Both sides of marriage camp spending rapidly

The campaigns to support and oppose same-sex marriage in Maryland have this in common: Both have nearly emptied their coffers.

The Maryland Marriage Alliance, which opposes same-sex marriage, had $95,000 left in its bank account for the final stretch of the campaign, and $48,000 in outstanding bills.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality, which supports the marriage ballot question, reported only $22,000 in the bank -- with $70,000 of unpaid bills, according to reports filed Friday night with the Maryland State Board of Elections.

All of the ballot issue committees were required to file papers with the state board of elections last week showing donations and expenditures from Oct. 8 through Oct. 21. The ballot committees will have to report once more, after the election is over.

The Maryland Marriage Alliance reported raising $846,000 in the two week period -- roughly equal to what they took in during the first four months of the campaign. Nearly half of the funds -- $400,000 -- came from the National Organization for Marriage, a national group that opposes same-sex marriage iniatitives.

Another chunk, $360,000, came from an transfer of funds within  the orgnaziation, a legal manouver that makes it impossible to learn where the cash originated.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality raised $1.1 million in the same time period, brining their total raised to about $4.3 million. The largest checks were $300,000 from the National Education Assocation and $250,000 from GOP mega-donar Paul Singer, who has supported gay rights causes around the country.

Supporters showed hefty donations from a broad spectrum, including Delta Air Lines ($1,000); The 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. ($25,000); the Baltimore city police union ($1,000).


Other notable names include Broadway producer Paul Boskind (who attended a star-studded NYC fundraiser and gave $50,000 to the Human Rights Campaign for use in all four states) and Jack Luetkemeyer, a local real estate developer who is father of Modern Family star Julie Bowen ($10,000)

Educating Maryland Kids, the main group supporting the ballot question to allow some illegal immigrants greater access to higher education, reported raising $70,000 in the time period and spending $130,000.

The money is mostly from a $50,000 check from the National Education Assocation and a $10,000 donation from Norman Augustine, the former chairman of Lockheed-Martin.

Groups opposing the Dream Act had not filed with the board of elections by Friday's deadline.

Groups on either side of the state's gambling expansion measure also filed -- though the information is out of date since those groups are also subject to a more stringent 48 hour reporting requirment.

The latest 48 hour reports show that the main group supporting gambling expansion, backed by MGM Resorts International, has put $29.5 million  toward the campaign. The group opposing, backed by Penn National Gaming, allocated $29.1 million.