It’s been no secret that Preserve Marriage Washington was one of National Organization for Marriage’s astroturf campaigns. NOM supplied most of PMW’s staff: PMW’s Campaign Manager Frank Schubert is NOM’s National Political Director; PMW’s Deputy Campaign Manager Chris Plante is Executive Director of NOM Rhode Island; and PMW’s Communications Director Chip White was press secretary for NOM’s Yes on Prop 8.
They even astroturfed their Facebook followers.
PMW was the group opposing Washington state’s new marriage equality law. The Washington electorate has affirmed the marriage law via Referendum 74 on a 52.6% to 47.4% vote.
Despite the astroturfing obvious, PMW always tried to maintain the facade of being a local grassroots campaign by naming Joseph Backholm, a Washington local, as campaign chair. Today in a statement signed by Backholm conceding that PMW failed to stop the marriage equality law, PMW also accidentally admitted to being astroturfed, saying:
“Our opponents and some in the media will try to portray this election as a turning point, but it’s not a turning point to win on your home turf.”
Wait, isn’t Washington PMW’s home turf? Guess not! Only someone from outside Washington state — Chip White, probably — would write about not being on home turf.
My advice to Joseph Backholm: next time you provide local cover for an astroturfed campaign, don’t let the out-of-state communications guy write your concession letter for you.