NOM trying to appeal to anger over Wall Street to raise money for its N.Y. PAC
In its ongoing fundraising campaign targeting four Republican New York state senators who jumped party lines to vote in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage this past summer, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is shopping the narrative that the senators were bought by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and “his Wall Street buddies.” In fact, much like the Occupy Wall Street protesters in the Big Apple and beyond, NOM’s number of choice is also 99.
“I am asking you to please make a generous contribution of at least $99 (donations of $100 or more are publicly disclosed), or whatever you can afford, to help us reverse this unjust law and hold the legislators who imposed it accountable,” wrote NOM President Brian Brown (also treasurer of NOM NY PAC) in a fundraising email sent to supporters Sunday. “When it comes to elections, money talks. … We must have the resources to hold these turncoat Republican senators accountable! We CANNOT let them get away with this!”
According to Brown, NOM NY PAC needs to raise $100,000 by tomorrow night in order to make a “down payment” on the $2 million NOM says it needs to “restore a pro-marriage majority in Albany next year.”
The NOM NY PAC was created in 2009 and has a physical location in Huntington, N.Y., according to the New York State Board of Elections.
According to state campaign finance disclosure reports, in 2009, NOM NY PAC raised nearly $2,900 (about 75 percent of which came from NOM’s national organization and anonymous, “unitemized” monetary and in-kind contributions); in 2010, the PAC raised approximately $6,600; and as of July 2011, NOM had raised about $25,000, of which $10,872, or 43 percent, comes from anonymous “unitemized” monetary contributions. Of the identified 105 individual contributions, about one-third were made from New York addresses. The rest came largely from California and other states across the country, as well as one $100 donation from Pinegowrie, South Africa.
This month, NOM released a web ad showing heavily pixilated New York state Sens. Roy McDonald (District 43), Mark Grisanti (District 60), Stephen Saland (District 41) and James Alesi (District 55) “dancing” while money rains down on them. A banner reads: “Same Sex Money Dance for the NY GOP Four – Fundraiser Sponsored by Billionaires.”
The ad was in response to an Oct. 13 fundraiser held for the aforementioned senators, hosted by Republican supporters of gay marriage, such as Mayor Bloomberg, hedge fund managers Paul E. Singer and Daniel S. Loeb and software entrepreneur and philanthropist Tim Gill, who founded the LGBT-rights organization the Gill Foundation in 1994. (Full disclosure: The Gill Foundation is a donor to the American Independent News Network.) The fundraiser was expected to raise $1.25 million.
In September NOM launched a billboard campaign across the state of New York featuring the respective senators’ names with the messages “Your Fired!” and, more recently, “You’re Next.”
“[M]any elected officials like Mayor Bloomburg [sic] and Governor [Andrew] Cuomo think that their legislative priority is imposing same-sex marriage, not creating jobs and fixing the economy,” Brown writes in Sunday’s email. “I promise you, we will not rest until we have repealed same-sex marriage in New York and stopped this wealthy minority from thwarting the will of the people!”
Last week, Grisanti told Buffalo’s WIVP.com his vote for same-sex marriage was not about money.
“It wasn’t, you know, ‘You vote this way and you’re going to see an influx of cash,’ or anything like that in your pockets,” Grisanti told the local news organization. “If I had voted no on this marriage equality bill,” said Grisanti, “I’d probably be getting money from the other side as well. So I don’t see why it’s such a big issue.”
New York is not the only state where NOM is using out-of-state resources to influence state Senate elections by pushing marriage equality as a wedge issue. Last week, NOM launched an independent expenditure campaign in Iowa with The Family Leader, an Iowa-based affiliate of the Family Research Council, to support Republican Cindy Golding’s candidacy for Iowa Senate against her Democratic rival Liz Mathis.
As ThinkProgress reports, NOM has already committed more than $15,000 into the Iowa Senate election.