Ethics complaints: Fred Karger goes after NOM and Rick Santorum

DES MOINES, Iowa – California activist Fred Karger will be in Des Moines on Wednesday to file a sworn complaint against the anti-gay group National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

Karger will file his third state complaint against NOM for not disclosing its donors and all of its non-monetary contributions when it funded and managed both Iowa Supreme Court judicial retention elections in 2010 and 2012.

As someone who has been closely tracking NOM for over five years, Karger will personally deliver the sworn complaint and its attachments to Megan Tooker, executive director of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.

Karger is responsible for both active investigations against NOM by the Ethics offices in Maine and California. The Maine investigation has been going on for nearly four years because NOM has refused to turn over the names of its donors to that state’s 2009 ballot referendum to repeal gay marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court and the Maine Supreme Court have ordered NOM to disclose its donors as required by state law, but NOM has thus far refused to comply.

The California investigation is in its second year because NOM “forgot” to file campaign reports listing an additional $345,000 it received in 2008 to help pass Proposition 8 -- $10,000 of which came from former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Karger make history last year as the first openly gay man to run for the GOP presidential nomination

A second complaint will be filed by Karger on Thursday, this one with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The 65-page sworn and notarized complaint is against former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, the National Organization for Marriage, and Family Leader CEO Bob Vander Plaats.

Karger’s FEC complaint will request an investigation into the “Pay for Play” question surrounding Vander Plaats’ highly controversial 11th-hour endorsement of Santorum for President. Several other candidates sought Vander Plaats’ endorsement just two weeks before the all-important 2012 Iowa Caucus, but he went with Santorum. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said at the time that Vander Plaats’ endorsement cost up to $1 million.

Santorum, who received the coveted endorsement on Dec. 20, 2011, had no money in his campaign bank account. Karger's complaint will make the argument that NOM and its consultants played a major role in paying for and securing the Vander Plaats endorsement of Santorum for President.

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