The Fight in the November Elections Will be a Fair Fight
New York state’s Republican controlled state senate voted to allow same sex marriage in the state after four Republicans switched their position and voted in favor of the measure. The outrage from Conservatives was immediate and strong.
Same-sex marriage opponents have promised to target them when all state lawmakers face re-election in November.
“All the money in the world isn’t going to buy them out of the fact that they’re about to lose an election,” said Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposed the New York law and has said it will spend heavily to oust the four senators.
“People are outraged by what they’ve done, and they are going to be held accountable,” he said.
Now that may be true, but the issue will be decided in the November elections, and for once, the Conservatives will not be able to drown out their opponents with a huge advantage in fund raising. These Republicans will have the monetary means to wage a vigorous defense.
State Senator Roy J. McDonald, a Republican who is a
Vietnam veteran from , became a momentary folk hero for many gay people when he blurted out that people who were unhappy with his support for same-sex marriage “can take the job and shove it.” He raised about $447,000 in the six months following the vote, about 27 times more than he had raised in the same period in 2009. Saratoga County
Senator Stephen M. Saland, a Republican lawyer from
whose decision to support same-sex marriage became clear only when he rose to speak during the vote, raised $425,000. For rank-and-file lawmakers in Poughkeepsie Albany, those are large sums — both men raised more in the latter half of 2011 than did the Senate majority leader, Dean G. Skelos, a Long Island Republican.
Senator Mark Grisanti, a first-term Republican from
, raised $325,000 in the six months after the vote. Buffalo
Michael McKeon, a 48-year-old
insurance executive who describes his political stance as “just to the left of being far left,” said he had never supported a Republican in his life before hearing Mr. Grisanti’s speech on the Senate floor during the same-sex marriage debate. California
So the race for these four state senators will be totally obscured by the Presidential race. But their ability to raise this kind of money is a reason why the races should not be obscure, and as to the fact that they will be defeated for re-election, well don’t bet the farm. Voters respect courage and conviction and in some cases they will vote for courage and conviction even when those convictions are not what the voter supports. Voters are smart enough to know that a politician of integrity is such a rare animal that when you get one you keep it, rather than contribute to the drive to render such a person extinct.