MENU

Politics for Professionals Only: Ballot Measures, Campaign Finance "Reform," and the First Amendment

When Scott Eckern donated money to an election committee, little did he know that it would cost him his job of 25 years. Eckern had worked successfully as the artistic director of the California Musical Theatre. In the heat of California’s Proposition 8 battle over defining marriage, Eckern donated $1,000 to the “Yes on 8” committee. Consistent with California’s campaign finance disclosure laws, Eckern’s name, occupation, and employer were posted on a state website. Opponents of Proposition 8 saw his name on the list and called for a boycott of the Theatre, causing a public furor. “To protect the organization and to help the healing in the local theater-going and creative community,” Eckern resigned his position...