Mormon Cover-up of Prop 8 Funding

Late last Friday, January 30th the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints filled a Major Donor Report with the California Secretary of State listing $189,903.58 in non-momentary expenditures on behalf of — Yes on Prop 8. The Mormon Church finally admitted directly spending a huge sum of money as part of its monumental effort to end same-sex marriage in California

The Church waited until 5:00 pm on Friday, one business day ahead of the required filing date of February 2nd to turn in its first report detailing at least some of its involvement in the Prop 8 campaign. This was clearly timed by the Mormon Church and its attorneys to try and stay out of the media’s eye. This is an age old political trick, dumping bad news late Friday afternoon, but one that has not gone undetected.

The Mormon Church has repeatedly lied about its involvement in California’s Prop 8. Don Eaton, a Mormon Church spokesman, told KGO Television (ABC) in November, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put zero money in this [the passage of Prop. 8].”

Up until Election Day, November 4th, the Mormon Church had only filed one non-monetary contribution, and that was reported just 4 days before the election for a mere $2,078.97. This prompted Fred Karger, Founder of Californians Against Hate to file a sworn complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). Karger hoped that an investigation by the FPPC would determine exactly how much money was really spent by the Salt Lake City based Church on behalf of the Yes on 8 campaign:,5143,705262980,00.html

Right after the complaint was filed on November 13, 2008 Church spokesman Scott Trotter said the allegations are “false” and the complaint — filed by Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate — 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.

Eight days later when the FPPC announced it was launching an investigation into the Church’s expenditures, a Mormon spokesman said that they would send all necessary information to the FPPC for its investigation. Then days later, it switched its position once again, and said that it had complied by all election laws and it did not need to report any money spent, only its members did.

Then on December 1st – the official Yes on 8 committee –
filed an amended campaign report showing $19,715.08 in legal expenditures made by the Mormon Church way back on June 23rd – 5 months late! This was reported 10 days after the FPPC had announced its investigation.

No other expenditures were reported until last Friday when the Mormon Church filed a Major Donor Report with the Secretary of State for an additional $170,072.18. Most of this was spent during October with 3 small expenditures from September. This included lots of travel expenses with 26 tickets purchased on Southwest Airlines alone. They reported $96,849.31spent on one day (November 4th) in “compensated staff time” that appears was just for Election Day activities.

In its latest campaign report filed over this past weekend for the period October 19th to December 31st, reported 4 non-monetary contributions from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. The first was dated October 25th for the formerly reported travel expenses of $2078.97, then two on November 1st — one for more travel expenses $2864.21, and $19,715.08 for legal expenses and a final entry for November 3rd for staff salaries of $30,354.83. This totals $55,031.11 and it’s odd that coincidentally reported all the Church’s contributions after the October 19th cutoff to try and avoid any fines or FPPC penalties for itself. However, the amounts and dates are not the same as those reported by the Mormon Church.

Last June, in his now famous letter read to every Mormon Church, President Monson announced plans for the Church to become extremely active in the Prop 8 campaign Their fundraising took off soon after that. Mormon families were contributing over $300,000 per day by late July and over $500,000 per day by early August. This money kept pouring in though Election Day bringing the total Mormon money to Prop 8 to nearly $25 million:

Gary Lawrence, the Mormon Church’s “Grass Roots Coordinator,” started his activities well before he sent out his August 7, 2008 memo posted on his web site: It detailed the grassroots Mormon Campaign Plan.

Show us the money!

Where are the rest of your non-monetary expenditures Mormon Church? What about the phone banks, precinct walks, all the slick videos and commercials, direct mail, busses, legal bills from your California political law firm, etc.? They could not all have occurred until late September and October. It is clear that you began your work in June.

And why didn’t report any earlier non-monetary contributions from the Mormon Church? Their report does not match up with yours.

The California Political Reform Act was passed by the voters 35 years ago and has been very effective in keeping our campaigns honest and fair. It certainly appears to us that the Mormon Church did everything possible to avoid complying with our election law, and only now, after an active investigation is underway by the FPPC (Case # 080735), did it decide to finally report some of its expenditures.

California’s election law is designed to let the voters know exactly where the money is coming from to fund our initiative and candidate campaigns. If the voters of California were aware of the massive expenditures by the Mormon Church prior to voting on November 4th, the results of the close Prop 8 election might have been very different.

16 thoughts on “Mormon Cover-up of Prop 8 Funding


    I can’t wait til they lose their tax exempt status!

    In the words of my mormon mother: “Oh well — Then they shouldn’t have gotten mixed up in politics!”

    (OK she actually said, when told that families would be losing rights, “Oh well, then they shouldn’t have sinned!”).

  2. I’m VERY grateful to you guys for pursuing this. I know the election is over and time has moved on but its crucial to get FULL disclosure from the Mormon Church regarding their involvement.

    My fear still is that they’ll still sneak by relatively unscathed re: this latest disclosure. I saw this as a news item on the Friday evening online edition of the LA Times but my hard copy Saturday morning didn’t run it. The story was also not run anywhere in the Sunday edition.

    The further questions this 11th hour disclosure raises need to be explored and publicized.

  3. The actions of the LDS Church were clearly intentional. Is there some method for all persons who are interested in the affirmative application of the laws of Fair Campaign Contribution Practices upon the LDS Church for their infractions, wherein we might join together to petition or appeal to the Commission to fully investigate, and to neither be unduely influenced nor let this be in any other way under-investigated?

  4. YOu all are a bunch of winey little bitches. The LDS church technically does not have to disclose ANYTHING to anyone…and that includes the IRS. CAH supporters and activists clearly have more than their biology in a funk. Their cognitive functioning is also a bit off course. Of course the Church will be unscathed…they don’t have to answer to any govenrmental or non-profit organization regarding their financial expenditures. You all could use a course in not-for-profit exempt status tax code. This is hypocrisy…first you demand equal rights under the constitution…all the while you demand a religous organization act outside of its constitutional protections?

    Give me a freaking break!!!!! What an embarrasment CAH is to the gay community at large.

  5. To Frank, For your personal information and for all of the other readers of this forum, I am in fact in the process of learning about non-profit associations, and Religious Organizations in particular. This Personal Education Project has been inspired specifically by the efforts of the LDS in the Prop 8 campaign. The enormous “preaching of their gospel” in the arena of a Governmental Process, regardless of the issue, in what is Constitutionally supposed to be a government Separate from the influences of Religion, is an increasingly sore issue with intelligent people. This has motivated me personally into action. I have discovered the site Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Here’s the link: All Freedom-Loving people are encouraged to check it out. And Frank, your words here have strengthened me even more in my quest to prevent churches and individuals such as yourself from forcing their religious beliefs upon me and All Americans. Thanks! Respectfully, Customartist

  6. Imagine being “whiney” over — oh, I don’t know, equal rights and treatment under the law without religion sticking it’s tax-exempted self into the mix.

    CAH is doing God’s work as far as I’m concerned.

    Don’t listen to them — they just like the status quo and think we should just keep getting stepped on and thanking them for it.

  7. What do Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism and the rest of the religous faiths representing 99 percent of the human race throughout the world have in common gay marriage?

    I love how the Mormons are political targets to CAH. I commend you for your efforts, but realize, your disagreement, disenchantment, disenfranchisement, whatever you want to call it, stems from your oppositional beliefs with almost every walking human and non-human mammals on this earth!! It will be a fight, but please, dont blame your shortcomings and downfalls on the Mormons…or any other individual group….blame general humanity. This is more logical…don’t you agree. I guess, following this logic…gays have my permission to be “Mad at the World.”

  8. Frank,
    You are just as ignorant and insensitive as to the real plight of living a gay life as are the Mormons. You and the Mormons are parts of the same enemy, yes enemy. Just because we are out-numbered does not excuse or make right acts like, and I will divert from Marriage Equality and all other Right Infringements for the moment, the brutal killing of 20 year old Sean Kennedy who was beaten to the point that his brain seperated from his brain stem, reference: Through your comments and lack of being vocal that hating gays is wrong, these types of incidents are born. They are the direct rezult. Your personal mindset which is a sad example of the majority of the population IS THE PROBLEM. Sean Kennedy was walking down the street minding his own business and got killed by a person who thinks like you do. Your comments are identical to those expressed in the 60’s toward Blacks. “If you ain’t like me, then you’re bad, you don’t deserve the same protections or benefits under the government, should not eat at the same table, should not use the same toilet or shower, swim in the same pool, serve in the same army, and should not have laws, as exampled in South Carolina, to protect you from being murdered.” YES kind folk, if you vacation in Myrtle Beach,SC you can be killed in the same violent manner and your killer can receive a 3 year sentence just like Sean’s killer Stephen Moller did. The next time you call the hotel to make a beach reservation ask them about the absence of any Hate Crime laws, Violent Crime Laws, 2nd degree murder laws, and why SC is #1 in violent crimes in the USA??
    YOU Frank through your actions and inactions have the blood of Sean Kennedy and others on your hands as do Mormons and all who think and act like you because you think it’s okay to spew hate. Well if you receive some of it back in return then I’d say you deserve it. Your annonymity here doesn’t shade you from your shamefulness in the slightest.

  9. So Frank (obsessed with gays), How does it taste when dished out to YOU? This is exactly the lesson. It’s okay for you to hate us, but NOT okay when we disapprove of your hating (or Killing) us. Keep it up. See where it goes. We WILL defend against your condoning acts of murder, other perpetrations. Now run and hide. See how that feels too.

  10. Like I said before…
    A bunch of whiney little bitches…

    Custo….you just proved my point!
    Keep whining bitch!

  11. Fred Karger is the author of the complaint. He has published this article also in the Huffington Post online. His foundational arguments have already been proven false, yet rumors continue to fly.

    Karger asserted “The Mormon Church has repeatedly lied about its involvement in California’s Prop 8…
    Up until Election Day, November 4th, the Mormon Church had only filed one non-monetary contribution, and that was reported just 4 days before the election for a mere $2,078.97″

    This is a factual error. The Church had 5-filings prior to the election:
    7/30/08 – $19,831.40 (in-Kind)
    10/25/08 – $2,078.97 (in-kind)
    10/25/08 – $333 (in-kind)
    11/1/08 – Amendment to 30 October filing; did not represent any additional contribution)
    11/1/08 – $2,531.20 (in-kind)
    See all contributions at

    “Then on December 1st Protect ….filed an amended campaign report showing $19,715.08 …..way back on June 23rd — 5 months late! “

    Again misinformation. The Church made this filing 30 July (see above). The “yes on 8” filing is redundant to the Church individual filing, and the Church has no control over that, or possible errors in their filings.

    “Where are the rest of your non-monetary expenditures Mormon Church? [phone banks, precinct walks, videos, mail, legal bills] “

    All Church resources are reflected in the in-kind filings. Activities performed almost exclusively by members on a volunteer basis (and thus not subject to reporting by the Church) included phone banks, precinct walking, etc. Karger knows this yet failed to print a retraction. His foundation arguments fall flat. In his vendetta he his libelled himself. False journalism without conscience. The Huffington Post is ethically obligated to print a correction as well.

    Continuing to post this article propagates an unfounded rumor.

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