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05/10/2012

NOM's new collection plate sounds a little shady

by Jeremy Hooper

They teased it out yesterday afternoon:

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Okay, so the whole thing is working through Brian Brown's uber-partisan ActRight.com. That site has been a thing of interest to a number of us NOM Watchers (more on that later) for quite some time now, for a couple of different reasons. For one, it's extremely Republican, which is something NOM used to shy away from. But also, the site often seems purposeless other than bolstering Brian Brown's own connections within the GOP. While it's been a trifle in most of our minds, there is clear evidence that Brian is ramping up the site for this election cycle, so expect more interest in the weeks and months to come.

But back to this project in particular: it seems really bizarre. I mean, presumably the effort is targeted to people like me (except on the other side) who have a national interest in these matters and want to see every single state achieve what their side views as a win. But while I am very likely to contribute to each of the four states listed, just as I contributed to North Carolina, I don't understand what incentive I would have to give to some larger fund that I'm ask to believe is going to distribute my funds in the proper manner. Why wouldn't I just give what I wanted to give to each of the states?

There clearly is some sort of donor protection motivation, as well as NOM-strengthening one. If the money comes from one larger place (namely NOM), then the donors' names and geographical locations will presumably be shielded, thus muting the out-of-state money cards that both sides like to play. But also, if NOM is able to cut checks from on high, it makes NOM look like the powerful tiger that is capable of swaying elections. And, not only NOM, but ActRight, a property that Brian is clearly trying to turn into a viable property, perhaps knowing that the NOM well isn't going to pump forever. If he can make a project like this, hosted on his property, seem like a political powerhouse, then he can position himself as a conservative rainmaker worthy of respect.

I'm not sure what, exactly, this seemingly superfluous effort is all about. I do know that I don't trust its purity.

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