After months of ceaselessly pleading for donations, Gary Randall, the leading figure in the campaign to reject Referendum 71—thereby repealing Washington's domestic partnership law—has stopped making daily requests for money. Why's that? Lurleen at Pam's House Blend has a reasonable suspicion:

On October 12th, two days before the state starts mailing out ballots to voters, a large donor ban goes into effect in Washington. After that date, no single donor can give cash or in-kind gifts that cumulatively exceed $5,000. ... ALL major cash and in-kind donations must be on the books prior to October 12th.

It's said that politics is a game of chess. I think our opponent has a silent second queen on the board. I think that [Protect Marriage Washington] has stopped asking for cash because they expect an external entity to buy big media time for them. Knowing that it is harder for us to raise funds while they remain silent, they are cannily having their media fairy wait until the big donor ban kicks in before they start their ad barrage.

As of this week, the progressive campaign to Approve R-71 has far out-fundraised the Christian fanatics trying to repeal gay rights. They've raised about $420,000 to the bigots' $66,000, public disclosure records show. But, like Lurleen, the folks leading the gay-rights campaign have shared the same concern that a flood of out-of-state money from Christian fanatics could inflate the Reject R-71 campaign. In California last fall, religious interests in Utah—members of the Mormon Church—sent the campaign about $1.3 million in the final weeks of the campaign. And reports shows millions of dollars overall flooding the campaign in the last two weeks. If the anti-gay lobbies want to do that in Washington, they'll do it by October 12.

Want to help the campaign to defend Washington's domestic-partnership law? You can donate here. Read what else you can do in this week's paper.

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