Wedding Party Board Member
Joined: 13 Jun 2005
|Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:16 pm Post subject: Maine gay marriage campaigns report donations
|Maine gay marriage campaigns report donations
By The Associated Press
10.14.2009 9:13am EDT
(Augusta, Maine) Supporters of Maine’s gay marriage law said Tuesday they’ve collected $2.7 million for their campaign against a ballot proposal to repeal it, more than double the amount the measure’s supporters said they raised.
The group, called NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality, also reported that it has spent $2.2 million on its campaign to preserve the law.
Meanwhile, Stand for Marriage Maine, which petitioned to get the repeal measure on the ballot, reported it had collected $1.1 million and spent more than $941,000 on its campaign. The group also said it has debts of more than $419,000. No on 1 reported no debts.
The figures were disclosed in campaign finance reports that were due to the state Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices Tuesday night.
Gov. John Baldacci signed the same-sex marriage bill in May. But the law has not gone into effect, pending the outcome of the Nov. 3 election. With the popular challenge, Maine has become a testing ground for the legal validation of gay marriage, which has been allowed in six states.
The amounts raised are above average for state ballot measures and are likely to grow as the campaign continues, said Christian Potholm, a government professor at Bowdoin College in Maine.
“This is a huge national issue coming after defeat of gay marriage in California, and Maine is where the defenders of gay marriage are making their stand,” Potholm said.
Jesse Connolly, campaign manager for NO on 1, said the figures show the amount of support is “amazing, and folks are excited about the opportunity to protect marriage equality for our citizens.”
A message left with a Stand for Marriage Maine spokesman was not immediately returned.
Stand for Marriage Maine has drawn criticism from a group active in last year’s successful gay marriage referendum in California. Californians Against Hate claims some organizations contributing to the repeal campaign are circumventing state law by not reporting the names of the donors. The ethics commission is investigating the complaint.
NO on 1 said less than half the money it raised came from Maine donors. The group also said 29 donors gave more than $10,000 each, and 18 of them are Maine residents who contributed a total of $515,000.
Most of the NO on 1 contributions ranged from $25 to $500. The group reported nearly $42,000 in in-kind contributions from Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders.
Stand for Marriage’s report listed numerous contributions in the $100 to $500 range. Among its biggest contributors were the National Organization for Marriage of Princeton, N.J., which accounted for about $425,000, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, which gave more than $270,000.