An out-of-state organization that funded much of last year's successful campaign against same-sex marriage must testify before The Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, the commission voted Thursday.
The panel is conducting an investigation into possible violation of Maine's campaign finance disclosure laws. On Thursday, it rejected requests by the organization to drop two subpoenas the panel issued in its investigation.
The organization, National Organization for Marriage, gave more than $1.9 million to the Stand for Marriage Maine Political Action Committee, which helped fund the campaign to overturn a law the Legislature passed last year legalizing same-sex marriage.
National Organization for Marriage did not register as a political action committee here, and the ethics commission wants to know who donated to the organization, and for what purpose.
Really, this doesn't bear much commentary. The National Organization for Marriage wants to contribute nearly two million smackers toward the bigoted (and successful) campaign to strip me of my hard-won right to get married, that's its right. But why on earth it thought it should be able to do so while ignoring Maine's campaign finance laws is beyond me. I can understand that donors might have preferred to keep their bigotry quiet (what with it being such an ugly commentary about the kind of people they are, and all), but nobody is forcing them to donate and the NOM knew about Maine's law (or certainly should have) before they sunk the cash.
On that note, this makes me smile a big, fat wide one.
In 2008, National Organization for Marriage raised millions in support of the successful constitutional amendment in California known as Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. In that campaign, the group formed a political action committee and reported its donors as required by California law.
"For some reason, in 2009 in Maine they decided not to do that," Wayne said. "NOM told donors they would not be disclosed. ... I don't know why they made that statement."
Oh, too bad for NOM! I have a pretty good theory about why NOM made that legally unsupportable statement (see above re: wanting to keep one's financial contribution to bigotry quiet), and it fills me with a warm, fuzzy feeling to see it fall flat.
It just couldn't happen to a nicer organization.