In response to our story earlier today, about a Maine voter receiving an email appeal from the DNC’s Organizing for America to weigh in on the governor’s race in New Jersey, while Mainers are not receiving any emails from OFA urging them to vote “no” on the anti-gay ballot measure, a DNC official told me this morning that the DNC did not send an email to their Maine list asking Maine voters to make calls in NJ.
The thing is, OFA did send such an email to at least one Maine voter named Alison Smith. Alison is a longtime Mainer, lived here 17 years, and has been heavily involved in local politics. She received the email at her maine.rr.com email account. Alison does have a distant connection to New Jersey from 35 years ago. She was born in New Jersey, then left the state in 1974. Alison said today that “the DNC had no way of knowing that I’m originally from New Jersey.”
So even if it was an email glitch over at the DNC, there’s a larger question here. Why did the DNC email anyone at all about the Corzine election in New Jersey, going so far as to give the email recipient the names of 5 New Jersey voters that they should call, when in Maine the DNC simply sent voters a general “get out the vote” message that didn’t even bother telling them what was on the ballot, an effort to repeal the civil rights of gay men and lesbians in that state, let alone how to vote on the measure?
Clearly the DNC is not averse to sending out state-specific email action alerts on specific state races. Then why didn’t the anti-gay measure in Maine – a race that the entire gay community nationwide has rallied around, that is the number one issue in the state, that’s been on the national nightly news this week – merit equal attention, and equal help, from the DNC? Don’t forget, the DNC gave $25,000 under Howard Dean to the anti Prop 8 battle in California. When gay Democrats formally asked the post-Howard-Dean DNC to donate to the Maine battle, they got nothing.
And it’s not like the Democratic party in the state isn’t involved. The Democratic governor has been traveling the state, urging voters to reject the anti-gay measure that would repeal the right of gay couples to marry in Maine. Yet Attorney General Holder flubs an answer, twice, when asked about the Maine ballot measure. In that context, the DNC’s reticence to mention the g-a-y word in their email to the state about the election takes on a more ominous light.
Greg Sargent at the Washington Post’s Plum Line reports that the DNC is refusing to comment. Isn’t that how they got into this mess in the first place?