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NOM Issues Empty Threat Against Pro-Equality MN Republicans

February 26, 2013 1:27 pm ET by Carlos Maza

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is threatening to punish Minnesota Republicans who vote in favor of marriage equality, despite its track record of failing to oust pro-equality state legislators.

In a February 25 press release, NOM pledged $500,000 to defeat Minnesota Republican legislators who vote in favor of marriage equality legislation. The organization warned politicians that supporting same-sex marriage would be a “career-ending vote,” citing its alleged success in unseating pro-equality Republicans in New York:

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today pledged to spend $500,000 against any Republican legislator who votes in favor of redefining marriage in Minnesota, and will support any Democrat who votes to preserve marriage. 


"Republicans like Branden Petersen don't realize that not only is voting to redefine marriage a terrible policy, it is also a career-ending vote for a Republican," said Brian Brown. "NOM will do everything in our power to defeat any Republican who votes in favor of same-sex marriage. Legislators need look no further than what happened to GOP Senators in New York. Four of them were responsible for passing gay marriage. We helped take out three of those Senators by repeatedly informing their constituents of their betrayal on marriage. They are now out of office. We will not hesitate to do the same thing in Minnesota."

The fact that NOM is relying on its supposed “success” in New York to substantiate its threat should be comforting for pro-equality Republicans.

NOM suffered twice as many electoral defeats as successes during the New York primary. Most of its alleged victories had more to do with the defeated politicians’ corruption charges than with NOM’s electoral muscle:

NOM’s performance in New York’s general election wasn’t much better – it managed to unseat a pro-equality Republican senator only to have him replaced by an even more aggressively pro-equality Democrat. Another NOM target won reelection by a wide margin.

NOM was even more unsuccessful in its other state ventures, failing to make an impact in elections in New Hampshire, Washington, and Iowa. As Freedom to Marry noted about the group’s Washington effort, NOM was “all bark and no bite.”

NOM is also unlikely to follow through on its $500,000 pledge. As the Twin Cities’ Pioneer Press reported, NOM only spent $80,000 of its two million dollar pledge in New York during the last election cycle.

So far, at least one Republican Minnesota senator, Sen. Branden Petersen (R-Andover), has announced that he won’t be swayed by NOM’s financial pressure to change his position on the marriage equality bill. Considering NOM’s history of electoral flops, he probably won’t lose too much sleep -- or votes -- over his decision. 


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