The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, said
Friday it was launching a robocall campaign against Tom Campbell, the
moderate Republican who supports gay marriage.
Campbell, a former congressman, is
vying against former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and state
Assemblyman Chuck DeVore to win the California GOP Senate primary.
In a Daily
Kos/Research 2000 poll released Friday, Campbell leads his
anti-gay marriage opponents by a wide margin: Campbell 37%, Fiorina
22% and Tea Party favorite DeVore 14%.
NOM said was it looking to reach 609,00
likely GOP primary voters with their message.
“The explicit message of this
campaign is: don't vote for Tom Campbell, because he supports gay
marriage as well as raising taxes,” Brian Brown, president of NOM,
said in a statement.
The group began its push to make gay
marriage an issue in the race last month when it launched a
television campaign attacking Campbell as a cookie-cutter version of
Senator Barbara Boxer, a Democrat.
“Tom Campbell says he'd be a better
senator than liberal Barbara Boxer, but is he really much different?”
a female announcer says in the ad.
“Tom Campbell supports gay marriage
and opposed Proposition 8,” a male announcer says, referring to
California's voter-approved gay marriage ban. “Barbara Boxer
supports gay marriage and opposed Prop. 8,” the female announcer
“Two peas, same liberal pod,” the
This is NOM's first major outing in
California since it led the effort to pass Proposition 8 in November
of 2008. With a $200,000 campaign, the
group also opened a front in Minnesota last week. The ads attack
four gubernatorial candidates – three Democrats and one independent
– who support giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.
The ads began airing last Tuesday.
The group is pushing hard to knock
Campbell out in the primary because Republicans are generally more
sensitive to the issue of gay marriage.
Over the past year, the group has also
influenced races in New York, Massachusetts and Iowa, where it
supported candidates based on the single issue of gay marriage, at
times over the objection of the Republican Party.
“Our goal is not to necessarily elect
Republicans,” Brown told The Associated Press. “Our goal
is to elect candidates who will stand up and protect marriage.”