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Friday, October 24, 2008

Yes on 8 Folk Threaten No on 8 Donors

Posted By on Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Here’s a new way to get campaign donors in a tight race: contact the opposition’s supporters and threaten that they donate the same amount to you or else.

That’s exactly what the Yes on 8 campaign did this week in a letter to a San Diego realtor who had donated to the LGBT civil rights non-profit Equality California. The letter, signed by the Yes on 8 campaign chairman Ron Prentice reads, “If you were to elect not to donate comparably it would be a clear indication you are in opposition to traditional marriage. The names of any companies and organizations that choose not to donate in like manner to but have given to Equality California will be published.”

The No on 8 campaign is calling it a brazen intimidation tactic for supporters of LGBT rights.

"These are businesses that donated to Equality California that are being targeted in what certainly smacks of a small time extortion campaign,” says National Center for Lesbian Rights Director Kate Kendell. “As we talk to colleagues that have been involved in political campaigns, even some rough and tumble ones, they've never seen these tactics used so brazenly, an actual letter threatening due harm to corporations signed by a campaign executive committee."

Download the letter and see for yourself. --Lauren Smiley

Hat tip: SFist

Update: The Yes on 8 campaign tells SF Weekly they've now sent out some 30 letters to contributors to Equality California.

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