Republicans using gay marriage campaign to recruit members

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The Minnesota Republican Party is being accused of secretly building up a voter database through a CD-Rom campaigning for a gay marriage ban.

Democrats are complaining that the disc will gather false data just from people putting it on their computers. The discs contain video clips from state governors talking about what they consider as the dangers of gay marriage and why they believe a constitutional amendment is needed to ensure marriage remains between a man and woman.

A user has to register on an internet site to use the software and the video then proceeds to ask questions on abortion, guns and party preference.

But officials said the versions in question were test copies and the final ones which will be mailed to hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans will contain a notice that the information gathered may be used by the party.

Spokesman Mark Drake told the Associated Press, “It’s an ageless part of American politics and I don’t think it’s anything that is particularly a big deal beyond that it’s high tech,” he said. “It’s not different than 30 years ago filling out a voter survey in your kitchen and then mailing it in.”

However some privacy groups are annoyed that someone who fills out a survey on those sites is not knowingly providing the groups with information.