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Anti-Gay Groups Struggle, Make Year-End Pleas For Financial Help

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Newscom

Barring a cash infusion from willing donors, a few prominent anti-gay groups are poised to end the year with budget shortfalls, according to several last-ditch fundraising appeals sent out during December.

The National Organization for Marriage, which Thursday launched an ad against Ron Paul in Iowa calling him "wrong on marriage," sent out an e-mail Wednesday telling supporters that there are only 96 hours to go until 2012: "NOM has never been able to financially match the tens of millions of dollars raised by interest groups who want to tear apart traditional values and attack people like you and me who defend the sanctity of marriage."

The e-mail says a "generous donor" has offered to match donations dollar-for-dollar, and says NOM has already raised $831,718.

But in one December 13 email, NOM asked supporters to help the group "overcome a looming shortfall!"

"Increasingly virulent and frequent attacks from the same-sex marriage lobby have depleted our emergency funds, and we need your help!" the email says, adding: "NOM does not have the resources to accomplish everything we need to do...and with the many new and critical marriage battles upcoming in 2012, this is the exact wrong time for us to have to scale back."

The email came shortly after the American Independent released NOM's 2010 tax returns, and reported that the group raised $9.6 million but spent over a million dollars more than that during the year, at $10.7 million.

The Family Research Council has a similar -- but even larger -- budget problem, according to an email sent on December 16. "A generous friend of Family Research Council recently offered to match every donation given to our 2011 Year-End Fund Drive, up to $250,000," the FRC wrote. "That means every dollar you give will be doubled by the Matching Grant! This is good news because FRC must raise $4 million between now and December 31 to end the year on budget, ready for the challenges of 2012."

And though the FRC said it knows that times are tight for everyone, "you and I must remind our elected officials and our fellow citizens that our nation's moral and spiritual deficit is of even graver concern than our budget deficit."

Andy Pugno, the general counsel for Protect Marriage, the Proposition 8 legal defense fund, said in a fundraising email on Wednesday that his "greatest fear is that the Ninth Circuit's decision could arrive at any minute, because right now we simply do not yet have enough money in the Defense Fund account to mount an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court."

"In fact," Pugno continued, "we are still laboring to close a deficit left over from having to wage battle simultaneously in three different legal forums this year."

As for other right-wing groups, the anti-immigration group ALIPAC told supporters in early December that they "have failed to reach our minimum operational expenses for our final funds drive of 2011. All things being equal, this would put us on a final shutdown date of January 1," 2012. The group's plan was to rebrand and relaunch in 2012 with a new business model and lower operating costs, and to sell some of its other domain names -- like loudobbsforpresident.org and lastamericans.us -- for quick cash.