FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 19, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)
"NOM strongly denies the findings of the staff report in Maine." — John Eastman, NOM chairman —
Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today announced that it will contest a recommendation by the staff of the Maine Ethics Commission to fine the group for alleged campaign finance violations during the successful 2009 referendum campaign that overturned legislation to redefine marriage in the state. The commission staff claimed that circumstances suggest that contributions it received to its general treasury should have been reported on its campaign finance reports in Maine.
"NOM strongly denies the findings of the staff report in Maine," said John Eastman, Chairman of the organization. "We did not raise funds designated for the Maine campaign and fully complied with Maine law. The staff has ignored uncontested sworn evidence from donors that we did not designate any contributions for the referendum effort and instead has focused on circumstantial evidence to support its conclusion when a fair reading of those circumstances suggests the opposite. We look forward to presenting our case to the full Commission."
The Maine staff report claimed that because NOM talked about the Maine referendum effort in emails and other communications with supporters, that contributions it received to its general treasury should be designated as having being given to support the Maine people's veto referendum campaign. Several groups involved on the other side of the 2009 campaign acted in a similar fashion, promoting the importance of the campaign to their supporters, yet the state has not initiated any investigation of those groups.
"It is troubling that NOM is the only organization that the commission staff has investigated when all the groups on both sides of the issue had a similar understanding of the law," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "If the commission interprets its rules to require that NOM designate contributions it received to support its general treasury, then countless groups who opposed us are guilty of the same thing. We think this shows that the staff is misapplying the rules to NOM and we will contest the staff conclusions."
A hearing on the issue has been scheduled for May 28th. The commission staff has recommended that NOM be fined $50,000.
To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, or John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray, [email protected], or Matille Thebolt, [email protected], at 703-683-5004
Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).