Susan G. Komen Staffers Dropping Like Flies

  pretty in pink

one in the pinkLeslie Aun, Susan G. Komen’s national vice president of communications, quit yesterday so that she can spend more time with someone else’s children, in her new role as VP of communications for Venture Philanthropy Partners. We would like to shout a big Yay! but instead we’re muttering a small yay. Because really, it’s the Komen Queen, Nancy Brinker, who must go. Everybody else is just fiffle faffle.

We’re not surprised that the mouthpiece for Susan G. Komen quit, since she’s had to eat an awful lot of doo-doo while trying to save Brinker’s ungrateful ass. Just think of all the spin Ms. Aun had to manufacture to contain the continuing fallout from the Planned Parenthood debacle, like decreasing donations, uprisings from regional affiliates, contradictions from Komen board members about Brinker’s stated intentions for ditching Planned Parenthood, a 21% Drop in “Brand Equity” (dropping 54 spots to 56th place out of 79 non-profit brands surveyed), desperate affiliates trying to sell $40 Race for the Cure tickets for $15 on Groupon, the sullying of Komen’s corporate pinkness, protest resignations of Komen top brass, and, of course, Komen’s relationship to Uzbekistan’s Dictatrice, Gulnara Karimova.

There isn’t a flak jacket big enough to deflect all that shite.

What is really obvious to everyone except Nancy Brinker is that she is the one who needs to step down (and lose all those first-class air travel and five-star hotel room perks). Her son, Erik Brinker, had the decency to let go of his position on the Komen board and her cousin, Mark Solls, is being replaced as Komen corporate counsel. Daniel Borochoff of CharityWatch said that Komen “may very well need to get a new board and a new chief executive.” and that it lacked perspective on itself — a condition he called “founder’s syndrome.” We aren’t sure, but we think Nancy also suffers from a DC-elite form of the Jerusalem Syndrome (people who think they are Jesus – this explanatory video is worth watching, just to see a fundy New Orleans Jesus with man breasts. You’re welcome), since she requires that all her minions address her as Ambassador Brinker.

If you want Susan G. Komen’s Jesus H. Christ Brinker to step down, you can sign this change.org petition.

 
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Writer, teacher, traveler. Arizona girl living in Paris.

View all articles by Lisa Wines

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70 comments

    1. lisawines

      3,989,432,787,432. Last time I counted. No, right now, 9 people on the board, 14 people on the leadership team, 6 people on the scientific advisory board, 6 advisory councils, 1 ambassador (other than Nancy). It's interesting because they used to have a page listing founding ambassadors but I can't find it anymore. Then they have all the state organizations but they are franchisees.

      1. DaRooster

        And, if it is like most places in 'Merica these days…

        5 people that do the actual work.

      2. Barb

        They have merchandise? I didn't think there was anything that Komen didn't have a pink ribbon plastered on. I have a roll of kitchen parchment paper that has the pink ribbon on the box.

        Ann Romney said yesterday that when she had breast cancer it made her aware of "how wonderful people are." Mitt said of Planned Parenthood, "we will get rid of it." You would think that Ann would find this cause personal enough to stand up for women who need screenings. Oh well, if expensive dressage horses got breast cancer maybe Ann would speak out.

        1. BerkeleyBear

          The absolutely brilliant marketing move they did was making Breast Cancer = Pink Ribbons = Komen through ties to shit like Yoplait and everything else. That ribbon is TM Komen, so anyone who wants to use it to get on the "we like ladies" train has to pay them.

          Autism went through (and is going through) the same shit. Local groups started using puzzles and puzzle pieces to symbolize the frustration of the condition, the Autism Society of America then tried to trademark the multicolored puzzle ribbon and make the locals buy rights to it. Revolution ensued, ASA backed off. But there are still Hollywood and rich people types (Autism Speaks, with a blue puzzle piece and 20 years late to the cause) trying to bigfoot all the other groups and suck the air out of the room. It can make you rage, especially when you find out how much goes to overhead and how cynical the corporate giving is.

    2. Terry

      How many relatives does Brinker have? Take that number and add to it the number of executives an organization actually needs.

      1. actor212

        Perri Peltz?

        She used to do the news here on WNBC (which explains why they were always covering the Race for the Cure)

        In fact, I could never figure out why she bothered working. Her stepdad is a billionaire, her husband is a billionaire and HIS father was a billionaire when being a billionaire meant something.

      1. Generation[redacted]

        That tea party nazi guy in Arizona who suddenly decided his family wasn't pure enough?

  1. chicken_thief

    5 Star hotel rooms? With 2 baths? If not, she still hasn't matched Newt for grifting.

    And petition signed!

  2. kissawookiee

    So instead of being pink and adorable, the Komen Foundation is nasty and insidious with tendrils stretching into all sorts of places where they don't belong. In other words, like cancer.

  3. skoalrebel

    Hey, working for healthy boobs is something I can get into. [spit!] I'd happily take that gig, five star hotel or no.

  4. SoBeach

    "…a 21% Drop in “Brand Equity” (dropping 54 spots to 56th place out of 79 non-profit brands surveyed)"

    I've watched this charity's explosive growth over the past five years. It is a big, BIG business that long ago passed saturation level. They were going to implode with or without the whole Planned Parenthood fiasco.

    You can only slap pink ribbons on so many things before people get really cynical.

    For me it was the day I saw a pink Susan Koman branded golf bag/golf club set at a sporting goods store for like a thousand dollars.

    1. Doktor StrangeZoom

      I think suing any organization that tried to use the phrase "_____ for the cure" was a bit of an overreach, too.

      Now, if they'd just hired Robert Smith, they'd have what they were looking for anyway…

    1. sharethegrief

      If Brinker ever resigns, she'll never see herself as anything but a victim. She and Scott Walker have a lot in common.
      Breast cancer patients as a marketing tool is when Komen lost me.

  5. KobayashiMaru

    That guy in the Jerusalem Syndrome vid has eaten too many bags of Fiffle Faffle to play Jesus accurately. Where are the fantastic abs?

  6. Goonemeritus

    Just one more example of liberals unjustly punishing an organization just because they happen to be evil.

  7. Mumbletypeg

    I dunno about your mooby savior link, Lisa.. But if it's a messianic complex Brinker suffers from, maybe she should take a cue from midrash scholar Jack Abramoff and say she "accidentally threw Truth out the window" while tossing pity shillings to the dissenters who were just past spitting-distance from her obsevation deck.

  8. ifthethunderdontgetya

    Daniel Borochoff of CharityWatch said that Komen “may very well need to get a new board and a new chief executive.”

    I think you can just stick a fork in 'em.

    They've been assholes for a long time. People finally got a good look at the creepy crawlers that were hiding under the rock.
    ~

  9. Woodshedding

    You guys! Komen started as a bonafide grassroots organization that enjoyed enough success that the Pharma company whose biggest seller is a post-operation chemo drug got scared fewer women might get breast cancer.

    So they paid big bucks in "donations," via individuals who then were offered seats on the board. When they had enough seats to be in control, it became the murderous organization it is now. All those hard-earned bucks from women running the "race" simply went back to the pharma company and/or more advertising for Komen.

    That's also when it became "Race for the CURE." Note, NOT prevention. Think about it, prevention is not mentioned. "Early detection" is the closest they come, and that consists of feeling yourself up in the shower, i.e. if you DO get cancer it's your fault for not paying enough attention.

    Look at the main sponsors; they're all the big corporations whose products are implicated in causing breast cancer.

    This is one of the most egregious scams to be foisted on womankind's health.

    Replacing one board member/ambassador with another will not solve any problems.

    1. Doktor StrangeZoom

      the Pharma company whose biggest seller is a post-operation chemo drug got scared fewer women might get breast cancer.

      The right wing has Birfers. We have these folks and anti-vaxxers. Both have equal credibility.

    2. lisawines

      Very interesting comment. I just spent some time on their sponsor page, which is huge, but couldn't find a pharma company (but I could have missed it easily). I did find Walgreens, who love to sell you drugs.

    3. Fare la Volpe

      the Pharma company

      If you're going to accuse someone of actually trying to cause cancer, it would really help your credibility if you knew their name.

      Now while you're right that Komen faces bucketloads of criticism for not helping cancer treatment or prevention — only the nebulous goal of a "cure" — and that their attempts at partnership usually do more to help Komen than anything else, implicating them in a scam to kill women is inflammatory libel.

    4. Chichikovovich

      Not true! The focus on early detection was a plot by the manufacturers of "Federal Breast Inspector" t-shirts, who were losing market share to the "Free Mustache Rides" and "If I Said you Have a Beautiful Body Would You Hold it Against Me?" Consortia. And judging by my last visit to the mall, their evil scheme worked!

  10. weejee

    Komen’s relationship to Uzbekistan’s Dictatrice, Gulnara Karimova

    Komen’s relationship to Uzbekistan’s Dictatertot, Gulnara Karimova.

    / fixed with a tip of the hat to the dictatertot wordsmith, Barb

  11. Chichikovovich

    Because really, it’s the Komen Queen, Nancy Brinker, who must go. Everybody else is just fiffle faffle.

    I don't agree at all. Why should someone else, rather than the people who deserve it, experience the slow, bleeding death of a "charity" that kicks just enough money to genuinely valuable operations to obscure the fact that it spends a fortune on feathering the nests of its founder and executives and treating them to first-class travel and accommodations, not to mention suing other charities, etc. If we've learned anything watching the Republican party's gradual transformation into the Theocrat party, it is that they are relentless. And when they fail, they invariably conclude that they were somehow the victims of clever schemes by their perfidious opponents, and so the mistake is just to have more stealth next time.

    And so here: the people at the top of this organization have made it clear in their whiny rants that the only thing they believe they did wrong was that they didn't anticipate the reaction to the Planned Parenthood decision (a reaction which, of course, they regard as the result of insidious manipulation of credulous people by the evil, super-powered Planned Parenthood organization). But they do not believe they behaved improperly. Nor are they going to alter their political funding practices – they're just going to move to the Quiet Rooms that Republicans find so congenial. Any replacement board and replacement executives will be hand-picked for their ability to maintain the same course but put up more attractive Potemkin facades.

    1. Doktor StrangeZoom

      And they'd have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those meddling feminists!

    2. BerkeleyBear

      Agree wholeheartedly – the solution is for people to wake up and realize that instead of giving to big name groups who magically have tons of money for TV and wining and dining and lobbying, that they should actually give their dollars to local causes and directly to the folks on the ground.

      Starve the beast, y'all!

  12. UW8316154

    A slow, public, painful death by a thousand cuts is about right for Komen. A close friend was diagnosed two weeks ago, and is scheduled for a double-mastectomy next week. Cutsey little pink ribbons and slogans and NFL players with pink wristbands might raise "awareness" and a buckets of money for self-serving founders with a Messiah-complex; my friend doesn't need "awareness", she needs treatment and a cure.

  13. BerkeleyBear

    Founder's syndrome or founder's disease is not entirely accurate here. That happens when a founder is convinced that they have the only correct vision and that the organization cannot survive without them, but everyone else see's the vision is outdated. Lots of charities die that way when the founder doesn't allow for transition and change, or even runs off potential successors.

    This though is much more like classic end of a ponzi scheme – the people on top have sucked up so much, so egregiously, that when a crack in the armor appears, it turns ugly fast. I'm convinced that there's no vision at Komen beyond raising Komen's power and as a result the power of the people at the helm.

  14. owhatever

    Dressed all in pink, all the people will think, that Nancy is not a troll, although she is, just in pink.

  15. valthemus

    Don't have to support cancer research by (Race for Life) giving money to Susan G. Komen. Lots of other (Race for Life) charities out there. Just (Race for Life) sayin'.

  16. joobajooba

    – The Komen foundation declined to comment on the $133,507 expense payment and on the workplace culture at Komen. In response to queries, the foundation issued a statement, saying in part, “This is the most successful grassroots organization fighting against breast cancer in history, and it continues to be amazingly effective at its core mission,” which involves “tapping everything we can to find a cure.” –

    Are you doing your part, and tapping everything you can to find a cure?

  17. ttommyunger

    I'm starting to suspect there are only two kinds of Americans: stupid and corrupt.

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