In March 2010, a group of donors and activists created Fight Back New York – what would become the first-ever public campaign to identify and replace anti-marriage legislators through aggressive, strategic electoral work. Fight Back NY ensured three new marriage votes through constant direct communication with voters in special, primary, and general elections. With supporters who donated over $790,000, our bipartisan effort sent a clear signal to Albany: New Yorkers are fighting back against those who stand in the way of equality – and we’re winning. For details on each target race, click on the “More Results” section on the right.
Fight Back New York won every race we entered and taught us some critical lessons as we look ahead to winning equality in Albany and across the country:
In the general election, the vote margins were closer, meaning that our investments played even more of a significant role in the final outcome. Pro-marriage candidate Tony Avella beat Frank Padavan by six percentage points, and Tim Kennedy beat Jack Quinn by just three percentage points.
Bottom line—our overall contribution to each race was considerable and our impact was noticeable. Our message-tested ads and mailings – which can be found to the right, "More Results" – proved to be effective and forceful. New York political media outlets pronounced Fight Back NY as an overall winner in our electoral approach, citing our smart targeting and aggressive tactics. In the end, campaign finance reports showed that Fight Bank NY was the largest independent expenditure campaign focused on state senate races.
Our impact – in New York and beyond
Fight Back NY’s impact goes beyond the borders of the Empire State: by demonstrating that the LGBT community can wage aggressive electoral campaigns against elected officials who oppose our equality, we become more than just political donors—we become a force to be reckoned with. In doing this, Fight Back NY supporters helped add another commanding tool to our collective efforts to advance equality – the knowledge that a “no” vote on equality legislation could cost an elected official their seat. We helped set a powerful precedent—one that will undoubtedly be in the minds of any future legislator who considers voting against equality.
Paid for by Fight Back New York. Greg Rae, Treasurer, PO Box 329, New York, NY 10008.
This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.