FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 12, 2013
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Jen Campbell (703-683-5004)
"The people of Iowa are entitled to the highest standards of ethical conduct and independence from the state's top ethics officer, but Megan Tooker has shown herself to be biased and incredibly unprofessional in her handling of the complaint against NOM." — Brian Brown, NOM president —
Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has formally demanded that the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board remove Megan Tooker, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Board, from any involvement in handling a complaint filed against NOM concerning the 2010 and 2012 campaigns to unseat Iowa's Supreme Court Justices. The group pointed to Tooker's employment with one of the justices who was removed from office in 2010 and her comments in the media following a recent Board hearing as evidence of her bias and partiality.
"The people of Iowa are entitled to the highest standards of ethical conduct and independence from the state's top ethics officer, but Megan Tooker has shown herself to be biased and incredibly unprofessional in her handling of the complaint against NOM," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "Ms. Tooker worked for one of the justices we helped remove from office in 2010 and which is the subject of the complaint she is evaluating. At a minimum this presents the appearance of a conflict of interest. Furthermore, her comments to the media reveal deep-seated animosity toward our position and are grossly inaccurate, prejudicial and inappropriate. We demand that she be removed from having any role in evaluating the complaint filed against us."
A homosexual marriage activist has filed a complaint against NOM alleging that they failed to disclose donors during the 2010 and 2012 judicial retention campaigns. NOM vigorously denies the allegations. Tooker was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Michael Streit, who was removed from office in 2010 following his vote to redefine marriage in the state. As Executive Director and General Counsel of the Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, Tooker recommended that the Board open an official inquiry, which the Board did at a hearing last week. Following the hearing and prior to receiving any evidence in the case, Ms. Tooker granted media interviews blatantly misrepresenting NOM's position regarding several critical elements of the complaint, falsely alleging that NOM believes it does not have to report contributions designated for the judicial retention campaign or funds raised by email or telephone solicitation. "She told the media that NOM's position is "absolutely wrong" and "absolutely false."
"By blatantly misrepresenting our position in the media, Ms. Tooker has in effect convicted us in absentia, without conducting any investigation or receiving any evidence," Brown said. "She's prejudiced our case by lying to the media about our position on critical matters, and then declaring us to be ‘absolutely wrong' and ‘absolutely false' in our defense of the complaint. Clearly, this is not the kind of ethical behavior one would expect from the state's top ethics officer, someone charged with conducting a fair and impartial investigation into the facts, and then carefully applying the facts to the law. Rather, it shows the deep bias she holds toward us for having helped unseat her former employer."
To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Jen Campbell (x145), [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).