"Yes On 8" Threatens Boycott Of Businesses That Don't Give Them Money

Lovely.

(They don’t explicitly say “boycott,” but I think it’s clearly implied by their letter.)

I’ve given some money to No on 8. If you can, this is probably a good time to do so.

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11 Responses to "Yes On 8" Threatens Boycott Of Businesses That Don't Give Them Money

  1. 1
    Myca says:

    Oh, I think it goes beyond ‘threatening boycott’ well into the realm of “extorting money from businesses that support the other side.”

    Frankly, there should be a criminal investigation.

    —Myca

  2. 2
    Aaron V. says:

    Yes – this is extortion, and quite possibly inciting violence against businesses who don’t comply.

  3. 3
    Sailorman says:

    This isn’t extortion, or criminal, just obnoxious.

    I am not a particularly big fan of this tactic whether used by the left or the right, and I am certainly not in favor of Prop 8. In fact, this is more than a bit like the argument on other threads relating to public v. private ballots (I favor private) and the arguments relating to whether or not people should be forced to openly disclose their opinions on discrimination (I am against it.) So: Yuck.

    But that’s just dislike, not any ideas that it is illegal or immoral. Although it’s slimy, it seems to be based on a valid assumption: if you donate to Bush and refuse to donate to Obama, I can probably conclude that it is appropriate to publish your name as a Bush supporter. Or the reverse. It also seems to be being applied only to major donors, which seems a lot better than us usual folks. If you donate $10,000 (or $125,000! i had no idea the donations were that high!) to a campaign, it is pretty safe to say you support it, isn’t it?

  4. 4
    Mandolin says:

    I agree with you, Sailorman.

    Actually, the only thing that bugs me about this is that they claim to be so worried that churches will be punished for their opinions on gay marraige, which implies to me that they don’t think it’s appropriate to punish organizations for their tsance on this issue. But, obviously…

  5. 5
    PG says:

    Sailorman,

    But the information about who supports No on 8 already is publicly available to those who are interested — good grief, the Yes on 8 people are sending these letters based on FINDING THE NAMES OF DONORS ON THE NO ON 8 WEBSITE. Why would you send a letter saying, “Unless you do X [donate to my cause], I will do Y [talk about how you OPPOSE my cause]” unless you are hoping to scare people into giving you money? And isn’t scaring people into giving you money based on fear of what you will say about them called …. blackmail?

    Blackmail is the crime of threatening to reveal substantially true information about a person to the public, a family member, or associates unless a demand made upon the victim is met. This information is usually of an embarrassing and/or socially damaging nature. As the information is substantially true, the act of revealing the information may not be criminal in its own right nor amount to a civil law defamation; the crime is making demands to withhold it.

  6. 6
    PG says:

    Also, this isn’t comparable to expecting business owners with a policy of not serving certain clientele, who under anti-discrimination law normally would be served, to post a notice of said policy. There is a big difference between having a low opinion of homosexuals, and discriminating against them in the operation of a public accommodation. Your opinions are private; your conduct as a business owner is not.

  7. 7
    Sailorman says:

    Before I respond to the interesting theoretical question, I want to make it crystal clear to readers that I do not support prop. 8. OK? Everyone got that?

    Now:

    PG Writes:
    October 24th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Sailorman,
    …isn’t scaring people into giving you money based on fear of what you will say about them called …. blackmail?

    Sort of, but that’s too general and I don’t think this is it.

    A threshold question in blackmail is, realistically, whether the person wants the information disseminated. And I would argue that people who give declared political donations of that magnitude are not only aware that their opinions are being disseminated, but they are actively trying to leverage their opinions and convince others.

    In that framework, I do not think this is blackmail at all.

    so “I know you were talking to Obama. I will write a letter to the editor denouncing your relationship unless you pay me $10,000″ is blackmail.

    but “You are listed on the Obama website as one of the country’s biggest supporters. i conclude therefore that you are pro-Obama. I am pro-Bush, and unless you come to the Freedom Riders Shotgun Trail Political Meeting (for donors of $50,000 and up) then i will tell all the other country club members you’re a Democrat” is not.

    A crucial additional factor is that the sum demanded is directly related to the issue. I might agree that demanding money for personal and/or unrelated things is blackmail:

    “You are listed on the Obama website as one of the country’s biggest supporters. i conclude therefore that you are pro-Obama. I am pro-Bush, and unless you pay me $10,000 cash, then I will tell all the other country club members you’re a Democrat” is probably blackmail.

    I might conclude that this is a pretty common political tactic in a slightly different setting.

    I have been called by people saying “we represent the campaign of Bigshot, and we are calling all attorneys in town to see who supports him, and we are placing an ad in the paper to that effect.” The unsaid part was that if you’re not in the ad, Bigshot will see that, and screw your career. (being a generally pissy person about these things, i declined the ad and took the hit. but that’s a long story.) So as i said, i don’t LIKE the tactic, but I think it’s fairly standard.

  8. 8
    drydock says:

    That’s how the Black Panthers did it, shaking down the Oakland petite-bougeois store owners for cash to fund their programs.

  9. 9
    Myca says:

    Yeah, it may be technically ‘not blackmail’ for the reasons Sailorman laid out, but it certainly is damnably close.

    The thing is, publicizing their donations on its own doesn’t bug me … even trying to organize a boycott doesn’t really bug me. I mean, that’s how the game has been played for decades, right? The part that bugs me is “give us money or we’ll publicize this,” and that’s the tactic of a slimy group of motherfuckers.

    Feh. Yet another reason to vote no.

    —Myca

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  11. 11
    Tapetum says:

    My opinion, based on the tone of the letter, is that they intend this to be blackmail, but they’re not quite getting that these businesses aren’t ashamed of their political views. It’s not blackmail, but not because the letter writers weren’t intending such a thing, but just because they view opposing Prop. 8 as something that should be a blackmailably shameful behavior, and can’t quite envision that other people don’t see it that way.