Discrimination Turns Into A Sweet Deal For Sweet Cakes Owners

Melissa and Aaron Klein of “Sweet Cakes by Melissa”

So it turns out, for the second time this year, if you go public with your anti-gay animus you can clean up financially with crowd-sourcing campaigns.

The owners of Oregon bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa, who refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, were found guilty of violating state public accommodation laws and fined $135,000.

But don’t worry about owners Aaron and Melissa Klein – they won’t feel the pinch even a little bit with that fine. Anti-gay haters across the country pitched in to contribute a whopping $355,500 to the Kleins via a campaign at Continue To Give.

This is after GoFundMe closed an earlier campaign that raised over $110,000 – WHICH the anti-gay bakers get to keep.

So, all in all, for discriminating against a same-sex wedding, the Kleins rake in over $462,000; more than triple the fine.


Breaking Down The Money On Mayweather/Pacquiao Fight

All this coverage of the big Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao boxing event here in Las Vegas made me curious about the money that goes into and ultimately is generated by a sporting event like this.

According to Brian Warner, Mayweather is actually is not only large but in charge here. He’s basically the executive producer. Pacquiao, for all intents and purposes, is a hired hand. A well-paid hired hand, but other than stepping in the ring (and ultimately losing) Pacquiao gets the smaller share of the pie here.

According to a report from the New York Times, Manny will receive his advance Monday, April 20, in the form of a $50 million check. Ok, if you want to get technical, the check that Manny actually receives will be around $35 million, because 30% will have already been taken out for the IRS.

Floyd will pay himself an upfront advance as well, but it will be much smaller than $50 million. In previous fights that Floyd has orchestrated, he has paid himself $20 million, roughly a month before the match, to cover some expenses and such. But, as you might imagine, the real money comes almost immediately following the match.

Let’s say analysts are correct and the fight ends up generating gross revenues of $400 million. Roughly 30% will go towards a variety of expenses. That leaves around $280 million in profits. According to their 60/40 split arrangement, Manny will receive an additional $62 million on the backend to bring his total income up to $112 million. That’s roughly what Manny has earned from his last five fights, combined. It will be roughly $78 million after taxes.

Floyd’s 60% cut will be worth $168 million. That’s roughly $117 million after taxes.

$112 million will bring Manny’s career earnings total up to $375 million.

$168 million will bring Floyd’s career earnings total up to $578 million.

Sam Smith Agrees To Share “Stay With Me” Songwriting Profits With Tom Petty

Out singer/songwriter Sam Smith, arguably one of 2014’s biggest music success stories, has agreed to pay a portion of his royalties for the song Stay With Me to Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne after similarities were pointed out between Smith’s song and the Petty/Lynne hit I Won’t Back Down.

Smith has agreed to share 25% of the songwriting royalties with Petty and Lynne.

The full statement from Smith’s representative:

Recently the publishers for the song I Won’t Back Down, written by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, contacted the publishers for Stay With Me, written by Sam Smith, James Napier and William Phillips, about similarities heard in the melodies of the choruses of the two compositions.

Not previously familiar with the 1989 Petty/Lynne song, the writers of Stay With Me listened to I Won’t Back Down and acknowledged the similarity.

Although the likeness was a complete coincidence, all involved came to an immediate and amicable agreement in which Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne are now credited as co-writers of Stay With Me along with Sam Smith, James Napier and William Phillips.

Stay With Me is nominated for Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards to be held February 8th.

In other Sam Smith news, Howard Stern recently said that Smith is “fat, ugly and looks gay to me.” Smith, taking the high road, responded with the one word tweet: “Ignore.”



The Advocate: Tips for improving your credit score

As we all finish the holiday shopping and head into the new year, I thought this was a timely little video to check out your credit score and see what you can do to improve it in 2013.

My New Year’s resolution is to leave the credit cards in my pocket and not use them. I’m not bad with them, but I’d like to get them down.

Anyone else thinking ahead to financial health in 2013?

Facebook mural artist could make $500 million

In the news lately, in light of Facebook’s coming initial public offering of stock, has been discussion of the diverse list of folks who stand to make a lot of money from the IPO. The most interesting to me is David Choe, a graffiti artist who chose Facebook stock instead of cash when he spray-painted the first Facebook offices in 2005.

Mr. Choe said Facebook originally offered him $60,000 to paint murals in the company’s Palo Alto offices in 2005. Today, he said, the stock he took instead could be worth more than $500 million.

Apparently, when Facebook outgrew it’s original work space, they took down the mural walls and moved them to the new offices.

Check out more of the story here.

Let’s save some money

So, the economy is tightening for everyone in the middle class it seems, and I decided to explore some options this week.

Just three examples of some major money savings I found this week:

1. I called our cell phone company and found out we pay for 3,000 minutes a month as a family plan but only use about 1,000. We also had a wireless internet card (at $60 a month) that didn’t work that great and we don’t use that much.  So I cancelled the $60 a month wireless card and lowered our minutes from 3,000 to 1,400 (next lowest plan). Savings a month = $120 – Savings a year = $1,440

2. A few years ago, we got talked into using some local phone company that our average landline monthly bill was $60 with .05 per minute long distance. I bundled with our internet and cable company, and dropped our payments to $30 a month WITH unlimited long distance to US and Canada. Savings a month = $30 –  Savings a year = $360

3. We bought my car at CarMax (great place to buy a car) but the interest rate was 7.25% on the loan. I applied at the local credit union and got a refinance rate of 2.99% Savings a month = $110 – Savings a year = $1,320 (Savings over the life of the loan = $5,280)

So just this week by shopping around, I saved us $200 a month and $2,400 a year.

Last one – using coupons and reading the grocery flyer and being part of the grocery store “club” I saved 40% on my last grocery shopping bill.  And it wasn’t even hard!  (One great tip: buy 6 bottles of wine at a time and get additional 10% off.  You’re gonna drink it eventually…)

Feeling kinda good about all this.

Feeling kinda dumb I didn’t do it sooner…