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Pam Spaulding talks to Bob Page, major donor in campaign to defeat NC's Amendment 1

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If you're following NC's anti-gay Amendment 1, which is on the May 8th ballot, you'll want to read Pam Spaulding's interview with Bob Page. It's fascinating to hear from a major donor to the campaign to defeat Amendment 1. First, about Bob:

One of the brightest lights of activism and generosity here in North Carolina is Bob Page, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Greensboro-based Replacements Ltd. He turned his passion for collecting china and crystal into a business in 1981 that today houses the world’s largest supplier of old and new china, crystal, silver, and collectibles. Replacement Ltd sales exceed $80 million and it has a diverse workforce of 450 employees.

With that success Bob Page has become a force for equality in many ways — as a businessman, a philanthropist, an activist, and most of all — a partnered out gay man from a small town in North Carolina who is raising a family and trying to make a difference. Page lives a modest lifestyle in Greensboro with his partner of 22 years, Dale Frederiksen, and their twin sons.
The interview is really a worthwhile read. Bob obviously understands the role money plays in the campaign. He's delivered -- and wants others to do the same:
In terms of working for change, Page has generously donated to equality efforts around the country; many in Red states have dug deep to help those in other states fighting amendments and for marriage equality. He believes that investing in a win in North Carolina helps the entire movement — and that the difference will be made by educating voters about the harms of Amendment One. “I want people to know that we can win this. But if the people don’t understand what the amendment does, I think it will be very difficult to prevent this from passing. I really hate the idea that people will get motivated after it’s too late, or that voters will not be making an informed choice. ”

He shared his frustration about those in the donor community still sitting on the sidelines. ”If you want to win this, understand that we have a lot more educating to do, that we need to do that on TV and radio, and that it’s going to take a lot more money. We need everybody to dig deep and give until it hurts.”

I don’t live an extravagant lifestyle; my car is going on 14 years old. There are people out there who can afford to spend $200 on a pair of jeans but won’t give even $5 for this cause. Or they have too many bars to go to; they say that it’s always someone else’s battle. We need to change this.....

And he doesn’t hold back. “For instance, [Wall Street financier] Paul Singer is financial supporter of AFER (American Foundation for Equal Rights) and was instrumental in getting marriage equality passed in NY. He will be giving tons of money to Mitt Romney — it’s disturbing. It’s disappointing to see that at a national level.”
One other thing about money. Both Equality Maryland and Minnesota United for All Families, which are facing their own ballot battles in November, have done fundraising emails on behalf of the North Carolina campaign. Very cool. Very classy.

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