There may not be any suspense as to whose column California's electoral votes will go this year (latest Field Poll has Obama up 16%) but that doesn't mean we don't have some tight electoral battles in CA in November, perhaps most notably Proposition 8, which seeks to prohibit same sex couples from marrying in California, as they have been doing happily since June 16.
I think AG Jerry Brown's ballot summary puts it even better:
"ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Changes California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
You can imagine the conniption fit that the right-wing had when they saw Brown's summary, calling it "biased" against the initiative. Umm, if you're going to seek to eliminate ones right, best not to complain when someone calls it what it is.
On the bright side, the momentum seems to be with No on 8. The new Field Poll shows 55% against and just 38% in favor (last month it was 51%-42%.) So, good right? Well, this momentum is fueling the other side to the point where, even with Brad Pitt's generous $100,000 donation yesterday, the Yes on 8 forces are outraising No on 8.
From The LA Times:
As of today, Prop. 8 opponents have raised $11,119,614.56, while the Prop 8 supporters side has amassed $16,647,476.77. (Pitt's contribution hasn't made it's way to the official tally yet, so add $100,000 to the no side of the equation.)
And, as Julia Rosen points out at calitics, wealthy Mormons are largely fueling the Yes on 8 fundraising AND activism surge.
The Mormon church is getting heavily involved in the campaign. It looks like about 35% of contributions to the other side have come in from Mormons, or at least that is what they are claiming over at this Mormons for 8 website. A high percentage of the large checks are coming from Utah.
Here is the question: is a religious institution trying to buy this election and change the California Constitution?
They aren't just donating. They are fueling their GOTV activites. Mormons have been invading neighborhoods en mass. They are not using walk lists, but rather descend in large groups to knock doors and try and pass out the million yard signs they think is going to win them this election. It's flat out creepy. It freaks out entire communities and usually the No on 8 campaign hears within a few minutes where the Mormons have decided to invade on any given day.
It would appear that the answer to Julia's question would be Yes. Check out this letter from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The call to action is clear.
The Church will participate with this coalition in seeking its passage. Local Church leaders will provide information about how you may become involved in this important cause.
We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.
And they are answering that call, big time. So, the No on 8 folks are taking nothing for granted. They figure that, judging by how other statewide anti-gay marriage initiatives have polled prior to election day, that they'll need a 7 to 10 point cushion in order to prevent this thing from passing.
If you can, help Californians protect equality by contributing to No on 8 over at the Calitics Equality ActBlue page.