WSJ: Major Gay Marriage Donors M.I.A. from New Jersey Fight


Heather Haddon of the Wall Street Journal on Tim Gill, whose massive campaign purse has helped push SSM in the past, but who is not as involved this year in New Jersey as he has been in the past:

Advocates heading into an 11th-hour push to legalize gay marriage in New Jersey are facing a vastly altered fund-raising landscape since their original unsuccessful effort in 2009.

This time, gay-rights supporters have more political support but less money on hand. One powerful group, the Gill Action Fund, isn't directly giving money in New Jersey this time around, after having raised $1 million for the 2009 effort, according to people familiar with their spending.

The Denver-based group founded by Tim Gill, the software developer behind Quark, has funneled millions of dollars into states considering gay-marriage legislation and referendums. Its support helped tip the balance in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in New York last year.

... the absence of Mr. Gill's group would likely be felt. It has spent $5.1 million to defeat ballot referendums banning gay marriage across the country, according to an analysis by the National Institute on Money in State Politics. In New York, it courted legislators on the fence and funded attack ads against three opponents in the Senate who later lost their seats.

"Their contributions have made a difference," said Colorado political analyst Floyd Ciruli, who has followed Mr. Gill since he first got involved in politics in the 1990s. "He's just very political and very strategic and very wealthy."

It wasn't immediately clear why the group was remaining on the sidelines.