The Referendum 71 campaign money situation

The monthly campaign expenditure numbers came out last night and are reported on the Washington Public Disclosure Commission’s website.  As predicted, radical-right extremists have dumped last-minute money into the race.  Family Policy Institute of Washington plopped $200,000 into the mysterious new PAC called “Vote Reject on R-71” that appeared late last week.  FPIW bills itself as an affiliate of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family and Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council.  Dobson is famous for advocating the paddling of children, and Perkins for his connections to the Klan.  The Vote Reject PAC is run by Dave Mortenson, a seasoned and savvy conservative campaign consultant.

Referendum 71 is the Washington state ballot measure asking voters to approve or reject the domestic partnership law passed by a wide margin by the Washington Legislature in May and signed by Gov. Gregoire.  The law makes domestic partnerships parallel to civil marriage at the state level, providing vital rights to straight senior and same-sex domestic partners that married people have like pension inheritance and the right to use sick leave to care for a seriously ill partner.

First glances indicate that the Approve Referendum 71 campaign has greatly out-fundraised the opposition, and sure enough the David and Goliath comparisons are already being made by Larry Stickney.  But don’t get too comfortable just yet.  Campaigns have 5 days to deposit donation checks, so we won’t know until perhaps Tuesday, October 20th just how much the opposition really raked in right before the large donor ban took effect on October 12th.  The large donor ban means that the most money any individual can donate after Oct. 12th is $5,000 (regardless of how much they donated before Oct. 12).  There is also the distinct possibility that an out-of-state enterprise like National Organization for Marriage will swoop in an provide tv time and ads for the opposition “unasked”.  You know I’ve been right about these things before.  The Approve 71 campaign still needs your support.

Half of Reject’s $200,000 has already been spent on radio ad time.  Seven local stations have accepted money to run these anti-child, anti-family radio ads.

Meanwhile, true to form, a substantial proportion of expenditures made by Larry Stickney’s Protect Marriage Washington and Gary Randall’s Faith & Freedom PAC have gone to salary for Stickney, attorney’s fees and maintenance of Randall’s redundant website.  However, Stickney has spent about $10,000 on yard signs, and Randall about $500 on postage.  It isn’t entirely clear who paid for Protect Marriage Washington’s lurid fliers or theocratic tv ads (here and here).

On the Approve Referendum 71 side, Washington Families Standing Together has received just over one million dollars in cash contributions to date.  WAFST has invested about $400,00 of this into tv ad time and smaller but substantial amounts into mailings and phone banking costs.

I’ve posted a few of the radio and tv ads from both sides below the fold.  As you listen and watch, notice how the Approve 71 campaign found real Washingtonians to speak for the domestic partnership law.  The opposition had to hire actors.Here‘s the link to the opposition’s radio ad, and  here is the transcript.  The ad was paid for by FPIW’s new PAC.  I think of this as the “Apples and Oranges” ad because the domestic partnership law has no relationship to the mortgage crisis beyond domestic partners being equally hurt by the economic downturn.

Woman 1: You know something?  Our elected representatives don’t get it.

Woman 2: What are you talking about?

W1: About the folks in Olympia being out of touch with the real world

W2: So what’s new?

W1: Thousands of people are out of work, others are losing their homes, schools are not properly funded, yet legislators spend time passing a so-called everything but marriage bill.

W2: That’s the one to add more rights to the state’s domestic partnership law?

W1: That’s the one.  It should be rejected.

W2:  Ok, you want state legislators to solve the real problems that affect our state, not pass bills that change the definition of marriage?

W1: Exactly.  The bill they passed expands the rights of same-sex partners to be equal to those of married couples.  How does that help people who are losing their home?

W2: What ca we do?

W1: Fortunately Referendum 71 lets us have a voice.

W2: So you want to send a message to the legislature?

W1: Yes!  Vote reject on R-71 when you mail in your ballot.

W2: Paid for by Vote Reject on R-71

Have either of those women even set foot in Yakima or Pullman?  Doubt it.  Even if they had, dollars to donuts they had to be paid to pronounce those non sequiturs.  You can listen to voice-over actors in Protect Marriage Washington’s theocratic tv ads here and here.

All of the radio and tv ads released so far by Washington Families Standing Together are posted here.  Every one of them features real Washingtonians talking about their real families.  Here is my favorite so far, which is now being broadcast on tv.  You can help keep this wonderful ad on the air by donating.  Ad time gets more expensive the closer we get to election day.

Jane: Pete-e and I have been together for 32 years.  We were both in nursing, and Pete-e served in the Korean War.  

We raised a daughter together, and she and her husband have given us two beautiful grandchildren.  

Now that we are getting older, we need to be able to take care of each other, especially if one of us is ill.

Voiceover: Don’t take away protections for committed couples like family medical leave or extending health insurance coverage to a partner.  Vote to approve Referendum 71.

Jane: For all Washington families.

Voiceover: Paid for by Washington Families Standing Together.

Cross-posted at Washblog.

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