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Why did gay-marriage ban pass? 'No' campaign was in turmoil

A week after California voters approved Proposition 8 and decreed they wanted to end same-sex marriage in the state, details are emerging of an opposition campaign that was in disarray.

Key staff members – including the campaign manager – were replaced in the final weeks as polls turned dramatically against the No side. Their replacements say they found an effort that was too timid, slow to react, without a radio campaign or a strategy to reach out to African Americans, a group that ultimately supported the measure by more than 2 to 1.

Gay marriage supporters are looking to the courts to overturn the decision. But if another political campaign is waged, said Dennis Mangers, co-chairman of the No on 8 Northern California Committee, "we'll have to do better."

No on 8 campaign manager Steve Smith was shoved aside three weeks before Election Day, after he was slow to counter TV ads in which the measure's supporters claimed that same-sex marriage would be promoted in schools if the measure failed.

Two Sacramento political consultants – Joe Rodota, a Republican, and Gale Kaufman, a Democrat – were brought in by the No campaign. Republican consultant Rick Claussen was asked for advice.

The campaign's public relations firm, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, was replaced by Sacramento-based Perry Communications Group.

Read the full story at sacbee.com.

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