News Release: San Diego Office Opens + Boycotts

Californians Against Hate Opens San Diego Office

Californians Against Hate Opens San Diego Office

Californians Against Hate Opens
San Diego Office

SAN DIEGO, CA – Fred Karger cut the ribbon earlier this week, or rather the caution tape, to officially open their first real office in the 301 University Building. The 301 Building is very unique. It houses a dozen different LGBTQ organizations in San Diego for very low cost in the old No on Prop 8 headquarters.

“We are excited to have an official office, and we’re thrilled to be in the 301 Building” stated Californians Against Hate founder, Fred Karger. “There are lots of new young activists working out of here, and it’s a wonderful place to be. Lots of future leaders all under one roof. It’s very encouraging to see, and we’re glad to be a part of.”

“Having an office in San Diego will enable us do more on our two remaining boycotts, Doug Manchester’s Hotels and Terry Caster’s A-1 Self Storage Company. Manchester gave $125,000 of very early money to qualify and pass Proposition 8, and Caster gave a whopping $693,000. We have led successful boycotts of both companies for over a year. Now we can ramp them up and utilize more volunteers in San Diego,” concluded Karger.

If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by. If you would like to volunteer, let us know: info@californiansagainsthate.com

Thank you!

Manchester Hotels Bleeding $1 Million
per Month = $16 Million

Recent estimates have determined that Manchester’s two remaining hotels are losing a combined total of well over $1 million per month. This loss is a direct result of the 16 month old boycott started by Californians Against Hate and Unite Here, Local 30. The downtown Manchester Grand Hyatt and the new resort property, the Grand del Mar are “bleeding money in canceled and lost bookings.” Sales at the properties are reportedly way down.

Swedish model, modeling a Boycott Manchester Hotels T-shirt at Stockholm Gay Pride Festival Last Summer.  Over 1 million people turned out for the 5 day celebration. This is part of the Manchester Hotels Global Boycott.

Swedish model, modeling a Boycott Manchester Hotels T-shirt at Stockholm Gay Pride Festival Last Summer. Over 1 million people turned out for the 5 day celebration. This is part of the Manchester Hotels Global Boycott.

Last April, hotel officials admitted to having lost $7 million in the first 9 months of the boycott, and the longer it goes on the worse it gets.

Five for Fred Gets off to Great Start

A BIG thank you goes out to so many people who pulled out their MasterCards, Visas and American Express cards and donated to Fred’s Legal Defense Fund, Five for Fred

It’s actually very easy to help Fred. You just need to go to the www.fiveforfred.com web site and click on the bright red DONATE button in the upper right part of your screen. It directs you to the ever so easy to fill out donation sheet. It only takes 42 seconds to make a difference. If you haven’t donated to help defray Fred’s mounting legal bills, please do it right now: Five for Fred

Contributions of $5.00 (the price of a latte + tip) and up have come in from generous donors in 25 states – from Arizona to Wyoming. It has been incredible, and is really helping to make a dent in the bills. Please help if you can.

Thank you one and all!!!!

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News Release: Will NOM’s Maggie Gallagher Fire Miss California?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2009
CONTACT:
Fred Karger 619-592-2008

November 5, 2009

Ms Maggie Gallagher
President
National Organization for Marriage
1100 H Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Maggie —

Maggie, are you going to fire Carrie Prejean??? Donald Trump did.

Carrie Prejean ‘sex tape’ spurred pageant settlement
By Alan Duke, CNN

I was shocked and dismayed to hear yesterday that your lead spokeswoman, the “future of our movement, and the future of America*” according to you, has starred in a sex video as reported by TMZ.

Carrie dropped her $1 million law suit yesterday against the Miss California USA Pageant, as soon as news of her sex video was exposed. She filed her law suit back in August claiming, of all things, “religious discrimination.” Sound familiar?

Are you going to keep her as a paid consultant, Maggie? Are you going to keep her photo and that praise that you heap upon her all over your National Organization for Marriage (NOM) web site?

CarrieNOM_425

Does she still represent the true “family values” that you and your NOM Executive Director, Brian Brown espouse.

What does your high powered Board of Directors think? What does your largest backer, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) think of this scandal?

Carrie has been a big fund-raiser for NOM, a speaker, you’ve flown her all over the USA, you have even shared the stage with her, and now this news comes out.

I read that San Diego’s own Charles LiMandri, who was your General Counsel on the Yes on Prop 8 campaign, is also Carrie’s lawyer. Bet he was surprised to hear about that sex video, too. He usually has a lot to say, but yesterday only said that, “it’s a confidential settlement, and he can’t discuss it.”

I feel sorry for Carrie. She is just a young woman trying to make something of her life.

It will be interesting to see how you handle this one, Maggie. Will you be a voice of reason and compassion, or will you toss her to the sharks?

I would hope that you will reflect on this moment in history.

Will you embrace someone whose life is so different from your beliefs? Or will you demonize, bully, rip apart and treat Carrie like someone who has less rights than you have.

Time will tell.

Sincerely,

Fred Karger
Founder
Californians Against Hate

* From Maggie Gallagher’s September 18, 2009 introduction of Carrie Prejean, at Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council sponsored Voters Value Summit in Washington, DC.

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Doug Manchester: Crush Organized Labor to Crush Progressives

By Rick Jacobs, Courage Campaign – Nov 3rd, 2009 at 5:40 pm PST

As I write this, we are beginning to hear results from Maine’s version of Prop. 8 and will soon enough hear about right wing attempts to quash freedom in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Washington state. How well we all remember election night here in California last year, that flash of impossible joy and elation at the election of Barack Obama juxtaposed with the horror of the loss of equal rights. How could both be true? How could we elect Barack Obama and simultaneously watch our fellow Californians vote away our rights?

A year later, regardless of the outcome of these elections tonight, the progressive movement is much broader, more determined and smarter. We know what must be done to change the way people think. We know that multiple tactics, ranging from court fights to ballot box battles to marches to push for federal legislation all must happen simultaneously. We also know that those who invest in repression, in damaging families and in singling out LGBT people (or other minorities) for discrimination must be called on their actions and their investments.

I am saddened, but not really surprised then, that Doug Manchester selected today of all days to launch a new website that hides his attacks on progressives and the LGBT community behind the Hyatt global brand.

Lest anyone forget, Mr. Manchester donated $125,000 in the summer of 2008, at the very moment the National Organization for Marriage and Frank Schubert (the fund bundlers and CEO of the anti-equality fights in California and Maine) desperately needed those final dollars to get Prop. 8 on the ballot. That’s right: Had Mr. Manchester not written his check right then, we may well not have had to fight Prop. 8 at all.

The website that Mr. Manchester and his minions launched today does not even address Mr. Manchester’s deep personal commitment to regressive causes. For example, Mr. Manchester “apologizes” for his donation.

“I respect all members of the GLBT community and have several gay and lesbian employees in various departments and professional levels at Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. While I stand by my belief that as a private citizen I may make personal donations to causes and charitable organizations of my choosing, I have been reminded daily that not all such actions are correct or favorable to the company, its employees or the community.”

Does this sound like a man who would not again write a check to prevent lesbian and gay people from marrying? Not to me. More insulting, Mr. Manchester then offers “bribes” to 501-c-3 organizations, the type that may not legally engage in politics, as a way to absolve himself of his “actions [that are not] correct or favorable to [his] company.” If Mr. Manchester really wanted to apologize, he would start by saying, “I am sorry that I put up the money that got Prop. 8 on the ballot because I have learned that what I did caused harm to individuals all over this state and nation. As such, I will donate at least twice that amount now to a campaign to reverse Prop. 8.”

But there’s more. While Mr. Manchester’s website complains about the boycott organized so effectively by Fred Karger and our friends at UNITE HERE along with many, many others in San Diego and beyond (including the Courage Campaign and Equality California), he cynically attempts to divide the LGBT community from our allies in organized labor.

Mr. Manchester and his advisors seem to think that organized labor appeared out of the night, saw the boycott and latched onto it. That myopia is what separates progressives from reactionaries. The truth is that organized labor contributed in excess of $2.5 million to defeat the very Prop. 8 that Mr. Manchester helped place on the ballot. Every labor union in the state openly and officially opposed Prop. 8. They spent their members’ funds not trying to win a progressive victory, but trying to stave off the defeat of another reactionary initiative. So it’s only logical and appropriate that the LGBT community would work arm in arm with our brothers and sisters in organized labor—many of whom are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender—to highlight unacceptable working conditions at Mr. Manchester’s hotel. Let us not doubt Mr. Manchester’s true goals. He seeks to defund organized labor in order to prevent it from participating in the political process. The so-called “paycheck protection” effort for 2010, that progressives and organized labor spent tens of millions of dollars defeating in November 2005, will be back on the ballot if Mr. Manchester has his way. This is an excerpt from a Lincoln Club letter of October 7, 2009, three weeks before Mr. Manchester launched his “I like gay people” website:

“If we are unsuccessful in passing the proposition in November 2010, we will have the organization in place to put it back on the 2012 ballot. The unions will be in a much weaker poosition and we will have a finance committee and coalition.

To kick off this campaign the Lincoln Club of Orange County and Doug Manchester have each committed $100,000 to this effort.”

Tomorrow night, there will be another protest outside of the Manchester Hyatt. Based on this insulting website and Mr. Manchester’s determination to undo the very coalition that we’ll need to restore our rights in California, a protest and recommitment to the boycott are the best possible replies. One day, maybe Mr. Manchester will issue a proper apology that will flow from a meeting with the coalition of California’s future.

We have to know our foes as we build our victory.

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NEWS From Maine to California and the World

News Coverage #26

San Francisco Examiner – Maine

Portland Press Herald – Kennebec Journal

The Advocate

New York Times – Scott James Column

Associated Press – Oaks Speech

WBZ CBS – Maine Finance Reports

KGTV – San Diego

Ohio Chrocicle

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

On Top Magazine

Edge Boston

Mike Tidmus – Subpoena

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

On Being Notorious

Mike Tidmus – Subpoena

Planet Transgender

Frontiers IN LA

People for the American Way

Personal Money Store

San Diego News Network

Tips Q

Mike Tidmus – Manchester Boycott

LGBT News

Pam’s House Blend

TPM

Gay Agenda

On Top Magazine — Maine

Maybe It’s Just Me

NG Blog

Arkansas Times

GLT – Bragman Commentary

Gay Marriage Watch

NG blog

Queerty

Gay News Bits

Joe My God

On Being Notorius

Bilerico Alex Blaze Radio Interview

America Blog – Maine

WGME – TV

WGME TV – CBS

Fox Maine

Bangor Daily News

Pam’s House Blend – Maine

Bureau News

KRSO Sonoma

Bay Windows

Bangor Daily News

MPBN News Radio Maine

Bangor Daily News Longer Story

WBZ Boston

Pink News UK

New Civil Rights Movement

Mike Tidmus Maine

MPBN

Kennebec Journal Morning Sentinel

The Celebrity Cafe

Tips-Q

She Wired

Daily Variety

Gay Agenda

America Blog

Queerty

LGBTPOV Blog

Towleroad

Ameriqueer

Queerty

Joe My God

Morning Sentinel

Mike Tidmus – NOM Law Suit

Article VI Blog

Pam’s House Blend

New University

Nathan Shumate

Live Journal

The Examiner

Mike Tidmus

KFSM TV – Maine Law Suit

South Florida Blade

Gay News Bits

Gay Agenda

Bangor Daily News

LGBT POV

MPBN News

Tips Q

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National Organization for Marriage Shows Its True Colors – Sues State of Maine to Change Reporting Laws

AUGUSTA, MAINE — In one of the boldest attempts to circumvent a state election law in recent memory, the Washington, DC based National Organization for Marriage (NOM) filed suit in Federal Court yesterday to wipe out Maine’s campaign reporting law. NOM is the biggest contributor by far to Question 1, which would rescind Maine’s recently enacted same-sex marriage law. The Maine Ethics Commission voted on October 1, 2009 to launch an investigation of NOM for improper reporting and possible money laundering charges at the request of Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate. Karger filed a formal complaint on August 24, 2009 against NOM and the Yes on Question 1 committee, Stand for Marriage Maine.

“These people come into Maine from Washington, DC fully aware of the state election laws, pay $350,000 to professional signature gatherers to qualify their referendum to take away the rights of a minority, and then have the audacity to sue the state to change its years old election laws,” said Fred Karger. “They did the identical thing in California after that state’s ethics commission, the California Fair Political Practices Commission, launched an investigation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church), and the very same National Organization for Marriage, whom many feel was created by the Mormon Church.”

“Do they think they are in Afghanistan or Iran?” asked Karger. “We have long-standing laws in this country which allow for free and open elections, but NOM continues to try and get around these state and federal laws at every opportunity. The State of Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Elections Practices showed tremendous courage when its Commissioners voted to investigate the highly questionable finances of the National Organization for Marriage at its October 1st meeting. This was done under the threat of a law suit. They are to be commended for standing up for transparency and truth in Maine elections.”

Here is a copy of the AP story: Anti-gay Marriage Group Challenges Reporting Requirements

Copy of Law Suit: Motion for Temporary Restraining Order

The Actual Complaint – Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

The National Organization for Marriage has already contributed over $500,000 to Stand for Marriage Maine, Yes on Question 1, but refuses to file as a PAC in Maine. This is 100 times the $5,000 PAC requirement. It appears that all other committees raising money for Question 1 have complied with the law, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, that has given over $350,000 to the election.

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Proposition 8 Film Explains Mormon Gay Marriage Involvement

Karger: Proposition 8 Film Explains Mormon Gay Marriage Involvement

By Carlos Santoscoy Published: October 21, 2009

Director Reed Cowan’s documentary on the Mormon Church’s decades-old involvement in the fight to ban gay marriage in the United States is ready for its premiere screening. And Californians Against Hate Founder Fred Karger says the film will “undoubtedly change history.”

While still in production the film drew fire when Cowan released several controversial audio clips in February.

Utah State Senator Chris Buttars, a practicing Mormon, lost his chair of the powerful Judicial Committee after the Republican was heard in a Cowan interview calling the gay rights movement “probably the greatest threat to America” and gay folks “mean.”

“They’re mean. They want to talk about being nice. They’re the meanest buggers I have ever seen.”

“It’s just like the Muslims,” he adds, moments later. “Muslims are good people and their religion is anti-war. But it’s been taken over by the radical side.”

Not surprisingly, Cowan’s trailer for his film, 8: The Mormon Proposition, begins with a tight close up of the senator.

In a series of interviews with Mormon Church leaders, gay activists and Utah politicians, Cowan shines a bright light on the church’s profuse involvement in banning gay marriage throughout the nation since the early 1990s. A revelation no more since Karger began meddling in the church’s affairs.

“It tells my story,” Karger told On Top Magazine. And it will “knock your socks off,” he added.

Cowan first interviewed Karger in San Francisco. The pair met in front of the Castro Theater on Wednesday, March 4 just as a huge gay marriage vigil was about to step off. Karger spoke to the filmmaker two more times over the course of the next year.

What is the Mormon proposition? The film is expected to showcase the major gay marriage battles the Mormon Church has backed since Utah became the first state to ban gay marriage in 1995. And how church officials attempted to conceal their deep involvement in the issue. Is the Mormon Church the mastermind puppeteer of the anti-gay marriage movement?

In a blog post, Cowan said the film had divided his family.

“My determination [to finish the film] has been tested. At this writing, I have lost communication with my sisters and my mother and my father. They are wonderful people and they are Mormons. The fear they have over what this film will say has worn thin to the point that our relationships are stressed and I fear broken forever,” he said.

The film is being considered for a Sundance Film Festival premiere in January.

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National March on Washington

National March on Washington — October 11, 2009

Philanthropist, Bruce Bastian addressing the demonstration in front of the U.S. Capitol

Philanthropist, Bruce Bastian addressing the demonstration in front of the U.S. Capitol

Oscar winning screen writer Lance Black speaking  before the 200,000 attendees

Oscar winning screen writer Lance Black speaking before the 200,000 attendees

Sean and the amazing Rick Jacobs backstage

Sean and the amazing Rick Jacobs backstage

Daniel the French documentarian on the press platform

Daniel the French documentarian on the press platform

A young activist who came down from New York to join in the National Equality March -- his first

A young activist who came down from New York to join in the National Equality March -- his first

Three leading LGBT women activists backstage, Urvashi -Vaid, Cynthia Nixon and Kate Clinton

Three leading LGBT women activists backstage, Urvashi -Vaid, Cynthia Nixon and Kate Clinton

The Manchester Hotels Boycott was front and center during the March down Pennsylvania Avenue

The Manchester Hotels Boycott was front and center during the March down Pennsylvania Avenue

We are Marching to the Capitol, the Capitol......

We are Marching to the Capitol, the Capitol......

General Cleve Jones, March Creator and Organizer extraordinaire inspecting his troops

General Cleve Jones, March Creator and Organizer extraordinaire inspecting his troops

The demonstrators were mostly all under 30, no wait 25 -- hundreds of thousands of th

The demonstrators were mostly all under 30, no wait 25 -- hundreds of thousands of th

Mike out from LA with a group of 20 others ready to don his Boycott T-shirt

Mike out from LA with a group of 20 others ready to don his Boycott T-shirt

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Maggie & Brian — Sign the Oath!

Brian Brown not happy at his press conference right after the Maine Ethics Commission
voted to investigate his National Organization for Marriage Last Thursday

I was personally attacked last Friday by Brian Brown in an email to his over 500,000 supporters and in a NOM press release. Brian is very unhappy that his organization is now being investigated by Maine, its second state, and lashed out at me.

LINK TO BRIAN BROWN’S NASTY EMAIL: CLICK HERE

LINK TO NOM’S PRESS RELEASE: CLICK HERE

I felt it was necessary to respond to Brian’s tirade.

I have recently been subpoenaed by Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown and their Magical Mysterious Mormon Front Group, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

NOM and its law firm, Bopp, Coleson and Bostrom of Terre Haute, Indiana, have been viciously attacking me for over 15 months, with all the power of an over $12 million organization, simply because I am after the truth.

NOM heads, Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown do not like the truth. They both claim to be protecting marriage and children. They are both doing just the opposite.

Their creator, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints (Mormon Church) has led the national battle against LGBT civil rights in this country for over 20 years. They have repeatedly lied and covered-up the truth, while harming millions of gays and lesbians.

This cruel trio is on the brink of finally getting caught. If California and Maine, the two states that are currently investigating them, find that all their deception was done willfully and with intent, then this merry band could face criminal charges and be hauled off to jail.

Maine joined California last week in a courageous vote to investigate NOM. The State of Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices stood up to NOM’s threats of legal action at a very emotional meeting in Augusta last Thursday. By a 3 to 2 vote the Commission agreed with the complaint that I filed, and felt that there were too many inconsistencies and unanswered questions. They voted to investigate the National Organization for Marriage.

By giving $250,000, NOM is by far the biggest contributor to Question 1 on the November 3rd ballot in Maine. They have not disclosed any of their donor’s names, nor filed as a PAC. Question 1 would take away the recently granted right for same-sex couples to marry in Maine. If it passes, NOM will succeed in banning same-sex marriage in the 31st state.

NOM’s attorney, Barry Bostrom, claimed at the hearing that the Maine election law could be unconstitutional, and thus threatened to sue the state just as his firm has done in California. Bostrom’s firm filed suit in federal court against every major California election official earlier this year after the California Fair Political Practices Commission decided to investigate NOM’s creator, the Mormon Church.

What’s wrong with these people? Why are they working so hard to harm so many? What is their true motivation? Why do they continue to lie and cover-up at every turn?

Well, I for one am fed up with their whining about being the victim here, when in fact, the very opposite is true. They raise millions and millions of dollars to take away the rights from a minority. They beat down people and cast an entire minority as 2nd class citizens – not equal to them.

They hide their federal tax returns for two years until just before Thursday’s hearing in Maine. NOM’s IRS 990 filings for 2007 and 2008 magically appeared on its web site during the wee hours of Thursday morning. I got tipped off right before the hearing, and I was able to point out the truth to the Ethics Commission. Commission members questioned Brian Brown about that. He said that he wasn’t sure when they were posted. And still no sign of the NOM 501(c)3 Educational Fund’s (Tax ID Number 26-0240498) 2008 return. So,

Maggie and Brian – SIGN THE OATH

Mr. Brian Brown and Ms. Maggie Gallagher, I am asking both of you to sign the oath below, in the hope that from here on, you will change course and tell the American public the truth about where all your money comes from and all that you are doing. It’s a simple oath, and one that you might recognize.

I do solemnly swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.

You both are parents. Show your children that they can be proud of you, and that you will change your ways and conduct all your activities with truth, openness and integrity.

We at Californians Against Hate live by this golden rule, and we hope that you and your backers will agree from this day forward to fully comply with the oath posted below.

I await your reply.

OATH FOR
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MARRIAGE

I do solemnly swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.

_________________________ ________________________
Maggie Gallagher Brian S. Brown

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Statement by Fred Karger: Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices

Statement by Fred Karger
Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices
October 1, 2009

Thank you for responding to the complaint that I filed, and for holding this important hearing today. The Commission has been so cooperative throughout this process, and I am very grateful for that. Keeping our elections free from corruption is essential to a democracy. You have consistently done just that.

I originally was not going to testify here today, but after reading both of Mr. Bostrom’s letters responding to my charges, I felt compelled to raise some issues and pose some questions.

I have been keeping a watchful eye on the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) for the past 18 months. In California, NOM raised the bulk of the money to qualify Proposition 8 for the ballot. They came out of nowhere to become a huge force in that election. Now they are leading the fight against same-sex marriage across the country.

Their finances have always been clouded in mystery. They refuse to turn over any of their tax returns as required by federal law. We have repeatedly asked to see those records and so have many journalists. NOM refuses all requests. They feel they are above the law.

In one letter to you, however, Mr. Bostrom states that NOM raised $3.5 million in 2008 and will spend $7 million in 2009. That is the very first time they have said what they are spending, but who knows if it is true. They have made so many un-kept promises to release their 990 tax returns for 2007 and 2008, and have told so many different stories, that they cannot be trusted.

Funny thing, in the middle of the night last night, NOM finally released its way late 990 tax returns for 2007 and 2008 and posted them on their web site. This was done just in time for today’s meeting.

What we do know, is that NOM has sent out lots of email solicitations to raise money to be spent in Maine and several other states.

As a part of my complaint, I submitted 79 emails to the Commission that I was able to gather that NOM has sent out since November 4, 2008.

Of these, 16 mention Maine specifically, and directly ask for money. Mr. Bostrom claims that only two of these 16 solicitations should count against its $5,000 PAC reporting threshold.

And in another highly suspect claim, Mr. Bostrom states that these two email solicitations only raised a combined total of $295. That’s it? Only raised $147.50 per email? Highly unlikely.

On August 21, 2009 NOM Executive Director Brian Brown announced in a press release, “that we have passed a HUGE milestone: 500,000 activists have joined NOM’s merry band of marriage warriors.”

So we are supposed to believe that they raised only $147.50 per email from 500,000 supporters? Come on.

And Brian goes out of his way to state in fund-raising requests things like, “and unlike in California, every dollar you give to NOM’s Northeast Action Plan today is private, with no risk of harassment from gay marriage protestors.” Or “Donations to NOM are not tax-deductible and they are NOT public information, either.” Or “Your gift is confidential: no public disclosure!”

And NOM only raises $147.50 per email to 500,000 of its supporters?

Mr. Bostrom’s letters to the Commission admit guilt. They state that they are raising money for Maine, but claim that they are not covered by the Maine statute.

Mr. Bostrom threatens you by saying that your law is unconstitutional, that election laws are a burden and limit First Amendment Free Speech, while acknowledging that they broke the law. He says that the law doesn’t apply to his clients. Please don’t be intimidated by him.

One statement in Mr. Bostrom’s letter on behalf of NOM caught my attention. He stated emphatically that, “No other solicitations were made for ballot measure activities in Maine by email, direct mail, or other means. True? No.

NOM’s Inaugural News Letter that came out in July 2009 is devoted to the Maine election on Question 1, and the last line of the article is pretty clear, “Your support for NOM is critical to the success of the effort.”

How many other solicitations has NOM made to raise money for Maine? How else have they raised money? Where did they get the $250,000 that they gave Stand for Marriage Maine? They claim not from their emails. Then where?

If the Commission staff were to talk to all nine Board members of NOM individually, I’ll bet you could get these answers pretty quick.

Mr. Bostrom filled a very similar response to the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board when charges of financial irregularities were filed against his client in August by One Iowa and the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund.

The threshold for reporting as a PAC in Iowa is only $750, and NOM claims to be well under that just like they claim to be well under Maine’s of $5,000.

Maybe that is why they came up with the $295.00 as the only money they raised for Maine. They had to be well under both state’s limits after the fact, to explain why they broke the law by not forming a PAC.

I have spent 30 years in politics managing campaigns. I have filed and read literally thousands of campaign reports in probably 25 states. I have never seen this type of blatant disregard for election laws like I have seen with NOM in several states.

All I have done in Maine was to pull together evidence found in the public record and point out what I felt were campaign reporting irregularities. I just want to get to the truth.

I did that in California right after the election which led to the ongoing investigation of NOM by your counterpart there, the Fair Political Practices Commission.

My citizen activism in Maine and California has caused me to get subpoenaed by the National Organization for Marriage and its allies in a federal law suit. That suit was filed so they could keep their contributor’s names secret, just like Mr. Brown promised his donors giving to your election.

They are retaliating against me in an attempt to silence me and bully me by dragging me into federal court.

This is what they do to stop any attempt to shed transparency on their operation. I am not scared, because I know that I am doing the right thing. The Fair Political Practices Commission is not afraid to investigate NOM and its allies because they know that it is the right thing to do as well. I hope that the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Elections Practices will stand up to their threats and scare tactics.

An investigation is the only way to get to the truth.

Today, October 1st marks the start of LGBT History month in this country. It began 15 years ago to encourage openness and honesty for those of us who happen to be gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender.

Please don’t let NOM’s threats against your state deter the five of you from doing the right thing today, by always striving for openness and honesty in the electoral process.

Thank you very much.

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News Coverage of Maine Ethics Commission Investigation from Around the World!

News Coverage of Maine Ethics Commission Investigation from Around the World!

Maine Marriage Campaign Probe Gets OK

By GLENN ADAMS (AP) – 1 day ago

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s campaign oversight board overruled a staff recommendation Thursday and authorized an investigation into fundraising by groups supporting the campaign to repeal the state’s gay marriage law in a Nov. 3 referendum.

The Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices voted 3-2 after some members said there was sufficient evidence to warrant a closer look at finance reporting by the National Organization for Marriage, a major contributor to Stand for Marriage Maine.

The latter group is leading the people’s veto campaign to repeal Maine’s legislatively enacted law recognizing same-sex marriages. Maine’s law, which was signed in May by Gov. John Baldacci, and the challenge forced by a petition drive have drawn national attention.

In the case before the ethics commission Thursday, Californians Against Hate founder Fred Karger complained that the Princeton, N.J.-based National Organization for Marriage is circumventing Maine law by not reporting the names of donors whose money is spent by the Maine campaign.

Karger’s whose group was formed to identify major donors in last year’s Proposition 8 campaign in California, in which voters overturned that state’s same-sex marriage law. Karger said NOM’s finances “have always been clouded in mystery.”

“They’re trying to shield their donors,” Karger said Thursday. “An investigation is the only way to the truth.”

NOM attorney Barry Bostrom said the organization’s policy is to collect donations not targeted for specific campaigns so donors will not have to fear business boycotts, property damage and other forms of harassment by same-sex marriage activists. Bostrom said NOM complies with state campaign financing laws in all states in which it’s active.

Brian Brown, NOM executive director, dismissed Karger’s complaint as “nothing more than an attempt to harass and intimidate those of us who believe in the core truth that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Thirty states have voter-approved gay marriage bans in their constitutions, and federal law bars federal recognition of gay unions. Six states have passed laws or have been ordered by the courts to allow same-sex marriage, but the people’s veto fight has focused national attention on Maine.

“I do believe Maine is now the No. 1 fight throughout the country,” said Brown. “Of course it’s critical.”

While the state ethics commission has authorized an investigation into whether violations of Maine’s finance reporting law occurred, it did not issue a deadline for a finding, either before the Nov. 3 election or after it. The commission staff had concluded there was not enough evidence to justify an investigation.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

More Coverage:

WGME CBS TV Portland, ME — http://www.wgme.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wgme_vid_753.shtml

WCSH NBC TV Portland, ME — http://www.wcsh6.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=109659&catid=2

San Francisco Examiner — http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/ap/63112492.html

Bangor Daily News — http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/123348.html

Maine Bureau News — http://blog.taragana.com/n/maine-ethics-commission-approves-probe-of-anti-gay-marriage-fundraising-184173/

WBZ CBS Radio Boston — http://wbztv.com/wireapnewsme/Ethics.commission.approves.2.1219009.html

Maine News Update — http://updates.mainetoday.com/updates/gay-marriage-funds-to-be-investigated

Bay Windows — http://www.baywindows.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=blog&sc2=news&sc3=&id=97085#

Pam’s House Blend — http://pamshouseblend.com/diary/13294/press-release-from-fred-karger

America Blog — http://www.americablog.com/2009/09/newsmax-is-backing-away-from-obama-coup.html

Pink News UK — http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2009/10/02/anti-gay-national-organisation-for-marriage-to-have-finances-probed/#

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