Monday, February 2, 2009

Judges Blurring the wrong line regarding Proposition 8.

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.


Anonymous said...

It is homophobia that has so many people up in arms about the Prop 8 donations being public. Suddenly you find it objectionable to have this information public? Why? What is it about this issue that makes it special?

Your argument that it violates the privacy voting is laughable. Don't you think someone would infer that I voted for Clinton when I donated $2300 to her primary campaign?

This is homophobia, because people have convinced you that "scary" gays are going to make violence on the prop 8 bigots.

Alessandro Machi said...

This isn't just about Prop 8. It's about all propositions, that is my point. I bring it up now because it is in the news now in regards to prop 8.

A proposition is not a person, nor should it be confused as such.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree as well. The reason it got laughed out of court was because part of a healthy democracy is transparency in who is donating to what political people or groups. Following your logic, would you also propose that money donated to PAC's remain private as well? Because if that became the law, all money to all campaigns would be funneled through such groups. Also money donated to campaigns is not actually donated to a person anyway, but the campaign itself (not a person). Your argument differentiating between a person and a proposition, or political action committee (which is essentially what this is) doesn't make any sense. MAWM is right, this is about homophobia. Making strawman arguments about hypothetical instances of gays seeking "revenge" on donors is insulting. If anything, where is the outrage when people like fred phelps and his unholy followers picket funerals of crime victims like matthew Shepherd and soldiers who have died in Iraq (which he claims is a result of sodomy)?

Alessandro Machi said...

You are asking and answering your own questions, so I guess my answers don't really matter.

Yes, there is a difference between PAC, Politicians, and propositions. As stated in the original editorial, and glossed over, Politicians have names, and are people.

PUMA's very existence is because Barack Obama IS NOT Hillary Clinton even though both are democratic candidates, to imply that campaigns get the money, not the politician, come on.

I consider a PAC a gray area, and I don't have an opinion on them one way or another, although if one expected disclosure for PAC's and Politicians, I don't have a problem with that.

Propositions however, if treated with a spotlight, will simply cause people not to make donations to any proposition in the future, thereby hurting the one way that people can go around the politicians when they find politicians unresponsive.

Prop 8 proponents may be setting themselves up. All it will take is one act of aggression that goes to far that can be traced back to disclosure of the Prop 8 donation lists, and the movement will be put back 5-10 years.

If Gavin had made a commercial last fall explaining his "whether you like it or not" remark, addressed it in some manner, Prop-8 would have won.

Alessandro Machi said...

Lets say you were one of the decision makers for the no on 8 campaign, you have a limited operating budget and you can choose only of two options.

A., You can expose those who donated to Proposition 8,


B., You can send thank you cards and hugs to everybody who contributed to no on Prop 8.

Which would you choose to do?

Anonymous said...

A, absolutely. The backers of this measure declared war on us, not the other way around (who came up with the term "culture wars", not us gays, that's for sure), and one of the first rules of war is "know your enemy". I have every right to know who is backing these measures, just as I have a right to know who is supporting Obama. And contrary to what you imply, it is not to exact revenge, but to develop strategies for gay people to avoid having their money go to people and organizations that promote discrimination against us. You are buying into the very homophobia we are fighting against by making straw man arguments about hypothetical gay "aggression". BTW, that is just the way those proponents of 8 use propaganda against us. "beware the scary gays". Using your logic, there should be enormous backlash against homophobes due to the prolific amoount of hate attacks that occur daily in this country against us. I don't see that happening...

I find your desire to place the blame on Newsome somewhat offensive in that he is one of the biggest allies our community has.

Forgive me for saying it, but your whole argument demonstrates the scope of homophobia in this country, even from people who would consider themselves our allies. You blame newsome for having the courage to lay down the law in clear language, yet you tell gays that we mustn't make noise (as well as buy into the homophobic notion that we are violent criminals) because of the backlash it might cause. Fear has never been a tactic in fighting for civil rights. It certainly is used to prolong discrimination, however. And I consider this fearmongering. Pardon my language, but either you're with us, or get the fuck out of the way.

Alessandro Machi said...

I found the radio show. It's worth listening to.

Excellent discussion about the aftereffects of Prop-8

Alessandro Machi said...

Other than the Gavin Newsome portion, the John and Ken Show's opinion is their's. I don't want anyone to think I am their mouthpiece, I just think they did a good job covering the Prop-8 issue.

For instance, they think it is ok to make all donations public whereas I have take a different position. On Gavin Newsome and that commercial, we are in complete agreement. Most important may be the interaction with the phone callers. They had an excellent range of callers that I feel completed the show quite nicely.

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