Blogging the Amendment

Offering a Forum to Discuss the Pros and Cons of the Marshall/Newman Amendment

Campaign Finances: Reported and Unreported

Posted below is the press release issued by The Commonwealth Coalition today regarding our campaign finance report.  The bottom line is that, although we don’t have unlimited funds or all that we can use, we are in a strong position going into the last weeks of the campaign.

Now, before you all go thinking The Coalition has a fat wallet or doesn’t need your continued support, however, ask yourselves how it is that the Catholic Conference can send literature from the Bishops advocating for the amendment to over 130,000 homes without reporting a large contribution from the Catholic Conference to its referendum committee for the printing and mailing of literature that clearly advocated for the referendum.

And, ask yourself how the Family Foundation spends money on over 2 million phone calls to registered voters and sends ?? thousands ?? of letters to voters telling them that they might not be registered without their referendum committee spending a dime. 

What did the letters say?

“Our records indicate” that you might not be registered to vote, and it’s important that you are because you will be making “several significant decisions” this fall …. “First, each voter will be asked if he or she would like to define marriage as a union only between one man and one woman in the Commonwealth.  By amending our constitution this way, Virginians can be sure that our state law banning same-sex marriage is not overturned by an activist judge, leaving/forcing our Commonwealth to uphold/recognize Vermont values.”

Now if that letter is advocating “for” the amendment on the ballot, it’s clearly an expense that must be reported if the Family Foundation spent more than $10,000 to print and mail the letters that went to voters in:

Fairfax County, Winchester, Stafford, Fairfax City, Montgomery County, Botetourt, Richmond, Hanover, Campbell, Augusta County, Shenandoah, Williamsburg, Petersburg, Franklin, Pulaski, Arlington, Poquoson, Culpeper, Page County.

According to the Secretary of the State Board of Elections,  “every person who got the letter and called to check on their status was already registered to vote.”  The Registrar in Culpeper who is 95 and has been registered since 1955 was among those who received the letter. 

Don’t you wonder who was chosen to get the letter and why?

The bottom line here is that the proponents of the amendment seem to have unlimited funds to spend on advocating for the amendment … but they aren’t funds the source or use of which they are reporting.

Press Release:

The Commonwealth Coalition Files Second Campaign Finance Report;

Enters Final Weeks of the Campaign in Strong Position


For Immediate Release


(Richmond, Virginia) The Commonwealth Coalition reported today having raised $445,43.33 in total contributions (cash and in-kind) during the reporting period (September 1, 2006 through September 30, 2006) and showed an ending balance after expenditures of $370,772.65.


Since the referendum committee was registered in July, 1031 Virginians have contributed an average of $189 each to the campaign against the Marshall/Newman amendment, Ballot Question #1. 97% of all donors during the period were individuals of which 91% are Virginians.


“We are particularly grateful that individual Virginians continue to show their confidence in our campaign by voting with their wallets. We are going into the last weeks of the campaign in a strong position with significant cash on hand, and money is continuing to come in every day,” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, campaign manager for The Commonwealth Coalition.


“We received a lot of positive feedback on our ad buy last week, and it has energized our supporters to dig deep and make additional contributions that will help us expand our media campaign and other voter outreach,” Gastañaga continued. “Our supporters know that an informed voter is a NO voter, and I know that they will continue to do all that they can to help us ensure that every Virginia voter is an informed voter!” Gastañaga concluded.


Large contribution reports filed since the reporting period ended on September 30th show that in the last two weeks The Coalition has received $25,000 each from Mark Warner’s One Virginia PAC and the Human Rights Campaign and $10,000 from Richmond businessman Ivor Massey.


The Commonwealth Coalition is a diverse group of individuals, businesses, and civic, community and religious organizations that have joined together to oppose the Marshall/Newman amendment to the Virginia bill of rights that will be Ballot Question #1 on November 7, 2006. For more information see The Coalition’s website,


The Marshall/Newman amendment would write discriminatory language into Virginia’s Bill of Rights that would have far-reaching, unknown and unintended consequences for all unmarried Virginians, including straight couples, young and old.



October 16, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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