Susan G. Komen Founder, President And Board Members Resign

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As you may recall, Race for the Cure got into trouble when they listened to the recommendations of Karen Handel, an anti-abortion wingnut and former Georgia state official who was their senior VP of public policy and wanted an excuse to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.

Their head in the sand approach to the uproar must not have worked very well if the president, founder and two board members are resigning:

DALLAS – What we have here is a failure to communicate, which is why Susan G. Komen for the Cure has yet to heal from its self-inflicted wounds.

On Wednesday, the Dallas-based breast-cancer charity announced that its president, Elizabeth Thompson, was resigning. Founder and chief executive Nancy Brinker said she would relinquish her post after a replacement is found, and two Komen board members also said they are leaving.

Brinker expects us to believe that she, the foundation’s president and two board members just happen to decide to move on at the same time? That’s what Komen told its affiliates Wednesday, in a perfect example of the kind of forethought that got them into this mess.

It’s disappointing that Brinker, once a brilliant marketing strategist, took so long to do even the most rudimentary damage control, which is still not enough.

Critics have been calling for Brinker’s resignation since January, when Komen said it would stop funding breast cancer screenings performed by Planned Parenthood. Brinker ignored the calls, instead releasing a wooden, video-taped statement which did little to stem the backlash against the nonprofit she founded in 1982.

The savage reaction on social media, in particular, forced Komen to reverse its policy for Planned Parenthood in just three days.

But Komen officials insisted they were misunderstood, not wrong-headed. They said the Planned Parenthood decision was the result of a Congressional investigation – one which was initiated at the behest of
abortion opponents.

Whatever the case, the communications crisis did not end with the policy reversal.

Brinker’s failure, or inability, to take responsibility for the brouhaha over Planned Parenthood earned her a level of contempt usually reserved for, say, a BP executive who complained when a massive Gulf oil spill crimped his schedule.

The BP executive was given the boot shortly thereafter, but Brinker clung to her post in the organization she’d built, despite continuous signs of problems.


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