Karen Ocamb

URGENT! Gays Could Lose Domestic Partnerships in Washington State Nov 3

Filed By Karen Ocamb | October 24, 2009 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: Approve 71, domestic partnership, gay marriage, LGBT politics, Washington

approve_bannerWhile the eyes of the LGBT nation are now focused on President Obama signing the federal hate crimes bill and on beating back the Religious Right Prop 8 sequel in Maine - same sex couples in Washington state are sweating bullets that in just over a week they might lose the simplest of family relationship protections - Domestic Partnerships.

At a Hollywood fundraiser for Maine Tuesday night thrown by Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen and political consultant Chad Griffin - the team behind the Ted Olson-David Boies federal challenge to Prop 8 - Cohen said the two challenges are important part of the national movement towards full equal rights:
Bruce Cohen

When [the federal challenge to Prop 8] makes it up to the highest court that it ends at - how many states have marriage is going to be a huge part of that victory. So it very much impacts all of us in the state of California and everyone concerned with Prop 8 what happens in Washington state [where an initiative to keep Domestic Partnerships is on the ballot] and in Maine on Nov 3 - and in the District of Columbia where we could have marriage recognized from all over the world - and in New York state where marriage may pass in the next couple of weeks.

But it's an off-year election and Washington is a largely vote-by-mail state where a lot of people might not understand that Approve Referendum 71 means a vote to keep a law already passed by the legislature. After all, Ref. 71, as it's known, is 111-pages of technical legalese!

Besides, gays and straights alike generally seem to assume that same sex couples should have or already do receive protections such as the right to visit a dying loved one in the hospital. The latest Pew Research poll indicates that 57% favor civil unions. And "Holy smoke," as blogger Pam Spaulding puts it, even the University of Alabama at Birmingham is extending health insurance benefits to same sex partners!

So who would ever believe that the state that brought us Starbucks, and that erudite TV stuck-up "Fraiser" and "Savage Love" columnist Dan Savage would put Domestic Partnerships up to a vote? And surely, Domestic Partnerships would be affirmed.

Well, most of the nation thought that Prop 8 would fail, too. After all - it's California!

But here's the thing: just like the Religious Right's victory in California emboldened them to export their Prop 8 strategy to Maine to stop marriage equality there - so, too, a Religious Right victory in Washington state would enable them to try to stop or undo legal protections for same sex couples in other states and even challenge the need for the recently introduced federal Domestic Partnership and Obligations Act.

Think I'm kidding? Well, Protect Marriage Washington - the West Coast version of Stand for Marriage Maine - is pushing the "slippery slope" argument that Domestic Partnerships (and civil unions) is the first domino to fall in the cascading line to same sex marriage. Think of this as the Religious Right's version of the old "domino theory" advanced by military advocates of the Vietnam War who said if Vietnam fell to the Communists, the whole region would go Communist, too. (It didn't.)

Here is Bob Struble, from Protect Marriage Washington behind the Reject 71 campaign, in an Oct. 19 KUOW radio report using by now familiar (remember the National Organizations for Marriage's "Gathering Storm") fear tactics.

This may be the last chance the people of Washington state have to weigh-in on this issue...

And if the people are deceived into thinking this is not about same-sex marriage which it really is, it's about this whole same-sex agenda, and go along with this argument then they'll never get another chance, courts will rule and that will be the end of the story.

jenny focusThe radio reporter says Ref. 71 is being watched closely by national opponents of same sex marriage. Jenny Tyree is with Colorado-based Focus on the Family Action:

Vermont is a perfect example because they first had civil unions and declared that wasn't enough and so they pushed until they were able to redefine marriage completely in that state and there's a similar push in New Jersey.

And just as we saw in California with Prop 8 and now in Maine, opponents of same sex family relationships use out-dated opinions about raising children and the literally interpretation of the Bible as evidence to support their arguments.

Focus' Tyree - and remember - she is speaking in the context of Washinton's Domestic Partnerships:

Rather than trying to completely undermine the definition of marriage I think we should be trying to strengthen those family forms, and yes, doing what we can for families in alternative situations, but that doesn't necessarily mean that caring for them requires the redefinition of the very best family form.

And then there's Struble reading from a recent resolution by local chapter of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic Fraternal organization.

Struble:

Whereas sexual activity between same-sex partners is listed in the Bible right in between child sacrifice and bestiality as an, quote, 'abomination in the sight of God.'

In an excellent, detailed post last May entitled "Bat. Shit. Crazy." - Washington blogger Lurleen deconstructs the far-out Religious Right underpinnings of the argument against Ref. 71 being spread through churches, via email, and on radio throughout the vast part of the state that is not Seattle.

stephenLurleen quotes attorney Stephen Pidgeon, a prominent Protect Marriage Washinton supporter, as saying this during an interview with Larry Stickney, another Religious Right fanatic:

[When] you come in and you introduce the concept of same-sex marriage or secular marriage, or any of the other rituals that have been formed by the state - and what you do is disestablish the godly order in favor of an order of death. Now let me say this to you Larry, because it's the important part. The government, government was created to kill.

With absolutely no sense of irony or contradiction, Protect Marriage Washington also uses government officials to push the Ref. 71- same sex marriage Armageddon link. In this post urgently asking for money, it's State Sen. Val Stevens:

Are the homosexuals finally going to take control of our culture and push their depraved lifestyle on our children and families?

And now, we need one more miracle to stay the course and ward off - what could be - the final assault on our families and American culture by the homosexuals.

You may just be that miracle....

val washStevens goes on, presenting a litany of horrors - linking the necessity to stop Washington's Domestic Partnership law with the "free love" 60's radical culture," NAMBLA, "pro-homosexual websites" that seek to "'normalize' homosexuality - which means pushing the lifestyle through public schools, beginning with elementary school-aged children. They will settle for nothing less than your full-scale acceptance - whether you like it or not!"

Hear that echo of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's famous "whether you like it or not" enthusiastic shout of glee after marriage equality was legalized in California? The Religious Right continues to use as a way to fear-monger over made up "consequences."

I wrote extensively about this in my piece "The Religious Right is Swiftboating Same Sex Marriage in Maine" showing how religious conservative political consultant Frank Shubert used the "gift" of Newsom's shout as a dire warning:

This is not about tolerance. This is about forced acceptance of gay marriage - whether you like it or not.

Washington State Sen. Stevens uses the same idea:

After 27 years of relentless pursuit, homosexuals finally received protected class status from the Washington State Legislature in 2006, making it illegal for you to refuse to rent them a house, or hire them on account of their homosexuality..... And I hope you will put up a clarion call to your friends and family and let them know that we are on the verge of losing the battle of our lifetimes if we don't stand up now!

So while the LGBT nation is focused on such important events such as Obama signing the first major piece of pro-LGBT legislation in memory, and the struggle against the forces of intolerance are being waged on the ground in Maine - the Religious Right is working hard on their second flank - the effort to end recognition of all LGBT protections. There is an effort right now to strip a nondiscrimination ordinance in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for instance.

But if the Religious Right succeeds in preventing a Domestic Partnership law from taking effect in Washington state, expect more such battles ahead. As Box Turtle Bulletin points out, proponents of Arizona's constitional ban on same sex marriage promised not to go after Domestic Partnerships. But Gov. Jan Brewer (R) just signed a budget that strips health insurance from the families of approximately 800 state employees, along with other Domestic Partnership benefits.

Last June, the Nevada Assembly overrode Gov. Jim Gibbon's veto of a Domestic partnership law that went into effect on Oct. 1. That surely will be up for anther battle if the forces of intolerance win in Washington state.

And then there's Wisconsin which just adopted a Domestic Partnership Registry. But if the forces of intolerance win in Washington state, they can challenge that law based on their 2006 constitutional ban on same sex marriage which states:

Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.'

Congressmember Tammy Baldwin, the lesbian who introduced the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, represents Wisconsin.

Andrew Sullivan got it right in writing about a "Christianist right" add opposing Washington's Domestic Partnership law:

It's a useful reminder that it doesn't matter what equality is called - civil unions, domestic partnerships, civil partnerships, or civil marriage - the GOP believes in no rights for gay couples whatsoever.

The Approve Ref 71 campaign has set up a virtual phone bank if you want to phone from home and get voters to mail in the right ballot or get them to the polls in this off-year election.

Additionally, they have set up an Act Blue fundraising account.

There is an urgent need to help Washington state stand as a another victory for equality in America.

(Cross-posted at LGBT POV)


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Karen, forgive me for missing a story so basic, but what happened to the second filing of the court challenge against R.71, claiming that the referendum wasn't valid because there were so many irregularities with the signature petitions?

(The first such challenge was filed in King County (Seattle) and the judge there threw it out, saying that such challenge needed to be filed in the county where Olympia, the state capitol, is located --- and I presume that on such an important point, the challenge got re-filed properly.)

Thanks.

Hey there.

Truthfully, I don't recall. Everything is just moving forward so quickly.

And so much news!

I'll ask the campaign and get back and post their answer here as soon as they get back to me.

Thanks -
Karen O.

A. J. -

Here's the response from Joe Mirabella who works on the campaign:

"We lost in Thurston county. The campaign chose not to appeal the case because they saw it as a larger distraction from the very abbreviated campaign we faced. Remember, this qualified on September 2. This may be the shortest referendum election in Washington history. We can't find a shorter one. It is also one of the closest qualifying referendums ever."

A.J - and anyone else reading this - please know this is an important battle and they need ALL HANDS ON DECK as they enter the final stretch.

As I noted in the piece - they've set up a virtual phone banking - http://approvereferendum71.org/phonehome

and they have an ActBlue page for contributions - http://www.actblue.com/page/approve71ontheair

Please spread the word. They really need the help.

Thanks, much.
Karen O.

The pro-R71 people are not competent. They are creating a repeat of No on 8, but much, much worse.

"The campaign chose not to appeal the case because they saw it as a larger distraction from the very abbreviated campaign we faced. Remember, this qualified on September 2."

Competent people can walk and chew gum at the same time. It is unbelievable that if they believed R71 was fraudulently certified, that they wouldn't pursue the appeal and do the political work at the same time. Hell, a law firm does all the work; they really don't have to do anything. So how is pursuing a critical legal claim a distraction?

An R71 loss would be worse than Prop 8 because at least the No on 8 folks can argue that they were fighting a well-funded and highly sophisticated opponent and were defending full marriage imposed judicially, the most difficult issue for us to win.

When you consider that the pro-R71 side only has the task of defending domestic partnership rights enacted by the legislature, has every major endorsement from public officials and newspapers, the support of both the business community and labor, and something like a 7-1 fundraising advantage and is going up against a bunch of amateurs with no campaign infrastructure, it is nothing less than scandalous that R71 is so close.

They should be up by 20-25 points. As it stands now, if the latest polls are correct, then they are below 50% and will lose. If that happens, I would expect a "clean-up" initiative in CA, to eliminate domestic partnerships and to eliminate the 18,000 marriages that survived Prop 8.

To my mind, there is more than one right way to run a campaign, and reasonable people can disagree on what the best of the options are. But past decisions are in the past. We are now 9 days from election day. I see no value at this moment in attacking the campaign and thereby perhaps undermining the ardor of our voters. What is most important to you right now, capturing votes and preserving the domestic partnership law, or vindicating your viewpoint? I start suspecting sock puppets from the opposition when I read this kind of post. If you aren't a sock puppet, I hope you take pause at learning that you're sounding like one.

If your priority is to win, please join the Approve Ref 71 virtual phone bank (http://approvereferendum71.org/phonehome) or donate to keep the incredibly effective tv ads (http://approvereferendum71.org/71-on-the-air) on the air. The opposition is complaining about these ads, so they must be good!

From Protect Marriage Washington:
"· Ads cloaking this as a "fairness" bill - not being about marriage. (Senator Murray, one of the bill's homosexual sponsors said marriage is the end game. It is a Trojan horse from homosexuals who seek to overturn thousands of years of sacred family tradition).

· Ads showing homosexual couples with children trying to appear as normal American families. (The sociological effects of fatherless homes are clear from every study, and from experience as we see the devastation in Scandinavian countries where this is rampant. It also continues the objective of the feminization of the male in our society).

· Ads showing older couples in support of SB5688. (Citizens aged 62 and older were included in the bill only to help the homosexual community garner their support. Yet, there is little of consequence in SB-5688 that heterosexual domestic partners 62+ cannot get now from a simple power of attorney. Seniors are being used.)"
(http://protectmarriagewa.com/index.php/component/content/article/2-press-releases/195-important-message-from-sen-val-stevens-on-r-71)

Also, check out these short videos first-hand accounts by WA domestic partners (http://approvereferendum71.org/r71-personal-stories/). Make 'em go viral!

Maybe if people had been more critical at the beginning and had not been so zombie-like in their support of the "professionals" we wouldn't be in this position 9 days from E-day. I guess we have you and your relentless cheerleading to thank in part for that. Great work.

I doubt that anyone coming to the Bilerico Project is going to have his or her "ardor" suppressed by a critical dialogue.

What do we have you to thank for, Jess? Lurleen has put a huge effort into passing this thing. And you bash her? Disgusting.

Right back at ya, partner! You don't know the first thing about me or what I am doing for our movement, but you instantly conclude that I am a couch potato who just sits around and "bashes" poor dear Lurleen. That's very fair of you.

The fact is that I have both volunteered and contributed (did both for ME, just contributed in WA). I don't think it is "bashing" if one makes comments in good faith based on actual facts. Sure there are some people will will attack for no purpose other than to attack. That is not what I am doing. I want to win, not lose. When things are not going well, the solution is criticism, analysis, and correction. Defensiveness and cheerleading are not the way to do it.

Now you can go back to attacking my motives and personal commitment.

I don't think it is "bashing" if one makes comments in good faith based on actual facts.

I might agree with you on this point. But that's not what you are doing. Let's review:

What you said: "They should be up by 20-25 points."

Actual Fact: No popular vote on LGBT rights has ever polled anywhere near this level of support of the pro-gay side. Ever.

What you said: "As it stands now, if the latest polls are correct, then they are below 50% and will lose."

Actual Fact: Every poll I've seen has the approve side doing better than the reject side. The latest poll Lurleen quotes (which I haven't seen) has the approve side at 51% of likely voters.

What you said: "Again, competent people can let their fancy lawyers pursue an appeal while they do the political work."

Actual Fact: Legal appeals to Prop 8 have cost millions (so far) and have had no success. As you've already stated yourself, the Approve 71 campaign has only raised $2 million. So no, they probably couldn't have paid for both a long-shot legal appeal and a vigorous electoral campaign in the same two month period.

I could go on, but I'll leave it at three. You insinuate that I'm not being "fair" when I assume that you're not particularly involved in this campaign. The thing is, I see what Lurleen is doing to pass 71. I see what the pro-71 campaign is doing. I don't see what you're doing. Maybe it's not fair to assume that you're doing nothing. But it's definitely not fair for you to come out, nine days before the election, calling the pro-71 folks "incompetent" and telling Lurleen she's to blame for the race being tight when all these people have put in sweat, blood and tears to win and you - by your own admission - are merely an armchair quarterback.

I am delighted that in principle you agree that people are allowed to criticize our leaders. Thanks for that concession. As for your attempt at a rebuttal, I am sorry but you are all wrong.

"Actual Fact: No popular vote on LGBT rights has ever polled anywhere near this level of support of the pro-gay side. Ever."

- That is false as a factual matter. See ex. Kalamazoo and the so-called LaRouch initiative in CA. However, I agree with you that it would be atypical. However, it is also atypical for us to have such an overwhelming advantage in money, volunteers, corporate and labor support, coupled with an amateurish opposition. So I think higher expectations are justified. I would never expect a lopsided result if we were fighting over full marriage against a serious opposition.

Actual Fact: Every poll I've seen has the approve side doing better than the reject side. The latest poll Lurleen quotes (which I haven't seen) has the approve side at 51% of likely voters.

-- Wrong. There have been 4 polls. In 3 polls we are under 50%. The one poll Lurleen refers to was actually a WAFST internal poll, which generally are not as reliable as independent polls. And it was not the latest. It was the second released out of the 4. The last 2 show us under 50%. It is true that we are doing better than the the reject side in all of these polls, but unfortunately there is ample data to show that virtually all "undecideds" go against us. So anything under 50% is a likely defeat. The precise same issue was voted on in CO in 2006 and the last polls showed us "winning" but with less than 50%. We lost 53-47.


"Actual Fact: Legal appeals to Prop 8 have cost millions (so far) and have had no success. As you've already stated yourself, the Approve 71 campaign has only raised $2 million. So no, they probably couldn't have paid for both a long-shot legal appeal and a vigorous electoral campaign in the same two month period."

- It is interesting that you see involvement in the R71 campaign as a kind of prerequisite for comment. Yet your own comments show how removed you are from the fight.

If you even took 2 minutes to research this, you would know that all legal services are donated. All of the expense that WAFST incurred was donated by their law firm, and the amounts show up as an in-kind contribution from the firm. WAFST has never cited cost as a reason for not appealing. Why are you making up justifications that not even WAFST has saw fit to invoke?

More to the point, this litigation had the potential to kill the entire referendum. It wasn't some marginal dispute, it was a dispute that could have ended the entire war before it started. With all of the work outsourced to a capable law firm, and with that law firm bearing all of the costs, what good reason was there for not pursuing this appeal? I have yet to hear an answer that suggests a competent mind at work at WAFST.

You are right. It is scandalous. It is scandalous that so few progressive people vote in off year elections. It is scandalous that so few people are willing to volunteer their time to turn out the vote. It is scandalous that so many people actually believe that by attacking the campaign, they are helping.

Fortunately, it is not too late. If you are concerned, as I am, you will do your part by signing up to phone bank. You will contribute money so we can keep ads on the air. You will write a letter to the editor on our behalf. You will reach out to every person you know in Washington and make sure they vote.

I doubt by your comment you are a lawyer. We had the best lawyers in Washington state volunteer their energy to this campaign. Their concern was twofold. 1) if we brought this case to the state supreme court we could lose resulting in a dangerous precedent. 2) the media would focus on the court case instead of the approve 71 campaign. They made the right choice.

http://www.approve71.org

Sorry, but I will not lobotomize myself and happily go along with the "professionals" this time. That is what we did in 2008 and we later learned that the professionals were incompetent.

"Their concern was twofold. 1) if we brought this case to the state supreme court we could lose resulting in a dangerous precedent. 2) the media would focus on the court case instead of the approve 71 campaign."

If those were indeed their reasons, then they are even more incompetent than I thought. Their goal is to protect the DP legislation. Period. They should not be holding back from an appeal because they don't want some precedent about whether, in the future, referendum proponents have to sign their petitions. Remember, the case was not a "gay rights" case, where new law specifically affecting gay people was being made. It was a case that went to the appropriate petitioning procedures. No precedent would be "dangerous", since it would only clarify petitioning procedures for all petitioning (pro-gay, anti-gay, or for petitions having nothing to do with gay rights) for the future. What we care about -or should have cared about- was winning this case on the grounds that the proper procedures were not followed.

The second reason is even dumber. The media would focus attention on the appeal? So what? As with any other case on appeal, they would give it one day's coverage when it was argued and one day's coverage when a decision came down. This was not an OJ trial where there would be action every day. We are talking short stories on 2 days, tops. On all the other days, the exclusive media focus would be on the political fight. To take a dive on a case that could have killed the referendum entirely because of a concern over media attention is ridiculous.

Again, competent people can let their fancy lawyers pursue an appeal while they do the political work. Incompetent people can't handle two things at once. Guess which kind of people we have running R71.

Thank you, Karen and Joe, for filling me in on the results in Thurston County. Even though I was watching for it, I never saw this covered in the GLBT press. I also find it amazing that we lost when the signature gathering was so sloppy --- but even if the decision was blatantly unfair, I wouldn't second-guess the attorneys about what to do next.

Remember the old story about the two gamblers at the roulette wheel:

First gambler: "You know this wheel's rigged, don't you?"

Second gambler: "Really? ... Then why are you here playing at it?"

First gambler: "It's the only game in town."

Pastor Scott | October 25, 2009 6:23 AM

If we all pitch in however we can perhaps we can prevail in Washington State and Maine. But we should be very clear from this moment forward and make if very clear to Wahingtonians and Mainers that if voters there commit the same crime that California voters did, not a single gay dollar will be spent in that state on any product coming out of that state. Period. And I don't need a lecture on the unintended victims of Boycotts. Democracy is all about collective responsibility. As long as we play softball while they play hardball, we're going to take on the chin. It's high time we stopped paying for the bullets that they shoot us with. And while we're at it we should launch Girlcotts on places like Iowa and Vermont. Shop til you drop, kids

pastor Scot

Washington is the Arizona of the last election cycle. Everyone knows there's the possibility of losing, but they're all focused on the sexier state. This time it's Maine because it's actual marriage instead of domestic partner benefits. Last time it was California over Arizona and Florida.

Well, kind of but not really. Arizona is a red state. The anti-gay side I believe is reasonably well-financed and organized. And of course, conservatives were eager to turn out to support AZ's favorite son, Sen. McCain. So it is not that shocking that our side lost in AZ.

As I say above, although there was gross incompetence in CA, at least there the No on 8 folks can rightly claim that they faced an unprecedented anti-equality effort, funded with $38 million and perhaps as many as 100,000 fanatical volunteers.

What excuse does "Washington Families Standing Together" have? WA is a blue state that has voted blue in every Pres. election since 1984. The anti-gay side essentially has no money. They have about $6,000 cash on hand. An allied group did raise $200,000, but that was weeks ago and it hasn't raised any money since. WAFST has raised $2 million and the 10-1 gap grows daily.

The anti-gay side has no political consultants on staff, no polling firm, and no field offices. They are getting no help from the Mormons, NOM, or any other of the big anti-gay groups. There has been little evidence of any real campaigning on their part, other than a few small rallies. Yet we are within just a few percentage points in the polls, below 50%, and Karen Ocamb is forced to send out "red alerts" 2 weeks before Election Day. Disgraceful.

Maybe WAFST has hired Walter Mondale's old campaign team and is looking to put WA back in the red column.

You are woefully uninformed regarding the resources of the opposition. The opposition has on board one of the top GOP consultants in the state, has the state GOP carrying water for it, has several attorneys at its core and an IN legal team doing the heavy lifting. It has the built-in church network to operate through as well as the blessings and support of the Roman Catholic church. NOM has just contributed to one of the reject 71 ballot campaigns (did you know there are at least 4?), and are currently suing in federal court to have the campaign finance laws scrapped so they can unleash the tidal wave of laundered out-of-state money. The reject campaign has also had a lot of in-kind assistance that they haven't reported. Can you tell me who paid for their paid signature gatherers?

As for polls, yes the average state voter is quite supportive of full domestic partnerships, but only 51% of LIKELY voters in an off-year election like this one are supportive because the older more conservative crowd tends to be who shows up to vote off-year. Thus the poor polls isn't fault of the approve 71 campaign, it is an artifact of voter demographics. This is why the campaign is focusing on making iffy voters into likely voters and running a major gotv campaign.

Let's take each bit of nonsense one at at time:


"The opposition has on board one of the top GOP consultants in the state, has the state GOP carrying water for it, has several attorneys at its core and an IN legal team doing the heavy lifting."

- No it doesn't. That consultant is part of a separate group, which only got in the game a few weeks ago and has only raised 200K, as noted above. No one on the reject side has conducted a single internal poll, done a voter survey, or produced anything close to a professional TV spot. Indeed, no spots have run statewide.
The state GOP has made no in-kind or cash contributions and to my knowledge, they only have high profile endorsements from a few very rightwing state reps. Everything else you mention has to do with the litigation over whether the signatures are kept sealed or not, and that has nothing to do with the political fight.

"It has the built-in church network to operate through as well as the blessings and support of the Roman Catholic church."

There are no more than a couple of small donations from local churches. I think maybe it totals a grand. Little or no in-kind assistance. In sharp contrast to Maine, the Roman Catholic Church has provided no cash or in-kind assistance to No on 71. They did make a statement opposing it, but have otherwise kept a low profile.

FoF has provided zero. Knights of Columbus has provided zero. It is about as favorable a situation as the pro-gay side could hope for, yet they are still losing.


"NOM has just contributed to one of the reject 71 ballot campaigns (did you know there are at least 4?), and are currently suing in federal court to have the campaign finance laws scrapped so they can unleash the tidal wave of laundered out-of-state money."

Oh I see. We are losing because we only have a 10-1 money advantage, but NOM is suing to open the "tidal wave" of money that hasn't actually happened. And that will happen when the litigation is resolved a year from now. It is all so clear now!

The R71 contributions are all online and they are updated daily.

http://www.pdc.wa.gov/QuerySystem/statewideballotinitatives.aspx

Other than the one-time infusion of $200K a few weeks ago, there has been no serious money for the other side. It is about as lop-sided a contest as you could imagine and that is counting all of the PACs on their side and all of the PACs on our side. How pathetic for you to try to spin this as if it is anything like a close contest.


"The reject campaign has also had a lot of in-kind assistance that they haven't reported. Can you tell me who paid for their paid signature gatherers?"

Virtually all of the in-kind assistance they have received is donated legal services relating to the litigation over sealing the petition signatures. They have had virtually no in-kind help on the campaign itself, just has they have had very little cash for the campaign.

If it is true that they didn't report contributions to cover paid signature gatherers, then why didn't WAFST bring that to the attention of the Public Disclosure Commission at some point over the past 2 months? Maybe the same geniuses who couldn't appeal their legal case similarly felt it would be too much of a "distraction" from their bumbling campaign.

So it is not that shocking that our side lost in AZ.

Except when you consider that our side won in AZ two years earlier, in 2006. Or did you not notice that because you didn't start paying attention until November 5, 2008?

I'm so sick of dilettantes bashing the hard work and dedication of people who are putting in every ounce of effort they have to move our community forward. What did you do to defeat Prop 8, Jess? What are you doing to pass R-71?

Leaving bitchy comments on a blog doesn't help. Sign up for some phone banking shifts. Get to Washington and knock on doors. If you think you can do it better, DO IT. Don't just complain that the people who ARE doing something aren't doing it up to your standards.

The people remembered by history as great were the ones who did things, not the ones who complained about them. There are no monuments to critics.

As for your personal attacks on me and your incorrect assumptions about my level of involvement, you can refer to my comment above. You are all wrong. The fact that your first instinct is to respond with ad hominem attacks and false assumptions says more about you than me.

As for AZ, of course I am aware that we won a temporary victory in 2006. The 2006 contest was not the subject of Bill's initial comment to which I was responding. He was talking of 2008, when only marriage was on the ballot and we lost.

But as long as you bring up AZ 2006, let's observe that that victory came about b/c the proponents overstepped and included a ban on domestic partnerships as well as marriage. The pro-gay side persuasively argued, even in the face of a well-funded foe, that the proposed measure went too far and was unfair.

So how is it that the pro-gay side managed to convince the red voters of AZ not to go so far as to ban DP, but the "professionals" at WAFST with their 10-1 funding advantage are on the verge of losing DP in the blue state of WA?

Oh sorry, I forgot we are not supposed to ask questions, lest we be accused of "bashing".

Finally, in response to your comment, I don't want a monument, just a victory.

I love it when someone who does nothing BUT attack then turns around and complains when they get a little taste of their own medicine. Don't dish it out if you can't take it.

If you're actually in the game, you can question what others are doing. Even then, it's still helpful to put all your efforts into winning while there's still time on the clock, and save the critique for the post-game. But what you're doing is assuming a loss that hasn't happened yet and attacking the people who are trying to pull it out because they're not doing it the way you would (if you actually bothered to do it).

So Jess, my question stands: What are you doing to get this victory you say you want? What are you doing to pass R-71?

I am sorry you can't see the difference between criticism based on fact and ad hominem attacks based on supposition. My criticism of WAFST is based on what I have observed of their conduct over the past 4 months. Your attacks on me are based on nothing. You just call me names and assume that I have ill motives. So it is not a case of dishing it out but not being able to take it.

As for your question, I have answered it above. However, I completely reject the notion that there is some sort of admission price for criticism. Either the criticism is valid and/or constructive or it is not. Whether or not I have made a donation to R71 doesn't render the criticism valid or invalid. The facts and the evidence determines that.

BTW, I am not assuming a defeat. I am acknowledging that based on 3 polls showing us below 50%, we have a good chance of losing. If you hadn't noticed, Karen Ocamb agrees. Maybe you and Lurleen can start attacking her motives too.

rikki mordhorst | October 25, 2009 4:58 PM

As a resident of Washington what concerns me is that as I drive down the street I see vote NO on R71 signs. I don't see any vote YES on R71 signs. I see buttons and signs in the LBGT friendly establishments, but no where else. I don't quite understand that. The ballots are already mailed out. I don't watch much TV so I am probably missing ads there, but I don't see what is going on otherwise. That concerns me.
There is a lot of stuff going on in the conservative churches here so it is going to be a very very close vote.