"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Aww. . . . (Updated)

Guess who's running out of money:
ProtectMarriage.com, the advocacy group defending a California gay marriage ban now under review by the high court, showed a $2 million deficit in its legal fund at the end of 2011 - the third year in a row that expenses exceeded donations, federal tax records show.

The 2012 accounts are not yet available. ProtectMarriage.com says it has since covered the 2011 shortfall. However, it is still $700,000 short in fundraising for its Supreme Court costs, according to a ProtectMarriage.com attorney, Andrew Pugno. That message has gone out to donors, with some urgency, as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in March in its first thorough review of same-sex marriage.

"Unless the pace of donations starts to pick up right away, we could soon be forced over a financial cliff," ProtectMarriage.com said in an email to donors earlier this month.

This, coupled with the fact that they were outspent in the 2012 marriage initiatives, and lost all four. My take is that being anti-marriage is becoming toxic, particularly given the viciousness of the rhetoric from the likes of Brian Brown and Tony Perkins. Pugno differs:

Pugno says that fundraising for ProtectMarriage.com has never been easy. However, he said he does not think changing attitudes are the problem.

"I don't detect a decrease in enthusiasm," he said. "What I detect is a certain degree of fatigue after having to essentially fight this issue non-stop since 2004, when the mayor in San Francisco started issuing marriage licenses."

First off, no one asked them to start a fight -- that was their decision. And don't tell me fundraising has never been easy -- that's total bullshit, when you've got the LDS Church and the Knights of Columbus funneling millions into the Prop 8 campaign. My take is that the LDS Church got stung by the blow-back on that one, and isn't quite so willing to fork over for a losing proposition, particularly given the scrutiny it had to endure last time -- they don't like being in the public eye. And the Church has even been supportive of gay-inclusive civil rights laws in Utah.

And if Pugno doesn't think that changing attitudes are the problem, he's been spending too much time looking at his own polls.

A little comparison:

At the close of 2009, ProtectMarriage.com had a deficit of roughly $220,000, but the trial was expensive: Cooper's firm billed $4.5 million in 2010 and total expenses came to $6.1 million, for a year-end deficit of $1.8 million.

ProtectMarriage.com raised $2.5 million in 2011, but it still fell more than $200,000 short of that year's expenses, leaving a cumulative deficit of $2 million. Pugno said that debt was paid by the end of last year and that grassroots donations in 2012 were down only 3 percent from 2011.

By comparison, the American Foundation for Equal Rights - which sponsored Olson and Boies' challenge - reported a $2.7 million surplus at the end of March 2011. AFER outraised ProtectMarriage.com, but the gay rights group also got a much better deal from its lawyers: Olson and Boies' two law firms billed about $1.5 million during the trial year

I think that says something about changing attitudes.

Poor things.

Of course, with friends like these. . . .


Piet said...

Westboro's Table of Authorities/Other Authorities section is hysterically funny. I haven't read the brief itself -- the ToA was enough for me. I can't see the Supreme Court taking it seriously at all. Well, maybe Scalia and Thomas, but none of the others.

Hunter said...

There are hordes of amici on these cases, mostly from the right, and while their briefs aren't as totally off the wall as Phelps', they're pretty much beside the point.