Gay marriage veto campaign owes money

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LEWISTON — The group that successfully campaigned to overturn Maine’s law allowing same-sex marriage last fall owes more than $60,000 to vendors, according to recently filed campaign finance reports.

Stand for Marriage Maine spent about $3 million on the campaign, but a spokesman said Tuesday that the group is struggling to collect donations to retire the debt.

At the end of the previous reporting period, they owed about $50,000, according to reports.

Marc Mutty, who took leave from his post at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland to lead the repeal effort, said Stand for Marriage Maine is looking to past donors to help close the books.

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“We’ve been reaching out for some time,” he said. “We’ve got several pending decisions about providing us with some resources. I think it will get done; it’s certainly been dragging and it is frustrating.”

Mutty said it’s not easy to find people to donate to a campaign that’s over.

“There’s not a whole lot of enthusiasm to do that, so it’s out of the goodness of somebody’s heart to help us take care of our obligations,” he said.

Schubert Flint Public Affairs, a California-based consulting group, is owed most of the money, Mutty said.

“They are growing impatient; no question, they would like to have their money,” he said. “But they understand and it’s typical of campaigns that these things happen.”

Mutty said to the best of his knowledge no local companies are owed money. “If there is, it’s an inconsequential amount.”

Asked whether the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland would actively encourage donations to the effort, Mutty said, “No, not at this point.”

During the campaign, Bishop Richard Malone directed parishes to pass a second collection plate to help raise money for the group. The church also continued to pay the salaries of Mutty and another church employee while they worked on the campaign, as an in-kind donation to the repeal effort.

Last November, Mainers voted 53 percent to 47 percent in favor of repealing the same-sex marriage law enacted by the Legislature and signed by Gov. John Baldacci earlier in the year.

No on 1/Protect Maine Equality, the group that opposed the veto effort, has a positive balance of $30,000, according to the latest filing.

First-quarter fundraising reports for political action committees were due April 12.

rmetzler@sunjournal.com

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