Minnesota marriage amendment fight cost us $18 million we didn't need to spend

marriage amendment money.jpg
Image by Tatiana Craine
Was the "discussion" generated by the marriage amendment worth $18 million?
In May 2011, the MNGOP-controlled legislature voted to put a same-sex marriage amendment before voters. As we all know, after a bruising campaign, the amendment was defeated last November.

SEE ALSO: Marriage amendment means it's a great time to be in Minnesota's media business

According to the latest campaign finance reports, during that 18 month period, a total of $18 million was spent by individuals and organizations on either side of the issue. In other words, a cool million was spent each month, with the result being that Minnesota law is the same as it was before (for now, at least).

No wonder Minnesota Republicans are dissatisfied with the direction the party has taken since 2010.

According to the Associated Press, the marriage amendment campaign was the most expensive in the state during the last election cycle. Minnesotans United for All Families spent over $12 million, while the pro-amendment Minnesota for Marriage organization spent upwards of $5 million.

One wonders what all that dough could've been used for instead...

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My Voice Nation Help

My girlfriend and I were so happy that the Amendment was defeated that we spent the whole night celebrating by ramming extra wide dildos deep inside our pussies and assholes.


Does that include all the ink the various papers bought so they could print eleventy billion articles and op-eds on the issue?

Curtis Meyer
Curtis Meyer

They only did this to stir up their base to sway Minnesota for Romney and it backfired.


Okay, I'm politically biased here, but Minnesotans United for All Families raised $11.4 million in 2011 and 2012 combined.  As of December 31, they're left with about $7,500 in the bank.  First of all, mission accomplished: not only was the amendment defeated, that "discussion" definitely pushed the needle on tolerance and equality, and polling results prove it.  I also attribute the new DFL majorities in the House and Senate to voters having no tolerance for the republicans in the 2011 legislature prioritizing same-sex marriage prohibitions and Voter ID over issues like the economy and education.  If we ignore all the progress that was made — which we really shouldn't — that money primarily went into the local community to support campaign workers and student stipends, which is (in a way) economically stimulating to progressive politics.

But hey, if we're looking for someone to blame for having to shell out all this cash, that would be the republicans.

Paul Walker
Paul Walker

This plus the Amy Koch affair cost the state even more. Gotta love republican economics.

green23 topcommenter

@twke01 I agree with what you say, and I would add that the DFL made great gains in organising due to the Amendment campaign. A great many people who would normally be apathetic to the political process became energised by the fight against the Amendment. 

On the other side, however, the expected groundswell of enthusiasm for the Amendment never materialised. The same people that compose the core of Republican/evangelical activism - and who were *already* organised - were brought out to bellow the same tired cliches even louder. It brought nobody new in. 

The evangelicals took over the ruins of the MNGOP after the 2010 election, and the Amendment was supposed to be a bone tossed to them to make up for so little being accomplished on the social agenda after the Republicans won the Legislature. It was also supposed to boost Republican turnout in the 2012 election. The Amendment was a failure on both counts: the Paulistas staged a coup to displace the evangelicals, and the Amendment drove Democratic turnout instead.


@twke01 I shelled out my share, and I feel it was money well spent. There's a difference between "spending money" and "spending taxpayer money." Even a pinko-commie-socialist like me believes that people have the right to spend their hard-earned cash in whatever way they want, and I was pleased to send mine to MUAF.

But really, I have to thank Brodkorb&Koch. If they could have kept their clothes on Minnesota's Republicans would have probably not spent 2012 in complete and utter disarray, and might have more effectively done their foot-soldier duties in the national Republican campaign of distraction and divisiveness. But then, everyone knows those promiscuous heterosexuals can't control their urges...

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