Excellent Radio discussion on Dec. 15th, 2008 about Prop-8 Protesting Strategies from the John & Ken Show, KFI-640 AM. A MUST LISTEN for anyone involved in Proposition 8.
I think judges are making a mistake by blurring the line between making a donation to a human being, and making a donation to a ballot measure proposition.
Link - Judges rule full donation disclosure is acceptable.
When it comes to donating to a politician, I think donation disclosure makes sense. A donation to a politician can mean an ongoing alliance, so keeping this a secret does not seem ethical. Some political contributors donate to more than one politician, and may have even donated to a politician that didn't become the nominee. These two scenarios help blur the line as to how someone may have voted.
I like blurring the line when it comes to finding out how someone voted simply because our whole voting system is based on the privacy of a voting booth, and frankly, caucus style of voting just doesn't seem to cut it. However, donations made to people should be documentable, it just seems logical to do so.
Regarding donation disclosures and ballot measure propositions, a ballot proposition, once voted on, cannot be approached later on for additional favors. Favors maybe initiated by the people involved in enforcing or spending money as it relates to a proposition, but the proposition itself is not a human being.
Donations made to a proposition is probably going to represent the way that contributor voted on that issue. I've never made a donation to a ballot proposition because after the vote has been tallied, the losing side can try to overturn the result in court. Why would I ever donate money to any proposition ballot measure knowing that the result can be overturned by a judge after the fact, and I don't even get my money back!
I am in favor of voting in the privacy of a voting booth, yet having people know how I voted anyways by how I contributed on a ballot measure seems to supercede the privacy of voting in a voting booth. I've now been given another reason to never donate to any ballot measure in the future.
Prop 8 lost because Gavin Newsome made a short speech in which he stated, "It's gonna happen, whether you like it or not".
That is not the way to win friends and influence people. This quote by Newsome was gleefully played over, and over, and over by the proponents of Prop 8. Newsome was against Proposition 8, yet the Pro 8 side used his quote in their ads. I find it ironic that an opposing side can take someone's comment without mentioning in the ad that Newsome was against Prop-8. I sometimes think that the laws are too lax in certain areas of the law when it comes to political advertising.
I wish people would focus on why Prop 8 lost rather than try and witch hunt people who may have been reacting to Gavin's over the top statement, (see youtube video, plus a news story, of Gavin's famous comment, below).
Prop-8 won because they played what I call the Gavin Newsome commercial several hundred times before the Nov. 4, 2008 elections.
The juxtaposition of Gavin Newsome twice stating "It's gonna happen, whether you like it or not" bookending a boring but scholarly looking middle section was a powerful one two three punch that certainly swayed many people who hadn't decided which way to vote yet.
This news clip explores the quote heard the world... News Clip about "Whether you like it or not". My opinion that Gavin's sound bite was the difference maker is also held by others in the media. This article includes two such links, one to the news clip, and the John and Ken Radio Show link.
Was it ethical to play the clip of Gavin Newsome over and over and over, when the original speech only happened once? This gets into a very sticky area of freedom of speech. I think it is manipulative in a dishhonest way to take one portion of one speech, and literally play it so many times that people can't stand the clip and mistakenly believe that Gavin Newsome is saying it over and over.
Publicizing ballot measure donation disclosures will just make it harder for future ballot measures to get donations.