A testament to the power of the netroots
October 23, 2008 5:07 PM   Subscribe

8 Against 8 Last weekend, a ragtag group of 8 lesbian bloggers slapped together an idea - join forces to raise $8,000 in 8 days to defeat Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that would eliminate same-sex couples' right to marry in the State of California. They set up a donation page and launched 48 hours later (midnight this past Monday). None of them were expecting the immediate and passionate response. Within 24 hours, they had raised $2,500. In 2 days, over $5,000. Yesterday, before day 3 out of 8 ended, they had already shattered their goal of $8,000. Blogs and the media started buzzing with 4 days to go. Moral of the story: it doesn't take months and a huge budget to run a successful fundraiser, just a crazy idea and a few laptops.
posted by notoriousbhc (44 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Somehow I don't think that $8000 is going to be enough to sway the election result for this particular ballot measure.
posted by Class Goat at 5:13 PM on October 23, 2008


Moral of the story: they should have called themselves 8 against 8 in 4.
posted by mert at 5:19 PM on October 23, 2008


What is raising $8,000 immediately before the vote going to do? Is there even time to process the donations and do anything with them before the election? I'm not being snide, I'm really curious. I don't see any info on their site, and their "become a volunteer" page just gathers contact info. Volunteer to do what?
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 5:20 PM on October 23, 2008


Since serving briefly in the Union army during the Civil War I have come more and more to be suspicious of that thing called "states rights." Don't like what a state judicial system says is legal, change your state constitution. One state (or more) will ask voters to decide that conception begins at birth. Pass that, and any abortion then becomes murder! Why not a state deciding to make slavery legal? Let the people decide and the heck with the courts.
posted by Postroad at 5:24 PM on October 23, 2008


What is raising $8,000 immediately before the vote going to do?
Buy more TV/radio airtime for No On 8 ads to reach (more) undecided voters.
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:27 PM on October 23, 2008


I'm curious how they got the word out - certainly they didn't just put a site up and wait for people to find it.
posted by LSK at 5:28 PM on October 23, 2008


Let the people decide and the heck with the courts.

Yeah, letting people decide how they'll be governed is pretty nutty. I'm personally opposed.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 5:39 PM on October 23, 2008


That's not a crazy idea. Barack Obama got a huge chunk of his war chest the exact same way.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:45 PM on October 23, 2008


Let the people decide and the heck with the courts.

You would prefer "let the courts decide and the heck with the people"? That sounds an awful lot like tyranny to me.
posted by Class Goat at 5:51 PM on October 23, 2008


I wish Don LaFontaine was here to read this post to me.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 5:57 PM on October 23, 2008 [7 favorites]


This strikes me as an obvious attempt to drum up more money/support for them. Fundraising on the internet is barely newsworthy to print media, and certainly not to MetaFilter.
posted by gsteff at 5:57 PM on October 23, 2008


What I don't understand is why the California constitution can be amended by a simple majority vote in a plebiscite. Why have a constitution at all if it's subject to abrogation by a simple majority of voters?
posted by [expletive deleted] at 5:59 PM on October 23, 2008 [10 favorites]


Somehow I don't think that $8000 is going to be enough to sway the election result for this particular ballot measure.

They better just give up now. One vote will never make a difference. Nothing ever changes. All the candidates1ballot measures are the same anyway.

1Whoops, I need to be more careful when copying and pasting from A Conservative's Guide to How to Discourage Participation
posted by DU at 6:03 PM on October 23, 2008


Why have a constitution at all if it's subject to abrogation by a simple majority of voters?

The purpose of the state constitution is to constrain the legislature and governor.
posted by Class Goat at 6:04 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Why have a constitution at all if it's subject to abrogation by a simple majority of voters?

California's system of government is a complete fucking mystery, even to those of us who have to deal with it on a regular basis. As far as I can tell the guiding principle is that no one ever can ever be held responsible for anything.
posted by fshgrl at 6:20 PM on October 23, 2008 [8 favorites]


This is not interesting. This is just how the world works.
posted by waldo at 7:31 PM on October 23, 2008


God love them. They get so much done in a day, don't you think?
posted by honeydew at 7:34 PM on October 23, 2008


At this point, I think that (strategically speaking) the gay marraige fight is going to become a war of attrition. The longer it goes on, the more the people opposing it are going to looke like fanatics. and people generally don't like fanatics. So just keep hanging in there and let them bury themselves.
posted by jonmc at 7:46 PM on October 23, 2008


The purpose of the state constitution is to constrain the legislature and governor.

Unless 51% of us decide that it's not.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 7:49 PM on October 23, 2008


Yeah, letting people decide how they'll be governed is pretty nutty.

Or, in this case—since the governance option in question has zero effect on the governance to which straight Californians will be subjected—letting an overwhelming majority decide how they will govern an overwhelmed minority.
posted by CKmtl at 8:11 PM on October 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


The California Constitution is over a hundred pages long. That suggests it's a pretty meh document, but tl;dr. That said, for the most part, it seems to be working out ok.
posted by ryanrs at 8:20 PM on October 23, 2008


You had me at "8 lesbian bloggers slapped together"
posted by Curry at 8:26 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Awesome. They can buy a used Toyota.
posted by electroboy at 8:50 PM on October 23, 2008


Yeah, letting people decide how they'll be governed is pretty nutty.

The initiative process in California nowadays (as opposed to, say, 30 or 100 years ago) -- the process of lining up big money-givers, gathering signatures, agitating to put measures on the ballot, and all of the associated propaganda -- is a matter of special interests, often pumped up with tons of cash from outside the state, deciding how Californians will be governed.

As one editorial writer wrote recently, "Today, the initiative process is no longer the antidote to special interests and the moneyed class; it is their vehicle of choice to attempt to get their way without having to endure the scrutiny and compromise of the legislative process."

This is true of both sides in the Prop 8 debate -- Yes on 8 has raised $26.7 million and No on 8 has raised $26.1 million. Both sides have tons of money from special interests. Both have tons of money from out of state.

I would argue that people deciding how they'll be governed has not much to do with any of this.
posted by blucevalo at 9:45 PM on October 23, 2008


Yeah, letting people decide how people in other states think they'll be governed is pretty nutty.

But, hey, State's Rights, right?

And, hey, fuck the Judicial Branch, and individual rights. I mean, hey, the foxes wanted chicken, so that fucking bitch chicken deserves what she gets. Democracy, ho!

When do we get to own the negroid race again?
posted by dirigibleman at 10:36 PM on October 23, 2008


What to do with 8,000 just before the vote?

How about paying for some long distance calls? A friend volunteered for a weekend, he got to call a number that would in turn connect him with California registered voters, I have no idea how the system works, but he talked to Californians living in Nevada and Florida. He tells me he convinced at least 2 people, one who did not know he could vote, and one that was completely uninformed on the issue.

The other thing they can do by raising that much money in such short time, is let people interested in money know that lesbians with blogs can mobilize people and get their money. If money drives politics, this is an end in itself.

I know some marketers who would pay very good money to get the donor's email addresses, as someone said in another thread 'Budweiser is happy that I'm gay, and wants me to drink beer'
posted by dirty lies at 11:33 PM on October 23, 2008


Looks like the "Yes" side is asking for money from the donators to 8-4-8. Basically it's "Give us ten grand too, or we'll tell the public that your business supports gay". Sounds kinda hinky if cash is involved.
posted by qinn at 12:51 AM on October 24, 2008


Dang. Let me try that link thing again.
posted by qinn at 12:53 AM on October 24, 2008


That was more fun than having a basket of kittens at a Japanese schoolgirl convention.
posted by qinn at 12:56 AM on October 24, 2008


Err.. here be the kittens...?
posted by qinn at 1:00 AM on October 24, 2008


Wait. Run that by me again. People and businesses that gave money to groups supporting gay marriage are being blackmailed by a group against gay marriage -- the anti-gay group is demanding equal amounts of cash or it will try to harm the donors' businesses or dig up things that will make the donors look bad? Nice.

If lawyers work quickly enough, though, maybe some of those anti-gay folk will spend election day sitting in jail instead of annoying people outside polling stations.
posted by pracowity at 2:37 AM on October 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


...just a crazy idea and a few laptops.

"Huh huh heh huh hunh", he adds in his best Beavis and Butthead impression...
posted by fairmettle at 3:38 AM on October 24, 2008


This isn't a states right issue, nor is it a federal rights issue. It's a human rights issue. Two consenting adults want to enter in a civil relationship that guarantees them certain rights and also burdens them with certain responsibilities.

A bunch of people who have no business sticking their nose in it find the relationship offensive so they want to make and/or keep the recognition of the relationship illegal.

They want to impose their will on somebody else over a matter that has no effect on them. One persons marriage does not devalue another persons marriage. It doesn't rob you of property or of rights or burden you with responsibilities.

If you actually believe that your marriage is devalued then open up any local paper that happens to have a police report section. Look it over and keep track of how many abusive relationships are reported. How much do those abusive relationships devalue your marriage? Look over the section of the paper that lists divorces, how much do the failed marriages devalue your marriage?
posted by substrate at 5:59 AM on October 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


I want to gay-marry substrate.
posted by ColdChef at 6:51 AM on October 24, 2008


God I need to do this in a Save Karyn sort of way. But that chick ruined it for all of us regarding personal debt issues. I need a political agenda and somehow spin it as my own. It's the American Way!
posted by dasheekeejones at 7:09 AM on October 24, 2008


I think our respective wives and girlfriends might raise a ruckus. Though... how's your jambalaya ColdChef?
posted by substrate at 7:09 AM on October 24, 2008


I'm curious how they got the word out - certainly they didn't just put a site up and wait for people to find it.

Well, see, they're bloggers. Popular ones. With fan bases and blog rolls and subscribers, and internet communities that they participate in. And they're lesbians, so they're fired up about Prop 8, and that makes its way into their blogs, and their readers comment and want to help out. Check them out: They also have a Facebook group.
posted by heatherann at 7:25 AM on October 24, 2008


I wonder what kind of get-out-the-vote campaign No on 8 is running. Maybe I'll knock on some doors this weekend.

God, there's so fucking much that bothers me about this ballot issue, and I'm still stinging from losing in Michigan a couple years ago. That and the Yes folks are fucking liars and it bothers me that there's no check on that.
posted by klangklangston at 7:52 AM on October 24, 2008


Again, get the motherfucking government out of the motherfucking marriage business. Motherfucking civil unions is all they should do and should do them for any pair of consenting adults that wants one and should confer full legal rights traditionally associated with state sanctioned unions. Let the motherfucking churches have their motherfucking marriage rites any motherfucking way they want. Then the fundies can't bitch about the gummint debasing their motherfucking religious rite and anyone who want the legal benefits of a union as well as the religious blessing of said union by a marriage ceremony can motherfucking do both.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:16 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


just a crazy idea and a few laptops.

You know, to be fair, the idea really doesn't seem very crazy.
posted by regicide is good for you at 9:50 AM on October 24, 2008


Moral of the story: it doesn't take months and a huge budget to run a successful fundraiser, just a crazy idea and a few laptops.

notoriousbhc, I think you missed a beat here. I'm not familar with all 8 bloggers, but one of them is Pam from Pam's House Blend. Pam's House Blend is a powerhouse website. Aside from it's awesome content, it serves over 100,000 pages a week, has 4,600+ inbound links, a Google PageRank of 6, and Technorati authority of 102.

I'm pretty sure Pam on her own could have pulled this off, but I'm assuming the other seven bloggers are no internet lightweights, either.

So while it may take no more than a crazy idea and a few laptops, it certainly helps to start out with tremendous reach, a hot political topic in an election year, and a built-in niche audience aligned to your cause.

I'm curious how they got the word out - certainly they didn't just put a site up and wait for people to find it.

Exactly.

Don't get me wrong: I'm overjoyed by the success of this campaign. This story is a lot of marvellous things, but it is not The Little Engine That Could.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:52 PM on October 24, 2008


I've been reading Andrew Sullivan's blog, and he's been covering this. It really seems like the No on 8 side has been asleep at the switch for a long time. I mean, they're really only ramping up a few weeks before the election. They were ahead in the polls for a long time and got complacent.

That said this ad is pretty hilarious.
posted by delmoi at 8:16 PM on October 24, 2008


Prop. 8 opponents take lead in money race
posted by homunculus at 1:06 AM on October 26, 2008


California Emergency
posted by homunculus at 9:19 AM on November 2, 2008


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