Recently, the Maine Ethics Commission voted unanimously to fine the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) a record $50,250 for money laundering. This was more than double the largest fine in the Commission's history. In addition to the fine, NOM was ordered to report its donor's names to Question 1; the November 2009 ballot referendum that repealed Maine's newly passed gay marriage law. NOM ran and funded $2 million of the $3 million that the Yes on Question 1 campaign raised.
I filed the 55-page sworn complaint with the Maine Ethics Commission against NOM for money laundering in that campaign. NOM president Brian Brown attacked me and said that I was crazy. Brown even signed a sworn affidavit that he presented to the Ethics Commission the day that the vote took place to investigate NOM, back on October 1, 2009. Brown lied in his sworn affidavit about the source of all their funds, and continued his cover-up and lies during the nearly five year investigation into his NOM.
NOM Sued Maine to Halt Investigation
Within weeks of the Ethics Commission vote to investigate NOM, NOM sued the Commission in federal and state court to stop the investigation. NOM lost at every turn, all the way up to the Maine State Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. Both courts ordered NOM to report its donor's names as required by Maine election law. NOM Chairman and attorney John Eastman defied both Supreme Court orders, and now has threatened to appeal the Ethics Commission's recent ruling as well.
As Maine Attorney General Janet Mills stated last year, "You have to wonder what they're [NOM] trying so desperately to protect."
The Smoking Gun
Take a look at just 2 pages of NOM's federal income tax return for 2009 -- CLICK HERE. There are 14 donors who gave NOM over $5,000 that year. Of these, 3 are mega-donors. Mr. Big gave NOM $2,475,000 in 2009. The amazing investigators at the Maine ethics office found the "smoking gun" memo from NOM to Mr. Big breaking down his massive contribution to Maine, Iowa, New Hampshire and a few other states so that NOM could use his or her money to fight their election battles without having to disclose Mr. Big's name. We assume that NOM also did this for the pair of other unnamed mystery donors who gave NOM $1,230,000 and $1,100,000 respectively during the Maine election.
NOM stupidly even said in many email blasts to its 500,000 list statements like; "Make your contribution directly to NOM and your name will not be reported in Maine." Or "Donate to NOM today to help defeat gay marriage in Maine and we will keep your donation private."
That is called money laundering and is illegal in all 50 states.
Take a look at the 37-page report from the Maine Ethics Commission and you can see just how NOM operates. Take a look at the Commission's findings and you can see how NOM was caught red-handed: CLICK HERE
Thank You Maine
When Brian Brown and his National Organization for Marriage end up like the Klu Klux Klan and all other hate groups in the garbage heap of history, supporters of equality will long remember and be thankful for the courageous defenders of truth and transparency at the Maine Ethics Commission and Off ice of the Maine Attorney General. The hard working men and women in these offices took on NOM and its army of lawyers at every turn and won.
Now more than ever, NOM donors must beware of the promises of anonymity made by NOM leaders John Eastman and Brian Brown. These two very unscrupulous men will tell donors anything to get their money.
Bye Bye Brian
Rest assured that I will continue my fight for truth and transparency with NOM, as the LGBT community fights for full equality in this country and around the globe.