California activist Fred Karger (pictured) will appear in court on October 13
after being subpoenaed earlier this month by the National Organization
for Marriage to turn over all e-mails, correspondence, faxes, and stored
information relating to his grassroots organization Californians
The subpoena is part of an effort to protect the identity of those who contributed to the Proposition 8 campaign to rescind marriage equality in California. NOM is working to stop the state from revealing the identities of donors by challenging the constitutionality of campaign finance disclosure requirements. Some who donated to the campaign claim they have received harassing e-mails, phone calls, letters, and death threats.
The subpoena is related to a lawsuit NOM filed in January against California secretary of state Debra Bowen, attorney general Jerry Brown, and Ross Johnson, chairman of the Fair Political Practices Commission, according to The Daily Journal, a legal newspaper.
In an essay posted Wednesday on The Huffington Post, Karger wrote that the subpoena asks for documentation for three of his four websites, CaliforniansAgainstHate.com, BoycottManchesterHotels.com, and BoycottA1Self Storage.com. His websites target major donors for the Yes on 8 campaign, like hotel magnate Doug Manchester and A-1 Self Storage owner Terry Caster.
However, his second most visited website, Mormongate.com, was not included in the request. The Mormon Church raised $30 million of the $40 million raised for Yes on 8, but the church only reported $2,200 in non-monetary contributions, prompting Karger to file a complaint with the FPPC. The commission is currently wading through paperwork to determine the Mormon Church's role in funding the campaign.
He's also been asked to explain how he attains his research information.
"They also want to see "any and all" financial records," he wrote. "How ironic, I have been trying to view the required financial information from NOM for over 6 months. NOM refuses to release any of its finances, even to the IRS, as required by federal law. The Mormon Church will also not reveal any of its expenditures. So what better way to persecute me, than to drag me through the legal system."