Saratoga County

McDonald among legislators targeted because of gay marriage support

A $2 million campaign has been pledged against state Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, and six of his c

A $2 million campaign has been pledged against state Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, and six of his colleagues who voted in favor of same-sex marriage.

The National Organization for Marriage announced on Wednesday a $150,000 commitment for mailings into the Senate districts of the seven senators who had previously voiced their opposition to same-sex marriage, before voting for its passage at the end of June.

In the wake of his announced support for same-sex marriage, McDonald set personal records for fund raising. The largest contributions came from supporters of same-sex marriage, who had never previously given directly to his campaign. McDonald has characterized his vote as a sincere change of heart.

Michael Veitch, a spokesman for McDonald, said that the senator respected NOM’s First Amendment rights, but noted that their’s isn’t the only voice on this issue. “Sen. McDonald has also gotten a significant positive reaction within his district as well,” Veitch said.

The announced campaign comes on the heels of $735,963 worth of lobbying in May and June, according to filings with the New York State Commission on Public Integrity. Those efforts included $275,000 on television advertisements, over $50,000 on radio broadcasts and more than $225,000 on telephone surveys.

During this same time frame, New Yorkers United for Marriage waged a pro same-sex marriage campaign that dwarfed its opponents, with almost $2 million in expenditures. Their spending included over $66,000 in “select Senate districts,” which may be the potential targets of the National Organization for Marriage’s upcoming campaign.

NOM will be participating in four rallies across the state on Sunday in support of this proposal, with one gathering in Albany.

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