Monday, November 15, 2010

Newsweek: National Organization for Marriage has $13 Million

In a profile of Brian Brown, Newsweek notes that Brian Brown has just moved the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) offices to lobbyist row, on Washington's "K" Street and is in the process of lauching, a hub for conservative activism and fundraising.

Brown, 36, has been able to funnel $5 million of NOM's money into 100 races in the recent midterm elections. About $600,000 of that was recently spent in Iowa in a successful campaign to remove 42% of the Iowa Supreme Court.

“He (Brown) is the perfect president because he’s the Oxford-trained Catholic who can spin, spin, spin,” says Arisha Hatch of the Courage Campaign.

Although Brian Brown and his predecessor, Maggie Gallagher are Catholic, the group was organizated by powerful Mormons and is almost certainly an LDS front group. The website of the New Hampshire Democratic Party summarized NOM's evasion and/or violation of campaign finance disclosure regulation in several states:

The State of Maine's Ethics Commission is Investigating NOM for Not Revealing Its Donors According to State Law. The Portland Press Herald reports, "The state ethics commission voted 3-2 today to order an investigation of the fundraising efforts by the National Organization of Marriage, a Washington, D.C.,-based organization that has given money to fight same-sex marriage in Maine. Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate filed a complaint with the commission saying the group should be required to disclose the names of donors. In response, Brian Brown, executive director of NOM, said they have not raised money specifically for Maine and therefore are not required to report individual donors." [Portland Press Herald,10/1/09]

NOM Went to Federal Court to Try and Block the Release of Donor Information in Maine. The No on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign released the following information on NOM's latest court actions, "The NO on 1 campaign called on the Question 1 campaign to stop changing the subject and focus instead on its issues of lopsided funding by a national organization intent on hiding its donor base from the voting public. In fact, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the number one donor to the Yes campaign is in court today to stop any donor disclosure...According to Maine campaign finance reports, the Yes campaign has received more than $1.55M from the National Organization for Marriage which is essentially financing that campaign. Today, NOM is in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Maine campaign officials from asking them to reveal its individual contributors." [No on 1/Protect Maine Equality Press Release, 10/26/09]

NOM is Also Suing the State of California to Try to Stop an Investigation into Its Funding of Proposition 8. According to Danielle Truszkosky, "In California, NOM lodged a lawsuit against the secretary of state, the attorney general and the five commissioners of the California Fair Political Practices Commission for allowing an investigation into the group. NOM has also initiated litigation in California that attempts to remove all disclosure of contributors to political initiatives and campaigns. Rather than comply with state and federal regulations, it seems NOM and its backers prefer to use their massive war chest to conceal records and intimidate the officials who seek to protect the citizens they represent." [South Florida Blade, 10/22/09]

Iowa is Also Investigating NOM's Participation in a 2009 Iowa Special Election. According to, "Two civil rights groups in Iowa filed a letter with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board Mon., Aug. 31, requesting an investigation into the National Organization for Marriage (NOM)... On Aug. 20, NOM filed a report with the Disclosure Board indicating it had spent $86,060 in the campaign to fill a vacant seat in the state House. But the report did not report where the money came from." [, 9/8/09]

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