Leaders of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) think their organization doesn’t have to play by the rules. In Maine, they didn’t like the rules, so they ran to court to challenge them. Ironic, since NOM is critical when equality advocates go to court. And, our side goes to court to fight for our rights. NOM goes to court to avoid complying with the law and to hide its donors.
But, NOM efforts to avoid compliance with Maine’s ethics law suffered another blow yesterday:
Hornby struck down the 24-hour rule that required disclosure not just before an election, but whenever it is made of independent expenditures over $250. He said the rule “has not been justified is impermissibly burdensome and cannot be enforced.”
He also said “Maine’s use of the words ‘influence’ and ‘influence in any way’ are unconstitutionally vague.”
“Otherwise,” Hornby wrote, “Maine’s laws governing PACs, independent campaign expenditures, and attribution and disclaimer requirements are constitutional, and survive NOM’s challenges that they are unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.”
The National Organization for Marriage contested the constitutionality of Maine’s campaign finance laws, before perhaps engaging in activity to influence outcomes of upcoming legislative elections.
And, NOM challenged the laws because the group doesn’t want to disclose its contributors to the No on 1 campaign last fall.
Brian Brown is going to keep litigating and still wants to spend money in Maine’s elections this fall:
The organization will pursue an expedited appeal to the U.S. First Circuit Court in Boston, he said, because of the short time before the upcoming elections.
Though Thursday’s decision will delay its plans for political activity in Maine, Brown said, the group is reviewing the decision, to gauge a potential timeline for action.
The organization plans activity in Maine regarding candidates who support “redefining marriage,” said Brown, and candidates who support traditional marriage. He declined to say whether the National Organization for Marriage will be active in the state’s governor’s race, as well as the legislative races.
NOM is going to a lot of trouble to prevent disclosure of its donors. That begs the question we’ve been asking for a long time: Who really is funding NOM?