The battle over the marriage amendment may be the most expensive fight ever in Minnesota over a ballot initiative, the Star Tribune reports. Opponents of the measure raised more than $10 million, and supporters raised about $5 million. Voters on Tuesday will vote on whether to approve an amendment to the state constitution that defines marriage as between a man and woman.
Gay marriage is on the ballot in three other states: Maine, Maryland and Washington. Actor Brad Pitt is among those who have donated money to fight bans on gay marriage. He gave $100,000 to the Human Rights Campaign, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Supporters of the other ballot measure in Minnesota, a constitutional amendment that would require voters to bring a photo ID to the polls, raised about $1.5 million, and opponents raked in $2.6 million, the Star Tribune reported. High-profile leaders of the campaigns on both sides of the voter ID issue clashed at an MPR-hosted debate. The integrity of the voting process is at stake, said Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, the chief House author of the amendment bill and a former secretary of state, MPR reports.
Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-St. Louis Park, described the amendment at a poorly written mess. "When you put something in the constitution, you are writing in permanent ink and you're placing something of real importance above the heads and beyond the reach of future legislators and governors," Simon said. "That is wrong, especially for something as sloppy and slapdash as this particular amendment."
In a lower-profile campaign cash war, state Democrats have a money lead over Republicans in this final week before Election Day as legislative candidates scramble for votes, MPR reports.