In this exclusive op-ed, top National Organization For Marriage watchdog Fred Karger explores and explains who’s funding NOM’s anti-gay campaign “to demonize the LGBT community and deny us our full equality.”
Maine vs. NOM
“It’s very frustrating to be dealing with such a litigious group as this. You have to wonder what they’re trying so desperately to protect,” Attorney General Janet Mills said.
This quote came last week, right after the Maine State Supreme Court ordered the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to turn over the names of its donors to the 2009 campaign NOM ran and funded to take away gay marriage in Maine. Brian Brown, NOMâ€™s president has spent millions of dollars and countless hours (including his two long depositions conducted by the Attorney General) to keep their donors secret.
We now know from Brownâ€™s depositions that three of his mega-contributors gave NOM $1 million, $400,000 and $300,000 to be used in the Maine election that year. Brown conveniently couldnâ€™t remember the names of these three very generous donors when questioned by Maine Assistant Attorney General Thomas Knowlton a few months later.
All evidence points to the fact that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) created NOM in 2007 to qualify and pass Californiaâ€™s Proposition 8 the following year. The Mormon Church conspired with the Catholic Church in California, but the Mormons got busted. The LDS Church raised $30 million of the $40 million it took to pass Prop 8. Between 2008 and 2009 the Mormon Church was also investigated, prosecuted, fined and found guilty on 13 counts of election fraud by the California Fair Political Practices Commission for all it did to pass Prop 8 and didnâ€™t report. By the time Maine rolled around a year later, it appears that the Mormon Church had retreated and tried to fly under the radar.
But did the LDS ChurchÂ or one of its wealthy members writeÂ out theÂ $1 millionÂ checkÂ to NOMÂ expecting that it would never be discovered? What about the CatholicÂ Church? It was the face of the campaign to repeal Maineâ€™s gay marriage law that year, but Catholic dioceses from around the countryÂ gave openly to pass Maineâ€™sÂ Question 1. ItsÂ political arm, the Knights of ColumbusÂ gave $50,000. Â SoÂ itâ€™s unlikely that the Catholics wouldnâ€™tÂ launder additional money to NOM,Â andÂ thenÂ goÂ throughÂ
Maybe the big checks came from Californiaâ€™s Howard Ahmanson who gave $1,395,000 to pass Prop 8 or Philadelphia billionaire John Templeton, Jr. who gave $1,100,000 to pass Prop 8. These two men donâ€™t seem to mind being publically identified opposing marriage equality, but lots of these mega-donors backed away from supporting NOM, because it was under investigation.
Jonathan Wayne, executive director of The Maine Commission on Governmental and Election Practices has indicated that its nearly four-year investigation of NOM should be wrapped up by September of this year. Thatâ€™s just about four years from the day I went to testify before the Commission, filed my sworn complaint and asked them to investigate NOM for alleged campaign money laundering. It was an exciting day when the Commission voted to investigate NOM. After the vote and before his press conference Brian Brown excused himself from the proceedings and went to make one phone call. I would sure love to know exactly whom he called.
We were ridiculed when Danielle Avel and I produced 83 emails from NOM head Brian Brown, many of which appealed for money to help pass Maineâ€™s Question 1. Brownâ€™s emails often said, â€œGive your money directly to NOM and your names will be kept secret.â€ Then Brown denied that, in his sworn affidavit which he had â€œnotarizedâ€ in Virginia before flying up to testify in front of the Ethics Committee.
Wonder if there is any law against filing a false and misleading affidavitÂ when testifying before the Maine Commission on Governmental and Election Practices?
Huge Thanks Go Out to the State of Maine
I want to thank the courageous efforts of both the Maine Attorney General’s office and the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. Both agencies have done the most incredible job of fighting back against NOM and its army of high priced attorneys for the past four years. Last weekâ€™s State Supreme Court ruling was a victory for everyone who believes in truth and transparency in elections.
Brian Brown and his National Organization for Marriage have worked overtime to demonize the LGBT community and deny us our full equality for half a decade. They have steadfastly refused to reveal where all their millions and millions of dollars to do so come from. Thanks to the courage and tenacity of Maine officials we will finally find out.
Fred Â Karger, theÂ first openly gay presidential candidate from a major political party in American history,Â is an American political consultant, gay rights activist, watchdog, political pundit, writer, public speaker, author, former actor and was the 2012 candidate for the Republican nomination for President. Â Although he has never held elected office, Karger has worked on ten presidential campaigns and served as a senior consultant during the campaigns of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford. Â
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‘Oddest’: Legal Experts Mock Trump’s ‘Nutty’ and ‘Doomed to Fail’ Emergency Supreme Court Motion
It weighs in at 240 pages but legal experts are still mocking Donald Trump’s emergency petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an 11th Circuit Court ruling and allow the special master to continue to inspect the 103 classified documents retrieved from him Mar-a-Lago home.
“Oddest SCOTUS petition. Very technical and not terribly logical,” observed Andrew Weissmann, an NYU School of Law law professor and former DOJ official who served as the General Counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as special counsel to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller.
The motion was addressed to Justice Clarence Thomas, who oversees the 11th Circuit courts. His wife, Ginni Thomas, is an avowed supporter of Trump and his “Big Lie” claims he won the 2020 election.
“SCOTUS should send him packing,” tweets former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now an MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst. “No surprise here, this was why he paid former Florida Solicitor General Chris Kise $3 million to sign on, no one else on his team could handle this.”
“Just watch SCOTUS turn Trump down 9-0. (Or 8-1 if Thomas dissents . . . ),” writes retired Harvard professor of law Laurence Tribe. “Will The Donald start calling ‘his’ three justices traitors? Will he say they have a ‘death wish’ as he did with McConnell?”
Weissmann took another hit at Trump’s Lawsuit, declaring it “nutty.”
“Trump argument to SCOTUS: 11th circuit had power to stay Cannon decision BUT it [could] not take the classified docs away from SM Dearie review. Nutty and if he won Dearie wd just say he won’t review the docs bc they are not Trump’s.”
University of Texas School of Law professor of law Steve Vladeck says that while the lawsuit is “not *entirely* laughable,” but he thinks “it’s both (1) doomed to fail; and (2) unlikely to accomplish much even if it succeeds.”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti says, “I would not be surprised if the Supreme Court decides not to hear it.”
Trump Asks Supreme Court to Intervene for Him in Classified Documents Case
Donald Trump on Tuesday petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in his classified documents case, and reverse a ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed the U.S. Dept. of Justice access to the more than 100 classified and top secret documents federal agents recovered from his Mar-a-Lago residence and resort.
Trump is asking the nation’s highest court to order a special master to continue to inspect the 103 classified documents, despite the special master emphatically stating the government, not Trump, gets to decide what is classified and what is not, especially when Trump refused to provide a list of what he considered declassified.
The lawsuit, which is a massive 240 pages, mostly made up of other documents including the now infamous FBI photo of the classified documents on the Mar-a-Lago rug, is addressed to “The Honorable Clarence Thomas, Circuit Justice for the Eleventh Circuit,” and refers to the former president as “President Trump.”
The lawsuit also mentions the contents that federal agents took, including “89 empty envelopes,” while not noting they were classified document envelopes.
“As part of the 11th Circuit’s decision, the panel allowed the criminal investigation to use the seized documents, something [Judge] Cannon had previously barred,” The Washington Post notes. “Trump’s filing seeks only to reverse the appeals court’s ruling on the special master’s access to the documents, not the part of the decision concerning the investigation.”
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
Biden Will Include DeSantis in His Visit to Support Florida Hurricane Victims
President Joe Biden will travel to Florida Wednesday to support families devastated by Hurricane Ian, and will include the state’s GOP governor, Ron DeSantis, in his trip, the White House announced Tuesday.
Last week, asked if he would meet with DeSantis, a top detractor of the president, Biden told a reporter who asked, “I’ll meet with everybody who’s around. The answer is yes, if he wants to meet.”
President Biden on whether he plans to meet with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) when he goes to Florida:
“I’ll meet with everybody who’s around. The answer is yes, if he wants to meet.” pic.twitter.com/nJvW9kKH7T
— The Recount (@therecount) September 29, 2022
“This is not about anything having to do with our disagreements politically, this is about saving people’s lives, homes and businesses,” Biden also said last week.
President Biden says he’s had good conversations with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) about Hurricane Ian aid:
“He complimented me, he thanked me for the immediate response we had, he told me how much he appreciated it … This is not about … our disagreements politically.” pic.twitter.com/SymBlqG75X
— The Recount (@therecount) September 29, 2022
DeSantis asked President Biden for financial assistance for his state, battered by what experts say is one of the worst hurricanes in U.S. history. DeSantis voted against relief aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy when he served in Congress.
President Biden and the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, will travel via Air Force One to Fort Myers, one of the hardest-hit areas of Florida by Hurricane Ian.
But Fort Myers is also part of Lee County, where officials delayed evacuation orders.
“Lee County, which includes the hard-hit seaside community of Fort Myers Beach, as well as the towns of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Cape Coral, did not issue a mandatory evacuation order for the areas likely to be hardest hit until Tuesday morning, a day after several neighboring counties had ordered their most vulnerable residents to flee,” The New York Times reported. “By then, some residents recalled that they had little time to evacuate.”
“Lee County, which includes the hard-hit seaside community of Fort Myers Beach, as well as the towns of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Cape Coral, did not issue a mandatory evacuation order for the areas likely to be hardest hit until Tuesday morning, a day after several neighboring counties had ordered their most vulnerable residents to flee,” the Times added. “By then, some residents recalled that they had little time to evacuate.”
The St. Louis Post Dispatch blasted the Florida GOP governor, calling his “flip-flop on hurricane relief” a “study in right-wing hypocrisy.”
“DeSantis’ willingness to shelve his usual attacks on the Biden administration to politely request emergency federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Ian is an inspiring example of constructive bipartisanship — as is Biden’s announcement that the government will bear a big part of the expense,” the Dispatch Editorial Board stated. “It’s interesting, though, that DeSantis took exactly the opposite stance a decade ago when he joined other hard-right members of Congress who argued against generous federal recovery aid when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast.”
Over the weekend DeSantis was blasted by volunteer relief aid workers who were delayed for hours in distributing “food, water, medicine, diapers, and anything else people needed” so Gov. DeSantis could get a photo-op.
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