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How GOP-driven (and shady) are all state marriage efforts?

by Jeremy Hooper

If one goes to donation sites of Preserve Marriage Washington or the Maryland Marriage Alliance, everything looks perfectly ordinary:


What potential donors don't know? That when they give to either of these campaigns, they are actually contributing through Brian Brown's partisan ActRight.com site. It's not disclosed, publicly. One has to look in the source code to find that little piece of info:


The Minnesota for Marriage team at least makes the affiliation known…

Screen Shot 2012-05-11 At 4.05.29 Pm

…but even still, do donors—who presumably are not all GOP, or at least that's what these campaigns tell us—know that they are really supporting? This isn't just a site that's right in name only. No,no—Brian's little side project defines itself by being deeply conservative:

"ActRight revolutionizes online conservative political action."
"We want to make it simple for you to make this country a place that Ronald Reagan would be proud of."
"Yes, yes, we know this country is a Republic and not a pure Democracy, but we've had far too much rule by liberal elites and establishment RINOs for our taste. ActRight is a community of dedicated conservatives; as such we all deserve a voice. We've figured out some pretty amazing ways for you to decide the future of the conservative movement by your actions on ActRight."
"Brian Brown (that's me) is Chairman and Founder of ActRight.com. In growing two conservative organizations, it became clear to me that the left was doing a much better job in taking advantage of online giving and actions than we were. ActBlue alone has raised over $150,000,000 for far left candidates. That's a lot of moolah. Then you've got MoveOn.org and a panoply of other Soros-funded groups organizing online."
"You decide the future of the conservative movement."
"If you don't have time for some light reading of Burke's Reflections, Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, and Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind, the best recent statement of what it means to be a conservative is the Mt. Vernon Statement. Read it. Here are our first principles in clear and concise form. If you read it with fists clenched and your jugular vein bulging, ActRight.com is probably not for you . . . or you might be a troll from DailyKos."
"All federal Republican candidates appear on ActRight. But from there you actually decide! Anyone who has become a member of ActRight by donating at least $5.00 to any federal candidate can vote RINO's off of the site by hitting the RINO button. Once fifty percent of the members have voted a candidate a RINO he or she is removed. I told you that this was about Democracy!"
"No liberal causes allowed!
"About Us" [ActRight]

So much for "protecting marriage" being a non-partisan cause! I don't know, but something tells me at least a couple of potential donors might want to know that they are emboldening the identity and viability of a property that actively works against the Democratic party!


**Also, the campaigns are paying out fees to ActRight (a.k.a. Brian Brown and staff), so there seems to be a circle of money going on. NOM supporters give to one of these campaign and then some of the funds go right back to an outlet that Brian himself created and chairs? Fishy.

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