The National Organization For Marriage (NOM), the leading anti-marriage equality organization in the United States, has always been a mystery. Maggie Gallagher, her name synonymous with NOM, herself has always been a mystery too, given her status as a leading “traditional marriage” supporter who has a very-hidden husband, who admits to having had a child out of wedlock, and has another child rumored to be gay himself. Now, with the defection of NOM’s grassroots and online messaging strategist, Louis Marinelli, we’re getting some insight into the mighty army that almost single-handedly has been able to — at least temporarily — keep equality at bay in several key battlegrounds. And we’re learning what we’ve been led to believe is aÂ mighty army is an army of about a half-dozen people.
Just days after his defection, a courageous act in which he renounced the beliefs held by his bosses at the National Organization For Marriage and embraced the concept of full civil marriage equality for same-gender couples, Marinelli writes, “NOM is a small group of devoutly religious Catholics supported by a couple of undisclosed sources,” adding, “NOM is essentially made up of Brian Brown, itâ€™s President, [sic]Â Maggie Gallagher, the CEO, a handful of other Board members (who are scattered across the countryÂ involvedÂ in other matters), a couple of advisors to Mr. Brown and a small and largely incompetentÂ office staff.”
So, it’s Maggie, Brian, and a half-dozen or so worker bees. Board members rarely do any heavy lifting.
Which puts into contention even more the claim Gallagher made a few years ago that she has gay people working for her. She was clear: they are gay and there was more than one.
Marinelli goes on to state that, “Their social media management isnâ€™t operated by NOM â€“ theyâ€™re not big enough for that nor do they understand social media!,”Â and says that, “There is no grassroots opposition.”
Wow. Let me repeat that:Â “There is no grassroots opposition.”
Which brings us to Marinelli’s other big reveal: NOM’s hidden funding.
We know that NOM, in state after state, has gone to court, refusing to release its list of donors, and in state after state they have lost.
Marinelli writes, “I, like you have seen on multiple occasions how fundraisers, which are matched dollar for dollar by an undisclosed source pulling the strings from behind the shadows, have met their goals. I shared the suspicion many did when gaps ofÂ hundredsÂ of thousands of dollars in donations were suddenly closed in the final hours running up to the deadline.”
Timothy Kincaid at Box Turtle Bulletin earlier this year suggested, “NOM is simply a shill, a front for a singular entity who wishes to secretly engage in politics.”
So, the National Organization For Marriage is made up of a few players, with major, secret funding. It’s been confirmed from an insider, who tells us, “That is all that is standing between you and the freedom to marry.”
[image Maggie Gallagher standing (almost) alone:Â lost in miami]
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Madison Cawthorn Projected to Lose Seat – GOP Nominee Will Face LGBTQ Democrat
U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn is projected to have lost his primary Tuesday night and be a one-term Congressman.
Dave Wasserman, the U.S. House editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report first made the call Tuesday night:
I’ve seen enough: Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R) has lost renomination to state Sen. Chuck Edwards (R) in the #NC11 GOP primary.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) May 18, 2022
Business Insider also reports Cawthorn was “ousted.”
Republicans in Cawthorn’s North Carolina district had eight candidates to choose from and picked state Senator Chuck Edwards. As recently as last week Edwards was “polling a distant second at 21 percent,” Newsweek reported.
Edwards will face a formidable Democrat, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara. A Buncombe County Commissioner, Beach-Ferrara is an ordained Christian minister and the founding Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE).
Beach-Ferrara has a strong focus on policy. Unlike many modern-day candidates, especially on the right, her website lists her positions on 16 different issues: Agriculture, Children’s Issues, Choice, Climate Issues, COVID, Economic Opportunity & Job Creation, Education, Healthcare, Higher Education & Student Loan Debt, Legalizing Marijuana, LGBTQ Rights, Opioid Crisis, Racial Justice, Social Security & Medicare, Veterans, and Voting Rights & Independent Redistricting.
“Jasmine and her wife, Meghann Burke, live in Asheville with their oldest child Cal, twins Lily and Wyatt and dog, Ruggles,” her campaign website says. “They love hiking, swimming, exploring every playground in the county, and BBQ-ing. Jasmine is a fan of the UNC Tarheels, Carolina Courage, and Carolina Panthers.”
Chuck Edwards was endorsed by several Republicans, including U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, Phil Berger, the President pro tempore of the North Carolina Senate, and North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore.
But Cawthorn’s constituents reportedly had grown tired of his immaturity, including, as Newsweek noted, “being stopped by police three times since October—for alleged speeding and driving with a revoked license—being caught for the second time with a gun at airport security and accusations he was involved in illegal insider trading in relation to his ties to a ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ cryptocurrency.”
“Images have also been leaked of him wearing women’s lingerie. Another leaked video appeared to show him naked in bed thrusting against another person. Cawthorn said he was being ‘crass with a friend.'”
UPDATE: 10:24 PM ET –
MSNBC reports Cawthorn has conceded the race.
Image via Facebook
‘Weird’ Mood at Madison Cawthorn’s HQ as He Trails in the Polls: NBC News Reporter
Controversial Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s election party was not joyful as he trailed in the Republican primary for renomination.
“Nearly 45 minutes after polls closed on Tuesday night, Rep. Madison Cawthorn trailed challenger state Sen. Chuck Edwards,” The Charlotte Observer reported. “Cawthorn, the youngest member of the 117th Congress, had already earned national attention in his first term for his support of former President Donald Trump, his far-right beliefs and his controversial comments and behavior. But beginning in March, a series of scandals, which he called a drip campaign from his Republican colleagues, plagued the congressman.”
U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis backed state Sen. Chuck Edwards, who was leading the race.
“It began when he called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ‘a thug’ and the Ukrainian government ‘evil.’ It escalated when he went on a podcast and said his congressional colleagues participated in orgies and did key bumps of cocaine. From there he was charged with driving with a revoked license, was caught at an airport for the second time with a gun, accused of insider trading, while photos of him draped in lingerie on a cruise ship and a video of him naked in bed with another person leaked,” the newspaper noted.
NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton reported there was a “weird” mood at Cawthorn’s headquarters.
“And frankly, the mood at’s election night party behind me here is a little weird. There is about 30 or so people milling around, probably about a third of them are reporters. It’s very quiet, nobody has come out on stage and said much to us yet. and, so you get the sense that people are — they have a sense of the trouble that he is in,” she reported.
“I’m not surprised. I spent the day out of the precincts in a Republican district right near me here and I talked to Republicans all day long, who are using words to describe him like, immature, or maybe not ready to lead at 26,” she reported.
Watch below or at this link.
‘Here We Go’: Legal Experts Discuss New DOJ Request for Transcripts From Jan. 6 Committee for ‘Criminal’ Investigation
The U.S. Dept. of Justice has formally requested transcripts from the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, saying their extensive interviews “may contain information relevant to a criminal investigation we are conducting.” The House Select Committee has conducted interviews with more than 1000 people, including former Trump associates and even his family members.
The New York Times, which broke the story Tuesday, reports the request comes “as Attorney General Merrick B. Garland appears to be ramping up the pace of his painstaking investigation into the Capitol riot,” and calls it “the clearest sign yet of a wide-ranging inquiry at the Justice Department.”
Also telling is that the request came from Kenneth A. Polite Jr., the assistant attorney general for the criminal division, and Matthew M. Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.
But House Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) says not so fast, according to The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell:
New: Jan. 6 committee chair Bennie Thompson tells CBS that they won’t turn over transcripts to DOJ right now: “They made a request. We told them that as a committee, our work product was ours, and we’re not giving anyone access to the work product.”
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) May 17, 2022
Former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega suggests Chairman Thompson’s remarks may be to ensure no one thinks there was coordination behind the scenes:
“DOJ will get what it needs from the January 6 committee. There might have to be some negotiation, maybe even grand jury subpoenas, but the committee doesn’t want to be seen as working hand in glove with DOJ.”
Meanwhile, Glenn Kirschner, a federal prosecutor for 30 years who is now a popular NBC News and MSNBC legal analyst notes the Dept. of Justice may get access to a wealth of testimony that it might not have been able to obtain otherwise:
“Whether this was always the DOJ plan (& whether the J6 committee knew it or not), important info has been developed by the [January 6 Committee] that would not have been developed had the witnesses been subpoenaed to the grand jury (as they would have pled the 5th).”
(In March, Kirschner concluded that Donald Trump “will be charged” after remarks Attorney General Merrick Garland made.)
National security and civil liberties expert and journalist Marcy Wheeler also suggests this may have been the plan all along, and implies it is a smart strategy:
Outsourcing to Jan 6 allowed the following:
1) Biden to waive privilege w/o learning anything about the DOJ Jan 6 investigation
2) A co-equal branch of govt to beat back the privilege fight
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) May 17, 2022
“And YES, it allowed Jan 6 to interview people against whom DOJ did not and/or would never get probable cause a crime had committed to share evidence,” she adds.
But former federal and state prosecutor Elie Honig, now a CNN legal analyst, is less complimentary of Garland and DOJ, calling the request for access to transcripts “an obvious and overdue move.”
MSNBC legal analyst Daniel Goldman, the well-known former Lead Counsel for the House Impeachment Inquiry, and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for SDNY agrees it’s wise for the Jan. 6 Committee to focus on its own work and deal with DOJ after the public hearings.
The 1/6 Cmte is wise to let the hearings play out – which will reveal more information about Trump and Pence – and then pursue Trump and Pence testimony. Public pressure will be much greater after the hearings. Trump and Pence would be a sideshow and detract from the hearings. https://t.co/son6VNQ5hF
— Daniel Goldman (@danielsgoldman) May 17, 2022
Former U.S. Attorney and national security prosecutor Barb McQuade, now a well-known MSNBC and NBC News legal analyst and law professor summed up what many appear to be thinking: “Here we go.”
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