Saturday, October 24, 2009

NOM Attempts to Buy Maine Votes With $1.1M While NO on 1 Crosses $4M Threshold!

UPDATE 3:15pm PST: NOM has bankrolled 60% of Yes on 1's campaign, and they're in court Monday trying to get out of disclosing where the money came from.

These people are either brilliant or just plain stupid. I believe the latter. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has given the Yes on 1 campaign $1.1 million in the last twenty days despite the fact they are under investigation by the state of Maine for their fundraising tactics.

Or, in other words, they freaked out when they discovered the NO on 1 campaign raised $1.4 million on Act Blue and since they knew they couldn't get that kind of support from individual donors, they threw money at the problem. Overall, the Yes on 1 campaign has raised $1.4 million for this quarter. (Read my prior post on the Catholic Church's damaging contribution.)

But here's the good news. The Yes on 1 are failures without NOM and the Catholic Church. The NO on 1 campaign has had thousands of supporters.

The NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign has announced that it has passed the $4 million threshold.
With more than one-third of money raised coming in the last three weeks of the campaign, the NO on 1 campaign today announced that it has broken the $4 million threshold in its effort to preserve marriage equality and defeat Question 1.

Campaign Manager Jesse Connolly, in meeting today's state filing deadline, noted that more than 20,000 people have now contributed to NO on 1, with more than 40% donating in the last 20 days. Connolly noted that while the NO on 1 campaign reported 22,823 donations since the campaign began, Question 1 has been fueled by just 710 donations.

"We continue to be overwhelmed by the level of support and energy we see both in the field and through fundraising," said Connolly. "Mainers have dug deep, whether that's manning extra nights at our phone banks or writing another check. We're a small state and we know we need help to properly fund this effort and that's why we're so grateful for the ongoing contributions of equality supporters throughout the country."

At the same time, Connolly noted that the Question 1 campaign filing was fueled almost entirely by three huge donations by the New Jersey based National Organization for Marriage (NOM). In fact, $1.1M of the $1.4M raised in this period came from NOM. And while the Question 1 campaign reported 310 contributors, the NO on 1 campaign had over 4722 contributors this period.

"These two filings starkly illustrate the difference between the two campaigns," said Connolly. "The NO on 1 campaign has been fueled largely by individuals, people in Maine and across the country who believe deeply in equality. By contrast, the Question 1 campaign would scarcely exist without the deep pockets of the New Jersey-based NOM which continues to hide its donor base from voters and the public. We simply don't believe NOM can buy the votes this late in the game."

The NO on 1 campaign released its contributions and expenditures in accordance with Maine campaign finance laws today and offered these highlights from the latest reporting period from October 1-20, 2009:

-- $1,369,370 was raised in the reporting period, from October 1-20, giving a year-to-date (YTD) total of $4,060,053.
-- 8,930 donors pitched in during this last period, bringing the total number of donors to NO on 1 to 20,372.
-- Of that donor base, 7,840 were Mainers, with 2082 Maine residents contributing in the last 20 days.
-- Over $500,000 of the total $1.3M raised during this period came from Maine donors.
-- 16 individual donors, including one organization, gave $10,000 or more during this reporting period, fueling $617,000 of the total raised. Of that total, $352,000 or 57% came from donors who live in Maine.
-- In the last 20 days, the average online donation was $58. The off-line or direct donation average through fund raising events and individual donations was $150.
-- Nearly $142,000 of in-kind donations were made by 49 individuals and organizations supporting marriage equality.
Though none of us should be surprised by the cowardly attempts of NOM and Yes on 1 to keep up with us on donations so they can tout that they have as much support (because obviously they don't), it's still OK for us to be angry.

Now use that anger and GET INVOLVED!

ACTION: Here are the different ways you can get involved.
  1. If you live far from Maine but are eager to make a difference, you can phone bank from home. Sign up at Call for Equality.
  2. If you do live near Maine, go to Drive for Equality, where you can look for carpools in your area headed up to the Pine Tree State so you can volunteer and help Get Out the Vote!
  3. If you actually live in Maine, VOTE EARLY! Not only will the NO on 1 campaign see a record of your vote, it will free you up on election day to help get supporters to the polls.
  4. DONATE! You can do this no matter where you live.

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