All Rights reserved
The Maine Ethics Commission has rejected the latest attempt by the antigay National Organization for Marriage to stop the investigation into the group's fund-raising for Question 1, the ballot measure that repealed the state's marriage equality law last November.
According to the Bangor Daily News, which reported on the commission proceedings Thursday, "The four members of the Ethics Commission voted unanimously to dismiss NOM's argument that the commission lacked the authority to conduct an investigation into whether the organization should have registered as a 'ballot question committee.'"
NOM contributed more than $1.9 million to the PAC Stand for Marriage Maine, but the group contends that the money supported its national activities, and not the Maine campaign in particular, which it argues should exempt it from state campaign finance laws.
At the heart of the matter lies NOM's desire to keep secret the identities of its donors.
According to the Bangor Daily News, "NOM's attorney, Barry Bostrum, also repeated the organization's claims that such an investigation could have a chilling effect on potential donors who would be reticent to contribute out of fear of possible backlash or retribution if their names became public."