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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
December 17, 2004

Issue 3 campaign was the
most expensive in the city

Removing Article 12 broke the 1993 record set by its creation

Cincinnati--The successful repeal of Cincinnati�s anti-gay charter Article 12 set the city�s record for the most expensive municipal election ever.

Citizens to Restore Fairness, the campaign to repeal the article, raised a total of $847,445 over nearly two years, with $107,879 raised between October 14 and December 3, according to reports filed with the Hamilton County Board of Elections on December 10.

That record was only exceeded by their opponent, Equal Rights No Special Rights, and the other enterprises run by anti-gay activist Phil Burress that funded the campaign to keep the provision. They spent $1.25 million.

The prior city record was the 1993 campaign by Burress that created Article 12, which spent $505,526 at the time.

CRF finished with a balance of $3,109, and according to co-chair Gary Wright, the campaign has no outstanding bills and is in the process of figuring out what it will do next.

�We are looking to decide what�s next for CRF and the community,� said Wright. �Discussions are currently going on� and will continue over the next couple months.

�The energy won�t go away,� said Wright. �It will go somewhere in the community.�

CRF spent the majority of its money on professional staff and campaign advertising. $180,000 was spent on the campaign manager and five field staff, four of whom were employed longer than a year.

Television and mail messages cost $385,000.

CRF�s report is nearly three inches thick and contains the names of thousands of individual donors, much of which was collected at fundraising house parties.

The largest single contributor was the GLBT political advocacy organization Human Rights Campaign, which contributed $75,000 and gave in-kind support valued at $5,000.

Major individual contributors include Cincinnati philanthropist Otto Budig, who contributed $25,000.

Openly gay software developer Tim Gill of Denver contributed $15,000.

Christ Church Cathedral, which houses the Cincinnati Episcopal diocese, contributed $10,000.

Procter and Gamble, headquartered in Cincinnati, was the largest corporate contributor at $40,000. Cinergy, Hewlett Packard and GE, all of which have Cincinnati operations, contributed $10,000 each.

Almost a million against Issue 1

The unsuccessful campaign to defeat the Ohio constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriages and civil unions raised a total of $941,045 and had in-kind support worth $1,364.

According to reports filed with the Secretary of State on December 10, $799,723 was raised between October 14 and December 3. The campaign, Ohioans Protecting the Constitution, has $74,672 unspent.

According to campaign manager Alan Melamed, there are outstanding invoices, which may take most of that extra money.

The campaign paid $128,457 during this period for salaries, staff expenses, and consulting. The campaign had a total of seven employees over its course, four remained to the end.

The report notes that $64,000 was spent for polling, and $547,491 covered media and advertising. Legal fees paid totaled $21,734.

Total contributors included more than 600 individuals.

Major contributions include $100,000 from David Maltz of Beachwood; $25,000 from openly gay software developer Bruce Bastian of Orem, Utah; $10,000 from Donatos Pizza founder Jim Grote; $20,000 from Abigail Wexner of Columbus; and $10,000 from television personality and likely Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Springer.

Nationwide Insurance of Columbus contributed $20,000 and Wolfe Enterprises of Columbus contributed $15,000.

The Human Rights Campaign gave a total of $350,000.

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