- Edward Dolejsi - Executive director of the California Catholic Conference
- Mark Jansson - A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (no photo)
- Andrew Pugno - The lawyer for ProtectMarriage.com.
The letter did not say when or where the names of the businesses would be published. And when Prentice was asked about this ridiculous attempt to bully businesses into giving them money "or else", what do you think he said? Of course! "...initially said he was unaware of any such effort." When asked specifically about the letter, however, he said that the letters "...were authentic" and they were "...asking businesses backing the other side 'to reconsider taking a position on a moral issue in California'." To "reconsider" under some asinine threat? The only thing anyone should be "reconsidering" at this point would be your sanity, sir.
The story goes on to say that Prentice said the letter was intended for large businesses, such as Time-Warner and Comcast, that had contributed to Equality California. He also mentioned that the list of contributing businesses includes companies "...such as Pacific Gas & Electric, Levi Strauss and AT&T." He stated that, ""I think the IDing of, or outing of, any company is very secondary to the question of why especially a public corporation would choose to take a side knowing it would splinter it's own clientele." Well, the ID-ing of a company isn't secondary, it's a non-issue. Who the heck cares? It's not like the list of donors for any campaign is a classified document, guarded by big dogs and laser beams (again, something I'd really like to see). But doesn't identifying at least five of these companies that you are demanding money from kind of defeat your stated purpose of the letter? Now that we all know that those five companies gave to Equality California, your leverage that you were using against them, ie, the threat of "outing", wouldn't seem to be very effective right now, would it? (And puh-lease, PG&E?? What am I going to do if I don't like that they made that donation? Tell them to shut off my power because I'm going to build a windmill to generate my own power? That'll show 'em! They're the freaking power company! Good luck with that one!)
Oh, and nice use of the term "the outing". Well, sir, that had a little touch of a homophobic ring to it. I see you've picked up on the gay lingo rather quickly. Didn't I see you staring at that busboy over lunch yesterday? I think I did. I think you're a little gay.
But gay or not, a one Robert Stern, who is the president of the nonpartisan Center for Governmental Studies, has said that there is "nothing illegal about ProtectMarriage.com hitting up Equality California supporters for money." Now, there may well not be anything illegal about the practice of doing so in and of itself. But I'm finding it a bit difficult to swallow that the manner in which ProtectMarriage.com went about it is not illegal. If you're sending someone a letter that tells them that if they do not do something, then they will take this action which is intended (in their small, small, walnut-sized little brains) to, in some fashion, harm the person who does not comply. THAT is legal?
A one Sonya Eddings Brown, who is a spokeswoman for ProtectMarriage.com, said that around 36 companies received the letter and those not responding with a monetary contribution "...would be highlighted in a press release and on the campaign Web site." She went on to justify the poorly masked extortion efforts as "...a frustrated response to the intimidation felt by Proposition 8 supporters, who have had their lawn signs stolen and property vandalized in the closing days of the heated campaign." Naturally, she did not provide any examples of this.