“Please immediately contact the following 23 House Republicans who voted to gut the Marriage Amendment, by removing the second sentence, and let them know that when the Marriage Amendment comes back over from the Senate you want them to vote for the Marriage Amendment,” Smith wrote. “The voters should be allowed to decide the future of marriage, not activists in Indianapolis funded by George Soros and other liberals from the coasts.”
Bosma also has said a potential candidate notified him he had been offered $500,000 from an out-of-state source to challenge the speaker in the May primary.
But Kittle’s offer is the one that raised some eyebrows. Bosma first announced an offer of campaign dollars in a January news conference but did not identify the potential contributor.
“I received a pledge of unlimited campaign funding if I were to make this issue go away,” Bosma announced.
Bosma said he rejected the offer and expressed concern it might have violated state or federal law. He has worn his decision as a badge of pride throughout the session, telling reporters he does not bow to threats or intimidation.
Bosma told The Associated Press last week he didn’t think the offer constituted a crime. But the speaker, who has never said Kittle made the offer, acknowledged voicing some concerns.
“I did bring to that individual’s attention what it sounded like he was saying and I think he was pretty concerned about it after he said it,” Bosma said.
Kittle did not return calls seeking comment.
The money would have been an effective balm for House Republicans feeling vulnerable if they voted against the ban. Kittle has been a prolific Republican fundraiser for more than a decade and was Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s finance chairman during his 2012 campaign.
But the threat of election challenges hasn’t materialized — at least not this year.
Tom LoBianco covers Indiana politics for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter @tomlobianco.