Mass. GOP helping anti-gay amendment supporters, despite taking no official stance on issue
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The paper says it has found at least two instances where the party has sent out mass emails to Republican operatives throughout the state asking them to contact Vote On Marriage and offer support. "If you would like to help with this effort, please contact the regional coordinator for your area. Gay marriage is just one issue that we will be using to ID voters for the 2006 election cycle," one of the emailings said. ''This is an opportunity for members of our party who want to participate to participate," state GOP executive director Matt Wylie told the Globe. ''We're about good government. We're about getting people involved in the process, and there are members of our community who want to be involved in this." Earlier this week Republican Gov. Mitt Romney joined a Vote On Marriage conference aimed at rallying the troops. But not all GOP leaders are happy the party has become so highly involved with the issue. ''Whether [Wylie] did it on his own or whether he was encouraged to by the governor, I don't know. I don't think it's right to do that," Nancy Luther, a committeewoman from Topsfield told the Globe. "There should have been a vote of the state committee to participate and use party resources, employees, etc."Vote on Marriage, an umbrella group including the Roman Catholic Church and other church groups, claims that they have 100,000 signatures already, which is 35,000 more than they need by law. They said that they hope to gather at least 120,000 by the time the deadline comes. According to the article:
The names would then need to be verified by the state and the question approved by at least one-quarter - or 50 - of 200 lawmakers in two separate sessions of the Legislature. The question would then head to the 2008 ballot, where it must garner the support of a majority of voters Vote On Marriage has been accused of using questionable tactics in getting people to sign the petitions. It hired, hired a private company, Arno Political Consultants - to collect the signatures. (story) Earlier this month the Massachusetts Senate has passed legislation to outlaw so-called "bait and switch" tactics in the collecting of names on ballot initiatives. (story) The move follows allegations of fraud by signature gathers. Last month a joint committee of the legislature held a special session on the growing number of complaints that supporters of the measure had used "bait and switch" tactics to get signatures. The committee heard from 10 voters, each of whom said signature gatherers tried to trick them into signing the anti-gay marriage petition. (story)