NOM Hit With Fine in Maine

Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices has hit the National Organization for Marriage with a big fine (not huge, but apparently the biggest they’ve ever given in that state) for concealing its role in a 2009 fight over same-sex marriage.

Maine’s ethics commission voted unanimously Wednesday to impose a $50,250 fine on the nation’s leading organization opposing gay marriage, in a ruling that could affect the way nonprofit organizations attempt to influence Maine elections.

The vote followed an investigation in which the staff of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices found that the National Organization for Marriage concealed its operations and donors during its successful bid to overturn Maine’s same-sex marriage law in 2009.

The vote means that the state will require the organization to register as a ballot question committee and disclose its donors from the 2009 campaign…

In 2009, NOM poured more than $2 million into the $3 million referendum campaign to overturn the law that legislators passed and Gov. John Baldacci signed. The law never took effect.

Brian Brown, the group’s executive director, was an operating officer of Stand for Marriage Maine, the Maine-based ballot question committee that registered with the state. Before their vote Wednesday, ethics commission members argued that Brown’s dual role allowed the organization to shield its donors and skirt Maine’s donor disclosure law.

The ethics investigation cited bank statements and campaign literature to show that the organization used its nonprofit status to draw donations earmarked for the Maine referendum – a violation of Maine election law.

They’re going to appeal the ruling, of course.

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  • Alverant

    And they’re going to claim anti-christian bigotry of course. Another phony martyr.

  • theschwa

    I hope the court eats up their budget with fines: nom-nom-nom!!!

  • cycleninja

    Isn’t NOM operating in the red these days? I hope this drains them.

    Dan Savage wrote that Brown pulled in half a million dollars a year as NOM’s head honcho. It’s good work if you can find it (and if you have no ethics).

  • cry4turtles

    Perhaps now the Mormons will have to confess what they did in CA?

  • Modusoperandi


  • dingojack

    Modus – Maine has an area 91,646 Km² (but 13% is water so that doesn’t count). $50,250 is about $0.5483 per km² to rid Maine of TEH EVUL HOTSWEATYMANBUTTSEKS.

    Or about $93,866,779.27 to achieve the end of this scourge of society worldwide.

    Send your checks for $100, $200, $500 or $1,000 denominations (made out to ‘bearer’) to:

    Dingo’s Bank Account

    PO 666, Your Capital City.

    (Harvey Milk Stamps NOT excepted)

    Thank you.


  • caseloweraz

    I guess it’s too much to hope that LePage was involved.

  • sugarfrosted

    @4 Uh, hate to burst your bubble, but the mormons that opposed that weren’t carpetbaggers. There are in fact quite a few large mormon communities in California, such as in the vicinity of Red Bluff and in Placer and El Dorado, Amador and Sacramento Counties. Granted if the church itself funded that, that’s different story. (I admit your use of the word “Mormons” is a bit ambiguous since I’m unsure if you meant the organization or the members.)

    The communities around Sacramento have been in the region since before the Gold Rush and in fact them and the California natives made up the majority of Sutter’s work force.

  • cry4turtles

    @sugar, no bubble here, but I’d be willing to bet a portion of the money that the Mormon organization pumped into the prop. 8 fight came from headquarters, and we all know where that’s located. I have no hard evidence, just the power of inference. Indeed I could be wrong and Utah Mormons mind their own business. I think I just made a funny!

  • whheydt

    IIRC, from reports about actions by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), the Mormon Church set up and funded a call center to push for Prop. 8…and was taken to task for hiding their financial activities by the FPPC.


    The church was fined about $5,500 for failing to report some $37K they spent.