Thursday, March 1, 2012

Brian Brown needs a civics lesson

In his zeal to do the bidding of his Church's bishops, Brian Brown seems to think that the first allegiance of elected officials is to Brown's National Organization for Marriage. Mr. Brown openly expects elected officials to favor the church and a special interest group over the best interests of their constituents. Not only is that not good government, it's an insult to the Establishment Clause.

What Mr. Brown is describing is corruption and he is the corrupter. 

Case in point, From a March 1, 2012 email:
Consequences of a Vote, NOM Marriage News, March 1, 2012
. . .
We just endorsed a Democrat for the New York state Senate, Chuck Swanick.

Here's what I said in our press release:

"In response to those who say that electing Mr. Swanick could cost Dean Skelos his majority in the Senate we say, 'we don't care. . . . Mark Grisanti's political career will be ended over same-sex marriage, and he might take Dean Skelos with him. But that is Skelos' own doing for having allowed the same-sex marriage bill to come to a vote in the Senate. We are committed to electing a pro-marriage majority, not protecting Republicans like Mark Grisanti who betray our core values."
People may recall that Brown promised to spend $2,000,000 in New York to punish legislators who voted in favor of marriage equality. I don't think that they have that kind of money anymore given all of  the battles that they are fighting simultaneously. But that's not the point. NOM does not dictate what is best for a legislator's constituents. Have we really become this cynical.
If donors are stupid enough to fund a gratuitous fuck you they deserve to have their non-tax-deductible contribution wasted. New York is never going back.  I am not even so sure that NOM can unseat Grisanti who has significant roots in the area. He is a third generation attorney, all in the same community. I also expect that Bloomberg is going to help him out. Bloomberg has deeper pockets than NOM.

Marriage equality proponents win either way.

If NOM's candidate wins, Democrats (who broadly championed marriage equality in the first place) may wrest back control of the Senate from the Republicans. If NOM's candidate loses then the body retains a gay-friendly legislator.

Ultimately, we get the more meaningful fuck you.

Meanwhile National Organization for Marriage has to do it all over again in Washington State and Maryland at a time when they are funding and coordinating referendums in both states plus Maine     in addition to all the other things that their Knights Templar are battling. In addition to matters involving Proposition 8 there referendums in Minnesota and North Carolina. In spite of all of NOM's arm twisting, a full month has elapsed since they claimed to have the votes to repeal marriage equality in New Hampshire which is yet one more fire that they are trying to stoke.

NOM has one more significant potential problem; concentration. The vast majority of their activity is funded by just five donors. At a time when they are spread very thin, if just one of these big-money donors calls it a day, NOM could be insolvent.
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