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Over the weekend, we asked you for money.  You responded in a record-setting way, and for that, you have my thanks, and the thanks of everyone who believes in equality before the law.

Today, I will be asking you for something else: your time.  I'll get to exactly how in a minute--but before I do, I want to tell you a story.

It's a story about two weddings.  Please join me below the fold.

On one beautiful weekend in September, I took a trip from Los Angeles to Northern California.  My first stop was Grass Valley, where my mom's cousin was holding her stateside wedding reception after getting married over the summer in Italy.

Even though my mom and I are not members of the Mormon church, plenty of our relatives on her side are--and it was, indeed, a festive occasion, and a happy one for my first cousin once removed, who was finally able to celebrate having found love after a couple of instances where she thought she had found the one, only to have him take advantage of her and leave her in the end.

Even though much of my extended family is traditionally conservative, in large part owing to religious reasons, they know that much of my life is spent actively campaigning for Democratic causes, but I am still more than welcome, and our conversations are always pleasant and civil.

The next morning, I left to drive to San Francisco for another wedding: this time, it was that of my good friend Brian.  Now, I'm sure that many of you know the Brian I'm talking about:  none other than Brian Leubitz, the founder of Calitics.  He too was celebrating having found the love of his life.  The same festive atmosphere.  The same love.  The same desire to share a life together, and to enter into a binding contract with one another.  The only difference is that Brian's love is another man.

And yet, because of that last fact, certain groups are investing craploads of resources into making sure that the happy scene I saw in San Francisco never happens again.

As a matter of fact, the No on Prop 8 folks told me recently that the "Protect Marriage" campaign has raised $30 million dollars--over half of it from the Mormon Church.  Now, I have nothing personally against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  They most certainly have the constitutional right to worship in their own way.  They have the right to minister in whatever way they see fit and to marry whomever they see fit in their churches based on any qualifications they choose.  And they will be well within their rights.

But when the church and its members invest millions of dollars in an attempt to write discrimination into my state's constitution and divorce my friend Brian against his will, there will be hell to pay.

So what am I asking you to do?

Some distributed research.

There is a list of a bunch of Mormon donors to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign (in case that one goes down, here's a mirror with slightly worse formatting.

Here's what I'm asking for:

This list contains information about those who are big donors to the Yes on 8 campaign--donors to the tune of at least $1,000 dollars.  And, as you can see, there are a lot of them.  It also indicates if they're Mormon or not.

If you're interested in defeating the religious right and preserving marriage equality, here's how you can help:

Find us some ammo.

Use any LEGAL tool at your disposal.  Use OpenSecrets to see if these donors have contributed to...shall we say...less than honorable causes, or if any one of these big donors has done something otherwise egregious.  If so, we have a legitimate case to make the Yes on 8 campaign return their contributions, or face a bunch of negative publicity.

There are a crapload of donors on this list--so please focus on the larger ones first.  $5,000 or more is a good threshold to start with.

Feel free to use Lexis-Nexis searches as well for anything useful, especially given that these people are using "morality" as their primary motivation to support Prop 8...if you find anything that belies that in any way...well, you know what to do.

If you find anything good, please email it to:

equalityresearch at gmail dot com.

Here's the bottom line for me: if someone is willing to contribute thousands of dollars to a campaign to take away legal rights from some very dear friends of mine, they had damn well make sure their lives are beyond scrutiny--because I, for one, won't take it lying down.

This one is for Brian and the millions like him all across the nation.

Originally posted to Dante Atkins: the author formerly known as hekebolos on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 12:00 PM PDT.

Poll

How are you helping to defeat Prop 8?

1%15 votes
0%6 votes
6%47 votes
1%12 votes
0%4 votes
2%18 votes
86%677 votes

| 779 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Highly Recommended (15+ / 0-)

    Good diary to email to your friends, and don't forget you can DONATE.

  •  Thanks heke! (7+ / 0-)

    We can really use the help to look into these donors.

    Kossacks have dug up so much incredible information over the years and there is a ton to wade through here.

    Please help if you can and thank you to everyone who contributed over the weekend.  The $150k raised on daily kos was matched by Steve Bing and others.  $300k will go a long way to keeping marriage equality in the golden state.

    Reco this!

  •  Not to hijack, but... (12+ / 0-)

    To those Floridians reading this, don't forget we have Amendment 2 on this ballot to defeat (Almost identical to what California has on their Prop. 8)

  •  Isn't there some way to divvy this list up and (4+ / 0-)

    cut down on duplication of effort?

    [T]he area required to sustain biodiversity is pretty much the same as the area required to generate it in the first place.

    by nu on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 12:06:28 PM PDT

  •  $12,500 from Edward G Atsinger III (9+ / 0-)

    This guy:

    Edward G. AtsingerIII is the president and chief executive officer of Salem Communications Corporation.

    According to June 1999 information posted on the Council for National Policy database:

     

    "Edward G. Atsinger III-CNP Board of Governors (1996). President and C.E.O., Salem Communications Corporation; chairman, National Religious Broadcasters Music License Committee. Founded Salem Communications in 1986 with his brother- in-law Stuart W. Epperson, who is Chairman of Salem's board. Each partner owns half the company, but Atsinger remains more involved in day-to-day business decisions. Salem Communications includes 44 stations grouped primarily in major markets across the United States. It is the largest Christian radio group and among the top ten in commercial radio groups in the nation. Salem owns stations in eight of the 10 largest radio markets in America, all but Detroit and Miami. The company's goal is to run stations in the top 25 markets.

       "Atsinger is also a member of a secretive entity called the Capital Commonwealth Group (CCG) comprised of four multi-millionaires who collaborate to maximize their influence by recruiting and funding candidates for state political office in California: Howard Ahmanson (heir to the Home Savings & Loan fortune); Rob Hurtt (president of Container Supply Company, and now a state senator); Edward Atsinger III (owner of 19 Christian radio stations); and Roland Hinz (publisher of dirt bike magazines). In 1992, as the press began to report on CCG and its links to the Radical Right, Ahmanson, Hurtt, Atsinger, and Hinz formed Allied Business PAC. During the 1992 election cycle, Allied Business PAC and members of CCG as individuals contributed more than $2 million to various candidates and ballot initiatives.

       "'Unlike a traditional radio company, religious broadcaster Salem Communications Corp. relies largely on the sale of chunks of airtime to make money, rather than on the sale of advertising. More than 50% of Salem's 1998 gross broadcast revenue came from the sale of nationally syndicated and local 'block program time' to religious groups. That was one of the insights in a June 4 company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Local advertising provided 30.6% of revenue, and national ads, 5.2%.

       "'The filing details Salem's plans to go public, probably by the end of this month, and provides a detailed look at the heretofore-closed world of a Christian radio broadcaster, in this case the nation's largest both in number of stations and audience coverage. Camarillo, Calif.-based Salem owns or is buying 52 radio stations, mostly in major markets. The company owns stations in nine of the top 10 markets and 14 of the top 20 and intends to keep buying stations in the top 50 markets, both where it already has stations and in new cities. The offering will be comprised of 7.5 million shares of stock (1.5 million from current shareholders) priced at $19-$21 per share. The stock will be sold on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol 'SALM'. Salem plans to use the estimated $111.3 million in net proceeds to repay debt and fund recent station purchases.

       "'Upon completion of the offering, President Edward G. Atsinger III, Chairman Stuart W. Epperson and Nancy A. Epperson, Epperson's wife and Atsinger's sister, will control about 90% of the company. Salem executives and analysts working on the company's initial public offering could not comment for this story because of SEC restrictions.' [Broadcasting & Cable, Vol. 129, No. 25, p. 91, 6/99]."

  •  2nd biggest election this year (9+ / 0-)

    A lot of people have said it before and I agree. It's a national issue.

    Lucas O'Connor
    Courage Campaign.

  •  Bash back. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    side pocket, mariva, bythesea, KentuckyKat

    They declared war on us. Bring the war to them.

    Any legal method of retaliation is fair game. Any way of making their lives more difficult is legit. Don't break the law, don't go after their kids. Anything else--bring it!

    "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

    by homogenius on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 12:09:34 PM PDT

  •  They need people and money now (7+ / 0-)

    In my area (Contra Costa) they need people to phone bank and to hand out material at BART.

  •  Great dairy Hekebolos. (5+ / 0-)

    Yes we can.

    ~~insertobscurereference,pretentiousquoteORsalientaphorismhere~~

    by shayera on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 12:19:12 PM PDT

  •  $995,000 total from Fieldsteid on Company (12+ / 0-)

    As in Howard Ahmanson, Jr:

    For example, in an article on the Episcopal Diocese of Washington website attacking the American Anglican Council, Jim Naughton emphasized Ahmanson's ties with Rushdoony.[5] Ahmanson told the Orange County Register in 1985, "My goal is the total integration of biblical law into our lives." (emphasis mine)

    •  see (7+ / 0-)

      now that's the type of thing we need.

      oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

      My blog. Come visit.

      by Dante Atkins on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 12:21:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How is this for funny (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mogolori, KentuckyKat

        Dorothy Nielson of La Verne gave $150,000 for Proposition 8 because she doesn't think that David Dreier (whom she gave $1,000) should be able to wed his Chief of Staff. Hilarious.

      •  more fun (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mofembot, KentuckyKat, Eddie L

        Former Assemblyman Steve Samuelian is in for $100K. As in...

        During Samuelian's 2002 run for the state assembly, he revealed that in 1998 he had been cited by the police for loitering for the purpose of solicitation of prostitution.[7] Samuelian paid a fine, and the citation was removed from his record.[7] Samuelian then encountered controversy in February, 2003, when it was reported that he was stopped and questioned by police when his vehicle was noted on the same block of the same street as the earlier incident. He claimed he was delivering political fliers to the farm bureau.[8] Samuelian denied any wrongdoing, and was not charged.[8] In the wake of the incident, Samuelian faced public calls to resign from members of his own party including his former boss congressman George Radanovich, congressman Devin Nunes, and Michael Der Manouel Jr. president of the Fresno County Lincoln Club.[7][9] In December 2003, Samuelian announced that he would not seek re-election in order to spend more time with his family.[10]

  •  Mormons are being ordered to donate (8+ / 0-)

    although many of them, in private, express great wariness at this effort to throw another state's Constitution—they don't think an effort to discriminate against a particular segment of society will help the church's overall mission. It's "un-Mormon."

    Obviously, there are not a lot of venues in which you can say something like this.

    Those Mormons are right to worry. If Prop 8 is passed, there's no question LDS will have an enduring public relations problem.

  •  Just out of curiousity when did the government (0+ / 0-)

    get into the marriage business?  I have come to believe that no one should be able to be "married" by the state.  It should all(heter and homo alike) be covered by a civil union with a fairly detailed and explicit contract signed by both parties and renewable at will.  I say that because when people end up in court they ask the judge to sort out these tangle of rights and obligations and no one ends up happy or well served.  That being said, no one should be denied their rights by virtue of their sexual orientation.  Good luck!

    •  Great in theory, but.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KentuckyKat
      Probably not going to happen in our lifetime, if ever.  The irony is that marriage is such a fundamental right that there are very few restrictions and it takes about as much time and effort as it is to license a dog or cat.  Bring homosexuals into the equation, and all of a sudden rightwingers are ready, willing and eager to deny their own fundamental right to marriage and family decisions, and instead, talk about the state's right to dictate who gets married, etc.

      Talk about politics and strange bedfellows!

    •  at least in the context of Europe (0+ / 0-)

      marriage started out as a civil matter...religion (the Catholic church) got involved in the 1200s, IIRC.

  •  Slightly off topic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuickSilver, KentuckyKat, Eddie L

    In the latest bad news from SUSA, the clearest non-political demographic block supporting Prop 8 is African-Americans, by a margin of 20%. For all I know, the uptrend in support for the measure since summer reflects increased registration by AAs wishing to vote for Obama.

    The irony is obvious, or at least I think it should be, considering that many of these voters parents and grandparents were subject to miscegenation laws. But it also suggests a strategy. California's black population is concentrated in the big urban centers: LA, the bay area, and Sacramento (see census map.) Could some targeted advertising in these few small areas make a difference?

  •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mariva, KentuckyKat

    How I can help defeat prop 8 is by voting against it, which I have already done.

  •  Here are some people (0+ / 0-)
    we should coordinate with.  They already have some interesting search results;
    http://74.125.95.104/...
  •  Great work, Dante (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hekebolos

    Linked back to you:  http://steveaudio.blogspot.com

  •  I don't get it (0+ / 0-)

    Why are we going after them personally? Do the ends really justify the means? Senator Obama challenged us to change the world. By doing this we are no better than the Repugs.

    •  Re: I don't get it (0+ / 0-)

      This must be part of the "change" we have been promised. Who knew it would come at the hands of homofascists. I especially enjoyed the admonition to "not go after their kids or anything."

      Keep it classy as always!

  •  Targeting Mormons (0+ / 0-)

    As a volunteer for Yes-on-8, I wholeheartedly support this witch hunt against the Latter-day Saints.  I intend to spend the next two weeks speaking with uncommitted voters.  If you promise to spend the time trying to dig up dirt on Mormons, I will write you a check today!

    •  YES ON 8 campaign? Please respond.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peace voter, QuickSilver

      Your buddy/coworker/sockpuppet 13x13 laid a comment, and it was disappeared from public view because two people disagreed with it, and probably felt it was inflammatory (it wasn't IMO)...just so you know where it's comment went.
       You escaped that treatment, I'm not sure why, but your comment used the same language and hyperbole that 13x13 did, and therefore I think it likely you are also 13x13, I'll address you, and pardon me if I'm wrong.
       If I'm right , you may be banned for having and using two or more accounts.etcetcetcFAQetcetc.
      ............................

          13x13 has said nothing inflammatory or abusive...wrong about 8, guilty of hyperbole OMGOMG,  the hyperbole about targetting Mormons: it's just total horshshit that Mormons..as in 'all Mormons' are 'targetted'...and wtf does that even mean 'targetted'..targetted for the Criticism Bomb OMGOMG
       HR'ng someone for a lack of critical thinking skills isn't acceptable, we'd all be banned.
       Heh.
      ..............
       No as to the big problem with the Yes on 8 campaign aside from the content of the whole ballot initiative that is...
       Now as to you srf1976, your hyperbole aside for the moment, what do you think about the use of signs that say

      SAY NO TO SEXUAL PREDATORS

      alongside your Yes on 8 campaign materials?
           I have seen that around southern california, and this is not acceptable.

       I will tell you that acceptance of that by the campaign is not acceptable in polite society, in that if I see it again I may lose it entirely and commit some mayhem and some targetted beatings.
           I'm begging you and the campaign to remove those offensive materials, post a diary here that says so, and apologize, and we can get on with our respective campaigns.
       You see, whether or not I'm gay is of no concern to anybody here, but this is provocative hate speech and, I would say,  in addition to the feelings of those good citizens hurt by such a conflation, it also hurts your campaign the by association Mormon people and the Mormon church. I know many fine Mormon people and I do not want to have this hate speech come between us.        
             And in my mind, unless the Mormon Church and the Yes on 8 campaign repudiates and eliminates these destructive materials, I'm will assume that the Mormon Church and probably Mormon people then support this viscious conflation.
           I have posted in all the 'No on 8' diaries I've seen my outrage at seeing this conflation of a legal attempt to change a law, conflated with inflammatory and damaging hate speech.
       If you need that explained to you any clearer I will be happy to do so.
      But let me be extra clear about this,  if you said something like that to my face, I would knock the crap out of you and probably not be charged for it. If you want to test that theory fine, if you want to go up to the nearest large scary blackman and say something insulting, the reaction would/might be the same, and as hate speech should not and may not be protected by the law. I've seen police not arrest and not charge individuals that fight over such things...
       Try sitting on the curb waving Yes on 8 signs and signs saying 'don't vote for the n****r ' of you would like to test the reaction. 'Say No to sexual predators' is exactly the same as far as I'm concerned, in fact, I would even say if you don't repudiate this conflation, as I've requested I would  certainly expect you to be sued as the result of homosexual hate crimes and  attacks in california anytime soon, I would certainly testify and donate money for such an accusation.
        And also, I would and have done the same in similiar circumstances, intervened in hate speech directed at all the other minorities including Mormons.
       So, check it out, and please do respond, we'd love to hear your views on the matter, and if you could speak for the campaign, all the better.

      Obama: One Spouse, One House, One Car

      by KenBee on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 04:43:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  do you have any pictures of these signs? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peace voter, mariva, KenBee

        were they blue and yellow, like these?

        The idea that Prop 8 protects "religious freedom" or "free speech" is nonsense:

        Photobucket

        I've seen your comments on other threads, and I think photographic evidence of a "Say No To Sex Predators" sign would be helpful. I've read at least one news story about someone at a Prop 8 rally who was asked to put such a sign away a few minutes before the speeches began, but I think it was a homemade sign.

        Whatever might be privately encouraged, they are not distributing such signs openly at appearances of the "Yes on 8" bus, I'm told.

        But what lies won't they tell? Did you hear how Prop 8 is supposed to protect against human trafficking?

        •  These were in Ojai at the intersection (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peace voter, QuickSilver

          where 33 goes west, and the main road from Ventura goes into Ojai, sw end of the town, by the shopping center.
           They were homemade and there were several posted alongside 150 from Carpinteria to Ojai, and were homemade.
            Maybe I'll drive over there and collect them, heh.

          Obama: One Spouse, One House, One Car

          by KenBee on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:09:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Re: YES ON 8 campaign? Please respond (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BradMajors

        I am a lowly foot soldier in the Yes-on-8 campaign. so I can't speak officially for anyone else.  I personally agree that linking same-sex marriage with pedophilia is wrong.  I have seen no such signs, but I believe you if you say so.  It's wrong, and I would object to it if I saw it.

        I'm new to this forum so you'll have to excuse my ignorance.  Is the animoisity you express and the violence you propose typical of propopents of same sex marriage?  You do understand, don't you, that your post represents exactly the sort of "provocative hate speech" that you condemn?    

        •  don't be disingenuous (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peace voter, mariva, KenBee, mofembot, sovery

          he said he would knock the crap out of someone who called him a child molester to his face, simple as that.

          Is his passion and outrage typical of Prop 8 opponents here in California, gay and straight, in the face of a door-to-door hate campaign sponsored by the Mormon Church? Damn straight it is. I'm frankly surprised there hasn't been more physical violence out here, given how much emotional distress the Prop 8 campaign has caused to gays and lesbians, and to their many valiant supporters.

          What lies won't you tell about Proposition 8? I'm sick of the distortions on your posters ("Protect Parents' Rights", "Prop 8 = Religious Freedom", "Prop 8 = Free Speech", etc), but it is the lies you tell about the effect on our childrens' education that are most odious to me. Prop 8 will be felt with a brain drain from California of thousands of talented gay and lesbian teachers, academics, medical staff and researchers, Silicon Valley talent, etc., as those ugly 14 words are applied to their real purpose: to undo existing recognitions under California law, rights going back decades. The same thing has happened in every other state where such "marriage" language has been added. It's a hate campaign, simple as that, which writes second-class status permanently into the constitution simply because of they way certain people are born.

          Whatever your religious affiliation, you won't know what discrimination is until you've had people walk on to your property, ring your doorbell, and make a pitch to write your second-class status into the state Constitution. Let me know when that happens to you.

          •  A few questions (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BradMajors

            I don't expect you to change your view, but maybe you would consider the possibility that proponents of Prop 8 are honest and acting in good faith.  I'm sure you recognize that someone can be wrong and well-intentioned at the same time.  Not every political disagreement involves "hate" on one side or the other.  Try to think about the answers to these questions from my point of view:

            Does "emotional distress" ever justify "physical violence?"  If you hurt my feelings, do I get to punch you in the face?

            What right "going back decades" would be affected by Prop 8?  (Same-sex marriage was illegal in California until May 15, 2008.)

            The California Education Code requires that health education classes teach about "marriage."  If "marriage" is defined to include same-sex unions, how could teachers avoid talking about same-sex unions in the classroom?  Which is the lie: That gay marriage will be taught in schools, or that Prop 8 has "nothing to do with the schools," as Jack McConnell claims?  

            Why would Prop 8 suddenly cause a "brain drain" from California, if there wasn't one before May 15, 2008, when the text of Prop 8 was the law in California?  Where would gay couples go to find more freedom?

            Why do you assume that defenders of traditional marriage are motivated by hate?  Isn't it possible to respect the rights of all people to live as they choose while believing that there is a difference between a same-sex union and an opposite-sex union?

            Isn't labeling millions of people whom you have never met "hateful" a form of bigotry?

            Is an untrue accusation of bigotry less hurtful than an untrue accusation of sexual perversion?
             

            •  no, what I should have said (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              peace voter, KenBee

              is that they cloak their hate in feigned ignorance. And your response, a cascade of straw dog arguments, is a terrific example.

              My donut is meant to recognize all your trollish achievements, but particularly for this paragraph:

              Does "emotional distress" ever justify "physical violence?"  If you hurt my feelings, do I get to punch you in the face?

              That ain't what the argument is about, and it is extraordinarily dismissive and condescending, to say the least.

  •  I have to say, of the 6 people I saw (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuickSilver, mariva, KenBee

    on this list to whom I am (alas) related or know well (or thought I knew well)... there's no dirt on them. And quite frankly, most of the Mormons on this list are going to be squeaky-clean despite their support for this homophobic and discriminatory wretchedness.

    Book excerpts: nonlynnear; other writings: mofembot.

    by mofembot on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 02:25:35 PM PDT

    •  I guess their magic underpants are effective (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mofembot

      in protecting them after all!

      •  Well, actually, yes.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        QuickSilver

        Although there's an entire set of "Mormon urban legends" built around "the garments [official term for the underwear] protected him/her from [physical] harm!",* the whole point of wearing them is to be a tangible reminder of the promises one makes to God in the temple (obedience being one of them).

        *Even while I was an active, garment-wearing Mormon, I thought these stories of physical protection were silly: after all, garments don't protect one's head or extremities. Always thought there should be a sort of "airbag"-like feature that would create a cocoon in case of mortal danger.--But I digress.

        Book excerpts: nonlynnear; other writings: mofembot.

        by mofembot on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 08:20:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I was very saddened to read the names (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, mofembot

      of people whose lives (and family members' lives) had been saved by medical treatment provided by gays and lesbians here in California. Do they have any idea?

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