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UPDATED: NOM Hands Over Donor List From Maine Campaign Against Same-Sex Marriage – Details

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NOM, having exhausted nearly all legal options, has finally filed its list of donors whose contributions helped the anti-gay group fight a 2009 same-sex marriage campaign in Maine.

In 2009 the Maine state legislature passed a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry, and it was signed into law. Christian conservatives were furious, just months earlier having won marriage bans in California (Prop 8) and Florida.

NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, was still relatively new, but the anti-gay group went into action and campaigned heavily for the law to be placed before the people of Maine. It was, and voters overturned the legislation even before it had gone into effect.

That campaign against same-sex marriage cost NOM over $2 million, but the organization, headed at the time by Maggie Gallagher, refused to obey Maine election laws by filing its list of donors. For years, NOM has battled the State of Maine, and each time, NOM has lost.

Finally, the Supreme Court of the State of Maine, after an ethics committee fined the group $50,000, ordered them several weeks ago to hand over their list of donors.

Late Friday, NOM finally obeyed the court’s order and filed the list.

What it reveals is stunning, but consistent with other revelations journalists have discovered about the formerly well-funded group.

A handful of donors contribute the vast, vast majority of NOM’s funds.

For the fight in Maine, only six donors are listed, totaling just over $2 million, according to the Maine Sun Journal. The list can be viewed here.

One donor, Sean Fieler, a New York City resident who is also the chairman of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, donated over half the group’s funds for the Maine fight: $1.25 million.

Other donors include the Knights of Columbus ($140,000), two out of state individuals who each gave $300,000, and only one Maine resident, who gave $50,000.

Fieler’s Chiaroscuro Foundation claims if offers “the poor healthcare and educational opportunities that they need to thrive. We offer the saving grace of Jesus to all while defending everyone’s unalienable right to exercise the religion of their own choosing.”

It does not mention marriage, but on its website it states Fieler is also the Chairman of the American Principles Project, which was co-founded by NOM co-founder Robert P. George. Fieler is also a member of the board of Witherspoon Institute, which funded and directed the anti-gay parenting “study” by Mark Regnerus, which NCRM and many others have thoroughly debunked. Fieler is also on the board of the very anti-gay Manhattan Institute, which calls for anarchy in the face of government supported civil rights, including same-sex marriage and abortion.

UPDATE I: 2:09 PM EDT –
“The crooks & liars at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) got caught money laundering $2 million in the Maine gay marriage election,” Fred Karger, one of NOM’s greatest critics, told NCRM exclusively via an email conversation. “I am honored to have filed the original complaint against NOM nearly six years ago and traveled to Augusta four times to testify against NOM before the Maine Ethics Commission.”

“Kudos to Jonathan Wayne, its Executive Director, Assistant Attorney General Phyllis Gardiner and their offices for their six years of hard work beating NOM at every turn. Great to see NOM pay a record $50,500 fine and spend millions more in attorney’s fees. Today is a great day for truth and transparency in elections,” Karger, founder of the group Rights Equal Rights, adds.

 

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. 

 

Image: Screenshot via UStream/NOM

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FIRST AMENDMENT? WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?

Justice Clarence Thomas Believes Media Criticism of Decisions ‘Jeopardizes Any Faith’ in the Supreme Court

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Justice Clarence Thomas complained about the harsh criticism the Supreme Court has received since allowing a controversial anti-abortion law to go into effect in Texas.

Thomas delivered the 2021 Tocqueville Lecture at the University of Notre Dame on Thursday, where he complained about media criticism, The Washington Post reported.

“I think the media makes it sound as though you are just always going right to your personal preference. So if they think you are anti-abortion or something personally, they think that’s the way you always will come out. They think you’re for this or for that. They think you become like a politician,” Thomas said.

“That’s a problem. You’re going to jeopardize any faith in the legal institutions,” he said.

A second Post report on the speech noted Thomas’ remarks on the ongoing mistrust of the court.

“The court was thought to be the least dangerous branch and we may have become the most dangerous,” Thomas said. “And I think that’s problematic.”

The newspaper noted the lecture was interrupted by protesters who yelled, “I still believe Anita Hill.”

 

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AMERICAN IDIOT

‘Genius’ Madison Cawthorn Mocked for Claiming the Constitution Prohibits Airlines From Requiring Vaccinations

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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn is once again being mocked, this time for yet again not understanding the very basics of American democracy.

On Thursday the Republican from North Carolina claimed it is “illegal” and unconstitutional for airlines to require passengers to be vaccinated, because “you actually have a constitutionally protected right to free, unrestricted travel within the United States.”

That last part has a tiny shred of truth to it. Just not in the way Congressman Cawthorn thinks.

(Those inteested in the legal mechanics should examine this and this.)

Anyone could take a minute to come up with arguments why his claim is false, including that anyone driving a car is required to have a driver’s license and insurance, and wear a seat belt.

The freshman Congressman was quickly mocked:

 

 

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News

29 Months Later Bill Barr’s Super Secret Russia Special Counsel Files His Second Indictment – for Alleged Lying

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In April of 2019 then-Attorney General Bill Barr ordered the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut to open and lead an investigation into Russia – not into how Russia has been attacking the United States via cyber warfare, undermining Americans’ trust in American institutions, and using social media to do it, but into whether or not the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been warranted in opening an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, including its investigation of Donald Trump.

On Thursday, 29 months after Barr first appointed John Durham (photo, right) to lead that super-secret investigation, 11 months after Barr secretly turned Durham into a special counsel to ensure the investigation would continue past his and Trump’s tenure, and after spending untold millions of taxpayer dollars, the Dept. of Justice has announced Durham has obtained a second indictment.

“A prominent cybersecurity lawyer was indicted on a charge of lying to the F.B.I. five years ago during a meeting about Donald J. Trump and Russia, the Justice Department announced on Thursday,” The New York Times reports.

The lawyer, Michael Sussmann, “of the law firm Perkins Coie, which has deep ties to the Democratic Party — is accused of making a false statement about his client at the meeting.”

Mr. Sussmann’s defense lawyers have denied the accusation, saying that he did not make a false statement, that the evidence he did is weak and that who he was representing was not a material fact in any case. They have vowed to fight any charge in court.

At issue is who was Sussman working for when he “relayed concerns by cybersecurity researchers who believed that unusual internet data might be evidence of a covert communications channel between computer servers associated with the Trump Organization and with Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-linked Russian financial institution.”

Apparently not at issue is if the Trump Organization or campaign had a secret communications channel to a Kremlin-linked organization.

Frequent viewers of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow are likely familiar with her reporting on Alfa Bank, including this segment from October 2018:

Durham has not obtained any indictment against anyone in Russia, any Russian operatives, any Trump Organization or campaign official, or anyone who may have been involved in Russia’s attack on the United States.

The only other indictment Durham has obtained from his two-plus year investigation? The Times in 2019 reported on a “low-level” FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, who “altered an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap,” on Carter Page, a Trump campaign advisor.

One expert calls the indictment “weak.”

 

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