Some great news from Protect All NC Families today: “We have raised over $36,000 online from 425 donors through both ActBlue and our website since Todd and Diana’s matching gift began yesterday at 1pm.” UPDATE: “We have now hit over $50k in less than 24 hours.”
This morning a letter went out from major donors in the fight to defeat Amendment One to those who are still sitting on the $idelines, highlighting the broad grassroots movement to turn the ballot initiative back at the polls on May 8 has created unprecedented momentum. Ads are in the can, and what is needed (are you listening MIA major gay donors?) are the funds necessary to put those ads on the air in the major markets where we need to educate and turn out the vote.
NOM and the race-baiting fundamentalists have no problem bringing in the heavy hitters and donors to help Vote for Marriage NC, but they have to — they are losing the PR war. However, they (and we know) that the final push to win comes from what goes on the airwaves in the final days. And that’s why Martin Eakes, the CEO of the Durham-based Self-Help Credit Union and the Center for Responsible Lending, Bob Page, the Chairman & CEO of Replacements, Ltd., and Todd & Diana Stiefel of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation have stepped up — putting skin in the game, along with a message to their peer donors. And it’s important to note that only Bob Page is gay — we have straight allies stepping up. Below is the letter…those in the community take note of who is not on this donor letter (and should be).
On May 8th, North Carolina will vote for or against a constitutional amendment banning legal recognition of all unmarried couples, whether straight or gay. The four of us have invested over $500,000 to defeat Amendment One. As entrepreneurs, we believe that transformation is impossible without taking risks. In that spirit, we are helping fund compelling TV ads produced by Chad Griffin and Mark Armour. The campaign’s pollster, Celinda Lake, has shown us how a fully funded campaign can win. In a state of 9.5 million people stretching 543 miles, we have to fund multi-market ad buys.
Momentum is on our side. The President forcefully spoke out against Amendment One, as have North Carolina’s Democratic and Libertarian parties. Over 120 organizations, including our state’s NAACP, Council of Churches, ACLU, and Planned Parenthood, are highly active coalition partners. Significant field work is ongoing. Aside from our investments, the campaign has been fueled by grassroots donations; nearly 6,000 donors have made average gifts of less than $100. A recent week-long money bomb generated more than $180,000 online gifts from around the country.
Leading in-state conservatives are speaking in our favor. Former Charlotte Mayor and Republican gubernatorial nominee Richard Vinroot is publicly advocating defeat, in part by appearing in an ad for our side. Bob Orr, a respected former Supreme Court Justice and Republican candidate for Governor, also came out against Amendment One. John Hood, head of the John Locke Foundation and the most widely syndicated conservative in North Carolina, wrote an editorial against the amendment, calling it “unwise” and “unfair.” In addition, corporate leaders are stepping up against Amendment One — including Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers and Bank of America executive Cathy Bessant.
Public Policy Polling says that Santorum’s exit means, at minimum, a 10% decrease in conservative turnout. The Republican primary for Governor is not competitive, unlike the Democratic Party’s multi-candidate races for Governor and Lt. Governor. Those candidates are now purchasing millions of dollars of air time in areas that will boost our side’s target vote substantially.
The impact of a victory in the South cannot be overstated. Please be a part of this and help us make this happen. Please match our efforts. We have given in many of your states for many of your fights because we understand that we cannot win the war if we only fight the battle in the backyard. If you join us, the television campaign will be fully funded. We have a real opportunity to win.
Please know also that NOM is dedicating substantial resources to North Carolina. We believe they are bringing in Frank Schubert, and they will continue raising money to work against us nationally if we lose. The campaigns in Minnesota, Maine, and Maryland get it, which is why they sent out emails on our behalf last week. HRC has long understood, too. Its investment, particularly in our field efforts, is huge.
We have three weeks. We must defeat Amendment One, and we can do so if you step up and join us. Please give as much as you can.
Martin Eakes, CEO, Self-Help Credit Union, Center for Responsible Lending
Bob Page, Chairman & CEO, Replacements, Ltd.
Todd & Diana Stiefel, President, Stiefel Freethought Foundation
See the Scribd letter below the fold.