News Coverage: NOM Ordered to Hand Over Donor Information

June 8th, 2010

From the Maine Public Broadcasting Network:

NOM Ordered to Hand Over Donor Information
06/08/2010 12:03 PM ET

The National Organization for Marriage has been fighting the state’s efforts to find out who bankrolled the group’s $2 million contribution to last year’s successful campaign to overturn the Maine’s gay marriage law.

A federal appeals court in Boston has ordered the National Organization for Marriage to hand over information about its donors to the state.

The group, known by its initials “NOM” contributed nearly $2 million to last year’s successful campaign to overturn Maine’s gay marriage law. Opponents say NOM has failed to comply with the state’s financial disclosure law, a claim that is nowunder investigation by the state Ethics Commission.

NOM, meanwhile, has filed its own constitutional challenge of the state law, and Kate Simmons of the Maine Attorney Generals’ office says Monday’s ruling will help the state defend itself.

“NOM must reveal to the state how they raised the money, for what purpose and who it came from,” she says. “They were the largest single contributor to Stand for Marriage Maine, and as a part of Maine’s campaign finance laws, the state is working to find out how they raised that money and for what purpose.”

The court has ordered that any information handed over by NOM would have to remain confidential. Still, NOM president Brian Brown said Tuesday that his group will appeal the latest ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

News Coverage: Magistrate Judge says NOM Should Turn Over Donors’ Names

May 31st, 2010

From The Maine Public Broadcasting Network:

Magistrate Judge says NOM Should
Turn Over Donors’ Names

A federal magistrate judge has ordered the national group that provided most of the funding to repeal Maine’s same-sex marriage law to turn over information about its donors. The magistrate rejected claims by the National Organization for Marriage that the donor names aren’t relevant to the issue before the court, and that releasing them would have a chilling effect on the group’s future fundraising efforts.

(Listen to the audio at the link)

The National Organization for Marriage, or NOM, contributed $1.9 million dollars to last year’s successful campaign to overturn Maine’s gay marriage law. But NOM has refused to comply with demands from state elections’ officials to hand over the names of donors, as required by Maine law.

While challening the Ethics Commission’s case, NOM has issued its own challenge in federal court, claiming Maine’s elections law is uncontitutional. In a preliminary ruling on evidence in that case filed on Sunday, federal Magistrate John H. Rich III ordered NOM to provide the Maine Attorney General’s office with donor information dating back to January 1st of last year.

“And we’re pleased with the federal magistrate’s preliminary decision that as a part of this litigation, NOM must share information about their donors with the Office of the Attorney General,” says AG spokeswoman Kate Simmons.

Simmons says the magistrate rejected NOM’s claim that releasing the names would have a chilling effect upon future fundraising efforts, in large part because of the court’s requirement that the information be kept confidential. “The information about their donors would only be disclosed to this office, and would not be a public document nor able to be shared with the public at large.”

NOM has claimed that the donor information might be used by the Ethics Commission in its case against the group. Simmons says it’s true that the information could be viewed by the Commission, but the magistrate has ruled that it may not be used against NOM in other legal challenges.

That issue, and others are now under appeal in federal court. While the appeals continue to fly, critics of NOM see the latest ruling as a victory.

“This decision is in keeping with every other decision that we’ve seen, in that they are just crying wolf,” says Fred Karger, founder of the group Californians Against Hate, which has been actively challenging NOM’s refusal to disclose the names of its donors. Karger alleges that they are, largely, members of the Mormon Church.

Karger says he applauds the ruling in Maine as another step in forcing NOM to open its books. “The National Organization for Marriage has spent the last three years trying to avoid that; they’ve conducted their business in secrecy,” Karger says. “They’re under investigation now in two states, and possibly a third, for this very action, and so I just commend the judge magistrate for trying to get to the bottom of their financing, which is one of the great mysteries of the world.”

Ethics Commission Executive Director Jonathan Wayne declined comment on the magistrate’s ruling. A spokesman for NOM could not be reached for comment by airtime.

Ads and Demonstration Set for Mitt Romney’s San Diego Book Signing

March 21st, 2010

The banner ad ran online at the New Hampshire Union-Leader, the Boston Globe and the Salt Lake Tribune websites

SAN DIEGO, CA – Californians Against Hate will be asking Mitt Romney “to urge the Mormon Church to stop its nasty campaign to ban gay marriage,” in ads running throughout San Diego next week.

Another appeal will be made to Romney at a demonstration on Monday, March 22, 2010 at 5:30 pm at his book signing at the Deseret Bookstore. Californians Against Hate is organizing the friendly demonstration to welcome the former Massachusetts governor to San Diego.

WHAT: Demonstration at Mitt Romney’s Book Signing

WHEN: Monday, March 22nd at 5:30 pm

WHERE: Deseret Bookstore (Mormon Church Owned)
La Jolla Village Sq. Shopping Center
8657 Villa La Jolla Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037
(S. E. Corner of Nobel Dr. and Villa La Jolla Dr.)
Exit 28 off I-5 south — Exit 28A off I-5 north

858-535-1404

The Deseret Bookstore, where Monday’s book signing is being held, is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church). Deseret Books is in the shadow of the San Diego Mormon Temple, which is located just across the 5 Freeway (Deseret Bookstore is on the west side of the Freeway).

The online banner ad (copy above) will begin running in four (4) San Diego publications beginning Monday, March 22, 2010. The ads will link to the full ad copy on the new web site, Rights Equal Rights home page.

Ads Will Run In:

Californians Against Hate began the Call Mitt Romney ad campaign in January 2010.  It ran the banner ad in the New Hampshire Union-LeaderThe Boston Globe and The Salt Lake City Tribune.  Washington, DC based, Politico was the first to report on this groundbreaking ad campaign, “Gay Group Targets Romney,” directed at presumptive 2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The ad asks Mormon Church leaders to take a vow of political neutrality on gay marriage.

Rights Equal Rights

SAN DIEGO DEMONSTRATION

Monday, March 22nd – 5:30 pm

Ask Mitt Anything

Ask Mitt Romney to help stop the Mormon Church’s nasty campaign against gay marriage!

As a national political leader and influential member of the Mormon Church, Mitt Romney could persuade Church leaders to end their 15 years of active involvement, and massive financial support to oppose equal rights for Gay and Lesbian Americans.

The Mormon Church and its members have spent tens of millions of dollars in 31 states to ban gay marriage and hurt so many people.

Mormon Church Leaders should take a vow of political neutrality on gay rights, similar to their stated practice in partisan elections.

WHAT: Demonstration at Mitt Romney’s Book Signing

WHEN: Monday, March 22nd at 5:30 pm

WHERE: Deseret Bookstore (Mormon Church Owned)
La Jolla Village Sq. Shopping Center
8657 Villa La Jolla Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037
(S. E. Corner of Nobel Dr. and Villa La Jolla Dr.)
Exit 28 off I-5 south — Exit 28A off I-5 north

858-535-1404

BRING SIGNS!