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Colorado civil union supporters launch efforts to unseat anti-gay lawmakers

Colorado civil union supporters launch efforts to unseat anti-gay lawmakers

In an effort to elect a pro-equality legislature, supporters of the Colorado Civil Union Act have taken the first steps to replicate a successful strategy executed during the 2010 New York state Senate elections that paved the way to marriage equality legislation becoming law in the Empire State.

The committee, Fight Back Colorado, has taken the New York organization’s moniker, website and talking points.

And it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The single largest donor to Fight Back New York is Colorado activist and philanthropist Tim Gill.

A new organization working toward electing pro-civil union candidates, Fight Back Colorado, is a carbon copy of a political committee, Fight Back New York, founded in part by Colorado gay activist Tim Gill. The groups’ names, websites and talking points are mostly, if not all, identical. Fight Back New York was successful in voting out two lawmakers who opposed same-sex marriage and replaced them with pro-marriage equality candidates.

According to The New York Times, Gill and his political team at Gill Action helped established the New York campaign. The group removed two state senators and replaced them with pro-marriage equality candidates.

In Colorado, the group must help Democrats retain control of the state Senate, 20-15, and give them back control of the House. Republicans enjoy a one seat advantage in that chamber, 33-32.

A review by of campaign finance reports by Out Front revealed Gill donated $122,000 of his own money to Fight Back New York. That’s 15 percent of the group’s total 2010 fundraising of $801,250.

Fight Back New York’s second largest donor also has ties to Colorado. Jon Stryker donated $83,000 to the New York group. Jon Stryker is brother of Pat Stryker, who along with Gill and two other wealthy Coloradans, helped flip the once tried and true Republican Centennial State to the Democratic column beginning with the 2004 election cycle.

And it’s more than likely Gill will donate similar amounts — if not more — in his native state, said Fight Back Colorado’s treasure Roger Sherman.

“Our one and only mission is to unseat legislatures who killed the civil union bill,” Sherman said. “And I hope we’re out of business Nov. 7.”

Fight Back Colorado has not publicly announced which lawmakers they plan to attack.

“We’re not going to have the resources to unseat everyone,” Sherman said. “So we’re going to do our research. We’re going to do polling and identify the most vulnerable seats.”

Sherman said targets will be announced in the next few weeks.

Continue reading at Out Front Colorado

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