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Measure's backers plead for funding

An appeal has netted generous donations for more advertising.

October 26, 2008|Dan Morain | Morain is a Times staff writer.

Backers of California's Proposition 8 invoked a higher authority as they ramped up their television advertising by an additional $1 million and asked for more money.

In an e-mail appeal for more cash, campaign strategist Frank Schubert says foes of the initiative on the Nov. 4 ballot to ban same-sex marriage continue to outspend them.

Schubert had warned last week that supporters would lose unless they could raise millions more in the campaign's closing days. The missive apparently is having its intended effect, given the new ad buys.

Still, high-dollar donations to both campaigns reflect the money disparity.

In a 72-hour period ending Friday, Proposition 8 opponents disclosed raising $3.6 million in donations of $1,000 or more. Supporters, primarily Mormons, Catholics and conservative Christians, raised $661,000.

Proposition 8 would ban same-sex marriage by amending the state Constitution to define marriage as between only a man and a woman.

Schubert noted that foes raised almost $4 million at a gala Tuesday at billionaire Ron Burkle's Green Acres estate that, the e-mail says, was attended by "Hollywood liberals." Schubert is seeking another $2 million to compete with the opposition, and offered this plea:

"Through the grace of God, one of our most fervent supporters has agreed to make a sacrificial gift to match, dollar for dollar, whatever you and others can donate, up to a total of $1 million. That means that every dollar you give will buy two dollars in advertising time.

"Please help us buy more advertising time now. And if you can make a sacrificial gift yourself, we ask you to prayerfully consider doing so immediately. The institution of marriage which we so dearly love depends on what we do together over the next few days."

Schubert didn't identify the big donor. But Howard Ahmanson Jr. gave another $150,000 this week to the Yes-on-8 campaign.

Ahmanson is the wealthy Orange County philanthropist who has funded numerous conservative candidates and Christian causes over the years. He now has given $1.145 million to Proposition 8 backers, making him the measure's largest individual donor.

On the opposition's side, San Franciscan James Hormel, who was the Clinton administration's ambassador to Luxembourg, gave another $100,000, pushing his total to $350,000.

David Maltz, a Cleveland philanthropist who funds numerous gay-rights and other organizations, also gave an extra $100,000, pushing his total to $1.1 million.

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dan.morain@latimes.com

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