NOM Loses Campaign Finance Case
BY Neal Broverman
October 01 2010 4:35 PM ET
A federal judge on Thursday initially dismissed a lawsuit brought by the National Organization for Marriage, which the Human Rights Campaign says was filed by the antigay group so it could circumvent campaign finance laws.
The case was filed in Rhode Island, where the group is hoping to influence the gubernatorial election, in which it supports Republican marriage equality opponent John Robitaille. NOM hoped to fund commercials on behalf of Robitaille, according to the HRC.
If successful, NOM's legal complaint would have allowed the ads to be produced without requiring the antigay group to report expenditures related to them. Among other things, the court found that "the factual allegations in the complaint are buried in ... conclusory and argumentative passages" and that it "places an unjustified burden on the court and the [state] to respond to it because they are forced to ferret out the relevant material from a mass of verbiage." Even though Judge Mary Lisi initially dismissed the complaint on grounds that it violated federal litigation rules, NOM will have a week to file an amended and ostensibly clearer complaint.
“NOM is boldly trying to circumvent campaign disclosure laws in a number of states,” said Kevin Nix, director of the NOM Project for HRC. “They have so far failed in Rhode Island as they have elsewhere. Federal and state officials around the country should sit up and take notice of this fringe group’s shadowy financing and questionable ethics.”