Posted by Diane Farsetta on June 18, 2008

California is a hotbed for political messaging, as same-sex couples get married and conservative groups try to stop them with a November ballot initiative. Equality for All, a coalition supporting same-sex marriage, has hired Ogilvy PR Worldwide, the Democrat-leaning firm Dewey Square Group and the polling firm Lake Research Partners. Dewey Square's Steve Smith is the coalition's lead campaign consultant, while Ogilvy's Maggie Linden, a ballot initiative veteran and former political aide, is heading media outreach. On the other side, ProtectMarriage.com has hired Schubert Flint Public Affairs. The firm's Jeff Flint is leading the effort in support of the ballot initiative, called the California Marriage Protection Act. Flint used to work at Russo Marsh & Rogers, the Republican-leaning political firm which counts the pro-war group Move America Forward among its clients. Other firms are focusing on the burgeoning same-sex marriage industry, with Manning, Selvage & Lee promoting Chemistry.com to Californians and Laramore Communications promoting marriage and honeymoon packages in "gay-friendly" Sonoma County.

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From the [http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hZmLBrL36NObNyMR0ghXN7vB5hYwD91CPBD80 Associated Press]:

"Everybody is saying to their supporters on both sides, 'Tamp it down, don't be outrageous in your conduct because it will turn people off,'" said Bob Stern, president of the Los Angeles-based Center for Governmental Studies, an independent nonpartisan [[think tank]]. "No outrageous displays of affection and no outrageous displays of hatred, because everybody is appealing to the middle."

While the who's who of PR and media "spin" on this issue is interesting, Most national news coverage is fueling one of the most disconcerting effects of US news machine. In all presidential election years, American voters are "herded" into voting based upon emotional issues that are of less importance than say, the fact that our National budget is unsustainable based upon current tax-vs-spending practices, and our national carbon emmitions are destroying the planet.
Does anyone really think I am going to care about my gay neighbors' marital status when my home state, Florida, is under water? When we go broke as a nation, Who will be paying a gay National Guardsman's' spouse a pension?
I see in an ABC news- http://abcnews.go.com/US/Politics/Story?id=2041689&page=3

"Similarly, among people who support a gay marriage amendment, 63 percent say they
could only vote for a candidate who agrees with them; among those who oppose an
amendment, just 24 percent say the same.
Could you support a candidate
who differed with you on same-sex marriage?
Yes No
Support an amendment 30% 63
Oppose an amendment 68% 24
“Strongly” oppose gay marriage 30% 61
All others 71% 22"

This is irresponsible journalism. It is nearly imposable for the average voter to find credible information on how each Presidential candidate has dealt in the past or find within their position paters how each candidate plans to deal with the national debt or environmental issues.
If a Doctor spent 18 hours in surgery repairing a non-vital injury and failed to treat a failing heart, the family would cry," malpractice", but the good Dr. defends... I never got the EKG....