In a major about-face, the nation’s leading anti-gay group, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) decided to obey Maine election law this time around and filed as a PAC last week. On July 5, 2012 NOM filed the necessary paperwork to become a PAC with the Maine Secretary of State’s office. NOM is the lead opponent of Maine’s bid to become the seventh state, along with Washington, DC to allow full marriage equality. The election is set for November 6th.
Once a committee spends or raises $5000 that organization must file as a PAC. The first reporting date for NOM’s new PAC will be July 24, 2012 and that report will be watched closely.
NOM currently under investigation in Maine
In the 2009 election NOM spent $1.9 million in Maine and refused to register as a PAC. It broke Maine’s longstanding campaign finance laws by not reporting any of its contributions or expenditures.
On August 24, 2009, I filed a sworn complaint against NOM with the Maine Ethics Commission. I then testified before the Commission at the State Capitol on October 1, 2009 when it voted 3 to 2 to investigate NOM on my charges of laundering what turned out to be nearly $2 million in that year’s anti-gay marriage election. The ethics investigation of NOM has been ongoing for almost three years.
Maggie and Brian – tell the truth
“NOM is a shoddy operation headed by Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown. They are not used to playing by the rules,” said longtime NOM watcher Fred Karger. “We will be keeping a close eye on their every move, not just in Maine, but in Minnesota, Maryland and Washington State where NOM will be leading the campaigns to defeat gay marriage. They are a sleazy operation and I hope the election officials in these three states will be as diligent as Maine and keep a watchful eye on NOM during the next four months.”
“The Maine Ethics Commission and the Attorney General’s office have done a phenomenal job of gathering evidence of NOM’s alleged money laundering from the 2009 election. That investigation led to the treasure trove of secret NOM documents including ones that showed NOM’s plan to ‘drive a wedge between gays and blacks.’ NOM’s veil of secrecy and lies has now been lifted and it isn’t pretty.”
California now investigating NOM
Fred Karger filed a complaint against NOM in California for not reporting $340,000 to that state’s Yes on Proposition 8 campaign. It appears that NOM “forgot” to report all this money, including $10,000 from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The California Fair Political Practices Committee announced last month that it would launch an investigation into NOM for failing to report all its contributors. That makes two states investigating the National Organization for Marriage for election irregularities.
Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C.
In Maine, voters will decide on an initiative to approve same-sex marriage three years after a referendum overturned a law passed by the Maine Legislature.