For Immediate Release September 11, 2008
Contact: Fred Karger 619-592-2008
LOS ANGELES, CA – The much anticipated release of the major donors to Yes on Proposition 8 was published today on the Californians Against Hate web site: https://californiansagainsthate.com/
The announcement came in a post by Campaign Manager Fred Karger on the Huffington Post. Proposition 8 changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. The top 10 donors are now up on the front page of Californians Against Hate’s newly redesigned web site, and the remaining 102 donors can be found by using the link directly below the “Top 10.”
The list is current as of August 5 for all donors of $5,000 and more. Donors of $25,000 and more are current as of September 1, 2008. Leading the pack is the Knights of Columbus of New Haven, Connecticut with $1.275 million. This is the political arm of the Catholic Church. Second is the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) of Princeton, NJ which gave $941,000, with the bulk of their money coming in the first 6 months of this year. Their funds were used to hire hundreds of professional signature gatherers in order to qualify the constitutional initiative for the November 4th ballot.
Third is John Templeton, Jr. of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania who gave $900,000. John, Jr. is the son of the founder of Templeton Funds.
Fourth is Howard “Howie” Ahmanson of Newport Beach who gave $600,000. Ahmanson is the heir to the Home Savings & Loan fortune, now owned by Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM). Ahmanson gave his money between February and August.
Fifth is Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association (AFA) of Tupelo, Mississippi which gave $500,000 on July 22nd.
Sixth is Mrs. Elsa Prince of Holland, Michigan who recently gave $450,000. She is on the board of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family and his Washington, DC based political operation, the Family Research Council. Her late husband, Edgar invented the light-up visor vanity mirror, and her son is Erik Prince of Blackwater fame.
Seventh is Dobson’s Focus on the Family of Colorado Springs, Colorado, which gave $412,000 beginning in December 2007. They came though with most of it, $250,000 to jump-start the Yes on 8 campaign when it was broke, after spending $2.3 million to qualify the initiative.
“These people are pouring money into California to eliminate our freedom to marry, like we’ve never seen before,” said Fred Karger, Campaign Manager of Californians Against Hate. “They have put these hateful ballot measures before the voters in 27 states, and have won all but one; Arizona 2 years ago. Now this year they are back on the ballot in Arizona, in addition to Florida and California.
They want to bully us and crush us and end any possibility of same sex couples having the freedom to marry throughout the United States. They are willing to spend tens of millions of dollars to do just that.” The Yes on 8 campaign is now averaging nearly $500,000 per day in contributions of $1,000 or more, according to the California Secretary of State’s office; that’s $2.5 million per week.
Californians Against Hate was formed in July of this year to act as a truth squad monitoring the contributors to Yes on 8. It has led efforts to draw attention to these major donors, and in some instances take action against them.
On July 18th, a boycott of Doug Manchester’s hotels was begun http://www.boycottmanchesterhotels.com/ because of his $125,000 contribution. Manchester owns the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel and the Grand Del Mar Hotel, both in San Diego, CA. The next action was against Terry Caster, owner of A-1 Self Storage http://a1storage.com/ who along with his immediate family gave $293,000 to qualify this initiative. A “Call Terry Caster” campaign was launched http://www.callterrycaster.com/ and so many calls came in that a separate phone line was installed to field all the calls.
“We will be announcing another action in the next week or so,” said Karger. “We want to make sure that the gay and lesbian community, our families, friends, co-workers and neighbors know exactly who is giving this obscene amount of money to take away our freedom to marry here in California. Then people can decide whether they want to give their hard earned money to these businesses or not.”
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