(AUGUSTA, MAINE) November 19, 2009 — Californians Against Hate was pleased to learn this morning, at a hearing attended by Fred Karger in Augusta, Maine, that Jonathan Wayne, Executive Director, Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, is “eager” to proceed with the commission’s investigation into the role played by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) in the state’s election held November 3, 2009.
The investigation is the result of allegations of election irregularities leveled by Californians Against Hate founder Fred Karger. The Washington D.C.- based NOM contributed at least $1.6 million to eliminate marriage equality in Maine — an amount well in excess of the allowable $5,000 “for the purpose of initiating [or] promoting” the people’s veto referendum on same-sex marriage in Maine.
The scope of the investigation, to be conducted by the commission’s staff and Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills, will include:
• What fund-raising methods did NOM employ to solicit the money that it has contributed to Stand for Marriage Maine PAC?
• What was NOM’s purpose in soliciting or receiving these funds?
• What did NOM communicate to the individuals and organizations it solicited?
• Did NOM receive any contributions within the categories set forth in §1056-B(2-A)? If so, how much was received in these categories?
• Of the fund-raising methods that are presently known (e.g., e-mail solicitations, newsletter), how much did NOM receive in response to these solicitations?
The inquiry may also extend to investigating whether NOM made any expenditures to initiate or to promote the referendum other than by contribution to Stand for Marriage Maine PAC.
Reacting to the commission’s decision, Californians Against Hate Founder Fred Karger said, “I am extremely pleased that the Maine Ethics Commission has decided to pursue its investigation with such vigor into potential improprieties on the part of the National Organization for Marriage during the recent campaign.” In addition, Karger offered his help with the investigation as someone who has been tracking NOM for the past 17 months.