LDS Prophets’ Latest “Revelation”: Church Gave $190,000 To Pass Prop 8

Jim Burroway

January 31st, 2009

When supporters of Prop 8 went to Federal Court to try to block the public release of the names of late donors, they said that their move was to protect individual donors from harassment. Now we know the real reason Yes on 8 had to try to circumvent California’s open campaign finance laws. In fact, Yet On 8’s chief benefactor had 190,000 reasons to fight the release:

Mormon church officials, facing an ongoing investigation by the state Fair Political Practices Commission, Friday reported nearly $190,000 in previously unlisted assistance to the successful campaign for Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.

The report, filed with the secretary of state’s office, listed a variety of California travel expenses for high-ranking members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and included $20,575 for use of facilities and equipment at the church’s Salt Lake City headquarters and a $96,849 charge for “compensated staff time” for church employees who worked on matters pertaining to Prop. 8.

The Mormon church had been under investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission for failure to report its contributions as required by law. The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by Fred Karger, of Californians Against Hate.

IRS regulations barred from endorsing political candidates, but they allow churches and religious groups to campaign and contribute on behalf of issues. When doing so, churches are required to report their contributions just like every other donor. They are also required to report and attach fair market dollar values to “in-kind” donations, which consist of services and activities provided directly without charge by a donor that a campaign would otherwise have been required to pay for.

Until yesterday, Mormon church had denied any direct financial support for the campaign. I guess some of the Mormon prophets in Salt Lake City had one of their famous “revelations” last night.

Emily K

January 31st, 2009

Is there going to be a public list released?

cowboy

January 31st, 2009

Oops. Or should we say: Their high-paid tax attorneys/advisors are no better than H&R Block?

Major oops.

But, can we now see the power of this Church. The core of its members paid (legally I must add) via their volunteer efforts and private donations. It’s not the pittance of a couple of hundred grand…it was MILLIONS. And marvel at the source of these millions: a single one-page letter from their Prophet.

Personally, I think the “in kind” donation is much higher. They used BYU for a significant part of the campaigning.

So, if every Mormon had paid only $99 there would not have been any disclosure?

David C.

January 31st, 2009

Jim, shouldn’t that be “revelation” in the headline, and a 190,000 reasons?

Bruno

January 31st, 2009

It’s such a hypocritical organization and I don’t know how they consistently get away with it, I really don’t. I bet they’ll get away with it this time, too, with some behind the scenes financial finagling.

Buffy

January 31st, 2009

Tax them to the nth degree like the business they are. Give them penalties on top of it for trying to hide what they did.

John

January 31st, 2009

The Mormon Church has demonstrated that is has enormous financial resources (direct church resources as well as the ability to order their followers to contribute enormous sums). They try to hide in the shadows and pull the strings from behind drawn curtains. This is a potentially very worisome political entity, and I worry about their long term political aspirations. This church/political organization needs to be watched very carefully by those of us concerned with individual liberty and equal protection before the law in this country.

cd

January 31st, 2009

I remember predicting here in early September that the LDS Church was the major player behind Prop. 8….

These sorts of religious groups all learned from Scientology just how far they could go during the past 40 years under the cover of freedom of religion and as corporate entities and extremely aggressive behavior in the courts. In this country that was: almost anywhere. If you read up on Scientology enough, none of how the upper tiers of the LDS works or what they do in circumvention, abuse, and violation of the laws is novel.

It will be a long dispute with them. I would start with an estimate of 20 years and take appropriate measures. Which includes finding high rank Mormon insiders who are not true believers in the official anti-gay policies.

Devlin Bach

January 31st, 2009

Emily, the list gets released this Monday.

Emily K

January 31st, 2009

thx for the heads up Devlin.

Timothy Kincaid

February 1st, 2009

The defense I see most from devout Mormons is that the Prop 8 contributions were from individuals. But this reveals that employees of the church were paid to work for the passage of Proposition 8.

I very much doubt that this will have much impact on the devoted parishoners who (by about 85%) are incapable of finding wrong with their church, but it does remove one of their most common points of defense.

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