CCV Facing Deficit

A prominent local anti-gay, right wing group sent a mass e-mail to supporters today seeking money to avoid a $150,000 deficit next year, which is close to what the group's president makes in salary.

The e-mail distributed by Sharonville-based Citizens for Community Values (CCV) states it's ready to “jump into 2011 with both feet!”—-

It continues, “Of course, we felt the financial strain of 2010, like many of you, and faced the reality of a $150,000 shortfall in our budget. It didn’t keep us from accomplishing voter registration and education goals for the General Election, or organizing events such as David Barton rallies and a community support meeting.

“And we’re hoping the shortfall won’t keep us from realizing specific plans for 2011 — only six weeks away!,” the e-mail states. “Plans to identify coordinators in each of the 88 Ohio counties to help organize swift action regarding local concerns. Plans to pass an effective human trafficking law that will shut down more sex businesses in Ohio. And plans to hold the newly elected officials accountable to what the values voters expect.”

CCV's e-mail then offers a link to contribute to the organization online, as well as an address where checks can be mailed.

The group's most recent paperwork filed with the Internal Revenue Service to keep its tax-exempt status, filed in 2008, reveals CCV paid $268,181 in salaries and other compensation to its three employees that year.

Of that amount, $110,558 was paid in salary to President Phil Burress, who also received $7,265 in “other compensation,” which typically means reimbursement for travel expenses or the cost of benefits.

Burress continues to get a pay bump from CCV every year. For example, his 2008 salary is $22,977 more than what he was paid six years earlier, $87,581.

Pretty good work, if you can get it.

Also in 2008, David Miller, CCV's vice president of public policy, got $67,460 in salary and $9,312 in other compensation; Jerry Lyon, vice president of operations, got $65,632 in salary and $7,954 in other compensation.

It was during that same year — 2008 — that CCV paid the Rev. Charlie Winburn to meet with area clergy and businesspeople to garner support for an unsuccessful campaign targeting adult services advertisements in CityBeat's newspaper and on our Web site. As part of the effort, CCV paid Winburn to take a trip to Florida for “research.”

Beginning in December 2009, Miller now also works at City Hall as chief of staff for Winburn, who won election that year to Cincinnati City Council.

Besides the compensation for the three employees, CCV also paid $4,800 in rent to Board Member Roger Weaver, who owns the office building used by the group.

CCV's tax documents show the group received $1.4 million in contributions in 2004; $1.2 million in 2005; $1.6 million in 2006; about $745,000 in 2007; and $1.2 million in 2008.

Here are the group's lobbying expenses for roughly the same period: $102,795 (2005), $205,681 (2006), $168,010 (2007) and $73,867 (2008).

Among its causes over the years, CCV pressured the region’s convenience stores into stop selling soft-core pornographic magazines like Playboy, pushed for a charter amendment in 1993 that prohibited Cincinnati officials from passing laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation (which was repealed by voters in 2004), and was behind Ohio’s anti-gay marriage ballot initiative in 2004.

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