News Release: Maine’s Election Ethics Commission “Eager” to Continue Investigation into NOM’s Role

November 19th, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2009
CONTACT: Fred Karger
(619) 592-2008

Maine’s Election Ethics Commission “Eager” to Continue Investigation into the National Organization for Marriage’s Role in Referendum Campaign against Marriage Equality

Augusta, Maine, November 19, 2009 — Californians Against Hate was pleased to learn this morning, at a hearing in Augusta, Maine, that Jonathan Wayne, Executive Director of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, is “eager” to proceed with the commission’s investigation into the role played by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) in the state’s election held November 3, 2009.

The investigation is the result of allegations of election irregularities leveled by Californians Against Hate founder Fred Karger. The Washington D.C.-based NOM contributed $1.6 million to eliminate marriage equality in Maine — an amount well in excess of the allowable $5,000 “for the purpose of initiating [or] promoting” the people’s veto referendum on same-sex marriage in Maine.

The scope of the investigation, to be conducted by the commission’s staff and Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills, will include:

  • What fundraising methods did NOM employ to solicit the money that it has contributed to Stand for Mariage Maine PAC?
  • What was NOM’s purpose in soliciting or receiving these funds?
  • What did NOM communicate to the individuals and organizations it solicited?
  • Did NOM receive any contributions within the categories set forth in §1056-B(2-A)? If so, how much was received in these categories?
  • Of the fundraising methods that are presently known (e.g., e-mail solicitations, newsletter), how much did NOM receive in response to these solicitations?

The inquiry may also extend to investigating whether NOM made any expenditures to initiate or to promote the referendum other than by contribution to Stand for Marriage Maine PAC.

Reacting to the commission’s decision, Californians Against Hate Founder Fred Karger, who attended the hearing in Augusta today, said, “I am extremely pleased that the State of Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Elections Practices has decided to pursue its investigation with such vigor into potential improprieties on the part of the National Organization for Marriage during the recent campaign in Maine.” In addition, Karger offered his help with the investigation as someone who has been tracking NOM for the past 17 months.

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Californians Against Hate is the new political watchdog for the LGBT community, and closely monitors all who oppose our civil rights. Individuals and organizations who give millions of dollars to deny LGBT full equality will be held accountable.

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