NOM Plays Victim of 'Witch Hunt'

The National Organization for Marriage claims it's being unfairly targeted with investigations into whether it violated campaign finance laws in Iowa.

BY Sunnivie Brydum

August 09 2013 12:11 PM ET

The antigay National Organization for Marriage is reviving its claims of victimhood, this time saying it's the victim of a "witch hunt" resulting from an ongoing investigation into whether the national group violated campaign finance laws during its campaigns to oust the Iowa Supreme Court justices who voted in favor of marriage equality in 2009. 

Openly gay Republican and former presidential candidate Fred Karger initially filed a complaint with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, asking the board to investigate whether NOM directly solicited money for its anti-equality campaigns in 2010 and 2012. If NOM did so, it was required to disclose the names of its donors — but the antigay group has continually refused to provide those names, saying donors would be subject to harassment by "radical homosexual activists."

But earlier this week, the Board unanimously voted to investigate NOM's spending in Iowa — $635,000 in 2010 and roughly $100,000 in 2012, according to ThinkProgress LGBT. The Board's lawyer and executive director said NOM's interpretation of the campaign finance laws in Iowa was "absolutely wrong." 

On Thursday, NOM responded to the investigation, taking direct aim at Karger, who has filed three complaints in state and federal court alleging that NOM violated campaign finance laws in Maine, California, and Iowa, according to San Diego Gay and Lesbian News. Despite rulings from several state Supreme Courts demanding that NOM disclose its donors in those ongoing cases, the organization has refused to make public the names of its donors. 

"The National Organization for Marriage has violated no campaign finance rules in Iowa, and we decry the decision by the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board to open an investigation," said NOM president Brian Brown in a statement on NOM's blog. "This inquiry is a witch hunt spawned by a delusional homosexual activist who fancies himself becoming the president of the United States and who is a serial filer of frivolous allegations against us whenever we stand up for traditional marriage. The complaint is another attempt to shut down criticism of activist judges and politicians who wish to redefine marriage."

Brown goes on to claim that Karger's allegations are "dead wrong," and then ramps up the hysteria, writing "We are concerned about the continual use of the legal system by Karger and other homosexual marriage advocates who are intent on denying us and the people of Iowa their civil rights to defend marriage as God created it."

Of course, requiring NOM to abide by state finance laws doesn't infringe on anyone's civil right to invest in the political process and express those views through donations. As Zack Ford at ThinkProgress points out, "All NOM had to do was provide information about its donors so as to help preserve an open democracy where the sources of campaign spending can be identified. It didn't."

Tags: Politics

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