Bil Browning

Stonewall Dems ask DNC for $25k for Maine marriage fight

Filed By Bil Browning | August 24, 2009 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: Democratic National Committee, DNC, gay marriage, Maine, marriage equality, No On 1, same-sex marriage

Stonewall Democrats Interim Executive Director, Kyle Bailey, sent a letter last week to the Democratic National Committee formally requesting that the DNC donate $25,000 to Maine's No On 1 campaign [PDF]. The DNC donated $25,000 to California's Prop 8 battle last year.

Logo_NSD.jpgStonewall Dems Director of Communications, Jenna Lowenstein, confirmed the organization had sent a letter to the DNC requesting a donation. "We're proud of our partnership with the DNC, and the important work we do together to elect pro-equality Democrats. We also believe that preserving marriage equality in Maine is imperative, and we're happy to use our contacts at the DNC to work to protect same-sex couples and families in Maine," she told me.

The DNC's donation to the Prop 8 campaign came after widespread criticism that they hadn't contributed to the marriage equality battle after raising money hand over fist from our community. The DNC donated to the Prop 8 campaign in the last month of the election.

Here's hoping the DNC will be faster about cutting the check this time. Imagine if Maine could get it when it's most useful instead of the waning days of the campaign!

Full text of the letter after the jump.

August 21, 2009

Hon. Tim Kaine
Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol Street SE
Washington, DC 20003

Governor Kaine,

National Stonewall Democrats, on behalf of our more than 120 affiliated chapters and LGBT Democratic clubs across the country, formally requests that the Democratic National Committee make a direct contribution of $25,000 in support of the No On 1 campaign in the state of Maine.

While there are plenty of area were we have room to disagree as Democrats, there can be no compromise on the need to protect all Americans from discrimination. In 2008, the Democratic National Committee took a firm stand for basic fairness and equal opportunity with a gift of $25,000 to the campaign to defeat proposition 8 in California.

Today, the frontline in the battle to secure basic fairness and equal opportunity is in Maine. With the support of the Democratic National Committee - and from Democrats across our country - we will win this battle to preserve the rights of all Mainers.

Success in Maine on this front is critical to push back those forces that seek to resist change we can believe in - those same forces that are working to prevent health care reform, to prevent the expansion of workers' rights, to prevent us from holding reckless Wall Street executives accountable for their actions and to prevent us from enacting meaningful immigration reform that lifts people up.

We, as Democrats, cannot afford to fail in Maine. Failure in Maine has consequences for our larger national progressive agenda. We, as Democrats, ask for your support in these efforts.

Democratically yours,

Kyle R Bailey
Interim Executive Director

Tom Petrillo, LTBT Leadership Council Director, DNC
Andy Szekeres, Finance Director, Maine Freedom to Marry
Andrew Tobias, Treasurer, DNC

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Get_it_together | August 24, 2009 8:30 PM

Glad to see the Stonewall Democrats ask for help in Maine and I hope the Democrats donate the money. Asking early this time makes a lot of sense. I hope the Democrats step up to the plate. It's been nice to see some movement since Pride month. Do you think the DNC and Obama will keep moving in the right direction?

I want to clarify this misinformation! The DNC did give to the "Decline to sign" initiative in Aug. 2008 for California. Second this is a states rights issues, Stonewall should ask the Maine Democratic Party and the Stonewall Dems local donors for the money as should the Log Cabins should ask their donor base. Stonewall's mandate is to work on Federal laws... like DOMA...
----------- (quoting from the article)
Once Proposition 8 got on the ballot in June, LGBT activists met and brainstormed to oppose it, but no one stepped up to lead the effort. Precious weeks, if not months, were wasted, say some activists. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean reportedly offered to go on a media/fundraising tour but never heard back from organizers.

In August, the DNC donated $25,000 — one-quarter of what Spielberg and Pitt each forked over. Officials with "No on 8" — an anti-Proposition 8 group — reportedly asked the DNC for a half-million more but were told that all funds, including a fresh $10 million line of credit, were being earmarked for close House and Senate races. The state Democratic Party is also getting its share of criticism, even after it says it kicked in $150,000 to the "No on 8" coffers.