Yesterday, Joe Lhota got the most votes on the GOP side in the primary.
Back in August, NOM issued a "demand" that the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board remove its executive director, Megan Tooker, from any role in evaluating a complaint filed by Fred Karger, who charged that NOM violated state election finance rules in its successful campaign to unseat three state Supreme Court justices who voted to legalize same-sex marriage.
The Iowa board gave Brown's demand all the consideration it was worth, and then voted unanimously to allow Tooker to investigate the flailing, Washington, D.C. heterosexual supremacist pressure group which has tried for years to masquerade as a grassroots organization by concealing the identities of the handful of donors who provide most of its money.
Here's what the Des Moines Register had to say about the dispute:
...the allegations against the ethics board’s attorney had the feel of a shot across the bow that the board should beware that NOM will be playing hardball on the underlying issue in this case. That issue is whether independent organizations like the National Organization for Marriage must identify all sources of their money spent to influence elections.
This is an important question, not just in Iowa but around the nation where advocacy groups are attacking state laws that require such disclosure. This comes in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United that said incorporated organizations have a First Amendment right to spend corporate funds to advocate for or against political candidates.
Iowa responded by passing a law requiring such groups to file disclosure statements listing the source of money used to make independent campaign expenditures.
NOM argues that Iowa’s law requires disclosure only of contributions that can be directly and explicitly tied to a specific campaign expenditure. By that reading, generic contributions with no strings attached to a specific campaign expenditure need not be reported. If that’s true, NOM has discovered a loophole big enough to drive a freight train full of cash into this state.
Whatever the ethics board decides, it is safe to say NOM will continue to wage a battle to protect the identities of its donors. If it prevails, the Legislature will have to rewrite the law to make clear that the source of money used to support or defeat candidates or ballot issues must be publicly reported.