PHOENIX, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's ballot count resulting in the defeat of Prop. 107 marks a significant day for Arizona's families. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Prop. 107 was trailing by nearly three percent, which includes comfortable margins in the state's two largest communities, Phoenix and Tucson. Today's results elated campaign leaders, volunteers and supporters. "First and foremost, I'm exceptionally proud to be an Arizonan today. This outcome speaks volumes about Arizona's commitment to families," said Kyrsten Sinema, chair of Arizona Together. "Arizona voters saw through Prop 107's rhetoric and knew that the intent of 107 was to take away domestic partner benefits from thousands of Arizona families," continued Sinema. "Clearly, Arizona's voters took the time to do their homework regarding Prop. 107," said Steve May, campaign treasurer for Arizona Together. "We knew all along that once voters were informed about the true impact of Prop. 107 they would oppose this hurtful initiative. They made the right decision." Arizona Together campaign chairs credit research, truth, discipline and staffing for their win, "We exposed the Prop. 107 ballot language to identify exactly what impact it would have on Arizona residents. After that, we spoke to real people that would be directly impacted and told their stories to the public," continued Sinema. "Once we discovered the truth about the initiative -- that if passed it would take away important benefits from families -- we worked non-stop to get this important information out and recruited the best people to help us." Joe Yuhas, a principle of RIESTER Public Affairs, consultants to Arizona Together, commented about the election results, "Early public opinion polls affirmed our initial discovery while examining the Prop. 107 ballot language. We confirmed that Arizona voters don't want families to lose benefits. Polling results from Lake Research Partners provided the framework for our campaign messaging, and from that point the campaign logged the hours, did the heavy lifting, and simply told the truth about Prop. 107. Today, Arizona voters confirmed they want to preserve healthcare and legal protection for families. They also proved that they are smarter than proponents expected, as Arizona voters clearly saw through proponents' attempts to distract from the real issue." "From a campaign strategy perspective, their initiative was a classic 'bait and switch' strategy, using same-sex marriage as a cover," commented May. "We didn't allow ourselves to be distracted by the proponents attempt to make that the focal point. Throughout the campaign we talked about the real issues." Cumulatively, Arizona Together raised $2.1 million dollars, $900,000 less than its goal, with 94 percent of the dollars coming from in-state contributions. With a coalition of more than 18,000 volunteers, outreach and education spanned the spectrum including the placement and distribution of more than 3,000 signs statewide; distribution of more than 100,000 pieces of literature through events and door knocking; tens of thousands of phone calls; one million pieces of mailed literature; and a three-week run on TV. Support for Arizona Together and against Prop. 107 was wide spread including prominent elected officials including Mayors Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Bob Walkup of Tucson and Joe Donaldson of Flagstaff. The business community also joined via support from the Scottsdale and Tucson Chambers of Commerce. Arizona Together received a variety of new endorsements weekly, including members of the legal community through a personal letter from more than 150 attorneys in Pima and Maricopa County; public safety organizations such as the Tempe Firefighters and Officers Associations; senior and family advocacy groups including the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and National Association of Social Workers-Arizona Chapter; and the medical community with donations and endorsements from Schaller Anderson and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. Such a broad range of support, from both Democrats and Republicans, along with today's results only prove that Prop. 107 was a detrimental initiative for Arizona. By the end of the campaign, all major news outlets that weighed in on the issue were against Prop. 107 including The Arizona Republic, East Valley Tribune, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson Citizen, Tucson Weekly, Green Valley News, and The Yuma Sun. The coalition was a political campaign committee made up of individuals and organizations striving to protect the rights of unmarried couples in Arizona. The goal of Arizona Together was to defeat Prop. 107, a proposed ballot measure and anti-domestic partner benefits initiative for the 2006 Arizona General Election. Visit http://www.aztogether.org for more information.
SOURCE Arizona Together