Friday, October 2, 2009

VIDEO: No on 1 and Yes on 1 Campaign Reps Debate; NOM Promises $200K More Donations

Mary Bonauto of NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality and Mark Mutty of Stand For Marriage Maine face off on WLBZ/WCSH:

At the very beginning of the interview, the sensitive topic of the investigation into the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) comes up, and Marc Mutty fails to skirt the issue.

Even more telling, I love how in the end, Mutty says "who cares?" in answer to the question about out-of-state funds. VERY few Mainers have donated to Yes on 1 while many more have donated to NO on 1.

That's pretty telling. I think we care.

But this and the investigation doesn't deter NOM. In Maine's Morning Sentinel, Executive Director of NOM Brian Brown promises a "couple hundred thousand" more in donations to Yes on 1.

Unreal. Stupid, too. But of course, no investigation is going to stand in their way. Because they have (their definition of) God on their side.

The NO on 1 campaign succeeded recently in its new fund-raising goal. Jesse Connolly, campaign manager, wrote in an email, "Wednesday at midnight, we finished a very successful fundraising quarter with a bang. We exceeded our original goal of $28,000, blew past our revised goal of $40,000, and ultimately raised more than $58,000 - which shows that the people of Maine are prepared to protect marriage equality at the ballot box in just 32 days. I want to thank our online community for helping us surpass our fundraising goal."

Doesn't mean we can't keep raising more
. Will you be willing to volunteer in the next ten days?

Go to the NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality website. Donate and volunteer!


  1. I find it disingenuous of Mary Bonauto to pretend that she doesn't know anything about the controversy over NOM's donations to the Stand for Marriage Campaign.

    I don't like the issue framed in terms of "out of state" money versus "in state" money. I have donated almost $1,000 to No on 1, and I don't live in Maine, and they certainly don't turn my money down.

    The issue should be whether people who donate money to either side be identified. People need to know who is donating money that affects public policy.

  2. I disagree slightly about Mary. The NO on 1 campaign had nothing to do with Fred Karger filing a complaint against NOM and getting them investigated. It was important for her to note that and keep the issue back on what the Yes on 1 keeps harping about: THE CHILDREN! There aren't many opportunities for the campaigns to debate like this.

    As for the money issue, they were both clear that they received outside funds. She just highlighted how much support that the NO on 1 has had from Mainers. Marc Mutty can't say that, otherwise he'll be caught lying because very few Mainers have donated. At least, directly to the campaign - that's not counting collections in churches.

    Of course that then leads to identifying donors and back to the issue that Fred has.

  3. @ Jay Johnson:

    I just want to thank you for standing up and supporting No on 1.

    As far as Mary goes, I think you are confusing 2 different issues. The first issue was the decision by the ME Commission to investigate NOM. Mary obviously made a tactical decision to sidestep talking about that, since it would only get her "off message" and devolve into a discussion of NOM's free speech rights and the purpose of Fred Karger's group. I thought she showed some real discipline by resisting going down that path. Also, she doesn't say that she doesn't know anything about the issue; she says that No on 1 is not focused on it and is not part of the complaint against NOM. That is the truth.

    The second issue is No on 1's contributions. And on that, she was very clear that people from around the nation have stepped forward to help.

    The first issue comes up at the very beginning; the second issue comes up at the very end. I don't think it is fair to suggest that she was disingenuous.

  4. Steven, I think you're right that for good tactical reasons Mary wanted to sidestep the question of Fred Karger's complaint re NOM. But surely she knew about it and followed the case very closely. In fact I think everyone interested in marriage equality is aware of Fred Karger and his group. So I think she was being disingenuous to pretend that she didn't know about the complaint.

    As both of you indicate, it was probably smart of her not to dwell on the issue since she wanted to talk about other issues.

    But you are right that she acknowledged that No on 1 was also receiving out of state money.

    In any case, I didn't mean to sound too critical. My impression is that No on 1 is running an excellent campaign. I intend to contribute more.

  5. @Jay Jonson

    Cool, Jay! I have to tell you, after seeing the "professionals" who ran No on 8 exposed as incompetents, I had my doubts about the No on 1 people. But watching them over the past several months and learning more about them, I am really, really impressed.

    They developed a plan to stay on message and to deal with the schools issue by preemptively showcasing gay families like the Putnams in their first ads.

    The guy who runs the show up there, Jesse Connolly, is a veteran of 4 statewide campaigns including the only campaign in the US ever to result in a statewide popular affirmation of a gay rights law. These guys are 100 times better than the No on 8 "leaders", 2 of whom actually took extended vacations in the summer of 2008.

  6. Steven, I felt the same disappointment you did about the NO on 8 campaign, and I think the Maine campaign is altogether better. I am hopeful that the people of Maine will do the right thing. I think it will have a major impact on the momentum for equal rights if we win in Maine and Washington in November.