Our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness
can only be secured by a state strictly separated from religion

04 August 2010

"Personhood" Paper Pledge Drive Results: Success!

By Diana Hsieh

I'm pleased to announce that Ari Armstrong and I will be plowing forward with our updated policy paper on Colorado's new "personhood" amendment. We've raised a bit more than the $2000 that we required.

If you pledged, thank you, thank you! Please don't send any money now. Before that happens, Ari and I need to fulfill our end of the bargain. When we release the paper, I'll send each pledger an invoice with payment instructions.

However, I'm most displeased to report on one problem that I didn't clearly foresee with these pledges.

In violation of free speech rights, Colorado's campaign finance laws require financial disclosure of donations and spending from any group that supports or opposes any ballot measure. As a result, the Coalition for Secular Government must register as an "issue committee," then report on these pledge donations to the state. In particular, we must provide the state with the name and address for any donations of $20 or more, as well as the occupation and employer for contributions of $100 or more. Those records will be public.

Consequently, if anyone wishes to amend their pledge due to this violation of privacy -- whether to void it or reduce it -- please e-mail me with that request. I won't think ill of anyone who doesn't want their private information to become part of the public record.

Also, I've decided to keep the pledge drive open until we deliver the paper in late August. As I mentioned at the outset, we're only seeking $2000. Since we've raised more than that, we'll be pro-rating pledges accordingly. Consequently, any additional pledges will reduce the amount that each pledger owes. So if you missed the original pledge drive but wish to support our efforts, your pledge now will enable the other pledgers to support some future activist projects.

In addition, we might need some more pledges if enough people void or reduce their pledges due to the disclosure requirements. So more pledges would be gratefully received as a hedge against that possibility too.

Again, our many thanks to everyone who pledged! You've made our work against the worst theocrats of the religious right possible!

Here's the pledge form:

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