If you don’t know Stampp Corbin, you should. We had him on the show a couple months ago and he was a riot! Stampp’s an international business & community leader, philanthropist, political activist and one of my favorite oenophiles – we both like white, chilled, thank you. He’s walked the hallways of Stanford, Harvard and the White House and isn’t the least bit pretentious about it. He’s a smart, savvy and driven entrepreneur who has founded, run and sold several multi-million dollar IT companies. He’s served on the Boards of the Human Rights Campaign, Easter Seals and Mount Carmel Hospitals, was a National Advisor to the Small Business Administration during the Clinton Administration and the Co-Chair of the National LGBT Leadership Council for Obama’s Presidential campaign. And, even though Stampp is an out and proud gay man now living in San Diego and producing the city’s only LGBT weekly newsmagazine, the recently launched San Diego LGBT Weekly, he’s rubbed elbows with some big-time leading ladies the likes of Hillary (Clinton,) Michelle (Obama) and two-time Tony Award-winner Tonya (Pinkens,)…and that’s just a few of them.
Stampp is a big personality, one that commands (not demands) attention when he walks into a room. He’s as jovial as he is intelligent and is extremely giving, as both a mentor and charity donor. I could go on, and on. But, what better way to learn about someone and what makes them tick than directly from their lips. So, I asked Stampp five questions and here’s what he had to say:
1. You’ve been an entrepreneur all your life. You’ve also been very politically active. Why not run for office? Do you have any political aspirations, outside of activism?
I really do not have any political aspirations at this time. You know what they say, after you’ve seen how sausage is made, you no longer eat sausage. That is a little bit like how I feel about running for office after being so deeply involved in the campaigns of others.
2. Is there anything in your life that you regret, or, is there something that happened in your past that, if given the chance, you’d go back and change/do differently?
There are many things. I had a business that was not successful because I thought I could run a cash business and not be present. In fact, I was 3,000 miles away. So, my employees robbed me blind. I also hosted a drag show in Columbus, Ohio that was, let’s just say, not my finest hour.
3. Two parts to this question: What do you think the news media’s (print, broadcast & online) role is in “popular culture” and shaping society? What do you think it should be?
Clearly the role of media is evolving. Media is the Fourth Estate, meaning it has substantial political influence but it really should not be recognized formally as a political force. Well, that definition sure has changed. Hosts like Glen Beck, Keith Olbermann and Rush Limabugh, as well as publications like the Nation and the New Republic have all blurred the lines between commentary and actual news reporting. So, many Americans can now only hear or read the news from a perspective with which they agree. That was not true in the Cronkite days of news.
4. What’s the one thing you haven’t done yet that you really want to do?
I would like to travel throughout Asia. While I’ve been to Bali, I’ve not experienced the wonders of Japan, China or Thailand.
5. What is one thing you think most people who know you might be surprised to find out?
Probably that I’m a very reserved person when I’m at home with my partner. People usually say I have a big personality, but that’s really more my public persona. My family often says that I can be quite prudish.
Thanks Stampp, and best wishes to you and the entire team at San Diego LGBT Weekly (free, distributed on Thursdays at locations throughout San Diego.)