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08/24/2011

His name is Anthony Bellotti and here's why you should know him

by Jeremy Hooper

Campaign Solutions is a prominent GOP online consulting firm, whose clients include the National Organization For Marriage, as well as various ballot campaigns against same-sex marriage. One of Campaign Solutions' rising stars is a man named Anthony Bellotti.

Here's Bellotti's bio, which puts his anti-marriage-equality work front and center:

Screen Shot 2011-08-24 At 9.53.29 AmAnthony Bellotti specializes in online fundraising and advertising for public affairs campaigns, ballot initiatives, and non-profit organizations. In 2010, Bellotti was honored by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as a Republican “Rising Star of Politics.”

Bellotti is a veteran of many high profile conservative issue advocacy campaigns. In 2008, he quarterbacked the highly regarded online campaign for California’s Yes on Proposition 8. He has also managed award-winning online advertising and fundraising campaigns for Maine’s successful Yes on Question 1, the National Organization for Marriage, California’s Yes on Proposition 19, Americans for Prosperity’s “Hands off My Healthcare” initiative, the Judicial Confirmation Network, Freedom’s Watch, and Americans United for Life.

Anthony Bellotti [Campaign Solutions]

And here's Bellotti taking to ClikZ.com, sharing some insight into what he did to help pass Prop 8:


Meanwhile, ProtectMarriage was prepping an online attack that would catch the No campaign and its supporters completely off guard in the final days before the election.

"If the voter file-matched ads were akin to a stealth bomber," suggested Connell Donatelli Senior Account Manager Anthony Bellotti, this ad onslaught was "akin to a carpet bombing." They call it the Google Surge, and it appeared to cause distraction among Prop 8 opponents online in the last two days before the election. The tactic involves serving ads on behalf of one advertiser on most or all of the Google content network pages generated within a short period to a specific geographic area. In the last 48 hours, Yes on 8 covered sites in Google's AdSense content network with display ads targeted geographically to Californians. Like other campaigns using the tactic, Yes on 8 aimed to push voters to the polls and persuade them to vote their way.

"We knew we were going to play that card," said Bellotti. "The No campaign didn't know what was going to hit them…. Our goal was to do a saturation buy…. We wanted to completely overwhelm them." Of the $41 million in donations raised by the ProtectMarriage campaign, $7 million was raised online, according to [Jeff] Flint. The campaign originally thought they'd be lucky to raise $2 million. And in the final days, the money was rolling in.

How 'Yes on Prop 8' Campaign Took the Web by Storm [ClikZ]

So why should you be monitoring Bellotti and Campaign Solutions' work now, hoping to glean some insight? Well, because the team fighting to pass an anti-equality amendment in Minnesota in 2012, working under the name "Minnesota for Marriage," have begun ramping up their online efforts with a new website and social media properties. And if the nascent MNForMarriage Twitter and its first follower is any indication, it would seem that Mr. Bellotti will again be working to "carpet bomb" our rights during the next election cycle:

Screen Shot 2011-08-24 At 10.20.03 Am-1
MN For Marriage [Twitter]

Wouldn't it be nice to win one of these campaigns? To embolden the right campaign answer rather than the far-right Campaign Solution? I think so. And I know that a key is to learn as much as humanly possible about who and what has defeated us in the past.

In both California and Maine, Anthony Bellotti was a key online actor. In Minnesota in 2012, we will not allow him to further build his bio off the back of bias!

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