Maine Marriage Opponents Report “Huge Donations”
UPDATE: Today’s ‘Lewiston Sun Journal’ shows that SFMM’s financial situation isn’t so hot after all- and apparently SJ has located Marc Mutty’s super-secret hiding place, btw…
Despite raising more than $300,000 in about a month, Stand for Maine Marriage had about $50,000 in cash on hand at the end of the reporting period, according to state records. The records also show more than $140,000 in unpaid obligations for the group.
Most of the spending, nearly $200,000, went to a national signature-gathering firm to expedite the petition process. More than $40,000 has been spent on campaign consultants, including the firm that worked successfully to overturn a similar law in California last year. Other money has been spent on campaign literature and office space, which has been rented on Route 1 in Yarmouth, according to the reports.
Oh dear, they better tighten the spending belt and collect some $$$ just to balance the books, eh?
Or do they? Is it “smoke and mirrors” time?
“Show Me The Moneyyyyy!” indeed.
Stand for Marriage Maine – the coalition leading the fight against allowing same-sex couples to marry – raised $346,690 between June 3 and July 3.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland contributed $100,000 of that total, although a campaign spokesman pointed out that the money was from a special fund for that purpose, not church collections.
The National Organization for Marriage in New Jersey, which helped defeat a gay marriage movement in California, chipped in another $160,000.
“It’s a long haul, but we’ve got a good start,” said Mark Mutty, one of Stand for Marriage Maine’s campaign leaders.
Mutty predicted Wednesday that they will file “a very significant amount of signatures well in excess of the minimum” by early August. In addition to the Roman Catholic Diocese and the National Organization for Marriage, the organization also received $50,000 from the Knights of Columbus in Washington, D.C., and $31,000 from the Focus on the Family Maine Marriage Committee but only $400 from individuals.
Mutty pointed out that his organization’s Web site has only been up for less than two weeks and he predicted that the number of individual donations will increase dramatically as the campaign ramps up.
Then there’s also the very expensive OUT-OF-STATE signature collectors, hired by Mutty:
Mutty noted that the professional signature-gathering firm, National Petition Management Inc. of Michigan, was expensive but necessary in order to get enough signatures collected by mid-August so the veto question would appear on the ballot this fall.
According to the filings, the Stand for Marriage PAC has paid National Petition $193,629 and still owes the firm $52,000. Overall, the PAC has spent $293,231 to date.
Oh my, that’s alot of scratch. What’s the matter, Mutty- can’t find any LOCAL UNEMPLOYED MAINERS TO DO THE WORK???
Are you finding out, as Board Chairman of AFTAH’s Mike Heath and his Christian Civic League (the gang now known as Maine Family Policy Council) did last summer, that Mainers want NO part of your opposition efforts?
The current unemployment rate statewide in Maine is 8.3%. Many counties (over half!) have double-digit unemployment rates.
Our per capita personal income is 35k- Maine is 41st in the nation.
How much are you PAYING these temps? Did you even LOOK locally?
Do your fellow opponents know that YOU are hiring and bringing in “potentially dangerous” fanatical activists from “out-of-state”? That their donations is NOT staying in Maine but paying off a company in Michigan?
So lemme do the math here:
Plus the $400 pocket change. That still leaves some monies ($5290) as not accounted for…
But here’s the bigger point: for all of the large monies being discussed, not even $10,000 of it is from the very people who will be voting this fall- registered Maine voters.
So very little Maine money is going to Michigan after all– it’s money from NOM, the Roman Catholic Church and others.
More below the fold.Let’s contrast SFMM’s numbers with those of Maine Freedom To Marry’s reported donations:
The organization leading the fight to preserve the same-sex marriage law, Maine Freedom to Marry, said it raised $138,640 during roughly that same time period. A full breakdown of the group’s finances was not available Wednesday evening, but campaign leaders said more than $81,000 of that money was raised from Maine residents.
“This campaign is going to win because we have extraordinary grass-roots support from regular Mainers,” Jesse Connolly, Maine Freedom to Marry’s campaign manager, said in a statement. “We fully expect to be outspent by those who would deny lesbian and gay couples the right to marry. But this is an issue that speaks to people’s hearts.”
Connolly said Maine Freedom to Marry has already received support from a national organization, in this case, $25,000 from the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C. But he pointed out that his organization has already received donations from 352 individuals.
One of those 352 was a woman from Harpswell, who donated $50,000. Oh MY.
Here’s a better break-down:
The group opposing the people’s veto, the Maine Freedom to Marry PAC, raised $138,640 from 352 donors, 192 of whom were Mainers, according to Jesse Connolly, campaign manager. Those funds were raised from mid-June to July 5.
This is indeed good news, but it needs to be better to ensure that Maine’s equal marriage law is not repealed in November.