Tuesday July 24, 2012 | 11:29 AM

Paul Singer (Reuters photo)

The latest campaign finance reports for political action committees participating in the same-sex marriage referendum are due tonight at midnight, but one at least one pro-marriage equality PAC has filed early. 

The report features a big-time national donor: Paul Singer. 

Singer's $150,000 donation to the Freedom to Marry PAC was noted in Monday's story about Republican politicians who have decided to join the effort to legalize same-sex effort in Maine. However, the billionaire hedge fund manager's involvement in the Maine effort is noteworthy for a few reasons.

Singer is perhaps best known for his support of Republican candidates. A recent New York Times story noted that Singer, who runs the firm Elliott Management in New York City, raised $5 million dollars for presidential hopeful Mitt Romney during a single fundraiser. 

But Singer, whose son and son-in-law are gay, is also known for supporting same-sex marriage efforts in other states and he has spent close to $10 million to advance the cause. Singer has given $1 million to the American Unity PAC, a new super PAC designed to encourage Republican candidates to support same-sex marriage. Campaign finance laws also shields the identities of donors to the PAC.

Singer's deep pockets have already provided protection for Republicans who have supported same-sex marriage. Today is the one-year anniversary of the same-sex marriage law enacted by the New York State Assembly.

Passage of the law required Republican support. The National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage, immediately vowed to spend $2 million to remove the GOP lawmakers from office. However, Singer pledge to donate at least $250,000 to each of the legislators to counter the threat. 

Fred Sainz, the vice president of communications for the D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign, said Singer has been "a tremendous" advocate for same-sex marriage, adding that his financial pledge to help the New York GOP assembly members irked would-be Democratic opponents. After all, the Democratic party has traditionally been more sympathetic to same-sex marriage. 

Singer, in a rare press interview, told NYT columnist Frank Bruni, said that the GOP should reconsider its position on same-sex marriage. 

"The Republican Party can be more of a big tent and this issue is a part of that," he told Bruni. 

Singer isn't saying much about his involvement in the Maine same-sex marriage referendum. A spokesman for Singer declined to comment. 

However, donations to the Freedom to Marry PAC show that corporations are seeing the benefit of backing same-sex marriage. Freedom to Marry has raised $296,805 so far. Several other contributors stand out, including executives for Cargill, Verizon and The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers. 

The other PACs involved in the same-sex marriage referendum are expected to file their 42-day post-primary report close to the midnight deadline.

About the Author

Subscribe to the
Capitol Ticker RSS

Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.

Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or smistler@pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @stevemistler

Subscribe to the
Capitol Ticker RSS

Previous entries

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013


October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.