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Monique Hoeflinger of Equality Maine on Marriage Equality Campaign Strategy

Last week, as part of a “community conversation” in the city of Auburn Maine, Monique Hoeflinger of Equality Maine shared the strategic vision of the NO on 1 / Protect Maine Equality campaign to preserve Maine’s new same-sex marriage law. My transcription of her remarks (including embedded video where these were shown to us) follows:

In any campaign there’s a lot of different moving parts. The way I like to think about our campaign is with two parallel tracks running at the same time. The first one is what we call the air war, and this includes the TV ads and other paid communication that goes on with each side responding to the other on air. The second track is all about what we’re organizing. It’s what we call the ground game. Essentially what happens is these two tracks happen simultaneously, and the air war gives cover for the real work to happen on the ground, the real organizing.

I want to talk a minute about the air war first. How many of you have seen our TV ads. OK, most of the people in the room. Fantastic. We actually want to show the TV ads tonight for those of you who haven’t seen them and talk about their role in this campaign. Before I show the ads, though, I want to say that some of you are going to like the ads and some of you are not going to like the ads. And that’s OK, because they were not designed for us, right? They were not designed for me or you or anyone in the room who is already a supporter. These TV ads were designed with swing voters in mind and they were produced after many hours of vetting and focus groups and polling. So it’s important to keep that in mind. With that said, they play a very important role in our campaign and I want to share them with you.

I want to talk a little bit more about these ads. These ads are so important and they are so necessary, but many people have the mistaken belief that they are the silver bullet that is going to win these campaigns. The reality is that TV ads serve a very particular purpose, and it is not to win the campaign.

TV ads do two things: they rebut TV ads from the opposition, and they create a buzz in the community so that each one of us in this room is able to have conversations with people we know — our friends, family and neighbors — and that is what makes the difference between winning and losing in these campaigns.

Many of you know this anecdotally, right? We were in Augusta last night in their community conversation. There was this woman in the audience; her name was Susan, and she raised her hand and she shared this story that happened to her last week. She’s known this straight couple for the last 30 years, and they are active members of their church, and they also happen to be Republicans. She didn’t know where this couple stood on the issue of marriage equality. She ran into them last week and they were so excited to see her because they wanted to talk about the ad they had seen on TV. They began this long coversation where Susan learned two things that she had never known about this couple. The first was the wife had a lesbian sister; she never knew. The second was that they were planning to vote no in November. And they had this extended conversation where Susan explained how close this election is going to be and how important it is to not only vote no but to vote early.

That is precisely what these campaigns do; they allow us to have these conversations. They create an atmosphere where we can have these personal, one-on-one conversations on a much different scale than what we would otherwise be able to do. And ultimately, that is how this air war sets up the ground game where the real work happens, and where we really can make the difference between winning and losing.

Lest you think she’s whistling Dixie or just making it up as she goes along, you can see Hoeflinger here (2nd half of the video) expressing exactly the same idea in broader context at the Netroots Nation conference earlier this year.

You won’t see such open discussions of strategy and motivations on the part of the anti-gay movement in Maine; Stand for Marriage Maine is keeping its meetings closed to the public and the media. Apparently the anti-gay movement has some things they want to say that they don’t think would go over so well with the rest of us.

50 thoughts on “Monique Hoeflinger of Equality Maine on Marriage Equality Campaign Strategy”

  1. Tim says:

    Finally, a Web Site that stands up for the rights of those who are persecuted for thier sexual preferences. As a pedeophile, I can only hope that the good people of Maine garner the courage to finally rid this state of bigotry and hatred, simply because of the way we were born. I like so many other pedeophiles did not choose my preference. Thank you Jim for realizing that we are not all the same, and need protecting.

    1. Jim says:

      Tim is sarcastically asserting that if a person allows consensual romantic relationships between two adult men or two adult women, then that somehow opens the door to non-consensual pedophilia. Pedophilia, when acted upon, involves sexual imposition upon a person who because of their age is incapable of adult consent.

      It’s a false parallel and Tim should know that, because of the violation of consent in pedophilia but not in gay or lesbian relationships.

      If we were to draw out Tim’s parallel by applying it to heterosexual relationships, then by his own logic, if you let straight people get married to each other then you’ll have to make rape legal, too. That’s absurd, and so is Tim’s original assertion.

      I don’t know whether Tim isn’t capable of reasoning it out or thinks you aren’t capable of reasoning it out, but in either case his isn’t an argument worth attending to.

    2. Jim says:

      P.S. When are you going to decide whether you’d like us to call you “Tim,” “Dave,” “Phil,” or “Len”? Or is yours it kind of an Irish I-have-three-middle-names thing?

  2. Tim says:

    Whoa. Whoa Whoa. You’re making a lot of assumpumptions. That is not what I asserted at all. I just stated that my sexual preferences were different than yours. All I need is to look at pictures. You can even black out the faces. Nobody gets hurt, and my sexual urges are fulfilled. Why is that wrong?

    1. Jim says:

      First, you’ve been posting in advocacy of imposing your version of Biblical standards for months, so of course you’re being sarcastic. Don’t be a coward about it. And now you’re shifting in your implied false parallel, which indicates sloppy thinking. Boring!

      Second, even IF you weren’t being sarcastic, you’d be off-topic.

      1) Non-consensual imposition of sex on kids (if you’re talking applied pedophilia) is not the same as consensual sexual relations between adults, much less consensual marriage commitments between adults.

      2) Jacking off to photos of non-consensual imposition of sex on kids is trading on violence against kids, which is again not the same as consensual sexual relations between adults, much less consensual marriage commitments between adults.

      3) Jacking off to your own drawings of naked children (if that’s what you’re talking about), while not violating any actual child’s bodily integrity, is three times over different from the topic discussed by Monique Hoeflinger, who is discussing a) adults, not children, b) in a situation of consent, not violation, and c) in the real world, not your personal fantasy.

      Either you’re being sarcastic and trying to draw a parallel between subjects that are not parallel, or you’re serious and have no idea on Earth what you’re talking about. In either case, you need to crack open an undergraduate logic textbook before you try what you’re doing again.

  3. Tim says:


    I prefer Tony.

  4. Tony says:

    OK OK You got me. My sarcasm was not lost on you. My point to your diatribe? Says who? Who made you judge and jury on what is morally acceptable? Is the new standard, “As long as it is two consenting adults”? Why is that the basis of determining what is right or wrong? Hale Bop…consenting adults. Jonestown….consenting adults(Uh..mostly consenting adults). Donner Party…consenting adults. Which consenting adults do we choose to determine our morality? Is it the consenting adults of Iceland or New Zealand? How do we determine which Society is right based on the consenting adults who live there.

    What about pedeophiles? How do we satisfy thier sexual urges? I’m serious. I would really be interested on your answer. Dazzle me with your logic.

    1. qs says:

      So that means you’re against gay marriage I take it?

    2. Jim says:

      Jonestown involved the killing of decidedly unconsenting people. I’m not an expert on the Donner Party, but I’m imagining nobody marched into the hills with happy smiles saying “golly, let’s get stuck in a blizzard and eat each other. OK with you?” Your examples are bizarre because they’re decidedly nonconsensual.

      Yeah, I have no problem at all with the statement “as long as it is two consenting adults.” There’s no logic involved; it’s a value statement. Let two consenting adults do what they want to. As long as nobody is harmed, how do you justify interfering in their lives? That’s a very nosy way to live.

    3. ReMarker says:

      Tom, you want to know how we satisfy the sexual urges of pedeophiles? Killing them would probably work. Anything else I can help you know?

      1. ReMarker says:

        Oops, I mean Tony, Tim, Dave, Phil, Len, or whoever it is that cares about pedeophiles satisfying their sexual urges. I sure don’t.

        1. qs says:

          So you’re a supporter of the death penalty?

          Funny. Because I don’t think I support the government using the death penalty.

  5. Tony says:


    Nice try. While it is true that some people at Jonestown were forced or coerced to drink up, the majority of people at Jonestown willingly drank the Kool-Aid. They consented to the beliefs of Jim Jones. Most parents willingly killed thier children because they believed what they were doing was right. They were convinced it was the best decision. It was decidely consensual

    Donner Party, I’ll give you that one. Stupid example. While I don’t condone cannabalism, I might eat somebody if it meant not starving to death. Hale Bop…hopefully you will agree with me on that.

    If two people want to do want they want to do, that’s ok with me too. But you want more. You want Society to accept the practice of homosexuality. “As long as nobody is harmed” is not an accurate statement. I have two young sons. I don’t want someone telling them it’s ok to be homosexual. Isn’t that what you want? How is that not harmful to my sons? I have friends who are Gay. I also have friends who were Gay, and now are straight. I work with someone who was straight and now is Gay. It’s a choice Jim. But just like drinking the Kool-Aid, it’s the wrong choice.

    I’d still like to hear from you about the pedeophile question.

    Sorry about the name thing. I just type in a name. It wasn’t cowardice, just the desire to remain anonymous.

    You’re a smart guy Jim. There is no doubt about it. Decidely smarter than me. But smart people can be decieved.


    Do you really bwelieve that God condones rape? There are many resources available to you to help you understand what the verses you quoted last week mean, and why they were written. Like I said, you’re a smart guy. Tkae the time to try to figure them out. Otherwise they are as foolish to me as my Donner Party example was to you.

    1. ReMarker says:

      Just as I suspected. The pedeophile question is a “set-up” question for explaining the influence of homosexuals vs. pedeophiles on young people.

      I had a comment almost prepared to address that false comparison but keyed the wrong tab going to google and lost my post. Oh Well, maybe later. Btw Tony-Phil, it would have dazzled you.

      1. Tony says:

        ReMarker (If that is your real name)

        Have you been reading? It was sarcasm directed by the simple fact that you want me to accept and sanction one type of abnormal sexual behavior, and condemn another. Who decides what is right?

        1. ReMarker says:

          Thanks for clearing that up for me. I thought you wanted to make some kind of pedeophile/homosexual comparisons in making ‘anti-gay rights’ points.

          1. Jim says:

            Tomato, tomato.

      2. qs says:

        How come u didn’t answer my q above?

    2. Jim says:

      I’ve already answered your question here.

      No constitution or law can force you to personally decide something is a good idea, but many things you personally think may be a bad idea are nonetheless legal. That’s the way the big, all-growed-up world works: your personal sense of morality doesn’t get to control what everybody else does with their lives, fella.

      I know of a lot of cross-sex marriages that I think are a bad idea. I bet you do too. By your low standard of interference — if it bothers you personally — why should you be “forced” to “accept” those rotten marriages? By your standard you ought to be able to step in and tell Dave and Rita across the street that you’ve had enough of their bickering, and you’ve decided they can’t be married.

      You declared “I don’t want someone telling them it’s ok to be homosexual.” Well, I don’t want some fucked-up fundamentalist busybody telling my kids they’re going to hell because they don’t drink Jesus’ blood or eat his body. But you know what? It’s going to happen, fundamentalist busybodies being who they are. I have a choice: I can either accept that some asshole is going to badger my kids and give them nightmares about hellfire, or I can try to shut up everybody in the whole wide world so my kids will never be bothered. We’ve tried that latter option in history and it never seemed to turn out well, at least for the gypsies, the queers, the Cathars or the witches.

      I choose the former. I choose freedom of speech, I choose freedom of association, and I choose equal protection under law (see 1st and 14th amendments).

      1. ReMarker says:

        It can’t be said better than that. Good job.

  6. Tony says:


    Can we have one discussion where you leave the profanity out?

    Good point. But when you legalize a behavior, as a Society, you are telling people to accept it or face consequences.I may not believe it, but I have to accept it. As a Father , now I will have the battle of overcoming not only the influences of busybodies trying to convince my kids it’s normal, but let’s throw the Government in there. Ooh…. and while we are at it, how about the schools? Well, Jim, it’s not normal behavior, so I’ll try to stop it now, before it becomes law.

    The next time one of those fucked-up Fundamentalist accosts your child, which I sure is happening all the time. (I mean you can’t pick up a Newspaper or go to a movie without someone telling yoiu that you are going to hell if you don’t drink the blood of Christ.) Tell them what I tell my kids. “Hell was introduced into Christianity in the Third Century by the Greeks. There is no Biblical basis for the concept of Hell. It was introduced by the influence of Paegan Religions. Now finish your milk and have a sweet sleep.” Then just hope the fucked-up fundamentalists don’t try to pass some law to give it some legitamacy.

    1. Jacob says:

      “Tell them what I tell my kids. “Hell was introduced into Christianity in the Third Century by the Greeks”

      I asume you have at least a shred of evidence that this is true? Would you mind sharing?

      1. Tony says:

        Kind of busy here Jacob. Lots of stuff on the internet to start you on your research. Lots of books at the library also. You should do a little research on the topic. May enlighten you a bit. Or maybe not.

    2. Jim says:

      Fuck, yeah, Tony. It’s called a discussion on your own goddamned fucking server.

      Or let’s make a deal: I’ll stop fucking swearing at you when you stop trying to insert your preference into other people’s lives as if it was your own big, raging hardon. I’m not a habitual swearer. Read what I write and you’ll know I’m not. But people like you just bring out my big ol’ FUCKbutton. And when you tell me to curb my language on my own website that you choose to go to, my FUCKbutton just gets BIGGER and BIGGER. I can’t help it; I must have been exposed to too many of those gay people.

      Another deal: you go without typing the word “God” here for a week, I’ll go without typing the word “FUCK” here for a week. Fucking censorship prude police fucker.

      Care to ask me to police MY language on MY website again?

      Yeah, it pisses me off. Ass.

      Now: “when you legalize a behavior, as a Society, you are telling people to accept it or face consequences.” Um, no. It’s LEGAL for my children to play stereos at 100 decibels inside my house and smear chewing gum on my easy chair. My children know perfectly well that in my house it is not ACCEPTABLE.

      The only sense in which you have to “accept” gay marriage in, say, the state of Massachusetts is that you have to not go around killing gay people or trying to have them arrested for getting married. You are perfectly welcome to live in Massachusetts and pretend that it doesn’t happen. You are perfectly free to live in Massachusetts and tell everybody you know that it’s wrong, wrong, Jeeezubaloobah-WRONG!!!! that all those gay people are getting married. You just can’t shoot those annoying queers in the head.

      And look, “Tony” inserted his own little “oh, but what about the CHILDREN?” note. By the law in LD 1020 (the Maine law that anti-gay people are trying to repeal), there is NO stipulated curriculum whatsoever. By state law, public school curricula are set by elected school boards in schools’ home districts. Local communities here will continue to have curriculum discretion maintained at the local level. LD 1020 doesn’t change it a millimeter. But you didn’t know that, because you didn’t read the law, you don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re just letting somebody else use you as a brain puppet to push the same old false information all over again. Try repeating the talking points somewhere else, it might work over at freerepublic. Don’t expect it to go uncountered here. Go take that “what about the CHILDREN?” home and stuff it in the toilet where it belongs.

    3. Jim says:

      Let’s play Extend the Completely Off-Kilter Contention Game!

      Tony says that if something like gay marriage is LEGAL in the state of Maine, he’ll have to tell his kids it’s all ACCEPTABLE, and the schools will be teaching that it is ACCEPTABLE, and he’ll have to ACCEPT it.

      Mormonism is legal in the state of Maine. Golly. Do you have to ACCEPT the Angel Moroni into their hearts?

      Smoking is legal in the state of Maine. Gee whiz. Do the kids get taught at school in Orono that smoking is ACCEPTABLE?

      Oral sex is legal in the state of Maine. Hooey Palooey! Have the people been accosting your kids in the grocery store, asking them to ACCEPT some nice, juicy oral sex?

      Porn is legal in the state of Maine. Any porn curriculum in the Bangor public schools to help the kids ACCEPT it yet?

      Mayonnaise is legal in the state of Maine. And isn’t it just a pill dealing with those Mayonnaise purveyors on the street? Won’t they just leave junior ALONE with their vinegar and egg ACCEPTING ways?

      1. Tony says:

        Do you think they will teach that homosexuality is acceptable? If you think otherwise, pick up the paper?

        1. Jim says:

          What “they”?

        2. Jim says:

          There is absolutely nothing in the law that has to do with teaching anything. You want to fight about school curricula? Go to the school board. LD 1020 is not about curricula.

          1. Tony says:


            Sorry, I didn’t see this when I was replying to your earlier post.

            I don’t live in Maine, so I will take your word about LD 1020.

            Where I do live “They” whoever “they” were sent my son home with pro-gay literature. Which, by the way, “they” told the class not to do. Before you start on a rant on how it’s not any of my business, and sometning sometning about a “hard on”, I get concerned anywhere in the country where the acceptence of homosexuality is being championed. It starts in Maine and ends up in Texas. (not my home state)As I have repeatedly stated over and over to you, I don’t believe it is normal behavior. I won’t support any agenda that says it is, and as you have pointed out to me earlier, I have the freedom to do just that. When I do, you equate my right of free speech as pushing something down someone’s throat.I hace never once suggested any type of violence against gay people or having them arrested.I have simply stated, once again, that I don’t believe it is normal behavior, and am against any type of legeslation that condones it.

          2. qs says:

            Why do people have to behave and marry according to what you, Tony, have classified as “normal.”

            For the record I support polygamy too. If we can legalize all those things, then maybe we can push the idea that the government is discriminating against single people too.

            We should just get rid of the entire institution of marriage all together would be best and allow the churches to do it.

          3. Tony says:


            Well marridge isn’t just a word. It’s a sentence.

          4. Jim says:

            If “they” told the class not to distribute certain literature, and the class did it anyway, then you have a case of a teacher not paying attention to internal school rules or school board policy. So take it up with your school board.

            Thank you for acknowledging in the second half of your post that you are, indeed, interested in making sure that the entire country lives according to your dictates.

            You have the right to free speech to say that you don’t like gayness. Your right to free speech does not mean that you get to make everybody do what you say so that you can avoid feeling uncomfortable.

  7. Tony says:


    You’re so scarey when your angry! I bet you were great in debate. Scream, rant, rave, call your opponents names. How’d you do with that….win alot of aurguements? Or did pepole just get tired of hearing you rant?

    You seem the kind of guy who decides to take his ball home because the other kids don’t play fair.

    Stop being so ignorant Jim. I am seriously not impressed.

    1. Jim says:

      Tony, you’re not here to be convinced. You’re here to push your standards down everybody else’s throats. That’s what makes you happy. So I have no problem with telling you to go FUCK yourself when you try it with me. Don’t come crying to me about people not all lining up to follow your personal rules. How old are you still not to have figured out that you’re not the center of the universe, that YOU don’t get to decide what everybody ELSE does with their lives?

      I’m not taking my ball home. I’m still here. I’ll be here in ten years. Where are you going?

      IGNORANT? To suggest that I am “ignorant” means that I do not know the truth. So what did I just say about the Maine schools and LD 1020 and curricula that suggests ignorance? What did I just say that isn’t true?

      1. Jim says:

        I repeat: what did I just say about the Maine schools and LD 1020 and curricula that isn’t true?

        Or is “ignorant” one of those words you just throw around?

  8. Tony says:


    Funny, and all this time I thought it was guys like you trying to push thier agenda down my throat. (No pun intended).

    Is it possible for you to have a conversation with a Christian? Did something happen to you? Lots-O hatred there Fella.

    Would it help if I told you I didn’t consider myself Chriatian? Could you leave some of the predjudous out then?

    1. Jim says:

      No, because:

      1. You’ve already spent months on this website trying to push your Bible-based agenda, so it doesn’t matter if you fib, you’ve already told me who you are;
      2. I don’t care if you’re a Christian. I don’t care if anyone is a Christian or not. That’s your business. What matters to me is that you are a fundamentalist theocrat, because fundamentalist theocrats are people who try to make everybody else live by their religious edicts, even in the privacy of their own homes or their own personal relationships.
      3. I started telling you to fuck off in no uncertain terms certainly not because you’re a Christian, and not even because you’re a fundamentalist theocrat in principle, but because you had the presumptious gall to come on here and put your fundamentalist theocratic tendencies into practice, telling me on my own website what language I should and should not be using.

      So no, to make it short. It’s not a Christian thing. It’s you trying to make me abide by your parochial religious fundamentalist theocratic standards on my own GODDAMNED FUCKING website.

      So FUCK YOU. It’s an I’m-Not-About-To-Let-You-Take-A-Crap-On-My-Face thing.

      Go figure it out.

      1. Tony says:

        Nice try.

        I have simply responded to your posts. While it is true my beliefs are Bliblicaly based, I believe the “religion” of Christanity is as wrong as any other religion. Figure it out.

        If you don’t want people to respond to your posts with any comments that disagree with your beliefs, why not say that? That way you don’t have to work yourself into a rage.

        It’s not a Christian thing? Your posts betray you young Skywalker!

        1. Jim says:

          OBVIOUSLY I don’t have a problem with people responding to me with comments that disagree. I enjoy that. That’s why I have a comments section appended.

          What I don’t enjoy, what I will not stand, what I will downright swear at you for, is you coming on here and telling me what words I should and should not use to satisfy your insistence on having other people follow the rules you want them to. You tell me not to use “profane” words (look up the antonym, Tony) on my own website and you bet your SWEET FUCKIN’ ASS I’m going to get profane on you.

          And apparently you can’t figure that out.

          1. Tony says:


            Ok I get it. You need to say Fuck to express yourself. I simply ask you why it always came to that. You answered. Nuff said Fred.

            But just so you know, I use profanity too. But I’m always careful and respectful of my audience before I let fly. None of my comments warrented your outburst. Be it your server or not. Definately no respect.

          2. Jim says:

            You still haven’t figured it out. Ask yourself why.

          3. Tony, says:

            Beg pardon Jim, but I believe I did figure it out. You need to use profanity to emphasise your points. If someone makes you mad by simply asking why you had to use profanity, you feel you have the right to assail them verbally.(Because it’s your server)And no one can tell you what to say

            Hopefully it is only on your server. If not, I sure woild hate to be there if your sons’ teacher asked you to refrain from saying fuck at his school. If you tore into her like you did me, there would be a lot of lively dinner conversations later that night from his classmates.

          4. Jim says:


          5. Tony, says:

            Is it bigger than a bread box?

          6. ReMarker says:

            Tony wins the “waste of time” prize. If he were willing, he could have read pertinant comments that address his issues, without making any comments. I think you were gracious in your willingness to go the extra mile with him, until ofc he found the “button”. I can’t shake the thought that you were having fun turning lose on such a smuck. I sure got a hearty laugh from your reply. I even showed my son. I wonder if Tony has some hidden agenda. He sure seems too.

            As you surely know, many fundamentalists will engage in disruptive practices to silence effective voices. qs as an example, seems to repeatedly make off-topic comments.

            I’m glad to read you expect to be around 10+ more years.

          7. Tony says:


            You’re right. This is a waste of time. Your tolerence for opposing view points is fascinating and duely noted. I’ll will not disrupt your effective voices any longer.

            I would share with my son, but he’s still a little too young to know what fuck means.

    2. qs says:

      I hope the gay marriage opponents fail.

  9. qs says:

    I have a song for Tony.

    It’s called Leaving Jesusland by NOFX

    “We call the heartland not very smartland, IQ’s are very low but threat levels are high
    They got a mandate, they don’t want man-dates, they got so many hates and people to despise

    In the dust bowl, cerebral black hole, the average weight is well over 200 pounds
    I hate to generalize, but have you seen the thighs, most haven’t seen their genitalia in a while

    Maybe that’s why they’re so pissed at us
    They’re all jealous we’re having better sex

    Queers, transgends, and lesbians, vegans and vegetarians
    All you brownish red and yellow ones come out and join us on the coast

    No longer svelte, they gotta punch new holes in the Bible belt
    They’ve blown out the fire under the melting pot, the red blood of America is starting to clot
    No compromise, no sight thru others’ eyes, they’re just flies spreading pieces of shit
    You gotta emigrate, stop living in hate, what makes this country great is dwelling on either side

    They don’t want visitors in Jesusland
    They want life bland and canned in the fatherland”

  10. wafuu says:

    From here in Japan, it’s strange to see the Bible used as a point to argue politics or policy. Nor is the Bible or any other holy book here used to refute scientific findings or stifle scientific exploration. To allow these insertions of religious belief into the life of a nation is simple perverse.

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