Archive for the ‘National Organization for Marriage’ Category

Open Letter to Maggie Gallagher

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Cross-posted from Fred Karger’s article at The Huffington Post:

Open Letter to Maggie Gallagher

Like millions of Americans, I was able to see the absolute joy experienced by hundreds of gay and lesbian couples who are now able to legally marry in Washington, DC. I wept when I saw television reports of couples who have been together, some for decades, finally able to share in the joy and happiness afforded automatically to their straight brothers and sisters.

Hooray for the Washington, DC City Council and Mayor Fenty for allowing all its residents full equality under the law just like our founding fathers intended.

I cried with joy for all the young LGBTQ Americans who can clearly see that they are not inferior, but equal. I am thrilled that kids growing up now know that they can marry the person that they love in five enlightened states, and in our nation’s capitol.

Hooray for our courageous leaders who stood up to bigotry and discrimination and did the right thing. They stood up to you and your army of paid henchmen who fight marriage equality tooth and nail every step of the way.

I don’t have words to express my disgust toward you and all those you are fronting for at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). You have spent at least $25 million in just the past few years to try and undo the happiness of so many people. Hundreds of couples lined up in the cold and rain of Washington last Wednesday in order get a license so they could finally marry the one they love.

Why are you, all your financial backers and all your high-priced attorneys across the country hell-bent on destroying so many lives and hurting so many people, just as they are about to experience the happiest day of their lives?

What is so wrong with your life, that you make your living attempting to hurt so many others?

You preside over two extremely well funded organizations that portend to “protect marriage.” You speak all over the county at marriage rallies. You are on TV all the time defending what you call the “sanctity of marriage.” You have written books on marriage, one of which is even titled, The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better-Off Financially, yet NOM’s Executive Director, Brian Brown and you viciously attack anyone who gets in your way.

Are You Even Married, Maggie?

No one has ever seen your husband. You attend countless marriage events, chock full of married couples, celebrating marriage, yet you always, always show up alone.

I had the displeasure of attending your recent presentation at the CATO Institute in Washington, DC. I was amazed to see that you don’t wear a wedding ring. No rings on any fingers. Where is your alleged husband? Why no ring?

No rings on any fingers.

Just last year, NOM proudly said it spent over $8 million in a dozen states in your recently released “Investor’s Report.”

That doesn’t even include the millions more in attorney’s fees and money raised through your 501(c)3 charitable fund.

You fight people’s happiness at the ballot box, state legislatures and through too many law suits to count.

Recently, NOM has lead the effort to undo the Washington, DC law through every means possible, including going to Congress, the courts, all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. Brian Brown’s angry email from Friday states, “Don’t believe the lies. It’s not over in D.C. by any means.”

Where Does All Your Money Come From?

You continually hide where all your millions come from on your extremely late or never reported federal income tax filings. You refuse to cooperate with the California and Maine Ethics Commissions (both of whom are currently investigating your National Organization for Marriage), and when these investigations began into your many campaign irregularities, you sued both states to stop their investigation in an attempt to intimidate those seeking the truth.

Anyone who dares to support equality becomes the victim of your venom and hate.

We will not be intimidated. We refuse to allow you, and all those paying your salary, to hurt any more young people.

We have enlisted our own army to fight NOM and you at every turn. We are dedicated to finding out the truth about you and the front group that you head. And we will not rest until your cover of secrecy and deceit is lifted.

Mother Jones: Game Changer

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Mother Jones cover and inside spread

He was one of the GOP's top dark-arts operators. Now he

Who’s that masked man gracing the pages of Mother Jones? It’s the founder of Californians Against Hate, Fred Karger. Check out the table of contents, read the article online, or grab a copy at your local newsstand.

News Coverage: Campaign Clarity Needed

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Check out this excellent Bangor Daily News Editorial (12/26/09) calling out NOM for violating Maine’s election laws. NOM did not report any of its contributor’s names, and it gave $1.9 million (64% of all money raised) to defeat same-sex marriage in last month’s election. Then NOM sued Maine election officials to invalidate all campaign reporting:

Campaign Clarity Needed

By BDN Staff

A lawsuit involving a national group opposed to gay marriage has far-reaching implications for the state’s campaign reporting and financing laws, especially since the National Organization for Marriage said it plans to advocate for supporters of “traditional marriage” in next year’s election.

In October, NOM filed suit in federal court claiming Maine’s referendum campaign finance reporting requirements were overly burdensome and, therefore, unconstitutional. Earlier this month, the group amended its complaint to U.S. District Court to include candidate elections. If its challenge is upheld, it would leave a big hole in the state’s reporting requirements and its Clean Election financing program, which relies on candidates’ reporting of donations to determine whether matching funds are warranted.

The group, based in New Jersey, contributed nearly $2 million to Stand for Marriage Maine, which successfully advocated a repeal of the state law allowing same-sex couples to marry. NOM has refused to disclose to state election officials where its money came from. State law requires groups or individuals that raise more than $5,000 to support or oppose a ballot question to register as a ballot question committee. Anyone who donates more than $100 to the committee must be identified in campaign finance reports.

The Commission on Governmental Ethics and Elections Practices is investigating whether NOM violated state campaign finance laws by refusing to name its donors in connection with Question 1 on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Attorneys for the group have argued that listing donors would discourage contributions because people would be afraid of retaliation.

Gay marriage is an emotional issue, but citing fear as a reason to flout the law is an unpersuasive argument, especially when thousands of donors are named — complete with their home or businesses addresses and occupations — on campaign finance reporting forms filed by groups on both sides of Question 1. National groups have been involved in many contentious campaigns since Maine’s reporting requirements have been in place. None has refused to comply with the law.

At the same time, there are varying levels of compliance. Some groups simply list “fund transfer” as a source of funding.

NOM’s argument that it raises money nationally to be used in many different states, rather than for a campaign in a specific state, is more complex. A close look at the group’s fundraising literature will clarify whether it was raising money for the Yes on 1 campaign in Maine. If it was, reporting is necessary, as it should also be for other national groups that contribute to Maine campaigns.

It may be that lawmakers need to reconsider Maine’s ballot committee law to clarify how such national fundraising should be handled, especially since it could influence Clean Election funding next year.

The bottom line is that Maine voters should be able to know who is trying to influence their vote.