HRC Blog

MN Elections Board Launches Investigation into Lead Anti-Gay Coalition Founded by NOM

Post submitted by Kevin Nix, Former HRC Campaign Media Director

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Election Board is moving forward with an investigation into the campaign finance activities of Minnesota for Marriage, the umbrella group co-founded by the National Organization for Marriage that is working to pass the anti-gay constitutional amendment.  Last month, HRC called on the Board to investigate NOM’s unprecedented effort to avoid disclosing individual donors as required by Minnesota law.

Common Cause of Minnesota filed complaints against Minnesota for Marriage and the Minnesota Family Council, alleging that both organizations violated Minnesota campaign finance laws by hiding individual donors to the ballot measure campaign and filing false reports. Minnesota for Marriage raised more than $1.2 million in contributions during 2011 but disclosed only seven individual contributors responsible for just $2,000 in donations, despite evidence of making repeated solicitations for contributions. The donations were attributed to just three entities: NOM, the Minnesota Catholic Conference and the Minnesota Family Council. By contrast, Minnesotans United for All Families, the coalition working to defeat the ballot measure, openly reported contributions from 773 individuals, the majority from Minnesota. Thousands of other donors made contributions to Minnesotans United that were not required to be itemized.

NOM remains under investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission for failing to register with the state as a ballot question committee and refusing to disclose the donors to its campaign to overturn Maine’s marriage equality law in 2009.

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