NOM Antics In Maine Far From Over- Nor Are Their Tax Problems
And to think, it’s been almost a year since NOM first invaded Maine… where HAS the time gone?
Not only was New Jersey-based National Organization of Marriage far and away the primary contributor for Stand For Marriage Maine’s campaign, but since then it has come to light in court that NOM intends to mess with other long-standing Maine laws as well!
Check out a recent Bangor Daily News editorial:
Campaign Clarity Needed
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.
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.
excuse reasons for refusal? “Overly burdensome and, therefore, unconstitutional”.
Think that one flies with the IRS?
More below the fold.That reminds me… have NOM’s 2008 filings ever come to light?
In an IRS letter recently received by Ben Katzenberg on behalf of Californians Against Hate (letter below or CLICK HERE), 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.”
What we have here imo is a case of NOM wanting to hide their donors, not from persecution but from PROSECUTION. I have no doubt whatsoever that tax-exemption statuses would fall like cards all across the country, were the real numbers disclosed.
NOM even admits as much, kinda…
4. What’s the harm from SSM? “How can Adam and Steve hurt your marriage?”
A: “Who gets harmed?” Religious groups like Catholic Charities or the Salvation Army may lose their tax exemptions, or be denied the use of parks and other public facilities, unless they endorse gay marriage.
Anyways… let’s take a closer look at the Clean Election Act.
The Maine Clean Election Act
The Maine Clean Election Act (MCEA) established a voluntary program of full public financing of political campaigns for candidates running for Governor, State Senator, and State Representative.
Maine voters passed the MCEA as a citizen initiative in 1996. Candidates who choose to participate may accept very limited private contributions at the beginning of their campaigns (seed money contributions). To become eligible, candidates must demonstrate community support through collecting a minimum number of $5 checks or money orders payable to the Maine Clean Election Fund (qualifying contributions). After a candidate begins to receive MCEA funds from the State, he or she cannot accept private contributions, and almost all goods and services received must be paid for with MCEA funds.
In the 2008 general election, 81% of the legislative candidates participated in the MCEA. The Commission has prepared a two-page overview flyer which contains basic information about rates of participation and total payments to candidates.
Please see the publications page for more reports concerning the MCEA.
For more detailed information, please read the 2008 Candidate’s Guide, the Maine Clean Election Act statute, and Chapter 3 of the Ethics Commission Rules
Anyone else see the irony of a citizen’s initiative/referendum process in Maine, passed in 1996, being now disregarded over a decade later?
Maine citizens PASSED MECA via a referendum vote. And now NOM, an organization from away, wants to bypass our pesky laws.
Here’s the info on PACs.
Oh hell, it takes too long to load the pages- let’s go to court and say they are all “overly burdensome and therefore unconstitutional”!
Sorry, NOM- while your scummy tactics have worked elsewhere, you’ve made no friends here… and continued thumbing your nose at our laws right along.
Many thanks to Fred Karger and Californians Against Hate:
“We have been tracking NOM from day one, and while effective, they do all this secretly and utilizing highly questionable practices,” said Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate. “Maggie and executive director Brian Brown are single handidly fighting same-sex marriage in 11 states, and now Washington, DC, all by themselves – truly amazing.”
“That is why we have called for investigations in California and Maine into their fund-raising, which is shrouded in mystery. In Maine they refused to disclose the names of thier contributors even after being ordered to do so by Federal Judge D. Brock Hornby and Maine attorney General Janet T. Mills.
Both California and Maine are investigating NOM right now, and the California investigation has included the Mormon Church. It has been ongoing for the past 13 months (FPPC Case # 08/735).”
“Now we need a Congressional investigation of the National Organization for Marriage as they come charging into out nation’s capitol to attempt to undo marriage equality there. They must no longer go unchecked,” demanded Karger.
And on it goes…