought there was a tea room going on at the docks!

And I cackled watching those videos clips.

Richard Rush

January 6th, 2012

I get emails from that guy all the time. Oh, wait, here’s the latest one that just arrived this afternoon:

Dear Richard,

President Obama has once again proven himself to be the most radical supporter of Homosexual Agenda ever to hold the Oval Office.

Just recently, his White House announced that homosexual “rights” will be a crucial element in America’s foreign policy.

That’s right, I said foreign.

The United States will now punish any country around the world that refuses to give homosexuals special “rights.”

Obama even said that he will use American tax dollars to buy international compliance.

I couldn’t believe it when I first read it.

The Radical Homosexual Lobby has seen their agenda stopped time and again at home by the pro-Family movement.

Their champion, Barack Obama, has realized that you and I can make it very difficult for him to pass the radical Homosexual Agenda here at home, so now he is using this vile alternative.

With Hillary Clinton and the State Department leading the charge, this administration will force their radical agenda on the rest of the world.

They will use American clout.

They will use American resources and personnel.

And they will use money taken right out of the pockets of family-loving, hard-working Americans to bribe foreign governments into giving in to the Homosexual Agenda.

You see, all over the world people recognize the importance of family, real marriage and community standards of morality.

And the radical homosexuals can’t stand it.
So they have decided that if they can’t win here, they will attack everywhere else.

And the worst part is that since this is a State Department operation, Congress and the American people will never get the chance to say no to the president.

So you and I will just have to be even more pro-active in fighting back.

Hillary Clinton recently told the world that the United States supports the perverted lifestyles of homosexuals and apologized for our traditional values.

And now she wants to use her department to “re-train” foreign governments.

It’s a sad fact, but Public Advocate is the only group that is willing to speak out nation-wide against these disgusting developments.

But I pledge to you right now that I will not rest until the Obama Administration agrees to stop this horrific international agenda.

And I know I can always count on you to stand by my side in this fight. Thank you in advance for your support.

For the Family,

Eugene Delgaudio
President, Public Advocate of the United States

P.S. Please prayerfully consider chipping in with a donation of $10 or more to help Public Advocate fight for traditional values.

I’d love to meet some of the gullible people who send him money.

Bose in St. Peter MN

January 6th, 2012

I signed up for Delgaudio’s emails in a weak moment several months ago.

The most interesting development since then came recently, when I started receiving “personal” messages from Ron Paul.

This particular email address has attracted no spam, and is not subscribed to any other conservative sources. The Paul messages arrived in the same font/layout as Delgaudio’s, and the unsubscribe mechanism was also at Delgaudio’s site.

So, it’s clear that Paul paid whatever ransom Delgaudio asked for to blanket his subscribers with “Dear Fellow Conservative” emails.

WMDKitty

January 7th, 2012

*snort* Delgaudio.

He takes “dishonest scumbag” to 11. And then breaks the dial trying to crank it up even further.

Lightning Baltimore

January 7th, 2012

Wow . . .

I wonder how easy it is to setup a fake anti-gay organization? I wouldn’t mind pulling down a six-figure income by fleecing homophobes with big checkbooks.

Man, it’s tempting. Of course, a sizable chunk would secretly go to pro-gay organizations. :-D

Ben in Oakland

January 7th, 2012

I would love to get inside the heads of cranks terms like El Del-god-illogic and Tony Perkinks to know what they REALLY think and what they are REALLY doing.

Except that I don’t think there are hip boots high enough to wade through the moral and intellectual sewage.

Richard Rush

January 7th, 2012

Delgaudio is profiting nicely from the most important lesson a scammer can learn: Religion is your best friend. You can “earn” a nice living while the risks of prosecution are minimized by the special rights bestowed on religion. As long as you avoid a sex-scandal, you can milk it into advanced old age (just ask Pat Robertson).

Tara TASW

January 7th, 2012

“No wonder they’ll be pouring over my finance report…”

what exactly are we going to be “pouring?” Maple syrup? Santorum?

Bob

January 7th, 2012

Delgaudio’s sexual fanatasies are always apparent in his fun-raising letters. You know what this guy really wants when he goes sniffing at those ware houses. He’s just like all the other closet-case homophobes…maybe richer, just as blatant.

Hazumu

January 7th, 2012

If Eugene Delgaudio is a common garden-variety con artist, and as long as NOM doesn’t get the money, I don’t mind his greed so much. The folks that hate “the dirty fuckin’ homos” get to feel as if they’re doing something, and Eugene pisses the money away on himself.

Leo

January 7th, 2012

They’ve been following this loon over at Joe My God for sometime. And the question that keeps coming up has to do with the legal implications of using completely fraudulent claims in fundraising materials?

Not only the constant misrepresentation of law and policy but the sheer crazy dramas he presents.

The account of the late night trip to the mail shop staffed by long haired homos is but just one example of the complete fiction this guy uses to get people to write checks—there are many others, including the claim that someone came into his home threw a blanket over him and proceeded beat him with a rock—there’s of course no police report or public record of any such assault.

It would be great to hear from someone with a legal background about what the regulations are regarding fundraising appeals—you can really just sent out works of complete fiction in an effort to separate people from their money?

Theo

January 7th, 2012

Rob:

A huge portion of the Public Advocate’s expenses go to postage. As someone on his mailing list, have you ever received any mail from him via the US Postal Service? He would have to send out a lot of snail mail to justify those expenses, but as far as I know, he communicates via email. Can you shed any light on this?

As far as the group itself, I too was shocked when I read the 990s and learned how much this clown brings in. The group does virtually nothing other than maintain a website which is updated maybe couple of times a month.
However, I question whether it is in our interest to speak out against Delgaudio. After all, every dollar he collects is one less dollar available to anti-gay groups that actually hurt gay people. Effectively, he is robbing the anti-gay side of $1.4 million each and every year. That is a public service, so I hope that Rob Tisinai leaves well enough alone and doesn’t crusade against the Public Advocate.

james

January 8th, 2012

Rob, the IRS does investigate fraudulent tax-exempt organizations (non-profit corporate status is governed by state corporation laws). Every year, the IRS revokes the tax-exempt status of hundreds of organizations. Many claim a religious, charitable, or educational exemption.

Maybe you could post on here a link to the complaint process at the IRS. If we all filed complaints, they might very well investigate.

Also, in what state is Public Advocate of the US incorporated? A complaint to the corporations office and attorney general seems in order. All this might take time, but a criminal charge could result.

The minimum fraud is that he claims he needs the money to lobby, but spends nothing on lobbying. Unless, of course, he’s falsifying his 990. Can’t imagine he’d do THAT!

Ryan

January 8th, 2012

It’s astonishing to me that the IRS isn’t already after him. This is clear tax fraud.

Soren456

January 8th, 2012

I like what Theo says. It seems to me that until Delgaudio proves to have a real and negative effect, our best response is to keep track of him, build the case against him, but otherwise leave him be.

Delgaudio does at least two things for us: He siphons funds that might be used elsewhere to cause genuine pain, and he makes ludicrous the extremity of the arguments he and all the others use against us.

In my mind, he is a Walter Mitty.

craig

July 31st, 2012

We should all be signing up for his website mailings. Cost the asshole more postage. Toss the shit right in the garbage where it belongs.

jerry

December 13th, 2012

Pascal said,”This looks like a scam.”
It walks like a scam and quacks like a scam so I have to line up with those who believe it’s a scam.

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