Monday, October 20, 2008

Look A Lot Familiar? - By Mark R. Kerr

Florida's measure on the November ballot, includes Amendment 2, a proposed state constitutional amendment that if approved by 60% of Floridians casting ballots, would deny governmental and legal recognition of same-sex marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships, by amending the state constitution. Amendment 2's proponents are known as Florida4Marriage with their website located at,

In another time zone and ballot, Arizona also has a measure pertaining to same-sex marriage is known as Proposition 102, that if approved by the voters, would bar governmental and legal recognition of same sex marriage by amending the state constitution, despite current state law and court precedent. Proponents of Proposition 102 are known as Yes for Marriage and their website is located at

Florida4Marriage announced (October 17) the running of their new television ad, called “One Thing,” that states that Amendment 2 only defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. “That’s it,” it says. “No one loses benefits.” Those against Amendment 2 say it may allow discrimination against unmarried heterosexual couples.

Look and sound a little familiar? For Arizonans, they have seen the same television advertisement as “Yes on 102,” a month prior, as it has been running on Arizona television stations and cable channels.

Florida’s television ad, says at the end paid for and sponsored by "" and the Arizona ad at the end, says it is paid for by supporting Proposition 102, so how then two state issues can have the same video, audio but with a slightly altered script and a are Floridian's paying for Arizona's ad or vice versa?

According to the campaign finance reports for (Arizona Proposition 102), a firm called Design4 Advertising, with the address given of 106 N. Collins Street, in Plant City, Florida, has received a total of $2,309,000 (with the last installment on 8/29/08) for "communications - advertising." When one searches for this firm on the Internet nothing turns up but if you Google, "Design4" and "Marketing," the following turns up for this firm: "Design4 Marketing Communications," eighteen years of applying modern media to a timeless message in service to national Christian ministries, public policy organizations and issue advocacy groups," and are located at 106 N. Collins Street, in Plant City, Florida. This is the only page on this website, so how then can two different campaigns, similar issue, two to three time zones apart have the same ad, if proponents of such measures are donating to each campaign?

When asked by the Miami Herald about the coincidence, John Stemberger, the state chairman of the Yes on Amendment 2 campaign, admitted that the backers of Florida's Amendment 2 and Arizona's Proposition 102 hired the same media company, adding that it was "irrelevant."

Stemberger is an attorney, and President and General Counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC), described on their website(, as a state-based, pro-life, pro-family, pro-marriage, educational advocacy group, and is associated with Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family. Proposition 102's proponents, the Center for Arizona Policy is also associated with Dr. Dobson and his minions, who are major contributors to the Yes on Proposition 102 campaign (known as

So then is Focus on the Family bilking their supporters in two states? Is the one advertising firm, Design4 Marketing Communications double billing for their work? Are the hard earned dollars of those people who contributed to these campaigns have been diverted? How many campaign laws does all this violate?

Complaints are being filed, on behalf of the proponents in both states to the Secretary of State’s of Florida and Arizona, as well as the Attorneys General for both states, since Joseph Kanefield, State Election Director for Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer, stated in a letter dated October 8 that “ ... Any person can give a contribution to a ballot measure ... ” Indeed, but hopefully this isn’t another Jim Bakker, “PTL” 1980's type scandal involving donations.

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