The Rise and Fall of the National Organization for Marriage

NOM’s Empty Threats Against NY Republicans

NOM Claimed It Would Spend $2 Million To Defeat Republicans Who Backed Marriage Equality In New York, But It Raised Less Than $50,000 And Spent Less Than $40,000. In July 2011, after the passage of same-sex marriage in New York, NOM said it had earmarked $2 million to spend against the four Senators during their 2012 reelection bids. In February 2012, NOM backpedalled, saying it would spend $250,000 in the primary fights. According to NOM PAC NY’s campaign finance reports, it only raised $45,564.94 and only spent $39,392 in 2012 – nowhere near what it claimed it would spend.

Senator Mark Grisanti, “The Most Endangered Republican In The Senate,” Defeated His Primary Challenger By 20 Points. Many viewed Grisanti as “the most endangered Republican” lawmaker in the Senate because of several challenges: He won his seat in 2010 by only 519 votes, Democrats outnumbered Republicans in his district five-to-one, and his constituency was 40 percent black. Despite these factors, Grisanti defeated his primary challenger 60 to 40 percent, and went on to beat his Democratic opponent in the general election 50 to 36 percent.

Senator James Alesi Decided Not To Run For Reelection Due To His Numerous Problems With The Republican Party And Personal Issues. Rather than risk losing his seat to a Democrat, Alesi bowed out so that a stronger candidate could run, as he was at odds with Republicans: He voted with his party only 52 percent of the time on 25 key votes, the lowest of any Republican Senator; the party disliked his “unpredictable” tendencies and discussed backing a challenger against him; redistricting made his district more Democratic. Alesi also said that “the club his enemies would use to pummel him…would not be gay marriage,” but rather a scandal in which he sued two retired constituents after mistakenly breaking into their home and injuring himself. (His would-be primary challenger lost in the general election to a Democrat.)

Senator Stephen Saland Narrowly Lost After His Primary Challenger Entered The General Election As A Third Party Candidate, Undermining The Republican Party. Saland managed to defeat his challenger in the Republican primary. But the Conservative Party decided to run a challenger on the third-party line in the general election, causing Saland to narrowly lose against the Democratic candidate. Without the Conservative candidate, Saland could have easily beaten the Democrat – even though there were 8,000 more Democrats enrolled in his district than Republicans. The Conservative Party’s actions resulted in a net loss for Republicans and Conservatives alike.

Senator Roy McDonald Narrowly Lost In The Primary, But Governor Andrew Cuomo Offered To Back Him On A Third-Party Line. Cuomo was “New York’s most popular politician,” making McDonald’s potential run on the Independence Party line a strong and viable option. McDonald eventually decided to drop out of the race to help maintain the Republican majority in the Senate, throwing his support behind his Republican challenger. McDonald’s primary was also the only one in which the incumbent was out-fundraised by the challenger.