Wednesday, December 9, 2009

NOM Expands Lawsuit To Evade Maine's Financial Disclosure Law

NOM is suspected to be a front group for the Mormons and also receiving funds from the Catholic Church. When investigating why Prop 8 turned out the way it did, Fred Karger attempted to get NOM's tax filings through the Freedom of Information Act. They hemmed and hawed around but finally delivered them, long after the deadline. What they did find is enough for multiple states to investigate their disclosures. Now NOM is trying to sue, saying that they're being treated unfairly. Via Joe My God:
NOM Expands Lawsuit To Evade Maine's Financial Disclosure Law:
"NOM has expanded
its lawsuit
against Maine, now saying that not only should they not have to
comply with financial disclosure laws regarding the source of funding for their
ballot initiative campaigns, they should not have to disclose where they get the
money they spend to support or oppose individual candidates.

The National Organization for Marriage says it hopes to
influence next year's legislative and gubernatorial elections by letting voters
know which candidates support or oppose gay marriage. Lawyers for NOM have filed
an amended complaint in the U.S. District Court last week asking that it not be
subjected to state laws requiring financial disclosures from its contributors.
'We added additional claims that go beyond initiative campaign finance laws to
campaign finance laws that deal with candidate elections because NOM would like
to participate in state elections,' says Jim Bopp, an attorney for the New
Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage, which is fighting a ruling by
the state Ethics Commission requiring the group to register as a political
action committee, and to submit campaign finance reports for independent
expenditures it made during the gay marriage campaign.

But Bopp says NOM
wants the same First Amendment protections given to those who contribute money
to elect or defeat candidates for state offices. 'Right now the problem is that
there are significant unconstitutional limits on participating in state
elections that they have now brought to the attention of the federal court and
are looking for a decision in early spring from the court regarding that.' 'We
know the characteristic of Maine -- we come from a live-and-let-live state,'
says Betsy Smith of Equality Maine, the group that fought to preserve gay
marriage in the state. Smith says NOM is going to be out of touch with Maine
voters before it even tries to connect.
Meanwhile Fred Karger at Californians Against Hate reports that NOM may be
under investigation from the tax evasion, news he received via a carefully
worded email from the IRS. Via press release:
In an IRS letter recently received by Ben Katzenberg on
behalf of Californians
Against Hate
), Sunita Lough, Director, EO Examinations said, “Thank you for the
information you submitted regarding the National Organization for Marriage PAC
New York. The Internal Revenue Service has an ongoing examination program to
ensure that exempt organizations comply with the applicable provisions of the
Internal Revenue Code…. Internal Revenue Code section 6103 protects the privacy
of tax returns and tax return information of all taxpayers. Therefore, we cannot
disclose the status of any investigation.”
Karger has launched a legal defense
to help pay for his inclusion in NOM's lawsuit to end financial
disclosure requirements in California. Karger has been subpoenaed in the
suit. "


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