Saturday, October 13, 2012

BOOK OF REVELATIONS: Reports Reveal Anti-Marriage Equality Donors // Ehrlich Robocall Consultant Cuts Big Checks

The latest campaign finance filings have been released regarding Maryland's marriage equality battle, and there are several newsworthy items in the disclosures. Below Maryland Juice provides comment from anonymous readers, as well as a press release from the Marylanders for Marriage Equality campaign:

REVELATION #1: EHRLICH'S VOTER SUPPRESSION GURU IS SINGLE-HANDEDLY FINANCING A GROUP OPPOSED TO MARRIAGE EQUALITY - The most interesting tidbit from the campaign finance reports is that a new anti-civil rights group called "Jump the Broom for Marriage" (aka JTBM) is receiving almost all of its financing from Julius Henson, who was recently convicted of voter suppression efforts for GOP Governor Bob Ehrlich. Indeed, $21,000 of the $21,881 raised by JTBM is from Mr. Henson. In 2010, Henson taped a robocall telling African American voters they didn't need to turn out for the  election. Now he is trying to mislead Maryland's voters (and cowboys) into thinking their children will somehow be harmed by the passage of marriage equality:
ANONYMOUS READER: You may have already followed up on this -- but see attached for the campaign finance report from Jump the Broom for Marriages. Of the $21,881 in contribution the campaign took in -- $21,000 were from Julius Henson (Ehrlich's robo call campaign flak). Henson also donated another $7k in-kind, so this "ballot committee" is really just a wholly owned hobby of Julius Henson.

I realize there are lots of other campaign finance stories today -- but just thought to follow up on this to show that along with Frank Schubert (the Karl Rove of marriage ballot initiatives), the folks who are working to defeat marriage equality are a compromised bunch. Harry Jackson, Derek McCoy and Julius Henson are all cut from the same cloth -- they have multiple judgments against them in the court system, mostly for failure to pay their debts, and they make a living spreading invective and lies. Birds of a feather, really.

REVELATION #2: LEADER OF MARYLAND'S BIGGEST ANTI-MARRIAGE EQUALITY GROUP DODGES TAXES - In yet another sign of moral hypocrisy from Maryland's preachy stone-throwers, The Washington Blade reported this week that the head of the Maryland Marriage Alliance (aka MMA) doesn't like to pay taxes. Derek McCoy is the leader of MMA, which is the main group organizing opposition to civil rights in Maryland. Marylander's anti-civil rights leaders recently placed a "curse" on The Washington Blade (good luck with that one). See an excerpt from the Blade's report below:
WASHINGTON BLADE: The Washngton Blade has learned that the Internal Revenue Service in 2011 filed a lien against the executive director of the group challenging Maryland’s same-sex marriage law for more than $32,000 in unpaid taxes.. The filing notes he had an unpaid balance of $22,940.32 for the tax period that ended on Dec. 31, 2002. The document further indicates that McCoy had an unpaid balance of $9,646.07 for the tax period that ended on Dec. 31, 2003.
McCoy, who is executive director of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, is an associate pastor at Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, the same congregation headed by Bishop  Harry Jackson who claimed late last month he placed a “curse” on the Blade two months before the newspaper’s parent company’s Nov. 2009 bankruptcy forced it to temporarily shut down.

REVELATION #3: MARRIAGE EQUALITY SUPPORTERS RAISE MONEY FROM THOUSANDS OF DONORS // OPPONENTS FUNDED BY HANDFUL OF RICH EXTREMISTS - A press release from Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the group pushing a "vote for" marriage equality (Question 6), shows a stark contrast between supporters and opponents of civil rights. The pro-marriage equality side counts over 9,000 donors, while the haters are being funded by a small group of 300 wealthy haters and religious extremists. See the press release below:

Campaign Filings Show Stark Differences Between Supporters, Foes of Question 6

BALTIMORE - Both sides of the Question 6 referendum in Maryland submitted their campaign funding reports yesterday, revealing a significant difference in the number of individual donors to the two camps. Marylanders for Marriage Equality, which raised $3.2 million to date, produced 950 pages of contributions in a report that includes over 9,000 donors. The Maryland Marriage Alliance raised $830,000 and filed a 40-page report including just 300 donors.

"We'll let the massive gap between our number of individual donors and theirs speak for itself," said Josh Levin. "Our opponents raised almost 80% of their funds from two secretive organizations that don't disclose their donors, yet we've still raised more from Maryland residents alone than they have overall. The campaign for marriage equality is powered by Marylanders who are giving their time and dollars to protect fairness and equality under the law.”

MMA's primary funding came from the National Organization for Marriage at $400,000, Knights of Columbus at $250,000, and MMA itself at $151,000 (in un-itemized funds raised before its ballot committee was established). These three account for $801,000 of the total 838,000 in contributions. The remaining $37,000 is from about 300 donors. Maryland Catholic Conference made about $11,500 in in-kind contributions.

The MMA’s Derek McCoy has frequently claimed Marylanders for Marriage Equality receives "millions" from "movie stars."

"The disclosure highlights a larger point: our opponents are misinforming - and sometimes outright lying to - voters,” said Levin.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality is the diverse coalition made up of 1199 SEIU of Maryland, NAACP Baltimore, ACLU of Maryland, Equality Maryland, the Human Rights Campaign and more working to protect marriage on the November ballot.



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