Tim Mooney and Equal Marriage Arizona

| August 21 2013
AZ News

The Huffington Post recently published an article questioning the motivations of Tim Mooney, the consultant behind the Equal Marriage Arizona effort to pass same-sex marriage in Arizona as well as Florida. The Huffington Post points out that Mooney ran the effort against same-sex marriage in Utah as recently as 2004 and ran Rick Perry’s campaign for Governor of Texas.

As the Huffington Post points out: “Tim Mooney doesn’t fit the profile of a typical gay rights advocate. ”

So Mr. Mooney – why the change?

Former British Prime Minister Stanley Bladwin once said: “I would rather be an opportunist and float than go to the bottom with my principles around the neck.”

The Huffington Post and LGBT community seem to recognize the same thing – an opportunist.

Fred Sainz, Vice-President of Communications and Marketing at the Human Rights Campaign said, “One of the concerns that activists are always going to have is whether or not an individual has a profit motive and will put their profit above the good strategic best interest of our movement.”

As a direct result, the Equal Marriage Arizona campaign is having a rough start jumpstarting their effort. Erin Olgetree Simpson, co-chair for the campaign, stated that “I was hoping that the response would have been more an immediate enthusiasm, but I believe we’re getting to that point.”

All of these recent accusations have some questioning whether  Mooney can be trusted. As recently as three months ago on May 9, Mooney spoke at a conference in Nevada on behalf of the Faith and Freedom Coalition (FFC) – an organization whose mission is to protect marriage as only the union of one man and one woman.

Arizona has witnessed political consultants lining their pockets by running ballot initiatives in the past. Even though it eventually back-fired, the 2012 failed Prop 121 “Top-two” initiative started with an influx of cash that supporters eventually squandered, ultimately losing by more than 30 points at the ballot box.

Mooney and his business partner Chuck Warren are also rumored to be involved in the Arizona Pay-Check Protection and Pension Reform efforts.

How can this be? Common sense dictates that you’re working two competing voter-turnout models for these very different campaigns.

Simply put – to many, they appear to be playing all sides.

More from the Huffington Post:

In interviews with The Huffington Post, a dozen gay rights advocates noted that same-sex marriage remains unpopular among some demographic groups in both Florida and Arizona. They argued that the time is not yet right to bring the issue to a vote in those states, especially without enlisting the broader gay rights community to build support among voters.

And more:

Some advocates go further, suggesting Mooney’s campaigns are aimed at draining resources from gay rights groups, or at opportunistically profiting from the gay rights movement’s momentum.

Is this about principle? Is it even about “equality?” To many, it appears to be opportunism at its worst.

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