Help Fine the Missing Mormon Money / Boycott Ken Garff Automotive

Public’s Help Sought in Uncovering Mormon Church Prop 8 Money
Ken Garff Automotive Boycott to be Announced

Wednesday News Conference Set

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate will hold a news conference to ask the for the public’s help in determining if there was significantly more money spent by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in its monumental effort to pass California’s Proposition 8 that has not been reported.

The News Conference will be held at 12:00 noon, Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at the Marriott Salt Lake Downtown Hotel – Deer Valley 2 Room, 75 South West Temple, Salt Lake City 84101 (801)531-0800

Karger filed a sworn complaint against the Mormon Church on November 13, 2008 with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) contending that the Church had not filed the necessary campaign reports for all the money it spent on the successful Proposition 8. Up until Election Day November 4th, the Mormon Church had reported only spending $2078.00 on all of its involvement on Prop 8. Eight days later the FPPC announced that it would conduct a full investigation into those charges.

Don Eaton, a Mormon Church spokesman, told KGO Television (ABC – San Francisco) in November, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put zero money in this [the passage of Prop. 8].”

Another Church spokesman, Scott Trotter, said in November that the allegations are “false,” and the complaint has “many errors and misstatements.” They said that the Church worked closely with its California political attorneys to comply with the law, and that it did not need to file anything further.

On January 20, 2009, the Mormon Church filed a Major Donor Report with the California Secretary of State’s Office admitting that it spent nearly $190,000 on behalf of Prop 8. All of that spending came in the last month of the election with half of it on Election Day itself.

Karger is traveling over from California to seek the public’s help in the investigation. A web site, email and phone line will be announced at the News Conference for people who have information on the Mormon Church’s involvement over the summer months and into the fall. Those with information will be asked to call or email anonymous tips into his office. A special TIPS line will be set up for this purpose. Any information gathered will be passed along to California authorities.

Californians Against Hate will also announce a national boycott of all 40 of Ken Garff’s Automotive Group owned car dealerships in 4 states. Katharine Garff, the wife CEO and Board Chairman Robert Garff contributed $100,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign.

We feel that this huge contribution to take away marriage rights in California by the Garff family warrants a full boycott. The contribution was given very late — on October 29, 2008 — and was disclosed in the recently released campaign report.

Californians Against Hate has called for three previous boycotts of major funders to Yes on Prop 8. The first was back on July 18, 2008 against the hotels owned by Doug Manchester (Manchester Grand Hyatt and the Grand del Mar Hotels) both in San Diego, CA) who gave $125,000 to Yes on 8. The next boycott was called against Bolthouse Farms of Bakersfield, CA whose founder gave $100,000 to Prop 8, but was settled 3 weeks later. And the most recent boycott began on November 19, 2008 against A-1 Self Storage , whose owner Terry Caster and his family gave $693,000 to Yes on 8.

12 thoughts on “Help Fine the Missing Mormon Money / Boycott Ken Garff Automotive

  1. Wow! I stumbled on to your blog. This sight is the ultimate in hypocrisy!!! Your posts are all filled with hate and revenge, but you claim to be against hate? Now I am thoroughly confused!!! Such efforts severely damage your credibility.
    You may want to rethink your strategy!

  2. To vote in free conscious or donate money to a cause that one believes in; does not translate to being a discriminator. It does not mean that you will be fired from your job if you are gay. It does not mean that people have the right to harass you if you are gay. It simply means that through a vote, a decision to alter the definition of marriage as exercised for mileniums of time should be amended. People on both sides of this issue spent money and voted. However, you only see one side of the aisle really over stepping bounds. Using scare tactics of posting personal information and inviting people to harass donors is closer to being a hurtful discriminator.

  3. Would you buy products from companies that paid to take away your rights?

    Boycotting is not harassment, it’s being a smart shopper.

    I see one side that loves talking about how they’re being harassed, but never present any, you know, actual evidence of harassment. Of course you’re free to vote for and donate to whatever cause you like, but everybody else is also free to express their disapproval if they disagree with your cause. Protests. Boycotts. Welcome to a free country.

    What a bunch of whiners so many Prop 8 supporters have turned out to be.

  4. How can contributions to support causes one believes in constitute hate? I am confused by the characterization. In a free country everyone has the right to support or oppose whatever issues they may choose. I support the rights of individuals in the same sex community. No one should EVER be discriminated against for any reason.

    However, from my perspective the hate described is conceived by your group and directed against anyone or any organization that does not support you and the agenda of gay rights activists. Taking on specific individuals by outing them for their support is deplorable. Attacking churches and other organizations for supporting prop 8 and classifying that behavior as hateful is unfair at the least and unconscionable at the worst.

    Shame on you, Mr. Karger for your obvious extortion of funds and subsequent support from the Garff family and their businesses through your threat of boycott.!!! Any person promoting their agenda through such tactics should be embarrassed. The use of inflammatory and divisive comments serves only to continue to divide and polarize, not to bring together. This type of behavior is a disgrace to us all.

    And to Mr. Blanco, may I ask who is doing the whining? It seems to me it’s those who were legitimately defeated and are taking on anyone or organization that supported prop 8.

    If we don’t like the result, work to change it. We cannot attack and intimidate those we perceive as our enemies. What good can come from such behavior?

  5. And to Mr. Blanco, may I ask who is doing the whining?

    You are, Tracy. Big time.

    That said, I do agree with your advice: “If we don’t like the result, work to change it.”

    But, your resentful tone suggests to me that you should probably consider taking Ken Garff’s advice:

    “We all need to do a better job of listening to each other and recognizing and respecting that there is another side to every story. I think when people do that in good faith — like Fred and I did today — That’s how we get our differences resolved.”

    Tracy, did you follow the Prop 8 campaign closely? Did you watch all of the Yes on 8 TV ads? Those ads were mean-spirited, deceptive and manipulative. How would you feel if somebody invested millions of dollars to spread fear and lies about you, your family or your church? You’d probably feel sick and angry, and rightfully so.

    Like you said, “no one should EVER be discriminated against for any reason.” Amen to that.

  6. Yeah, I think I will support Ken Garff automotive, as well. I never realized his political convictions were consistent with mine. Thank you Californian’s Against Hate for clarifying my economic allies.

    Talk about backfire…

  7. Mr. Blanco,

    It is fascinating that you would state that I am the one whining “big time”. All I did was speak my mind about the extortionist tactics of Mr. Karger relative to the Garff donation and boycott. He said “If they want to give a $100,000 donation to A Quality Utah maybe we would consider cancelling the boycott.” See video report, if that is not extortion then I don’t know what is, and if expressing my opinion is considered whining, I’m guilty as charged. And yes, I did watch the commercials supporting prop 8 and fail to see any hate in them.

    You said, “I see one side that loves talking about how they’re being harassed, but never present any, you know, actual evidence of harassment.” Please view the video at skip the first part and pay particular attention to the last half.

    I agree with John Garff (not Ken, he is deceased) that “We all need to do a better job…” Absolutely we need too and I am confident that Mr. Garff was sincere in his comments but, you have to admit, Mr. Karger did have an economic gun to his head. Truth is, I can’t understand how disagreeing and taking a stand, vocally and with your wallet, for your beliefs, translates into hate. Perhaps you can explain that to me.

  8. Tracy,

    Watched your YouTube (both the first and second halves). Sorry if I didn’t see anything remotely approaching “harassment” … Nice try.

    In any case, thank you for making a very important point:

    “I can’t understand how disagreeing and taking a stand, vocally and with your wallet, for your beliefs, translates into hate.”

    Exactly. We agree.

    Taking a stand for one’s beliefs and voting with one’s wallet (by not purchasing goods from those opposed to your beliefs) is absolutely not hate.

  9. YES, we are free to choose how and with whom we spend our money, on that we do agree. To be clear, I only objected to the manner in which Mr. Karger dealt with the Garff matter.

    Regarding the video I sent, you said, “Sorry if I didn’t see anything remotely approaching ‘harassment'” That confuses me, the fact that you do not see in your face profanity laced angry statements directed at someone of opposing view as “harrasment”, yet consider opposing viewpoints expressed in a diplomatic forum as “hate”…I really don’t get that.

    You say “Exactly, we agree” when it comes to speaking with your wallet yet “Hate” is your (groups) term, “Californians Against Hate”. Hate is an inflammatory prejudicial label used as a tool to generate attention. The majority of people don’t hate you, they just don’t agree with you on everything.

    Although we do appear to agree on many points, I can only conclude, that when it comes to the definition and context of “hate and harrasment” we are on different planets…too bad for us all.

    Good luck, to all of you, gathering support from those you label as “hateful” to advance your cause. Honestly, I really believe that you would make more friends if you eliminated “hate” from your vocabulary and did as Mr. Garff said “…do a better job of listening to each other and recognizing and respecting that there is another side to every story…when people do that in good faith…That’s how we get our differences resolved.”

    PS. I have no intent to be offensive only to be frank.

  10. Tracy,

    Did you see the anti-gay protestors that showed up at Utah’s capitol after Governor Huntsman came out in favor of civil unions? Please be honest and admit that if I walked up to those people in the middle of their protest and told them I supported marriage equality and started asking critical questions while pointing a hand-held camera at them, I would have a very good chance of recording some angry and hateful statements.

    By the way, I think every Mormon who wants to complain about boycotts should read this story first:

    “President [Joseph Fielding Smith] and Sister Smith decided that they would only do their shopping at places that closed on Sunday and obeyed the Sabbath. One of the stores they had enjoyed was a little store near the city. One day this store announced that they would begin selling on Sunday. So President and Sister Smith made a point of going to the owner and explaining to him that they had enjoyed shopping at his store but would not be able to continue because they did not want to patronize a store that didn’t obey the Sabbath…It may also interest you to know that the President informed the manager of one of the nation’s largest stores that they could no longer patronize his store either, for the same reason of Sunday selling. President Smith was absolutely fearless, yet always courteous, in defense of gospel ideals.”

    So, Mormons have no problem boycotting based on their beliefs.

    It seems utterly fair to boycott the folks who paid to take away other folks’ civil rights.

    If someone tried to take your marriage away, Tracy, how would you feel about the people trying to do that? Would you feel they liked you? Of course not. You would feel targeted and hated.

  11. Chino,

    I think you, and most likely others reading our discussion, are missing my point entirely. Boycotts are fair and effective means of making a statement and I fully support anyone’s right to do so. Again, my objection was how Mr. Karger handled the situation and his statement about calling the boycott off, if the Garff family would make a contribution to a organization that supported his agenda. That seemed like extortion to me and counterproductive to gathering support for gay rights in the long run.

    With regard to the protesters at the Capitol, perhaps you could find someone to react negatively in that situation, I am not aware of any. I suppose anytime people have strong feelings and opinions on issues, there can be situations where things get heated.

    I do not discount the intensity of feelings shared by you and others on this issue; I am not criticizing, I just think that characterizing those who don’t agree, as “hateful”, is counterproductive and detrimental to resolution.

    I think the issue of “hate” is the wrong way to go and, contrary to what you might think, that is all I have tried to say.

    I believe that cooperation and compromise is the proper approach, not name calling and its polarizing effect. There is space somewhere in the middle that works for all.

    Lastly, I think you are making broad assumptions about me and my attitudes toward the rights of same sex couples. Sometimes I think we miss the real meaning of written comments when there is no capability to interpret them in their intended context. Sorry.

    Respectfully, Tracy

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