Thursday, September 24, 2009
My story was published in the Huffington Post yesterday.
Please take a few minutes to read it. Thank you very much! Fred Karger
Link: Huffington Post
Fighting For Civil Rights Has Consequences
I think of myself as a citizen activist. But that hasn't always been so.
I began my odyssey on July 18, 2008 when I called for a boycott against San Diego hotel owner Doug Manchester. Mr. Manchester gave $125,000 of very early money to qualify Proposition 8 for last November's California ballot. Why spend our money at his two hotels, The Manchester Grand Hyatt and the Grand del Mar, only to have it used against us?
I then led three other boycotts of mega-donors to the campaign to end same-sex marriage in California. Terry Caster, who owns A-1 Self Storage with 40 locations throughout California, is our other ongoing boycott. Mr. Caster gave a whopping $693,000 to ban same-sex marriage in California. When he was asked why by a reporter from the San Diego Union-Tribune he replied, "those kinds of marriages would create a 'sick society.'"
Two other boycotts were settled after meeting with their CEOs. The founder of Bolthouse Farms gave $100,000 to Prop 8, and the Garff family of Salt Lake City's Garff Automotive Group also gave $100,000 to Yes on 8. Both companies are now very active and generous supporters of the LGBT community.
And then there is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church). They raised and spent an inordinate amount of money, $30 million of the $40 million Yes on 8 raised, yet the church only reported $2,200 in non-monetary contributions.
So, I filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). Although the FPPC investigates fewer than 5% of the complaints it receives, it continues to investigate my charges of numerous campaign reporting violations by the Mormon Church. That ongoing investigation (FPPC Case #08/735) is
in its tenth month.
I have also been focusing much attention on the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). It has so many similarities to numerous other Mormon Church created front groups, that I filed a supplemental complaint with the FPPC and asked them to investigate.
Apparently, NOM feels it is above the law. It decided to hide its federally required tax forms for 2007 and 2008. They don't want anybody to see how they spend their millions and millions of dollars. I have filed numerous complaints with the IRS, and have called for a Congressional investigation of this two year old National Organization for Marriage.
Finally, I filed a complaint in Maine dealing with the campaign there to ban same-sex marriage. 99.999% of all the money raised to hire the professional signature gathering firm to qualify Question 1 for the November 3, 2009 ballot came from only four religious organizations. Those were: NOM ($160,000), the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland ($100,000), the Knights of Columbus of Washington DC -- a two person office -- ($50,000) and Focus on the Family ($31,000). Money laundering charges will be heard by the State of Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices on October 1st against the campaign committee, Stand for Marriage Maine and the National Organization for Marriage. The five member commission will hold its hearing in Augusta to decide if they, too are going to investigate NOM.
It appears that I have angered some pretty powerful people.
On Saturday morning, September 5, 2009 I was served a subpoena in a federal lawsuit where the old Prop 8 campaign committee, ProtectMarriage.com has filed suit against every major California election official from the Attorney General, Secretary of State, all five commissioners of the FPPC (who are in the middle of the investigation of the Mormon Church) to the big county registrars of voters. The lawsuit attempts to end reporting of contributor names in California. California was the first state in the nation to implement this type of law when the voters passed the Political Reform Act of 1974. It has worked well over the past 35 years, but NOM and its allies obviously do not believe in transparency.
By subpoenaing me, they are forcing me to spend lots of money on attorneys to represent me throughout the proceedings.
The subpoena calls for me to produce all emails, correspondence, faxes and all stored information that deal with my activities with Californians Against Hate from January 18, 2008 to the present. They demand to see all correspondence pertaining to three of my four web sites: www.CaliforniansAgainstHate.com , www.BoycottManchesterHotels.com, and www.BoycottA-1SelfStorrage.com. They left one out. It is our second most visited web site: www.Mormongate.com. Must have been an oversight.
They have also demanded to know how I received all of our research information and how it was disseminated. They also want to see "any and all" financial records. How ironic, I have been trying to view the required financial information from NOM for over 6 months. NOM refuses to release any of its finances, even to the IRS, as required by federal law. The Mormon Church will also not reveal any of its expenditures.
So what better way to persecute me, than to drag me through the legal system.
Unlike all these mega-organizations, it is just my laptop and me. I really am a citizen activist.
It has been a real rollercoaster of emotions over the past 14 days. Last Tuesday, the state's top legal newspaper, the Daily Journal ran a front page story about my plight. It is a great article by reporter Matthew Pordum.
Well, that triggered an outpouring of calls, emails, Facebook messages, tweets, you name it. The first call that I got was from Cleve Jones, Harvey Milk's former aide, and one of the leading LGBT activists in the country. "What can I do to help?" he asked.
Wow, then it really hit me, I am not in this alone. It has been pretty much non-stop all day, every day. Lots of lawyers calling and offering assistance -- some I knew, many I didn't. I received so many offers of help, including some of the most moving notes of support that I could ever imagine. This has been quite the emotional experience.
In my 59 1/2 years, I have never been subpoenaed, but there is a first time for everything.
So to everyone who reached out to me, and to those who back my efforts, a big thank you for believing in me. I feel we must stand up to those whose goal is to destroy the LGBT community.
Our opponents want to send a message to all of us that we are second class citizens, who are not entitled to the same rights as our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, co-workers, neighbors and our friends who happen to be straight.
This will not deter me. I will continue to bring attention to those companies and individuals who spend millions and millions of dollars to stop us from attaining full and equal civil rights.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Doug Manchester, the wealthy hotel owner who donated $125,000 in critical seed money to put Prop. 8 on the ballot, has launched a cynical public relations campaign by trying to buy off EQCA with a $25,000 donation.
We said no to Doug Manchester. Will you join us?
Launched in the summer of 2008 by Californians Against Hate and Cleve Jones, the highly successful boycott is believed to have cost Manchester's Grand Hyatt more than $7 million in lost business.
To keep putting pressure on Doug Manchester, EQCA and the Courage Campaign are launching the new "Say No To Manchester" web site along with UNITE HERE and Californians Against Hate.
Join the boycott by adding your name to the pledge.
By signing, you will urge Doug Manchester to make a public apology for his $125,000 donation to Prop. 8 and negotiate an honest, fair resolution with boycott organizers.
Please, sign up today and pledge your support.
Geoff KorsExecutive DirectorEquality California
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Gay GOPer has star role in same-sex marriage fight
by Matthew S. Bajko firstname.lastname@example.org
A sought after Republican campaign adviser for three decades beginning in the 1970s, Fred Karger called it quits and retired nearly five and half years ago. During his time working to elect GOP politicians, such as former state senator and then-California Governor George Deukmejian, Karger remained in the closet.
After leaving the political world, he split his time between homes in Los Angeles and Laguna Beach. He probably would have stayed silent about his being gay had his idle seaside lifestyle not wore thin.
But Karger became restless and his political instincts called out to be put to use.
"I was a closeted political aide for decades," said Karger, 59, who considers himself a moderate Republican and worked for The Dolphin Group, whose clients have included Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and the senior George Bush.
In a twist of fate that would propel Karger to break his silence and thrust him into the media spotlight, it was the threat of losing a famed Southern California gay bar that would forever change his life.
Back in 2006 a developer bought the building housing the Boom Boom Room, which for 60 years had operated out of a hotel nestled above Laguna Beach's coastline. Shocked at losing an LGBT institution, Karger launched a campaign to save the gay bar. In the process, he came out publicly, first in the local Laguna Beach paper and then in a cover profile in the Los Angeles Times' Sunday magazine.
"I wasn't taken seriously at first with the Save the Boom campaign. Then right before the L.A. Times piece came out we won a reprieve," said Karger, referring to the developer's decision to put off his plans for a year. [The club shuttered last year after its lease expired, but activists are still pushing to see it reopen since the building has yet to be demolished.] "It was this huge profile with 12 photos of me, one even ran on the cover. Then everyone knew I was gay. It was a major hurdle for me."
His newfound activist role didn't end there. Last year Karger was astounded to read how much money anti-gay groups pushing Proposition 8, the voter-approved same-sex marriage ban, were able to raise in San Diego, a place he knew well from his political campaign work.
"It was surprising because it is not a socially conservative place," said Karger, who was especially irked to see hotel mogul Doug Manchester "gloating" about donating $125,000 to help put Prop 8 on the ballot.
Another quote in the news article also struck a chord with Karger.
"This one guy said we should boycott these businesses supporting the anti-gay groups," recalled Karger.
Fred Karger founded Californians Against Hate: Photo courtesy of Fred Karger
Inspired, Karger founded Californians Against Hate, a 501(c)4 organization, and set out to do just that; he led a successful boycott of Manchester's hotels that continues to this day. Knowing how to draw a media crowd, he chose to launch the boycott the Friday of San Diego's Pride weekend and invited parade grand marshals Cleve Jones, founder of the AIDS Quilt, and Gilbert Baker , creator of the rainbow flag, to speak.
"My bottom line is you have to change people's opinions. You got to think big," said Karger, who donated $2,500 of his own money to the No on 8 efforts. "Our target is straight women throughout the country. We have gay people with us, and straight men are not as likely to be with us. But straight women are more likely to be with us."
He then set his sights on the donor rolls for the Yes on 8 campaign, listing them on his Web site and creating more media attention. And he worked in tandem with Equality California, alerting the statewide LGBT group and lead coordinator of the No on 8 fight.
"I told them I would not raise a dime so as not to compete against the No on 8 campaign. We will be the watchdog group and follow the money," said Karger, who has been closely monitoring the money anti-gay groups are raising to overturn Maine's pro-same-sex marriage law. "We would list donors who gave $5,000 or over to Yes on 8."
EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors called Karger "a great partner and colleague" whose work has been beneficial to the fight for marriage equality.
"He has been successful in highlighting to a lot of people that the community is not going to support any businesses who believe we should be denied the same rights everyone else has," said Kors.
In the process Karger has morphed into the main nemesis of the Alliance Defense Fund, an anti-gay group that has provided legal counsel to campaigns in numerous states against LGBT rights, and the National Organization for Marriage, a group helping to finance anti-gay ballot fights across the country.
He also helped expose the involvement of the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-day Saints in last year's No on 8 fight. The church insisted it did not financially support the campaign, and ProtectMarriage.com, the group behind the Yes on 8 effort, unsuccessfully tried to conceal its final donor report this January to hide the Mormon money it received.
"I never thought of the Mormon donations until the end of the campaign and the reports came out and I discovered the Mormon money given to Yes on 8," said Karger. "Once you start communicating outside your church membership, it is reportable."
ProtectMarriage.com is now suing California in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento in a bid to throw out the state's campaign contributions disclosure laws. The Alliance Defense Fund is representing the anti-gay group in the lawsuit and is working with Indiana-based attorney James Bopp Jr. and his firm.
The lawyers for the anti-gay side just won a victory in Washington state when a federal judge ruled the backers of a voter-referendum aimed at repealing a newly enacted domestic partnership law did not have to identify who signed the petitions to put Referendum 71 on the ballot.
Timothy D. Chandler, an attorney with the Folsom, California-based Alliance Defense Fund, did not respond to a call seeking comment for this article.
Chandler has subpoenaed Karger to appear at an October 13 deposition in the California case. He is seeking documents and records on Karger's various Web sites about the boycotts he launched and his Californians Against Hate group. He is also seeking documents on how Karger obtained the donor records of those supporting Prop 8, who he disseminated that information to, and the financial records for Karger's nonprofit, which as a 501(c)4 does not have to report its donors if it does not raise or spend more than $25,000 a year.
"They are trying to intimidate me and silence me. To harass me, they called me as a witness, now I have to get lawyers and be prepared," said Karger, who does not draw any salary from the nonprofit group he founded. "The Mormons are trying to use it to deflect attention away from them. It's a publicity stunt."
As for the lawsuit, Karger said, "I don't think they have a snowball's chance in hell of getting it through. There is no reason to throw out this law."
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sep. 15, 2009
Prop. 8 Supporters Subpoena Activist Who Revealed Contributors
By Matthew Pordum Daily Journal Staff Writer
SACRAMENTO In its continuing efforts to protect the identity of those who bankrolled the campaign to pass Proposition 8, lawyers for The National Organization for Marriage have issued a subpoena for one of the leaders behind the opposition, Californians Against Hate founder Fred Karger, who led boycotts and created websites outing top contributors.
The subpoena compels Karger to produce the group's financial records and all communications and documentation regarding affiliated websites and the dissemination of donor information. It also directs him to appear for a deposition on October 13th.
"This is harassment and they are trying to silence me," said Karger, who points out that he's not a party to the case. "I'm a citizen activist, and my organization is just me, funded entirely by myself versus the power of a group who has millions and millions of dollars behind it."
The subpoena, served over the Labor Day weekend, stems from a lawsuit filed in federal court in Sacramento in January by The National Organization for Marriage against California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, Attorney General Jerry Brown and FPPC Chairman Ross Johnson. ProtectMarriage.com v. Debra Bowen, 09-0058.
The group referred a reporter to its lawyer, Illinois-based James Bopp Jr. of Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom. Bopp did not return several calls seeking comment.
According to court records, the group is challenging the constitutionality of campaign finance disclosure requirements, claiming donors to Proposition 8 have been ravaged by e-mails, phone calls, postcards and even death threats.
In the suit, Bopp claims that the requirements of California's Political Reform Act of 1974 are unconstitutional by virtue of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
Karger's website, www.californiansagainsthate.com, currently lists the names, addresses and donation amounts for the top 12 contributors to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign, under the heading "Dishonor Roll."
The Yes on 8 campaign raised nearly $30 million and won the ballot battle over gay marriage last November by a vote of 52 percent.
Karger contends the subpoena is simply an act of revenge for the complaints he filed with the Fair Political Practices Commission against the Mormon Church for its alleged failure to report non-monetary contributions to the Yes on 8 campaign.
"This is all part of the PR [public relations] offensive being carried out by the Mormon Church," Karger said.
The Utah-based church did not directly donate to the campaign, but its members provided millions of dollars to it.
The Mormon Church is not a party to the January lawsuit.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown is defending the political reform act, arguing in court that disclosure requirements assist the state in detecting efforts to hide the identities of large donors and illegal spending of political funds for personal use.
"Political democracy demands open debate, including prompt disclosure of the identities of campaign donors," Brown said in a prepared statement.
The most recent action in the case came on Jan. 28, when U.S. Eastern District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. turned down the Yes on 8 group's request for a preliminary injunction exempting the group from campaign disclosure laws, saying that he was not persuaded that the threats were serious enough.
The group's subsequent report, made public Feb. 2, included its first disclosure of "major donors" who had given more than $10,000 to the campaign since June 30, 2008.
The Sacramento case is not the only effort by anti-gay rights groups to roll back campaign finance disclosure laws.
Bopp filed suit against the Washington Secretary of State July 28 to prevent the state from releasing the names and addresses of more than 138,500 Washington citizens who signed a petition in favor of Referendum 71.
The ballot referendum asks voters in Washington this November whether they want to expand domestic partnership rights and obligations in the state's originally limited domestic partnership legislation.
Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed off on an expansion of rights for domestic partners in May, but opponents of that move rounded up 137,689 signatures to have the issue brought to voters this year.
In an enormous win for the group, a federal district judge ruled on Thursday that Washington officials were not allowed to reveal the names of those who signed the petition.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
My very first post on the Prop 8 issue was back on June 27th of last year: It was an invitation to Mormons to show up and walk out when the Prop 8 call-to-arms from LDS church authorities began to be read.
It is so gratifying to finally watch a faithful Mormon taking such a stand at church. Please help post this video far and wide. This is what courage looks like.Cheers! Jason--
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Associated Press – Maine Ethics Investigation
San Diego Union-Tribune – Manchester Divorce
San Diego Union-Tribune – Kiss-In
Salt Lake Tribune -- Maine
Kennebec Journal - Investigation
Edge - Boston
Death and Taxes
Cyclizen – Politics on Wheels
Pam’s House Blend
On Top Magazine
2015Place.com – Stand for Marriage PAC
GLT – Kiss-in
On Top Magazine - Iowa
Maine Public Broadcasting Network
WBZ TV -- CBS
Gay Marriage Watch
On Top Magazine – Maine
Lavender News Wire
Pink Banana #2
BilgrimageMike Tidmus – Brian Brown
Edge – Iowa and Maine
The Coastal Packet
Mike Tidmus – NOM 990
The Advocate – Maine Complaint
The Advocate – Manchester Boycott
Pam’s House Blend – Maine
This is America with Jon Elliott -- San Diego
Bay Windows Media
Box Tuttle Bulletin
Diana’s Little Conner
The NLGJA Blog
Town Hall – by Maggie Gallagher
Joe My God
Mike Tidmus – Maggie Gallagher
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
With two more states (Maine and Iowa) considering investigations of his organization for improper reporting of campaign contributions and money laundering, plus the on-going ten month investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC Case #08-735), Brian went on the offensive on Friday and sent out the email below to all his supporters and the media.
We are happy to see that Brian has responded to our complaint by trying to stop NOM’s money laundering in Maine. In our August 26, 2009 complaint letter and request for an investigation to the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, we cited many pieces of evidence to back our money laundering claims by NOM.
In numerous emails after Prop 8, Brian wrote to his supporters instructing them to give their money directly to NOM, so that their names would be kept secret and not included in campaign reports. Brown repeatedly made statements in his emails such as:
“And unlike in California, every dollar you give to NOM’s Northeast Action Plan today is private, with no risk of harassment from gay marriage protestors.”
“Donations to NOM are not tax-deductible and they are NOT public information, either.”
“Your gift is confidential: no public disclosure!”
NOM Stops Money Laundering?
Now that the Maine Ethics Commission will be considering an investigation of NOM on October 1st, poor Brian had to change his money pitch. Now he says in the 3rd paragraph of his email of Friday, September 4th:
“Money is going to be critical to getting the message out; the campaign needs to make ad buys this week, so if you can possibly spare just $10 or $100 this week, do not give it to me -- go to StandforMarriageMaine.com and fight back!”
Better late than never, Brian.
Your supporters must identify themselves when they contribute $50 or more to Stand for Marriage Maine. They cannot launder it through your NOM. That is what we suspect happened with the $250,000 that NOM contributed to Stand for Marriage Maine several weeks ago.
Whoops, the Money Still Goes to NOM!
However, there is one problem with your new approach. In your email pitch for Stand for Marriage Maine, the donate button directs donors to give money to NOM! We tested it out, and a friend gave the minimum amount and put it on his credit card. Sure enough, the contribution went directly to NOM.
Was this done by mistake? Will you disclose all of the contributors’ names of $50 or more to NOM from September 4, 2009 forward to Maine election officials? We certainly hope so.
And we hope that for the remaining 2 months until Election Day, the National Organization for Marriage and your friends, the Diocese of Portland, the Knights of Columbus of Washington, DC, and James Dobson’s Focus on the Family will fully comply with all Maine election laws. These laws are in place so that voters know who is contributing to their elections before they vote.
FPPC Investigating NOM & Mormon (LDS) Church
I was also particularly interested in your email’s rebuff of another charge that is currently being investigated by the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
You stated that, “The LDS church is not responsible for NOM's formation, and NOM has never received any promise of assistance from Salt Lake. Salt Lake is not responsible for NOM's activities and the continued press suggestions are unfair to the the LDS church leadership and to Mormons in America generally.”
Sounds kind of ambiguous to me. What do you mean by “promise of assistance?”
The Mormon Church does not deny its involvement in the Northeast, but its name does not appear on any of the campaign reports.
NPR reported last week that Frank Schubert, who ran the Prop 8 campaign in California last year for the Mormon Church, has come to Maine to do the same thing.
Schubert said, "The reality is that this is a national campaign. People around the country and internationally are looking at what's going to happen in Maine. Both sides are doing what they can to marshal support wherever they can find support. It will be a pitched battle."
Come on, the Mormon Church is not running and supporting NOM today?
How Do You Spell F-R-O-N-T G-R-O-U-P?
It’s just your boss, Maggie Gallagher and you doing all that you are doing in 11 states across the country to ban same-sex marriage? You two really must be super-human. And you do all of this work in a little one room office in Washington, DC with no support staff?
We assumed that the Mormon Church and its renowned Public Affairs Committee in Salt Lake City were making all of your slick TV and radio commercials, doing your polling, fund-raising, web sites, direct mail, robo-calling, direct connects, research and strategy and hiring and working with lobbyists just as they have done in California and many of the other states that have banned same-sex marriage.
Washington Post Story
Saw the nice profile of you in the Washington Post on August 28th. It described you as a new kinder - gentler anti-gay leader. Well, that sure sparked an uproar. It seems that lots of people who know you and all that you have done to fight marriage equality across this country don’t agree. So the Post’s Ombudsman, Andrew Alexander wrote a story entitled, “Sanity and a Smile and an Outpouring of Rage.” It’s great reading. If you haven’t seen it yet, CLICK HERE.
Brian, let’s see your 990 for 2008? And while you’re at it, let’s see your amended 990 for 2007. We requested both 990s in person and by certified mail to your Princeton, New Jersey office way back in early March. Someone signed the U.S. Post Office receipt on March 25th, but you have refused to send us your filings for your first two years in business.
A blogger finally found your amended 990 return for 2007, and it was interesting reading. I particularly like the $166,000 that NOM gave to Common Sense America (CSA). We see that you are its Chairman and that you share your tiny Princeton, NJ office with CSA.
You got $57,000 for 6 months work from NOM in 2007 according the report. That’s pretty good money, plus the $166,000 = $223,000 from June through December 2007? That’s more than President Obama makes in 6 months!
Brian, let’s be honest and abide by both federal and state reporting laws. And please, show us who is giving you all those millions.
Monday, September 7, 2009
GEORGETOWN, Guyana - Authorities in Guyana grew "uncomfortable" with the presence of Mormon missionaries who have been ordered to leave the South American country, a governing party leader said Thursday.
About 40 missionaries were briefly detained Wednesday and told to leave within a month as authorities said their travel documents were out of date.
"While we tolerate all religions, it appears that some officials had become uncomfortable with them around," said [Donald] Ramotar, the [ruling] party's general secretary.
Ramotar declined to elaborate. But some government officials and party members said privately that leaders felt the Mormons were too close to opposition figures and also were wary of the church's independent charity work in the interior.
The government of the South American nation is reportedly “uneasy” about “perceived links” between the Mormon missionaries and the country’s opposition party.
The Guyanese expulsion gives the impression that the Mormons are not limiting their political involvement to domestic state-level campaigns against same-sex marriage.
Frank Schubert, who helped the Mormons — and others — pass Prop 8 to eliminate the right of same-sex, California couples to marry last year, is now running the campaign against marriage equality in the State of Maine. Schubert told National Public Radio the Mormon Church will not be involved in the campaign to eliminate marriage equality in Maine.
Responding to Schubert’s announcement, Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate, said, “It was interested to see that Frank Schubert who bragged about all the Mormons did to pass Prop 8 in California now doesn’t want all their money and help in Maine. I wonder if that is really true?”
Recent statements, by a spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in a Washington Post article imply the Maine campaign might still be an issue in which the church has an active interest:
A spokeswoman in Salt Lake City declined to say whether the church is involved in debates going on in states such as New Jersey and New York, except to say that leaders remain intent on preserving the “divine institution” of marriage between man and woman. The faith holds that traditional marriage “transcends this world” and is necessary for “the fullness of joy in the next life.”
According to Karger, “It sounds like the Mormon Church is still involved in Maine to me.”
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
AUGUSTA, MAINE -- Jonathan Wayne, Executive Director of State of Maine Commission of Governmental Ethics and Elections Practices, sent a strongly worded four page letter to Stand for Marriage Maine PAC (SFMMP) and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), seeking more information on the charges of "money laundering" against them in their campaign to repeal Maine's same-sex marriage law.
The letter sent to Joseph Keaney, Stand for Marriage Maine PAC's Treasurer and Brian Brown, NOM's Executive Director, called upon both organizations to respond in writing by September 17, 2009 "...concerning whether the Commission should conduct an investigation."
Click on the line below to view complete letter from Mr. Wayne and other documents pertaining to the charge of money laundering:
Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices
In his letter, Mr. Wayne sites section 1004-A(3), the provision of the Maine Election Law, which states; "It is illegal for a PAC to knowingly accept a contribution made by one person in the name of another person."
"That is exactly what we feel happened in the very first campaign report filed by SFMMP on July 15, 2009," said Fred Karger, who filed the formal complaint and request for investigation with the Commission last week. "The four organizational donors (National Organization for Marriage ($160,000), Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland ($100,000), Knights of Columbus -- Washington, DC ($50,000) and James Dobson's Focus on the Family ($31,000), gave 99.999% of the money raised to Stand for Marriage Maine PAC. They circumvented Maine’s campaign reporting law to avoid disclosure of the true contributors."
The Ethics Commission will consider the request for an investigation filed by Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate at its meeting on Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 9:00 am in Augusta. The Commissioners will decide at that meeting whether to conduct an investigation regarding the compliance issues brought up in Karger's complaint letter.
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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- ▼ September (10)