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11/07/2012

Election 2012: I couldn't have scripted a clearer repudiation of the NOM agenda

by Jeremy Hooper

Late yesterday afternoon, I posted a list of national stage candidates for whom the National Organization For Marriage had placed last-minute robocalls. Every single one of them—six in total, Romney among them—lost their races. Most of them lost in big ways.

NOM blew hundreds of thousands on these aforementioned races, but it was just a tiny drop in the bucket when you consider the vast fortunes this one organization wasted last night. Let's take a glance.

  • PRESIDENTIAL: NOM endorsed Romney pretty early and immediately began directing re$ources his way. They tried to frame this as the "marriage election," pitting the decidedly anti-equality GOP contender against the proudly pro-equality incumbent. Through that multi-tiered process, the only thing that came cheaply was the rhetoric.

  • THE FOUR STATES: We now know for sure that we won equality in Maine and Maryland, as well as fought off a discriminatory amendment in Minnesota. We look to be on track to win Washington state, but that one is not finalized yet. I haven't even sat and crunched the numbers regarding the grand total that NOM piped into these states, but it is in the multi-millions. That money aint coming back.

  • JUDICIAL RETENTION IN IOWA: NOM directed another low six figures to Judge David Wiggins' judicial retention election in Iowa, in hopes of turning that state's independent judiciary into a political weapon against marriage equality. It seems voters woke up this time around and told NOM to get the hell out their state. Wiggins was retained. The only thing NOM retains is a stack of out-of-state receipts.

  • NEW YORK: This is the only place NOM can really find anything resembling a "win." However, any victory the organization tries to claim will be overshadowed by the fact that their chief target, Mark Grisanti, won re-election. The pro-equality Grisanti defeated Democrat Mike Amodeo and Conservative Chuck Swanick, the latter of whom saw at least $12,0000 of NOM's cash come his way (plus the other resources NOM has already directed to demonizing Grisanti). Yes, NOM's other big hope, Kathy Marchione, appears to have won, but that just won't matter in terms of the NOM script. The NOM script demands that Republicans cannot support marriage equality and survive, even in blue states. That's what they claim. If they claim it again, they will be lying. (**ALSO: NOM's work seems to have helped deliver a Democratic majority in the state Senate)

  • FRANK SCHUBERT: NOM has really pushed the usually-more-reclusive Schubert into the forefront this year, naming him as the organization's political director and having him tout the org's virtues in interviews with papers as prominent as the New York Times. Schubert, through his newly-launched Mission Public Affairs firm, was manning all four state campaigns and has been working about as closely with NOM as one can work. NOM has been positioning him as this grand mastermind. If anyone has face-egg this morning, it is this supposed guru who has made a verifiable fortune off of these disgusting campaigns.

The enormity of the defeat is crushing. That's not hyperbole, either. For an organization with the sole focus that NOM has, last night was an undeniable body blow. In talking and strategizing with my teams in the days leading up to the election, the dream that became the reality of last
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night was our "what if?" scenario. It was our far-fetched, pie-in-the-sky hope—one that we were all too battle-scarred to believe could become our truth. But it happened—it really, really happened! We have won at least three states and likely all four. We re-elected a president who is on record in full support of our full equality. We beat back smaller things that we assumed were fait accompli (Wiggins retention, for me). We did this. NOM lost and lost haaaaaaaaaaaard.

There's also the element of partisanship. Prior to this presidential cycle, NOM has been pretty good about hiding the fact that it is 100% GOP. But now the curtain has been pulled back. NOM tried everything it could to deliver for not only the Republican party but the furthests rightward stretched of said party. That didn't work out so well for them. Probably not going to work out so well, either, when they next try to drum up some nonpartisan support.

And oh yeah—we have a little Prop 8 decision coming in just a handful of days. We could have marriage equality back in California by the time the new year rolls around. That'd be fun, right?

All in all, it seems like it might be a very somber Thanksgiving for those NOMmers who have been talking so much turkey.

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