Thursday, August 6, 2009

California Firm Running Maine's Anti-Marriage Equality Campaign Challenged to Play by State's "Fair Campaign" Rules

In a press release issued today, Maine's pro-marriage equality campaign, NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality stated that they signed a code of campaign ethics and practices based on the 2008 Maine Code of Fair Campaign Practices (21-A M.R.S.A. § 1101(2)) and asked opponents to sign pledge.

The pledge, normally signed by candidates running for public office, was adapted to suit a ballot initiative and was faced to Frank Schubert of the California-based Shubert Flint Public Affairs, who ran the Yes on 8 campaign in California. The pledge was also sent to Marc Mutty, the public affairs director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine, who so far has donated $100,000 to ending marriage equality in Maine.

The pledge in full:
Based on 2008 MAINE CODE OF FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES (21-A M.R.S.A. § 1101(2))

We shall conduct our campaign and, to the extent reasonably possible, insist that our supporters conduct themselves, in a manner consistent with the best Maine and American traditions, discussing the issues and presenting the record and our positions with sincerity and candor.

We shall uphold the right of every qualified voter to free and equal participation in the election process.

We shall not participate in and we shall condemn defamation of and other attacks on any opposing individuals or parties that we do not believe to be truthful, provable and relevant to our campaign.

We shall not use or authorize and we shall condemn material relating to our campaign that falsifies, misrepresents or distorts the facts, including, but not limited to, malicious or unfounded accusations creating or exploiting doubts as to the morality, patriotism or motivations of any party or candidate.

We shall not appeal to and we shall condemn appeals to prejudices based on race, creed, gender, sexual orientation or national origin.

We shall not practice and we shall condemn practices that tend to corrupt or undermine the system of free election or that hamper or prevent the free expression of the will of the voters.

We shall promptly and publicly repudiate the support of any individual or group that resorts, on behalf of our campaign or by our opposition, to methods in violation of the letter or spirit of this code.
“Maine has a longstanding tradition of campaigns that do not engage in mudslinging, lies, distortions and the politics of division,” said Jesse Connolly, Campaign Manager for NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality. “Maine voters expect us to take the high road, avoid poisonous attacks, and make our case based on fact and principle. Today, NO on 1 pledged to abide by that high standard, and we invite our opponents to join us and deliver the kind of campaign that Maine voters want and deserve.”

America Blog was able to get an image of the letter sent by Connolly:

Maine's Portland Press Herald reached Schubert in Washington DC, who said "his campaign in Maine will be just like the one in California -- 'an ethical campaign based on factual information.'"


Find out how you can volunteer and donate to the NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality by going to their website at

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