Bad day for campaign cheaters: NOM loses in Maine; Mormons lose in California

Sometimes good things do happen. Both the National Organization for Marriage and the Mormons lost today. Both losses were related to spending on marriage equality referenda.

First, Gerald at DirigoBlue on NOM:

This morning, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) lost its appeal of a 1st District Court ruling requiring it to turn over information on its donors to the Maine Ethics Commission. NOM was order to turn over the names by Magistrate Judge John Rich in May.

NOM is the Mormon front group that donated $1.9 million in a successful effort last year to overturn Maine’s law that would have allowed same-sex couples to marry.

The Appeals Court found that the documents requested by the Ethics Commission do not violate 1st Amendment guarantees, nor does that request impose a “significant risk of chill.”

Further, the Court found:

Moreover, Appellees [NOM] have a compelling interest in defending Maine’s election laws against charges of unconstitutionality…In this case, that interest extends to review of the documents in question. In framing some of their underlying constitutional challenges to Maine’s election laws, Appellant-Petitioners have made relevant the issue of whether NOM has as one its primary purposes the influencing of ballot questions and/or candidate elections. We conclude that the materials in question have the potential to be highly relevant to that issue, and we see no less restrictive means for Appellees to probe the issue than by reviewing the materials under the auspices of the strict protective order to which Appellees have consented.

MPBN reports that NOM will appeal this ruling to the SCOTUS.

And, from the Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert on the Mormons:

California’s political watchdog agency is proposing to fine the Mormon church $5,539 for contributions to help pass the state’s gay-marriage ban two years ago.

Roman Porter, executive director of the Fair Political Practices Commission, said the agency is scheduled to act Thursday on the monetary penalty, which already has been agreed to by the church.

The fine stems from 17 non-monetary contributions totaling $36,928 that were made by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints within about two weeks of the November 2008 election, an FPPC report said.

The watchdog agency concluded that timely disclosure was not made of the Proposition 8 contributions as required by state elections law.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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