You would think the Reject 71 campaign won in Washington from their first message to supporters after their resounding defeat by the Approve 71 campaign.
In the Reject 71 Campaign Manager Larry Stickney's typical truth bending style he wrote:
Not that we didn't expect it, but the R-71 campaign was handicapped by the bias of our incredibly liberal and increasingly shameless statewide media complex. Like a mantra, the ACCEPT R-71 campaign's talking points were reflexively repeated by nearly every Washington State newspaper, radio, and TV station. How many times did we hear or read that "SB 5688 and R-71 is not about marriage, but domestic partnerships...period"?
It is true, we ran a very effective campaign that earned the endorsement of every main stream newspaper in the state. However, to call those newspapers "incredibly liberal" is blatantly false.
Washington's largest newspaper, The Seattle Times endorsed the Approve 71 campaign, but they also endorsed George W. Bush in 2000, and in 2009 they endorsed Susan Hutchinson (our very own pro-life-science-be-damned-Sarah-Palinesque candidate.)
The endorsements rolled in because this election was about one simple fact, treating all families equally under the law is the right thing to do. Our opponent's message was such a blatant lie that no self respecting organization could stand behind it. Referendum 71 was about Domestic Partnerships not marriage, as our opponents so often liked to say.
Stickney's revisionist history continued:
Washington conservatives should take heart; the battle for marriage and family values in Washington State is far from over. Despite University of Washington polls showing overwhelming support for either same-sex marriage or domestic partnerships prior to Election Day on Nov. 3, our opponents barely reached a 53% majority statewide, and would have been soundly beaten were it not for the greater Seattle vote!
2009 was an off year election. We knew going into this campaign that older more conservative voters have a better voting record during off year elections. Our primary goal was to win votes in areas where we could turn out the progressive vote. It is true that Seattle and Western Washington were home to the most votes. In Seattle we won 80% of the vote. We did not win on Seattle alone though, we won because we won votes throughout the entire state.
The story in Eastern Washington was more complex than our opponents would have you believe. In every county accept for one, we showed growth in support for LGBT equality. Not only was there growth, but we won in Eastern Washington urban areas like Spokane, Tacoma and others. This proves that our ongoing education effort is working.
Washington has unique geographic barriers that made it difficult for us to travel from region to region. Fortunately our social networking campaign was not impeded by our state's volcanoes, waterways, islands, or mountain ranges. In just six short weeks over 40,000 fans joined our campaign from all over the state. Some of the most active regions online were in Eastern Washington.
The Approve 71 campaign only had 6 weeks to win this election. It was the shortest election in Washington state history. We were at a further disadvantage because it is far easier to reject a referendum than to approve one. Referendum 71 was only the 6th referendum to be approved by voters in history, while 29 have been rejected.
Yet in that short time period we built one of the strongest coalitions in State history. We had over 500 coalition partners. Approximately 200 of our coalition partners were from faith based communities.
While the newspaper endorsements and factual reporting from journalists were certainly helpful, we won because there is broad support for LGBT equality in Washington.
I am not surprised Larry Stickney is trying to rewrite history to motivate his base to donate to his organization. He is the leader of the first defeated anti-equality campaign in history. He needs to make a living. According to PDC reports he personally profited from the Reject 71 campaign. In just six months he paid himself $26,440.00. He also reimbursed himself for $3352.48 for gas. Somebody needs a hybrid!
But seriously, Stickney stands to make a lot more at the expense of our families. We should take his threat seriously. He intends to forge ahead, and so do we.