The Money Game: The Race for No on 8

Brad Pitt and Steven Spielberg aren’t gay, but their financial support for the effort to defeat California’s Proposition 8 has made them two of the highest-profile donors in the fight to keep same-sex marriage legal in the Golden State. As No on 8 struggles to catch up to the "Yes" campaign in fund-raising, the publicity and awareness generated by the likes of Pitt and Spielberg may well be worth more than any sum of money.



Allan Hoffenblum,
a veteran Los Angeles-based political analyst who
publishes the California Target Book (which analyzes
electoral contests), said the Yes on 8 camp will have
to change minds since there is high public awareness
for Proposition 8 compared to other initiatives on the
November ballot.

“They have
to change people’s minds,” Hoffenblum said of
the Yes on 8 campaign. “They have to switch
votes, and that is extremely difficult to do. In
normal campaigns you get your base vote and then you go
after to persuade the undecided. If current polls are
correct, that is insufficient.”

But with many
California voters just starting to pay attention to the
November ballot initiatives, Kors said No on 8 continues to
fund-raise and is spending money as soon as it comes
in the door.

“Being on
television for a week in California costs millions of
dollars,” he said. “We will continue
raising money up until the election. Door hangers are
produced based on what money we have. The sooner we have it,
the better we can plan.”

Smith noted that
No on 8’s most recent TV ad served not only to get
the message out to voters but led to a jump in online
contributions. “On the Internet we raised a
couple hundred thousand in a couple of hours,” he

The biggest
concern for Smith is not fighting the perception of elitism
or even keeping pace on funding. He’s worried that
voters may get confused over the fact that a no vote
is actually a vote for marriage equality.
“People are confusing yes for no and no for
yes,” he said. “Don’t eliminate
the right to marry, so vote no. It’s a logical kind
of confusion. Double negatives do funny things in your