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Anti-Gay Donors Spooked

Timothy Kincaid

January 8th, 2009

The organizers behind Proposition 8 are suing to keep anti-gay donations secret (LA Times):

Proponents of a ballot measure that banned same sex marriage filed a lawsuit in federal court this week seeking to overturn state campaign finance laws that require that names and personal information of donors to state political campaigns be made public.

Their lawsuit (seen here) includes the following arguments

30. Plaintiffs and other supporters of Proposition 8 have been subjected to threats, harassment, and reprisals as a result of the support for Proposition 8…

31. The threats and harassment have included threatening phone calls, emails, and postcards…

32. Supporters of Proposition 8 have also had their personal property vandalized or destroyed…

Most of the anecdotes listed as evidence are trivial to the point of being laughable. For example, “Decl. of John Doe #4 (received email that read “I AM BOYCOTTING YOUR ORGANIZATION AS A RESULT OF YOUR SUPPORT OF PROP 8”)”

The basic gist of their argument is that political donations should be secret because otherwise that political support can have consequences such a loss of business or personal criticism.

They are asking that the court to

a. Declare all registration, reporting, and disclaimer requirements unconstitutional as applied to Committee Plaintiffs, Major Donors, and all other individuals and organizations holding similar views.

b. Enjoin [the Secretary of State] from enforcing all registration, reporting, and disclaimer requirements against Committee Plaintiffs, etc.

c. Expunge all records of Reports filed by Committee Plaintiffs, etc. on California’s campaign and reporting disclosure system.

It’s amusing to note that they are specifically asking that only those who supported Proposition 8 (those holding “similar views”) be excused from obeying reporting requirements. One might almost forget that it was this campaign that sent extortion letters to opponents of the Proposition.

This may seem odd at first. After all, these records have been downloaded and stored by scores of gay individuals and groups. It would take little effort for them to become public knowledge again immediately.

And challenges to this 1974 law have consistently lost over the years. It’s not likely that they will succeed this time.

The law was intended to prevent money laundering and to provide disclosure of who is making contributions to political campaigns. It has withstood several previous legal challenges. Experts on the 1st Amendment experts said they did not believe the suit stood much of a chance of success.

But Justin McLachlan noted

They’ve also asked the court to prevent the state from requiring them to file upcoming reports, due on Jan. 31, that they say will reveal the names of previously undisclosed campaign donors and they want protection from filing reports that reveal the names of their treasurer and campaign officers, like registration documents.

That’s an awful lot of expense and effort to go through on the off chance that the courts rule in their favor. Something makes me think that there is perhaps a bombshell hidden in the new reports, something that the campaign does not want to go public.

Let’s hope that Fred Karger and Californians Against Hate are ready to give it close scrutiny.

Comments

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AJD
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

I’m extremely guarded in my optimism about how the California Supreme Court will rule on Prop 8, but this case is frivolous almost to the point of absurdity.

Mike
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

I don’t understand. This group of people wants some activist judges to create special new rights that don’t exist despite what the law says in black and white?!

I guess imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery…

Larry P.
January 8th, 2009 | LINK

I sent this message to Mr. Ron Prentice at Protectmarriage.com:
Mr. Prentice,
I find it very hypocritical that you didn’t have an issue with the donor reporting rules when you signed the letter that threatened and harrassed no-on-8 donors. And now you are turning to the constitution after you spit on it by writing descrimination into it? Brilliant.
http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/10/23/4145

Graham Shevlin
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

So let me see if I understand this…the donors who gave to the campaign for a proposition to abridge civil rights based on sexual orientation want to increase their rights to hide behind the cloak of anonymity when they donate money to campaigns based on the principle of open public elections?
Cry me a river guys.
The oldest visible facet of bullying pathology is how rapidly bullies morph into whining victims when their bullying is turned back on them. The victim response is writ large in this pile of crap masquerading as a legal complaint.

Sacgary
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

My guess is that the Mormon Church will be more firmly implicated in the report due January 31st and their tax exempt status placed in Jeopardy.

I have learned that I am free to do almost anything I wish as long as I am willing to experience the repercussions of my actions. It seems as if the Prop 8 supporters are not willing to do that.

johnson
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Sorry Folks, I thought you all were PROUD of your support of Prop 8. Ah, think of it, Be a Bigot and have all the Anonymity–what Joy!

grantdale
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

Aah… now we know why they spent that weekend licking envelopes and posting “a suspicious white powdery substance” to each other. Figures, the sneaking lying bastards.

Seriously though, I know how distressed I would have been to have received an email declaring that I had won the “tampon of the year award”.

Probably not as distressed as, say, a California gay couple looking down their street and seeing anti-gay signs on the lawns of their so-called friendly neighbours; but … well, tampon of the year, sheez.

(What’s next? An email calling me poopy-pants or four-eyes or something else equally terrifying?)

I’d give a nod to the ‘remainder contains a bombshell theory’, but I’d also not discount it’s simply another PR stunt by the stunt-meisters at ADF (all donations gratefully received).

Ben in Oakland
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

The irony of prop. 8 never ceases to amaze me.

Gay people risk life, limb, and employment, among other things, to say openly, “I am gay.”

And these defenders of faith, family, children, and country haven’t got the balls to be public about what they believe and where they put their money. you owuld think they could stand a little heat.

And activist judges, overthrowing established law?

I’m sure they would want to stand for the couragre of their convictions, if they actually had any.

It’s Not Judicial Tyranny When We Do It | Popehat
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

[…] to mention that some of the justifications offered by the Yes on Prop 8 litigants are rather pathetic: For example, “Decl. of John Doe #4 (received email that read “I AM BOYCOTTING YOUR ORGANIZATION […]

Emily K
January 9th, 2009 | LINK

This legal action comes off as strange to me, because “christian” groups like this are so eager to play the martyr card and “suffer” for their beliefs.

where are the christ-comparisons? Where are the people saying “Jesus suffered for his principles and now so am I”?

Jason D
January 11th, 2009 | LINK

this is actually a good thing. The lawsuit is bunk, but look what it says.

It says they haven’t the courage of their convictions.

It reminds me of that story about the animal loving A+ Student who doesn’t want to kill and dissect a frog for biology class, but also doesn’t want to get their first F grade. The story almost always ends with the obvious: standing up for what you believe in carries with it acceptance of the consequences.

It’s so funny, those of us who supported “No” did so openly, proudly, and many have expressed annoyance that their name didn’t appear on the list of donors, or didn’t appear FAST enough.

Yet these people want to run and hide.

And they say we’re the bullies? Come on now. How do these people look themselves in the mirror and not vomit?

John Bisceglia
January 14th, 2009 | LINK

When “religions” persecute our families and “beliefs” have influenced U.S. law: WE HAVE A PROBLEM.

The remainder of this comment has been deleted due to violations of our Comments Policy, which expressly forbids all threats, direct or implied. — Jim B.

Timothy Kincaid
January 14th, 2009 | LINK

Box Turtle Bulletin opposes the attitudes and actions proposed by John Bisceglia.

We do not support a ‘respond to hate with more hate’ approach to civil freedoms and human rights. And we believe that arson, bomb threats, biological warfare and the sort are all terrorist activities and should be fully prosecuted.

Situational ethics : Equality Loudoun
January 30th, 2009 | LINK

[…] behind Prop 8 in California wanted to prevent public disclosure of donors to their campaign, and filed a lawsuit to overturn a state campaign finance law – a law that was enacted by voter referendum in 1974. […]

John Bisceglia
February 14th, 2009 | LINK

I think my point above got missed; maybe my typing was messy.

I was listing the kinds of things CRAZY people do when they have felt isolated, betrayed, and pushed to the brink by society (in their minds). The problem with months of campaigns like PROP 8 are you have a small but dangerous segment in society that may not feel safe or they feel overwhelmed and “go postal”. The American Psychological Assocition has been taking notice:

http://www.apa.org/releases/glbt-stress-1108.html

I am a sweet little ol’ neighborhood preschool music teacher, who after trauma from discrimination has been pushed fairly far “to the brink”; I can only imagine what those who may ALREADY be on the fringes of society are pondering – and may indeed act upon. We need to start taking this psychological warfare against gays seriously as a HEALTH concern.

“Oops, I Ter’rized Again”; an accidental terrorist « National Equality Tax Revolt
March 29th, 2009 | LINK

[…] the blog Box Turtle Bulletin there was an article “Anti-Gay Donors Spooked” by Timothy Kincaid on January 8, 2009. I left a comment that was later moderated since I was […]

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