NOM and Catholic Diocese Provide Almost 2/3rds of “Yes on Q1” Budget

Jim Burroway

October 14th, 2009

As we reported earlier, the October financial statements are in for the Maine campaigns for Question 1, and the “No” side to preserve marriage equality is doing quite well in fundraising. They’ve raised about $2.7 million as of the first of October. Meanwhile, the “yes” side who is trying to overturn Maine’s same-sex law had raised only $1.1 million. But because opinion polls show that Maine voters are evenly split on Question 1, Stand for Marriage Maine brags that “Mainers won’t be bought.”

But who’s trying to do the buying? The Associated Press buried that answer in the last two paragraphs of this article:

Most of the NO on 1 contributions ranged from $25 to $500. The group reported nearly $42,000 in in-kind contributions from Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders.

Stand for Marriage’s report listed numerous contributions in the $100 to $500 range. Among its biggest contributors were the National Organization for Marriage of Princeton, N.J., which accounted for about $425,000, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, which gave more than $270,000.

That makes $695,000 of Stand for Marriage Maine’s $1.1 million — almost two-thirds — coming from just two powerful groups: The National Organization for Marriage and the Diocese of Portland. You can bet that now that everyone knows that Stand for Marriage Maine is behind in the fundraising sweepstakes, more groups like Focus On the Family and others will throw their weight into the battle. That’s why your donations are more important now than ever. Please, donate today.

David Malcolm

October 13th, 2009

Ugh, the catholic church should think about perhaps putting their donation money in… I don’t know, maybe making themselves relevant? Perhaps providing some social programs for at risk kids? Helping homeless people find employment. Especially in a recession time they shouldn’t be throwing around their congregant’s money like this!

andrew

October 14th, 2009

How is the Catholic Church allowed to retain their tax-free status when they continue to wade into aspects of political fundraising that are expressly excluded from tax-free religious funding?

Alex

October 14th, 2009

I just donated :-)

Timothy (TRiG)

October 14th, 2009

http://www.jesusandmo.net/2009/10/13/poor/

Mel

October 14th, 2009

I think you should double-check your AP link, which actually leads to a “Christian” News Wire propaganda piece. Quite telling that nearly 40% of their funding is coming from just one out-of-state group, though.

Jim Burroway

October 14th, 2009

I’ve updated the link. Sorry for the error.

werdna

October 14th, 2009

@andrew

You can find the IRS’s “Charities, Churches and Politics” page here.

The relevant bit is:

“…the ban by Congress is on political campaign activity regarding a candidate; churches and other 501(c)(3) organizations can engage in a limited amount of lobbying (including ballot measures) and advocate for or against issues that are in the political arena.”

The test for how much lobbying a tax-exempt organization can do is whether it’s a “substantial part” of that group’s activities.

jeff

October 14th, 2009

Another good question is where the donors are coming from. If most of those small donations to No on 1 are from Mainers, it shows an unusually lopsided commitment to the defeating the initiative. The big out-of-state donations represent a desire to influence votes. Small in-state donations represent commitment to actually voting!

Dennis

October 14th, 2009

If only the Catholic Church did not have to spend so much money to fix god’s error in creating such a thing as a gay person and defending priests from sexual molestation cases they could actually spend money on helping the poor. I am convinced that as soon as they can ‘drain the swamp’ they will get back to the less critical issues of god’s work.

Elliot

October 14th, 2009

I just donated the $2.90 that was in my account. I wish I could give more… :/

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