Fudging the Numbers on the Marriage Ban Campaign
In the comments to my previous post, Todd points out that, according to a Wisconsin State Journal article today, the campaign finance reports filed yesterday in connection with campaigns on the marriage ban don't represent the work of another group called the Coalition for Traditional Marriage.
Yet this group recently sent out to churches around the state thousands of DVDs called "The Battle for Marriage in
The group's director, Julaine Appling (who, conveniently, also runs the pro-amendment groups Vote Yes for Marriage and the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin), asserts that the money spent on those DVDs doesn't need to be reported "because they were educational in nature" and, thus, not directly connected to the amendment referendum.
But is that true?
According to a review (scroll down to the second article) of the DVD that appeared in the Shepherd Express a few weeks ago, Julaine Appling makes an appearance in video. Here are a couple of comments she makes to viewers:
“Make no mistake. Our Constitution will be amended. The question is, by whom?”
“We urge you and your church to get involved in the battle for marriage in
Now these are just two lines based upon what’s quoted by the Shepherd in its review, and it seems pretty clear from them (not to mention the DVD's title) that the video is linked to the amendment referendum.
The Capital Times offers more on the lack of disclosure here, but the paper doesn’t get into whether the video actually represents a solely educational endeavor.
Perhaps some reporter should.
Side-Note: It's also curious that the WSJ article from today says the DVDs were created by the Coalition for Traditional Marriage, while the Shepherd Express review of the video says it was produced by the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin. Maybe there's something to that, maybe not.