Pro-Amendment Candidate Loses Treasurer Over Hit Piece

UPDATE: I was finally able to post the images. Also, a reader pointed out this additional article from The Northwestern about Robin Makar and Julie Pung Leschke.

The Oshkosh Northwestern is reporting that a treasurer for Republican Assembly candidate Julie Pung Leschke has quit the campaign because of smear tactics, including a mailer that hits Democratic candidate Gordon Hintz for opposing the amendment.

The treasurer, Robin Makar, apparently joined the Leschke campaign because she knew her personally--not necessarily because she agreed with the candidate's views on every issue. Makar has been active in helping local efforts to defeat the ban, despite Leschke's support for the amendment. I met her recently at the League of Women Voters forum in Oshkosh.

Makar told The Northwestern she had grown increasingly frustrated with the flow of money and negative ads from outside interest groups in the campaign. She had decided to quietly resign. But then a pro-amendment flyer started showing up in Oshkosh-area mailboxes that was clearly designed to hurt Gordon Hintz. Makar felt compelled to speak out:
"When I saw that postcard and it was just a lie. I saw that it was such a political ploy not just to damage Gordon and damage this amendment – that is really near to my heart, I so believe it’s wrong," Makar said. "The combination of two things being such lie and it being about something I feel so strongly about, I can’t be quiet about stepping away from this."
Guess who paid for the mailing. Julaine Appling's Wisconsin Family Action, Inc. But who knows where they got the money from. They are not required to reveal that information. Technically this is "issue advocacy," not express political advocacy.

You should be able to click on the images of the mailing to see a larger version.

If you're seeing signs of amendment supporters' activity locally, whether ads on TV or mailers like these, please let us know.

NOTE: I am trying to load the images from the mailing but the Blogger image uploader isn't working. Will keep trying.


At 3:20 PM, Blogger UglyOldWitch said...

I got the exact same flyer in the mail today, only with John Lehman's name on it. (paid for by Wisconsin Family Action, Inc.) I live in Racine, WI.

At 3:30 PM, Anonymous heidi said...

I think this mailer shines the light on the real reason why this ban is on the ballot. The folks pushing the ban don't really care about gay marriage; they just wanted another distraction tool for their politicking.

It's ugly. So many people are going to be hurt by this ban... all for political games.

ps Good for robin for standing up for what she believes in!

At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason this is on the ballot is to close the door on a decision that happened in the state of Mass. All the law does is change the current phrasing from "husband and wife" to "man and woman" ensuring that the law explicitly states only a man and a woman are allowed to "marry." This sheds light on a lot of lies spread by the "vote no" group, such as, "nothing will change if you vote no." well, nothing will change, the day after the vote. but something could change, and then we will not have the opportunity to speak out. The proposed change doesn't ban homosexuality. It doesn't keep homosexuals from using the legislative process like any other advocacy group. It just keeps them from using the back door (no pun intended) to pass laws that give them advantage over other advocacy groups playing by the rules. Other groups can't compete with your playing the "fairness for all" card while you rake in the benefits and they are left out in the cold. It is not about fairness, it is about a cash and benefit grab without considering the other groups that are also disadvantaged but are going about change the right way, through legislation. That is why this is on the ballot, because people for this move went about it in the right way, by proposing legislation to be voted upon.

At 7:11 PM, Blogger Jenn said...

And if it passes the legislative door will be closed. Closed to marriage, closed to civil unions, possibly even closed to domestic partnership-type benefits, rights, and protections. How is this allowing gay families to "go about it the right way"?

At 7:17 PM, Anonymous David Hay said...

To the above (Anonymous) poster-

The ads are hateful, inappropriate, and un-patriotic, because - as history will undoubtedly show - they are on the wrong side of this civil right issue.

Back in the 60's groups just like Wisconsin Family Action, inc. etc... participated in the same kind of fear mongering - they said "don't allow interracial marriage, or the next thing you know we'll allow people to marry monkeys."

They used the Bible to support these flawed arguments as well... just as supporters of the ammendment are doing today.

There is no doubt in my mind the bible says "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination." -Leviticus 18:22

Meaning it is wrong to have homosexual sex.

BUT - what you fail to talk about is that also in Leviticus...

"And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you." -Leviticus 11:10-12

Meaning - You can't eat Shellfish... that's right- no lobster, no shrimp, no alaskan king crab...

And let's not fail to see that the author (God) used the exact same descriptor (abomination) to describe the two acts... (having gay sex, eating lobster)

So my friend - what's next... an ammendment outlawing friday night fish frys? For fear that the occasional person eating shrimp instead of perch might jeopardize the traditional fish fry?

The premise of the ammendment is ludicris, and the arguments used to support it are weak, filled with hate, and in time will be exposed for what they are.

Thomas Jefferson spoke about the need for a "wall of seperation" between church and state... and our fore-fathers created an ammendment to the constitution of the USA that expressly states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

This ammendment, its authors, supports, and the arguments they are using in an attempt to trick the public into supporting it, flies in the face of Jefferson's words, in the face of our national constitution, and in the face of what our country stands for.

We are the land of the free, not of the oppressed. We are the land of the brave, not of the cowardly.

It's time to stand up for what is right, it is time to stand up for equality.

At 7:24 PM, Anonymous Kory said...

^^^ Ugh.

Yet another post from "Anonymous."

The amendment cuts off the majority of the legislative process as well. To undo any of the far reaching effects of this ban, a repeal amendment would have to be passed, which requires two consecutive sessions of the legislature to pass it and then a majority of the people have to vote on it...JUST to even allow the option of civil unions.

These other 'disadvantaged groups' (I' not sure what groups you mean by about vague. How can I compare and contrast the actions of Fair Wisconsin with these 'groups'?) you speak of will not have to work to repeal a constitutional amendment to lobby the legislature for fairness. They can just have a bill passed. 1 time. Easy.

Gay rights groups are working to pass legislation for marriage equality. California's state legislature passed marriage legislation for same-sex couples but was VETOED by Gov. Arnold because HE WANTED THE COURTS TO DECIDE THE ISSUE FIRST.

Furthermore, if the ban were about reserving the definition of marriage to the legislature why wouldn't they have used the language of Hawaii's amendment which does exactly that?

Perhaps you should study the issue before you post your ignorance.

You're not even mentioning the second sentence. You are aware it exists right? Could you tell me what you think 'substantially similar to that of marriage' means? It seems clear that the Wisconin public has differing opinions. Wouldn't it then also stand to reason that courts would have different opinions possibly leading to rulings that could be damaging to all unmarried couples?

I'll answer that question for you. Yes it would stand to reason.

My name is Kory. I approve this message. Reveal thyself "Anonymous"!

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous jillian a lesbian marring a lesbian legally said...

to the anonymous poster. then should we also ban hetro marriage because it give a unfair advantage at tax time and also in the work place such as insurance for your spouse humm as for not changing anything oh my friend it does. your daughter could move in with a guy not marry him and he them beats her silly and you know what the law can do to him with the ban in place. CHARGE HIM WITH SIMPLE ASSULT he pays a fine then goes back beats her to death because she could not get a domestic abuse charge against him which would have kept him locked up. as for the gay ban. i myself could make a mockery of it, in that i am a lesbian but i can legally marry in wisconsin or any other state. simpley because as usual our politicians are to stupid to think things through. they just knee jerk react to the whims of a few big buck cry babies. well maybe i will just see about getting married on the capital steps this next summer with both myself and my lesbian partner in wedding gowns. now wouldn't that be a slap in the face of all the religious right activists and the political collective as a whole. laughing at the stupidity of the homophobic religious bigots, jillian

At 7:39 PM, Blogger Ingrid Ankerson said...

Hey all, discussion in the comments section is certainly welcome and fun.

But please, please, please no name-calling from either side of the camp.

Some people are never going to vote No and some (hopefully most of you!) will never vote Yes. And we probably have a lot of readers still making up their mind.

It's great to discuss our differences and argue our opinions, but getting angry at each other isn't going to make things better. Ever.

At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Kory said...

Good point. Well said Ingrid.

At 8:52 PM, Blogger Cal said...

"The ads are hateful, inappropriate, and UN-PATRIOTIC, because - as history will undoubtedly show - they are on the wrong side of this civil right issue."

At a time when John Kerry's back in the news, good thing the Left is above questioning people's patriotism!

And invoking Jefferson to discredit views that correlate with faith is disingenuous. He was talking about the dangers of a NATIONAL CHURCH, not religious principles guiding officeholders. Without a "firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence" in our first public policy--America's stand for independence--we would have remained under the British Crown.

At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Political organizations lie in political ads. I'm shocked!

Some have issues with Fair Wisconsin's ads truthfulness. Will we discuss that also?

At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Josh said...

Jillian, I can't speak for anonymous, but law or no law, that won't stop people from abusing others. Lock them up as long as you want, they are what they are, and will continue with their behavior whenever they get out of prison. Our legal system is anything but perfect, so I don't understand why you think voting to ammend the state marriage law is going to either put away a substantially larger number of abusers or decrease the amount of abuse. Go ahead and have your "commitment ceremony," no one is trying to stop you. They are trying to protect a fundamental part of society, however. As for my hypothetical daughter, she wouldn't move in with someone without marrying him first... that's not the way I hypothetically raised her.
David, that is an interesting take on the bible. Your reasoning is flawed however. God demanded ceremonial obedience (to the ceremonial laws) in the old testiment as a form of atonement since Christ had not yet been born and died for the sins of the people. Obedience to these ceremonial laws was a part of religious practice that was fulfilled and made null and void when Christ died. We are reminded of this when Paul said, "we maintain that man is justified by faith apart from observing the law." The ceremonial law is clearly made distinct and separate from moral (right from wrong) and civil law (laws made by the government), which we are still to follow today. So if you want to outlaw Friday night fish-fry, go ahead, but that would mean you would be instituting modern day Pharaseeism... so you are a bit off the mark with your statements.
Kory, that's great that the activists in California are vying for legislation... but how about the people of Wisconsin? If marriage and civil unions were such important issues, why are they only now being discussed? Marriage and civil unions are important issues to many, and that is why the current legislation proposal is on the ballot, after going through the proper channels of government.

I am Josh, and I approve this message; however, do not confuse me with anonymous.

At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

leave me out of this.

At 9:58 PM, Blogger Cal said...

I've taken a close look at the domestic violence point, and maybe I can dispel the Fair Wisconsin myth with the following analysis:

Anti-amendment activists claim that the Amendment’s second sentence, that “A legal status identical or substantially similar to marriage shall not be valid or recognized in this state,” will strip domestic violence protections from unmarried victims. For evidence they turn to an Ohio case, City of Cleveland v. Knipp.

The defendant (a man who beat his girlfriend) argued that under Ohio’s marriage amendment (which differs from Wisconsin’s only in wording, not in meaning or effect), he was no longer a “person living as a spouse,” and domestic violence laws no longer applied to him. The Court agreed, and ruled that the “‘persons living as a spouse’ provision of the Domestic Violence Statute…does violate the Defense of Marriage amendment.”

How did they reach this decision?

Ohio’s Domestic Violence Statute says: “Whoever causes, attempts to cause, or threatens to cause physical harm to a family or household member…is guilty of domestic violence.” “Family or household member” is defined as:

"[A] person living as a spouse (means a person who is living or has lived with the offender in a common law marital relationship, who otherwise is cohabiting with the offender, or who otherwise has cohabitated with the offender within five years prior to the date of the alleged commission of the act in question [the law later refers to parents, children, and blood relations as well]."

We can easily see how “person living as a spouse” is “substantially similar to marriage.” But Fair Wisconsin wants us stop there, since the picture changes drastically if we look closer.

Notice that “common law marital relationship” and “otherwise cohabiting” relationships are two very different things. Marital is self-explanatory. But cohabitation requires only that two people live together. Roommates, siblings, and cousins (among other conceivable combinations, no doubt) can all cohabitate in a non-marital, non-romantic, non-sexual relationship. Obviously none of these people would be “living as a spouse,” yet the bizarre wording of the Domestic Violence Statute crams two different situations under one category.

Ohio’s real problem is not that their marriage amendment is written poorly; rather, their domestic violence law is! A simple, amendment-compatible rewrite of their law could easily remedy their problem.

So how does Wisconsin fit into all this? Here, domestic violence is defined as follows:

"[Acts engaged in] by an adult family member or adult household member, by an adult caregiver against an adult who is under the caregiver’s care, by an adult against his or her adult former spouse, by an adult with whom the individual has or had a dating relationship, or by an adult with whom the person has a child in common."

The difference is that Wisconsin simply lists the types of relationships which qualify. So the only question is: Does Wisconsin define “household member” in the same way Ohio does?

Presumably, the lack of odd “person living as a spouse” language would allow judges to simply apply the common understanding of “household member”: whoever merely lives in the same dwelling as another. Fortunately, we have case precedent to remove ambiguity. In Petrowsky v. Krause, household members were defined as parties “in a continuous living arrangement.”

One final point of contention: Do same-sex lovers living together qualify as cohabitants? Are they not living together and acting like a married couple? Yes, they are. So why don’t they constitute a status “substantially similar to marriage?” Because that’s not the law’s criteria. Living together is, and nothing more. If two people live together, the law classifies them as cohabitants, and in effect says “the nature of your relationship within the walls of your home—be it platonic, romantic, parental, or otherwise—is none of our business.” And isn’t that what same-sex activists—normally champions of “getting the government out of our bedrooms”—want?

In summary, the two states’ domestic violence laws are clearly different, and there is no conceivable way that a reasoned interpretation of the Marriage Protection Amendment could deny domestic violence protections to unmarried victims in Wisconsin.

At 10:12 PM, Anonymous josh said...

Fantastic explanation Cal... you heard it hear folks, a "yes" vote does not place anyone at greater risk for domestic abuse from the standpoint of inability to bring forth litigation.

At 11:15 PM, Anonymous christopher.iannone said...

Wisconsin Family Action, Inc. is also sponsoring TV ads with the same verbage and images against candidate Pat Kreitlow. The voice used in the ad is a "traditional grandmotherly" voice, and the spin is classic FRI. It scares me people may believe the spin, but it makes volunteering in these last six days and 21 hours all the more vital!

At 11:18 PM, Anonymous christopher.iannone said...

OOPS, FIVE days and 21 hours...

At 11:22 PM, Anonymous jillian said...

humm i will not have a commitment ceremony, but a real wedding. in spite of what ever law is in place or ammendment passes or fails. i am female according to the state of wis and even my birth certificate but dna genetic testing reveals that i am male. i am transgendered. so as they stand or even with the new amendment i still am a female getting married to a female with a state santioned marriage license. so with that said i will bow out of this blog as it seems i dont know what i am talking about. hummmm jillian

At 11:26 PM, Blogger Cal said...

Thanks, Josh...

Since much of the FW rhetoric has been about the dangers of judicial interpretation, it would be nice to see liberals begin to appreciate conservatives' point on the value of judicial originalism.

At 7:05 AM, Blogger RepSoccerMom said...

It is really frustrating to me that many seemingly intelligent people can't see the implications of this amendment.

All of you better be signing up to make phone calls and do doors this weekend.

At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Kory said...


Just because you haven't heard of Action Wisconsin's or HRC's efforts to further equality for the LGBT community, don't assume it hasn't happened. Conversations are happening about civil union legislation with state legislators.


You are comparing laws and interpreting them. Good job. Judges do the same thing. I don't agree with your interpretation. Can I call you an activist now?

A big portion of the "Vote Yes" argument is that some mysterious 'activist judge' will somehow see some different definition to the words "husband" and "wife" and grant same-sex marriage rights. If somehow a judge has the ability to step outside the boundaries of language in this situation, what's to keep 'activist judges,' should they truly exist, from interpreting and twisting words as Julaine Appling alleges will happen should this ban not pass?

Heck, why would they stop there? Why don't they just find a way to argue that "man" and "woman" no longer imply gender but rather gender roles? Maybe "prohibited" can mean "allowed"!

At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Cal said...

I interpreted nothing. I simply read the laws. Judicial activists try to twist the law to fit a predetermined policy goal (and the "should they truly exist" bit seems tremendously ill-informed; for an entry into this very real subject, I suggest reading "Men in Black" by Mark Levin).

If you can find any specific part of my read of the law that's logically unsound, I'd love to hear it.


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