Question 1 in Maine and getting past it

April 19, 2011 at 9:15 am 21 comments

“And no, we didn’t win. But we almost did. And that means we will win… someday soon.” -Dee Hutchins

By Adam Bink

No On 1/Protect Maine Equality is one of those fights that really digs deep in my heart and refuses to leave. I know because like many of you, I fought as hard as I could, literally working on nothing else for weeks, came up short, and here over two years later it still comes up in conversations. I’ll even blog about it once in awhile. Every once in awhile I see colleagues in our movement — for brunch, for meetings, on the phone — and we’ll talk about completely different topics. Maine will still come up… what went right, what went wrong, why the Catholic town of Lewiston voted this way, what went wrong with the field program, how inspiring it is that the college town of Orono voted that way, which ad was the most devastating. It’s like a bad memory that refuses to leave.

It’s perpetuated by the new documentary out, Question 1, which is about the campaign. It’s hard to watch it and not have a pain in my gut. Here’s the trailer:

Over two years later, Marc Mutty seems to regret the role he played, or something. It’s Passover, and I probably shouldn’t wish this upon my fellow human beings, but I really hope Mutty spends the rest of his life making up for what he did and nothing else. I have trouble deciding whether I feel more animosity towards Ken Mehlman or Marc Mutty.

I have a lot I could say, but I’ve learned the lessons and analyzed the outcome and moved on (or tried to). I might see the whole thing, I might not. It certainly looks well done.

For other reading, Gerald Weinand, the Maine blogger at Dirigo Blue who did some fantastic work on the campaign, has a good reflection piece here. At OpenLeft, I wrote some several analysis pieces if you’re interested in reading my take. Part 1 and Part 2 can be found here and here. A piece looking at the role (or lack thereof) of OFA/DNC can be found here. A meta piece on Harvey Milk, the Briggs Initiative, and Maine can be found here. Finally, an interview with NGLTF’s Rea Carey and Dan Hawes on their field program can be found here.

Entry filed under: Community/Meta.

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21 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alan E.  |  April 19, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I am thoroughly pissed off about this. He didn’t want it to be shown before the election because his profit from the campaign (and any future work he might want to do) were at risk. How very selfish of him!

    • 2. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

      Ugh : (

  • 3. Ann S.  |  April 19, 2011 at 9:26 am


    • 4. Straight for Equality  |  April 19, 2011 at 9:44 am

  • 5. Kathleen  |  April 19, 2011 at 9:26 am

  • 6. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 19, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Top Five Moments From The House’s “Defending Marriage” Hearing

  • 7. Straight Ally #3008  |  April 19, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I feel so bad for Jesse Connolly, too…his heart was in the right place, and he really tried hard for a win. Then, in a bitter irony, he became a senior advisor to Libby Mitchell, who lost in a three-way race that gave Maine its Tea Party favorite governor, Paul LePage, who will single-handedly prevent marriage equality for about three more years (I can’t see him getting re-elected, but Democrats are known to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory).

    • 8. Straight Ally #3008  |  April 19, 2011 at 10:10 am

      (thus making Connolly both a true mensch and a schlimazel)

    • 9. Dave in Maine  |  April 19, 2011 at 10:24 am

      He did great work in the 200 referendum that would have resulted in rejecting the non-discrimination law.

      It was unfortunate about working for Ms. Mitchell. What really annoyed me about her campaign was that they told people who wanted to vote for the other pro-gay candidate that they’d be wasting their vote on him, thus ensuring that Republican Paul LePage would win.

      When it was clear that she wouldn’t win, she (or her campaign) didn’t reverse and say that a vote for her would ensure Mr. LePage’s victory.

      And, of course, Mr. LePage won and we are all dealing with that now.

      Dave in Maine

  • 11. Dave in Maine  |  April 19, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Yes, this brings back a lot of the anger and outrage I and others who volunteered our time had during that who campaign.

    “They’ll teach it in the schools.” “The homosexuals will still have their rights if you vote yes.” “Your church will be forced to perform gay marriages.” All lies that the “yes” people told the unsuspecting people of Maine.

    Here’s the Portland Press Herald piece on the film:

    Dave in Maine

    • 12. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

      everyone watch this! Thx for posting Dave! Heartbreaking…and hopeful…

    • 14. grod  |  April 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm

      @Dave in Maine

    • 15. grod  |  April 19, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      @Dave in Maine
      Thanks Dave. In getting beyond “1”, I too remain incensed over the red herring distortions and lies promoted by the catholic church and out-of-state organizations like NOM to the voters of the state. Just how can a cause succeed, when that establishment, who believes their actions justified, acts with blind indifference to the suffering they caused?

  • 16. Sagesse  |  April 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    For later

  • 17. Ronnie  |  April 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Yup….lying (cheating, stealing) & anti-Equality go hand in hand…Pathetic…(rolls eyes) … 8 / …Ronnie

  • 18. LD  |  April 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    if this is as honest and balanced as it seems, I bet a decent number of Yes on 1 people will watch it, and seeing and actually hearing the other side might just change their minds.

    • 19. Heath  |  April 20, 2011 at 9:43 am

      I wish. Unfortunately, I suspect most people who voted Yes on 1 won’t even bother to watch. They had plenty of opportunities to “see and hear the other side” before the election; why should I believe they’d want to hear us now?

  • 20. Rhie  |  April 19, 2011 at 6:58 pm


  • 21. "Van" van der Voort  |  April 21, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    The best comment I saw was a woman who said of Mutty, “I think he’s confusing hyperbole with lying.” That summed it up for me.


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