Sunday, October 07, 2012

Ads In Favor of Question 6 To Begin On TV, Radio

The fight to defend Maryland's marriage equality law from a referendum (called Question 6 on the November 6th ballot) will be heating up soon when ads start running in favor of the measure, the Washington Blade is reporting.
Public records indicate that the campaign to defend Maryland’s same-sex marriage law has purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars of airtime on local television stations ahead of next month’s referendum.
Documents posted on the Federal Communications Commission’s website indicate that Marylanders for Marriage Equality has purchased $297,325 of air time on WBAL in Baltimore for 291 30-second advertisements that are scheduled to run from Oct. 10 through Nov. 6. FCC records further note that the campaign has also purchased $253,000.01 worth of air time on WJLA in D.C. from Oct. 29 through Nov. 6. Marylanders for Marriage Equality has also purchased airtime on WUSA in the nation’s capital, but documents filed with the FCC do not indicate a specific cost.
FCC records further indicate that the campaign has also made inquiries into potential media buys with WJZ in Baltimore and WRC in D.C.
Documents further note that Media Strategies and Research of Fairfax, Va., produced the ads. Josh Levin, campaign director of Marylanders for Marriage Equality, declined to answer questions about their specific content. He stressed, however, that they are part of what he described as the campaign’s ongoing outreach to Maryland voters on Question 6.
The fact that the Maryland campaign has started airing television and radio ads to convince voters to support the Question 6 referendum on marriage equality will probably not stop the grumbling by LGBT activists about the secretive nature of the campaign being conducted by Marylanders for Marriage Equality.

The group responsible for defending Maryland's marriage equality law has refused to announce publicly basic information that the campaigns in Washington, Minnesota and Maine have all released:  the total amount of money raised, the number of donors the campaign has, the number of volunteers and previews of the campaign's voter persuasion media.

The quote from the campaign manager Josh Levin is typical of the press-aversive strategy the Maryland campaign has embraced. What could possibly be the point of "declining to answer questions" about the content of paid advertisements less than 7 days before the media will be publicly available? Do you think Frank Schubert (the heterosexual supremacist campaign manager for all four anti-equality campaign ballot measures) does not know what the content of his ads will be and will use this information in some way that is deleterious way? It appears to me that it is simply secrecy for secrecy sake and out of step with an electoral campaign in the era of social media. It is notable especially when the campaigns in the other states have been behaving so strikingly differently.

What do you think?

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