Republican Massachusetts Senate Candidate Asks FEC To Allow Gay Couples To Contribute Jointly To Campaign

The request puts into question whether the FEC will treat same-sex couples as married in the future.

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Steven Senne/ ASSOCIATED PRESS

Dan Winslow at the Ponderosa Sportsman's Club, in Acushnet, Mass., Sunday, March 24, 2013.

Massachusetts Republican Senate candidate Dan Winslow, who is running for the seat vacated by Sen. John Kerry, has filed a request with the Federal Election Commission Monday for guidance on whether his campaign can accept contributions from same-sex married couples as they are allowed to for straight couples.

The request for an advisory opinion asks whether the FEC will treat these couples as married under state law or as unmarried through the Defense of Marriage Act. The request was filed on behalf of the campaign, citing donations from the Gerard R. Gershonowitz and Howard P. Johnson, who are married in Massachusetts and contributed to the campaign. At issue is whether the funds would count against one spouse’s contribution limit or be split between the two. Former FEC Chairman Trevor Potter told TIME the issue has never been settled by the FEC.

Winslow is seeking to carve out space for himself as a moderate Republican in Democratic Massachusetts and is a long-time supporter of gay marriage.

“We’ve received a donation from a same-sex couple who want to donate as a couple, and Dan Winslow believes they should be allowed to donate that way,” said spokesman Charles Pearce. “We’ve asked the FEC to tell us if we can.”

The campaign has asked the commission to reply within 20 days before the April 30 primary. Winslow trails former U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan, who is opposed to gay marriage, with recent polling showing him with the support of only 10 percent of primary voters. More than 46 percent in the three-way race with former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez are undecided.

 

10 comments
CameronRobert
CameronRobert

U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan - That's all we need is another bigoted scumbag in office.

waynejwilsonjr
waynejwilsonjr

@AndreaLance @danwinslow @TIMEPolitics I thought @danwinslow was for Super D.O.M.A. like "Democratic" State Senator Michael Rush.

conservagirl
conservagirl

Pandering. Let's abide by current law. You can't change laws just because you feel like it. This gives me VERY BAD VIBES about Dan Winslow and his respect for the Rule of Law.

jmac
jmac

@conservagirl  It's a legitimate question.   How should he fill out FEC forms?  Since the rule has never been settled by the FEC- now's the time for them to speak up one way or the other.  

SusanFrostMcHugh
SusanFrostMcHugh

@jmac I disagree. It's an invented issue and it's unfortunate that Mr. Winslow is going along with it. He should tell his donors to donate individually. It does not affect their taxes and I'm sure he is not the first candidate in MA to deal with it. Anyhow since Mr. Winslow has stated unequivocally that he is a liberal on social issues and stated that he could not support a GOP nominee who was prolife (big tent I believe he says) I cannot give him my support.

conservagirl
conservagirl

You can believe whatever you want.  But the fact that this was put out as a press release indicates to me it is being used by Winslow as pandering to the gay community in MA, and to garner contributions from gays across the country.  Anyhow, I'm done with it. 

jmac
jmac

@SusanFrostMcHugh Having had to fill out FEC forms for someone running for Congress, it's not an "invented" issue.