Friday, January 15, 2010

Hiding under the rock: NOM and campaign financing in Maine

You know what lives in the dark, under rocks and bridges, right?

The bad guys continually try to hide who they are and where the money comes from, amidst unsubstantiated claims of threats ad violence. (Let's face it, they have had great success telling lies in both CA Prop8 and ME Question 1 campaigns). Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate continues to shine a bright light on these people.

But this takes the cake. Now Maggie Gallagher and her band of NOMmers are trying to overturn campaign finance transparency laws in Maine, in order to cover up the money.

As commented in the Bangor Daily News Editorial,
In October, NOM filed suit in federal court claiming Maine’s referendum campaign finance reporting requirements were overly burdensome and, therefore, unconstitutional..... If its challenge is upheld, it would leave a big hole in the state’s reporting requirements and its Clean Election financing program, which relies on candidates’ reporting of donations to determine whether matching funds are warranted.

The group, based in New Jersey....has refused to disclose to state election officials where its money came from....

The Commission on Governmental Ethics and Elections Practices is investigating whether NOM violated state campaign finance laws by refusing to name its donors in connection with Question 1 on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Attorneys for the group have argued that listing donors would discourage contributions because people would be afraid of retaliation.

Gay marriage is an emotional issue, but citing fear as a reason to flout the law is an unpersuasive argument, especially when thousands of donors are named — complete with their home or businesses addresses and occupations — on campaign finance reporting forms filed by groups on both sides of Question 1....

A close look at the group’s fundraising literature will clarify whether it was raising money for the Yes on 1 campaign in Maine. If it was, reporting is necessary, as it should also be for other national groups that contribute to Maine campaigns....

The bottom line is that Maine voters should be able to know who is trying to influence their vote.
Shine the light on the donors. Tell the truth.


Paul (A.) said...

If an accused's flight is probative of consciousness of guilt, then isn't concealment likewise probative? How is this different from throwing the bag of cocaine from the car?

IT said...

I find it interesting how this hiding is a common thread in the whole movement. I'm still trying to wrap my head around what it means.