Monday, May 04, 2009

National Organization for Marriage charged with avoiding disclosure

From Advocate.Com, Antigay Group Hiding Mormon Cash?

The nonprofit National Organization for Marriage -- better known as the people behind the widely panned "Gathering Storm" commercials and as friends of "opposite marriage" supporter Miss California, Carrie Prejean -- is required by law to release its financial reports. According to the marriage-equality group Californians Against Hate, NOM is skirting that law, refusing to make its IRS 990 forms public.

[Fred] Karger and his group believe NOM is a front group set up by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to first qualify California's Proposition 8 for the ballot and, later, fight marriage equality around the nation. Six weeks ago [Californians Against Hate] filed a formal complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission charging that the Mormon Church established NOM as a way to fund Proposition 8; the commission is now looking into the matter.

"Californians Against Hate had representatives go by the Princeton, New Jersey, offices of the National Organization for Marriage twice to get copies of their IRS 990 reports, to no avail," Fred Karger, CAH's president, wrote in a press release. "Then our representative, Ben Katzenberg, sent two certified letters to the NOM office on March 18, 2009, requesting its two 990 forms. Federal law requires NOM to furnish copies of these IRS filings within 30 days after the request has been received. And 40 days later, still no 990s."

CAH has filed a formal complaint with the IRS citing NOM's failure to comply with the federal public disclosure laws; NOM could be hit with penalties of up to $10,000 if the group remains resistant to complying.

"They now claim to be spending $1.5 million on their outrageous TV commercials," Karger said. "Where is that money coming from? How much are they personally paying themselves?"

"How much 501(c)4 money did they raise to qualify and pass Prop. 8?" asked Karger. "These and many more questions need to be answered. Now."

No comments: