Millionnaire Homosexual Tim Gill Commits More Than $200 Million to Pro-“Gay” Foundations, Political Campaigns

Excerpted from For Gill, It’s Not About the Money, by Myung Oak Kim And Burt Hubbard, published Oct 23, 2006, in Rocky Mountain News:

tim-gill.jpgTim Gill, the 53-year-old founder of the desktop software firm Quark, became a force in Colorado politics two years ago when he and three other wealthy residents spent $2 million to help install a Democratic majority in both houses of the state legislature for the first time in decades.

This year, Gill has dropped almost $5 million so far on state election campaigns – more than any other individual in Colorado.

…”I have never seen in Colorado politics in the 30-some odd years where I’ve been active . . . any individual involved to the degree that Tim Gill is,” said political consultant Katy Atkinson, a registered Republican who works with both sides of the aisle on ballot measures.

“Should he choose to, he can shape any part of Colorado public policy he wants to.”

Gill also is a player on the national stage, funneling more than $2 million into mostly Democratic causes, including the Democracy Alliance, a new group made up of dozens of the country’s wealthiest donors who are lavishing money on think tanks and organizations to counter similar groups established years ago by conservatives.

All of this is on top of Gill’s considerable philanthropy. Gill and his 12-year-old Gill Foundation have spent more than $80 million on gay and lesbian causes and on other organizations friendly to their gay workers, including the Pikes Peak Library Foundation, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Public Broadcasting of Colorado.

And all of this is just the beginning, according to Gill’s political adviser Ted Trimpa.

“Tim is in it for the long haul,” said Trimpa, a partner at the high-profile law firm Brownstein Hyatt & Farber. “What we’re talking about is strategic philanthropy and strategic politics.”…

‘Unquestionable’ national impact
Much of Gill’s support has gone to 527 groups, which take their name from Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code…

Gill is the top political donor in Colorado and much of the West to national 527 groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group that tracks political contributions. He ranks 16th among all individual 527 donors nationwide, said organization communications director Massie Ritsch.

“If you’re No. 16 on the 527 list, you’re in the elite,” Ritsch said. “If I need to put together a dinner party of the biggest left-leaning donors in the country, I’d invite him.”

These 527 donations give Gill a behind- the-scene hand in influencing campaigns far from Colorado. For example, the Lantern Project, a Gill beneficiary, is funding ads against U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.

Steve Farber, the Denver lawyer and political insider who is trying to bring the 2008 Democratic National Convention to Denver, describes Gill as “a very loyal Democrat both locally and nationally.”

“I think his impact nationally is unquestionable,” Farber said.

Gill’s political adversaries say they are well aware of his impact.

“I see him as being the most focused force on a political agenda,” said state Rep. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, a vocal opponent of Referendum I. “He’s trying to mainstream the homosexual community into our culture.”

“I am concerned that he has been very effective and will continue to be very effective,” he added. “That’s the way the system works. He has that right because he has the resources.”…

A focus on local politics
At a three-day Gill-sponsored conference in Miami last March, Gill pushed for a major shift in political strategy in the gay rights movement.

The Gill Action Fund “political outgiving” meeting brought together almost 200 of the biggest advocates and supporters of the gay rights movement. Gill’s message to them was simple: All politics is local.

Until then, wealthy gay donors often focused on “glamour giving” – donations to presidential or congressional campaigns with an eye toward hobnobbing with the rich and famous…

He created the Gill Foundation in 1994 with an endowment of more than $200 million

Continue reading in Rocky Mountain News…

This article was posted on Wednesday, October 25th, 2006 at 1:36 pm and is filed under Candidates & Elected Officials, Gill Foundation, News, Quark. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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