HRC Blog

NOM Meddles in Iowa Politics After Previous Ethics Admonition

This week, NOM reportedly robocalled Iowa voters asking for money to help oust lawmakers and judges who support marriage equality in advance of its sham “Summer for Marriage” bus tour making stops in Iowa.  The automated call stated that NOM has received a “challenge grant” of up to $2 million and is working to raise matching funds. Now is the question is will NOM again flout state public disclosure laws by hiding donations for use in Iowa campaigns? Today HRC along with One Iowa, today called on NOM to comply with state disclosure laws and stop covering up donors to its political campaign activities, in light of reports that NOM is once again actively soliciting funds to use in Iowa campaigns. When NOM last meddled in Iowa elections it did so without properly disclosing its activities.  In August 2009, NOM spent a staggering $86,000 on ads in a single legislative special election attempting to elect an anti-equality candidate, part of its efforts to get a constitutional amendment reversing the state Supreme Court’s unanimous decision recognizing marriage equality.  In a nationwide e-mail NOM flaunted state law by telling donors that “best of all… NOM has the ability to protect donor identities…”  These fundraising tactics prompted complaints and a warning letter from the state ethics board to NOM stating that the law requires disclosure of political contributions solicited for its Iowa campaign. The letter from the state warned NOM that the “independent expenditure process in Iowa is not a vehicle to shield political contributors.” One Iowa Executive Director Carolyn Jenison said:

“This is about out-of-state extremists trying to influence Iowa elections and deny Iowans of their rights. If NOM chooses to play politics with the lives of gay and lesbian Iowans, they must follow our laws and play by our rules.”
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