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A Pair Of Press Releases Pertaining To Maine

Busy, busy, busy place and bound to get busier over the next 47 days!!!

Just got this press release from Mark Sullivan of No On 1:


 NO on 1 Television and Radio Ads Reveal Opponents' Distortions about Question 1

Portland, Maine (Thursday, September 17, 2009) — NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality released rebuttal television and radio ads denouncing the false and misleading claims made in the first television and radio ads launched earlier this week by the Yes Campaign.


“These are the same old doomsday tactics that opponents of equality have been using not just in Maine, but in every state from California to Iowa to New York. They want to change the subject, to talk about anything else.  But Question 1 is only about fairness and equality for Maine families,” said Jesse Connolly, campaign manager of NO on 1. “We believe Maine people will see through this cynical strategy.


The Yes Campaign’s ads make a series of claims around the so-called consequences of treating Mainers fairly under the law, including imaginary changes in education. The NO on 1 Campaign's ads make clear that Question 1 has nothing at all to do with schools, and that in Maine, decisions are made locally by parents and teachers who care about children.


Sheri Gould, Maine Teacher of the Year from Corinna, Me., appears in the ads and explains what the state's curriculum will always be.  “I’ve been teaching in Maine schools since 1983 – we teach respect and Maine values – and that will never change,” she says.


“Most Mainers know that marriage strengthens families, protects children and upholds traditional Maine values of fairness, equality and personal freedom,” said Connolly.  “That's what we're talking about and that's what Maine people are speaking out about in our ads.”


The television ads began running statewide on Wednesday afternoon.   Radio ads begin running today.
Scripts for the television and radio ads are attached to this release.  The ads may be viewed and heard online at the following links:

For more information, please contact Communications Director Mark Sullivan at (207)671-0542 or via e-mail

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This also just in, from People For The American Way:


CONTACT: Stacey Gates or Drew Courtney
at 202-467-4999 /

September 17, 2009

Outside Religious Right Groups Targeting Marriage Equality in Maine With a Prop 8-Style Campaign Based on Lies and Big Money

PFAW issues report on Religious Right's Anti-Equality Campaign

People For the American Way issued a report today that documents how the Religious Right is targeting marriage equality in Maine with big money and false attacks, virtually identical to the fearmongering strategies in 2008's Proposition 8 campaign in California.

“The fight to protect marriage equality in Maine hasn't gotten the same national attention that Prop 8 did in California, but national Religious Right organizations are pouring resources into their anti-equality effort,” said Peter Montgomery, Senior Fellow at People For the American Way. “The far right is determined to deny equality to same-sex couples in Maine, no matter what it takes. Fortunately, a smart Mainer-led campaign is mobilizing support for the state's marriage equality law and the families it will protect.”

The report, titled “Religious Right Targets Maine & Marriage Equality With Money, Anti-Gay Swat Teams and Reprise of Prop. 8's False Fearmongering Strategies – – ,”

details national Religious Right organizations' campaign to reverse gains by marriage equality advocates in the northeast:

* This past weekend, national anti-gay leaders and veterans of last year's Prop 8 battle in California descended on Maine.  The National Organization for Marriage, Family Research Council and Focus on the Family brought a national A-list of anti-gay activists to town for a no-press-allowed

rally on Sunday and a closed-door “pastors briefing” on Monda.  Among the Religious Right celebrities were Harry Jackson and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, as well as San Diego preacher Chris Clark. San Diego was the center of church-based anti-gay organizing in California.

* The right-wing is not interested in running a “fact-filled” and “honest, civil and respectful campaign> ,”

and are instead choosing the low road of fearmongering and false attacks – much like we saw in California. Frank Schubert, the California-based political consultant who ran the Prop 8 campaign and was brought to Maine by Religious Right groups to try to replicate his success, concocted a campaign strategy based on scaring enough people into believing that marriage equality would somehow turn public schools into gay indoctrination centers. Schubert has done plenty

of bragging

about how his firm shifted gears and won the campaign by creating fear and uncertainty about the effects of marriage equality on children.

* The money has poured into the campaign against marriage equality in Maine, with more than 99 percent of the early money coming from four organizations, and less than 1 percent coming from Maine voters. Four groups account for $341,000 of the $343,000 anti-gay marriage funds reported on July disclosure forms: the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage contributed $160,000; the Catholic diocese of Portland anted up $100,000; the Knights of Columbus chipped in $50,000, and Focus on the Family Maine added $31,000. Contributions from Maine individuals amounted to $400, less than one percent of the amount raised. Some donations from Maine were likely funneled through the National Organization for Marriage, which has this year been enthusiastically encouraging

its supporters to launder their contributions to anti-gay initiatives through NOM in order to thwart state campaign finance laws designed to let the public know who is paying for campaigns.

“Anti-gay leaders have realized that they cannot reverse progress toward equality with an honest debate, so they've resorted to the politics of fear,” said People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan. “It's important that Mainers get the full story about who is playing politics with their state.”

The full report can be viewed here .

Interviews with PFAW public policy experts about these strategies can be arranged via our Communications Department at 202-467-4999.


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