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National Organization for Marriage wants feds to investigate the Human Rights Campaign

NOM Exposed Right-wing

By Scottie Thomaston

After NOM’s plan to divide minorities and promote hostility between marginalized groups through race-baiting, homophobia and harassment of the children of gay couples was exposed, they at first attempted to play it off like it wasn’t a big deal at all. Then when national media outlets started reporting on it, NOM tried to continue race-baiting on live TV and elsewhere, by invoking black legislators or religious people in hopes that gays would lash out and call them a bigot. That didn’t work, either.

Then, it was discovered that when Mitt Romney donated to help the campaign to pass Proposition 8 in 2008, he sent his donation through unusual channels, making it difficult to find his donation. A whistleblower sent the filing to the Human Rights Campaign and it was leaked. Now that the memos are out and the questionable donation has been discovered, it has provided more evidence to back up the perception that NOM is desperate to hide their donors. NOM has a long sordid history of desperately attempting to hide donors from disclosure through a series of failed court challenges; in one of those challenges by a NOM-affiliated group, even Justice Antonin Scalia at one point called out their cowardice:

There are laws against threats and intimidation; and harsh criticism, short of unlawful action, is a price our people have traditionally been willing to pay for self-governance. Requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed. For my part, I do not look forward to a society which, thanks to the Supreme Court, campaigns anonymously […] and even exercises the direct democracy of initiative and referendum hidden from public scrutiny and protected from the accountability of criticism. This does not resemble the Home of the Brave.

And now NOM is responding by demanding a federal investigation into the Human Rights Campaign and the IRS:

“It appears that someone with either the IRS or the HRC may have committed a federal crime by illegally obtaining and then releasing a confidential tax return of the National Organization for Marriage,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “It’s clear that the tax return was stolen, either from NOM or from the government. The Huffington Post article says that HRC claimed they received the document from a ‘whistleblower.’ But the term ‘whistleblower’ is completely inapt. We’re talking about a criminal who has stolen confidential tax return information. We demand to know who this criminal is, whether they work for the HRC or the IRS, and how they obtained confidential tax information filed only with the US government.”

Apparently, to take the spotlight off their odious tactics (and not to mention possible violations of the law, they are accusing the Human Rights Campaign of odious tactics and law-breaking. The HRC has a short blog post on the request for investigation.

65 Comments

  • 1. Richard Lyon  |  April 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Poor NOM!

    When you get caught with your pants down, it is often so difficult to run away.

  • 2. Mackenzie  |  April 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I am glad all of this came out, and it furthers our cause. However, I do have a sersious question. Was this tax info indeed obtained illegally? If so, this is not a wise path for us to take. I sure hope no one did anything explicity wrong.

  • 3. Scottie Thomaston  |  April 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Yep. This was a pretty standard response after getting caught.

  • 4. Scottie Thomaston  |  April 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I can't imagine the HRC would have moved ahead with something illegal.

  • 5. Tony  |  April 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Not clear which tax forms revealed here. As a 501(c)(4) organization at least some of their tax returns are public information. The IRS has a warning page reminding organizations to not include extraneous personal information on these forms: http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=202608…

  • 6. Kate  |  April 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    To top it off, they're "demanding" an investigation of the IRS! Oh god, does that ever make me laugh. Is that guts or stupidity?????

  • 7. Mark Mead-Brewer  |  April 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I have been trying to post a question on NOMblog but of course I am blocked. I wanted to know why they are upset about release of donor info considering they have been ordered by more than one court, in more than one state to release this info already.
    What's the big hoopla NOM????

  • 8. Kate  |  April 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Yeah. I wish someone could get that point posted. None of us who have tried have gotten through. Anybody else here willing to give it a try?

  • 9. MArk  |  April 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    How we demand an investigation of NOM by the IRS and the DOJ

  • 10. chris hogan  |  April 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    It looks like NOM's desperate strategy is: "I know you ARE but what am I?"

  • 11. JPHINEAS  |  April 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    The problem with NOM is that its first priority is to protect its parent and partner organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This is a situation where if this comes to light, the nations fastest growing religion will risk losing its not for profit status and becoming tax liable. With all the temples, meetinghouses, stake centers, store houses, canneries, farms and retail outlets, not to mention the stockholdings and possessions of the Corporation of the Presiding Bishopric, the tax liablity would send that institution into foreclosure faster than they could appeal. Thats the real story with nom.

  • 12. Rich  |  April 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    The NOM blog site is in major lock-down mode as far as entertaining virtually any contrary opinions. If ever there has been a desperation counter punch, this is it. The pressure is on them and the 3-4 NOM regulars are spitting back. The most recent post celebrates the 80th anniversary of a M/Mrs Rontondo. They will not post anything from those of us celebrating anniversaries of our own. I wonder if M/Mrs Rontondo have a clue that their marriage is considered by NOM to be the model for humanity. We don't even know if they have children. (In any event, I wish them well and hope that they were not "used" by NOM.)

  • 13. Kate  |  April 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I read the article because I couldn't believe anyone could look that "young" and be married 80 years. Instead it's an old photo; she's in her 90s and he's in his 100s. They have kids. And……… they're Catholic.

  • 14. Bob Barnes  |  April 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Bottom line, the HRC makes no move that would ever put them in legal jeopardy, especially at the hands of NOM.

  • 15. Dizzy  |  April 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    One word – STUPID

  • 16. Carpool Cookie  |  April 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    In addition, copies of tax information are floating around EVERYWHERE, and people can happen upon them. A Xerox or poor print-out of a tax form could have ended up in someone's trash, and then been "recycled". It's not like there's just ONE copy of a tax return carved on a stone tablet, somewhere. Someone's accountant has one, the IRS has one, the individual has one…a family member might have one…a dog could snatch one off a coffee table and roll it around in the dirt, then abandon it…someone with a similar address might have got one in the mail……who knows? NOT EVERYTHING GETS SHREDDED.

  • 17. Carpool Cookie  |  April 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    PS: the fun thing that happens legally in a case like that is, If someone demands the item back and says it's a priviledged document, they first have to prove it's theirs, and that it's authentic….to establish a chain of original ownership [b] : )[/b]

  • 18. Carpool Cookie  |  April 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Damn it.

    Meant : )

  • 19. bayareajohn  |  April 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    "Brown said he would present a written demand for an investigation to both the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, and to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service."

    Uh-oh, a WRITTEN demand. I bet that goes in someone's permanent record.

  • 20. Rob in CA  |  April 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Is this our answer to the Federal budget deficit!?

  • 21. grod  |  April 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Desperation is often mistaken as guts. Desperation often results in errors of judgment or stupidity. It is an error in judgments to demand an investigation into the IRS. It draws attention to your organization’s desperation. Not a risk worth taking.

  • 22. Kate  |  April 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I'll bet it's bs. I can't imagine even Brian would be that stupid. But he wants to APPEAR to his flock that he's taking on the Feds!

  • 23. Reformed  |  April 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    7. Mikhail
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    <EXCERPT> I enjoy the thought of these gays being tortured in hell, makes up for their opression and hatred of Christians in this life.

    Can you believe this? Not that their position on the matter isn't well known, but that they let this type of hate slip past the moderator? Makes me wonder if NOM is trying to protect themselves with public association with their donors. It must be Shirly Phelps Roper.

  • 24. bayareajohn  |  April 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    The most telling thing here is that NOM is going all bare teeth on this essentially saying "pay no attention to the fact that the Republican Presidential Nominee not only contributed but went through not one but two layers of subterfuge to hide it, we have a right to hide the truth, and that trumps everything else." Talk about losing sight of the goal, this tactic can only continue to lose the middle for NOM.

  • 25. TomTallis  |  April 6, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    NOM is nothing but a money laundering front group for the Catholic Church and Mormons. Someone should charge them under RICO.

  • 26. MightyAcorn  |  April 6, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    "God prefers kind atheists over hateful Christians": http://www.joemygod.blogspot.com/2012/04/church-s

  • 27. DaveP  |  April 6, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Just drawing the attention of the IRS to your organization in any way at all is a bad idea. Go NOM!!

  • 28. Scott Wooledge  |  April 7, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Wouldn't it be a hoot if someone in our community reached out to Mr & Mrs Rontondo and got them to say they supported marriage equality? Wonder if NOM was careful to be sure their poster couple was on their side? I wouldn't put it past them to just assume, and be wrong.

  • 29. Scott Wooledge  |  April 7, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Yes, I'm sort of thinking we should ask NOM and Romney, "what's the big deal?"

    NOM: aren't you proud a presidential candidate is giving to you?

    Romney: aren't you proud to <s>fund a race war</s> defend traditional marriage?

  • 30. Lynn E  |  April 7, 2012 at 1:01 am

    IRS workers' access to the documents that have been filed is strictly controlled. If this complaint is filed with IRS, it will be investigated as an Unauthorized Access, and the employee would almost certainly be fired and subject to criminal prosecution.
    However, it is true that much of the 501(c) organization returns are public information, and must be made available for public inspection. Fred Karger attempted to get copies directly from NOM and the chain of events was covered on his Californians Against Hate website (before it became the Vote for Fred Karger campaign). It would be interesting to know, given the history of their returns and Fred Karger's persistence, why NOM has identified HRC and IRS as the source for the "leak."

  • 31. sarah  |  April 7, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Aren't non-profit organizations tax returns were available to the public??

  • 32. Steve  |  April 7, 2012 at 7:10 am

    The LDS probably still supports them, but these days NOM is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Catholic Church and Opus Dei

  • 33. Chris in Lathrop  |  April 7, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Yep. It's the pot calling the kettle a criminal.

  • 34. Chris in Lathrop  |  April 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I think maybe this is the year that NOM finally tips the SLPC's hand and forces themselves onto the "hate organization" list!

  • 35. Chris in Lathrop  |  April 7, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Whilst also taking on reality, truth and civility.

  • 36. Str8Grandmother  |  April 7, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I'll give you a thumbs up on that one Steve.

  • 37. Str8Grandmother  |  April 7, 2012 at 10:14 am

    OR… as I recently read on another website,
    "NOM is Stuck On Stupid"
    :)

  • 38. Lesbians Love Boies  |  April 7, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Yes, but not their donor's public names unless they operate as a Private Foundation…

    NOM operates as a 501(c)(4) and donations are NOT tax deductible. They do have a 501(c)(3) on their education fund – but still both do not require them to disclose their 990 B form's 'Name and Addresses' (donator's list).

    In the case above of HRC obtaining NOMs 990B filing with individual names (if in fact that is what was obtained) is a very different story than state laws that require donation lists be disclosed by groups that raise or spend more than a certain dollar amount to influence voters…which NOM still hasn't disclosed.

  • 39. Lesbians Love Boies  |  April 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    It would be interesting to see if any of the donors on the leaked list did in fact write off their donation…which would be a catastrophic fail for NOM.

  • 40. chris hogan  |  April 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    This will backfire, as the law-abiding HRC will stand out against the deceitful, secretive and dishonest NOM.

  • 41. Lynn E  |  April 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    HRC has posted the pages, and there is a strip of information that has been covered (diagonally) across every page. Interestingly, this is where many preparers stamp something like "File copy" or "draft." Maybe Mr. Brown should start his investigation with their preparer.

  • 42. Rich  |  April 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    FYI – a statewide poll in Maine, revealed, today, in our Portland Press herald has the support for Marriage Equality up 58 percent.

  • 43. Bob  |  April 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    LDS, Catholic Church,, Opus Dei,,,,, as we type, they are funneling the money,,, switch and bait,,,,,,, they've had years of experience,,,,,,

  • 44. Bob  |  April 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    e-mailed that one all round,,,,,,

  • 45. bayareajohn  |  April 7, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Once popular support for marriage equality starts showing up in votes, NOM will calmly explain that such things are inappropriate for a voter approval, that government is to be held to a higher standard of morality. Much like Priests, I think.

  • 46. Deeelaaach  |  April 8, 2012 at 1:12 am

    But NOM is only allowing Freedom of Speech on their website – unless of course you disagree with them.

  • 47. National Organization for&hellip  |  April 8, 2012 at 5:14 am

    […] national media outlets started reporting On it, NOM tried to […] You may view the latest post at http://www.prop8trialtracker.com/2012/04/06/national-organization-for-marriage-wants-feds-to-investi… Rate this: Share this:EmailTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Posted by […]

  • 48. nottooold  |  April 8, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Has anybody considered that maybe somebody inside of NOM released the tax return?

  • 49. Leebarry  |  April 8, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Yes. That's the first thing I thought of when I read about it.

  • 50. nottooold  |  April 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Without looking it up, I presume that NOM is a non-profit organization, in which case, their tax returns should be public record, anyway. I believe that applies to any non-profit that engages in political activity but not other kinds of non-profits.

  • 51. grod  |  April 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Rich, you left out an important word “to" 58%. A few things about this poll, it split is 58/40, and two polls earlier this year [by different companies] asking nearly the same question found a 54/41+ split. The less optimistic might say that the favorable change is within the margin of error. The optimist would draw your attention to the undecided now being down to 2%. Here is hoping that the next poll has a similar finding to this one. As a statewide poll, it would be interesting to see how the numbers match up across the state with the results in the 2009 'ballot initiative' Question 1. If memory serves me well, the late October 2009 polls were contradictory.

  • 52. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Robert and I had a very emotional afternoon today. While going through and cleaning out the garage we came across a box thought LONG gone…the box of all our love letters to one another from back in the early and mid 80's. All the letters we wrote while he was away on ship in the Navy.
    And the jewel…the true treasure was the letter he wrote me proposing to me. July 1985.
    Shed a lot of tears today, but they were all of joy and utter happiness.
    I love you Robert

  • 53. Mormon Mother  |  April 8, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Mark, how wonderful that you found that treasure box.

  • 54. Ed Cortes  |  April 9, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I wouldn't assume that it slipped past the moderator at all. Even more likely is that it was produced by an insider. :-)

  • 55. AnonyGrl  |  April 9, 2012 at 7:28 am

    How terribly sweet!!!

  • 56. DaveP  |  April 9, 2012 at 8:14 am

    That is absolutely wonderful. Thanks so much for posting this story here. Just what I needed to start my week. Best to both of you!

  • 57. Regan D.  |  April 9, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Considering the immense cynicism in which NOM has conducted themselves, I'm inclined to believe THEY leaked this information in order to be able to point a finger at HRC.
    Most of their entire actions has been to be as inflammatory as possible in painting the equality movement as threatening, forcing NOM to at once retreat (such as in the case of appearing in court under oath), or face their 'enemy', by claiming victories and courage in the face of a formidable opponent.
    They have claimed death threats from equality advocates (and that the feds are 'duly investigating'), which is very different from said feds FINDING EVIDENCE.
    They've filed many court briefs to stay any decisions, but filing is very different from actually getting any court responses.
    If equality advocates showed up at any of their rallies, NOM reported it as if terrorists or gangs did so to intimidate NOM's supporters.
    Their hyperbole has no bounds whatsoever.
    So now it's all this false outrage that HRC has done something illegal. But my VERY good gut instinct says that HRC had nothing to do with GETTING it. Receiving it, and exposing this info however ISN'T illegal. And the HRC had no obligation to not expose it.
    NOM might regret using this tactic to smear HRC, since hiding their own culpability has been a big part of their activity.

  • 58. Carpool Cookie  |  April 9, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Re: "Uh-oh, a WRITTEN demand. I bet that goes in someone's permanent record. "

    If that fails, Plan B may be hiring a plane to do some skywritten demands over the IRS offices.

  • 59. Kathleen  |  April 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    So wonderful! And particularly poignant, given all the two of you have been through in recent years. So, so, happy for you.

  • 60. Gregory in SLC  |  April 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I'm late to the post but brought instant tears to my eyes and causes me to want to reach out hug my hubby.. xo to you and Robert!

  • 61. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 9, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Thank you :-)

  • 62. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    It sounds made up doesn't it …..almost Hollywood :-)

  • 63. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 9, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Oh thank you Kathleen. Life is full of more blessings than trials these days thankfully….the letters were like the cherry on the cake :-)

  • 64. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Give him big hugs Gregory….and a peck on the cheek for good measure :-)

  • 65. MightyAcorn  |  April 9, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Something like, *SURRENDER FRIENDS OF DOROTHY* eeeheeeheeeheeeeheeeheeeeevilcackling from the flying broomstick?

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