A controversial Web site is offering a new way to find out who donated to a successful campaign to re-ban gay marriage in California.
Using the technology of Google Maps and public records available online at the California Secretary of State’s campaign finance homepage, the Web site — eightmaps.com — lists Proposition 8 donors by pinpointing their location on a map with a virtual red thumbtack. Clicking on the red dot reveals the donor’s name, occupation or business, the amount they donated and the date they made the donation, as well as their address.
Donors include students, housewives, retirees, doctors, lawyers, university professors and business owners. Their donations range from $20 to thousands of dollars.
Kirk Jowers, the Director of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics and a partner in a Washington, D.C. law firm, told ABC Channel 4 news that while disclosure was “for the most part” good, the Web site’s use of technology to pinpoint donors had some drawbacks.
“It’s not the silver bullet that some people think it is because it can be chilling and it can even make harassment quite easy,” he said.
Fred Karger, leader of the anti-Prop. 8 organization Californians Against Hate, also told ABC that he thought the Web site was a bad idea. Karger has filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission, alleging that the LDS Church violated California law by not disclosing all of their non-financial contributions to pro-Proposition 8 campaigns, including money spent on phone banks, commercials and direct mailings.
Karger said that his Web site, californiansagainsthate.com, lists only the names of individuals and groups who gave over $5,000, not their addresses.