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Video: 'All Things Considered' -- except for tax-paying citizens' right to civil equality

by Jeremy Hooper

The Attorney General may have eviscerated the idea. But why should that matter to Stand For Marriage Maine? They are back on the air with another ad claiming that marriage equality is all about schools:

Can and should gay families be respected in public schools? YES! Unapologetically and unabashedly. And they will be regardless of marriage or not, because gay people -- wait for it, wait for it -- EXIST IN THIS WORLD! But the idea that Maine schools are about to have their lunch periods replaced with forced Heather Has Two Mommies readings is offensive to both gays and intellect.

Not to mention: Shouldn't Mainers be wondering why every last "Yes on 1" ad has been about schools?! They've haven't put out one ad about tax-paying adults and whether or not they deserve civil equality. The campaign is wholly built around schools, as if what the state is debating is some sort of curricula-focused law. Just in terms of focus, voters should be asking why our opposition refuses to talk about the true issue here!


Welcome to Mrs. Cyr's Fourth Grade [Calvary Chapel]

So once again, we have a PRIVATE, CHRISTIAN SCHOOL TEACHER speaking on PUBLIC schooling!!! This is insanely disingenuous!

**UPDATE: Andy Towle raises a good point:

There's no doubt some Maine kids will see this ad when it is broadcast on TV. If Stand for Marriage Maine is so concerned about kids learning about gay sex, why are they inspiring curiosity about it by broadcasting this commercial?

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Your thoughts

More hateful lies from SF-based Criswell and Associates and Coyote Films. Bill Criswell and Bill Bayne (Coyote Films) have close ties to the anti-gay, hard-right political community. Criswell and Associates has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the Yes on 8 (CA) and Yes on 1 (ME) campaigns. Here’s a 2006 post from the ultra-conservative Flashreport web site regarding CA Republican Congressman (and gay hater) Bill McClintock’s campaign:


Soon-to-be Lt. Gov. Tom McClintock announced his campaign team today. It's an impressive list of conservative talent. Here's a rundown:

Bill Criswell, principal in the San Francisco firm Criswell Associates, is the advertising and paid media consultant, responsible for producing broadcast advertising, overseeing media strategy planning and buying.

Bill Bayne, principal of Coyote Films, is the campaign's specialist for broadcast production. Bayne has produced and directed hundreds of award-winning television spots, TV films, and documentaries. His clients have included many of the leading Fortune 500 companies, political figures and issues of the day.


The demo reel on Coyote Film’s web site indicates they have worked with Blue Diamond Almonds (http://www.bluediamond.com/), the state of California, the Baum Foundation, and others.

The Coyote Films web site (http://www.coyotefilms.net/direct.html) also lists Zach Hammer as their Senior Editor. The web site states, “In the evenings Zach can be found on stage playing guitar with the band Five A.M.” Interestingly, Five A.M. describes one of their songs as being about “"the social and political effects of violence and hate." Yet Five A.M. guitarist Zach Hammer guitarist works for Coyote Films. And Coyote Films has worked with Criswell Associates for years. So much for Five A.M.’s concern about the effects of violence and hate. Fucked up stuff.

Five A.M. on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0sL5Mqx0Yc

Coyote Films web site (probably beta; has the same look and feel as Criswell's new site): http://www.coyotefilms.net/direct.html

Contact for Coyote Films (from a link on their web site): [email protected],[email protected],[email protected]

Posted by: MarkL | Oct 16, 2009 11:55:51 AM

"So once again, we have a PRIVATE, CHRISTIAN SCHOOL TEACHER speaking on PUBLIC schooling!!!"

And have "No on 1" said anything about the matter?

Posted by: ---- | Oct 16, 2009 11:59:35 AM

Yeah, what have we done in retaliation? Maybe we should be picketing in front of that school for lies. (Isn't that one of the 10 commandments?)

Posted by: John | Oct 16, 2009 12:26:42 PM

Here's why they think its about schools. It has nothing to do with the facts. They don't want my kid sitting next to their kid and saying that he's from a gay headed family. They don't want the children of gay families to talk about their families in even a neutral, let alone positive light. Unless the schools clamp down on the speech of these kids and bash their families in the classroom to be sure nobody gets the idea that they are normal, then they define that as teaching positively about gay marriage in the school.

The bottom line is they can restrict the rights of my family all they want. My kid is still going to sit next to your kid. He's still going to talk about his family. Your kid will hopefully learn that gay people are just like everyone else from my kid. That his family is not "counterfeit". I know that turns your stomach. I'm sorry if that offends you (sorry for you anyway) but I'm definitely not sorry if that happens. It will make me even prouder of my kids,

I'm reminded of post about a billboard I saw. It said, "Some people are gay - Get over it!"

Posted by: Steve | Oct 16, 2009 12:27:47 PM

It's a testament to the great work that "No on 1" has been doing that the other side is getting so desperate. Before it was "they'll be teaching gay marriage in the classroom." They know they're in a pickle, so now it's "They'll be teaching gay sex in the classroom." It's dirty, it's manipulative. It'll go one of two ways, either it'll work, or people will call it out as a desperate attempt at fear mongering. It's clear that schools are the only issue "Yes on 1" has in their bag of tricks, it'll be interesting to see how far they go to scare people before voting day.

Posted by: Adrian | Oct 16, 2009 12:38:22 PM

So, it looks like Criswell has ponied up some more cash to float some more of their ads. Agency commissions being about 15% (or less), means that even if they are taking their cut of the "Yes On 1" spoils, they are probably still in the hole by perhaps as much as 200k to 300k. One thing about the conservatives (fiscal, neo or social) is that they demand to get paid. They do nothing out of the "goodness" of their hearts. It is all about the money.

Criswell may be worried about losing in Maine, and the undermining of their "brand" that could occur, and that going a couple hundred thousand dollars in the hole is a small price to pay to protect their "winning" track record. But short of that, the only other explanation is that they fully expect to have their expenses reimbursed. And, it's interesting that this ad hits the airwaves the morning after the closing deadline for donations to the campaigns...

Posted by: Dick Mills | Oct 16, 2009 1:57:21 PM

I'm sorry, but I can't get past the chalk board. I understand that they couldn't put graphic stuff on there and she can't, I don't know, make the international sign for a BJ or point to her butthole, but is this what they're afraid of? Kissing and hugging?

Posted by: Matt Algren | Oct 16, 2009 3:51:03 PM

Win at any cost. Win at any cost. Win at any cost.

I understand Frank Schubert made a killing from his clients in California for the prop 8 campaign. In addition to any new suits he bought (and hey, I'd go on a spree at Banana Republic myself), did he have any left over to buy some integrity?

Posted by: Christopher Eberz | Oct 16, 2009 3:52:12 PM

Well of course The Gays aren't "tax-paying adults" who "deserve civil equality." They're all evil, filthy, predatroy, promiscuous, disease vectoring whores out to destroy families and convert your children!

WE pay taxes for THEIR special rights.

Attention heterosexuals: fuck off and die. Having "Gay" friends isn't enought. Get up off your privileged "special rights" asses and do something or stay the fuck out of our lives.

Posted by: Mark | Oct 16, 2009 8:40:33 PM

Its not anti marriage. It is marriage is between a man and a woman. Marriage not somthing twisted to serve a deviant few. if you all knew what normal was you would not be homosexuals. Stop saying you are happy (aka) gay that is just something else you all have twisted ,like the rainbow, and what you want to do to marriage.

Posted by: sinner | Oct 17, 2009 5:42:12 PM

Did anyone else noticed the use of a radio clip discussing curriculum for Kindergarten and up followed by statements from an 8th grade teacher about students asking about gay sex??

That, combined with the oversimplified "kissing" and "hugging" chalkboard is clearly trying to lead people to believe that Kindergartners are being frankly taught all the details about gay sex.

Posted by: JB | Oct 18, 2009 12:21:15 PM

Keep talking, "sinner." Words like yours only help our side.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 18, 2009 2:40:11 PM

Ummm... she misspelled "thirty" as "thity" on her spelling homework page: http://manila.umeedu.maine.edu/claroche/stories/storyReader$12

Posted by: Spelling Bee | Oct 22, 2009 4:37:19 PM

I'm Zach Hammer, responding to MarkL's post dated 10/16/09. I was indeed offered the job as editor of Prop 8 TV spots in California, but the fact is I REFUSED the job. So I'm extremely upset to be called out in a public forum like this based on misinformation. Like many video editors, I work for many companies and directors, and for you to make the assumption that I was involved in making the Prop 8 commercials just because my name appears on a company website is completely irresponsible. Unless you know for certain that someone was involved in something like this, it is unwise, unfair, and very hurtful to accuse them. And to then go after my band Five A.M. - which is made of great guys with wonderful families and kids that have nothing to do with this - is inexcusable. I understand that you're fighting the good fight, and I appreciate that, but friendly fire can also be a menace, and this kind of uninformed witch hunt is careless and wrong. I hope people will think a bit more before sitting down at their computers and stirring up virtual lynch mobs after doing three minutes of googling - the end result is simply more ugliness and injustice. Peace.

Posted by: ZHammer | Dec 30, 2009 12:10:15 AM

Zach: I'm sorry you got mixed up in this. Unfortunately in this whole "culture war," people do get an unfair "guilty by association" verdict from time to time.

I, for one, would be extremely interested in hearing your story. Why you refused, how they reacted, if this has changed your relationship with the company, etc.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Dec 30, 2009 8:16:18 AM

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