Initial reports from hearings in the Prop 8 case today
paraphrase an internal campaign document (see below for update) with the following language:
With respect to Prop. 8 campaign, key talking points will come from campaign, but cautious, strategic, not to take the lead so as to provide plausible deniability or respectable distance so as not to show that church is directly involved.
The proceedings are not being televised (over plaintiffs objections), and the case remains in early stages. Today’s arguments only examined the admissibility of documents; and this is not a direct quote from the document as far as I can tell, rather it’s a summary of the document by one trial attendee who writes for an anti-Prop-8 website.
We’ll see whether the underlying document ends up becoming public, and if so exactly what language it contains. (The document was apparently in the possession of Mark Jannson, a ProtectMarriage.com executive committee member.)
In the mean time, however, the early summary is not favorable for the church. “Plausible deniability” – ouch.
UPDATE: The transcript has been posted, and it is clear that this language does not come from a church or campaign document. Rather, plaintiffs’ expert witness characterizes one internal campaign letter’s purpose as “there was this cautious strategic not-to-take-the-lead notion so as to provide a — I don’t know, plausible deniability or respectable distance between the church organization per se and the actual campaign.” The full transcript is available here.