Thursday, October 8, 2009

VIDEO: New NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality Ad - Are We Too Much on the Defense?

UPDATE: It appears I'm not the only one who feels this way.

The new NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality ad:

For context, here's the Yes on 1 ad they're responding to which hit the air Monday:

Again, the NO on 1 campaign has done an amazing job in responding FAST. There was nothing more frustrating during last year's Prop 8 period when the NO side just couldn't keep up. So I applaud NO on 1 for their effectiveness and great organization.

As for the ad itself, though, I've been saying that the Yes campaign has been framing the debate and we're still constantly responding to them. This ad is simply a response, and though I think it's great in telling people that we have nothing to hide by providing the book in question to read, because we don't, we look defensive, and when you look defensive, it looks weak and now we have to CONVINCE voters that, "we're not so bad."

We need to go on the offense now. We need to point out their LIES and SHAME them in front of voters, that they're outsiders wanting to HARM how things are ran in Maine to fit their AGENDA, and that they're out to DESTROY families. These key words, combined with effective imagery, will spur undecided heterosexuals to finally care to get off the couch and vote NO.

The Maine media has done a stupendous job of researching the ad claims on both sides of the debate. The following was a story by WCSH6/WLBZ2.

Even better, the Bangor Daily News reports that, "State education commissioner Susan Gendron is asking the Attorney General’s Office to help settle whether Maine’s gay marriage law will affect curriculum in public schools."

"But in response to continuing questions from the media and the public, Gendron sent a letter to Attorney General Janet Mills on Wednesday asking for an analysis of the law and any legal ramifications of a Massachusetts court decision referenced in the ads."

So we have both the media and state education officials (and possibly the Attorney General) doing the rebuttal for us for all of Maine to see. And we already know what they'll find - voting to save Maine's marriage bill will in no way affect public school curriculum.

So let's get back to the topic on hand - marriage!

The opposition, who stripped marriage away in California are attempting to do the same in Maine, but they haven't adapted to the fact that Maine is NOT California. They're using the same tactics, but they shouldn't work in Maine. We can use this to our advantage EVEN MORE.

The last few weeks of a campaign are brutal but vital. Let's go on the offense and shift into high gear. Let's urge voters to come out and vote against this attack on Maine families! Let's turn the tables on the opposition fast and send them scrambling, while we charge ahead with our message of equality and fairness!

Get involved in Maine! Go to the NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality website.


  1. You are no doubt right that we are playing defense in the ad and that we need to also be running positive ads as well. But I do like the ad, and I like the No on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign in general.

    We may lose. I am nervous about the polls because I suspect that a lot of voters will tell pollsters that they are going to vote for equality but will change their minds in the voting booth. It is hard to know what is in the hearts and minds of our neighbors. Our enemies are utterly unscrupulous, and one can just imagine the "sub rosa" campaign that is going on simultaneously with the public campaign. But even if we do lose, I think we will not feel that the campaign has been mismanaged and misconceived as we did with the No on Prop 8 campaign.

  2. This criticism could be valid if it applied to the whole campaign. But you just single out one ad - the purpose of which is to respond to a Yes ad - and then declare that the whole campaign is defensive.

    Of *course* a responsive ad is going to be defending against a charge. If No on 1 ignored the Yes ad, then it would be (rightly) accused of making the sort of classic error that sank Michael Dukakis 20 years ago. When they do respond (always in 24-48 hours), the ad is held up as proof that they are on the defense.

    IMO, the right way to analyze this is to look at the whole campaign - all the TV ads, radio ads, print press pieces, town hall events, GOTV - and draw a conclusion. If you do this, I think the UTF's assertions are not borne out.

    Now having said that, I acknowledge that some of the proactive ads - of which there have been 4 to date - have had a soft focus. We could use a proactive ad with a harder edge in these last few weeks. Not preachy or defensive stuff, just something that hits home how gays want to celebrate and join marriage, not change or destroy it.

  3. Steven, I must point out that I've been saying this from beginning of the campaign and not just because of this one ad. So I feel my assertions do hold. I predicted what the Yes on 1 was going to say and that we should've been able to undermine them before it got to this point.

    We were on the air first, but somehow we've wound up in the "response position." I'm also not saying we shouldn't respond, but we should be beyond this now. The Yes side has framed the debate.

    Yet my saying this is in no means my saying the the NO on 1 campaign isn't doing a great job. I think they've been sharp and fast and have a great field campaign. My friendly criticisms is to get them to take it to the next level.

    We can win this. But as Jay said, we may lose. It's just too close to call. And I rather say now what I think will help us win than not say anything at all.

  4. You are right. We need to be on the offense, NOW and always!

  5. My recommendation would be a straightforward ad, preferably narrated by a highly respected figure, that simply say equal rights under the law is the promise of the American constitution and that Maine intends to honor that promise. It doesn't have to be warm and fuzzy. No hearts and flowers. It needs to be direct and unyielding with no apologies.