Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why Sen. Boxer Is Missing
From No on 8 Ads

A gay staffer for Barbara Boxer contacted me yesterday regarding my online kvetch about her absence in being visible fighting to defeat Prop 8, and I sent him a reply thanking his boss for her email action. Click here to read Boxer's letter to constituents.

But I also went one-step further and asked why she's not appeared in any TV ads for our side, or loudly and publicly spoken out urging no votes on the hateful measure. His responses to my concerns are shared below.

I want to say at this point, that I would have liked for the gay community's political friends holding elective office right now, to be showcased in our TV spots and putting in joint appearances with married gay couples, raising noise against the initiative. Why haven't we taken advantage of putting our elected to work to defeat Prop 8?

And if the No on 8 leadership were having trouble getting the politicians to do that kind of basic advocacy for us, then action alerts should be issued, urging gays to contact the politicians to do the right thing for us. I know gays and our allies would respond positively to such a call for action.

Sure, individually each of our so-called political pals, from across the ideological spectrum -- Schwarzenegger, Feinstein, Boxer, Pelosi -- speaking against Prop 8 might have the reverse effect and drive one or two voters to cast ballots for the measure. But I'd rather have them take that small political risk, show a united front opposing Prop 8 at news conferences and making public arguments favoring gay marriage and its benefits to society.

I hope to be surprised by the No on 8 campaign, and in the remaining 7 short days of the race, that I will see not only TV ads with gay newlyweds, but also spots with Barbara, Di, Arnie and Nancy, or press events with them addressing the media. It ain't too late for such things to happen.

Here are the emails from Boxer's gay staffer Brent Blackaby:

Hi Michael,

Saw your blog post today. I help manage Sen. Boxer's online program for her campaign committee. Just wanted to make sure you had a copy of this email that Sen. Boxer sent to her full CA email list this morning, encouraging people to vote No on 8 and join the campaign to defeat the initiative.

Best regards,
Brent Blackaby

This was his second note to me yesterday:

Hi Michael,

I hear you... and as a gay man myself, certainly identify with what you're talking about.

As for TV ads, etc., the decision-making behind much of that comes from the campaign itself. They're featuring who they choose to feature based on their understanding of the best way to make the case and defeat Prop 8.

While Sen. Boxer in an ad would be effective at mobilizing our base, it's not clear that it would necessarily sway some of the undecideds and independents, some of whom aren't necessarily big fans of Sen. Boxer.

That's why the email, in particular, to more than 100k of her own active CA supporters, is targeting a constituency who can be mobilized by a message from Sen. Boxer.

Believe me, from speaking with her, I know she wants to be helpful and defeat Prop 8. She also wants to do it in the way that will be most effective, without driving up votes on the other side.



Sally said...

I think he makes a good point that Sen. Boxer may not be the best person in an ad to sway undecideds.

Anonymous said...

I just saw Feinstein's No on 8 tv ad during the 11 o'clock news. I have to say it's a strong message directed at the kind of moderate-to-conservative Californians that admire Dianne Feinstein. OK, good. I hope it's enough to influence those voters and not too late ...