A federal judge has denied a request by the National Organization for Marriage for a temporary restraining order to suspend Maine’s campaign reporting requirements for ballot initiatives. NOM is currently footing nearly two-thirds of the total bill for Stand for Marriage Maine’s effort to pass Question 1. NOM complained that because they were not a Maine-based group, that they should be exempt from what they consider to be overbearing regulations for Political Action Committees. The court disagreed (PDF: 187KB/32 pages):
Maine’s compelling interest in ensuring that the electorate knows who is financially supporting the views expressed on a particular ballot question cannot be satisfied by one-time reporting. Instead, Maine is entitled to conclude that its electorate needs to know, on an ongoing basis, the source of financial support for those who are taking positions on a ballot initiative. It will not do to say that a one-time disclosure in the week before the election is sufficient. That would not give the opposing viewpoint the opportunity to point out the source of the financing and seek to persuade the electorate that the source of support discounts the message.
This means that the Ethics Commission investigation will go forward, although the results will not likely be available before election day.