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Either Donate for Maine or Stop Complaining

Jim Burroway

October 9th, 2009

Some commenters have taken my criticism of Protect Maine Equality’s marching to the opposition’s tune as justification for not donating to the cause. Let me disabuse you of that logic now. While there’s reason to be concerned about the No on 1 effort following along a similar path as California’s failed effort to defeat Prop 8, there are many things they’re doing right in Maine. For example, they are putting together a very impressive grassroots effort, which the California campaign lacked. And as many other commenters have noticed, LGBT Mainers have been very visible in the media and in the ads. Both of these are sharp departures from California’s No on 8 campaign.

Protect Maine Equality deserves our support. They are facing a formidable opposition. And as far as I’m concerned, unless you donate or volunteer, you don’t have room to complain about the results if Question 1 passes. It’s like not voting and complaining about who won. It’s that simple.

gallagherI donated. So should you. Either donate to support Protect Maine Equality’s effort to defeat those lying anti-gay activists behind Question 1, or donate to purchase your right to complain. Or, my favorite reason, donate to see what Maggie Gallagher looks like when she’s actually frowning. But whatever reason fills your sails, just donate.



October 9th, 2009 | LINK

I object to out-of-state money flowing into any state’s internal decision making, which is why I haven’t donated to the Maine campaign. Just because the Mormon and Catholic Churches do it, doesn’t mean I have to also. Personally, I’d like to see a ban on all out-of-state funds being used on statewide elections, up to and including cash from national parties for local office seekers. Too often we see large entities buying their way into politics, starting at the astroturf level. And in case you haven’t noticed, this is not a funding situation that favors minority rights — left to their own devices, Mainers probably wouldn’t even be having this vote, but since it’s been underwritten by huge national right-wing entities and their petition machines, they now have to go and cast their ballots on a fight they most likely would never have brought to the ballotbox themselves.

Anyways, my point is — I really dislike outsiders meddling in local politics to suit their own agendas, and I’m not going to be that guy. I’m not going to donate. But, I’m also not going to criticize how they choose to direct their campaign. Please don’t assume that your criticism is the reason I’m not donating. I realize I’m being a bit too high-minded for my own good, but I’m taking a principled stand on money in politics here. I want the Utah’ns out of California politics, and I think everyone should stay out of Maine’s. Starting with the right-wing trouble-makers.

October 9th, 2009 | LINK

I think it’s assuming too much that “outsiders” have an agenda that doesn’t match that of the local people.

October 9th, 2009 | LINK


Well, it’s nice you are willing to have the rights of Maine’s gays thrown out because of your high-minded principles. Thank you!

Ben in Oakland
October 9th, 2009 | LINK

All right, Jim. Putting it that way, I will purchase the right to complain.

Mario Garcia
October 9th, 2009 | LINK

I donated! Your turn!!

Emily K
October 9th, 2009 | LINK

Ok, I’ll tell you what. I’ll donate to No on 1 if you buy me a meal so I don’t have to compromise whether I get to eat tomorrow.

Richard W. Fitch
October 9th, 2009 | LINK

Alan: the point is not whether “outsiders” and locals have the same agenda, the question is whether the national RC organization and the Mormon church(among others)have the right to pour millions of dollars in to a local issue. Despite the perception of many, LGBT folks are struggling just as hard financially now as any one else. By the sheer imbalance of numbers, it is a monumental task for LGBT issues to be funded at the same rate as anti-gay groups who virtually dictate to their members that they must pay to oppose the “Gay Agenda”.

October 9th, 2009 | LINK

You can always phonebank if you can’t visit Maine to encourage voters to vote NO on question 1.

You can also post NO on 1 videos online, twitter, blog and write to Maine newspapers and tv stations to do good stories on the NO on 1 campaign. You can also contact Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz, MSNBC, CNN and HLN to do stories about Maine’s imperiled marriage rights.

Ron in Lake Forest
October 9th, 2009 | LINK

I’ve never posted on any blog and maybe I’ll sound like I’m just rambling, but on this subject, I just have to jump in. I live in California so I live with the results of Prop H8. But “No on 1” is not about Maine… it’s about the state after Maine and the next one and the next one. And anyone who thinks the RC or the Mormon church are going to stop pouring this non-local money and support into local elections anytime soon is just kidding himself. If we wait for that to happen, then forget it… we won’t have any rights at all.

Our gay brothers and sisters need our help to obtain and keep their rights no matter where they live. And I think our leadership could do a much better job. But I’m not the leadership, so the option I have (besides just complaining) is to give what I can financially to help theirs and consequently our causes. I’ve given to “No on 1” and to “Yes on Ref 71” as well… not a lot, but what I could afford. No one expects anyone to give what you don’t have. But if you can afford to, please donate what you can. And I hope the Equality folks in Maine remember me when the issue of Prop 8 shows up on the CA ballot.

October 9th, 2009 | LINK

Ron, I hear what you’re saying, and I’m torn. I know you’re being pragmatic, and there’s a part of me that jumps up and yells, “By God, the man is right”. But where does this end? They’re always going to be better at funneling cash into these things — they’re taking tithed funds that their members are required to donate, that are untaxed. and funneling them into issue campaigns. We’re fewer, flying by the seat of our pants, taxed like crazy on every dime donated. It’s unclear that crash spending is the way to win every time they decide to hire a bunch of signature gatherers. They’ll just run their fraudulent signature drives and post false TV ads again, and again, and again. The question I have to ask is: why does anyone believe such transparent lies? What’s the missing piece there? If you think that’s resolved with counter-ads, well, I’m just not convinced.

The war will be won with hearts and minds, not in advertisements. You couldn’t convince one of my Republican friends or family to vote for these things, because they have a name and a face to put the lie to the ads.

Additional battles will be won in reform of political structures, legal decisions, and funding issues — to make these pathetic end-runs around personal liberty using tax-free religious dollars for political purposes a thing of the past.

I’d be much happier launching money and time for a new California Prop that explicitly denies external funding for state races. If we can do that in CA, maybe we can do that everywhere.

October 10th, 2009 | LINK

So what I’m hearing is that anti-gay opponents have more money, and thus it makes sense to ban out-of-state money in order to gain a fundraising advantage.

The problem is that there are going to be other issues and fights where the sides we favor have equal or greater resources than our opponents. And banning out-of-state money then will hamper rather than help our efforts.

And I think it’s kind of defeatist to say, “Well, they’re always going to outspend us”. Attitudes are clearly changing, and with time the funding gap may decrease, or not matter as much as changing attitudes…

October 10th, 2009 | LINK

Right. If out of state money is banned, then future battles in bible belt are going to get a lot harder.

Of course by then I’d hope the SCOTUS would put an end to all this unconstitutional nonsense.

October 12th, 2009 | LINK

Thanks for the link to the donation page.

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